Friday 5 — 6.5.2015

By Friday Five

new year

  1. Google Photos, a free tool to store and organize your photos, has launched. Having finally shuttered Google+, Google is recognizing photos as the stickiest feature for user retention. The new service raises legitimate concerns about privacy — a photo repository reveals a great deal about our family structure, travel habits,and health. An automated “Assistant” creates animations and stylized photos, and creates new experiences with surprising emotional resonance. See above: Google quickly scanned my photos and created this GIF from blurry New Year’s Eve shots in Hội An.
  2. In highly related news, Pew released a report on Americans attitudes about privacy, security, and surveillance. 69% of adults expressed concern that their social media usage will not remain private, and 40% think that social media sites they use shouldn’t save data about their activity. Should we be paying for Facebook in order to preserve our privacy?
  3. Launching a product is hard, and retaining users still harder. Andrew Chen reveals the most tragic curve in tech, and explains why your faith that the next feature release will rescue your product is misplaced.
  4. I’m a big fan of Evernote as a cross-device productivity tool for wrangling to-dos (and knocking them off the list). But digital notebooks can be more than mere productivity tools. Here are specific, useful tips for using Evernote or another digital notebook to capture your creativity.
  5. Your geography plays a part in determining your web experience. Jillian York explores the myth of a borderless internet through maps and other ways social media companies define boundaries. To understand more about the intersection of physical location and the internet, try this Chrome extension that highlights algorithmic citizenship.

Weekend fun:  Rant + green screen + internet = magic  Check out the TED talk version of Shia LaBeouf  and you’ll end up smiling like a deranged clown.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective pointers to compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally. Try out the Friday 5 archive, or sign up for a weekly email.


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