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Tim Carmody
Writer, Technology Journalist, Bookfuturist, Medienphilosoph, Recovering Academic
Writer, Technology Journalist, Bookfuturist, Medienphilosoph, Recovering Academic

Tim's posts

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My story for Newsweek on Twitter and its communities through and beyond its IPO.

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I wrote my first story for National Geographic, on Mark Zuckerberg's proposal to accelerate internet adoption worldwide through a partnership with Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm, and some other big companies. It's called

Zuckerberg's plan to add five billion people to the internet is short on specifics; it talks about "connectivity as a human right" without ever actually linking it to things we've established as human rights; some of it seems like a shameless land grab for wireless spectrum, microtransactions, and freeriding, with a philanthropic front; and it's thoroughly possible that the whole effort could collapse and everybody goes back to business as usual after riding on the good publicity for a few months. 

BUT: because it's framed so thoroughly in terms of business and engineering, I think it's for real. Facebook NEEDS this, and and to a lesser extent the other companies do to. And once you stop thinking about it in hippy-dippy utopian or hard-bitten "how do you get the internet to illiterates without electricity in the desert" nightmare scenarios, this is a serious plan to make the internet faster, cheaper, and more useful for hundreds of millions of people around the world. 

The global internet WILL change, and it will grow faster than any of the world's institutions are ready for it, especially in the poor places of the world. This could help. 

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Hey, if you haven't heard yet, I've got a new job: senior features writer at The Verge. Still reporting and studying the future of tech and media, just bigger and better.

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I might break my rule about buying new things to pick up one or both of these little guys. (One's not available yet; the other is a weekend project that I don't have a weekend to spare for.)

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I covered today's Apple education/iBooks announcement in New York. Here's my summary & quick analysis of what it means for Apple:

And here is a related post, about why education publishers are just too damn big for Apple to f*ck with.

Tomorrow, I'm taking a deeper dive into how today's announcements affect/reflect what's happening in the e-book industry, especially the higher education market.

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Even though it's boosted my own search visibility quite a bit, I think Google's Search plus Your World poses real problems for the web.

Effectively, Google has bought itself a huge amount of prime advertising space on its most popular platform for the product it most desperately needs to succeed.

It’s a little like all shows on NBC devoting every fourth commercial to plugging its show “Whitney.” (Now imagine if almost all of you watched NBC almost all the time, and Whitney Cummings were making jokes about people you know.)

Make sure you catch +Steven Levy's post on Google's personalized search, too. (I think they work well as counterpoints, but we both think something genuinely significant is happening here.)

Google+ is filled with gorgeous, ethnically varied and ambiguous women from around the world who post nothing but meaningless inspirtational advice and follow no one but technology bloggers. What are the odds?

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Hmm... Not only are emerging parts of the business getting more of a say in the company's overall direction and focus, but a trio of top women executives are sidelined for dudes.
I'm noticing a pattern here ...

The most powerful group at Google Inc used to be known simply as "The OC," short for operating committee. Now, it goes by a more telling name: "L Team," short for Larry's Team. Page has moved quickly to remake the company in his image, and this influential group is responsible for plotting strategic priorities, such as social networking and mobile computing.

In the revamping of the group earlier this year, Page swapped out several of the executives who previously had seats at the table and brought in managers spearheading key initiatives. Among the new members of Page's cabinet are social networking head Vic Gundotra, Android mobile chief Andy Rubin and YouTube head Salar Kamangar, according to people familiar with the matter.

Executives who have left the group include Marissa Mayer, the head of Google's local, maps and location services business; Rachel Whetstone, its London-based global communications and public affairs chief; and Shona Brown, who previously oversaw business operations and now heads the company's philanthropic arm.

What pattern do you notice? Please vote for the comments you agree with -- or add your own!

PS: if you share, please point people back here via the link ... thanks!

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My biggest "future of reading"/"OMG I marvel and awe at Amazon even as I'm a little afraid of it"/big picture story in a while.

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The January issue of Wired has my first article/review in the print magazine, a roundup of new e-readers. We didn't get to include the new Kindle Touch or the Kindle Fire, because they weren't released until a month ago (magazines take a long time to make!). But I was still surprised at how much I liked the Kobo Touch and how disappointed I was with the $79 entry-level E Ink Kindle.

Kobo put up scans of two pages of the review. (I don't even have my print copy yet! The world is crazy.) Still, very happy to be in my first issue of the magazine — and I'm already writing something for my next issue now.
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