Read for Later – “We have come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now”

In the U.S. today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In honor of Dr. King, this week’s headline comes from his “I Have a Dream” speech. His inspiration and vision continues to drive so much of our work for the future.

Two quick notes:

You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our future work.

And as you scan through these articles, considering dropping me a line to let me know what you've read this week to help prepare for the future. 

Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines

ReCode “Carnegie Mellon-led non profit received $250 million to create a new robotics institute”
The Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute, a new nonprofit run by Carnegie Mellon University, will receive more than $250 million in funding to research and develop robotic technologies in the area of manufacturing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and industrial robotics.

Cities and Government

NextCity “Majority of U.S. mayors say poverty is their top concern”
The results The 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors find that mayors have shifted from a focus on infrastructure, finance, and housing, to more “people priorities” like poverty and immigration.

Consumerist “Uber trying to make nice with cities by sharing traffic data”
Uber will start giving away some aggregated, public-interest data via a new site, Uber Movement, to help city planners and transit administrators plan with anonymized and aggregated data from about 2 billion trips taken in four major cities—Boston, D.C., Manila, and Sydney. See also CNET, Mashable, and Vocativ.

NextCity “Las Vegas tests driverless buses”
A fully self-driving electric bus trial in Las Vegas ferries dozen passengers and operates at speeds of up to 27 mph. See also Engadget, Fast Company, and TechCrunch.

The Verge “US Department of Transportation sets up new committee to steer automated tech”
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new committee focused on automated tech policy for drones and self-driving vehicles, and featuring government representatives, corporate executives, academics, and city mayors. See also TechCrunch.


The Daily Dot “The new face of Maybelline is a male beauty vlogger”
“I believe makeup is GenderLESS and has no rules!” So says Manny Gutierrez, a beauty vlogger and the new face of Maybelline’s Big Shot mascara.

USA Today “Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life”
An analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles finds that millennials earn 20% less than boomers did at the same life stage – with a median household income of $40,581 despite being better educated.


Quartz “To put their grandkids through college, Americans over 60 now have $67 billion in student debt”
A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds that borrowers over 60 have $66.7 billion in student loan debt – quadruple the debt held by that age category in 2005 – and more than two-thirds of the debt is owed for children or grandchildren.

eCampusNews “Harvard and MIT release new trends report on open online courses”
A joint research team from Harvard University and MIT released a comprehensive report on learner engagement and behavior in 290 massive open online courses (MOOCs) on edX, the non-profit learning platform co-founded by the two institutions – among the findings, cumulative unique and overall participation has grown steadily over four years, participants are heterogeneous in background and intention, and participants’ enrollment patterns reveal networks among courses and curricular areas.

District Administration “Workbench to provide Maryland public libraries with Its virtual maker space”
Edtech company Workbench will partner with Maryland’s public libraries on an online maker space with access to activities and lessons and online discussion and collaboration spaces.

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Lawmakers in 2 states propose bills to cut tenure”
Republican lawmakers in Iowa and Missouri have proposed bills that would eliminate tenure at public colleges and universities, part of the lawmakers’ efforts to improve accountability and strengthen the power of the Board of Regents.

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Despite risk of backlash, Texas politicians advance a ‘Bathroom Bill’ like North Carolina’s”
Texas’ lieutenant governor has prioritized a "Texas Privacy Act" or "Texas Bathroom Bill" for this year’s state legislative agenda, a response to federal guidelines that would require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. See also The Guardian.

The Internet

Business Insider “Facebook has a mysterious team working on tech that sounds a lot like mind reading”
Facebook posted three interesting job postings – a "brain-computer interface engineer," a "haptics engineer" to "develop software and hardware to create realistic and immersive haptics experiences," and a "neural imaging engineer" for "a project focused on developing novel non-invasive neuroimaging technologies." See also Mashable.

ArsTechnica “Uber has been built directly into Google Maps”
A new update for Google Maps will integrate direct booking for ride sharing services, allowing users to search, browse, request, and pay for an Uber directly from Google Maps, even without the Uber app installed. See also The Verge.

TechCrunch “Facebook is censoring posts in Thailand that the government has deemed unsuitable”
Facebook has blocked some content critical of Thailand’s royal family following an apparent request from the government, with posted content from users not available in Thailand but viewable outside of the country. See also The Drum.

The Daily Dot “JetBlue solidifies its position as the airline with the best Wi-Fi offering”
JetBlue will expands it Fly-Fi free, high-speed Wi-Fi to all of its aircrafts, offering speeds of around 15 megabits per second that are fast enough to surf the web, chat on messenger apps, and even stream HD content from Netflix or Amazon. See also Consumerist and Engadget.


The New York Times “As Trump berates news media, a new strategy is needed to cover him”
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s first news conference since the election included his calling BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage” and dismissing CNN as “fake news,” leaving many journalists considering how they might cover a seemingly unprecedented president. See also Columbia Journalism Review, Mashable and again, Poynter, The Verge, and Wired.

The New York Times “Was BuzzFeed right to publish accusations against Donald Trump?”
BuzzFeed’s decision to publish a dossier of unverified allegations about Donald Trump's supposed entanglements with Russia has raised media ethics concerns, with some arguing that BuzzFeed balanced competing principles and came to a conclusion that fits the subject matter, the broader context, and the publication's own mission and appetite for risk, and others arguing that it may have compromised information on the President-elect and made it more difficult to report verified truths in a politicized climate. See also The Columbia Journalism Review, The Guardian, Poynter and again, and again, and again, and ReCode.

Esquire “Exclusive: The Trump administration may evict the press from the White House”
A plan to evict the press corps from the White House could be under serious consideration by the incoming Trump Administration according to senior officials on the transition team, raising concern for the press' future as a representative of the American people in close proximity to the President. See also The New York Times.

The Drum “BBC establishes dedicated team to debunk fake Facebook & Twitter stories”
The BBC will establish a permanent Reality Check team to debunk fake news leveraging a group of fact checkers to research outlandish stories and offer their own verdicts for readers to make an informed judgment.

Vocativ “Facebook wants to help journalists ‘improve’ their work”
Facebook’s new Journalism Project seeks to support “quality journalism, improve news literacy and provide reporters and editors with tools and training to help them tell better stories” and help make the News Feed a “healthy news ecosystem.” See also The Daily Dot, The Drum, Engadget, ReCode, and TechCrunch.

Streaming Media

The Wall Street Journal “Apple sets its sights on Hollywood with plans for original content”
Apple is reportedly planning to build a new business in original television shows and movies, courting veteran producers for scripted programming that could be available as part of a subscription service. See also CNET, Engadget, Geekwire, Mashable, and TechCrunch.

The Verge “Amazon is launching its own $5-a-month anime streaming service”
Amazon’s new on-demand video service Anime Strike targets the anime niche with more than 1,000 anime titles aimed at older viewers. See also Engadget and TechCrunch.

The Daily Dot “Twitter to livestream PBS coverage of Trump inauguration”
Twitter will partner with PBS NewsHour to broadcast six hours (11am to 5pm ET) of the inauguration. See also CNET.

The Drum “Facebook under mounting pressure to crack down on Live content as it fails to prevent the resurfacing of banned torture video”
A live broadcast featuring the torture of a young man with disabilities has led to mounting pressure on Facebook to implement stricter measures on its Live video product – the initial video was viewed by 16,000 people before being removed, only to be copied and shared on YouTube and republished to numerous other sites.

Retail, Restaurants, and Spaces

Bloomberg “Barnes & Noble holiday sales sink as coloring-book fad fades”
Barnes & Noble posted its first decline in holiday sales in three years, hurt by a downturn in the coloring-book and other art supplies categories.

Geekwire “Amazon falls behind Disney, but beats Netflix, in study ranking millennials’ intimacy with brands”
A new report from brand research agency MBLM finds that millennials have an emotional attachment Amazon, second only to Disney. See also Advertising Week.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Engadget “Google Tango AR takes you inside a mummy's sarcophagus”
The Detroit Institute of Arts will use Google’s Tango augmented reality technology to let users look "inside" a sarcophagus and view other overlays and visualizations, along with games and quizzes. See also CNET and The Verge.

Geekwire “Take a 360-degree tour of the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama”
Outgoing President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama narrate a 360-degree video, titled “The People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama” launched on Facebook and as an Oculus Video for Rift and the Samsung Gear VR. See also CNET, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Fast Company, Mashable, ReCode, TechCrunch, and The Verge.