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Big Revolution - Shaking all over

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Hello again from Paris, and welcome to Thursday's Big Revolution.  Paris is famous for its food, and
 
May 17 · Issue #81 · View online
Big Revolution
Hello again from Paris, and welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. 
Paris is famous for its food, and the beef I had last night was definitely closer to ‘fine dining’ than the rather unappealing offal sausage I had the night before. The waiter did warn me, and he seemed impressed I at least gave it a go.
Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to face questions from the EU Parliament over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. You’ll remember he snubbed the UK parliament this week, but the EU session will be behind closed doors, which perhaps explains the difference. Still, not all EU parliamentarians are keen on the arrangement.
- A company that tracks Americans’ phone locations has been hacked. Securus sells access to US law enforcement, but it appears the firm has rather lax security despite its incredible power to track citizens.
- Amazon is giving Prime members discounts in its Whole Foods grocery stores. It’s a move that will scare traditional retailers as the biggest name in ecommerce makes ever greater inroads into the bricks-and-mortar world.
- Look out, iPad: Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is planning cheaper Surface tablets to take on Apple’s market share.
The Tech Nation Report is perhaps the most cited piece of research into the UK tech sector each year, and the 2018 version has arrived.
The big thought
Nothing will kill the handshake. Credit: rawpixel on Unsplash
Shaking all over
One of my favourite TechCrunch posts of the Michael Arrington era was titled Hand Shaking Is So Medieval. Let’s End It. In this 2009 piece, he talked about the unhygienic nature a staple business convention.
Choice quote: 
“Whenever I do shake a hand I’m completely aware of it, can’t stop thinking about it, until I can wash my hands. Sometimes in a meeting I’ll shake hands all around, then excuse myself to the bathroom to wash my hands, then return.”
Arrington himself reminded me of this yesterday when he repeated his observation about how handshakes involve a “ritualistic swapping of germs.”
My problem with handshakes is less the lack of hygiene (everyone’s going to pick up germs from somewhere) and more the socially awkward moments the convention can cause.
Is this person going to just shake my hand? Or are they going in for a fancy, twisty armlocked handshake? Or a fistbump? Or are they going in for a hug? Or a kiss? And will it be one cheek or two? Or both cheeks and back to the first? Or will we accidentally actually kiss each other’s cheeks? Because that’s not supposed to happen. Or is it?
And then there’s the embarrassment I felt that time I tried to shake the hand of a man with a prosthetic arm (he was clearly used to it and handled it well, but the moment has stuck with me for years as an awkward faux pas).
If you think about it, the whole ritual is bizarre. And it persists even as the rest of the world of business changes around it and many other conventions are upended. Young adults don’t like to speak on the phone or answer an unexpected knock at the door, and yet they’ll happily shake hands in a meeting.
After a nuclear apocalypse, it may be that only cockroaches will survive – but you can bet they’ll be shaking hands.
One big read
Should the Internet Forget Italy's Most Viral Sex Tape?
“For Maria, her daughter’s death was only the beginning. She has decided to pursue a new legal route: to hold tech companies accountable for failing to remove her daughter’s videos quickly enough. While sites like Google and Facebook were able to remove some search results and copies, Maria contends that it’s also their responsibility, as part of the right to be forgotten, to scrub out the memes, parody videos, and other scattered digital remnants that identify Tiziana.”
One big tweet
When did job titles get so complicated?
Joe Fernandez
An inflated title is one of the biggest career limiters you can inflict on yourself. A lot of great companies won't want to deal with the hassle of trying to re-level you (and your ego might not be able to take it) so your long term total opportunity set is capped
2:06 PM - 16 May 2018
That’s all for today...
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