The company’s latest list of the top 10 videos of 2013 reveals no one who doesn’t make videos for a living.
In July 2012, when Marissa Mayer became the new CEO of Yahoo, she told The New York Times about her plans for the company. “My focus at Google has been to deliver great end-user experiences, to delight and inspire our end users,” Mayer explained. “That is what I plan to do at Yahoo: give the end user something valuable and delightful that makes them want to come to Yahoo every day.”
"Delight" is a fitting goal for tech firms like Google and Yahoo, whose business models rely on keeping users happy—not just occasionally, but daily and over time. "Twitter’s products influence everything from pop culture to politics, delight our users and change lives," a recent job posting for the company put it. An ad for Facebook’s head of global recruiting summed up the role thusly: “Facebook will need a recruiting leader to scale while continuing to delight users, candidates, and customers through hyper growth.”
It’s not just tech firms, though, that are taking (and talking) delight in the world. Everything, it seems, is delightful right now. Literally. Everything.
There’s a larger piece of news here, but it’s a little hidden. See that third tab in the lower navigation bar, that now says “Messages”? That used to be the “Discover” tab, a feature that algorithmically sorts tweets and stories to present a more summarized, aggregated view. Twitter has bumped that feature to “Timelines,” where a user’s main timeline also lives.
There are many good media-producing subsubsubcultures on the Internet.
But Internet magic really happens when two groups like this join forces, as in this post on the fluid dynamics of paint vibrating on a speaker from the blog, Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics, about a video produced by The Slow Mo Guys.
Few people outside of academia had heard of JSTOR, an aggregator and distributor of digital versions of academic journals, until a young activist named Aaron Swartz took his own life last January. Swartz downloaded, without proper authorization, a great many articles from JSTOR via MIT’s servers—as he had earlier downloaded and distributed millions of federal court documents in the PACER) database—because he passionately believed that information should be as free as possible and as widely available as possible.
Because of Swartz’s particular commitments, and because his death brought so much attention to those commitments, much of the conversation about JSTOR and similar databases since he took his life has been about the value of open access to academic and other scholarly work. And open access is indeed something worth fighting for, and something to which databases like JSTOR—and Project Muse, and the Elsevier books and journals in the sciences, and several other major distributors—are necessarily opposed to. (See this recent contretemps for ample evidence of that opposition.)
But open access is not the only issue here, and if academics ever do manage to achieve an end-run around such distributors, they’ll have to confront some deeply entrenched habits of their own. In fact, those habits strengthen the cause of the distributors, and could make it much harder for open access to win the day.
Read more. [Image: The.firebottle/Flickr]
Amputee Igor Spetic says the device can even produce the sensation of touching different textures, such as smooth metal, fluffy cotton balls, rough sandpaper, and soft hair.
Connor Johnson started by donating his allowance to the cause. Then he decided to do more.
Google opens up its mapping functionality to allow for DIY imagery.
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