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On jazz hands and ad networks

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Everybody is very enamored by Google’s self-driving cars, you know, Google making glasses. That’s all jazz hands. It’s a big, huge distraction. They’re an advertising network. They’re putting a 25 to 50 percent advertising tax on everything created in the world. That’s all their doing. It’s a huge ad network. They’re going to subsume all advertising into their network.   And that’s what...

On death and online culture

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As Facebook knows, a digital world raises new problems. To be sure, Facebook made a mistake not considering enough the mortality of those who would use their product. But to be fair, when have inventors or designers ever had to before? Think of other classic American brands—Ford or Coca-Cola, for example—whose products are not so intimately linked with their customers’ fates. Cokes and cars are...

Digital in the DNA matters

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More and more, it’s becoming apparent that digital publishing is its own thing, not an additional platform for established news companies. They can buy their way into it, but their historical advantages are often offset by legacy costs and bureaucracy. In digital media, technology is not a wingman, it is The Man.

Digital world and humanity

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It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. … Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication. The world of media also has to be concerned with humanity, it too is called to show tenderness. The digital world can be an environment rich in...

Coming to terms with tech proliferation

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The virtuality of the debate has made it difficult for us to grapple with the consequences of the proliferation of the world outside of this bubble …Now that the effects of the tech world invade the physical environment, we have to figure out the necessary philosophical and intellectual framework to deal with it.

— Evgeny Morozov quoted in From Example to Excess in Silicon Valley

Emerging law for data inheritance

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More broadly, America’s Uniform Law Commission, a non-partisan group that creates model legislation that is then adopted unchanged by many American states, has a “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets” committee working on amendments to existing ULC laws that would give executors many of the same powers over digital assets that they have over financial and physical ones, while...

Digital afterlife data policy

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Beyond the variability among states and companies, it’s worth asking if access to data post-mortem should extend beyond family members and enter some kind of publicly accessible data repository, which data scientists and presumably anyone else could explore. In presenting this concept, Brubaker used the word “donate,” not unlike a person permitting organ donations after death. – Jordan Novet...

Digital afterlife

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Who gets the photographs and the e-mail stored online, the contents of a Facebook account, or that digital sword won in an online game?…“There can be painful legal and emotional issues for relatives unless you decide how to handle your electronic possessions in your estate planning.” — Anne Eisenberg in yet another useful piece on practical estate planning for digital assets post...

Boston Marathon, and the value of social

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Please keep checking in.   People often complain about social media. Facebook is time-consuming and pointless and self-aggrandizing and there’s no real connection — yes, all right. Twitter is a constant, exhausting, too-cool-for-school barrage. And both of them leave you feeling a little more distant from everyone, at the price of keeping a line open to everyone you’ve ever met.   But...

How to navigate child consent in the digital era

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With college students, obviously, we assume that they are young adults–even there, we still need to do a lot more to educate them as they, too, struggle deal with the ramifications of privacy in a networked world where exposure can get out of control much quicker and in hard-to-anticipate manner. — Your Children are not Your Children, a post by Zeynep Tufekci in response to recent exposure of...

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