Foundry's WTF (15-Oct-2016)

The Foundry’s Weekly Technology Fix (WTF) is a curated list of articles/posts/etc. we found interesting. The Foundry @ Cornell Tech transforms research and ideas into products.

This is our first installment. Comments are welcome.

Department of 🎮 💉 (Digital Addictions)

Taking a 🏃 through my contacts (by AdrianV)

Over the course of the last two days, I went through all the contacts in my phone and assigned an emoji based off of an experience and memory I have had for the person. What at first seemed like an impossible task proved to be a fantastic trip down memory lane.

Distributed Denial Of Opinion (in 🇫🇷)

A fascinating piece by Olivier Ertzscheid about the similarities between Denial of Service and Denial of Opinion attacks.

These attacks assume a structured and organized intervention.
Their objective (more tactical than strategic) is to shut down a site.
Once the site shuts down, the attached ecosystem is impacted too.
To fight back, the biggest mistake is to pick the wrong enemy.

The Binge Breaker (The Atlantic)

Harris had just arrived at Unplug SF, a “digital detox experiment” held in honor of the National Day of Unplugging, and the organizers had banned real names. Also outlawed: clocks, “w-talk” (work talk), and “WMDs” (the planners’ loaded shorthand for wireless mobile devices).
The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.”
“Never before in history have the decisions of a handful of designers (mostly men, white, living in SF, aged 25–35) working at 3 companies” — Google, Apple, and Facebook — “had so much impact on how millions of people around the world spend their attention … We should feel an enormous responsibility to get this right.”

And Harris' TEDx talk about How better tech could protect us from distraction.

Department of 💡 🏙 (Smarter Cities)

Cars In Bike Lanes

Relentlessly documenting the perilous indignities of New York’s under-enforced bike lanes.

A Periodic Table of New York City Trash (The New Yorker)

Litter generally takes one of two forms; it is either scattered or piled. At some point in my listing, I wondered what it would look like to organize the trash visually into a form that, say, Marie Kondo would approve of. What would a garbage census look like? Doesn’t anything look agreeable if you organize it neatly enough?

Department of 💎💍 (Shiny Objects)

This LEGO Bag Turns Your Hand Into LEGO

How We Built the World’s Prettiest Auto-Generated Transit Maps

Department of 🔮 ⏳ ("Intuitions for the future")

The Search for Virtual Reality’s Killer App (Bloomberg)

Consider mobile gaming, which required developers and gamers to think in new ways. The use of touch screens and sensors, short play time and free-to-try business models helped to make smartphone games unique and fueled success in the genre. In the same way, creators are now developing the building blocks for VR.
“If you want a volume slider, then put an actual speaker in the world with a physical slider that you can grab with your hand,” Moore said. “Don’t do menus. Menus suck.”

Old jobs that don't exist anymore

including: bowling alley pinsetter, human alarm clock, ice cutter, pre-radar listener for enemy aircraft, rat catcher, lamplighter, milkman, log driver, switchboard operator, resurrectionist, lector who entertained factory workers.

Department of 🎬 📖 (worthy quotes)

“If you’re an entrepreneur and you have a bunch of money in the bank, you get good at spending money.” [source]
“The idea is, ‘If we can prevent them from having secrets, they have to operate very differently.’” [source]
“As much as fortune favors the bold, city bureaucracies favor the timid.” [source]