Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #284

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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 (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) 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: 

  • The Four Horsemen of Gentrification – Timothy McSweeney’s. “Read this one while you’re sipping single-tree coffee in your uncomfortable corduroys. So tight, it pinches a bit… maybe that’s just my snark talking.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Who Knows What About Me? A Survey of Behind the Scenes Personal Data Sharing to Third Parties by Mobile Apps – Jots. “Tinfoil hat time. In this test of 110 popular apps, 73% shared personal data, many without OS approval. Plenty of good data to keep you up at night; but we already knew you didn’t sleep enough.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • What Can A Technologist Do About Climate Change? – Worry Dream. “With the Paris Climate talks imminent, Obama’s end-of-term enthusiasm for getting controversial stuff done that he couldn’t get done for the past 7 years; with Canada’s new climate-friendly Prime Minister; with Australia’s new (at least formerly) climate friendly PM, we may now be closer to real action than we have been in long while. Still, it’s hard not to despair a little at the scale of the problem. Here is Bret Victor (the designer of the prototypes for the iPad, and collaborator with Al Gore on his climate book, Our Choice), outlining what we – in the tech community – can start doing to deal about climate change, what he calls (and I would agree) ‘the problem of our time’.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Finland’s depression is the final indictment of Europe’s monetary union – The Telegraph. “This is fascinating stuff, which shows pretty clearly some major problems at the heart of the European project, and particularly the European Monetary Union. The narrative in the media, politicians and ’policy experts’ about Greece was something like this: Greeks are lazy, they don’t pay taxes, they are fiscally irresponsible and spend too much on social programs, etc. And the solution, prescribed on pain of death by their creditors was: raise taxes, cut government spending and sell off state assets. The results were a catastrophe (25% drop in GDP), but no matter… the good doctors prescribed more. But, there was always the sense that the ’Greeks brought this on themselves.’ Well, if you wanted to find a model of a good modern economy, then Finland would be it: they have the highest education scores in the world, the most productive economy, low debt levels, and their government is a model of fiscal prudence. And yet, since 2008 their GDP has collapsed, losing 6.5%. Now, the two things that happened to Finland during this time: oil prices crashed, and Nokia (a major economic powerhouse), also has gone into a nosedive. But their GDP has just been blasted. There is a usual solution for these kinds of problems, you let your currency slide down. This makes your products relatively cheaper on international markets, and makes international sales more valuable when other currencies come in. Note, Finland’s case is eerily like Canada’s: oil price tanks coupled with the destruction of Blackberry as a major force. Canada’s currency has dropped 30% compared to the USD, which makes our economy more competitive. Our economy hasn’t been lighting the world on fire for growth, but we’ve seen nothing like the contraction Finland has seen. Finland, tied to the Euro, don’t have a currency whose exchange rate can drop to their advantage. So, they are in trouble. And so, it would seem, is the Euro.” (Hugh for Mitch).    
  • How Pressbooks Public Will Help Self-Pub Authors Get E-Books into Libraries – Mediashift. “Our fellow link exchange buddy, Hugh McGuire, gets the spotlight in this article about his company, Pressbooks. In this article, Hugh is described as a ‘change leader.’ And, it’s all true. He’s doing some amazing work that deserves more attention and recognition. How do you get indie and self-published authors’ ebooks into libraries? Well, read on. Oh, and it’s not just about libraries, but the future of publishing…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps – Forte Labs. “Reading is everything. The problem is, of course, the quality of what we read, and our ability to retain and implement that information. This is where my concern lies. This is why, I do my very best to spend time with words. Lots of words. Not the Twitter tweets, but books… and long form content. So, where does all of this digital reading happen? For me, it happens with Pocket. Without a doubt, the one app that I can’t live without. So, just what is the secret power of these ‘read it later’ apps? For me, they are the secret to success. Not joking.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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