How Were You Using the Internet in 1999? Remembering AOL CDs

When I saw this article on Gizmodo, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I’m sure there were more AOL CDs printed than any top seller music album in history.  The funniest thing to me is how many people I’ve had to tell – and somewhat recently I might add – that AOL email addresses are free.  As far as I can tell, they never informed their long time loyal users that they could keep their email address and account for free, and still charge their credit cards monthly.  Though I will qualify that and say it is heresay – I only know what people told me and I don’t know for sure.  Interesting article about Internet nostalgia regardless.

“One thousand hours free for 45 days! This, of course, started us all down a road of weird nostalgia, recalling how we used (or misused) the World Wide Web back in the twilight of the 90s. What were you doing on The Internet back then?”

via How Were You Using the Internet in 1999?.

The common elements of good storytelling

What makes a good story? Simple. Emotional. Truthful. Real. Valid. This article from TNW expands, and I think anyone will agree.  “Storytelling is as old as any culture, but probably better preserved as a practice with First-Nations than European culture. It was the primary way of passing along information, long before the written word even existed.”

via The common elements of good storytelling – The Next Web.

Staying Home, Connected to the World

Interesting article from the NYT, discussing the pros and cons of the ways we are now connected to everything with our phones.  The author describes a day in which he does everything, and pays for everything, via his smartphone.  How does that effect chance encounters, small businessmen, opportunities that arise from the people we see every day?  “But in the end, Mr. Gleick said, the pros of our technology-driven lives outweigh the cons. “For every dry cleaner who you’re now cutting yourself off from, you’re potentially capable of being in touch with thousands of people who are physically far away,” he told me.”

via Staying Home, Connected to the World – NYTimes.com.

Delivery dreams: How I’d build a better Amazon Prime

I always thought Amazon Prime was a fantastic deal, so wasn’t surprised when they announced the new price increase (after so many years.)  The author of this article lives in a place where there are options, but unless you live live in one of the areas she mentions these interesting options really aren’t available.  They could be in the not-to-distant future though.  “The Amazon Prime price hike has me thinking about what I’d really like to see from the service. Think streaming sports, personal shoppers and never having to go to the post office again.”

via Delivery dreams: How I’d build a better Amazon Prime — Tech News and Analysis.

With Medium, Evan Williams Is Tackling the Future of Writing Online

I like Medium, another Ev WIlliams (Twitter, Blogger) startup.  Do we like longer-form posts when reading online?  Often when we are writing content to be posted, we try to be short and succinct.  Medium content is somewhere in between long and blog-post short.  Critics say it is hard to filter quality from noise – but the quality tends to rise to the top.  “Mr. Williams is also still trying to decide how to describe his venture. Medium is for short posts and long ones, by amateur writers and professional ones. It emphasizes a clean design and relies on a network of writers and readers to edit and discover new posts.”   It is well done.

via With Medium, Evan Williams Is Tackling the Future of Writing Online – NYTimes.com.

People Love Their Tablets. That’s Bad News for Apple

Interesting – seems the upgrade cycle for tablets is similar to computers or laptops, not iPhones.  That’s the conclusion I had after this article from Wired.   “Apple sold more than 70 million iPads last year. People love them. But they might love them a little too much for Apple’s taste, if new predictions of shrinking growth in the tablet market turn out to be true. Tablets are so good, it seems, that people are keeping the ones they have and not buying as many new ones.”

via People Love Their Tablets. That’s Bad News for Apple | Wired Business | Wired.com.

What are New York and San Francisco Tweeting About?

Evidently people tend to complain about the same things via Twitter if they are from the same city.  “New Yorkers are always complaining about the weather, while San Franciscans tend to moan about the city’s perpetually poor MUNI bus service. That’s not just a stereotype — it turns out there’s hard, Twitter-based evidence for it.”

via What are New York and San Francisco Tweeting About?.

MIT Technology Review’s List of 50 Smartest Companies for 2014

This is an annual list of MIT Tech Review Smartest Companies.  Not the ones we see frequently, but companies that have the potential for changing lives in  big way.  “We didn’t count patents or PhDs; instead, we asked whether a company had made strides in the past year that will define its field. The biggest of these strides happened at Illumina, which is driving down the price of DNA sequencing to levels that will change the practice of medicine. We also found dramatic developments on the Web, in batteries, and even in agricultural technologies.

Familiar names such as Apple and Facebook aren’t on this list because reputation doesn’t matter. We’re highlighting where important innovations are happening right now.”

via MIT Technology Review’s List of 50 Smartest Companies for 2014 | MIT Technology Review.