A Blog by Jonathan Low


Aug 29, 2016

Data Suggests the Factors That Can Make A Car Free City Work

All you need is...logic. JL

Aarian Marshall reports in Wired:

80 percent of the pedestrian malls built in the US (fail). Success comes down to: be(ing) close to a major community anchor, like a university or a beach. Offer alternate transit. Limit efforts to a few blocks. And be really small—100,000 people or fewer—or really big. Like New York. The future of cities will probably have cars. But some won’t. It’s up to smart designers, armed with smart data, to figure out which ones work.

Digital Versus Analog Presidential Campaigns

Don't be cruel...JL

Jim Tankersley reports in the Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton is running arguably the most digital presidential campaign in U.S. history. Donald Trump is running one of the most analog campaigns in recent memory. The Clinton team is bent on finding more effective ways to identify supporters and ensure they cast ballots; Trump is, unapologetically, sticking to an 1980s-era focus on courting attention and voters via television. A statistical model c(an) predict an individual vote. But that requires planning, a budget and attention to detail

The Ways Facebook Can Affect Your Credit Score

In a world of data with limited applicability for many people, especially Millennials with nascent financial histories, Facebook serves as a proxy for 'real' information. JL

Aime Williams reports in the Financial Times:

The problem is that the pool of data they draw from when assessing credit risk is still quite small. They mostly want to see your record when it comes to managing credit — but this means looking exclusively at utility bills and any credit cards you might have.

How Silicon Vally Startups Adapted To Crash Warnings and Survived

Given the choice between adapting or dying, many startups appear to have chosen the former. Evolution works. JL

Katie Benner reports in the New York Times:

Young companies have laid off staff. And many entrepreneurs are no longer able to demand whatever valuation they please for their companies.It is precisely these adaptations that have allowed many Silicon Valley start-ups to stick it out — for now, at least.

Why We Need To Switch Our Mental Models From Hierarchies To Networks

The greatest management challenge of the contemporary era may not be technological, but organizational and psychological. JL

Greg Satell comments in Digital Tonto:

Small, tight clusters of people, loosely connected through more distant ties, can dramatically increase information flow and enhance innovation. in a world connected by digital technology, power no longer lies at the top of hierarchies, but at the center of networks.

Aug 27, 2016

The iBrain Is Here And Already Inside Your Phone

And it will get smarter over time. JL

Steven Levy reports in Back Channel:

Machine learning is now found all over Apple’s products and services: to detect fraud on the Apple store, to extend battery life between charges on all your devices, and to help it identify the most useful feedback from thousands of reports from beta testers, whether Watch users are exercising or simply perambulating, recognizes faces and locations in your photos. It figures out whether you would be better off leaving a weak Wi-Fi signal and switching to the cell network.

Tech Is Changing Scoring In Sports

What is a 'catch?' What is a 'score?'

Technology is changing the way we think about competing - and thus - the way we play the game. JL

Matt Ford reports in ars technica:

Offerings don’t always sit well with players and fans, who may worry about the loss of some human influence on the run of play. It has been said that no technology is value-neutral, that it will—in undetermined ways—influence anything it is applied to. Technology has now been applied to many sports, which have changed as a result.