Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #688

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, Interesting Bits, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletechconf; author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation, PressBooks, LibriVox) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see.”

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • Why the Apple Mouse charges from the bottom – Zac Bowling – Twitter/X. “I have an Apple Magic Mouse. It’s pretty amazing, TBH: I can scroll, and swipe sideways. Ergonomically it isn’t perfect. But the dumbest thing about it is that it has to be charged from below. That means you can’t use it while it’s charging. This is often cited as an example of bad design: Why not simply plug the charging cable into the top, and use it as a wired mouse? With good reason, says Zac Bowling in this long post. A fascinating case study of what it means to focus ruthlessly on design. Ultimately, good design is about tradeoffs… and Apple made some.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • AI-Created Art Isn’t Copyrightable, Judge Says in Ruling That Could Give Hollywood Studios Pause – The Hollywood Reporter. “This isn’t exactly a niche topic, but I’m including it here because I think it’s worth talking about. If we frame the writers’/actors’ strike as an economic one, the studios already won: We live in a world of such abundant content that we could never run out of things to consume. We went from ‘what’s on three channels at 8 PM’ to ‘every show ever, in every language, right now.’ Strikes rely on one party inflicting pain on another, and with streaming that pain isn’t nearly as severe. If, on the other hand, we frame it as a cultural battle, then the writers and actors are going about it wrong. In the same way we say, ‘no animals were harmed in this film,’ they need to encourage people to demand that ‘no generative AI was used in the making of this film.’ In that context, this is really interesting news: If the studios can’t copyright something made by AI, what does that mean for downstream satire, remixing, and repurposing?” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • What are mini-forests and why do they matter? – The Boar. “Reading about tiny forests made me very happy: Tennis court sized forests planted in urban areas, with dense native species of shrubs and trees. They grow fast, attract all sorts of wildlife, and help keep cities cool.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Montreal Mini-Forests – City of Montreal. “My other link was to a cool article about mini forests, which I was happy to read about. I was even happier to discover that Montreal — as part of a citizen-voted participatory budget allocation (!) — has awarded funding towards creation of 14 mini-forests in the city, including at a park this is a seven minute walk away from me. I plan to visit on my next constitutional walk!” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Meta’s news ban fails to dent Facebook usage – The Globe And Mail. “I am still neck-deep in frustration about Canada’s Online News Act. If you still need it, here’s my refresher on the law: Big Tech, Big Media, Big Trouble And Big Lies. And now that we’re a few weeks into this weirdness where Meta proactively stopped users from linking out to news websites and have stopped new media’s Facebook pages from being able to post, we have some data to share (which, aligns exactly with what I was thinking/worried about… news isn’t that big of a deal for users on Facebook): ‘Daily active users of Facebook and time spent on the app in Canada have stayed roughly unchanged since parent company Meta started blocking news there at the start of August, according to data shared by Similarweb, a digital analytics company that tracks traffic on websites and apps, at Reuters’ request… The estimates, while early, appear to support Meta’s contention that news holds little value for the company as it remains locked in a tense standoff in Canada over a new law requiring internet giants to pay publishers for the news articles shared on their platforms.’ So, now what does the government do? Meta is a business, and if they no longer wish to provide the service of news links, that is their choice. Wow, what a monstrosity of a mess and the losers will, without a doubt be: The general Canadian public and their access to news, journalists trying to get their stories out to a broader audience, local news organizations, online-only news organizations and beyond. The big, legacy players? They will continue to shrink, take on debt and struggle to find an expanding audience. What a tragedy of errors.” (Mitch for Alistair),
  • How a Man in Prison Stole Millions from Billionaires – The New Yorker. “Yes, this article is worth the read, because it is a very crazy story. Yes, a great headline (that both rings true and delivers on its promise) is still something important for content creators to think about. Yes, without any real access to the Internet and smartphones, even prisoners can get access and use it in surprising ways. What a story… what a ride…” (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on TwitterFacebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

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