This week’s headline comes from The New York Times’s new “Journalism That Stands Apart” report – and it’s a refrain that ALA Past President Sari Feldman told me has been in her mind since she saw a short article about the report just a few weeks ago. Across industries, experts are looking at the changes in their world and recognizing the need to adapt their work, even while staying true to their guiding principles.
A quick note about this week’s coverage – it’s long. I took last week off for the ALA Midwinter Meeting and so I apologize for bundling two weeks into one post. As some of you may know, we hosted a Symposium on the Future of Libraries at Midwinter with some great library leaders and outside experts. You can catch up on some of American Libraries’ coverage including summaries of events from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and deeper dives into sessions on Civic Innovation, Education Innovation, virtual reality, public library trustees as collaborators for the future, and diverse library collections.
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
GeekWire “Apple, ACLU join partnership to research artificial intelligence, create best practices”
The Partnership on AI, initially made up of tech leaders Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and IBM, announced that Apple had joined as a founding member, aiding the effort to publish research on the ethics, transparency, and reliability of AI. See also TechCrunch and The Verge.
TechCrunch "Pepper the robot gets a gig at the Oakland airport"
Softbank’s friendly humanoid robot Pepper will take up residence at a restaurant in Terminal 2 of the Oakland Airport, helping to attract people into the restaurant, offering up food and drink recommendations, and recommending other dining locations throughout the airport.
Books and Publishing
The Telegraph “Amazon launches £20,000 prize for self-published ebooks”
Amazon UK will launch the Kindle Storyteller Prize awarding £20,000 for self-published e-books available through the Kindle Direct Publishing platform.
Poynter "Podcasts are still booming, but problems with diversity and advertising loom"
A Knight Foundation report finds that podcasting remains a growing industry even as it faces problems of diversity, with only a few of the top-100 iTunes podcasts designed to amplify diverse voices, and advertising, as advertisers’ dollars may be stretched across a growing number of podcasts.
The Verge "Apple and Amazon end decade-long audiobook exclusivity deal"
Apple and Amazon have agreed to end an exclusivity agreement that made Audible the only seller of audiobooks inside of iTunes following complaints from German publishers and investigations by European antitrust regulators who were concerned that the agreement was stifling competition and raising prices. See also Engadget.
Cities and Government
Vocativ “Protesters gather at JFK in support of detained refugees”
Protests were staged at airports across the United States in response to an Executive Order aimed at reviewing and tightening the procedures for allowing refugees into the United States– the order also sparked legal challenges to block the president’s actions. See also Mashableand The Verge and again.
CNET “Tech calls Trump immigration ban 'bigotry' and 'un-American'”
Tech industry leaders took little time to publish notices criticizing the immigration Executive Order, noting how limiting immigration hurts employees and innovation, and warning employees of its potential broad and dramatic impacts. See also Bloomberg, Engadget, Fast Company, GeekWire and again, Mashable, ReCode, TechCrunch and The Verge.
More detailed coverage of responses from:
- Apple - CNET, ReCode, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
- Facebook - CNET, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Mashable, ReCode, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
- Google - CNET, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Mashable, TechCrunch, The Verge, and The Wall Street Journal.
- Microsoft - GeekWire, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
- Netflix - The Verge.
Popular Science "What we actually lose when the USDA and EPA can’t talk to the public"
The Trump administration mandated that studies and data – existing and new – from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public and that the agency and the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service was barred from communicating with the public, including press releases, blogs, messages, or social media postings. See also Engadget andagain and again, GeekWire, Gizmodo, The Hill, The New York Times, Scientific American, The Verge and again, and Vocativ.
Reuters “Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website: sources”
The Trump administration reportedly instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, containing links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions. See also CNET.
The Hill "Trump team prepares dramatic cuts"
The Trump administration is reportedly planning major reductions to the departments of Commerce and Energy, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies; significant cuts to the departments of Transportation, Justice, and State; the privatization of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and the possible elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. See also The Daily Dot, Education Dive, and Inside Higher Ed.
Vox "The Women's Marches may have been the largest demonstration in US history"
According to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, Women’s Marches held in more than 500 U.S. cities were attended by at least 3.3 million people, making for what could be the “single largest day for a demonstration in the U.S.”
Scientific American “Scientists are planning the next big Washington march”
A group of researchers have proposed a March for Science, gaining more than 300,000 Facebook supporters and 55,000 Twitter followers, demonstrating their alarm over efforts to deny scientific progress and advocating for the value of science and evidence-based policymaking. See also Engadget, Gizmodo, Mashable, and The Verge.
Next City "Miami-Dade mayor doesn’t want to get into it with Trump over $52,000"
Miami became the first major U.S. city to say it would change its practices regarding immigrants who are in the country illegally following President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut federal grants for any cities or counties that don’t fully cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Inc. "Apple, Samsung, IBM and more will protest Texas 'Bathroom Bill'"
Apple, Samsung, IBM, and a number of other tech companies will issue a letter urging Texas lawmakers not to follow through with Senate Bill 6, the "bathroom bill" that is seen by critics as discriminatory toward transgender people.
The Daily Dot “The White House switchboard is no longer taking your messages to the president”
The Obama administration first shut down the comments office in the last few days of his presidency, but it appears that the public switchboard no longer accepts public phone calls with messages for the president, instead directing users to send a message throughWhitehouse.gov or on Facebook. See also Mashable.
The New York Times "Peak millennial? Cities can’t assume a continued boost from the young"
Demographers, economists, and real estate experts are starting to contemplate what urban cores will look like as the millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s or early 2000s, crests and matures into their 20s and more traditionally suburban child-raising years.
The Daily Dot "More people are identifying as LGBTQ than ever before"
A new Gallup poll finds that more American are openly identifying as LGBTQ than in past decades, with numbers up across races, genders, and ages, and especially among Millennials where those between the ages of 19 to 37 comprise 58% of all adults who identify as LGBTQ. See also New York Magazine.
The Daily Dot "These are the states most at risk for anti-LGBTQ policies in 2017"
The Human Rights Campaign's “Preview 2017” warns of anti-LGBTQ legislation in 16 states, with 40 bills total introduced – and more expected to come – as legislatures seek "license to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religion; measures specifically targeting transgender people; and proposals to eliminate local LGBTQ non-discrimination protections."
The Guardian "Sesame Street's Count von Count and the lack of foreign voices on children's TV"
It’s rare to hear a character in any English-language children’s show speak in an accent that isn’t that of a native-born British or American person – a study of 53 episodes of television shows aired between 2004 and 2005 that were popular among American children age six to 11 found that just 21 of 282 characters were foreign and were found to be “more bad, aggressive and uncultured than non-foreign characters.”
Inc. “Amazon just announced its plan to train and hire 25,000 veterans for tech jobs at the company”
Amazon will partner with the U.S. Department of Labor to start an apprenticeship program that will provide paid, on-the-job training for tech careers at the company and will train 10,000 more veterans in cloud computing skills as part of the Joining Forces Initiative, championed by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden – over 200 other employers, colleges, and labor organizations have signed on to the U.S. Department of Labor's ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERs program. See also The Drum, Engadget, Mashable, and TechCrunch.
The Daily Dot "LGBTQ-owned businesses add $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy"
A recent report from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) finds that all estimated LGBTQ-owned businesses in the U.S. could account for $1.7 trillion of the U.S. economy in 2015 – if only the NGLCC-certified LGBTQ businesses are factored, it is still an impressive $1.15 billion for the year.
The Hechinger Report "Not all towns are created equal, digitally"
An eye-opening look at the challenges poor school districts, especially in modernizing agricultural communities, face in preparing students with limited tech skills for a global economy that is becoming increasingly digitized.
Associated Press "Rhode Island governor looks to pioneer free tuition for all"
Following an announced plan by New York’s governor, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo will push to provide in-state residents with two years of free tuition at public colleges.
Inside Higher Ed "Balancing response and treatment"
A new report from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health finds that over the last six years, counseling centers have provided 28% more “rapid-access” service hours per student, but devoted 7.6% fewer hours to routine services like ongoing counseling.
Mashable "Mark Zuckerberg's charity just bought a search engine for research papers"
The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative is buying the artificial intelligence startup Meta, which scans and indexes research papers in a way that makes them easier for scientists to find – the charity plans to build on Meta's existing product and may eventually offer the search engine for free.
The Drum "GM and Girls Who Code partnership fosters female engineering talent"
General Motors (GM) will provide $250,000 to Girls Who Code, a nationwide after-school program, in a bid to foster a new generation of female engineering talent through free after-school programs in schools, universities and community centers.
Scientific American "2016 was the hottest year on record"
Scientists from the National Centers for Environmental Information have confirmed that 2016 was the hottest year in 137 years of record keeping and the third year in a row to take the number one slot. See also CNET.
Scientific American “CDC’s canceled climate change summit raises self-censorship concerns”
A long-planned 2017 climate change summit, slated to be held at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was abruptly canceled without explanation a week before President Trump’s inauguration, raising fears that political worries influenced the decision – the conference will now be hosted by former Vice President Al Gore at the nonprofit Carter Center in Atlanta. See also ArsTechnica, The Daily Dot, and The Verge and again.
Wired “Trump’s FCC pick doesn’t bode well for net neutrality”
President Trump named Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission’s senior Republican member, to head the regulatory agency – an appointment that does not require congressional approval since Pai is already an FCC commissioner and will likely set a very different agenda for the agency, favoring a more hands-off role for the FCC and likely opposing net neutrality regulations, broadband privacy protections, and cable box reforms. See also Advertising Age, ArsTechnica, CNET, Consumerist, The Daily Dot, Engadget,GeekWire, Gizmodo, Mashable, MIT Technology Review, ReCode, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
Engadget “Facebook no longer personalizes trending news topics”
Facebook will adjust its News Feed to have all users in a given region see the same topics, shifting away from basing trends around activity for a specific article to instead look at how many articles are discussing the same subject, and allowing users to encounter a "broader range" of news than was seen before. See also CNET, The Drum, Mashable, ReCode,TechCrunch, and The Verge.
ArsTechnica "Virginia “Broadband Deployment Act” would kill municipal broadband deployment"
Virginia lawmakers are considering a "Virginia Broadband Deployment Act" that would make it more difficult for municipalities to offer Internet service – a locality wouldn't be allowed to offer Internet service if an existing network already provides 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds to 90% of potential customers and would have to pay for a "comprehensive broadband assessment," and then issue a request for proposals giving for-profit ISPs six months to submit a plan for broadband deployment. See also ArsTechnica and Engadget.
Mashable "Middle-aged Americans beat millennials in time spent on social media"
A recent report from Nielsen finds that Generation X spends the most time on social media pages – 35- to 49-year-olds averaged six hours and 58 minutes per week; millennials, those aged 18 to 34, spent 39 fewer minutes per week; and people 50 and over spend just four hours a week.
ReCode “Twitter is replacing the Moments tab with a new Explore tab instead”
In an attempt to make search and discovery easier, Twitter is consolidating several features into a new Explore feature, which will bring together Moments, search, trending hashtags, and featured live videos. See also The Drum and TechCrunch.
Journalism and News
Nieman Lab “This is The New York Times’ digital path forward”
The New York Times’ Journalism That Stands Apart: The Report of the 2020 Group outlines the newspapers strategy for digital growth, coverage for the new Trump administration, and other key issues for the future of the publication and news generally. See also Digiday, The Drum, and Poynter.
The New York Times “Trump strategist Stephen Bannon says media should ‘keep its mouth shut’”
Chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon escalated tensions between the Trump administration and the press by describing news organizations as “humiliated” by the election outcome “the opposition party” of the current administration. See also The Drum and Poynter.
The Verge “President Trump is adding ‘Skype seats’ to his White House press room”
Four Skype systems will be added to the briefing room next to the usual White House press corps, seeking to open up the briefing to journalists living beyond 50 miles of the Washington, DC area as well as organizations that don’t currently have a day pass. See also TechCrunch.
The New York Times “Felony charges for journalists arrested at inauguration protests raise fears for press freedom”
At least six journalists were charged with felony rioting after they were arrested while covering protests near President Trump’s inauguration parade, raising the concerns of freedom of press advocates including Pen America and the Committee to Protect Journalists. See also The Drum and The Guardian.
Pew Research Center "Trump, Clinton voters divided in their main source for election news"
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that four-in-ten Americans who say they voted for Trump in the general election relied heavily on Fox News as their main source of election news, whereas Clinton voters named an array of different sources, with no one source named by more than one-in-five of her supporters – the findings are consistent with past research revealing that those on the right and left have significantly different media diets.
Wired "Fake think tanks fuel fake news—and the President’s tweets"
A longstanding network of questionable “think tanks,” formed around politicized issues like climate and GLBT rights, raise disinformation through so-called research and studies that promote sensational quotes and flashy stats that become “evidence” driving viral, fact-free stories.
Vanity Fair “Fake news is about to get even scarier than you ever dreamed”
New audio and video technologies being developed and researched by corporations and universities will likely soon obliterate the line between real and fake.
Play and Toys
GeekWire “Amazon launches STEM toy subscription service to ‘educate and excite’ budding young scientists”
Amazon launched a STEM toy subscription that will deliver science, technology, engineering, and math toys every month for $19.99-per-month – the program features toys hand-picked by “toy experts,” ranging from robotics to natural sciences, and appropriate for selected age ranges of 3-4, 5-7 or 8-13. See also CNET, Engadget, TechCrunch, and The Verge.
TechCrunch "Trump order strips privacy rights from non-U.S. citizens, could nix EU-US data flows"
An Executive Order from U.S. President Donald Trump could invalidate Privacy Shield and jeopardize a six-month-old data transfer framework that enables EU citizens’ personal data to flow to the U.S. for processing with the promise of ‘essentially equivalent’ privacy protection once it gets there. See also Engadget.
Consumerist "Lyft planning to launch service in 100 new U.S. cities by end of year"
Ride hailing service Lyft plans to add 100 more U.S. cities to its service, bringing the total number of cities it operates in to 300 – rival service Uber operates in 134 cities and areas. See also Engadget.
Next City "Uber’s taking riders to a Pittsburgh women’s shelter for free"
Ride hailing service Uber will donate $10,000 — roughly a year’s worth of rides — to Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to be used to send drivers to pick up women needing transportation to the facility or to outside appointments.
Spaces, Retail, and Restaurants
Consumerist “Starbucks mobile order system might be too popular, walk-in customers walk out”
The ease of Starbucks’ mobile ordering system has led some stores to have difficulty keeping up with the influx of orders and some in-store customers frustrated by the delays they experience while placed behind online orders. See also GeekWire, Inc., and Reuters.
Engadget "Deliveroo Plus is a £9 subscription for takeout addicts"
UK restaurant delivery service Deliveroo will pilot an £8.99 per month (or £89 per year) service that eliminates the £2.50 individual delivery charges.
ReCode "Robots will start delivering food to doorsteps in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., today"
Starship Technologies will partner with Postmates in Washington, D.C., and DoorDash in Redwood City, California, to deploy its autonomous ground-delivery robots to deliver food to residents, though right now the robots will be accompanied by handlers to monitor how well Starship’s robots perform and intervene if something goes wrong.
ReCode “Facebook looks like it’s going to stop paying publishers to make live videos”
After spending more than $50 million to publishers and celebrities to create live video, Facebook is reportedly de-emphasizing live video when it talks to publishers this year and giving very few indications that it will renew the paid livestreaming deals it signed to get live video off the ground – a new push to publishers encourages longer, premium video content similar to what might be found on subscription streaming services like Netflix. See also The Drum, Engadget, Mashable, Poynter, ReCode, and TechCrunch.
The Verge "Netflix added a record 7 million new subscribers last quarter"
Netflix’s earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2016 indicate that the company added over 7 million subscribers with over 5 million of those new members coming from international growth.
TechCrunch "PBS KIDS debuts a new channel and live TV service, available via web and mobile"
PBS’s 24/7 TV channel, PBS KIDS, is available on television through PBS member stations as well as streaming via the web and the PBS KIDS app – promoted as especially helpful to those children in low-income households that rely on TV for educational content as well as in those where the family’s only access to the internet comes through mobile devices. See also CNETand Engadget.
CNET “Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars' heading to Netflix”
Seinfeld’s popular web series will move from Sony's free video service Crackle to Netflix, with 24 new episodes as well as the 59 previous ones. See also The Daily Dot, The Drum,Engadget, GeekWire, Mashable, and The Verge.
The Drum "Twitter enjoys record-breaking numbers with Inauguration Day livestream"
The joint Twitter-PBS Newshour Inauguration Day livestream reached 6,824,000 million unique viewers (peaking at 377,000 concurrent viewers), making it Twitter’s most-viewed livestream to date. See also CNET.
Mashable "ABC launches 'Scandal' six-part digital series"
A digital spin-off of ABC's Scandal will launch on ABC.com and the ABC app – Scandal: Gladiator Wanted will feature several of the broadcast series’ regular characters in a new storyline.
CNET "Twitter to live-stream from red carpet for 3 more award shows"
Twitter will partner with Dick Clark Productions to live-stream the official red-carpets at the 52nd Country Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and the American Music Awards.