Top 5 Tech Stories theMIX is Reading This Week

Yes, we all know that it’s a short week. Maybe some of you are still recovering from Burning Man. Don’t worry, these stories on the nude selfie hack, Google drones, and Snapchat advertising (among others) will help you get back up to speed on what you missed during your long weekend.

Laura Hudson, WIRED: A Graphic Novel That’s Like Harry Potter, But With Computers Instead of Wands

“The premise of Secret Coders may sound familiar to fans of young adult literature: Two students discover a mysterious school hidden just beyond the limits of their humdrum lives...they’re not learning how to levitate objects or charm mythical beasts-- they’re learning how to code.” What a great idea to get more kids interested in computer science… now what’s the “wingardium-leviosa” of coding? #HarryPotterNerdMoment

Mike O’Brien, ClickZ: Ads and Videos May Make Their Way to Snapchat

Reports tell us that Snapchat is opening itself up for advertisers for the first time ever in November, with Snapchat Discovery. Users will see videos, news articles, and advertisements all in the well-known ephemeral interface. Does anyone else think that this could go one of two ways: really cool images of new inventory in favorite stores—or incredibly annoying push notifications from something no one cares about?

Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch: A Letter to Jennifer Lawrence

By now we all know those naked selfies you took back in the day and then immediately deleted aren’t actually gone. Thanks to iCloud, they’re living somewhere up above our heads and can be brought back to life by a talented hacker. But this letter isn’t just about poor J-Law and her selfies being discovered, its about what being a woman on the Internet is really like: “It sucks to be a woman on the Internet when there isn’t some sort of bounty program for your private information. All day you are sized up and objectified and abstracted. Just read the comments. We are quite literally made inhuman online. And we are dehumanized even further by whatever the hell is going on in Anon-ib and beyond.”

Alexis Madrigal, Quartz: The Inside Story of Google’s Secret Quest to Deliver Products with Drones

“Google wants to help increase the speed of delivery and reduce the carbon footprint and safety of delivery.” Enter Project Wing, Google’s drone delivery service. On the one hand this sounds really cool, and could mark the onset of a new era for how we buy and receive products. On the other, I picture a weird sci-fi universe with Google’s drones buzzing and whooshing over my head.

Mark Maremont, Wall Street Journal: Silicon Valley Cafeterias Whet Appetite of IRS

TL;DR. Those fancy, all organic, free lunches at Facebook, Twitter and many other Silicon Valley tech companies may not last much longer. The IRS is eyeing these lunches as “taxable benefits.” Sorry techies, guess you’ll just have to walk down the street to grab lunch like the rest of us. ;-) Or order from SpoonRocket.