This edition of Thought Starters includes a few pieces that take a more critical view of our interactions with the internet and technology as well as the usual analysis of recent developments in media, technology and society in general.
Ex mobile junkie Jeremy Vandehey gives his advice on how to live more of your life without your smartphone, arguing that this will enrich your relationships and personal experiences .
In a similar mode, Kathleen Davis gives her account of how she survives and thrives in the tech sector despite never having owned a smartphone.
Mike Feibus looks at the growing success of Chromebook within the PC sector which he attributes to strategic mistakes on Microsoft’s part and points to future success as again being closely tied to the latter’s strategy.
Beacon location based services have been getting a lot of attention lately in the media, particularly in terms of what they can do for the retail sector. Bobby Gill looks at alternative use cases for beacons in the education, dating, home electronics, events and sports sectors.
David Hariri provides a spirited defence of the web application, pointing to the benefits of more open based models of development when compared to the more closed mobile app approach. I am definitely all for a more open web but any judgement on the appropriate strategy needs to be weighed against a range of factors including functionality, audience and budget.
A report in the Financial Times points to Apple looking to launch an offering in the connected home sector at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2. Roger Kay takes a critical look at Apple’s attempts to operate in the Internet of Things sector, pointing to the company’s controlling tendencies in an environment that is typically based on a more collaborative approach between different players. Benedict Evans in contrast, takes a broader view of the Internet of Things sector and looks at the contrasting strategies of Apple and Google.
Maciej Cegłowski’s talk, The Internet With A Human Face provides a valuable critique of the centralisation of the web, the growth of Big Data and the inability of the internet to forget.
The centralisation of the web has gained a spike in coverage over the course of the last week due in large part to a trio of issues. Matthew Ingram has a look at the three talking points, Amazon’s negotiations with publisher Hatchette, Google’s search algorithm’s impact on metafilter and Facebook’s impact on what news journalism is being brought to consumers’ attention.
Ben Thompson looks more closely at Amazon’s relationship with the publishing industry, characterising the former as nasty and the latter as incompetent.
Amazon hasn’t exactly been quick in coming out in defending itself in its dispute with Hatchette, but it has been interesting to see them use News Genius as a means of publicising their position. I reckon we’re going to see more of this going forward.
Programmatic buying is making a big impact in the online advertising sector, so its interesting to hear John Battelle warning of the loss of context when media is simply bought on the basis of audience.
On a less critical note is Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report which reports on key statistics and trends in the digital sector. Coverage includes growth in mobile, online advertising, mobile messaging and a look at emerging business models online and the digital sector in China. A great way of quickly getting up to speed with what is going on online.
Richard Florida takes a fascinating look at the relationship between the popularity of heavy metal and a countries’ economic health.
Though metal may be the music of choice for some alienated working-class males, it enjoys its greatest popularity in the most advanced, most tolerant, and knowledge-based places in the world. Strange as it may seem, heavy metal springs not from the poisoned slag of alienation and despair but the loamy soil of post-industrial prosperity.