rafat.org • The End of Scale

rafat.org • The End of Scale

You could sense it when ebooks and ereaders peaked in 2015. You could even sense it when we all found out no one was using millions of dedicated apps beyond the handful that they really use on a daily basis. Hell, you could sense it when iPad didn’t turn out to be the savior of media, which now feels like eons ago.

Who were we trying to fool?

Therein comes the biggest lie in all this, now exposed: There is no secret sauce in media.

There is no outside savior coming to rescue.

It is all you. The value you build with your editorial. The value you can create by being focused on doing a few things very, very well.

The relationship you build with your dedicated users, direct, tangible and non-disposable. Creating and holding to your own core while everyone else run themselves to exhaustion. By stepping away from the churn.

By creating unique residents, not unique visitors. By creating something people want to come to, deliberately, again and again, and stay. Now that’s a freakin’ novel idea, isn’t it?

Internet Society | Internet Issues, Technology, Standards, Policy, Leadership – Global_Internet_Report_2014.pdf

Internet Society | Internet Issues, Technology, Standards, Policy, Leadership – Global_Internet_Report_2014.pdf

More than two decades ago, the Internet Society was formed to support the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all mankind. Over the years, we have pursued that task with pride. We continue to be driven by the hope and promise of the benefits the Internet can bring to everyone.

In doing so, the Internet Society has fostered a diverse and truly global community. Internet Society Chapters and members represent the people of the world and the many and varied ways they use the Internet to enrich the lives of themselves and their peers. They use the Internet to create communities, to open new economic possibilities, to improv lives, and to participate in the world. We are inspired by their stories of innovation, creativity, and collaboration.

Thanks to the Internet’s own success, we are now in an increasingly complex era where the stakes are much higher than before, and potential threats to the Internet’s core principles loom larger. To protect your ability to use the Internet for your needs – to keep it open and sustainable – we must do more to measure impacts and present the strengths of the open Internet model in more compelling ways, to convince policy makers, influencers, and the general public of the importance of our mission.

To this end, I am pleased to launch this, the first in an annual series of Global Internet Reports. With this report, the Internet Society introduces a new level of integrated analysis, measurement, and reporting to Internet governance discussions at all levels.

The Global Internet Reports will become a showcase of topics that are at the heart of the Internet Society’s work about the future of the Internet, weaving together the many threads of the diverse multistakeholder Internet community.

The Internet Really Has Changed Everything. Here’s the Proof. — Backchannel

The Internet Really Has Changed Everything. Here’s the Proof. — Backchannel

Instead I answer his question. “I am writing about how technology has changed humanity.”

Now he looks nervous.

“Basically, this story is a controlled experiment,” I continue. “Napoleon is a place that has remained static for decades. The economics, demographics, politics, and geography are the same as when I lived here. In the past twenty-five years, only one thing has changed: technology.”

“All scientific experiments require two conditions: a static environment and an independent variable. Napoleon is the control; technology, the testable variable. With all else being equal, this place is the perfect environment to explore societal questions like,

  • What are the effects of mass communications?
  • How has technology transformed the way we form ideas?
  • Does access to information alone make us smarter?

As we discuss other apps on his home screen — YouTube, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo — I realize that my line of questions are really just attempts to prove or disprove a sentence that I read on the flight to Dakota. The sentence appears on page 20 of Danah Boyd’s book, It’s Complicated, a study of the social lives of networked teens:

What the drive-in was to teens in the 1950s and the mall was in the 1980s, Facebook, texting, Twitter, instant messaging, and other social media are to teens now.”

Continue reading “The Internet Really Has Changed Everything. Here’s the Proof. — Backchannel”

A clever algorithm generating millions of random ideas is turning the tables on patent trolls — Quartz

A clever algorithm generating millions of random ideas is turning the tables on patent trolls — Quartz

Artist and engineer Alexander Reben has written an algorithm that exploits the convoluted US patent system in order to mess with patent trolls—people and organizations who file for patents on trivial concepts without any intention of building a product, then extort money from those who actually make things.

His project, All Prior Art, posts ideas for “inventions” to prevent people from filing patents they’re not going to use. According to US patent law, if there’s “prior art“—in this case, a previously published version of the idea—no one can file a patent on it. He’s posted 4.2 million such ideas and counting.

Says Reben, “The real purpose of the patent system is to reward innovation and help protect people who put in a lot of time and money testing and doing R&D.” He hopes to address this with his fake ideas.

The algorithm pulls from the entirety of current US patents and mashes together random phrases and sentences, so the inventions are quite often meaningless.

Pelican Books

Pelican Books

Read on any (or all) of your devices

Whether you are reading on a smartphone, tablet or widescreen monitor, the text adapts to offer the ideal reading experience for any screen size.

Always pick up where you left off

Start reading a book on your phone on the way to work, continue at your desk over lunch, and pick it up again in the evening with your iPad.

Your reading position is automatically bookmarked and synced across all your devices.

Highlight and share passages

Highlight a passage of text to save for later, or share your favourite extracts with friends on social media.(Highlighting is only available on laptop / desktop devices at the moment – we’re working on bringing it to mobile soon.)

All Pelican books are available to read online. Read the first chapter for free, and unlock the full book for £4.99.

Teenagers have built a summary app makes studying easier

Teenagers have built a summary app makes studying easier

Available for iOSSummize is an intelligent summary generator that will automatically recap the contents of any textbook page (or news article) you take a photo of with your smartphone.

The app also supports concept, keyword and bias analysis, which breaks down the summaries to make them more accessible. With this feature users can easily isolate concepts and keywords from the rest of the text to focus precisely on the material that matters the most to them.

Picturize – Android Apps on Google Play

Picturize – Android Apps on Google Play

Picturize is an app that can summarize the text in an image.

Create short paragraphs, paragraphs, or bullet points from a picture/screenshot of a text (textbook, newspaper, newsletter, magazine, article, screenshots etc.) all in seconds!

With the power of Optical Character Recognition and the Google Cloud Platform, Picturize can handle almost any kind of text and create accurate summaries very quickly!