Link roundup June 17, 2013

  1. The Curse Of The Network Effect | TechCrunch

    • Marketplaces where either the buyer or seller expects to choose from an exhaustive listing – so-called “complete” marketplaces – typically give-up far more value than they are able to capture.
    • Unless they facilitate the transaction itself, these businesses often find themselves in a bind.

    Insightful about monetizing services or marketplaces that rely on being complete from the founder of an event listing service.

  2. Facebook Made Me Do It – NYTimes.com

    In a study of social exchange systems like Facebook, when people were told that their networks liked the content they were sharing, they shared more. But when they were told that people in their network did not like their shared content, they actually shared even more to figure out what their network might like, and “come up with more content that was edgier,” he said.

    I think that this is true in lack of approval/disapproval (if we don’t get likes or comments at all). If we get active disapproval my guess is that we’d be prone to share less rather than more. Interesting nonetheless.

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  3. How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers?

    But the devices were far less reliable in tracking the energy costs of light-intensity activities like standing or cleaning, often misinterpreting them as physical immobility. Only the calorie cost of typing was overestimated, and only by the armband monitor, which considered the arm movements involved to be far more dynamic than they actually are.

    That wrist worn devices are bad at detecting when we bike isn’t a surprise, but that they’re bad at detecting standing is news to me.

  4. Fertile Ground – Marco.org

    I don’t think most developers of mature, non-trivial apps are going to have an easy time migrating them well to iOS 7. Even if they overcome the technical barriers, the resulting apps just won’t look and feel right. They won’t fool anyone.

    This is another side of the coin of iOS7. It remains to be seen if Marco is right (I hope so). And if he is, I wonder if Apple did this as a conscious choice, or if it’s a (lucky) circumstance. This is an interesting post nonetheless.

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  5. Did Apple Just Ally With Microsoft Against Google?

    It’s a huge win for the giant of Redmond, which has long been hunting for more fronts to open up on Google in the search wars.

    This isn’t a win for Microsoft, it’s a huge loss for Apple users. Have you seen the Bing Challenge? It claims that most people choose Bing’s results when compared to Google’s. However, asking people to “just search for anything” makes it hard to evaluate the results. I did the challenge, but with with five searches that I actually needed results for. Result? Google won 4 of the rounds. Twice. There’s a reason people don’t use Bing, and it’s not “habit”.

  6. Microsoft Has Hired People To Make Positive Comments About Xbox One On Reddit, Contractor Says

    Obviously, we can’t confirm this story. We asked Microsoft for comment on if they have people on their payroll using Reddit and will update when they reply.

    This is sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t story. It doesn’t matter what Microsoft says here: they obviously can’t confirm it. However, the fact that this story can be born says a lot: the Xbox One is receiving a lot of negativity. Had it not, there would be no need to even fabricate a story such as this. So in the end, it’s still a product that (mostly) sucks according to people.

  7. The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror

    we aren’t trading civil liberties for security, but a sense of security. We aren’t empowering the national-security state so that we’re safer, but so we feel safer.

    This isn’t happening only in the US. It’s happening in the EU and in Sweden. Everyone should read this, and realize that it’s time to say NO. Politicians gain from giving us a sense of security (not actual security) as it gives them more power.

  8. Smartphones vs tablets vs traditional PCs – and how iOS changed the world
    I love this visualization of smartphones vs tablets vs “traditional PCs”. And the post in itself contains a lot of insights about how iOS changed the world of computing, and also the challenges ahead. Note that this was written way ahead of the release of iOS 7 (and that Apple missed delivering on key features, such as “being able to choose another default app than Apple’s own”)

    Read the whole post here: Fraser Speirs – Blog – The iOS 7 Power User Challenge

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  9. “It was the perfect search engine,” Singhal said. “You could ask it a question and it would tell you exactly the right answer, one right answer—and sometimes it would tell you things you needed to know in advance, before you could ask it.”

    I recently switched to an HTC One and after trying out Google’s voice control in it, I really see how it could in just a few years become something akin to the Star Trek computer. It’s much more intuitive than Siri on my iPhone (and I did ask her lots of stuff). After having used Google’s voice control on Android, I’m even more agog about trying out Google Glass.

  10. Facebook is just fine — How to use the internet — Medium

    My newsfeed is almost all signal. This is, in part, because I am ruthless. If you are overtly negative (which is different than having opinions differing from my own), you get hidden. If I don’t find value in your postings, you get hidden.

    As much as I criticize Facebook for their shortcomings, it’s also good to give credit where it is due – and Facebook does have an amazing service at its core, just like Craig Mod writes here. The key is, just as mr. Mod writes, to hide everything that isn’t relevant and teach Facebook what you like and what you don’t. I do this a lot.

Link roundup May 28, 2013

  1. Violence & Silence: Jackson Katz, Ph.D at TEDxFiDiWomen 

    This is a very interesting talk that nails my issue with the “men’s rights movement”. They’re busy being bitter about women acting and getting recognition (in the form of attention) for it.Also, when thinking about domestic violence as a men’s problem brought an old Radiolab episode to mind. It’s about “the unchangeable nature of male baboons’ violent behaviors” and how it in fact can be changed. Human men are baboons.

  2. Google Glass has been banned from all of Caesars palace and pretty much every strip club & bar. While apps like Winky lets you take photographs with a wink alone, people are getting increasingly worried about privacy with these high-tech eyes around.

    I’m guessing that this ban applies to Memoto too. The point is: no matter what we think about it, “Public Privacy” is a real oxymoron, and as such it never existed. This just makes us really aware of it.

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  3. I didn’t really know what to do, so I agreed to see a doctor so that everyone would stop having all of their feelings at me.

    This is a very good account of what it’s like to go through a depression. You do want to read it so you’re prepared when it happens to you or someone you love. It has funny pictures too. Just click and read!

     

  4. Ministry of Silly Systems
    The blog post Ministry of Silly Systems shows how government agencies are creating the opposite of a simple, delightful, shareable experience. It&#8217;s almost as if they didn&#8217;t want you to contact them. This is exactly how Migrationsverket works in Sweden, except they&#8217;re not this friendly.<br /><br />
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    The blog post Ministry of Silly Systems shows how government agencies are creating the opposite of a simple, delightful, shareable experience. It’s almost as if they didn’t want you to contact them. This is exactly how Migrationsverket works in Sweden, except they’re not this friendly.

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  5. Android’s Market Share Is Literally A Joke | Tech.pinions – Perspective, Insight, Analysis

    Two farmers bought a truckload of watermelons, paying five dollars apiece for them. Then they drove to the market and sold all their watermelons for four dollars each. After counting their money at the end of the day, they realized that they’d ended up with less money than they’d started with. “See!” said the one farmer to the other. “I told you we shoulda got a bigger truck.”

    John Kirk gives a lot of facts about why the Android market is just like the two farmers above: Android has a bigger truck, but it’s not a profitable market.

  6. The Next Facebook — Medium

    A story from a recent college graduate highlights this difference best: Facebook’s Graph Search was turned on for her and she was amazed at the people she could find. “Mutual friends in the double-digits and identical musical tastes and they like Lost In Translation?!”

    I never thought of Graph Search as being able to find “niches within niches” – but that’s what it’s for. However, just as the article says: Facebook doesn’t have any good way to connect to these people. The next big network will allow that. But I don’t think it will be a new network that does it, it will be one of the existing.

  7. Google ‘s Best New Unadvertised Feature: Photo Search With Visual Recognition

    I’m blown away by the new photo search in Google where it’s recognizing subjects in my own photos

    This is a killer feature in Google+. Although I love Flickr, this makes me want to move all my photos to G+.

  8. Thread: My one talk with Marissa Mayer

    All I remember of it was there came a point in the conversation when Mayer had had enough. She just got up and left. I think the people remaining in the conference room were a little embarassed. Google didn’t do anything to change the BlogThis! button.

    Marissa Mayer worked at Google back when they acquired Blogger. The promised not to change anything, just like Yahoo! now promise not to change Tumblr. Dave Winer’s moral in this story is insightful, and a reminder to all current Tumblr users.

  9. You only get one chance to be a beginner

    This is the time to do the impossible, because you don’t know enough to know what can’t be done yet.

    Simple, beautiful, brilliant. In a lot of cases it’s better to embrace being a beginner instead of fearing it.

  10. HTC First discontinued by AT&T: First ‘Facebook phone’ a flop | BGR

    Our source at AT&T has confirmed that the HTC First, which is the first smartphone to ship with Facebook Home pre-installed, will soon be discontinued and unsold inventory will be returned to HTC

    Ouch for HTC and Facebook. But I’m happy that customers saw through this. Facebook as a launcher? Bad idea. There might come a time when Facebook is everywhere, but I’m happy it’s not here yet.

  11. Seth’s Blog: The reason they call it a browser

    Call it attention inflation. More time spent looking, less time spent clicking. We’re being conditioned to sit back and assume that action is the exception, not the rule.

    Brilliant as he most of the time is, Seth Godin writes about why we interact less even though we spend more time online. This definitely hooks into the UMOT/ZMOT and being context aware, providing the right information at the right time to the right visitor.

  12. Samsung is hurting Android – Opinion – Trusted Reviews

    Here is a dirty secret: it is in Samsung’s interest to damage Android.

    I never realized that Samsung might be trying to hurt Android, but reading this it seems like the perfect strategy. For Samsung. The problem is that to become Apple, you need products that really work – which Samsung doesn’t. The new features on the Samsung Galaxy 4 are disappointing (read: they only work with Samsung’s own apps).

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  13. Really small apartments
    These photos tell a story that’s very hard to grasp for someone living in Sweden. Stockholm is the city in the world with the most single-person households (per capita) and living in apartments as small as these is most likely unthinkable for every Swede who has a home. See more at These apartments are so small they can only be photographed from the ceiling – Quartz

Stereotyping with Google

Americans are stupid, Swedes are beautiful, French are skinny and Danes are weird. At least according to people who use Google. When you type something into the search field in Google, it tries to autocomplete your query based on what other people have typed in:

As you type, autocomplete predicts and displays queries to choose from. The search queries that you see as part of autocomplete are a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google.

If you’re logged in, Google will throw in your search history as well. These searches were made in an incognito window in Chrome (which, by the way is a great quick fix to get a more neutral search result with Google). Internet is the sum of its users and it’s not strange that our prejudice and our stereotyping shines through.

Stereotypes by Google users

Thanks to my friend Diego Angemi for the idea.