Monthly Archives: March 2012

Problems around me

There’s no denying the creepy factor in “Girls Around Me“, the iPhone app that until yesterday displayed the public Facebook data of women checking in nearby on Foursquare. The creepiness was obvious enough that Foursquare pulled the app’s API access, rendering the service mostly useless. But in doing so, they’ve addressed a symptom, and not […]

Radio silence: the empty space in This American Life

There’s a common saying in jazz that it’s not about the notes you play, but the notes you don’t play. 1It’s sometimes attributed to Miles Davis, but who knows. This American Life did an impressive thing with their most recent episode, Retraction, which was entirely dedicated to retracting an earlier episode about Apple and their […]

A modest defense of QR codes

I’m sort of a QR code anti-hipster: I was into them before they were uncool. I actually think they’re a really nifty encoding that’s easy to read and write with the right tools, and useful for a handful of situations. But they’re so widely misused in marketing that most people never get to see one […]

Britannica, bookstores, and bundle failure

Tim Carmody’s Wired opinion piece about Wikipedia, Windows, and the Britannica is the best piece of commentary to come out of the vaunted encyclopedia’s announcement this week that they’re discontinuing their print edition to focus on their online product. Not to diminish Wikipedia’s importance in the encyclopedia world and Britannica’s decision, but there are a […]

Token gestures

I’ve been thinking a lot about two different kinds of tokens lately. One is a fare token, which I’ve been thinking about as it relates to public transit and locational privacy. Another is a currency token, which has come up in the last few weeks as I’m reading Debt by David Graeber. Obviously there’s some […]