How A Long-lost Indian Disco Record Won Over Crate Diggers And Cracked The YouTube Algorithm
1982’s Disco Jazz has been reissued. “Aaj Shanibar,” one of its four tracks, has also started to spread through the strange rabbithole that is YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. With the benefit of time and technology, “lost” songs reach a new generation of listeners halfway around the world.
How Saudi Arabia Infiltrated Twitter
In April 2014, a public relations firm representing the Saudi Embassy asked Ahmad Abouammo, part of Twitter’s global media team, to verify an account belonging to a Saudi news personality. This request for a blue checkmark opened the door to a working relationship with the country’s government.
The Canadian Genius Who Created Modern AI
For nearly 40 years, Geoff Hinton has been trying to get computers to learn like people do, a quest almost everyone thought was crazy or at least hopeless – right up until the moment it revolutionized the field. In this video, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance meets the Godfather of AI.
How Advertising Conquered Urban Space
In cities around the world, advertising is everywhere. We may try to shut it out, but it reflects who we are (or want to be) and connects us to the urban past. Local signs connect us to the past, to vernacular styles, to folklore. The best examples catch our eye as children and stay with us.
It’s Not You. Phones Are Designed To Be Addicting.
Today’s phones are hard to put down. Push notifications buzz in your pocket, red bubbles demand attention, and endless distractions sit at your fingertips. It can feel impossible to pull away from. The 3 design elements that make smartphones so hard to put down, explained by Google’s former design ethicist.
What Would Happen If Facebook Were Turned Off?
Facebook is blamed for all sorts of social horrors: from addiction and bullying to the erosion of fact-based political discourse and the enabling of genocide. New research—and there is more all the time—suggests such accusations are not entirely without merit. It may be time to consider what life without Facebook would be like.
Google Maps Is Different Depending On Your Location
If you go on Google Maps in Japan, the region between South Korea and Japan is shown as the “Sea of Japan”. However, if you’re using Google Maps inside South Korea, it will instead appear by the name “East Sea”. Two names for the same body of water on the same site.
How To Tell If You’re Talking To A Bot
It’s important not to be swayed by fake accounts or waste your time arguing with them, and identifying bots in a Twitter thread has become a strange version of the Turing test. Advances in machine learning hint at how bots could become more humanlike.
The Secret Behind Coca-Cola’s Marketing Strategy
Coca-Cola is the biggest non-technology company in the world. Originally only selling 7 servings a day, the company has grown slightly, at an estimated rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day. What’s the secret behind their success?
Copenhagen Commuters Get A Big, Slithering Surprise
Forget snakes on a plane. Copenhagen has snakes, really big ones, on a bus. Crushing the entire bus, in fact. Bates Y&R art director Peder Schack squeezed the award-winning idea out of his brain to “make the most possible impact for a very small budget.”
The Rise And Fall Of Delia’s, The Catalog That Ruled America
For a few years around the millennium, Delia’s and its direct-to-consumer catalogs were the hottest brand in the country. It was a glimpse of things to come. At its peak, 55 million copies were sent out to girls across the country every year.
Behind The Scenes At Rotten Tomatoes
Humans, not algorithms, determine those ubiquitous scores. The Tomatometer is run by a team of “curators” who read just about every known review from a gigantic pool of approved critics, then decide if each is positive or negative. Once a movie has five reviews, it is Tomatometer-eligible.
The Traffic Merchant
Google Chrome extensions promised useful tasks like converting webpages into PDFs. But once installed, they injected ads and generated massive amounts of invalid traffic, the ad industry’s term for fake or manipulated views, users, or clicks. More than 60 of those extensions were owned by Daniel Yomtobian.
Creatives Call For Mental-Health Warnings On ‘Toxic’ Magazines
A creative team in London is hijacking the covers of celebrity and gossip magazines to raise awareness of the harmful impact that media can have on people’s mental health. They were inspired by news that hair salons across the UK have boycotted “toxic” gossip magazines following the death of presenter Caroline Flack.
How Technology Is Hijacking Your Mind
I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked. When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.
How Governments Shut Down The Internet
Governments around the world are shutting down the internet, saying it’s needed to prevent protests or cheating on exams. But critics say blocking expression and access to information violates human rights. Here’s how internet shutdowns work.
Michael Jordan The Story Versus Michael Jordan The Man
Jordan was the closest embodiment of the ideal athlete that we’ve ever witnessed. After his retirement, however, the intimate identification he inspired during his career soured into something weirder and sadder.
Once Hailed As Unhackable, Blockchains Are Now Getting Hacked
More and more security holes are appearing in cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms, and some are fundamental to the way they were built.
The Rise Of Shopify, $68 Billion In Size. How Did It Get So Big?
Shopify is the leading E-commerce platform in the United States with 23% market share and has become the second-largest platform in terms of total merchandise volume, surpassing eBay in September 2019 and just behind Amazon. The company’s stock is up more than 20 times its IPO price.
Online Streaming: Television’s Looming Car Crash
As the distribution model for entertainment is remade, a revolutionary ardour has seized the industry: the choice is to win the streaming battle against the likes of Netflix, or face commercial oblivion. The immediate result has been clear: more television than ever before. There were 496 scripted TV shows made in the US last year, more than double the 216 series released in 2010.