Mojeek's Monthly Must Reads
21 November 2018
Welcome back to another edition of Mojeek Monthly Must Reads. At Mojeek, we found the following articles to be very interesting and hope you do too. The list includes articles about the upcoming trend of 'digital ethics and privacy' in tech, to the incredible 8 year story of a diver befriending an octopus. As you can tell, some are tech related and some are not, nevertheless we hope you enjoy what we've found.
Author: Natasha Lomas (@riptari) – Tech Crunch
Summary: Following years of tech companies abusing user trust and privacy, the information technology analyst company Gartner, listed 'digital ethics and privacy' as one of their top ten strategic technology trends for 2019.
Author: Zach Wittaker (@zackwhittaker) – Tech Crunch
Summary: The newest Macbooks contain the T2 security chip which helps protect the device's encryption keys, storage, fingerprint data and secure boot features. This chip comes with a hardware microphone disconnect feature, making it much more difficult for hackers to eavesdrop on you.
Author: Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) – Nautilus
Summary: Steve Stewart-Williams puts together a fantastic selection of mind-boggling optical illusions that the web has to offer. We do warn you though, they will mess with you! We still can't believe 'The Rice Wave Illusion' isn't a GIF.
Author: Ivan Alkulov (@iamakulov) - PerfPerfPerf
Summary: This informative article acts as an introduction to the modern web loading performance. It helps explain why performance is important, what performance optimisations exist and what tools help to understand if your app is doing well.
Author: Miles Richardson (@findingnature) – The Wildlife Trusts
Summary: Recent evidence obtained after The Wildlife Trust's '30 Days Wild' campaign suggests connection with nature is more important for mental well-being than simple exposure and has allowed for the answer to the following questions: 'is the relationship between nature connectedness and well-being linked to emotional regulation?' and 'does noticing nature's beauty aid the relationship between nature connectedness and well-being?'.
Summary: Following the 'WIRED live' event, this article focuses on some of the main points of the talks, all to do with how to blend technology with creativity. From computer learning of human interactions to the future of interactive storytelling, and featuring snippets from speakers Andy Serkis, Hannah Fry, Jim Al-Khalili and more.
Author: Gwern (@gwern)
This in-depth article focuses on psychological theories into the effectiveness of writing in the morning. It continues to question whether the morning effect is real and includes anecdotes from famous writers discussing their prime writing times.
Author: Ryan Gallagher (@rj_gallagher) – The Intercept
Summary: Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, refuses to answer a list of questions from U.S. lawmakers about their plans for releasing a censored search engine in China. In a letter to the senators, Pichai fails to mention the word 'censorship' or addressing human rights concerns, instead he focuses on the benefits Google can have inside and outside of China.
Author: Mohammed Allie – BBC News
Summary: This article follow the story of the relationship established between diver Craig Foster and an octopus. By forming this 8 year bond, it allowed Craig to view a secret underwater world, where he witnessed some mesmerising events, including being welcomed to the octopuses' habitats and tagging along on hunts.
Author: Caroline Haskins (@carolineha_) - Motherboard
Summary: New research from the University of California San Diego claims that most modern browsers have vulnerabilities built into the way they structure links, which allow malicious websites to extract thousands of URLs in a user's web history.
Author: Christopher Knaus (@Knaus) – The Guardian
Summary: Civil rights groups raise concerns over new technology which collects facial imagery from various sources, including driver's licences, passports and visas and then compares this information with other sources, such as CCTV footage, to match identities. Critics claim this mass surveillance system will collect and process citizens biometric information, regardless of whether any offence has been committed.
Author: Kieren McCarthy (@kierenmccarthy) – The Register
Summary: One of this months greatest mysteries surrounds a groundbreaking Bloomberg report about how Chinese government agents put spy chips into Super Micro servers used by Amazon, Apple, the US government and many more organisations. Despite these reports, Apple, Amazon and Super Micro all deny these happenings. This article attempts to make sense of it all and find out the truth.
Summary: Richard Lloyd, an activist behind the "Google You Owe Us" court challenge estimated Google collected sensitive data of about 4.5 million people, bypassing privacy settings on the Safari browser. London's High Court blocked the attempt for legal action, although it said the company's actions had been "wrongful".
Author: Cade Metz (@cademetz) - New York Times
Summary: After years of quiet work at machine learning company Numenta, founder Jeff Hawkins thinks his team of researchers are getting closer to providing some groundbreaking answers to questions around human intelligence, which will enable us to create machines that work like the brain.
Summary: This article offers a behind the scenes look into the content and service design which goes into Gov.uk, with the purpose of putting user experience first throughout.
Author: Sara Salinas (@saracsalinas) – CNBC
Summary: British MP and finance minister Philip Hammond announces in the annual budget speech that Britain would tax the revenue that online platforms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon make in the country. He states: "it's clearly not sustainable, or fair, that digital platform businesses can generate substantial value in the UK without paying tax here in respect of that business".
Author: Ethan Douglas - Medium
Summary: As October was the official Cyber Security Awareness Month, this article includes some simple tips on how to keep your personal information secure and how to stay private. From VPNs and browser extensions to anti-viruses and the importance of device encryption.
Author: Ian Sample (@iansample) – The Guardian
Summary: This is a clear and well laid out summary about what the internet actually is. Answering questions such as: 'How big is the internet?', 'How much energy does the internet use?' and 'What is the Dark Web?'.
Author: Anthony Cuthbertson (@ADCuthbertson) – The Independent
Summary: Facebook at first claimed their upcoming Portal smart speaker won't collect any data, but they have since backtracked. Despite being under fire for multiple breaches of privacy recently, it has been announced that this camera equipped listening device will watch you and may use the information collected to show you tailored ads.
Author: Jeremy Plester – The Guardian
Summary: The Forestry Commission have enlisted eight beavers, microchipped them and released them in the North York Moors with the hope that they will build dams to slow down surges of water from big rainfalls, thus preventing flooding to nearby towns.
Author: George P. Slefo (@GeorgeSlefo) – AdAge
Summary: The newest version of Safari has an anti-tracking feature, making it difficult for marketers calculating return-on-investment for digital ads. This is because it prevents tracking cookies from working in the open web.
Summary: We've had some fun with this one. It's not an article, nor is it a Hacker News debate, instead it's a website which teaches you how to make a large selection of paper aeroplanes. From 'The Sea Glider' to 'Star Wing' to 'The UFO', what's not to love?
Summary: Following the implementation of Chrome 69 automatically logging users into browsers when you log into any Google property, many were displeased with this update. One being Femi Omojola from information technology development firm IdeaSynthesis. He wrote an article about how to stop Chrome sync from distributing his data, leading to debate and discussion from the Hacker News community.
Summary: Red Hat, the software company which provides open-source software products to the enterprise community has been acquired by IBM where Red Hat will remain a distinct unit. The Hacker News community discusses this event and what impact it will have within the company and for those who use Red Hat.
Summary: Mostafa El Manzalawy's 2017 article about how businesses use creative yet sneaky tactics to misuse the DMCA to remove negative reviews, known as the "stolen article" copyright scam, has sparked new discussion on Hacker News.
Summary: The app Aether launches, and announces itself on Hacker News. Aether plans on being a place were communities are made for friends and strangers to view and share content about things they're interested in. It's similar to Reddit, but with two main differences; the content is ephemeral, meaning it disappears after a while, and the communities are democratic, where they elect their own leadership.
Summary: Why writing comments is of paramount importance in order to produce good code, that is maintainable in the long run and understandable by others and by the authors during modifications and debugging activities.
21 November 2018