Weekend reading list – Week of March 14, 2016

March 18, 2016

Each week, TP1 shares the top five articles that caught our attention. Here are your must-reads, published here and abroad, for the week of March 14.

Jurassic Hotel
After a 15+ hour flight, you finally land in Japan! You get into a taxi, bleary eyed, and ask for the Henn-na Hotel (“strange hotel”). You are greeted at the reception desk by a robot velociraptor, charming despite his awesome claws, who proceeds to check you in. Why? Because it’s 2016. Welcome to the world’s first hotel to be almost entirely staffed by robots!
Read it on Wired Pocket

How to have a good meeting
Meetings, am I right? Each year, in the United States, an estimated $37 billion goes flying out the window thanks to endless hours of useless meetings. And yet, we can’t stop having them… What if the problem wasn’t the number of meetings, but our approach to them? Introducing the holacracy, a model developed by Brian Robertson that encourages companies to operate as an “evolutionary organism”.
Read it on The New York Times Magazine Pocket

Spying on the neighbours
The conman got conned. That’s the story of Daniel Rigmaiden, who was arrested by the FBI for fraud and identity theft in 2008. How did they finally track him down? With the help of StingRay, a device that tricks phones into giving up their serial numbers. Is it legal? More or less. But there’s a bigger problem: Almost anybody can make one using parts purchased on the Internet. Your neighbour, your competition, your mother-in-law…
Read it on Bloomberg Pocket

Programmer as architect
Developing software is not unlike building a town. Or so proposes anthropologist and architect Christopher Alexander in A Pattern Language, a book published in 1977. Software, like towns, require maintenance and updates. But there tends to be fewer users as the software ages and so, fewer programmers dedicated to updating it. Do users abandon software because there are too many bugs? Or are there too many bugs, because there aren’t enough users, and not enough programmers? The time has come to rethink maintenance.
Read it on 18F Pocket

Underground font
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the series of letters Edward Johnston created as the official typeface of London’s public transit system. Learn more about this artist, who is considered one of the fathers of modern typography.
Read it on The Guardian Pocket

A language for the future
To mark the Mois de la francophonie, TP1 will publish four articles about the French language. First up this week: buzzwords.
Read it on Grenier aux nouvelles (in French) Pocket

This week’s favourite thing
Is there anything worse than the sound of your alarm clock jolting you awake every morning? Even if it does have a luminous dial or the sound of harps playing. But how else are you supposed to use? What if there was an alarm that gently roused you with the smell of morning coffee? Discover Sensorwake, an alarm clock that uses smell–and not sounds–to get you out of bed in the morning.
Discover it on Sensorwake.com

In your earbuds: Black Girl Nerds
Amanda Spann and Sheena Allen are the software developers behind the mixology app, Alchomy, which currently has more than 2 million downloads. They sat down to have a chat about the evolution of the technology world and how it’s more accessible than we may think.