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Hello All –

Several interesting posts in this week’s UXD Inspired Reads list. Andy Rubin is back with another new Android offering, this time his own. Can it provide more compelling features over the iPhone and other Android handsets? Walt Mossberg, who has been a source of excellent tech reviews, commentary, and discourse penned his final tech column on what else, but the role of technology in our lives and Privacy. He certainly shaped my view of the role of technology for years. His first and last columns are two great bookends to a distinguished career. We follow up with a look at Microsoft’s Fluent Design System, Career Skills, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and finally a piece on how to we should manage our tech, and not allowing tech to manage us. Good food for thought.

Have a great weekend.


1. Andy Rubin’s Essential Products Launches Modular Smartphone and Echo Rival
“New company Essential Products announced its debut products today, including a modular titanium smartphone with an edge-to-edge display and an Amazon Echo competitor. The company’s logo-free Essential Phone features a 5.71-inch edge-to-edge QHD display that reaches all the way to the top of the phone and runs around the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The unique design is in contrast to Samsung’s Galaxy S8, which retains a minimal bezel to house the camera and associated components.”

2. The Father of Android Is Back, and He’s Built the Anti-iPhone
“Andy Rubin wasn’t ready to retire when he left Google in 2014. He certainly could have: After an illustrious career developing some of the most innovative products in tech, he had all the wealth and accolades anyone could want. As an engineer at the Apple spinoff General Magic, he built some of the world’s first internet-connected portable devices. As CEO at Danger, he created the Sidekick, a smartphone that defined the category before anyone had invented the term. And then, of course, Rubin created Android, the operating system found in more than two billion phones, televisions, cars, and watches.”

3. Walt Mossberg’s Last Column Calls For Privacy and Security Laws
“70-year-old Walt Mossberg wrote his last weekly column Thursday, looking back on how “we’ve all had a hell of a ride for the last few decades” and revisiting his famous 1991 pronouncement that “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn’t your fault.””

4. Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer
“Tech was once always in your way. Soon, it will be almost invisible.”

5. Fluent Design System – Why You Should Care About The New UI Style
“When it comes to the User Interface Design system done by Microsoft, you probably have in mind some failures connected with Metro and Modern. Mentioned concepts were not so bad, but they were too radical in the time when they were presented. Fortunately, currently Microsoft has done a great job. Giant from Redmond has prepared the design system that have a chance to influence UX Design in a very positive way.”

6. Nine Skills You Should Learn That Pay Dividends Forever
“The further along you are in your career, the easier it is to fall back on the mistaken assumption that you’ve made it and have all the skills you need to succeed. The tendency is to focus all your energy on getting the job done, assuming that the rest will take care of itself. Big mistake.”

7. U.S. might ban laptops on all flights into and out of the country
“The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday.”

8. 2017 predictions for Big Data, IoT, and AI
“There’s no doubt that there are currently three big trends in business models: Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI). From the still-fragmented internet of things to rapid fluctuations in computing paradigms to how AI is reshaping how we live, everybody’s talking about these trends but what’s really going on?”

9. Tech is distracting and addictive, but it doesn’t have to be
“We’ve introduced technology to every aspect of our lives to improve it, but sometimes it feels like it’s doing the exact opposite. We’re constantly being bombarded with work emails, funny cat videos and loud app notifications. It’s almost like we’re no longer in control and that we just react to whatever technology tells us to do. However, there’s a way to put technology back in its place, says Nir Eyal who spoke at the TNW Conference in Amsterdam. Eyal is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products where he wrote how successful companies subtly encourage customer behavior. In his talk in Amsterdam, however, he showed how we could turn these methods around to make technology work for us, instead of us working for it.”