This week’s What I’ve Been Reading is like magic! Sort of…

  • Adam Clark Estes of Gizmodo writes about Disney’s MagicBand system that facilitates getting into parks, accessing services, and paying for meals at Walt Disney resorts. Of course, with any device involving RFID technology, privacy is a concern, and Estes addresses this. Personally, I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of privacy for convenience, but this system doesn’t seem much more convenient than traditional systems.
  • After Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, many of their diesel vehicles will have to be junked. But is junking all those inefficient vehicles actually better for the environment? The answer: we don’t know. David Tracy of Jalopnik explains. Regardless, fuck Volkswagen.
  • Allan Richarz of Atlas Obscura writes about the pointing-and-calling system on Japanese trains, which may appear silly to outsiders, but has actually contributed to increased safety. In fact, the New York City subway system uses a version of it. Neato!

That’s all for now. Ciao!