History is rarely this tidy. Exactly one hundred years after Kaiser Wilhelm gave Austria his famous ‘blank check’ in 1914, Mario Götze kicks the decisive goal to win the 2014 World Cup for Germany. The media on both sides of the Atlantic respond: a century of tarnished national identity, absolved in an instant! Or is it even moreContinue reading “Shhhh! It’s OK to be German (Again).”
By combining search and browsing history with geographic and other spatial information, mobile devices have greatly accelerated the ability of our favorite applications and websites to predict, suggest, and refine responses to a query–or respond even when no overt query has been made. In other words, context itself has become the new query.
The best generalist museum in the Bay Area is not, in fact, in San Francisco, but on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland. Not surprising, when you consider that Oakland, in a way of thinking, is the true center of the region.
Perhaps the last two trends we’d ever imagine converging are the decades-long path to individual self-expression via technology with the rise of mass surveillance via the national security state. But, on this auspicious fifth of November, we do well to remember how all this came to be.
Google’s somewhat muted announcement of a major upgrade to its search algorithm, named “Hummingbird,” is a much bigger deal than it looks, and much more of a milestone in our relationship to computing than we might think. So what’s going on here?