If Steve Jobs’s life were staged as an opera, it would be a tragedy in three acts. And the titles would go something like this: Act I–The Founding of Apple Computer and the Invention of the PC Industry; Act II–The Wilderness Years; and Act III–A Triumphant Return and Tragic Demise. advertisement advertisement The first act would be a piquant comedy about the brashness of genius and the audacity of youth, abruptly turning ominous when our young hero is cast out of his own kingdom. The closing act would plumb the profound irony of a balding and domesticated high-tech rock star coming back to transform Apple far beyond even his own lofty expectations, only to fall mortally ill and then slowly, excruciatingly wither away, even as his original creation miraculously bulks up into the biggest digital dynamo of them all. Both acts are picaresque tales that end with asurge of deep pathos worthy of Shakespeare. But that second act–The Wilderness … [Read more...] about The Lost Steve Jobs Tapes
Dance the night away lyrics twice
Ammu Joseph “Does he have to rape me for you to act?” asked the headline of a first-person account on the front page of Deccan Herald on December 5, exactly a week from the day the burnt body of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor was discovered on the outskirts of Hyderabad.The young, Bengaluru-based journalist described a frightening experience with a stalker on her way home from work, both office and residence located in the city’s reasonably well-lit and busy Central Business District. Although it was just past 9 PM and lots of people were around, she wrote, they “saw everything but chose to remain quiet”, even when she finally shouted at the man who had been harassing her ever since she had left the Metro station.Close On December 6, we woke up to the shocking news of the extrajudicial killing of all four men detained as prime suspects in the gang-rape and murder of the veterinarian. Equally, if not more, appalling was the enthusiastic approval and … [Read more...] about Society | Is outrage about sexual assault the flip side of indifference?
Earlier this month, Foursquare launched a special feature for users in Austin, Texas, called Hypertrending. The idea was to show off the company’s location tracking technology to attendees of the South by Southwest conference by creating a heat map of the city. The Hypertrending map ranked all of the public places in Austin based on how many people were in each location; during the conference, the Austin Convention Center was ranked first, with the local airport and the University of Texas second and third. You could also look at the most crowded restaurants, events, and nightlife–ostensibly to understand which places were happening and which weren’t. advertisement advertisement The experiment was only accessible in Austin and for the two weeks of the conference. And though it may have seemed innocuous to some, it also raised larger questions: Did Foursquare’s app really have enough users to create an accurate heat map? Was the company getting … [Read more...] about I tried to understand location tracking. It’s nearly impossible
Elizabeth Schwartz wants to make it very clear that she didn’t decide to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail because of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild. “My motivation was very different,” says Schwartz. “I wasn’t looking to find myself or look through emotional baggage. It didn’t feel quite so dramatic.” advertisement advertisement That depends on how you define dramatic. Schwartz, the chief operating officer at Austin-based software startup Square Root (and the first paid employee of the 55-person company), took five months off work to backpack the length of the trail between May and September of last year. In her capacity as COO, Schwartz manages operations, human resources, product, data science, and engineering teams. While no day is typical, she can often be found toggling between strategy and resource planning to hands-on help with teams. So her absence would be felt in all parts of the company. But Schwartz felt like … [Read more...] about How Taking Five Months Off To Hike The Pacific Crest Trail Made Me Better At My Job
Even the most absent-minded smartphone user is probably aware that apps keep tabs on where they go. Many apps wouldn’t work without location data. But few realize just how often that location tracking is happening—even when it’s not necessary, even when their apps aren’t being used, and, increasingly, even when a user isn’t even carrying their phone. Tracking you across the map isn’t always about improving user experience, of course, but rather about better understanding who you are and what kind of advertising to show you. If, for instance, a company knows that you’ve just stepped foot in one of their stores, they might start targeting you with ads touting a sale. advertisement advertisement It’s hard to dispute the value of a good sale, but location tracking raises all sorts of privacy concerns. (Not to mention that using the GPS will drain your smartphone’s battery faster.) Should app makers know where we live, where … [Read more...] about How—And Why—Apple, Google, And Facebook Follow You Around In Real Life