Attention Simpsons fans: Universal Orlando is adding the entire town of Springfield to its theme park.
A haiku from the article: How Tracy Mack-Askew, Chevrolet Vehicle Line Manager, Does It
This is the story of my life.
Teens Care About Online Privacy—Just Not the Same Way You Do
Teens care about privacy in a social context, not a big data context. That teens are fleeing Facebook is illustrative of the phenomenon: Pew found in focus group discussions that teens showed irritation for the increasing adult presence, excessive sharing, and stressful “drama” of the massive social network. Said one respondent: “I have two [Facebook accounts]: one for my family, one for my friends.”
The Pew data suggest that teens care less about data privacy and more about more socially oriented forms of privacy, those designed to protect the integrity of a community. Pew found that teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-party access to their data; just nine percent say they are “very” concerned. Let’s think about the data issues that the average non-teen or adult faces: concerns over whether personal information is used without our consent (i.e. your face showing up in a Facebook banner advertisement), financial damage (namely fraud through any number of third-party services), losing one’s personal data through hacking, or reputation management. For a teenager who is financially (and likely technologically) dependent on their family, issues like whether their personal data is used in Facebook ads (find me a 16-year-old who is interested in banner ads and didn’t just sell their start-up to Yahoo!) and the looming threat of hackers are secondary concerns to the social life in which school and friends are inexorably tied up with. In fact, it’s mainly parents who care about what data their kids share: 81 percent of parents surveyed by Pew say they are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about how much information advertisers can learn about their children’s behavior online.
This should seem obvious. What else could be more natural for a teenager—that openness is valued, but only in a strictly contained ecosystem, and a lack of data privacy is regarded as inconsequential?
Read more at Pacific Standard
New from me at Pacific Standard.
More than 800 people have paid as much as $200,000 apiece to reserve seats on commercial flights into space, some of which are expected to launch, at long last, within a year. Space-travel agents are being trained; space suits are being designed for sex appeal as much as for utility; the founder of the Budget hotel chain is developing pods for short- and long-term stays in Earth’s orbit and beyond. Over beers one night, a former high-ranking NASA official, now employed by Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin transportation conglomerate, put it plainly: ‘We happen to be alive at the moment when humanity starts leaving the planet.’ — The Era of Private Space Travel is Just Beginning | NY Magazine (via kateoplis)
Relationships with (and around) Google Glass -
We’ll have coffee shops full of people twitching in little kinetic patterns. Maybe the gestures will gain a rhythm, it’ll be a little bit like dancing with our hands. But we’ll probably still take the glasses off when our friend joins our table.
The very best thing I learned this year at SXSW is that people in the Valley have coined a term for the weird, half-conscious expression that Google Glass wearers get on their faces when they are concentrating on doing things with the tiny little screen inside their glasses. They call it “glassed out,” which you would use in a sentence like: “Barry.” “Barry.” “BARRY!!!” Oh, nvm, he’s glassed out, that explains it, ok.” I love it. I love how it sounds so cyberpunky, so disturbingly druggy, almost like something out of Strange Days. We also discussed whether or not “glass-eye” would become a common stress injury, not unlike BlackBerry thumb, to describe people who had gone a little soft or cross-eyed from only using one eye to flick-navigate through the Glass interface. I get that Glass changes how we think about mobile computing, and that is cool, but I’m starting to care a lot more about how it changes our perception of what is means to be online and what it means to be offline. Present and not present. How those very private interfaces will still be very, very public and present in interactions. How the machinery disappears for the wearer but remains totally visible and intrusive to the rest of us. How we’ll wonder whether or not you’re secretly reading Twitter while sitting in class. At work. Talking to us on a date. Future starts now.
Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life
“Scientists have discovered water that has been trapped in rock for more than a billion years. The water might contain microbes that evolved independently from the surface world, and it’s a finding that gives new hope to the search for life on other planets.”
The above map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago. Read more.
Your Addiction to Dots May Be Helping Your Brain (Sort of)
I have an addiction. It’s not to drugs or alcohol, jumping out of airplanes, or even sex. My addiction is to a grid of 36 dots—and to making them disappear as quickly as possible.
If you own an iPhone or have a friend who does, you’ve probably heard some version of this admission before. The grid is Dots, a super-addictive iOS game released by New York tech incubator Betaworks just over two weeks ago.
Casual games like Dots—video games that are quick to access, easy to learn, and require no special game skills (a category that includes many other smartphone games, like Bejeweled and Peggle)—were subject to a study on gaming and cognitive ability conducted by East Carolina University’s (ECU) Psychophysiology Lab in 2010. The study, conducted with dozens of U.S. consumers, was designed to explore the effects of casual games on subjects’ short-term cognitive acuity, including cognitive response time (how quickly a subject completes a task) and executive function (how often a subject completes a task correctly). Subjects who played Bejeweled and similar games for 30-minute periods showed an 87 percent improvement in cognitive response time and a 215 percent increase in executive functioning when compared to a control group.
Read more at Pacific Standard
My first item for Pacific Standard.