- Thingiverse, the digital library for 3D printable files gets an art bot that remixes existing models and some makers seem fairly pissy about it. Even in supposedly open and freewheeling communities that embrace "making" wholeheartedly (Star Wars tchotchkes and tools for amateur science appear to be accepted in equal measure) there are still ideas of what is unacceptable, to be kept outside the gates.
- How Netflix redesigns their images to maximize the odds you'll keep looking.
Technology as a Threat:
- The latest instance of Big (dumb) Data having racist consequences: algorithmic bias by Amazon lead to Roxbury being the only spot in Boston where you couldn't get same day delivery. The opacity of the privately-owned algorithm means that we can only (sometimes) identify the systemic racism retrospectively by observing the outcomes.
Machines for Moving:
- Containerized shipping turns 60. What started as a dream for an intermodal standard has become the go-to symbol for global trade and logistics as a field: anonymous, opaque and interchangeable, totally agnostic about its contents and set apart from the human labor creating the goods to fill them. It's an amazingly efficient system, and one we are still very much grappling with the consequences of the better part of a century later.
- The Wyss Institute at Harvard has been developing a device that vibrates the soles of your feet to "prime" nerve endings which improves balance and agility, particularly when fatigued. It's a clever bit of engineering - boosting our human capabilities through stimulating underlying sensitivities instead of grafting harder, heavier tech onto or into the body.