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Twill by yiibu - #3


Twill by yiibu

February 28 · Issue #3 · View online

An occasional dispatch on our evolving relationship with technology.

Highlights: Who’s to blame for AMP?, creepy space music, drone choreography, mechanical ottomans and 3,415 words banned by Coca Cola’s algorithm.

yiibu news
The nice people at The Web Ahead podcast recently released a conversation with Steph about IoT, connected devices and the Physical Web. The segment is followed by a short chat with Mozilla’s Jonas Siking on the new physical-web-like FlyWeb initiative. 
We also published a few thoughts on “Who’s to blame for AMP”.
PS - Thanks very much to everyone who shared, commented, highlighted and otherwise reached out to us regarding “Why conversational commerce may be our best chance to re-imagine the web”. Your feedback is much appreciated :-)
Links and tidbits
0.0 A timeline of cybernetic creatures starting with a toy beetle created in 1911. The whole site is interesting. Quite the rabbit hole once you start clicking around.
1.0 The fascinating story of the birth of the shopping cart: “Goldman came to the realization that his problem as an entrepreneur was no different than the problem his customers faced while shopping: in order to sell more food, he’d have to figure out a way for his customers to carry less food” 
2.0 Fighting back against the DMCA - the growing “right to repair” movement.
3.0 A growing chorus of experts is raising ethical questions about the future of robotics. Good primer on the topic with segments on use of robots in war, care, privacy and the ever fascinating topic of why we kick robots, and what doing so may reveal about how we treat people.
4.0 A surprisingly good TechCrunch overview of the public zeitgeist around the Apple vs. FBI case.
5.0 For those days where you think the internet is nothing but corporate content and advertising, spend a few moments down the rabbit hole that is Weird Facebook. This Oulipian ‘weird Twitter’ example is quite nice as well.
6.0 A transcript of Ethan Zuckerman’s presentation at a day-long Data and Society workshop focused on algorithmic governance. The talk begins with the fascinating story of (if you’ve never heard it) the evolution of the US postal service, the power dynamics it created, and the resulting impact on the development of US media industries. The story is told as part of the wider topic of exploring the conditions that make it possible to have an open society, and what research and policy may be needed in the future to ensure this.
7.0 The 3,415 words you can’t use (and will be automatically filtered out) when seeking to “express yourself” using Coca Cola’s GIF the Feeling program. The number of words isn’t nearly as interesting their choice of categories. 
8.0 Drone choreography (that may not be safe for work).
9.0 Your face is not a barcode, a 9-11 era exploration of, and arguments for/against facial recognition technology. 
“Facial recognition will work well enough to be dangerous, and poorly enough to be dangerous as well.” 
Would be interesting to go point-by-point and examine which of the arguments are still valid in today’s always-connected. Smartphones, cloud storage and machine learning may have shifted some of the technical points, but not necessarily (yet) the legal or sociocultural ones.
10.0 A musical written in collaboration with an AI “Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience. Computers simply cannot do that.”
11.0 A Chinese man paid a hitman to virtually kill his son so that he would get a (meat-world) job.
Because bots are cool at the moment... (Source:
Because bots are cool at the moment... (Source:
Thing from the past. Thing from the future
From the past: The declassified, creepy space “music” NASA astronauts heard orbiting the far side of the moon (complete with some pretty cool archival video).
From the future: (…or today in Japan, which is kind of the same thing). Nissan added its self-car-parking-tech to office chairs (video). (The worst bit is, once you’ve seen this, you kind of expect all chairs to do it). Also reminded of this Stanford “collaborative drawer” and “mechanical ottoman” project.
Best quotes of the week
They look just like cocoa puffs.” — Kelly Boland, a wildlife biologist, on how to identify rabbit poop.
Having a legacy business configured around a website is now almost as much of a headache as the rumbling printing press, fuelled by paper and money.” …on the future of news as a primarily distributed business.
Our best wishes for a productive week.
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