How Google’s Autocomplete Was … Created / Invented / Born


Megan Garber says it for the Atlantic and it’s true: few things merge philosophy and technology as elegantly as autocomplete. 

Solarist, a startup which produces cheap, portable desalination machines that rely on solar power. Companies like Solarist, which use the region’s environmental challenges to solve worldwide problems, could truly have a global impact.

Natalie Robehmed giving an overview of the startup environment in the Middle East. 

With a band whose catalog is as evolutionary and nuanced as The Beatles’s, how can computers truly understand the artist and recommend relevant music to fans? After all, not everybody who loves A Hard Day’s Night necessarily has a soft spot for the weirdest moments on The White Album. For humans, detecting the difference is easy. For machines, it’s not so simple.

Google is trying to solve interesting problems. 

Imagine a city where you don’t drive in loops looking for a parking spot because your car drops you off and scoots off to some location to wait, sort of like taxi holding pens at airports. Or maybe it is picked up by a robotic minder and carted off with other vehicles, like a row of shopping carts.

I’m first in line. Driverless cars will indeed mean a lot for the cities of the future. 

Why there will never be a dislike button on Facebook

What if Facebook never implements a dislike button? This feature has been requested for a very, very long time by users. They want a way to express scorn and contempt, a way to dislike what their friends are doing on Facebook, and it is understandable. 

But Facebook is smarter than that.

They want the Like button to become the approval stamp of the digital world. Use it to say you liked something, to say that you recommend this movie or book or to say that you are happy Johnny’s getting married. 

Recently, Facebook implemented a Like button as a default way to reply on the Messenger app. You receive a message and on Messenger, you can acknowledge the reading of the message by pushing the default Like button that appears where the Send button is, when you haven’t inputted any text. 

To conclude a conversation, it’s better to “like” rather than to say ok, or not reply or worse, hesitate infinitely between the two. 

Now, the Like button is positively associated with Facebook, and they want to condition us to think that liking things and Facebook are the same. If they unveil a dislike button, the strength of this conditioning would be dramatically diminished. 

We could go to Facebook and express our anger or hate, and thus Facebook will be associated with anger or hate. They don’t want that, and funnily enough, I don’t think you want that. 

Think about it, and tell me what you think (on Twitter or something). 

Behind the scenes of The Wire

Behind the scenes of The Wire

Behind the scenes of The Wire

Apparently, these guys lived a life similar to their characters’. Interesting article. 

In Baltimore, Peters’ house became a kind of groovy bohemian salon for an older set of cast and crew members that included Doman, Jim True-Frost (who played Roland Pryzbylewski), and others. Several ended up renting rooms in the house. Peters, a strict vegetarian, would cook elaborate group meals. There was a piano and impromptu jam sessions fueled by red wine and pot smoke. For those seized by the after-hours impulse to watercolor, there were canvases on easels set up in the basement. Among its habitués, the house was called “the Academy.”

Meanwhile, a rowdier scene existed among the younger cast members—untethered, far from home, and often in need of blowing off steam. This social group was centered on the Block, the stretch of downtown East Baltimore Street populated by a cluster of side-by-side strip clubs (and, in semi-peaceful détente across the street, BPD’s downtown headquarters). The cast of The Wire became legendary visitors to the Block, with a core group including West, Gilliam, Lombardozzi, Pierce, Andre Royo (Bubbles), J.D. Williams (Bodie), and Sonja Sohn (Kima)—holding her own among the boys in one of many on- and off-screen parallels.