5 Friday To Do’s: Fake Google Products, Privacy is Dead (again) and the Secret History of Hypertext

A few weeks back I kicked off a experiment with a new format for our blog on friday in which I listed 5 friday to do’s. Here’s the third post containing 5 things for your friday or the weekend to read, watch, do, to think about and to share.

To be scared of: 9 companies that know more about you than Google or Facebook
A new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report describes an industry that collects data from many sources without consumers knowing; that is multi-layered and intertwined; and that stores billions of data points covering nearly every US consumer. Some are what you’d expect—name, address, social security number. But then there are segments like “thrifty elders,” new age/organic lifestyle adherents, bikers/Hell’s Angels, members of more than five online shopping sites, people with fireplaces, people who do a lot of medical googling, those who have credit with “a low-end standalone department store” (read: WalMart), and perhaps most bizarrely of all, purchasers of “Novelty Elvis” products. Check out the full list over at Qz.

To think about: The Fake Google Products of The Future
The German activist organization called Peng Collective recently put up a website that parodies a future controlled by Google. It plays off the company’s recent acquisition of Nest, and features four products that were so convincing, Google were quick to have the site taken down. Luckily, this is the internet, so here are the (not yet existing) products.


To move in to: Mixed Reality Living Spaces
With the world population expected to rise from 7.2 billion to 9.6 billion by 2050, living space is becoming more and more of an issue. A student at Parsons has a vision of our future homes that is both clever and disquieting. Bernando Schorr’s “Mixed Reality Living Spaces” project highlights how augmented reality can be used to make windowless 100-square-foot apartments hospitable. Check out a video and the project at The Verge.

To read: The Secret History of Hypertext
Most people think of Tim-Berners Lee as the creator of the world wide web. While this is partly true, he (as do many inventors) stand on the shoulders of giants. Giants like Vannevar Bush and Paul Otlet for instance. Bush is known for a hypothetical machine called the Memex: a hypertext-like device capable of allowing its users to comb through a large set of documents stored on microfilm, connected via a network of “links” and “associative trails” that anticipated the hyperlinked structure of today’s Web. However, Otlet sort of already had this idea. Like Bush, Otlet explored the possibilities of storing data on microfilm and making it searchable, with a web of documents connected via a sophisticated linking system. The Atlantic has a great article on the alternative history to how the web was invented.

To watch: a driverless car with no steering wheel of pedals
Unless you have been offline the whole week, you probaly already seen this one. For the past few years, Google has been test-driving Lexus SUVs retrofitted with self-driving technology. On Tuesday, the company announced it would test the technology in its own cars. The electric-powered car is simple: two seats, two buttons and a screen that displays the route. Check out the clip.

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