Friday Link List

1. Comcast’s Real Repairman {new york times}

Thorough overview of Comcast chief David Cohen. Gave me a much better insight into the Time Warner proposal.

Love this part:

Mr. Cohen, who has remained close to Mr. Bradley, smiles when reminded of the long-ago campaign. “That’s just my view of the world,” he says. “Always be more prepared than anyone else, because there’s a huge advantage to knowing everything that might be asked and having given at least some thought to the answer.”

2. TEDification v. Edification {design observer}

Smart, long take on the explosion of the TED talk. Among my favorite parts:

TED lays out the right path: popular access to advanced knowledge about big subjects. But the project has to be redirected as a process of enquiry rather than epiphany, requiring not only passion but also patience. Consider that one of the fundamental challenges for design is to confront what Horst Rittel described four decades ago as the wicked problem. For wicked problems there are no real solutions, only makeshift and contingent negotiation. “Dealing with wicked problems,” Rittel conceded, “is always political.” [21] The incessant waves of eighteen minutes of epiphanic techno-complexity are working to deny complexity — to deny the wickedness of wicked problems, to detach us from their political reality, to deny our limited ability to solve them and to encourage hubris where we need humility.

3. Google’s Road Map to Global Domination {new york times}

Google v. the world.

A Frenchman who has lived half his 49 years in the United States, [Luc] Vincent was never in the Marines. But he is a leader in a new great game: the Internet land grab, which can be reduced to three key battles over three key conceptual territories. What came first, conquered by Google’s superior search algorithms. Who was next, and Facebook was the victor. But where, arguably the biggest prize of all, has yet to be completely won.

Where-type questions — the kind that result in a little map popping up on the search-results page — account for some 20 percent of all Google queries done from the desktop. But ultimately more important by far is location-awareness, the sort of geographical information that our phones and other mobile devices already require in order to function. In the future, such location-awareness will be built into more than just phones. All of our stuff will know where it is — and that awareness will imbue the real world with some of the power of the virtual. Your house keys will tell you that they’re still on your desk at work. Your tools will remind you that they were lent to a friend. And your car will be able to drive itself on an errand to retrieve both your keys and your tools.