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Why'd You Push That Button? A podcast by The Verge looking at why we push buttons and what the consequences might be

Week 92.0 — 29th July '19

As I've gotten back in to listening to podcasts I've been looking out for more and The Verge's video on the topic as part of their The Big Picture series stood out. During the credits, the presenter, Ashley Carman, shouted out her own podcast that she co-hosts. She's also the host of The Verge's In the Making series which focuses on the world of hardware startups and crowdfunding.

Why'd You Push That Button?

Why’d You Push That Button? is a podcast about the choices technology forces us to make, featuring interviews with consumers, developers, friends, and strangers. Hosted by The Verge’s Ashley Carman and Kaitlyn Tiffany, Why’d You Push That Button? asks the hard, weird, occasionally dumb questions about how your tiny tech decisions impact your social life.

I looked it up and the title of every episode of Why'd You Push That Button? and almost every one sounded really interesting. Even the ones that don't specifically address mental and digital health they got me thinking about my relationship with certain apps and how they encourage us to behave.

Dark patterns are all around us and make the internet hard to navigate. From a network of information its evolved to feature traps all over the place. There are also legitimate pieces of functionality that are abused or used in ways that their creators didn't imagine. Just this week, there were plenty of articles about the Superhuman email client that not only tracked when an email was open as part of it's read receipt functionality, it logged each time it was open and where. Mike Davidson put together a lengthy post titled Superhuman is spying on you which covers the 'functionality' he discovered and reported in great detail if you're interested in finding more.

As I've listened to episodes over the past week it's also interesting to see how some bits of functionality is used. Sharing passwords was a particularly odd episode where even the tech savvy amongst us are will to share passwords and unsecured ones at that.

Having kids meant we began taking 10 times as many photos but not all are keepers and while I'm pretty good at tidying up, but they're photos of your kids so it's not always easy to be ruthless. We stumbled across Snapchat and now use that to share throwaway photos and videos of the kids and we have groups where we can all do the same.

Episodes range from about 20 minutes up to almost an hour and the format is a little different, with commentary on top of interviews for example, but it comes together really well. Really looking forward to the next one I have lined up: Does deleting Instagram make you happier?

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Quick links and commentary on interesting articles, videos and more throughout the week.

  1. 92.1 – Monday
    1. Nike Air Jordan 1 Low in black & gold   £79.95 nike.com
    2. Volkswagen ID @UKVolkswagen on twitter.com
    3. Classic Flip Radio alarm clock   £18.39 $ Bush Classic on amazon.co.uk
    4. Apollo 11 Moon Landing: Photos from 50 years ago theatlantic.com
    5. Twitter launches the ‘Hide Replies' feature, in hopes of civilizing conversations techcrunch.com
  2. 92.2 – Tuesday
    1. The life expectancy for every country in the world axios.com
    2. "Ballers" season 5 teaser trailer HBO on youtube.com
  3. 92.3 – Wednesday
    1. Plush campfire $54 on theawesomer.com
    2. The next big thing is coming from the Bronx, again TED on youtube.com
    3. The Irishman Netflix on youtube.com
  4. 92.4 – Thursday
    1. The Frame Clock tells time with rotating frames   $1675 coolmaterial.com
    2. Apple Maps in iOS 13: Sights set on Google macstories.net
    3. Star forming region NGC 3582 without stars Andrew Campbell on apod.nasa.gov
    4. "BLINDED BY THE LIGHT" trailer KinoCheck International on youtube.com
    5. Algorithmic Dysphoria: When the recommendations are wrong kylechayka.substack.com
  5. 92.5 – Friday
    1. New Logo and Identity for Go Ape by Littlehawk underconsideration.com
    2. Sevenhugs Smart Remote U   $199 blessthisstuff.com
    3. Instagram 'tag cleaners' are fighting against digital vandalism theverge.com
    4. How much warmer is your city? bbc.co.uk
  6. 92.6 – Saturday
    1. Facebook negotiated it's rules daringfireball.net
    2. Are You Rich? This income-rank quiz might change how you see yourself nytimes.com
    3. The Disapproval Matrix kottke.org
    4. Sex.Com   From £0.50 $ Kieren McCarthy on amazon.co.uk
  7. 92.7 – Sunday
    1. Mitre Scriball   £7.25 $ amazon.co.uk

Jump to notable items for Week #91, Week #93 , view the notable archive or my favourites.

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