Fodder for Thought · News

A Morning of News

I can’t get enough news today:

Here are my reads-of-the-day, and reactions:

1. An account of the Facebook controversy regarding conducting psychological experiments – in short, FB changed news feeds to be primarily negative or positive to see if it had an effect on user’s emotions: Summary of Facebook Psychological Experiments Controversy
I can’t help but acknowledge that the information Facebook is gathering is invaluable. It is being presented in such a negative light – along the lines of invasion of privacy, misuse of data, sold to the government so it can control the masses, etc. However, what if it was presented like this – in an effort to combat the rise of depression in today’s society, Facebook is finding solutions that improve user’s mood and encourage positivity.
Data of this significance can be used in many ways – and though there is a risk that it can be used negatively – is this reason to forbid the search for knowledge? I don’t think so. If information can be gathered, it should be. It is the responsibility of those who gather and can use it to do the right thing.
Related Opinion Pieces:
An explanation from former Facebook employee about why he quit
Letter to Mark Zuckerberg (same author as previous link)

2. Microsoft to Layoff 18,000 Employees this year
Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, is making big shifts towards mobile and cloud services, but at this expense?

3. And on a side-note: Microsoft’s Underwhelming Response to Apple & IBMs Merger
The comment in here – “I’m not sure it’s going to wind up having any explicit effect,” said Wes Miller, an analyst with independent research firm Directions on Microsoft – is, in my humble opinion, foolish. Of course it is going to have an explicit effect – it is all connected and every big move affects the other companies in the industry. This is Microsoft’s problem – slow and inadequate reactions and adaptation when it is necesary.

4. What’s the deal with WhatsApp – it took over, so Facebook took it over.
Why Facebook Bought WhatsApp
This concept is a prime example of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”.
I want a deeper understanding of umbrella companies and their division of labor – i.e. Facebook – the engine, the umbrella. Instagram for Pictures. WhatsApp for messaging. Etc. Google, Amazon, Apple – I want to see a HUGE Venn Diagram that would summarize and explain all of this.

5. Airbnb’s Rebranding – Controversial, Thought-Provoking, I love it.
Airbnb Logo Controversy – pro opinion piece
Airbnb Blog Announcement
I’m realizing the importance of images – logos, presentation, etc. It’s a part of growing up, but more importantly a part of defining a unique, distinctive, and lasting impression in the world. It’s time I make mine.

6. Cities Innovating Everywhere
San Francisco will forever and always be my home and favorite place on Earth, but it’s important to maintain a perspective and awareness of the amazing things that are happening elsewhere in the world. Progress is a global shift. And there is much to be learned from and appreciated in other places. A simple, yet powerful notion that has proven itself to me no matter where I go.

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