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.
Facebook made lots of headlines a few months ago when people discovered that their news feeds had been manipulated for research purposes. Many people were shocked that they’d been unwitting participants in massive social science studies. But similar research at Facebook has also been used to help the company to determine how to best help customers deal with unwanted posts. This Radiolab program explores the light and dark sides of Facebook’s gigantic social engineering projects.
Rumors of a Facebook phone have rattled around the tech world for quite a while. Today Facebook announced not a a phone, but software that can convert many Android phones into Facebook machines. Facebook is available in app form on most smart phones. But the new Facebook Home software will replace the Android home screen with a Facebook-centered home, making it possible for social networkers to keep Facebook at the center of their phone experiences. Will Android phone users click Like?
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.
MIT Professor Sherry Turkle has been studying the human impact of digital technology for decades. In her book Alone Together and in this Fresh Air interview, she talks about how texting and social networking are profoundly changing the way children, teens, and adults live, think, and feel. There’s plenty to think about here.
In the U.S., non-voters outnumber Democratic voters and Republican voters combined. What does it take to get those non-voters to realize that democracy is not a spectator sport? A recent study suggests that many of them respond to peer pressure, Facebook-style.
The concept of sharing is everywhere on the Internet. In this thought-provoking Huffington Post blog post, Bianca Bosker asks whether Facebook and other companies are using the term to manipulate our feelings and extract information from us.
If you’ve ever asked—or been asked—that question, you might be interested in facebookstories.com, a web site designed to provide answers through stories about how Facebook changes lives. This CNet story provides an overview and a link to the site.
Facebook is a complex, ever-changing digital world. No matter how much time you spend there, it seems there’s always more to know about it. For example, did you know that Facebook filters out most of your posts before your friends can see them? Or that Facebook users are, in general, hiding more personal information than they did even a year or two ago? These two Huffington Post articles have details.
The world’s biggest social network has a nasty habit of changing its user interface often enough to confuse and anger users all around the world. The latest Facebook iteration, the Timeline. presents your history (and may threaten your privacy) in a whole new way. This Macworld article tells you what you need to know to make the Timeline work for you.