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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


In OneZero. More on Medium.


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The internet is a time capsule. Like an external hard drive or a diary tucked under your mattress, the email accounts, instant messenger conversations, and blogs of our past hold nostalgic and sometimes even crucial memories. But just as an external hard drive is susceptible to file corruption and a…


Photo: Amazon

The moment Amazon announced its first fitness band, the $99 Amazon Halo, my social feeds lit up with bafflement and concern over its emotion-detecting software, which listens to your speech to discern your mood. While tracking voice tone is certainly strange, I was immediately far more concerned about the Halo’s…


Photo illustration, sources: Peter Cade/Flashpop/Sharleen Chao/Getty Images

Of all the different tools and features we use to communicate virtually, read receipts might be one of the most contentious.

“I hate read receipts, especially with men I’m talking to,” says Sarah Solomon, an author based in New York. “It’s such a one-sided power move, like, ‘I’ve chosen to…


Photo: Markus Winkler/Unsplash

When Instagram introduced the option to “heart” direct messages in 2015, my personal experience of the platform began its slow, steady descent into hell.

This nosedive accelerated in 2018 when Instagram introduced Quick Reactions to its Stories. Quick Reactions allow audiences to, yes, quickly react with one of eight emoji…


Only a bright laptop screen is visible in this dark room.
Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Four months into New York City’s lockdown, I’m finally committing to outfitting my own home office.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, I worked at my husband’s desk, which has multiple large monitors, a very nice desk chair, and even one of those green-glass banker’s lamps. …


A photo of a Macbook in a Zoom call against a sky blue background.
Photo: Morning Brew/Unsplash

I recently had a frustrating phone call that was full of trial and error. I was calling a professor for this story, and I was already a bit nervous, as I usually am when chatting with accomplished experts in their fields. …


Photo illustration; sources via Getty Images: Wittaya Bunjua, Sanga Park, Sean Locke/EyeEm; Constantine Johnny/Moment

Loyal readers of Microprocessing may remember that, about a month ago, I bought an AlphaSmart Neo 2, a 2000s-era word processor with a small, six-line LCD screen. It does nothing but type. …


Apple Watch on a table.
An Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch. Photo: Neil Godwin/T3 Magazine/Future/Getty Images

I always thought I was pretty good at washing my hands, but when the pandemic began and hand-washing became an issue of life and death, it became starkly obvious that a quick scrub with hand soap was not enough. …


Photo: picture alliance/Getty Images

“Julie answer your DAMN phone!” wrote a user on the J.Crew Instagram account. “Your online department is impossible to log into or reset a password… YOUR SYSTEM CRASHES WHEN A PROMO CODE IS ENTERED OR I TRY TO CHECKOUT. Fix this.”

“We’ve sent you a DM to help!” responds the…


Photos: TravelCouples / Tetra Images / Chris Rogers / Getty Images

It’s 9 a.m. in New York , and you log onto your study abroad program’s learning module to check in with your cohorts in Cape Town, South Africa. You agree to hop onto a call in half an hour — 3:30 p.m. local time in Cape Town — to touch…


The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

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