This week’s headline quotes Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s VP of eCommerce strategy and business operations, describing a pilot program in which customers will have groceries delivered right to their refrigerator through a partnership with a same-day delivery service and a smart-lock and security system. It’s one of several pilots covered this week – by Facebook, Lyft, Target, drone operator Matternet, and more – that show companies are testing new variations to align with changing user behaviors.
A reminder that we've opened the call for session proposals for our 2018 Symposium on the Future of Libraries, part of the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting, February 9 -13 in Denver. We had over 25 sessions at the 2017 Symposium and look forward to another rich discussion of the near- and long-term trends shaping the future of libraries.
And a quick note from our colleagues at OCLC. Their Americas Regional Council Meeting will take place October 30 - 31 in Baltimore, Maryland, with a focus on artificial intelligence, automation, data anlaytics, and other trends and technologies that point to a "smarter" future for libraries.
You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures. The Center's trend cards are also available to help you talk with colleagues and members of the community, map how trends fit together or how they fit into your community, or spark innovation activities.
And as you scan through these articles, consider dropping me a line to let me know what you're reading this week to help prepare for the future.
Books and Publishing
Fortune “Here’s how you can use Google Search to find ebooks available at your local library”
A new Google Search feature will show ebooks available at local libraries as part of Google's "Knowledge Graph" cards, the boxed-off sections that appear either above or next to the regular list of search results. See also Engadget and Mashable.
Cities and Government
Associated Press “Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking”
The U.S. government notified election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems before last year's presidential election – the notification does not mean that sensitive voter data was manipulated or results were changed. See also Engadget, Mic, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Government Technology “Las Vegas to launch municipal Roku and Apple TV channels”
Las Vegas will stream municipal content – council meetings and other city-produced programming – to its own new Roku and Apple TV channels in an effort to put content that has long appeared on municipal broadcast and cable channels into more popular streaming services.
Demographics and Communities
The Huffington Post “Exclusive: New report offers proof of US hate crime rise in the Trump era”
For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. has experienced consecutive annual increases in crimes targeting people based on their race, religion, sexuality, disability or national origin – data collected by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino shows hate crimes rose about 5% from 2015 to 2016.
Nautilus “Alienation is killing Americans and Japanese”
Kodokushi, the lonely deaths of elderly and socially isolated individuals in Japan, account for 3,700 deaths in Japan each year - and that number has been on the rise since the 1980s as family composition changes and the aged population grows.
The New York Times “Push for gender equality in tech? Some men say it’s gone too far”
As several technology companies contend with high-profile sexual harassment and discrimination scandals, a growing number of men are pushing back against that industry's focus on diversity. See also TechCrunch.
Wired “Switzerland's getting a delivery network for blood-toting drones”
Silicon Valley startup Matternet will test an autonomous drone network over Switzerland, shuttling blood and other medical samples between hospitals and testing facilities.
BuzzFeed “More companies plan to help employees pay their student debt”
Fidelity Investments introduced a program that will let employers make regular payments to their employees’ student loan accounts, similar to how companies pay into 401(k)s or health care savings accounts – student debt relief may soon become a mainstream benefit that employers will have to offer to remain competitive.
The Washington Post “A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech”
A new survey from Brookings Institution senior fellow and University of California at Los Angeles professor John Villasenor reveals that a fifth of undergrads believe it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”
The Guardian “Tech's push to teach coding isn't about kids' success – it's about cutting wages”
As computer science courses for children proliferate – a 2016 Gallup report found that 40% of American schools now offer coding classes – a consideration for how teaching kids to code may not fulfill the economic promise of providing higher-paying technology jobs, but may actually flood a limited market and drive down wages.
The New York Times “Betsy DeVos reverses Obama-era policy on campus sexual assault investigations”
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos removed a key part of government policy on campus sexual assault, saying she was giving colleges more freedom to balance the rights of accused students with the need to crack down on serious misconduct – the move rescinds two sets of Obama administration guidelines that had colleges use the lowest standard of proof in deciding whether a student is responsible for sexual assault. See also The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Daily Dot, Fast Company, Mashable, and Mic.
Engadget “Lyft offers 400 scholarships for online self-driving car course”
Online learning portal Udacity has partnered with Lyft to provide scholarships for the introductory course in a 36-week "nanodegree" course for self-driving car engineering - 400 scholarships are available to US-based students with "varying levels of experience."
Bloomberg “Mark Zuckerberg’s fake news problem isn’t going away”
As Facebook announced its hand over of Russian-linked advertisements and other data to Congress and plans to do more to limit interference in elections in the future, a look at how the platform continues to be involved in a politicized environment even as it tries to create a sense of trust among people. See also Advertising Age and again, ArsTechnica, CNET, The Drum, Engadget, GeekWire, Gizmodo, Mashable and again, Mic, The New York Times and again, ReCode and again and again, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Reuters “Trump dismisses Facebook ads controversy as part of 'Russia hoax’”
U.S. President Donald Trump questioned Facebook’s decision to overhaul how it handles paid political advertisements amid investigations into alleged Russian interference. See also ReCode.
Engadget “Twitter suspended over 935,000 terror-related accounts since 2015”
In its newest Transparency Report, Twitter announced the removal of nearly 300,000 accounts that "actively incite or promote violence associated with internationally recognized terrorist organizations, promote internationally recognized terrorist organizations, and accounts attempting to evade prior enforcement" – 95% of account suspensions were a result of their own tools and algorithms while government requests for removals accounted for less than 1% of resulting suspensions.
Engadget “Facebook will show ads based on the stores you visit in real life”
Facebook introduced new advertiser tools that will allow targeted ads based on users' visits to retailers, provided the user has given the app permission to track them. See also CNET and The Drum.
Journalism and News
MediaShift “How algorithms and human journalists will need to work together”
A look at the balance between algorithm-written news stories, automatically generated from structured machine-readable data, and the continuing role of human journalists who can make judgment calls about what is newsworthy and what requires further investigation.
Huffington Post “London set to lose Uber after officials pull company's license”
The U.K.’s Transport for London declined to renew Uber’s license to operate, paving the way for the company to be forced out of the city at the end of the month – TfL’s notification described Uber as “not fit and proper” and said it “considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility.” See also ArsTechnica, BBC, Consumerist, The Daily Dot, The Drum and again, Fast Company, Gizmodo, The Guardian, Mashable, ReCode, TechCrunch and again, The Verge, and Wired.
Fast Company “Lyft wants to give your grandma a ride”
Lyft will pilot a program with the University of Southern California's Center for Body Computing, funded by the AARP Foundation and United Healthcare, to offer free rides to elderly USC patients to track behavior patterns and learn how to build new products and services to meet their needs.
Retail, Restaurants, and Spaces
TechCrunch “Target rolls out Bluetooth beacon technology in stores to power new indoor maps in its app”
Target will provide an improved indoor mapping tool in its mobile app, allowing shoppers to see their location on a store map and provide an updating route to products on the shelft – Bluetooth and beacon technologies will power the feature.
TechCrunch “Target expands its next-day delivery service, now reaches 70+ million customers”
Target’s next-day delivery service will expand to Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, and the Washington, D.C./Baltimore areas. See also Engadget.
Consumerist “Walmart wants to deliver groceries straight to your fridge while you watch from afar”
Walmart will partner with Deliv, a same day delivery service, and smart-lock maker August Home on a pilot service to let users order online and have Deliv drivers retrieve items and take them to the house where they can use a one-time passcode to open the home’s smart lock and provide the user with a smartphone notification when the delivery is occurring and even watch it all play out in real-time on home security cameras. See also Business Insider, CNET, Engadget, Mashable, and TechCrunch.
TechCrunch “Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app for India that uses Audio QR to transfer money”
Google launched Tez, a free mobile wallet in India that lets users pay for goods securely in physical stores and online and for person-to-person money transfers using Audio QR, which uses ultrasonic sounds to exchange money. See also CNET.
Advertising Age “Airbnb adds restaurant reservations”
Airbnb continues to expand its full-service travel-booking vision with the introduction of restaurant reservations at 650 restaurants across the U.S. See also Engadget, Skift, and The Verge.
Variety “Fox’s ‘Ghosted’ will premiere on Twitter ahead of broadcast debut”
As part of a new partnership between Fox and Twitter, the new comedy series Ghosted will debut on Twitter days before its scheduled linear premiere — Twitter will also be home to a new nightly pre-show for Fox drama Empire and a streaming marathon of returning Fox comedy The Mick. See also The Daily Dot and TechCrunch.
The Atlantic “How the Emmy Awards put Hulu on the map”
The Handmaid’s Tale became the first streaming-TV show to win Best Drama Series – this year, a majority of nominated dramas (three from Netflix, one from Hulu) were streaming shows. See also CNET, Engadget, Mashable and again, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
The Daily Dot “Amazon Alexa glasses are in the works, report suggests”
The Financial Times reports that Amazon is working on a pair of Alexa-enabled smart glasses that will pair with Amazon’s iOS or Android apps or an Amazon Echo product to summon Alexa at any time – the glasses will reportedly not have a camera or screen, but would use an always-on microphone for listening for Alexa queries. See also CNET, Consumerist, Engadget, Gizmodo, PSFK, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Engadget “Amazon's $150 Fire tablet summons Alexa hands-free”
Amazon’s updated Fire HD 10 will feature a hands-free Alexa option built-in, allowing users to access Alexa's skills even if the tablet is across the room. See also Advertising Age, ArsTechnica, Gizmodo, and Mashable.