The Freqonomics podcast explores “the hidden side of everything.” This particular episode does a masterful job of charting the Internet’s trajectory from its inception (and before) to the present. Without being overly technical, it outlines some key trends that may threaten the original vision of the net as an open communication platform for everybody—and may also have profound impact on our greater society.
In 1984 Apple rocked the advertising world with a Superbowl commercial directed by Ridley Scott. The commercial depicted a futuristic dystopian dictatorship being challenged by a courageous young heroine with a vision; a not-at-all-subtle metaphor for the soon-to-be-introduced Macintosh computer. The commercial won countless awards when it was aired, and many of the revolutionary features of the Macintosh were quickly adopted by Microsoft, the company that the commercial suggested was the enemy of freedom. Three decades later, Apple is no longer a feisty young rebel.
This new Apple commercial, filmed completely with iPhones, captures a much more optimistic vision of the role of digital technology in our future. (Ironically, it had a lot in common with Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad.) What will Apple’s (or Microsoft’s) visionary commercials look like 30 years from now?
Read more about the ad at huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/03/apple-mac-ad-30th-anniversary_n_4718255.html.
When you post something on Facebook, stream a movie from Netflix, or share data with Dropbox, you’re using “the cloud.” Apple’s iCloud makes it possible for 250 million people to store their music, appointments, and documents “out there” and effortlessly access them via iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other digital devices. But what, and where, is the cloud, and how does it work? This slightly technical Wired article examines the futuristic technology inside the cloud—technology that’s likely to find its way into future PCs, tablets, and phones.
Mike Daisey’s monologue on This American Life a few weeks ago fueled the firestorm of criticism of Apple for treatment of workers that make all those iProducts. There’s truth in many of the criticisms, but there are enough untruths in the monologue to cause the producers of this popular public radio program to devote an entire episode to exposing the real, fully factual story. This episode says as much about the ethics of journalism as it does about the ethics of manufacturing gadgets.
After seeing some mysterious photos someone found on a brand new iPhone, comedian Mike Daisey travelled to China to find out where and how our digital gadgets are made. He tells his story (EDIT: his “story” was later found out to be just that, a story) in this episode of public radio’s This American Life.
Our digital planet is being transformed every day by new ideas and inventions. In this fascinating Fast Company article, Farhad Manjoo describes how Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon are battling for the future of the innovation economy. If you want to better understand how the “Fab Four” will change your life over the next few years, this feature-length essay is well worth reading.
In this NPR Fresh Air interview, Terry Gross talks to the article’s author, Farhad Manjoo.
Steve Jobs has been called one of the greatest visionaries of our time. In this brilliant, inspiring 2005 Stanford University commencement speech, Jobs reflects on life, death, and values. This man lived every day as if it was his last, and changed the world in the process.
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.
During his tenure as CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs had a profound impact on computers, the music industry, home entertainment, phones, and (most importantly) our day-to-day lives. He transformed Apple from a garage startup into the most valuable company in the world. When he announced his resignation as CEO, the press responded with many thoughtful articles about this iconic visionary, including these: