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Recommended Reading: Spike Jonze predicts the future of UI, confronting tragedy through video games and more


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Why Her Will Dominate UI Design Even More Than Minority Report
(2,194 words)
by Kyle Vanhemert, Wired


For the better part of the last decade, Minority Report has been the go-to reference for futuristic UI design. But, lets be serious, nobody is clamoring for more gadgets to control by waving their hands like a lunatic. More likely, the future will see technology seamlessly integrated into our lives, the way it is in Spike Jonze's latest film, Her. In this "slight future" everything around the protagonist Theo Twombly is subtly smart, responding to his movements, words and even moods. And there in lies the true potential of artificial intelligence. As Vanhemert asserts in his article, "it [AI] doesn't have one fixed personality. Instead, its ability to figure out what a person needs at a given moment emerges as the killer app."

I, School Shooter
(3,150 words)
by Dave Owen, Polygon

Like many, Danny Ledonne remembers exactly where he was when news of the massacre at Columbine broke. Also like many, he struggled to come to terms with what had happened. But his avenue for coping, creating Super Columbine Massacre RPG, stirred up as much of a media firestorm when it was released six years later as Marilyn Manson and Doom did in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.


A Missing Genetic Link in Human Evolution
(2,665 words)
by Emily Singer, Quanta Magazine

All across the genome of humans and our great ape cousins are large swaths of duplicate genetic code. Most studies have simply ignored these complex, repetitive stretches of DNA. But new research indicates these genes, which are seemingly randomly dispersed throughout our genome, may be the key to what makes us human.


How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
(4.960 words)
by Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic

You're far from alone if you've ever stared in confusion at a hyper-specific genre spit out by Netflix. Visually-striking dark cerebral dramas? Gritty foreign period pieces? All told, there are some 76,897 "micro-genres." The Atlantic decide to find out how (and why) the streaming king created something so exact. Then set about recreating the peculiar genre creation tool on their own.


How Stars Like Jay Z and Martha Stewart End Up with Samsung Devices
(1,951 words)
by Shane Snow, Fast Company

Samsung's marketing strategy goes well beyond commercials that take jabs at Apple fanatics. In fact, one of its more important initiatives puts Galaxy devices in the hands of big name celebrities like Jay Z, Martha Stewart and Swizz Beats. Dubbed the White Glove program, it delivers free phones to taste makers via attentive,and charismatic brand ambassadors.


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