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Most months, "We Are Data" would have produced a resigned nod and shake of the head, but people visiting it now have fresh reason to feel like their data is being weaponized against them. PRISM and other revelations weren’t just about what was seen — they were about the fact that when confronted with the leaks, the administration drove home how little it thought of public outrage. Watch Dogs promises a solution — but so far, it’s one that occupies an uncomfortable place between commentary and escapism.

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Tom Preston-Werner, GitHub Cofounder, wrote Ten Lessons from GitHub’s First Year in 2008. Though the lessons are still relevant, and the war stories behind each lesson are great, I can't help but wonder what a 2013 version would look like?

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A writer for publications including The New York Times and Wired, Clive Thompson is used to defending the latest trends in digital technology from naysayers and skeptics. In 2008, he was one of the first to describe how sites like Twitter were about more than sharing what you had for breakfast. Now he’s written his first book, Smarter Than You Think, an investigation of how technology is helping us to learn more and retain information longer. Clive took some time to talk with us about the new book, distraction, MOOCs, and how he uses technology with his kids.

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The intro for yesterday's video interview with Don Marti started out by saying, "Don Marti," says Wikipedia, "is a writer and advocate for free and open source software, writing for LinuxWorld and Linux Today." As we noted, Don has moved on since that description was written. In today's interview he starts by talking about some things venture capitalist Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins has said, notably that people only spend 6% of their media-intake time with print, but advertisers spend 23% of their budgets on print ads. To find out why this is, you might want to read a piece Don wrote titled Targeted Advertising Considered Harmful. Or you can just watch today's video -- and if you didn't catch Part One of our video conversation yesterday, you might want to check it out before watching Part 2.

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Original author: 
Trent Wolbe

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I played a hundred new huge-budget video games this week, but the only one that really made sense to me was a cellphone and Vita game called RYMDKAPSEL.

Like many tower-defense games the primary objective of RYMDKAPSEL is to grow and defend your population. But when designer Martin Jonasson set out to make a viable StarCraft for mobile, he discovered that StarCraft probably isn’t something you’d want to play on your phone, and its most memorable component would probably be how much it crashed your OS. So he boiled it down, reducing and reducing until he came up with the most efficiently brilliant game I’ve ever played on mobile.

The game begins on a vectorized orthogonal grid in space, your playable characters materializing as...

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Original author: 
Casey Newton

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Video discovery app ShowYou was created to help users keep track of all the videos being shared across their social networks. But like most video app developers, including the market-leading YouTube, it has struggled to replicate the easy viewing offered on cable, Netflix, and Hulu. Most people prefer to watch a single 30- or 60-minute program than string together shorter clips, even when those clips are professionally produced.

Today ShowYou is trying to change that with an update to its app that lets anyone create a channel of videos, which can be browsed and followed in a manner similar to the curated "magazines" in Flipboard. As with Flipboard, ShowYou’s bigger play is for old-time publishers, trying to help them generate new...

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Original author: 
Bryan Bishop

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David Kwong got his first taste of magic as a young boy in upstate New York. The trick was simple: the magician placed a red sponge ball into the boy’s hand, produced a second one, and then made it vanish. When Kwong opened his hand, there were two balls resting inside.

“I remember turning to my father and saying ‘How did this work?,’” he tells me over coffee in Los Angeles. “And he just gave me that patented sheepish grin and said ‘I have no idea.’”

“And that’s when I knew I had to learn magic.”

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Original author: 
Russell Brandom

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Check your cell phone contract, and you might come across the following turn of phrase: "We do not sell your personal information." Some version of that phrase is in nearly every carrier Terms of Service, and divides the world’s data into two camps: the kind that personally identifies you and the kind that doesn’t. Your phone, your address, and your social security number all fall into the first camp: if Verizon’s caught trading them, they’ve got a lawsuit on their hands. Your zip code and your birthday, on the other hand, are fair game.

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