Entangled reads, 24 November 2018

I’ve missed a week, so even more links for you this week: emojis in business, discoverability in UI design, how Facebook threatens democracy, and more…

Technology and humanity

Technologists should abandon their craft – a great read. ‘To address the human cost and correct course, we need people who understand the technology world to do more than just build more technology.’

Deep Work and attention

Google Maps will let you chat with businesses – I don’t understand why this is necessary or even desirable. There are already a gazillion different ways to contact businesses. Giving them yet another inbox to monitor will not improve anything for anyone, and will only further train users to expect instant responses.

Gen-Z Employees Don’t Do Email – this article made me facepalm all the way through reading it. Rather than pandering to nosediving attention spans, why aren’t we trying to do something about it? Not everything can be conveyed through a string of emojis.

Design

The iPod click wheel was the pinnacle of purposed hardware design – the click wheel was a masterpiece, and I think it’s a shame that hardware is becoming so homogenous. Nice article.

Amazement at iOS cursor movement shortcut says a lot about discoverability – there are many hidden gestures in iOS that cannot be discovered intuitively, and with the iPhone X’s gesture-based control system the situation is getting worse. They’re fine once you learn them, but early GUIs (such as the original Macintosh) were significantly easier for beginners to get to grips with. Even the modern Mac has a far more discoverable interface than iOS.

Social media reform

Flickr’s new boss, not the same as the old boss – Riccardo Mori makes a compelling case for why Flickr’s new business model is trying to do the right thing.

YouTube CEO calls EU’s proposed copyright regulation financially impossible – ‘YouTube has gone on the offensive over the last month to garner support in opposing the EU’s copyright directive.’

There’s more evidence Facebook can make you feel lonely – ‘our experiment strongly suggest that limiting social media usage does have a direct and positive impact on subjective well-being over time, especially with respect to decreasing loneliness and depression.’

Facebook threatens democracy, says Soros-backed foundation – hard to disagree with this assessment. It’s becoming clearer all the time that Facebook is causing damage in multiple areas.

Instagram will now let users shop items from video posts – Instagram is deteriorating rapidly. Called it.

Despite its flaws, Facebook still holds my memories, and giving that up is hard – another good piece from the Verge. It’s not just the data, it’s the metadata.

Automation

You Already Email Like a Robot — Why Not Automate It? – ‘We can be sure of only one thing that will result from automating email: It will create more of it.’

Privacy

Plans to microchip UK workers spark privacy concerns – this is the most dystopian thing I’ve read this week.

Google ‘betrays patient trust’ with DeepMind Health move – patient data may remain under the patient’s control for now, but who knows what will happen in the future?

Another Meltdown, Spectre security scare: Data-leaking holes riddle Intel, AMD, Arm chip – an important part of the Entanglement’s definition is that as complexity increases, problems and bugs will continue to proliferate. This is what we’re now seeing with massive CPU-level flaws coming to light.

Fluff and nonsense

ReBirth: Pre-internet technology – this is pretty cool. A designer has imagined web-era services and platforms as hardware gadgets from 80s or 90s.

Header image © Alex Gontar / Shutterstock