Welcome back to my “Best of the Web” ( previously known as “7 Things to Read This Weekend”) email newsletter. After a long hiatus, we are starting its second season. In its previous incarnation my recommendations were about stepping away from technology and the minutiae of the industry. The new version has no such limitations. I will curate stories, essays, opinions and interviews that I find enlightening and thought-provoking. They help understand the big changes going on in our society. Without much further ado, here is the first set of reading recommendations.
- Will your next car be 3D printed? Local Motors, a Phoenix, Ariz.–based startup, is currently in the process of printing a car, which it plans to show at the North American Auto Show in Motor City. It is using carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic to print the car. The company also wants to build micro-factories. PopSci has the lowdown on the company.
- Why do transit systems ignore the poor? Max Ufberg asks the question, prompted by the news that the City of Boston is going to use Uber data to think and shape its urban-mobility needs.
- California goes nuts. This year’s unrelenting drought has implications on California’s agricultural economy. The water-hungry almond farms are in the middle of the heated debate, and as Mother Jones magazine points out, hedge funds are fueling the thirsty insanity.
- What will your favorite apps look like on the Apple Watch? Fast Company magazine looks at various options. Frankly, I am not impressed with any of them. It also means that the Apple Watch should be a marvelous design challenge for designers who are feeling frustrated with the sameness and lameness of many mobile apps.
- Project Hololens. Wired gets its mittens on Microsoft’s Holographic goggles, oohs and aahs about them. I understand its excitement and breathlessness. I felt that way when reading about the possibilities. It’s a great feature by Jessi Hempel, though being Microsoft, this will remain a nice thought experiment.
- Trials of a 16-year-old startup. Fortune takes a closer look at wearables and connected device maker Jawbone. It is a timely reminder that startups are never a straight line to the right, as often portrayed in the media. I have seen this story unfold very closely. I can only describe the founders as gritty and thus have a healthy respect for them, because startups are not easy.
- How I crashed and burned in YCombinator. Charlie Guo shares his time inside the hottest incubator in Silicon Valley. It is great to finally read an honest piece about startup life.
- The most dangerous job in the world (Men’s Journal)
- How the rise of a mega solar farm shows us the future of energy in America (Gigaom)
- How stories change hearts and brains (Aeon)
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