Five Reads: Ready, Set, AOC!
Here’s our roundup of five compelling stories from around the internet in the last few days. Look for this column every week in this space.
The Congressperson Most Likely to Be Followed
She slammed tech companies for sponsoring a conference that promoted the benefits of CO2. She said the biggest threat to journalism is tech monopolies and concentration of ownership. She joined other lawmakers in introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act. Just another week in the life of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, without question one of the most distinctive and dynamic figures to emerge on the political scene in years.
See her at SXSW 2019 in conversation with Briahna Gray of the Intercept.
The Trouble with the Screw
Apple’s plans to make iPhones in the USA hit an unexpected snag, according to this report from the New York Times — it struggled to find an American company that could supply high-quality titanium screws. The screw shortage illustrates the challenges facing tech companies who try to shift manufacturing away from China.
Man vs. Robot
A hitchhiking robot got beheaded in Philadelphia. A security robot was punched to the ground in Silicon Valley. A man with a baseball bat attacked a teaching robot in Moscow, kicking it to the ground while the robot pleaded for help. Despite our fondness for R2D2 and C3PO, people keep lashing out at robots, particularly those that are built to resemble humans. This interesting story asks why.
The Trouble with Division
It comes up time and time again. The kids fight over who gets which slice of cake. You want tacos, your partner prefers chapati. You prefer the smaller room with a closet, your housemate wants the bigger room, but doesn’t want to pay more rent. It’s called the Division Problem, and mathematicians have figured out some innovative ways to figure it out. Planet Money asks them to solve one of the gnarliest versions of this dilemma — how to allocate berths in Santa Barbara’s crowded harbor.
The Miracles Among Us
Last year’s dramatic rescue of a boys’ soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand made headlines around the world. But it won’t be until you read this powerful piece in McClean’s that you’ll fully understood how crazy this plan was — and how long the odds of success.
Five Reads Archive
January 25: CompSci Gets Way Cool
January 18: Spying on Crime
January 10: Taming Toxic Trolls
January 4: Big Tech = Big Trouble
December 28: Austin is Weird and Wired
December 22: The End of Traffic
December 15: Guarding the Truth
December 5: Becoming an Obama
November 30: The Trouble for Juul
November 21: Life Is Good
November 16: Whither Facebook
November 9: Why Does the US Love Guns?
November 2: Esther Perel Knows Love
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.