We all know the feeling. You're sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn't cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future? Sure, it's one more thing you can feel guilty about sitting in your Instapaper queue, but it's better than pulling in vain on your Twitter list again.
Kyle Chayka considers how our experience with music and collecting changes when "we're just borrowing it from the cloud."
The Bygone Bureau: Kyle Chayka - eMPty3
Music streaming may enable us as consumers of music, able to call up and listen to virtually any well-known track in an instant, but it fails to empower listeners as collectors. It’s possible to bookmark songs in applications like Spotify and recall them at will, but for now at least, it’s not possible to gather together the songs you like in an enduring, sharable library the way we might arrange books on a bookshelf (another dwindling piece of technology.
Someone's read their Jonathan Lethem.
Fast Company: Adam L. Penenberg - Groupon And Its Pivots: A Mega, Meta Mash-Up Of The News
Finally, all eyes have turned to Andrew Mason, Groupon's 31-year-old CEO, who once paid a man to dress up like a ballerina in the office, who propagates false rumors about himself owning 20 cats, and who films himself doing yoga in his underwear. [He] is trying to figure out the next thing for his company... building what Mason calls the "operating system for local commerce"--a suite of software and technology services that would embed Groupon into every facet of every transaction on Main Street... a kind of Yellow Pages to search for new ideas on where to dine or where to find the lowest prices offered by thousands of local businesses.
On 38 Studios
Jason Schwartz documents the rise and spectacular fall of former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling's 38 Studios.
Boston magazne: Jason Schwartz - End Game
Deadlines were frequently missed, something for which staffers say Schilling rarely held anyone accountable. The ex-pitcher had a bigger concern. "The game wasn’t fun," he says, unprompted, beside the softball field. "It was my biggest gripe for probably the past eight to 12 months." Visually, Copernicus was stunning, but the actual things you could do in the game weren’t engaging enough. The combat aspects especially lagged. Schilling — who never wavered in his belief that the game would be great — says the MMO was improving, but after six years, it still wasn’t there.
Elisabeth Bumiller talks to US drone pilots about the psychological stresses of the job.
The New York Times: Elisabeth Bumiller - A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away
All the operators dismiss the notion that they are playing a video game. (They also reject the word "drone" because they say it describes an aircraft that flies on its own. They call their planes remotely piloted aircraft.)
"I don’t have any video games that ask me to sit in one seat for six hours and look at the same target," said Joshua, a sensor operator who worked at Creech for a decade and is now a trainer at Holloman. "One of the things we try to beat into our crews is that this is a real aircraft with a real human component, and whatever decisions you make, good or bad, there’s going to be actual consequences."
Writer Mat Honan's personal accounts were hacked Friday afternoon, leading to a wiped iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, Google account, and a flurry of offensive message on Gizmodo's Twitter account. Take a few minutes this weekend to come up with a stronger password.
Emptyage: Mat Honan - Yes, I was hacked. Hard.
At 4:50 PM, someone got into my iCloud account, reset the password and sent the confirmation message about the reset to the trash. My password was a 7 digit alphanumeric that I didn’t use elsewhere. When I set it up, years and years ago, that seemed pretty secure at the time. But it’s not. Especially given that I’ve been using it for, well, years and years.
Have any favorites that you'd like to see included in next week's edition? Send them along to @thomashouston or share in the comments below.