Recommended Reading: How ‘dark patterns’ influence travel bookings

I just read and enjoyed this:

If you’ve wondered whether there were actually 30 people trying to book the same flight as you, you’re not alone. As Chris Baraniuk finds, the numbers may not be all they seem.Ophir Harpaz just wanted to get a good deal on a flight to London.

Read “How ‘dark patterns’ influence travel bookings”

Recommended Reading: The Endless, Invisible Persuasion Tactics of the Internet

I just read and enjoyed this:

Even the cheesiest, most cloyingly overearnest romance movies lack the pathos of the pop-up notifications you get when you cancel an online subscription.

Read “The Endless, Invisible Persuasion Tactics of the Internet”

Recommended Reading: The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech

I just read and enjoyed this:

The world never changes quite the way you expect. But at The Verge, we’ve had a front-row seat while technology has permeated every aspect of our lives over the past decade. Some of the resulting moments — and gadgets — arguably defined the decade and the world we live in now.

But others we ate up with popcorn in hand, marveling at just how incredibly hard they flopped.

Read “The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech”

I would have ranked Google+ much, much higher, at least in the top 10, probably in the top 3, even though it arguably achieved its primary purpose: unifying Google’s account management.

Recommended Reading: The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking”

I just read and enjoyed this:

A hundred years ago, if you were a pedestrian, crossing the street was simple: You walked across it.

Today, if there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. […]

To most people, this seems part of the basic nature of roads. But it’s actually the result of an aggressive, forgotten 1920s campaign led by auto groups and manufacturers that redefined who owned the city streets.

Read “The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking””

Recommended Reading: Apple TV, Apple TV, Apple TV, and Apple TV+

Dustin Curtis explains “Apple TV, Apple TV, Apple TV, and Apple TV+”:

I just read and enjoyed this:

‪Apple TV is a hardware device. ‪Apple TV is an app on Apple TV that curates content you can buy from Apple and also content you can stream through other installed apps (but not all apps, and there is no way to tell which ones).

Michael Tsai helpfully created a color-coded version, which is still confusing.

Recommended Reading: WoW Classic Brings The Community Back To World Of Warcraft

During WoW Classic’s early demo days I called the game “the hell we asked for.” Compared to modern World of Warcraft, with all of its conveniences and shortcuts, yeah, it is hellish. But it’s also filled with like-minded players willing to band together to see it through. It reminds me of the neighborhoods I lived in growing up in the pre-internet age when I knew my neighbors’ names and everyone was willing to help each other out. It’s an amazing feeling.

Read “WoW Classic Brings The Community Back To World Of Warcraft”

Oh man, sometimes I really miss World of Warcraft. I probably spent 10.000 hours in this game between 2005 and 2010. Easily my favorite game of all times, and a large part of that are the people I played with for many years. Even the new classic servers can’t bring that back.

Recommended Reading: The Place of UX

I just read and enjoyed this:

Debates continue to rage about the role of UX designers, user research, and how far knowledge about the user should permeate the organization. On one extreme, UX is seen as a specialized pocket of knowledge that informs the definition of projects and sets requirements. On the other, UX is something for which the entire organization should somehow feel responsible.

A few concepts can facilitate a deeper discussion by drawing meaningful distinctions.

Read “The Place of UX”

Recommended Reading: I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell

I just read and enjoyed this:

A couple of months ago, I set out to answer the question of whether it’s possible to avoid the tech giants. Over the course of five weeks, I blocked Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple one at a time, to find out how to live in the modern age without each one.

To end my experiment, I’m going to see if I can survive blocking all five at once.

Read “I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell”

Removing Facebook and Microsoft from my life seems doable, but removing Amazon, Apple or Google seems downright impossible.

Recommended Reading: A lengthy ramble through many responses to that FaceTime Attention Correction tweet

I just read and enjoyed this:

The latest beta of iOS 13 came out, and there’s a feature called FaceTime Attention Correction which, on video calls, silently manipulates the image of your face so that you’re looking the other person directly in the eye. Which on first blush to me sounded cool (eye contact is good! Maybe?) but on further thought made me do a weird face.

Read “A lengthy ramble through many responses to that FaceTime Attention Correction tweet”

A good ramble with some interesting links for earlier research on gaze detection that I hadn’t been familiar with.

My gut reaction to the news of FaceTime manipulating video call imagery to redirect the gaze of callers was a feeling of uneasiness. Which is interesting, because I don’t find the idea of a “beauty filter” that removes skin blemishes etc. particularly irritating. Perhaps it’s because we’ve become accustomed to the idea of image manipulation for changing the appearance of a person in advertising and media, whereas the novelty of manipulating the behavior of a person is still troubling (c.f. deep fakes). Whatever the reason, these are useful reminders that digital communication is always mediated (even when it doesn’t feel that way, as in the case of video calling) as Matt Webb points out.