This is the Pews: Facebook is no longer the most popular social network for US teens

This is the Pews: Facebook is no longer the most popular social network for US teens
The Pew Center's latest report,  ​Teens, social media and technology ​ gives us an insight into some of the macro factors affecting US teen Internet use. Most notably, Facebook has been supplanted as the most popular social network for this demographic. Headline stats include: ​Facebook usage has declined by 20% to 51% It has been eclipsed in ...
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New writing: Flesh Moves

New writing: Flesh Moves
Flesh Moves is a new work from friends of Imperica Brendan C. Byrne and Adam Rothstein.  Over to Brendan to introduce it: " Two years in the making, it's a heist story about the future of autonomous long haul trucking, the accelerating opioid crisis, and the break-up of the USA. Adam and I hope you 'enjoy' it." J's eyes pop open as Bigurl...
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Globalisation: the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning

Globalisation: the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning Shenzhen Bay Bridge
This is a good, well-argued piece on the future of globalisation with an absolute shedload of statistics. It strings concepts such as IOT, fast fashion, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the TPP together in one sweeping article on  ​Foreign Affairs ​. The geography of globalization is even changing within the developing world. The McKinsey Glo...
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Mary Meeker releases her report for 2018

Mary Meeker releases her report for 2018 JD Lasica, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/3007695650/
Mary Meeker's annual  Internet Trends report has been published. Here are the highlights, culled from the summary slide. At 3.6Bn, the number of Internet users has surpassed half the world's population. When markets reach mainstream, new growth gets harder to find - evinced by 0% new smartphone unit shipment growth in 2017. Internet ...
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Data mining: why the EU’s proposed copyright measures get it wrong

Data mining: why the EU’s proposed copyright measures get it wrong Wyncliffe, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyncliffe/13867917605/
Data that is mined with the help of machine learning techniques has been a rapid area of technological advancement – with good and bad consequences for everyone. And EU copyright law is currently caught in the crossfire. Cambridge Analytica and Facebook's recent data scandal, which involved the profiling of users from their online behaviour facilit...
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Martin Sorrell creates new company to relaunch his marketing career

Martin Sorrell creates new company to relaunch his marketing career Yahoo, CC licence
After the rather ignominious ending of Sorrell's career at WPP, Marty has created a new shell vehicle to build his second marketing services group. This is the same approach to how WPP as we know it was formed. Wire and Plastic Products, a Kent-based maker of dish drainers and milk bottle holders was chosen to be the vehicle that became WPP as we k...
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The Kissinger Twins take a trip

The Kissinger Twins take a trip
​The Trip ​ is the new interactive work from London-based duo The Kissinger Twins. We'll turn this article over to them to tell us all about it. "A story for the Edward Snowdens and Daniel Ellsbergs in all of us" The moon landing is one of the greatest milestones in human history. What if it wasn't real? Meet Jack Torrance, the man who made it...
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Four ways your Google searches and social media affect your opportunities in life

Four ways your Google searches and social media affect your opportunities in life Christian Rasmussen, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/apoltix/3621606906/
Whether or not you realise or consent to it, big data can affect you and how you live your life. The data we create when using social media, browsing the internet and wearing fitness trackers are all collected, categorised and used by businesses and the state to create profiles of us. These profiles are then used to target advertisements for produc...
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Robots in the warehouse: how Ocado is becoming a leader in the automation of retail

Robots in the warehouse: how Ocado is becoming a leader in the automation of retail Ocado
​The reputation of Ocado as being a weird-Waitrose-delivery-service-but-not-Waitrose is changing. It's been a slow burn since its creation during the dot com era, but the company is now doing a great job with what is becoming its core business: a retail automation dynamo. A glimpse into Ocado's Andover warehouse is, perhaps, a glimpse into all our ...
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Digital tumbleweed

Digital tumbleweed Studland Beach, Wikipedia
​The Verge ​ has a good, thoughtful piece on the almost-empty digital spaces left behind when brands and services suddenly become less popular. These spaces, "Internet Ghost Towns" as the article puts it, take on a new life, and one which serves a very different purpose to that originally intended.   The greatest joy of LiveJournal, and other ...
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Fake it 'til you make it: Deep Video experiments impersonate real people

Fake it 'til you make it: Deep Video experiments impersonate real people
If you saw the recent BuzzFeed promotion where Barack Obama talks about... well, all sorts of non-presidential stuff, then you may have wondered how it was produced. It's through a technique called  ​Deep Learning ​, demonstrated to quite an effect at SIGGRAPH 2018. The technique reproduces a real face and "takes control" of it, simulatin...
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AR in retail - almost always, never quite

AR in retail - almost always, never quite Mallsecrets, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/mallsecrets/6148146159
ABI Research has launched a report on the current and potential uses of Augmented Reality in bricks-and-mortar retail. It's refreshingly honest. Nick Finill, ABI Senior Analyst said  "For consumers in brick and mortar stores, however, AR can disrupt the customer journey and provides little additional value overall." However, for employees, AR ...
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One Question: this year's event, with discount tickets

One Question: this year's event, with discount tickets
 One Question is an event which is all about exactly that: offering the opportunity to explore and maybe answer one simple question each time. It brings out the deep and creative thinkers, and gives delegates the chance to delve into a contemporary topic rather than experience yet another skim-show-and-tell endemic in marketing events. The nex...
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TV: another sector that Amazon is totally disintermediating

TV: another sector that Amazon is totally disintermediating Karlis Dambrans, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/janitors/21025996740
​Variety ​ magazine this morning reports on Amazon Channels, a service where customers can order TV channel subscriptions  direct from the Bezos empire, as part of their Prime subscription. It may not be well-known, but it has collared 55% of the TV channels market in the US: Sources at participating video providers have long told Variety...
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The enfant terrible of Artificial Intelligence

The enfant terrible of Artificial Intelligence ITU, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/34343384393/in/photostream/
This is a typically excellent  ​Bloomberg Businessweek ​ piece on  Jürgen Schmidhuber and his formidable AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) startup Nnaisense, based in the south-eastern, Italian-speaking city of Lugano in Switzerland: The modest, quiet office doesn't look like a buzzing AI superpower, but Schmidhuber's team regula...
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The new trend in fiction: overpopulation

The new trend in fiction: overpopulation Endlisnis, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/endlisnis/458894421/
​Overpopulation has bubbled up as a topic in recent years, but is now becoming  ​de rigeur ​ in contemporary visual fiction: In Steven Spielberg's 2018 film Ready Player One, the inhabitants of a metropolis of slum housing escape into a VR landscape called the OASIS, where they can live with a freedom denied them in their cramped reality. Alex...
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Feeling twitch-y

Feeling twitch-y Lydia, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiashiningbrightly/4435556041/
​Just as you were getting used to using emojis and Twitter-derived slang without feeling slightly uncomfortable about it, along comes a whole new dimension of emotional signifiers ("emotes") from the users of Amazon's gaming website Twitch. Emotes have their ups and downs. Some, like Kappa, are used to help people communicate with one another durin...
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Sorry seems to be the hardest email

Sorry seems to be the hardest email H. Grobe
A piece of email-based fiction hits  ​Electric Literature:  ​a beautifully-written exchange of texts between... well, you'll just have to read it.   As accusations of sexual harassment and abuse playout in the court of social media, the context for Lynn Coady's "Someone is Recording" changes daily, possibly hourly. The story is hyper...
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Fifa Fan Fiction

Fifa Fan Fiction Bago, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/14244165745
​There's plenty of fanfic online, with book series such as Harry Potter giving fans the ability to extend the fictional world with their own imaginations. This excellent article on Kotaku details how someone has done the same with the FIFA series of console/computer football games. The article interviews wwesmudge, who has spent many years building...
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Lovely but depressing article on friendships in 2018

Lovely but depressing article on friendships in 2018
This is a really nice article, although the basic tenet is pretty obvious: people have more friends (which, in part, is due to Facebook and other social media using the term "friends" and stretching its definition) but the quality of the interaction is much less than, say, 25 years ago. "You've got enough friends, a new one is bad for you," says a ...
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