Jan 26, 2017

Smartphones and health

Maybe the next big thing for smartphones: to greatly contribute to our health. Singularityhub.com is always a great resource, and the article linked below gives us a good overview or where smartphones can be beneficial to our health (although, for elite athletes smartphones may be the opposite).

https://singularityhub.com/2016/12/25/your-smartphones-next-big-trick-to-make-you-healthier-than-ever/

Harvard Business Review on collaboration work models

Being kind of an introvert and having the feeling that I am most productive with a switched off phone alone at my desk, I am sometimes positively surprised and sometimes really annoyed when groups of people get together not to dicuss and decide (what meetings should be for), but to actually work and produce together. I think it is a very complicated thing, beginning with hierarchies and team dynamics and ending with practical distribution of workloads. Here are some interesting thoughts from HBR on "collaborative overload":

https://hbr.org/2016/01/collaborative-overload


Uber releases public data platform (a drop in the ocean)

I have always argued that we have one major construction bug in the web: Data that I cause should be mine, and not belonging to the service provider. I can lend this data to the company in order for it to be able to provide better services, but I also should be able to delete it, or take it elsewhere, or publish it if I want. Everyone posted their Spotify data analysis at the end of 2016, but I didn't like it because it showed data that I felt was mine, and that I should be able to take with me to Pandora or elsewhere if I wanted to. Same with my movements: Car2Go and DriveNow have data on my automotive history, Lufthansa and AirBerlin on my flying, DeutscheBahn on my train rides etc. - and Google maps, if you have location tracking on, all of them - but these should be mine. If we all put them together or give them in trusted hands, the public could greatly benefit from it. Uber has tons and tons of data on traffic, and - kudos - has decided to make it public. I guarantuee that no single traffic planning government entity in any city has comparable data to invest our, the tax payer's money, in how to design cities and make traffic more effective and safe. You have to be grateful to Uber for publishing this, but it is also a reminder that there's so much super-useful stuff out there being held away from our societies.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/08/uber-debuts-movement-a-new-website-offering-access-to-its-traffic-data/

Strategic view on Amazon Echo as an operating system

This article is three weeks old, but I just recently received my Alexa/Amazon Echo product (love it) and had a few thoughts that I may have put together as a bigger blog post. Doing some research, I found this one and it summarizes everything better than I ever could: The "design" of Amazon Echo as a platform and why it has this huge potential:

https://stratechery.com/2017/amazons-operating-system/

Micro-Moments: Realtime, hyperlocal matters

I recently discovered the weekly newsletter on http://meshedsociety.com/ and sometimes I can find interesting links to articles on sites I didn't even know. "Street Fight - Inside the Business of Hyperlocal" is one of them. Although I don't really like to declare 2017 "the year of xyz" withing January, and the author might have an interest in doing so, being the CEO of uberall, a location marketing company, the article gives an interesting perspective on "micro-moments" and why they matter. Having had two years of "micro-services" in any IT-discussion, maybe we will see this term more often on the marketing side (side note: at the time of writing this post here, the article had 4 shares on G+, 44 on Facebook and 100 on LinkedIn - interesting spread).

http://streetfightmag.com/2017/01/24/why-2017-will-be-the-year-of-the-micro-moment/

Time to read up on algorithms

If I would have my own "Google Trends"-like analysis of words used in professional conversations and presentations, I guess that "algorithm" (maybe besides "data") would have the steepest growth of all. Amidst the Trump-domination of my newsfeed, algorithm-driven, I stumbled upon this interesting article (pure politics, Trump in perspective) and found it interesting enough to see what else was published on "Los Angeles Review of Books". And here comes one of the most interesting reads of this year so far: An exhaustive examination of algorithms - how we use the term, what they are, and what impact they have. Lengthy article, but worth every minute.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/algorithmic-life/

Internet, radio and politics

Fake news and alternative facts and their impact on society and politics are widely discussed. I found an interesting thought about this on meshedsociety, comparing radio and its role in the rise of Nazis in Germany with the internet today. Not very long, but good food for thought:

http://meshedsociety.com/internet-does-to-the-world-what-radio-did-to-the-world/

Interesting statements from Facebook's Head of Advertising

Andrew Bosworth, two weeks ago on AdWeek, was quoted with this:

"Hyperlocalizing the expansive digital network is the next step, he added. In Bosworth's mind, Facebook should help people directly order food, buy tickets to events, find out what to do on a Saturday night and shop until their heart's content straight from the app."

I bleieve that one day Facebook will make more money from transaction provisions than from displaying advertising. But that's a long road. Other than this, the article is a documentation of how FB's platform is too advanced for the industry it serves:

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/what-facebooks-head-advertising-wants-see-happen-2017-175417

Cars as feature phones

There's a ton of articles out there dealing with the upcoming disruption of the automotive industry, from various angles and perspectives. Besides big data, intelligent co-pilots like this interesting-looking start up from Germany (https://www.germanautolabs.com/) and self-driving, cars are stunningly un-connected nowadays. Given that the average car age on German roads is 9.2 years, this should be a home-run for products like this Bosch-powered car/smartphone dongle: https://www.drivelog.de/connect. But somehow none of these things really take off. An interesting perspective on the situation of cars is to compare them with feature phones, pre-iphone: interesting article by Benedict Evans from Andreessen Horowitz:

http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2017/01/10/cars-as-featurephones