During the week, we consume words in snackable, tweetable bites. But on the weekends, we have the time to take a dive into the murkier, lengthier depths of the Internet and expand our attention spans beyond 140 characters. We can brew a cup of coffee and lie back with our iPads, laptops, smartphones and Kindles.
Since you're bound to miss a few things during the daily grind, we present to you, in our weekly installation of Mashable Must Reads, a curated v of can't-miss stories to read and reflect on. (You can find last week's must reads here.)
After doctors diagnosed Brian Curtis with lung cancer, they said his time left on Earth was limited. So in a quest to bring joy to the end of his dad's life and keep other family members connected, his son, Brandon, started an online campaign called #SkyBluePink. "Sky blue pink" was Brian's favorite color a beautiful blend of shades found in sunsets and sunrises. Hours after its launch, the photos started streaming in from strangers to comfort a man they'd never met.
Major media companies like Amazon, Netflix and Pandora rely on algorithms to personalize the user experience, and many journalism outlets now use algorithms to recommend stories, organize the homepage and even generate original content. But that doesn't mean real editors and curators have completely lost out. Sometimes the "gorgeous messiness of flesh and blood" does prevail.
Facial recognition is making the notion of privacy ever murkier; you only have to look at an object to gather information on it. Software that capitalizes on this notion, like Google Glass, and ultra-personalized ads are essentially monetizing our identities, argues John C. Havens, the author of an upcoming book on hacking personal data. And what do we get in return?
As recently as five or 10 years ago, there was a special place in bookstores reserved for self-published authors: a dark shelf in the back of the store. Amazon has changed all that. Inspired by the recent flux in self-published authors hitting the top seller lists, a senior vice president at a major publishing house just launched Swoon Reads, a crowdsourcing publishing platform for authors of young adult fiction.
There is one group Apple can't count on as case customers: its own devotees. Some minimalist iPhone owners are opting to ditch cases entirely, enshrining their phones as status symbols that don't need protection. After all, why cover up something so beautiful?
For the past five years, artist Richard Rinaldi has asked random strangers to be affectionate with one another for the sake of art. He'd have them put their arms around each other and then capture photos, which are featured in his new book. We've rounded up some the best snapshots the awkward, the silly and the endearing.
Don't have time to read them all now? In our Readlist below, export this week's must reads to your tablet to save for a time you have no distractions. Simply click the "read later" button alongside each story or or click "export" to send the entire list of articles to your preferred device.
Image: Mashable, Bob Al-Greene