Defending Liberal Arts

Campus (aerial view), Hamilton College

Andrew Bennett, the CEO of Havas has a great piece in Fast Company that I fully agree with based on my own direct experiences. His thesis is essentially that while we place such enormous attention on STEM education we might be losing sight of the value in a proper liberal arts degree.

At my college there was just a single degree to earn, a Bachelor of Arts. I could have chosen to major in Chemistry, Physics or Computer Science and still left with a BA. Instead I chose Comparative Literature and while that might seem limiting if you can only draw linear conclusions, the foundation my education provided is something I use all day, every day. My job involves continuous critical thinking, synthesis and analysis and clear communication whether written or through public speaking. It’s hard to say whether I would have had a similar exposure or rigueur had I focused on business or marketing or even engineering (at a different school) but I believe and would advise my kids to think broadly to ensure they are comfortable with the pretty steady change that life offers.

There’s always time to specialize and go deep in a particular area. I still feel like I’ve managed to be a bit of a generalist and consume an intense information diet to ensure my continued relevance and importantly interest in learning so I can continue to grow.

Hacking the Tesla … or any car?


So apparently and not surprisingly the Tesla has a computer network running inside … Dragtimes reports how a user noticed what they believed to be an ethernet jack and decided to connect their computer for a port scan.

Some tech savvy Model S owners have located a 4 pin connector (HSD 4 pole M12) on the left side of the Tesla Model S dashboard that turns out to be a disguised ethernet networking port.  After taking apart one end of an ethernet patch cable and trying different pin combinations to connect with the Tesla’s port, a networking connection was established between the Model S and a laptop computer.  This connection allowed for port scanning and data sniffing to explore  how the Tesla Model S systems communicate with each other and what services are running and used.

The car’s internal 100 Mbps, full duplex ethernet network consists of 3 devices with assiged IP addresses in the subnet, the center console, dashboard/nav screen and one more unknown device.  via

This raises an interesting question … would you hack or jailbreak your car?  Unlike the typical computer a car has a pretty large set of safety responsibilities and I personally think it’s a bad idea.  Trying to get a custom app on there outside of provided and approved platform could lead to trouble.  It doesn’t seem worth the risk …

The Tribe of Solitaire Riders

riding alone

Just read this great piece on Bicycling and the following quote sums up exactly why I enjoy solo riding.  There are absolutely times when it’s fantastic to have a friend or two, but the solo escape, mind flushing capability, mental reset is strong medicine.  Maybe it was years in the pool where you really only hear your own breathing that led me here … or perhaps it’s just the perfect zen quality of an early morning on the road.

Some of us ride to be alone, and others only pedal among others. I’ve never questioned which category I belong to. In the past few years, as I’ve sunk deeper into the regimens of work and family, I’ve come to depend on the freedom of riding alone, the respite from the social world, the thicket of obligations, the anxiety of being observed. If I want to talk when I’m out on the road, it’s only to myself, and I trust the power of exertion and repetition—the spinning of wheels, the steady climb—to push me deeper into that interior conversation. 

Now and then I ride with a friend and value­ the companionship and the break from what can occasionally be a lonely routine. Changing a flat by myself in a cloud of gnats 30 miles from home is more solitude than I’m looking for—but it’s a fair price for the lessons in stamina, patience, will, and clarity that solo riding provides. I’m not alone in my preference for aloneness. I’ve crossed paths with enough riders in the middle of nowhere—always the quick nod, the wrist flick of mutual recognition—to suspect the existence of a tribe of solitaires. – Bicycling – Playing Solitaire



Everything You’re Thinking About Nintendo Is Totally Wrong | Game|Life |

Interesting read.

I agree … more, easily accessible content would only make my kids want more not less Nintendo.  They (all three) are very happy to play games on our Wii U and generally do together while they play games on mobile alone, but nearby.  They seem to get more fun naturally out of the shared experience and Nintendo needs to work a bit more to deliver this consistently — and at a price that parents like me would want to continuously pay.  $5 for Rayman Fiesta on Mobile and $60 for the Wii U DLC is a pretty massive disparity for starters … but importantly more easy to download games for their 3DS and easier cheaper, but strong historical (and even new) content on the Wii U could be killer.

Sunday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Facebook’s New Offline Sales Measurement Trick Could Make Ad Clicks Obsolete: Facebook is launching a new way for brick-and-mortar business owners to measure if their Facebook ads drove in-store sales, even if customers never clicked. – by Josh Constine –

What Tech Hasn’t Learned From Urban Planning: SAN FRANCISCO — The tech sector is, increasingly, embracing the language of urban planning — town hall, public square, civic hackathons, community engagement. So why are tech companies such bad urbanists? – by Allison Arieff –

14 ways Google gets it right even after 15 years: Earlier this fall, Google wished itself a happy 15th birthday. There was pomp, circumstance, and of course, a Google doodle. And the company has every right — if there ever was any doubt about its dominance, it’s gone now. – by Scott Gerber –!pWAwr

T-Mobile’s self-defeating resurgence: It’s a standard part of flying, these days: the minute you touch down, you pull out your phone and get back up to speed with the world — especially if you’ve been on a long flight without wifi. And then there’s the standard exception: when you’re flying internationally, you don’t. – by Felix Salmon – Tags: telecommunications –

Chromecast in 2014: an open SDK, big international plans and maybe even new devices: Google landed a bit of a coup with Chromecast this year, launching a device that no one saw coming but that has proven to be very popular. – by Janko Roettgers – Tags: Chromecast,Dial,Google Cast,Mario Queiroz,multiscreen technology,Smart TV –

Samsung: Uneasy in the Lead: Lee Kun-hee, the man who built the most successful, most admired and most feared business in Asia — a $288 billion behemoth that is among the most profitable in the world — had a message for his employees this year: You must do better. – by ERIC PFANNER, BRIAN X. CHEN –

A Message That Tries to Blend In: AS Madison Avenue continues debating the pros and cons of a hot trend in marketing known as native advertising — digital pitches styled to look like the editorial content of the publications in which they run — Vanity Fair magazine is voting “aye” by bringing out its first such effort, for – by STUART ELLIOTT –

Ford Unveils Its First Autonomous Vehicle Prototype: Ford has thrown its hat into autonomous car ring with the debut of its Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle, the latest in a series of steps the automaker is taking to realize its grand vision of transportation in 2025. – by Damon Lavrinc –

Snowy Saturday Recommended Reads

Another bit of a catch up …

How many Americans will be using an iPhone when the US smartphone market saturates?: As previously noted, the US smartphone market has followed an almost perfectly logistic growth. The measured data (via comScore, in green below) follows a predictive logistic function (thin blue whose formula is discussed here). – by Horace Dediu –

Today In Dystopian War Robots That Will Harvest Us For Our Organs: You’re in luck today, true believers! We have four exciting robots that will eventually enslave and/or eat us. – by JOHN BIGGS –

An Introvert’s Guide to Better Presentations: I am an introvert and I have always feared public speaking, and despite having given an industry conference presentation every year for the last fourteen years, it’s only gotten marginally easier for me. – by Gene Driskell –

Google Adds to Its Menagerie of Robots: SAN FRANCISCO — BigDog, Cheetah, WildCat and Atlas have joined Google’s growing robot menagerie. Google confirmed on Friday that it had completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon. – by JOHN MARKOFF –

Facebook self-censorship : What happens to the posts you don’t publish?: A couple of months ago, a friend of mine asked on Facebook: Do you think that facebook tracks the stuff that people type and then erase before hitting ? (or the “post” button) Good question. We spend a lot of time thinking about what to post on Facebook. – by Jennifer Golbeck –

Big Idea 2014: Predictions from PayPal: This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers pick one big idea that will shape 2014.See all the ideas here. Prediction lists are everywhere this time of year and they often have more to do with sounding clever than sharing insight. –

Why cab drivers should love Uber: Last month the city of New York raised more than $200 million by auctioning off 200 new taxi medallions — essentially, the right to operate a yellow cab in the city. – by Felix Salmon – Tags: economics –

John Doerr’s last stand: Can a dramatic shakeup save Kleiner Perkins?: Jesus Christ, Kleiner Perkins just can’t catch a break. The latest news – in a year-long deluge of mea culpas, nasty lawsuits, and admissions of strategic missteps – is that the firm is retrenching, refocusing on the consumer Web, and cutting its early stage investment staff. – by Michael Carney, Sarah Lacy –

We who spoke LOLcat now speak Doge: In the internet meme war between cats and dogs, the dogs are currently winning. The “doge” meme features an image (often of an adorable shiba dog), annotated with distinctive phrases representing the thoughts of the dog — or the dragon, or whatever is being depicted. – by Annalee Newitz, on io9 –

Amazon said to launch Pantry to take on Costco, Sam’s: SAN FRANCISCO — is working on a new business called Pantry that will help it expand further into the giant consumer package goods market and take on warehouse club stores Costco and Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club, according to three people familiar with the effort. – by Alistair Barr, USA TODAY –

Twitter’s Latest Partnership, With Truecaller In India, Links Phone Number Look-Ups With Tweeting: Twitter has been inking deals with third parties outside of the U.S. to drive more international usage, both in emerging and mature markets. Today comes news of yet another deal that it hopes will expand its presence in one country in particular: India. – by Ingrid Lunden –

The case for a six-hour workday: Today, workers are putting in increasingly more hours—so much so that the 40-hour week has become a relic of the past. But pushing employees to clock up those extra hours is bad for their well-being and detrimental to your company. – by Lauren Davidson –

Gmail blows up e-mail marketing by caching all images on Google servers: Ever wonder why most e-mail clients hide images by default? The reason for the “display images” button is because images in an e-mail must be loaded from a third-party server. For promotional e-mails and spam, usually this server is operated by the entity that sent the e-mail. – by Ron Amadeo –

Wearables, ubiquity and the future of the smartphone, part I: The smartphone is in for a radical change, not only in its function, but also in the way it looks and is carried. And it will spin off its functions to other devices, creating a vast and vibrant electronic ecosystem. In the first of a two-part series, Siegfried Mortkowitz reports. It’s 7.02 a.m. – Tags: Apps & Mobile Tech, smartwatch –

Bitcoin’s Biggest Bet: Andreessen Horowitz Leads $25 Million Investment in Coinbase: If you’re a bitcoin doubter, you might want to turn away. The doors to venture funding in bitcoin startups are about to swing wide open. – by Jason Del Rey – Tags: commerce, general, news, andreessen horowitz, bitpay, chris dixon, coinbase, featured post, founders fund, fred wilson, ribbit capital, union square ventures, usv –

Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People): Those who would consider themselves part of the creative class would probably agree that art is an important part of primary school education. –

First Lasing Nanofibres Open The Way For Cheap, Soft Laser Textiles: There was a time, not so long ago, when lasers were exotic devices that lived in specialist labs and relied on a team of experts to keep them going. –

4 Reasons Why Apple’s iBeacon Is About to Disrupt Interaction Design: You step inside Walmart and your shopping list is transformed into a personalized map, showing you the deals that’ll appeal to you most. You pause in front of a concert poster on the street, pull out your phone, and you’re greeted with an option to buy tickets with a single tap. – by Kyle VanHemert –

Wednesday’s Recommended Reads

A bit of a catch up today. Been traveling …

The Emerging Technologies Shaping Future 5G Networks: It may seem as if the fourth generation of mobile communications technology has only just hit the airwaves. But so-called 4G technology has been around in various guises since 2006 and is now widely available in metropolitan areas of the US, Europe and Asia. –

One standard to sync them all: AllSeen Alliance forms to accelerate Internet of Things adoption: Eighteen months ago, Qualcomm SVP Rob Chandhok succinctly explained why the internet of things was failing. Instead of working together, manufacturers designed their smart televisions and appliances to only communicate with their own proprietary applications. – by Sean Hollister –

How Apple’s Lightning-Plug Guru Reinvented Square’s Card Reader: The new Square Reader is 45 percent thinner than the previous version–a slimming that took careful consideration of the device’s components. Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIREDThe effort was led by Square’s VP of Hardware, Jesse Dorogusker, formerly the head of accessories at Apple. – by Kyle VanHemert –

Xiaomi’s plan for expansion is to invade the two most saturated smartphone markets in the world: Ever since Xiaomi poached Hugo Barra from Google, the world has been waiting for the Chinese smartphone maker to sell its inexpensive, highly customized Android handsets beyond the confines of greater China. – by Adam Pasick –

AT&T chief: We can’t keep doing big subsidies on phones: AT&T’s top executive says the era of big subsidies for devices is coming to an end, as wireless operators can no longer afford to fund a constant smartphone upgrade cycle. – by Marguerite Reardon – Tags: mobile, AT&T –

Android Action Bar overflow changes could mark beginning of the end for hardware menu button: When Android started making the move away from hardware buttons, and giving manufacturers the option to present users with fully on-screen virtual buttons, it sounded like we were moving towards a promising future where Android might feel more consistent across devices – you wouldn’t go from us – by Stephen Schenck –

This is Nokia’s Android phone: Nokia has been building its own Android phone according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. Codenamed Normandy, and known internally at Nokia under a number of other names, the handset is designed as the next step in low-end phones from the Finnish smartphone maker. – by Tom Warren –

How Google Decimated A $2 Billion Search Business: As Variety reports, it turns out that Google was a key player in the company’s downfall. Richard Rosenblatt co-founded Demand in 2006 as a “content farm” that would take advantage of search engine optimization. – by Richard Feloni – Tags: Google, Demand Media, Richard Rosenblatt, Content Farms, Richard Feloni –

Everything visible: How wearable cameras are changing the way we think about public space: The presence of surveillance cameras is becoming a growing norm in public spaces. For example, currently in the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 4. – by Ricardo Bilton –

The Brilliant Hack That Brought Foursquare Back From the Dead: Dennis Crowley thought his 13-year dream might never come true. Crowley is the founder of Foursquare, the seminal social networking service that broadcasts your location across the net and serves you tips and deals based on where you are. – by Ryan Tate –

Imgur: The Biggest Little Site in the World: What does Imgur, one of the most highly-trafficked sites on the web, want to be when it grows up? Television. The whole thing started with a picture. An extremely tall fellow, Dan, peeked over a door—over a door—to watch TV. It was funny. Someone took a photo. – by Megan Garber – Tags: The Atlantic, The Atlantic Magazine,, Atlantic, news, opinion, analysis, commentary, Science, technology, innovation, James Fallows, Alexis Madrigal –

Layoffs at stealth payment startup Clinkle: Clinkle still wants to kill Square. But first it needs to get its own house in order. FORTUNE — Clinkle, a stealthy mobile payment startup that recently raised the largest seed financing round in history, today has completed an internal reorganization. Or, in other words, layoffs. – by Dan Primack – Tags: term sheet, clinkle, venture capital –

Smarty Ring Sends Smartphone Updates to Your Finger [VIDEO]: One ring to rule them all — or at least manage all of your incoming smartphone alerts. That’s the idea behind Smarty Ring, a Bluetooth-enabled wearable gadget that allows users to check smartphone alerts and manage incoming calls right from their finger. – by Kurt Wagner –

The Test Begins: Do Google Shopping & Other Shopping Search Engines Give You The Best Deals?: It sounds pretty damning. Two recent surveys suggest that Google Shopping isn’t leading searchers to the best prices on products. But the surveys weren’t well documented, nor did they include competitors like Bing, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber and Nextag, which have similar issues. – by Danny Sullivan –

The iWallet Is Coming: Post updated to reflect a misstatement about when Apple rolled out self checkout to its stores. – by Tristan Louis –

The War For Your Wrist: The past decade has seen the consumer electronics war grow more furious and more personal: your living room is a battlefield, as are your desks and your pockets. – by Chris Velazco –

Pebble Review: The Underdog That Proves Smartwatches Are Worthwhile: Even before the Pebble smartwatch was available to buy, Pebble had caught the imagination of the geekerati with their Kickstarter campaign that raised over ten million dollars. It gave them visibility, but also put the pressure on to deliver a compelling product. – by Ewan Spence –

Netflix’s War on Mass Culture: Given all the faces you see glued to computers, tablets, and cell phones, you might think that people watch much less television than they used to. You would be wrong. – by TIM WU – Tags: Technology, Culture, TV, Netflix, television, Media –

Sunday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

What the Hell Is Wrong With Nintendo?: Earlier this week, amidst all the hype over the launches of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Bloomberg news service took a step away from the wall-to-wall coverage of the new consoles to discuss Nintendo and the Wii U. They say no press is bad press, but… – by Chris Kohler –

NASA Sent Phones Into Space, and Now They’ve Called Home: Ever since NASA launched a new group of tiny, phone-powered satellites into space a few weeks ago, we’ve been waiting for one of the little PhoneSats to phone home. Now, one of the nano-satellites has successfully communicated with Earth, an important test of a much-needed capability. – by Max Cherney –

How Intel TV failed — pay attention, Google and Apple: Intel was set to revolutionize television. In fact, Erik Huggers, the head of Intel Media, said in February that this would be the year Intel shakes things up. – by Joan E. Solsman – Tags: Sony, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon –

What Separates A Healthy And Unhealthy Diet? Just $1.50 Per Day: If you want to eat a more healthful diet, you’re going to have to shell out more cash, right? (After all, Whole Foods didn’t get the nickname “Whole Paycheck” for nothing.) – by Maria Godoy –

Overrun With Messaging Apps: Because I’ll install almost any app on my iPhone just to take a look, I’ve got a jam-packed folder called “messaging apps” that’s now five pages deep. – by Sarah Perez –

Nintendo of America president shows off ‘Cranky Kong’ in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage today during Spike’s VGX show to demonstrate the Cranky Kong character in the upcoming Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U game console. – by DEAN TAKAHASHI –

Jessica Lessin talks about paywalls, The Information and the virtues of knowing who your audience is — Tech News and Analysis: Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin got some attention when she left the newspaper six months ago to start a new online news venture, and this week she launched the project, known as The Information: a subscription-only technology and business news service that costs $399 a year and – by Mathew Ingram – Tags: Future of Media,Jessica Lessin,media,paywalls,Subscription,The Information,Wall Street Journal –

National Geographic puts more than 500 historic maps on Google: National Geographic and Google are trying to recreate the thrill of cracking open one of the magazine’s signature paper maps, but in the digital world. A new project puts more than 500 of National Geographic’s 800 historic maps online using Google’s Maps Engine platform. – by Josh Lowensohn –

The Open Secret Of iBeacon: Apple Could Have 250M Potential Units In The Wild By 2014: Yesterday, Apple began a small press push on its new iBeacon technology, pushed an Apple Store app update to support them and turned the feature on in 254 U.S.-based stores in an initial rollout. – by Matthew Panzarino –

Twitter’s Dorsey Vies With SoftBank’s Son for Japan Shops: Tech: Twitter Inc. co-founder Jack Dorsey sparked a price war over Japanese credit-card transactions with SoftBank Corp. (9984)’s Masayoshi Son. Entrepreneurs like Yukiko Kurano are the biggest winners so far. Kurano said she began using Son’s venture with PayPal Inc. – by Mariko Yasu, Takako Taniguchi – Tags: financial news, business news, stock quotes, markets quotes, finance stocks, personal finance, personal finance advice, mutual funds, financial calculators, world business, small business, financial trends, forex trading, technology news, bloomberg financial news –

Amid Drone Talk, Amazon Has Real Robots That Could Save It A Lot of Money : Digits: Amazon got a lot of ink for its sci-fi drone delivery idea this week, but a more real and immediate robot effort underway in the Seattle retailer’s warehouses could save it as much as $916 million a year, according to one analyst. – by Greg Bensinger – Tags: Amazon,Drone,E-commerce,kiva,robots –

Electric Assistive Cycling

Flykly vs Copenhagen Wheel

Remarkable similarities.  Assistive power, smartphone apps, locking etc.  Pricing is quite similar as well. I’ve actually been able to briefly test the Flykly and it was very impressive.  The wheel is rather heavy, but you don’t notice that at all when pedaling … you only notice the rather enormous boost in power you get by simply riding the bike.  I would imagine the Copenhagen Wheel offers similar results.


Thursday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

RISD President John Maeda to become design partner at Kleiner Perkins — Tech News and Analysis: If you need any more proof that venture capital firms are increasingly seeing the value of design, here it is: on Wednesday the President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), John Maeda, announced that he’ll be joining Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins as a design partner starti – by Katie Fehrenbacher – Tags: Airbnb,Joe Gebbia,John Maeda,Kleiner Perkins,RISD –

Why A New Tech News Site Spurns Ads for Subscriptions: The Information, former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin’s new tech news site, debuted today with a seemingly counterintuitive business model: no ads, only subscriptions. – by John McDermott –

AT&T goes after T-Mobile with lower off-contract plan pricing: AT&T is announcing changes to its Mobile Share line of wireless plans today, rolling out a new “Mobile Share Value” structure on December 8th that offers subscribers a discount on service if they’re not on a hardware contract. – by Chris Ziegler –

AT&T’s EverThere could be the first wearable for your parents or grandparents — Tech News and Analysis: Is there a connected wearable device market for the senior crowd? Surprise: There sure is given that one in three adults over the age of 65 in North America fall every year. For years, monitoring services have been there for those on the floor and now AT&T is getting in on the game with EverThere. – by Kevin C. Tofel – Tags: AT&T,EverThere,wearable devices –

Volvo to put 100 self-driving cars on Swedish roads in pilot project: Volvo is about to take its biggest step yet towards bringing a self-driving car to market with a pilot project that’ll put 100 such vehicles onto public roads in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. – by Trevor Mogg –

Twitter Is About To Officially Launch Retargeted Ads: Twitter is ready to roll out retargeted ads fueled by browser cookies, sources confirm. Twitter could make the announcement as soon as tomorrow, expanding retargeted ads beyond the “experimental” phase that started in July. – by Josh Constine –

Wenesday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Google is building Chrome apps support for Android and iOS, beta release coming as soon as January 2014: Google is working on bringing Chrome packaged apps from the desktop to the mobile world. The company is currently building a toolkit to help developers create Chrome apps for Android and iOS, as well as port their existing Chrome apps to both mobile platforms. – by Emil Protalinski –

Qualcomm’s AllJoyn protocol for the internet of things finds a home in LG TVs : LG, the Korean appliance vendor will support Qualcomm’s AllJoyn protocol in its smart televisions coming out next year. – by Stacey Higginbotham –

Why Apple Is Betting Big on Search: Just as Google and Facebook are trying to be more like Apple, Apple is trying to be more like them. – by Ryan Tate –

A Drone Scholar Answers the Big Questions About Amazon’s Plans: But there are many other ways to answer the questions that I posed to Raptopoulos. So, today, we bring you an interview with the University of Washington’s Ryan Calo, who has become a leading authority on the ethical and policy implications of emerging technologies. – by Alexis C. Madrigal – Tags: The Atlantic, The Atlantic Magazine,, Atlantic, news, opinion, breaking news, analysis, commentary, business, politics, culture, international, science, technology, national and life –

Lyft’s former head of growth thinks food is the next big startup market: Gagan Biyani has the Silicon Valley serial entrepreneurship bug. It started in 2009, when he co-founded one of the first MOOC platforms Udemy. Then he began organizing the popular Growth Hackers Conference. And now, he’s launching a food making and delivery startup called Sprig. – by Hallie Bateman –

Inside China’s Version of Silicon Valley: BEIJING—On the outside, China’s answer to Silicon Valley doesn’t look the part: It’s a crowded mass of electronics malls, fast-food joints and office buildings in northwest Beijing, bisected by congested highways. – by PAUL MOZUR –

Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android: PALO ALTO, Calif. — In an out-of-the-way Google office, two life-size humanoid robots hang suspended in a corner. – by JOHN MARKOFF –

Is Your Business Ready For The Sharing Economy?: In an economy driven by collaboration, customers have already caught on–think Airbnb, Spotify, or Uber. But it’s not just for users: the model is fundamentally changing the way business–and businesses–work. – by Stew Langille –

It’s 2013. Why are we still waiting in checkout lines?: The Black Friday crush happens only once a year? Tell that to the thousands of shoppers who pass through D.C.’s grocery stores every week. No matter what time of day, chances are Washington residents will spend more of their time waiting to leave than actually walking around the store. – by Brian Fung –

Tuesday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Volvo speeds ahead with autonomous cars on Swedish roads by 2017: If there’s one name synonymous with safety and caution in the car world, it’s Volvo. You might be surprised, therefore, to hear that the Swedish carmaker is taking the lead in putting self-driving cars on public roads, with a roadmap that’s a few years more aggressive than its direct competitors. – by Vlad Savov –

Apple’s facial recognition patent might allow you to unlock, control your device — Tech News and Analysis: Apple on Tuesday was awarded a patent for “Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition,” as noted by Apple Insider. – by Alex Colon – Tags: Apple,computers,facial recognition,smartphones,tablets –

A Surgeon’s Review Of Google Glass In The Operating Room: Dr. Pierre Theodore of UC San Francisco has completed a three-month trial of using Google Glass during surgery. For a little over three months now, Dr. Pierre Theodore, a cardiothoracic surgeon, has been using Google Glass in the operating room. –

Amazon’s Drones Might Work, but Would Cost $200 Per Package: Amazon’s plans to deliver packages by drones, which it predicts “will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,” has been widely dismissed as little more than clever self-promotion. Yet, in some contexts, drone delivery has shown potential. – by David Talbot –

Man, Machine And How They Relate To APIs: The interactions between humans and machines creates a new set of relationships that we are just beginning to understand. We are becoming more machine-like, which changes the way we co-exist with each other. – by Alex Williams –

Rentals Delivered By Drone Could Make Ownership Obsolete: Why buy something when you could rent it, have it instantly delivered when you need it, and taken away when you’re done? While Amazon’s unveiling of its Prime Air drone-powered delivery service could make buying easier, it’s drone pick-up that could make it so we don’t need to buy things at all. – by Josh Constine –

Amazon’s Drones Offer New Surveillance: Bezos’ announcement largely dominated the Internet news airwaves and subwaves, indicating to the masses that a world of airborne drones is all but upon us. There are key considerations that most people are missing though. – by Geoffrey Ingersoll – Tags: Surveillance, Drones, Amazon, NSA, Geoffrey Ingersoll –

MetroMile Launches Per Mile Car Insurance And Free Driving Analytics Device: Seventy percent of American car owners overpay for insurance because they don’t drive much. Luckily, today MetroMile comes out of stealth to launch its per mile car insurance. – by Josh Constine –

No girls allowed: Four-year-old Riley Maida stands in a toy aisle of a department store in Newburgh, N.Y. The backdrop is pink. The shelves behind her are stacked with plastic babies in pink onesies. To her left are hair-and-makeup dolls with exaggerated heads attached to truncated shoulders. – by Tracey Lien –

Google’s Mysterious Maps: Though he concedes that Google Earth and Google Maps are useful and impressive tools, Brotton says that the company’s mapmaking projects are uniquely secretive. –

Senate Hearing Will Explore Amazon Drones: An aide to West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said the hearing was in the works before Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo’s Sunday night announcement that the company plans to use drones to make deliveries. – by Andrew Kaczynski –

Monday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

When Algorithms Grow Accustomed to Your Face: People often reveal their private emotions in tiny, fleeting facial expressions, visible only to a best friend — or to a skilled poker player. – by ANNE EISENBERG –

Why Comcast and other cable ISPs aren’t selling you gigabit Internet: Gigabit-class broadband is capturing the imagination of Internet users throughout the country. With Google and other companies bringing fiber-based services that deliver a gigabit of data each second to the home, communities are accelerating their push to get the highest speeds. – by Jon Brodkin –

Does Your Dog Love You Back?: Tales of hearts given and not returned are as old as time itself, and but tales of non-reciprocal interspecies love are perhaps less common. The unrequited love between Bella and Jacob aside, there exists a sizable group of non-fictional people who find love with non-human animals: dog owners. – by Jason G. Goldman – Tags: human-animal relationship, Mind & Brain,More Science, Scientific American Blog Network –

Amazon drones won’t replace the mailman or FedEx woman any time soon: Amazon’s new “delivery system,” Amazon Prime Air, promises to get packages to customers “in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles,” and could be in commercial use soon as 2015, the company said Dec. 1. – by Heather Timmons –

Sunday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

PS4 And Xbox One Pose Major Problems For Internet Providers: As the Sony’s Sony’s Playstation 4 launched midnight today in the UK, there are some potential pitfalls that mean consumers might not get the most out of their systems unless they carefully consider their home network. Consoles used to be the easy option. – by Tamlin Magee –

Why China is fixated on the Moon: The Moon could be a “beautiful” source of minerals and energy, a top Chinese scientist has told the BBC. Exotic materials including helium-3 and the potential for solar power could prove invaluable for humankind, he says. – by David Shukman –

Secret Weapon in Mall Battle: Parking Apps: Phoebe Scott of Orange County, Calif., has a new routine before heading to the mall. She checks the parking lots on her ParkMe smartphone app “so that I can see what I’m up against, or if I need to change my plans.” If a lot is below 90 percent full, the trip is on. – by Jaclyn Trop –

Bitcoin under pressure: ALL currencies involve some measure of consensual hallucination, but Bitcoin, a virtual monetary system, involves more than most. It is a peer-to-peer currency with no central bank, based on digital tokens with no intrinsic value. – by From the print –

Google files for patent on automated status updates to other social networks — Tech News and Analysis: In the dystopian novel The Circle, Google and Facebook have merged with other big tech companies to create a single, all-seeing and all-knowing social network. The work is fiction but a new patent application published last week makes the situation slightly less far-fetched. – by Jeff John Roberts – Tags: Google,patents,social networks –

Waiting for bitcoin to get boring: Something of a milestone was reached very early in the morning of Friday, November 29, a time when most Americans were either sleeping off their Thanksgiving excesses or out seeking Black Friday bargains. – by Felix Salmon – Tags: bitcoin,payments,technology –

Is it OK to torture or murder a robot?: We form such strong emotional bonds with machines that people can’t be cruel to them even though they know they are not alive. So should robots have rights? Kate Darling likes to ask you to do terrible things to cute robots. – Tags: BBC, Future, Technology, Artificial intelligence, Robot, Science & Environment, Psychology –

The fall (and rise?) of Yahoo: How the web giant crumbled and built some great tech in the process: At one point not so long ago, Yahoo was one of the top technology companies in the world. “The only exception [was] Google,” Bassel Ojjeh, a former senior vice president of data technologies and products at Yahoo, said in a recent interview. “… That’s where big data came from. – by Derrick Harris – Tags: big data,content personalization,Hadoop,search engines,targeted-advertising,Yahoo –

Consoles will continue to dominate PC gaming for years to come: Are the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 doomed to be trounced by gaming PCs? Not long ago, our own Matt Smith put forward this contentious opinion, claiming that PC gaming is on the rise. – by Ryan Fleming –

Saturday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

A closer look at the Jolla phone: good intentions, bad delivery (video): Jolla’s self-titled and first smartphone launched in partnership with Finnish carrier DNA this week, with a few hundred handsets finding their way to early pre-orderers. – by Jamie Rigg –

Pay Attention, Snapchat! China’s WeChat Messaging App Does E-Commerce Well.: American messaging services could learn a thing or two from WeChat. The mobile-focused app is massively popular in China and spreading quickly abroad; of the 270-million-plus regular users of the service, about a quarter of those are outside of mainland China. – by Mike Isaac – Tags: commerce, general, mobile, news, social, e-commerce, evan spiegel, facebook, gaming, in-app purchases, kakaotalk, messaging, path, snapchat, tencent, wechat, xiaomi –

While Mulally/Nadella Remain the Favorites, Bates Is Silicon Valley’s Choice for Microsoft CEO: About 10 days ago, AllThingsD reported once again that Ford CEO Alan Mulally was in the lead position to take over as CEO of Microsoft, with one internal exec as the No. 2 choice. As I noted in a post on Nov. – by Kara Swisher – Tags: enterprise, general, media, mobile, news, alan mulally, featured post, microsoft, satya nadella, tony bates –

How Many Patents Does Google Have? Plenty: Over the last few years, Google executives have had plenty to say about patents. According to Google, patents, particularly software patents, are mostly bogus, largely low-quality, and used in court by companies that can’t innovate to hurt consumers and stifle true innovators. – by Antonio Regalado –

Clan of the Caveman’s Diet: The challenge: To cook and eat “Paleo” for two weeks. The rules: No processed foods, no legumes or grains, no dairy, no soy, minimal fruit, loads of meat and vegetables. (The rules morphed, mid-challenge, to be addressed later.) – by Sophie Brickman –

Why aren’t Amazon and Hulu shows playing on Netflix’s level? — Tech News and Analysis: When Netflix made television history this summer with its nine Emmy nominations for House of Cards, there was a lot of discussion about how the the show’s victory represented a major breakthrough for digital content. But it’s a success that appears to be limited to Netflix at this stage. – by Liz Shannon Miller – Tags: Alpha House,Amazon,Battleground,Betas,house of cards,Hulu,John Goodman,Netflix –

The Verge at work: using the Pebble smartwatch to never miss a thing: The Verge at Work is a series about process. We’re not scientists, and we’re not gurus, we’re just trying to get some work done. The solutions presented here are highly personal, and highly personalized. Not the only way, but our way. Stay focused. Attention is the new currency. – by Dan Seifert –

Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel: Saying no to $3B, and feeling lucky: LOS ANGELES — Like many a young man, Evan Thomas Spiegel is enamored of expensive cars. Unlike many young men, he can afford them. Snapchat, which was valued at $800 million just a few months ago, makes an app for sending pictures and videos, called “snaps,” that disappear after a few seconds. – by Jennifer Van Grove – Tags: snapchat, facebook –$3b-and-feeling-lucky/

Friday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

23andMe revealed a condition it took my doctors six years to diagnose: The FDA claims it halted the sale of 23andMe‘s flagship Personal Genome Service (PGS) kit due to concerns over its validity and the possibility that clients may suffer from mental anguish when faced with the possibility that their genetic code puts them at risk of serious diseases. – by Search results –

Who Will Own The Next Great Instant Messaging Service?: Instant messaging is the center of the internet. Everything else is a temporary distraction. The case for this is strong: Every company that has ruled the internet in the last 20 years — even for a short period — has had a dominant instant messaging service. – by John Herrman –

The internet mystery that has the world baffled: For the past two years, a mysterious online organisation has been setting the world’s finest code-breakers a series of seemingly unsolveable problems. – by Chris Bell – Tags: cicada 3301, cryptology, cia, mi6, darknet, dark web, 4chan, anonymous , Internet,Technology –

The Period, Our Simplest Punctuation Mark, Has Become a Sign of Anger: The period was always the humblest of punctuation marks. Recently, however, it’s started getting angry. I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce “I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded. – by BEN CRAIR – Tags: Language, Culture, Language, Punctuation, Grammar, Text Messaging, Online Chat, Periods –

Solving the Neural Code Conundrum: Digital or Analog?: One of the great debates in neuroscience is how neurons encode information that is sent to and from the brain. At issue is whether the information is sent in digital or analog form or indeed whether the brain can process both at the same time. –

The $299 Blu Life Pro is aimed at the selfie set with a 5-megapixel front cam: When we first spotted the decently spec’d Blu Life series, it seemed like a nice Android handset option for folks on a budget. However, the times they have a-changed, and the former KIRF company’s latest device, the Blu Life Pro, is now looking decidedly less cheap. – by Steve Dent –

Android is Eating the World: Benedict Evans has a must read slide deck from his mobile is eating the world presentation. I’m going to piggyback on his title a little and tackle the narrative that Android is eating the world. – by Ben Bajarin –

Nike FuelBand SE review: more social features, much longer battery life: Nike’s new FuelBand is now out, and following a few weeks of running in parks, walking around exhibition halls and the occasional all-out exercise session, well, I’m pretty tired. Fortunately, I only needed to charge Nike’s new wearable once in my first eight days of use. – by Mat Smith –

Nike FuelBand: Did the Brand Score a Goal?: Nike’s FuelBand activity tracker is one of the company’s hottest sellers ever. Not only did the product sell out online pre-orders in one day twice, but at one point the eBay price was double the suggested retail price. –

Wednesday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Backed With $3.5M From Social+Capital, Athos Is Creating Connected Workout Clothing That Tracks Your Muscle Output And More: University of Waterloo college students Dhananja Jayalath and Christopher Wiebe were frustrated by their workouts in the gym. They felt like there was no way to know whether they were actually working the right muscles when lifting weights. – by Leena Rao –

What Color Is The Universe? – Tags: –

How Google Earth is busting Persian Gulf nations for overfishing: Weapons-grade uranium isn’t the only thing Iran may be hiding. The country does not report its fishing catch to the United Nations, which is problematic given that the Persian Gulf, like other areas of the world, suffers from overfishing. – by Todd Woody –

Smaller Than Your Phone, This Device Could Keep You Healthy: Isabel Hoffmann’s daughter fell sick after the family moved to the U.S. from Europe. The 14-year-old’s illness got progressively worse — hives, low blood pressure, tremors and light sensitivity — to the point that she had to drop out of school. – by Lauren Drell –

Lithium-Ion Batteries, Straight from a 3-D Printer: By making the basic building blocks of batteries out of ink, Harvard materials scientist Jennifer Lewis is laying the groundwork for lithium-ion batteries and other high-performing electronics that can be produced with 3-D printers. – by Mike Orcutt –

PayPal adds support for prepaid gift cards, thanks to patent-pending ‘pay anytime anywhere with any card’ system: PayPal today announced it has added support for prepaid gift cards, letting its users apply them to the purchase of products and services anywhere PayPal Checkout is available. – by Emil Protalinski –

Data Occupations: Quantified Self is a passionate political “movement” without concrete demands. That should sound familiar  On a July evening at the Microsoft New England Research & Design building in Cambridge, Mass. – by Whitney Erin Boesel –

Target (Yes, That Target) Wants To Launch An Accelerator In India: Target has long looked to India to fuel its software applications and back-office projects. Now, the Minneapolis-based retailer is doubling down on the country’s tech potential. – by Pankaj Mishra –

Given Room to Grow, Range Rover Blossoms: TATA, THE INDIAN industrial conglomerate, bought Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) from Ford in 2008. Since then, both brands have soared: record sales, new global markets and a string of beguiling and glamorous products. – by Dan Neil –

Tuesday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Automatic Link review: an expensive way to learn better driving habits: We love when we find new ways to bring our toys together. The Automatic Link does just that: it connects your iPhone to your car’s computer, using Bluetooth Low Energy as a bridge to the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) interface that’s been standard in most cars since 1996. – by Ben Drawbaugh –

Demolition Man: why does Fab’s CEO keep building big companies that suddenly implode?: Is Jason Goldberg doomed to repeat his mistakes? If you ask employees when they started to notice that something was wrong at Fab, they will usually mention the bike locks. The bright orange locks appeared suddenly, affixed to the office doors of senior executives. – by Ben Popper –

Punch Through’s new Arduino board can stay wireless forever (video): You’ll have to plug in a typical Arduino-compatible board at some point in its life, whether it’s to add code or just to supply power. Not Punch Through Design’s upcoming Cortado, however. The tiny device centers on a custom Bluetooth 4. – by Jon Fingas –

With PrimeSense, Apple Got Key Mapping Technology: There’s a lot of speculation about why Apple bought motion-sensor company PrimeSense. But I think the real reason has been overlooked. PrimeSense’s chips were in early versions of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, the gaming console that lets you wave your hands around to control it. – by jessicalessin –

ZTE Jumps On Smartwatch Bandwagon: When Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Gear launch in early September created a hype around the potential market for smartwatches, it was certain that we would soon see cheaper versions from Chinese competitors. Now,  ZTE Corp. – by Juro Osawa –

Spotify Connect local streaming comes to Android: A couple of months ago, Spotify Connect was announced for iOS — a feature that allows you to wirelessly control (via your home WiFi network) music playing on Connect-compatible speakers with your phone. – by Michael Gorman –

Intel Said to Be Asking $500 Million for Pay-TV Unit: Intel Corp. (INTC) is asking about $500 million for OnCue, the online pay-TV service that the world’s largest chipmaker developed before dialing back its ambitions, according to people with knowledge of the process. – by Andy Fixmer – Tags: Media,Technology,TV, Games & Movies,Web,Top News –

Start-Up Leaders Recall Choice to Cash In or Stay Independent: The reactions last week flowed like those to a Rorschach test. Were the young founders of Snapchat, a mobile-messaging start-up, delusional for turning down a multibillion-dollar buyout offer? Greedy to think they might get more later? Or courageous to chase their dreams? –

The Atlantic Spins Off, Relaunches The Wire: The Atlantic Wire, previously a channel positioned within The Atlantic’s website, has been spun off as an independent brand called The Wire. – by Bill Mickey –

Monday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Roundtable: Is Music Discovery a Feature or Product?: It’s an important question. There are hundreds of websites and applications that promise to expose listeners to new music. But can they make money? Are they worth money? This is where the discussion becomes challenging for many music startups. – by Kyle Bylin –

Chris Hadfield: We Should Treat Earth as Kindly as We Treat Spacecraft: Racing high over the Sahara at 5 miles per second, protected from the desert’s parched endlessness and soaking in its sere beauty, I saw Khartoum, the city where the White and Blue Nile rivers meet. I turned my head left and followed the river downstream to Cairo and the Mediterranean. – by Chris Hadfield –

Click! Google rebuilds Android camera base for better photos: Want a better camera on your Android device? Google does, too. For that reason, the company has overhauled the mobile OS’s plumbing. – by Stephen Shankland –

The Internet of Things: Look, It Must Work: For twenty-five years, we’ve been promised a thoroughly connected world in which our “things” become smarter, safer and save energy. But progress doesn’t seem to match the glowing predictions. Picture this: A 25¢ smart chip inside a light-bulb socket. – by Jean-Louis Gassée –

An average NFL game: more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play: For five months of the year, the National Football League dominates Sundays in the United States; it’s more popular than church. The NFL’s popularity is all the more remarkable when you inspect the fare it has to offer each week on television. – by Zachary M. Seward –

How 10 people built a competitor to for $1 million—in 90 days: “Being a scrappy startup, it’s funny to see some of our designers forklift once in a while,” chuckles Chieh Huang, CEO of Boxed. – by Christopher Mims –

Why Comcast isn’t worried about the Xbox One: While the tech world’s attention is firmly planted on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and their bids to take over the living room, Comcast is having a party. – by Russell Brandom –

The Battle For The Connected Home Is Heating Up: Editor’s note: Matt Turck is a managing director of FirstMark Capital. Follow him on Twitter at @mattturck. Almost 15 years ago, a friend of mine at McKinsey spent a few nights writing a document called “The Battle for the Home”. – by Matt Turck –

Switched On: Taming Evernote’s paper tiger: Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. In April, Evernote CEO Phil Libin announced his company was getting into the hardware business — gradually, at first, by partnering with others. – by Ross Rubin –

Saturday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Couric Deal to Become Yahoo’s “Global News Anchor” Set to Be Announced Monday: As AllThingsD had first reported in August that it was working on, Yahoo is poised to announce a deal with well-known television news star Katie Couric to do a high-profile interview show on its home page. – by Kara Swisher – Tags: general, media, news, abc, abc news, acquisition, advertiser, allthingsd, anchor, archive, arena, broadcast, cable, caribbean, celebrity, content, contract, correspondent, criticism, dailymotion, david pogue, daytime, deal, disney, earnings, erin mcpherson, fee, finance, fox news, france, glenn beck, global, google, graphical, growth, henrique de castro, home page, house of cards, hunger games, interview, jennifer lawrence, kathy savitt, katie, katie couric, katie’s take, lloyd braun, marissa mayer, memo, mickie rosen, move, negotiation, netflix, network, new york, new york times, news, personality, post, presentation, producer, redesign, revenue, rights, ross levinsohn, ryan seacrest, saturday night live, season, second quarter, shift, show, silicon valley, sports, streaming, subscription, syndicated, talk, television, today show, tv, user, video, yahoo –

Fed up with slow and pricey Internet, cities start demanding gigabit fiber: Slow Internet speeds and a lack of competitive pressure on Internet providers is a fact of life in communities throughout America. We’ve seen that competition can make a difference, notably with the entry of Google Fiber in certain markets, forcing incumbents to offer faster speeds and better deals. – by Jon Brodkin –

As Customers Seek Privacy, AeroFS Emerges With Stealthy File Sharing Software: Air Computing Inc., which is doing business as AeroFS, emerged publicly Friday with software that lets customers privately share files in a way that no outsider–not even their software provider—can gain access to their data. – by Deborah Gage –

Touch ID Patent Applications Show Details Behind ‘Secure Enclave’ and iPhone 5s Implementation: The first, as noticed by , details a method by which the iPhone scans a finger and then provides that data to the “Secure Enclave” for matching and eventual approval. – by Patently Apple –

Comcast and Charter reportedly considering joint purchase of Time Warner Cable: Comcast may be interested in merging with Time Warner Cable. – by Chris Welch –