Desktop Research: Technology in Popular Culture

The initial listing of news on how technology is used by consumers or in popular media culled from a variety of sources we monitor on a regular basis.

We'd love to see your clippings here as well! Please use the edit this page button to add more, or add comments on how or why you think they may or may not be important. As is the convention throughout the Horizon Project Wiki, we ask you to identify items you think are of high interest to us, as I have done here by typing 4 tilde (~) characters-- - Larry Larry Oct 30, 2011. This will help us to sift through the articles and determine which ones resonate most strongly with the board as a whole.

Recommended Reading


  • Big Data is a Privacy Minefield
    https://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/1/26/technology/big-data-privacy-minefield
    If companies want to ensure big data isn’t a big issue, then they must ensure they are equipped to navigate the potential regulatory minefield. I'm regularly challenged to figure out how we in the library, who are so steadfastly defensive of our patrons' privacy, can take advantage of our data to improve their experience while still preserving that privacy. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 5, 2015
  • The Company Reinventing How To Learn A New Language
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3028253/bottom-line/the-company-reinventing-how-to-learn-a-new-language?partner
    Duolingo, the free language learning app, is rapidly expanding by embracing crowdsourcing as a way to provide more language courses to its 12 million users. To keep up with demand, Duolingo launched an ambitious project in October 2013--the Language Incubator--allowing the service's community members to collaborate on the creation of new language
  • Forget the Shortest Route Across a City; New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful
    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/528836/forget-the-shortest-route-across-a-city-new-algorithm-finds-the-most-beautiful/
    Often, pedestrians want the quietest route or the most beautiful but if they turn to a mapping application, they’ll get little help. That could change now thanks to the work of Daniele Quercia at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, Spain, and a couple of pals. These guys have worked out how to measure the “beauty” of specific locations within cities and then designed an algorithm that automatically chooses a route between two locations in a way that maximizes the beauty along it. Used for library tours/navigational aid? - DaveP DaveP Mar 29, 2015 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Mar 30, 2015Very interesting; makes me wonder if the "most beautiful route" mentioned in the article could be altered, via algorithms, to the "most productive route"--something that, based on a library user's initial query to reach a specific library resource, would take the user on a physical (or virtual) path that includes other related resources. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 5, 2015
  • Has Technology Changed Cultural Taste?
    http://www.theguardian.com/culture-professionals-network/2014/oct/31/-sp-technology-cultural-taste-youtube-vloggers-vice
    Technology has improved access to culture and in doing so, created a broader context. It has also freed up the means of production so that it has never been easier to at least attempt to make one's creative dreams come true. - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Mar 29, 2015 Providing process and guidance to technology enhanced cultural experiences or other learning experiences in partnership with faculty and academic departments is an important evolution of the liaison work of librarians. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 5, 2015
  • Meet The Finalists Of Intel's Make It Wearable Challenge
    http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/meet-the-finalists-of-intels-make-it-wearable-challenge
    Nine months ago, Intel kicked off the Make It Wearable (MIW) Challenge. Part-competition, part-entrepreneurial mentorship program, MIW challenged thousands of global participants to inspire the next big idea in wearable technology. Since then, 10 teams of young entrepreneurs and developers were selected to develop their proposals into working, marketable prototypes. Next-gen selfie, wristband converts to small drone helicopter and flies overhead to take your picture. but i also like the program behind this which incubates and supports good ideas. - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Mar 27, 2015Fascinating look at the outer reaches of wearable technology; particularly liked the pages on "Wearable Experiments Humanize Tech Through Touch" (http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/make-it-wearable-the-concepts-wearable-experiments-humanize-tech-through-touch).
  • The National Archives Will Upload Everything to Wikimedia Commons
    go.nmc.org/wikim
    The U.S. National Archives and Record Administration is making it a high priority to upload all of its digitized data to Wikimedia Commons. This is significant. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 5, 2015
  • National Digital Stewardship Alliance
    go.nmc.org/ndsa
    The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) is a consortium of organizations that are committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Mar 29, 2015 - escience escience Apr 27, 2015 (relates more to culture heritage and preservation than pop culture)
  • Raspberry Pi Commended for 'Inspiring Social Change'
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/10443142/Raspberry-Pi-commended-for-inspiring-social-change.html
    Credit card-sized computer Raspberry Pi has been recognised as one of the top 100 technologies being used for social good. The Raspberry Pi, which has sold more than 1.2 million units worldwide, was recognised for opening up basic programming to new generations as well as providing an ultra low cost computer in the developing world. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Apr 5, 2015
  • Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/magazine/technology-is-not-driving-us-apart-after-all.html?_r=0
    In the late 1960s and ‘70s, working with the New York City Planning Commission, the sociologist William H. Whyte conducted groundbreaking granular studies of the city’s public spaces, spending hours filming and photographing and taking notes about how people behave in public. The Street Life Project, as it was called, was revolutionary in urban planning, changing not only the way we think about public spaces but also what can be learned in this kind of close observational research of human interaction. Now, a modern research has begun a similar project the story of public spaces in the last 30 years has not been aloneness, or digital distraction, but gender equity. - paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Mar 27, 2015Being a big fan of William Whyte's work and being completely fascinated with what makes onsite as well as online spaces work, I'm tremendously appreciative that this article was posted here. It's a wonderful extension of conversations many of us are having and provides food for thought as to the ever-increasing roles libraries are playing as onsite-online community centers. Found additional resources in the "Publications and Presentations" section of the page Rutgers University has about Keith Hampton (whose work is at the center of the "Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All" article: https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/directory/knh37/index.html). - DaveP DaveP Mar 29, 2015 - Jacqueline.Fritz Jacqueline.Fritz Mar 29, 2015 - mstephens7 mstephens7 Mar 29, 2015 - erik.stattin erik.stattin Mar 30, 2015 Again, amen to this. It's so easy for LIS professionals to fall into the "too much time on devices, people aren't talking to each other" trap. - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Mar 29, 2015 - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Mar 29, 2015 - g.payne g.payne Mar 31, 2015

  • It's Complicated by dinah boyd http://www.danah.org/books/ItsComplicated.pdf
    In her new book //It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens//, danah boyd, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, explores how young people use technology, pulling in findings from ten years of research. I would suggest it should be required reading not only for parents and educators but for librarians of all stripes. boyd notes that “most teens are not compelled by gadgetry as such—they are compelled by friendship. The gadgets are interesting to them primarily as a means to a social end.” - mstephens7 mstephens7 Mar 29, 2015 - Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto Mar 29, 2015 - paul.signorelli paul.signorelliThis is one of those books that keeps coming up in nearly every library discussion/conference I follow; looks like a good time to blast through the book to see what it suggests in terms of our own research. - oren oren Mar 30, 2015 Not to mention that these "networked teens" are already today's students and future researchers
  • New study shows how age affects your social network of choice http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/youngsters-love-snapchat-older-people-prefer-facebook-says-study/ Libraries need to be ready and able to move to new social media platforms to meet client needs and preferences. - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Mar 30, 2015
  • Google to make "mobile friendly" a ranking signalhttp://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/83483-SEO-Google-to-Make-Mobile-friendly-a-Ranking-Signal the influencing factors in search algorithms are vital for libraries to understand and optimise due to the likelihood that most clients begin their search in Google - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Mar 30, 2015