-Updates 1.1 is here! is designed to serve as an information hub for all kinds of Web content related to Digital Planet, the book, and the ever-more-digital planet we inhabit. To make it easier for students, instructors, and other readers of Digital Planet to find what they’re looking for, we’ve added look-before-you-link icons to each new entry:
 Essential updates. News and information about developments since the latest edition of the printed book.
  Content in context. In-depth articles about subjects covered in Digital Planet.

 Multimedia supplements. Video, audio, animation, and interactive activities to illustrate and enhance Digital Planet content.
 Crosscurrents. Lively, thought-provoking opinion pieces similar to Crosscurrents articles in Digital Planet.
 Inventing the Future. Futuristic news and musings to help Digital Planet readers see further into the future.
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-Updates 13.3 E-Business 2.0: Reinventing Web Commerce 8.3 Specialized Networks: From GPS to Digital Money

QR: Quick Response or Quickly Replaced?

QR Codes–those odd, pixellated squares that are popping up on everything from business cards to billboards–are designed to make it easy for people to use their phones to get more information quickly. But as this NPR story suggests, a newer technology called near-field communication has the potential to make QR codes seem as old-fashioned as Pac-Man.
If you’d like to try making your own QR codes for free, like the one pictured here (the code for this site) try this Online QR Generator.

-Cross Currents 13.3 E-Business 2.0: Reinventing Web Commerce 14.5 The State of Software 4.2 Software Applications: Tools for Users

There’s an App for… Everything!

Is software taking over the world? In this Wall Street Journal article, Mark Andreessen argues that it is taking over the economic world. Most of today’s business stars, are, at some level, software companies. His predictions about the future of global business and the American economy are worth thinking about.

-Updates 10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age 14.1 How People Make Programs 14.2 Programming Languages and Methodologies

Hacking for a Better World

The world of programming is dominated by males and money. But there’s a movement afoot to change the gender balance and, at the same time, the factors that motivate programmers.
This Fast Company article describes Hampton Hackathon for Humanity, a gathering of young female programmers intent on making the world a better place.

-Inventing the Future 1.3 Computers Today: A Brief Taxonomy 4.4 The User Interface: The Human-Machine Connection 9.2 Inside the Web

Is a Smart Wristwatch in Your Future?

Wrist communicators were popular in science fiction and comic strips decades ago. Are they going to take off in the real world soon? This Fast Company article speculates about what might happen when a wrist watch connects to a smart phone. Is this the next small thing?

-Cross Currents 10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age 5.4 Beyond the Printed Page 8.5 Interpersonal Computing: From Communication to Communities

Social Media and the Stories They Can’t Tell

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are overflowing with stories of real people living real lives. Or are they? This thought-provoking article by Paul Ford takes a hard look at what’s missing in the stories people tell through social media. This is one of the best pieces we’ve seen on the changing roles of social media and traditional journalism.

-Multimedia 14.2 Programming Languages and Methodologies 6.1 Focus on Computer Graphics 9.2 Inside the Web Chapter 9 The Evolving Internet

Facebook Painting

CloudCanvas is a surprisingly powerful graphics programs in the form of a Facebook app. Like Photoshop, CloudCanvas contains both bitmap and vector graphics tools.
Unlike most web apps, Cloud Canvas is built entirely with HTML 5 technology that requires no special browser plugins to use.

-Context 13.3 E-Business 2.0: Reinventing Web Commerce 13.4 E-Commerce Ethics 13.5 Inventing the Future: E-Commerce Tomorrow: The Never-Ending Game

Psychological Secrets of E-Commerce

It’s generally wise to understand the tools and tricks that people and institutions use to manipulate our behavior. This Wired article is packed with insights into how everybody from Amazon to Zynga gets you to spend more time and money at their sites.

-Multimedia 14.1 How People Make Programs 4.1 Processing with Programs 5.6 Statistical Software: Beyond Spreadsheets Chapter 14 Systems Design and Development

Algorithms Everywhere

Computer programs are designed using mathematical/logical constructs called algorithms. This fascinating TED talk by Kevin Slavin shows and tells how algorithms are finding their way into all kinds of unexpected places in our world, for better or for worse.