Entangled reads, 30 November 2018

Another astoundingly bad week for Facebook, time is different now, minimal surface nirvana, and new icons for Office…

Social media reform

UK Parliament seized internal documents related to Facebook’s privacy and data decisions – Facebook is imploding even more rapidly than I thought it would. Amazing to watch this play out in real time.

Is Facebook the AOL of the 2010s? A Skeptical Examination of Social Media Network Effects – ‘In 2018, joining a network like Facebook enables you to connect with or monitor the status of people you know using digital networks. Unlike telephones or Ethernet cards, however, you don’t need a private network like Facebook for these benefits.’

Fake news inquiry: Facebook questioned by MPs from around the world – ‘The problem is Facebook, everything else is just a symptom.’

The big questions that hang over Facebook’s future – ‘If there is not going to be a change of individuals then there must be a change of outlook. Facebook has to become more open about how it uses our data. It must explain this in a way that is accessible to normal users and is not hidden away in the T&Cs.’

Technology and humanity

Time is different now – ‘Flattening current events into a stream means living in a perpetual present, where events are disconnected from their antecedents and where history is counted in minutes and days rather than in months and years.’

Flickr’s Big Change Proves You Can’t Trust Online Services – whether or not you agree with Flickr’s shift to a more ethical business model (I do, FWIW), this article makes an important point. When you put your work into the cloud, you’re giving up personal control over it.


Minimal surface nirvana – this is an intriguing take on the ‘disappearing computing hardware’ phenomenon by Riccardo Mori.


Google accused of GDPR privacy violations by seven countries – Google’s dodgy approach to location tracking was a factor that led me to switch from Android back to the iPhone in 2016. Despite my many frustrations with Apple, I still wouldn’t go back to Android for privacy reasons.

Fluff and nonsense

Microsoft’s new Office icons are part of a bigger design overhaul – these new icons look nice, but it isn’t as immediately obvious what the applications do. They’re even more abstract than the previous versions – which were already pretty abstract.

Beijing to Judge Every Resident Based on Behavior by End of 2020 – the most dystopian thing I’ve read this week.

Header image © Radiokafka / Shutterstock

Author: Alex Roddie

Writer and editor.