A world that is ready to live without all those iPhone plugs is a world prepared to live without journalism (despite Bon Jovi's poignant epiphany)

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At this point it’s impossible to determine whether Apple is very good at getting rid of “unnecessary” features or if it ingeniously made us believe it is. A brief retrospective would recall the floppy disk drive, the CD drive and all USB-A ports on Macs, and the headphone jack, the Touch ID and the Lightning port on iPhones. “The charging plug?” you might be wondering. Yes, sorry for the spoiler, but the next generation of iPhones will probably kill it for good. …


Why it is vital to know which companies will corner the “everyware” industry, the ultimate business that will change all of our personal, professional, and commercial interactions

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There are some books that belong to a rarely recognized, yet very popular, category called “the books that everyone loves to quote but very few have actually read.” The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997), by Clayton Christensen, would easily secure a lifelong place on the Top 10 if this was an actual list. For starters, The Economist called it one of the six (?) most important business books ever written, which means people felt compelled to read it — or, at least, to pretend they did. Secondly, and don’t tell anyone I said that, although it’s truly interesting, the book is a…


Multiple reports and studies — each one with its own agenda — have been warning that sports industry has a Gen Z problem. The “problem” part is real, but they’re blaming the wrong player

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Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens (2014) and Homo Deus (2016) are two of the best non-fiction books of the last decade. Or, at least, two the best “brainy” books of the decade, as The Guardian weirdly put it. Among the many paths taken in Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, one of the most unmistakable turns highlights the importance of reformatting our temporal perception when it comes to interpreting the future. Harari wants the reader to fathom “the history of tomorrow” from a less parochial approach and to dive headfirst into his broader perspective. A daunting task, by my estimates.


Who’s winning — and losing — the battle to sign (and keep) the most subscribers, and why analysts should stop celebrating news media companies’ numbers

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Three years ago, I have gathered birds of very different feathers to rock together within a list that comprised streaming services, messaging apps, and social platforms. Just for fun. Well, that and the educational purpose of demonstrating that Spotify could be as popular as Instagram.

Controversial? Hopefully. But that was a breeze. Because now there’s a new list and we’re activating Ultra Nightmare mode.

This renovated chart incorporates social networks and regular apps, free users and paid subscribers, game memberships and software subscriptions, YouTubers and TikTokers, podcasts and newspapers. There are no longer just birds of a different feather, there…


Despite the distorted narrative created by social platforms and indulged by key media figures, misinformation is not led by robots, foreign spies, or algorithmic aliens

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David Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect attributes to Mark Zuckerberg a saying that became an instant classic. When trying to explain the News Feed mechanism to his colleagues, Facebook’s CEO said: “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”

You can think what you want about the phrase, it’s a free country (most of them anyway). And this was 2006, a time when social media’s greatest dilemma was the excess of kitten videos over hard news.

If transported 15 years into the future, this squirrel comparison…


Why have neither the virtual assistant AI technology from Amazon (nor the one developed by Google) reached the promised land?

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Remember when guilty pleasures were a thing? I'm well aware that 2020 mercilessly redefined that term and now they’re just “pleasures” but, kids, there was a time when we used to work hard to hide these peculiar preferences of our lives. For those who have been Tigerkinging their way to sanity since March, the expression “guilty pleasures” is usually associated with unhealthy food, tacky or bizarre cultural taste, or some odd habit. Roxane Gay's guilty pleasure, for example, is watching Law & Order: SVU. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s is reading trashy novels.

Mine are Korean TV shows (Crash Landing on You


The false dilemma of cord-cutter vs cord-forever has newspapers fiasco written all over it

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Not Fight Club, not The Matrix, and not even Pulp Fiction. The best movie of the 90’s, by far, is Groundhog Day — if the original ending had survived Hollywood’s narrow-mindedness.

For those under 30, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, tells the story of a TV reporter that gets stuck in a time-warp and must live the same day over and over again. “Like Palm Springs?”, some young lady raises her hand at back of the room. Yes, dear, like Palm Springs, but lonelier.

There are many other movies with this same time-loop plot, sure, but what makes Groundhog Day


What do solo media professionals such as YouTubers, podcasters or writers miss without an editor, and how the overprotective culture will ruin most of them

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Maxwell Perkins was not exactly famous. Ok, the very notion of “famous” is a complicated one, but even in his own epoch and métier, Perkins wasn’t well-known and exalted as his boys Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Wolfe. For one thing, he wasn’t a writer, he was a book editor — yes, he’s that guy from the movie Genius (2016) — , and secondly, Perkins, while a major literary figure, always practiced what he preached: book editors should remain invisible.

But what would this fame equation look like if we applied some creative reverse engineering? Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Wolfe would be eternally…


Behold the tales of how one single person can spread two million fake news messages per day and why Facebook’s messaging app will soon become an even worse misinformation machine

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As the most expensive acquisition in technology — $19 billion in 2014 — WhatsApp has a curious cachet in the United States. Despite being the leading messaging platform in 169 countries, WhatsApp’s share in the domestic market still hasn’t taken off: only one in four smartphone owners use the app.

This is probably why every time the issue ‘Fake News’ resurfaces in the American media cycle, WhatsApp is given a reprieve. It receives minimal attention from tech sites, it is rarely mentioned during Congress’ ‘Fake News’ hearings, and it barely appears in those trending docs aka The social dilemma or…


“Wonderwall”? Not really. The fact that 99 of the Top 100 most played songs on Spotify are from the 2010’s reveals a lesson that holds true for TV channels, radio stations, and news sites…

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"Wonderwall" hits 1 billion streams: by now you should've somehow realized what you gotta do…

When people say that Spotify’s team lacks creativity — and people say that a lot — there’s a reason.

In December 2016, for the first time ever, a single song hit one billion streams on Spotify. Drake’s One Dance got its place in music history, not only by reaching this ten-digit figure but by pioneering a whole new kind of milestone. …

Alexandre Botão

Two decades of hardcore journalism in a past life; now Digital Media PhD candidate @ University of Porto, coffee taster and vinyl aficionado

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