Read for Later - “There’s no reason everyone can’t be a college student and engaged in what this community has to offer for the entirety of their lives”

This week’s headline quotes Arizona State University president Michael Crow at a groundbreaking ceremony for ASU Mirabella, a new retirement housing complex under construction at the university that will allow residents to take classes, make use of campus facilities, and mentor and build relationships with younger students (Inside Higher Ed “High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University”).

You can always check out the Center's trend collection – including our newest entry on Micro-Mobility – to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures.

What new information has sparked your interest? Drop me a line to let me know what you're reading or discovering that helps you consider the future of libraries. 

Five Highlights

The Christian Science Monitor “Mexico tells early learners: You need to play more.”
Mexico is piloting a program to emphasize the benefits of unstructured playtime as a tool to reinforce and advance early childhood education and development.

Inside Higher Ed “High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University”
ASU Mirabella, a new housing complex under construction at Arizona State University, will be a retirement community that allows residents to take classes, make use of campus facilities such as the library with university-issued ID cards, and mentor and build relationships with younger students.

The New York Times “Ocean warming is accelerating faster than thought, new research finds”
A new scientific analysis, published in Science, finds that Earth's oceans are heating up 40% faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago – the effects could include rainier and more powerful storms, coastal flooding, and increasing stress on coral reefs, whose fish populations are sources of food for hundreds of millions of people.

Motherboard “I gave a bounty hunter $300. Then he located our phone” and “Senators call on FCC to investigate T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint selling location data to bounty hunters”
A look at how one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters - and how this spying capability is also being resold on the black market to others who are not authorized to possess it. Following the article, several U.S. senators and a commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have urged government bodies to investigate, with some calling for regulation that would ensure customers are properly made aware of how their data is being sold.

The Economist “The escape-room games industry is booming”
Escape rooms have grown in popularity from just 22 escape-room venues open in America in 2014 to over 2,300 in 2018.

Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines

ArsTechnica “Walmart trials new self-driving delivery service in Arizona”
Walmart announced another pilot project involving self-driving technology, this time with Udelv, to deploy full-sized trucks and vans to make deliveries to several customers in a single trip.

Fast Company “Microsoft and Kroger want to show you Minority Report-style ads”
Microsoft and Kroger announced a partnership to build two high-tech grocery stores to showcase ways in which Microsoft’s cloud and AI products can be used in retail – new features will include digital shelving displays with real-time pricing displays and personalized product information.

Cities and Government

CNET “Government shutdown delays launch of new tech products”
The U.S. government shutdown could have negative effects on new technology products, connected devices, and the rollout of the next generation of 5G wireless networks – federal agencies, like the Federal Communications Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, must certify some consumer electronics devices as safe before they are introduced to consumers. See also Nature “Scientists despair as US government shutdown drags on.” and The Chronicle of Higher Education “The government shutdown is reaching historic territory. Here’s what that means for Higher Ed.”


The Atlantic “Millions of college students are going hungry”
A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights the severity of food insecurity among college students, with potentially millions of students at risk of being food insecure.


The New York Times “Twitter users in China face detention and threats in new Beijing crackdown”
Chinese police, in a sharp escalation of the country’s online censorship efforts, are questioning and detaining a growing number of Twitter users even though the social media platform is blocked in China and the vast majority of people in the country cannot see it.

The Verdict “End-to-end encryption ‘likely to become standard’ on social media as Snapchat becomes latest supporter”
Snapchat is the latest social media messaging platform to add end-to-end encryption, with the feature looking increasingly likely to become standard across the industry, despite law enforcement concerns.

Restaurants, Retail, and Spaces

TechCrunch “Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart”
Tech start-up Caper Labs already makes a shopping cart with a built-in barcode scanner and credit card swiper, but is now in the process of finalizing technology to automatically scan items customers drop in a cart using three image recognition cameras and a weight sensor – the technology could help expand the “cashier-less” retail experience beyond Amazon Go stores.

Streaming Media

The Verge “Hulu hits 25 million subscribers as it expands its content library”
Hulu now has more than 25 million subscribers, a nearly 50% increase over last year, as the streaming service expands its content library with exclusive offerings on licensed series like ER, Lost, Bob’s Burgers, and 30 Rock – rival service Netflix has approximately 58 million subscribers in the US, with an additional 70-plus million in international markets.

Voice Control

Engadget “Google Assistant will soon be listening on one billion devices”
Google expects its Google Assistant to be on one billion devices (Android phones, iPhones, TVs, headphones, watches, smart speakers and smart displays) by the end of January.

The Verge “The New York Times wants to use Amazon’s Alexa to reach new listeners”
The New York Times launched several new audio products designed for Alexa-enabled devices, including a daily news briefing, weekly quiz, and audio content tied to coverage in its Sunday print edition.