Back in a Bit

The thing is, most unpaid internships are useless, because most interns are not, in fact, interns, but regular members of staff except without pay, legal protection, or benefits. Employers in the U.K. argue that such positions are justifiable under Section 2 of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, which requires that anyone who is a “worker” be paid, as internships are covered by the exceptions contained within the act for work experience and volunteering. However, advocacy group Intern Aware argue that these exceptions don’t cover the vast majority of internships in the U.K. Rather, businesses which actually do offer valuable experience and training are being used a shield by those companies who exploit young workers for free labour.

Smartphones and Tablets are already crammed with numerous input devices, of which the camera is but one. They are already capable of determining their location using multiple sources of data: global positioning satellites, the location of mobile phone mast you’re using, and the wi-fi networks in range.

As connectivity continues to improve in terms of both speed and coverage, the device will be able to feed what it gathers from its “senses” up to the cloud, where unfathomably capable systems will be able to determine all sorts of things about what’s happening where you are. Also, smart devices will become more and more aware of their human accomplices: about what we’re doing, who we’re with, what we’re paying attention to, and what we care about. The smart device of the near future will know something’s there before you do, whether or not you notice it, and whether or not you care.

A study suggests that nearly half of Facebook users will never click on ads, making things less than favorable for those looking buy a piece of the site today.

With Facebook as one of the biggest tools for brands to connect with its fans, the number is quite jarring for companies that have invested the big bucks on Facebook advertising. Perhaps that’s why General Motors pulled $10 million worth of advertising from Facebook on Tuesday, citing that the service had not delivered effective results.

Mapping Wikipedia

Mapping Wikipedia is a groundbreaking visualisation of the world mapped according to articles in 7 different languages. The map displays both the global patterns and the vast number of geo-located items. The dataset was produced by the Oxford Internet Institute as part of a project that examines Wikipedia in the Middle East and North Africa.

Tracemedia: Mapping Wikipedia

Death to Word

Desktop publishing has given way to laptop or smartphone publishing. And Microsoft Word is an atrocious tool for Web writing. Its document-formatting mission means that every piece of text it creates is thickly wrapped in metadata, layer on layer of invisible, unnecessary instructions about how the words should look on paper.

Jeremy Deller: Joy in People

Jeremy Deller does art outside galleries. It thrives in ‘low culture’ and it is usually ambitious, socially-engaged and unexpected. Indeed, most of his career is built on looking for art in the most unpredictable places, working with the public or with people who have particular knowledge or skill but who wouldn’t otherwise be associated with the contemporary art world. They include unemployed miners, brass bands, a campaign banner maker, fans of Depeche Mode, a glam rock wrestler, experts in battle re-enactments, etc. He even collaborated on an art project with nightclub owner and trendsetter Peter Stringfellow.

In late February, a retrospective of Jeremy Deller’s work opened at the Hayward gallery. It is called Joy in People and joy is precisely what it brings.

Starbucks embark on store refresh ahead of the Olympics

Prolific coffee chain Starbucks has announced it intends to revamp its network of cafes to coincide with the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee this summer, commencing with the chain’s 70 London outlets.

This will attempt to move away from the standardised approach taken thus far to pursue individually designed stores that fit in with their local neighbourhoods.