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Weekend reading list – week of October 23, 2017

October 27, 2017

Each week, we share the top five articles that caught our attention. Here are your must-reads, published here and abroad, for the week of October 23rd 2017.

Urban planning according to Google
What would a Google-fied neighbourhood look like? We won’t have to ponder the question for long: Sidewalk Labs, Google’s sibling startup, is developing one in Toronto. In this new ultratech community, data lies at the heartbeat of every interaction. With this in mind, how will the company take into account the human factor?
Read it on Wired Pocket

Influencers + cosmetic surgery: a match made in heaven?
Influencers can sell pretty much anything. The proof? In Quebec, the latest Instagram and Snapchat trend is plastic surgery documentation. Specialists like Dr. Mario Luc and Dr. Karl Schwarz (NSFW) team up with social media influencers to promote their stories. That said, the practice raises a number of ethical questions…
Read it on RAD (In French) Pocket

What’s a ‘like’ worth?
Like. Click. Comment. Every one of our online interactions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter creates value. Likes are translated into valuable data about which content gets a rise out of us, what merits a share versus a “wow” or “angry” reaction, and so on. Researchers Camille Alloing and Julien Pierre examine the weight of our emotions on the web.
Read it on Ina Global (In French) Pocket

Online mattress wars
Casper. Endy. Bloom. The world of online mattresses is embroiled in fierce competition. These startups are at war, and user review sites and recommendations are on their hit list. Can we believe everything we read? Journalist David Zax investigates.
Read it on Fast Company Pocket

When emojis hinder progress
Computers recognize a hundred different languages. The standardization required to make this possible takes years of work, painstaking detail and engineering. While Unicode Consortium volunteers focus on languages missing from computer systems, emojis jump in and wreak havoc. Our collective emoji-obsession is slowing progress and obliging volunteers to prioritize this new visual language.
Read it on The New York Times Pocket

In your earbuds: Becoming a feminist at the age of 5 – Mercedes Erra
At the Forum Femmes, leadership et communication on November 1st, Mercedes Erra, founder of BETC and Executive President of Havas, will look back on her career and share her leadership secrets. What better way to learn more about this leader than by watching her speak at TedxHECParis about her awareness at the age of five of gender inequality?
Listen to it on YouTube (In French)

This week’s favourite thing
If you’re a smartphone addict, raise your hand! If you can’t even part with yours for the time it takes to eat, raise your other hand! Good. Now put your hands down and watch this video to kick-start your rehab (starring Will Ferrell). Good luck everyone! 😉

Image from Toronto Waterfront