Monthly Archives: May 2014

Tell Me Something (New).

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Tell Me Something (New).

Bonafide Brandiac

Imagine you’re on a train and almost immediately after it’s departure, you feel a gradual brake until you’re at a complete standstill. Right on cue, the conductor’s booming voice comes onto the P.A. system, and informs the passengers the reason for the delay. There’s momentary grief yet simultaneous relief, and the passengers continue in their activities.
The conductor’s voice reappears on the P.A. system; the passengers are aglow hoping for some new news: instead they’re greeted with the same message as before—without change in inflection or wording. The passengers, noticeably disappointed, eventually become agitated after the same stale message is repeated two more times shortly thereafter.
I experienced the aforementioned development on a Sunday afternoon train ride to a family dinner, and realized that the passengers’ gradual annoyance was substantiated: they were hoping for a new message, and were left disappointed when their expectations were not met. The solution? Keep…

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Giants behaving badly: Google, Facebook and Amazon show us the downside of monopolies and black-box algorithms

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Giants behaving badly: Google, Facebook and Amazon show us the downside of monopolies and black-box algorithms

Gigaom

The internet is a wondrous thing — a limitless universe of content and products and information, all of which can be summoned up from the comfort of a chair or the palm of the hand, like some sort of science-fiction dream from centuries ago. Unfortunately, the reality is that massive quasi-monopolies control a large part of that universe, and their self-interested choices and black-box algorithms shape and in some cases define what we see, what we can search for and what we can buy.

This week has brought lessons in all of those areas from Google (s goog), Amazon (s amzn) and Facebook (s fb), each one a cautionary tale about the sci-fi future we live in. So here’s a roundup of the latest bad behavior by the platforms we use (or are used by) as we go about our increasingly digital lives. If we’re missing any other good examples…

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Interview with Author Terry Irving of ‘Courier’ Fame

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Poetic Parfait

Today I am pleased / proud / potentially over-smiling at having author Terry Irving here for an interview. Won’t you sit down and join us?

Christy (C): Hi Terry, and welcome to Parfait land! I’ll be handing out chocolates shortly. First though, let’s get to the questions. You are an author whose work I find compelling, having read a few of them now! Today, let’s focus on you and your latest book Courier, which I find quite the page turner.

Author Terry Irving of Courier Fame Author Terry Irving. He’s a cool guy.

Terry (T): Why, thank you, and it’s great to be up here in the Great Canadian Wilderness.

C: Tell us a little about yourself and your writing background.

T: My writing background?  Wow, that makes me sound like someone who actually planned to be a writer. That was the last thing I wanted to do when I graduated from college in the days…

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