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🎧 Spotify Manipulation, Eco Friendly Innovations, and Scientific Piracy
Is Spotify Manipulating your Data?
Hey Everyone! Is it just me, or does it feel like 2019 went by too fast? It feels like it was October just the other day . . . and now we’re already into December. Sheesh.
How are your immune systems holding up? I was struck down this weekend by a dreadful cold, but at least it wasn’t the flu! 😃 I may be a bit briefer than I usually am in today’s issue, as I still feel rather crummy. If you haven’t gotten sick yet, I recommend lots of Vitamin C, water, and reducing your sugar intake - and wash your hands often! I did everything but the Vitamin C part, 🤔 but I guess the Cold “Monster” got me anyway.
Anyways, let’s get started!
🎧 Spotify Manipulation - Is it Real?
Every year, I get really excited about my Spotify Wrapped and my 2019 playlist. It gives me a chance to find out what I really liked during the year, and a playlist to track my interests. It’s fascinating to track what I listen to each year- as I usually have 1 or 2 new genres I get obsessed with. It’s a pretty fun feature - but is the data honest?
I ran across this article by Joe Smith-Engelhardt on Altpress (A Music Publication. I know exactly where your mind went) talking about a recent Spotify controversy. Apparently some users have been noticing that the band Brand New is missing from their playlists, despite data to the contrary.
Brand New had a scandal in 2017 with some disturbing sexual misconduct allegations, and it is rumored that the band has been shadowbanned from Spotify’s algorithms.
According to Joe, there are dozens if not hundreds of Twitter complaints about Brand New not being in their playlists. I’ve included one example that he sourced.
Now, the interesting part about this accusation is that it raises a serious ethical question. Is it right for Spotify to change your music data? To tell you that your favorite music is something different than it actually is? 🤔 Is it ok for Spotify to lie to you when you listen to disgraced artists?
Sexual misconduct allegations are serious - but should the music be shadowbanned (or banned) because of the artist’s actions? For example, should we stop listening to Michael Jackson because of the allegations against him? or Chris Brown? Drake has been a little creepy the past few years . . . and so on and so forth. It’s a serious question that has been debated through the ages, and it appears that Spotify is taking a side.
What do you think? Check out the article here.
🌏 Scalable Eco-Friendly Innovations
In the past few decades we have gotten enthused with disposable consumer goods where convenience is king. Rather than simply throwing everything out the window, it is essential that we figure out scalable consumer solutions that make everyone happy (including almighty convenience).
Currently, Millenials and Generation Z are aligning their dollars with their values, and and the environment is ranking higher and higher on the priority list (Something to consider if you own a business - especially a restaurant. How can you incorporate Environmentally friendly products?)
Anyways, I found these two pretty cool articles about some potentially scalable solutions.
Plastic straws aren’t great for the environment - let’s be honest. However, what’s the alternative? Metal and Paper straws suck. Plastic straws were cheap, worked like a charm, and were easy to dispose of.
A company called Zero Waste Saigon takes Green Grass and creates single-use straws. It’s a really neat solution that’s sustainable, biodegradable, and doesn’t melt in your drink like a paper straw. You can even eat the grass straw!
I really hope more Restaurant companies start investing in this kind of solution. Check out their site!
Paper Six Pack
You know those pesky plastic things that six-packs of coke and beer come in? That are really bad for wildlife and the environment? Well, Coke is testing a recyclable paper version (called the KeelClip) in Europe - and it looks promising!
This is the kind of thing that makes me really excited about innovation. We can solve problems - and move forward! If something is hurting the environment, we can change direction, and try something else - at scale, that works.
Check out the release video here - It’s short, but sweet.
Read more about it here.
🏴☠️A Different Kind of Piracy
Remember the old days when Megaupload, Project Free TV, Showbox, PopcornTime, Putlocker, and all those Piracy websites were really big? Well, there’s a different kind of piracy that is so much more grey than stealing movies or games.
I’m talking about Scientific Paper piracy. It’s a bigger and more important thing than you might realize. You see - Much of today’s research on Science, Medicine, Physics, and other Studies is locked behind dozens of scientific journal paywalls - and not everyone can afford $15 a PDF.
That’s why sites like Libgen or Sci-Hub exist - to provide free and illegal access to this kind of research. Of course, governments and the massive organizations that own such research try to take them down all the time.
I’m not advocating intellectual theft at all - but I do believe a serious conversation needs to be had about the cost and access to Scientific/Medical research. I understand it can’t necessarily be free - but it needs to be affordable.
According to Matthew Gault in a recent Vice article entitled Archivists Are Trying to Make Sure a ‘Pirate Bay of Science’ Never Goes Down, there is work being done to make sure that these platforms never go offline. They have even partnered with Seedbox companies to make sure files are better hosted.
Read more about it here.
🐙 The Land of Random
One Can Never Discuss Piracy Without . . .
This Song. No. I’m not sorry if this gets stuck in your head all day. 😂
Buy a Modular Home - On Ebay
Yes. You heard that right - You can buy a Modular home on Ebay. Check it out here.
Need to Test some Code Real Quick?
I found this neat little site where you can test code without logging in or any other friction. Just open the site and start writing code! You can even run the code and test it out. 😃 Now you can get back to learning HTML and CSS without downloading a IDE.