terry + technology   486

Love in a time of Corona Virus - Tips, Tricks and Best Practices for Working Remotely - Scott Hanselman
I'm deeply aware of the privilege we have as tech/desk workers to be able to do our jobs remotely. I am also (dare I say) looking forward to what I believe will be a dramatic increase in Remote Worker Empathy on the part of the in office folks.
remote  working  office  jobs  technology 
15 hours ago by terry
Build your own kinetic engines with these mechanical kits by Morris Models - Colossal
For those inclined to tinker, Morris Models offers DIY kits that save an unused blender or noisy washing machine from relentless disassembly. Part historical prototype and part kinetic sculpture, Morris Models’s six laser-cut engines range in complexity and difficulty. For example, the Single Cylinder is a 50-piece, two-hour build that’s comparable to a lawnmower motor, while the WWI Rotary Engine includes 500 parts, can take up to 30 hours to complete, and is inspired by the French Clerget aircraft series that was popular in the early 1900s.
gadgets  technology  engineering  models 
yesterday by terry
Don’t mute, get a better headset – Matt Mullenweg
When you’re speaking to a muted room, it’s eerie and unnatural — you feel alone even if you can see other people’s faces. You lose all of those spontaneous reactions that keep a conversation flowing. If you ask someone a question, or they want to jump in, they have to wait to unmute. I also don’t love the “unmute to raise your hand” behavior, as it lends itself to meetings where people are just waiting their turn to speak instead of truly listening.
audio  meetings  sound  technology 
yesterday by terry
What is a Telepresence Robot? – Telepresence Robot
Simply put, a telepresence robot helps place "you" at a remote location instantly, providing you a virtual presence, or "telepresence."  A telepresence robot is a computer, tablet, or smartphone-controlled robot which includes a video-camera, screen, speakers and microphones so that people interacting with the robot can view and hear its operator and the operator can simultaneously view what the robot is “looking” at and "hearing."  Some robots require a tablet or phone to be attached to the robot, while others include built-in video and audio features.
phones  technology  computing 
3 days ago by terry
These tools help older people connect digitally while isolating – The Conversation
Several practical suggestions arose from this research. Firstly I observed
that the rise of digital technologies has democratised digital creativity
and ingenuity. It was often the visiting grandchildren who came up with
neat ideas to help their grandparents find ways of coping with practical
problems through new technology. […] The wider research
<https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/83101> suggested that a real benefit
of social media was how people used it to express a very English
sensibility. Social media allowed them to get back in contact with more
extended family and friends, while still keeping them at a distance.
technology  socialmedia  society 
6 days ago by terry
Creating the coronopticon - Countries are using apps and data networks to keep tabs on the pandemic – The Economist
When two users of this new app, called TraceTogether, are within two metres of each other their phones get in touch via Bluetooth. If the propinquity lasts for 30 minutes both phones record the encounter in an encrypted memory cache. When someone with the app is diagnosed with the virus, or identified as part of a cluster, the health ministry instructs them to empty their cache to the contact-tracers, who decrypt it and inform the other party. It is especially useful for contacts between people who do not know each other, such as fellow travellers on a bus, or theatre-goers.
coronavirus  technology  surveillance  apps 
9 days ago by terry
Daily chart - Covid-19 is a short-term boon to streaming services – The Economist
Television use of all sorts in America went up by 18% in the week ending March 22nd, compared with the week before. Viewership of live television rose by 14%, while the use of video-game consoles climbed by 35%. The increase in watching live TV was especially marked for teenagers (31%);many of them can no longer go to school. Overall internet usage rose by 28%, partly because so many workers must now meet their colleagues digitally, rather than face to face.
technology  television  internet 
9 days ago by terry
Hidden data is revealing the true scale of the coronavirus outbreak – Wired UK
Now, Angus’s scanning had detected that Malaysia’s internet had become over five per cent slower in the March 12 to 13 timespan – worse even than in locked-down Italy. Officially, though, Malaysia had only 129 confirmed coronavirus cases – a relatively low number, although it had been inching up for a week.
technology  internet 
13 days ago by terry
Best online collaboration tools of 2020: software for shared editing and communications – TechRadar
With the current spread of the corona virus (aka COVID 19), a lot of companies are already seeking to make arrangements to accommodate remote working, to help reduce the spread of the corona virus while also helping to limit the impact on productivity. Here we feature the best in collaborative software, allowing employees to work remotely from home while still being able to directly communicate and collaborate on projects and documents.
technology  work  productivity 
14 days ago by terry
Best video conferencing software 2020: paid and free solutions for business – TechRadar
With the current spread of the coronavirus (aka COVID-19), a lot of companies are already seeking to make arrangements to accommodate remote working, to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus while also helping to limit the impact on productivity.  Here we feature the best in video conferencing software
technology  work 
14 days ago by terry
Helping educators and students stay connected – Google Blog
In the last week we’ve created new distance learning resources including a collection of training materials, a list of useful apps, a new Learn@Home YouTube resource designed for families, as well as a series of blog posts and webinars. We’ve also made our premium Meet features free for schools through July 1, 2020.
google  online  education  teaching  technology 
14 days ago by terry
Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working – The Guardian
[I]t looks increasingly as if the situation will not ever go back to how it was: many employees for companies who have sent all staff home are already starting to question why they had to go in to the office in the first place. [...]

“This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold,” said Matt Mullenweg, chief executive of WordPress and Tumblr owner Automattic. Mullenweg’s company is already “distributed”, and he predicts the changes “might also offer an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility.

“Millions of people will get the chance to experience days without long commutes, or the harsh inflexibility of not being able to stay close to home when a family member is sick… This might be a chance for a great reset in terms of how we work,” he said.
technology  work 
14 days ago by terry
Could remote working be the future of work? – TechRadar
Having a flexible lifestyle is clearly the most popular benefit from remote working - named by more than half of our survey - while almost four in ten say the main advantage is not having to commute. Less predictably, perhaps, more than a one third said the best thing about being a remote worker was that they actually saved money - this was a bigger deal for them than either being able to care for their family and elderly relatives, or reducing their overall stress levels.
society  work  technology 
14 days ago by terry
Will coronavirus spur a traffic-solving remote-work revolution? Don’t count on it – The Mercury News
But Goodwin cautioned that the notion this crisis will spur some long-lasting, traffic-solving work-from-home revolution is too simplistic. For one thing, it’s based on what is almost certainly a faulty premise: That the Bay Area we will eventually return to whenever and however this crisis subsides will look much like it did before efforts to contain the virus began significantly disrupting public life earlier this month.

Since then, thousands of people have lost their jobs or seen their work hours cut as stay-at-home orders force all but essential businesses to close. The stock market is tanking, and experts warn we’re probably headed into a recession. When the economy is good, more people are driving to jobs and traffic tends to be worse; when it’s bad, fewer people drive to work and highways are clearer.
transport  work  society  technology 
14 days ago by terry
For the full life experience, put down all devices and walk – Aeon Ideas
Walking is increasingly mediated by technological gadgets worn on wrists or gripped in hands. We spend an increasing amount of time ‘screening’ the world – taking in most of life through a contracted frame that captures objects of immediate interest. To live with eyes on the screen is to be attached, stuck in the frame, taking in what is presented to us and re-presented to us again. But representation – even in fine-grained pixilation – is not experience. To experience is to perceive. When we look at a screen, we might see something, but we don’t perceive. To live life through representations is to live passively, to receive rather than to experience. It is also, we fear, to live the life of a follower. Instead of asking What do I see? How might I tell you? we are told instead how to see, and often what to feel – much of which is determined by algorithm.
technology  psychology  nature  society  philosophy 
14 days ago by terry
Old tech’s new wave, the gadgets of yesteryear making a comeback – The Guardian
Once seen as cutting edge, many of yesterday’s gadgets are – surprisingly –
still in use or are making a comeback.
technology  gadgets 
14 days ago by terry
Rotary dial In today’s world: Artist imagines what if the rotary dial existed to this day? – Design You Trust
According to Valerii, a CGI Artist and motion-designer: “What if the rotary dial existed to this day? I’ve thought about it, and I’ve created some visualizations of how it could be recently or today. All math would be terrible! Especially if you remove the number keys from the QWERTY layout.”
art  design  technology  phones 
18 days ago by terry
Welcome to the new age of calm technology – Adobe XD Ideas
Rolston has spent his career thinking about how to bring Weiser and Brown’s idea of calm technology to life. In 2016, his team showed off a prototype for a project called “Interactive Light,” that reimagined a room as an interactive workspace. A projector cast light onto a desk while a Microsoft Kinect monitored motion. Suddenly you could use gestures to transform the objects in a room into an interface (a salt shaker might become a remote control for your speaker; the countertop could turn into your screen), and the computer would surface whatever tool you needed based on the context of where you were and what you were doing.
technology  interface  interactive  ui 
18 days ago by terry
The History of the URL
It’s important to dispel any illusion that these decisions were made with prescience for the future the domain name would have. In fact, their elected solution was primarily decided because it was the “one causing least difficulty for existing systems.” For example, one proposal was for email addresses to be of the form <user>.<host>@<domain>. If email usernames of the day hadn’t already had ‘.’ characters you might be emailing me at ‘zack.cloudflare@com’ today.
history  internet  technology  web 
20 days ago by terry
10 breakthrough technologies 2020 – MIT Technology Review
Here is our annual list of technological advances that we believe will make a real difference in solving important problems. How do we pick? We avoid the one-off tricks, the overhyped new gadgets. Instead we look for those breakthroughs that will truly change how we live and work.
science  future  technology  ai  money 
21 days ago by terry
Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don’t need to be frantic – Content Catnip
This interesting book encounters what has become an enduring trend on the internet – people’s reappropriation of language for describing digital phenomena and people’s novel ways of using technology to reconnect with the natural world.
books  environment  technology 
4 weeks ago by terry
Go ahead, rotary phone, try and distract me – The Outline
Anti-distraction tools such as these can be effective, in the same way that driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck is an effective way of carrying piles of dirt or whatever people who use pickup trucks carry around in them. But many people do not buy a truck because they use it for such purposes, they buy it because it’s comfortable to drive, and they like how it looks and what it says about them. The aesthetics of distraction-free hardware, consciously or not, are rooted in nostalgia as much as they are in functionality: the rotary phone and the portable “typewriter” have not been in common use for decades, but the virality of Haupt’s phone and the apparent sales success of the Freewrite suggest that people long for an older, less distraction-prone time.
technology  nostalgia  phones  smartphones 
5 weeks ago by terry
Z Flip and Razr: Folding screens bubble and scratch, tests find – BBC News
It follows the troubled release of Samsung's first foldable phone one year ago, leading some analysts to question whether foldable screen technology is ready for mainstream release.

The Samsung phone costs nearly £1,300 in the UK ($1,380 US), sim-free; while the Motorola is only available locked to a two-year, £94+ per month contract.
gadgets  phones  technology 
6 weeks ago by terry
An anti-smartphone with a rotary designed and built by space engineer Justine Haupt – Colossal
Justine Haupt, a developer of astronomy instrumentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone (aka Rotary Cellphone) does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features. It fits in Haupt’s pocket, and it makes calls.
phones  gadgets  technology 
6 weeks ago by terry
V2. Escape From Hell may be the first vertically shot blockbuster — Quartz
What if movies were taller and thinner?

That’s the question posed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov, who is developing “the first vertical format blockbuster,” according to Deadline. Based on the true story of a Soviet fighter pilot who led an escape out of a Nazi concentration camp in World War II, the film, titled V2. Escape From Hell, will be shot and released entirely in vertical mode, rather than in the traditional horizontal format moviegoers are accustomed to.
movies  phones  technology  culture 
7 weeks ago by terry
How BlackBerry went from controlling the smartphone market to a phone of the past – Business Insider
At one time, BlackBerry controlled 50% of the smartphone market in the US and 20% globally. In the mid-aughts, BlackBerry phones were everywhere. But demand rapidly declined, and in 2016, BlackBerry stopped manufacturing its own phones. So, what happened?
phones  technology  blackberry  gadgets 
7 weeks ago by terry
BlackBerry trumps iOS in U.S. mobile web wars for the first time – TechCrunch
Based on aggregate data that the company says it has collected on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month, StatCounter claims BlackBerry OS last month, at 34.3 percent, effectively trumped Apple’s iOS, which recorded 33 percent in November.
blackberry  apple  phones  mobile  technology  gadgets 
7 weeks ago by terry
These modded scanners let you play techno using barcodes – The Verge
Honestly, regardless of how the barcode scanners work, I adore old repurposed tech, and perhaps even more, Wada’s description of the project. “In the future, barcode readers will be connected not only to cash registers but also to speakers,” he writes. “DJs with daytime cash register and barcode at night. The next level of cash register!”
technology  music  sound  techno 
7 weeks ago by terry
The WIRED guide to the Internet of Things – Wired
What you need to know about the promise (and peril) of networked lightbulbs, ovens, cameras, speakers and, well … everything. 
internet  iot  technology 
7 weeks ago by terry
How your laptop ruined your life – The Atlantic
As laptops have kept improving, and Wi-Fi has continued to reach ever further into the crevices of American life, however, the reality of laptops’ potential stopped looking quite so rosy. Instead of liberating white-collar and “knowledge” workers from their office, laptops turned many people’s whole life into an office. Smartphones might require you to read an after-hours email or check in on the office-communication platform Slack before you started your commute, but portable computers gave workers 24-hour access to the sophisticated, expensive applications—Salesforce CRM, Oracle ERP, Adobe Photoshop—that made their full range of duties possible.
business  technology  computing 
7 weeks ago by terry
Browser market share worldwide – StatCounter Global Stats
Chrome – 64.1%, Safari – 17.21%, Firefox – 4.7%, Samsung Internet – 3.33%, UC Browser – 2.61%, Opera – 2.26%
internet  browser  technology  software  google  web 
8 weeks ago by terry
RIP Blackberry phones — you really f***ed us over, but that keyboard was great – The Outline
Blackberry phones died a slow death throughout the 2010s, as people migrated to newer phones with a wider selection of functions, apps, and so on. But the Blackberry’s rise was marked by the cultural shift that is, I think, the greatest anxiety of the smartphone era: the rapid upswing in how much time we spend on our damn phones.

When Barack Obama became president in 2008, he famously fought for (and won) the right to keep using his Blackberry (the phone would become the official device given out by large swathes of the federal government, including Congress). And years before reverting to a “dumb phone” became a thing for trendsetters like Anna Wintour, magazine writers tried the same stunt to lessen their Blackberry usage. One Daily Mail headline from 2006 warned of a “Blackberry addiction 'similar to drugs,’” describing the kind of behavior we now readily associate with social media and phones more generally (“One key sign of a user being addicted is if they focus on their Blackberry ignoring those around them.”).
phones  technology  gadgets 
8 weeks ago by terry
Huawei and 5G: UK had little choice but say yes to Chinese – here's why – The Conversation
[T]he government seems to have been caught between a rock and a hard place: faced with wounding the UK network operators and slowing the 5G roll-out, it has sought a compromise.
huawei  china  technology  communications 
9 weeks ago by terry
Redesigning social media platforms to reduce 'FoMO' – The Conversation
Technology can enhance existing problems, but it can also be used to bring about positive change. It can do so in an intelligent and interactive way. From the discussions we have had with people experiencing FoMO, we have identified a number of possible designs that could be implemented in a way that cross cut all their social media accounts.
socialmedia  technology  mentalhealth 
9 weeks ago by terry
Jimmy Iovine knows music and tech. Here’s why he’s worried. – The New York Times
What’s the streaming business’s problem on the horizon? Margin. It doesn’t scale. At Netflix, the more subscribers you have, the less your costs are. In streaming music, the costs follow you.

And the streaming music services are utilities — they’re all the same. Look at what’s working in video. Disney has nothing but original stuff. Netflix has tons of original stuff. But the music streaming services are all the same, and that’s a problem.

What happens when something is commoditized is that it becomes a war of price. If you can get the exact same thing next door cheaper, somebody is going to enter this game and just lower the price. Spotify’s trying with podcasts. Who knows? Maybe that will work.
music  technology 
10 weeks ago by terry
Machine Morality and Human Responsibility – The New Atlantis
This year [2011] marks the ninetieth anniversary of the first performance of the play from which we get the term “robot.” The Czech playwright Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. premiered in Prague on January 25, 1921. Physically, Čapek’s robots were not the kind of things to which we now apply the term: they were biological rather than mechanical, and humanlike in appearance. But their behavior should be familiar from its echoes in later science fiction — for Čapek’s robots ultimately bring about the destruction of the human race.

Before R.U.R., artificially created anthropoids, like Frankenstein’s monster or modern versions of the Jewish legend of the golem, might have acted destructively on a small scale; but Čapek seems to have been the first to see robots as an extension of the Industrial Revolution, and hence to grant them a reach capable of global transformation. Though his robots are closer to what we now might call androids, only a pedant would refuse Čapek honors as the father of the robot apocalypse.
culture  language  scifi  theatre  technology  robots 
10 weeks ago by terry
The Czech play that gave us the word ‘Robot’ – The MIT Press Reader
Thus, “R.U.R.,” which gave birth to the robot, was a critique of mechanization and the ways it can dehumanize people. The word itself derives from the Czech word “robota,” or forced labor, as done by serfs. Its Slavic linguistic root, “rab,” means “slave.” The original word for robots more accurately defines androids, then, in that they were neither metallic nor mechanical.

The contrast between robots as mechanical slaves and potentially rebellious destroyers of their human makers echoes Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and helps set the tone for later Western characterizations of robots as slaves straining against their lot, ready to burst out of control. The duality echoes throughout the twentieth century: Terminator, HAL 9000, Blade Runner’s replicants.
culture  language  scifi  theatre  technology  robots 
10 weeks ago by terry
These weird Google apps force you to curb your phone addiction
A couple years ago, Google launched its Digital Wellbeing initiative, in an attempt to get phone users to acknowledge how often they use their devices - which is ironic since the company is in the business of selling phones and serving up mobile ads. Nevertheless, it's exploring ways to get you to curb your phone addiction, with the latest example coming in the form of experimental Android apps.
mobile  phones  google  technology 
10 weeks ago by terry
Google designed an envelope you can use to hide your phone from yourself – The Verge
I actually really like the idea of Envelope. I’ve been to a couple of those concerts that required using the phone pouches, and I felt that being completely blocked from using my phone helped me and the rest of the crowd focus better on the show. I can see how Envelope could be a similarly useful way to give myself a break from my phone at home. But since your phone is glued inside the envelope, you’ll have to tear the seal and part of the envelope to get it out, which means that you’d probably have make a new envelope every single time you want to use the app.
mobile  phone  google  technology  gadgets 
10 weeks ago by terry
Biological robots - A research team builds robots from living cells – The Economist
But one thing all robots have in common is that they are mechanical, not biological devices. They are built from materials like metal and plastic, and stuffed with electronics. No more, though—for a group of researchers in America have worked out how to use unmodified biological cells to create new sorts of organisms that might do a variety of jobs, and might even be made to reproduce themselves.
robots  technology  science 
10 weeks ago by terry
Could new research on A.I. and white-collar jobs finally bring about a strong policy response? – The New Yorker
Webb then analyzed A.I. patent filings and found them using verbs such as “recognize,” “detect,” “control,” “determine,” and “classify,” and nouns like “patterns,” “images,” and “abnormalities.” The jobs that appear to face intrusion by these newer patents are different from the more manual jobs that were affected by industrial robots: intelligent machines may, for example, take on more tasks currently conducted by physicians, such as detecting cancer, making prognoses, and interpreting the results of retinal scans, as well as those of office workers that involve making determinations based on data, such as detecting fraud or investigating insurance claims. People with bachelor’s degrees might be more exposed to the effects of the new technologies than other educational groups, as might those with higher incomes. The findings suggest that nurses, doctors, managers, accountants, financial advisers, computer programmers, and salespeople might see significant shifts in their work. Occupations that require high levels of interpersonal skill seem most insulated.
ai  robots  technology  economics  society 
11 weeks ago by terry
How 'WhatsApp group admin' became one of the most powerful jobs in politics – The Conversation
This new type of political organising affects how power is distributed within parties and movements. A traditional party has a leader and a whip; a WhatsApp group has an administrator. A new breed of operative therefore wields significant power.

Administrators make decisions regarding who to add or remove from a chat and, often, what content is shared. This means that, if a group gets big enough, a relatively low-level party operative can become an important figure. In the traditional sense of party structures, Steve Baker, for example, is not a leading politician. But as administrator of the ERG WhatsApp group, he can control who is in and who is out of a discussion group that has played a central role in the direction taken on Brexit.
socialmedia  messaging  communication  internet  technology  politics 
11 weeks ago by terry
State support helped fuel Huawei’s global rise – Wall Street Journal
Tens of billions of dollars in financial assistance from the Chinese government helped fuel Huawei Technologies Co.’s rise to the top of global telecommunications, a scale of support that in key measures dwarfed what its closest tech rivals got from their governments.
security  technology  china 
12 weeks ago by terry
Travelex hack: staff write paper invoices as websites remain down – The Guardian
Travelex was forced to take down its global websites on 1 January after criminals attacked on its computer system on New Year’s Eve using Sodinokibi ransomware. ...

The hackers are threatening to release 5GB of customers’ personal data – including social security numbers, dates of birth and payment-card information – into the public domain unless the company pays up.
technology  hack  security 
12 weeks ago by terry
Resilient Web Design—Chapter 1
The hands on a clock face move in a clockwise direction only because that’s the direction that the shadow cast by a sundial moves over the course of a day in the northern hemisphere. Had history turned out differently, with the civilisation of the southern hemisphere in the ascendent, then the hands on our clocks would today move in the opposite direction.
design  web  internet  technology  time 
12 weeks ago by terry
CES 2020: The weirdest gadgets from the world’s biggest tech show
2020 is already off to a strong start for the bizarre, with wacky robots, spinning tellies and even more things unnecessarily connected to the internet. Many of these may never see the public light of day, but here are our picks of the weirdest gadgets at CES 2020.
technology  gadgets 
12 weeks ago by terry
The most dangerous people on the internet this decade – Wired
In some cases these figures represent dangers not so much to public safety, but to the status quo. We've also highlighted actual despots, terrorists, and saboteurs who pose a serious threat to lives around the world. As the decade comes to a close, here's our list of the people we believe best characterize the dangers that emerged from the online world in the last 10 years—many of whom show no signs of becoming any less dangerous in the decade to come.
technology  ethics  internet  politics  facebook 
january 2020 by terry
No more phones and other tech predictions for the next decade – The New York Times
Is there a business in depolarization? I get that the forces of cynicism, manipulation and hate are forever on the digital march, but I am convinced that there is money to be made in appealing to our weariness with how our tech lives have been shaped. There are ways to foster digital interaction that do not have to incite rage. The reason much of social media feels so toxic is it has been built for speed, virality and attention grabbing rather than for context and accuracy. While it seems impossible to imagine a new kind of social-network product in the shadow of Facebook, TikTok, for all its controversy as a Chinese-owned company, has been a runaway success (the first big social success since Snapchat arrived in 2011), and there is room for more. There are opportunities to create new forms of communication that give the advantage to users — by strictly enforcing behavior standards and eliminating anonymity, and most of all, with advertising-based business plans that are not predicated on taking advantage of our personal data.


Will you put down that phone? There has been a lot of gnashing and wailing about screen addiction, “sharenting” and the myriad other negative effects of all the devices we have come to rely on. (I am guilty as charged.) These gadgets have been designed to hook you, not unlike sugar or cigarettes or gambling or opiates. The well known techie Tristan Harris calls it “human downgrading” — and he’s right. But there is yet another opportunity here to push for design ethics, a movement that I think will gain traction as we all assess what our dives into digital have done to humanity. While our tech devices have, on the whole, been good for most people, there is a true business opportunity in making them work more efficiently and without a reliance on addiction. Whether we move toward more intuitively created tech that surrounds us or that incorporates into our bodies (yes, that’s coming), I am going to predict that carrying around a device in our hand and staring at it will be a thing of the past by 2030. And like the electrical grid we rely on daily, most tech will become invisible.
technology  future  society  ethics 
january 2020 by terry
From Glass to Fire Phone, these were the decade's top tech flops – Wired UK
Facebook Portal: In 2018, though, a scandal-infected Facebook was attempting to put out fire after fire - the Cambridge Analytica breach, Russian troll ads, the UN’s report on its role in Myanmar. With Facebook the absolute worst word in privacy and trust, no-one wanted a Facebook camera and microphone in their homes, especially one which the company admitted would track call data in order to serve ads to users.
technology  gadgets  facebook  drones 
january 2020 by terry
A brutal year: how the 'techlash' caught up with Facebook, Google and Amazon - The Guardian
From new privacy legislation to internal strife, here are some of the major hurdles the tech industry has faced in the past year.
amazon  facebook  google  technology  dataprotection  privacy 
december 2019 by terry
The Cyborg: Kevin Warwick is the world's first human-robot hybrid – Vice
This isn't just for fun: Warwick is certain that without upgrading, humans will someday fall behind the advances of the robots they're building – or worse. "Someday we'll switch on that machine, and we won't be able to switch it off." That might explain why he has very little technology at home, and counts The Terminator among his biggest influences. He doesn't want to become a robot; he wants to be a better human.
technology  robots  cyberculture  science  scifi 
december 2019 by terry
Pessimism v progress – Economist
The New York Times sums up the encroaching gloom. “A mood of pessimism”, it writes, has displaced “the idea of inevitable progress born in the scientific and industrial revolutions.” Except those words are from an article published in 1979. Back then the paper fretted that the anxiety was “fed by growing doubts about society’s ability to rein in the seemingly runaway forces of technology”.
technology  society  history  future  ai  socialmedia 
december 2019 by terry
Transhumanism Is tempting—until you remember Inspector Gadget – Wired
The point here is that more data doesn’t mean much if you can’t do something useful with it. You can have all the data in the world and be just as useless as Inspector Gadget. Today, in conversations about AI people talk about the rise in computing power, the rise in giant data sets, and how those two things will inevitably lead to super-powerful systems. But there’s a step missing in those arguments, and it’s a crucial, difficult, and time-consuming one: If all that data isn’t labeled or organized in a meaningful way, even the greatest supercomputer can’t do meaningful work with it. ...

It’s comforting to think of the body as a machine we can trick out. It helps us ignore the strange fleshy aches that come with having a meat cage. It makes a fickle system—one we truly don’t understand—feel conquerable. To admit that the body (and mind that sits within it) might be far more complex than our most delicate, intricate inventions endangers all kinds of things: the medical industrial complex, the wellness industry, countless startups. But it might also open up new doors for better relationships with our bodies too: Disability scholars have long argued that the way we see bodies as “fixable” ultimately serves to further marginalize people who will never have the “standard operating system,” no matter how many times their parts are replaced or tinkered with.
future  technology  data  biology  health 
december 2019 by terry
Cyborgs – Quartz
The thing is, many of us are already functionally cyborgs. Devices can augment the capacity and function of our hearing, our vision, and our memory. We’re already relatively comfortable with certain kinds of invasive implantation methods.

But it’s true that we haven’t yet achieved the full scope of what sci-fi movies have promised us is possible. Most people aren’t walking around equipped with devices that can translate languages in real time, though that would be cool. A further augmented future may not be too far off, though it may look different than we anticipate. And it may require us to consider what it means to be human, and what kind of modification goes too far.
future  technology  data  biology  health 
december 2019 by terry
Decentralized identity standards can solve Facebook's problem - The Hill
The path forward involves mandating that Facebook and other social media services adopt these open standards giving people control of their own identities and identifiers online. This will open a new playing field of competition for social applications and services that are not Facebook, but ones built to meet the needs of unique communities of interest and local communities.

Organizations and individuals are working to formalize these open standards in the W3C. Decentralized Identifiers are a new form of identifier that the individual generates, owns and manages using software under the individual’s control, not a corporation’s or government’s.

This will happen via applications on your phone that help you manage your decentralized identifiers. You can have dozens or hundreds. The user experience will feel a lot like using a digital wallet with different cards in it for different contexts.
technology  internet  identity  facebook 
december 2019 by terry
How the loss of the landline is changing family life – The Atlantic
“The shared family phone served as an anchor for home,” says Luke Fernandez, a visiting computer-science professor at Weber State University and a co-author of Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid: Feelings About Technology, From the Telegraph to Twitter. “Home is where you could be reached, and where you needed to go to pick up your messages.” With smartphones, Fernandez says, “we have gained mobility and privacy. But the value of the home has been diminished, as has its capacity to guide and monitor family behavior and perhaps bind families more closely together.”
technology  families  phones  society 
december 2019 by terry
Giving kids technology for Christmas isn't such a bad thing – Fast Company
In a recent study, we found that talking online and texting actually strengthened friendships more than just spending time in each other’s company. Rather than neglecting relationships and encouraging insularity, having a phone meant that young people were more likely to feel connected to their friends and closer to their family.
children  parenting  communication  phones  technology 
december 2019 by terry
The conquest of ubiquity - Paul Valéry – Mike Tyka
I recently came across this short essay by Paul Valéry. Valéry pretty much anticipates the modern internet age with its torrent of media all around us, which is an astonishing feat of foresight, given he wrote this in 1928. ...

Just as we are accustomed, if not enslaved, to the various forms of energy that pour into our homes, we shall find it perfectly natural to receive the ultrarapid variations or oscillations that our sense organs gather in and integrate to form all we know. I do not know whether a philosopher has ever dreamed of a company engaged in the home delivery of Sensory Reality.
technology  history 
december 2019 by terry
Economics of Labour's plan to nationalise broadband – £20 billion cost is unrealistic – The Conversation
While there is no nationalised and free full-fibre scheme to compare Labour’s proposal to, Australia carried out a government-funded broadband rollout scheme that is widely viewed as a relative failure. This policy was not identical – it was not for full-fibre connections – but costs of the programme spiralled and it became a political football.

Expanding access to super-fast broadband is clearly an important policy goal and rural communities would likely be the biggest beneficiaries, as market forces are unlikely to provide this in the short or medium term. But Labour appears to significantly underestimate the costs, while possibly overestimating the savings.

Ultimately, the question to ask is whether guaranteed full-fibre connections in every home is justifiable if the programme started to run several times over budget, as seems likely. There would be a very real risk of non-delivery if the project keeps going over budget. Then, a lack of private sector provision would leave little alternative for consumers to turn to.
internet  politics  technology 
november 2019 by terry
Free broadband: internet access is now a human right, no matter who pays the bills – The Conversation
Before the internet, most people in democracies had roughly equal opportunities to exercise their political rights. They could vote, write to newspapers or their political representative, attend public meetings and join organisations.

But when some people gained internet access, their opportunities to exercise political rights became much greater compared to those without the internet. They could publish their views online for potentially millions of people to see, join forces with other people without having to physically attend regular meetings, and obtain a wealth of previously inaccessible political information.

Today, a large proportion of our political debates take place online, so in some ways our political rights can only be exercised via the internet. This means internet access is required for people to have roughly equal opportunities to make use of their political freedoms, and why we should recognise internet access as a human right.
technology  internet  politics 
november 2019 by terry
Big Data vs. Big Dada: Writing poetry on demand at a New Orleans tech convention
“I’d like my poem to be about, ‘How to help people’—it’s for my boss,” a cheery young woman tells me, an hour before we close up shop on the final day of the conference. This assignment moves me profoundly—after a thousand poems about anniversaries and dense explications of maverick approaches to data analysis, someone seems sincerely interested in the human condition—an embodiment of the benevolent side of the tech industry. Despite my rage at companies like Facebook for their complicity in the election of a psychopathic demagogue, among many other sins—Silicon Valley aspires to a fervent streak of altruism that falls squarely into the tradition of idealism going back to the 1800s.

The subject for her poem is a question philosophers have wrestled with for centuries, leading to Marx’s indictment of capitalism as a virus which will ultimately eat itself, unless it’s eradicated by a system which doesn’t require exponential profit at the expense of workers and the environment. I don’t say any of this, because not even Marxists enjoy the mansplaining of Marx—instead, I say, “That’s so beautiful, it makes me think of the roots of idealism.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of customer engagement. Like, ‘How can we help our customer engage more with our product and our content?’” she informs me. Oy.
poetry  technology  writing 
november 2019 by terry
What would happen if the internet went down ... forever?
Sweat starts to form on your brow—although that’s because your Nest thermostat isn’t working. Your smart TV is on the fritz. Your connected refrigerator’s display monitor won’t work. And when you frantically dart across the street to ask the neighbors if they can get online, the series of anomalies that have characterized your morning suddenly don’t seem so anomalous.

The internet isn’t just down. It’s gone. Stopped. Kaput. No more. May God have mercy on our Instagram influencers.
internet  computing  technology  future 
november 2019 by terry
Somnox sleep robot – like being in bed with a baby Darth Vader
The kidney-shaped cushion comes with a birth certificate and mirrors your breathing patterns to help you nod off. I would rather spoon a fork.
sleep  robots  technology  apps 
october 2019 by terry
Why is the world so loud?
Not only was the whine itself agitating—EHHNNNNNNNN—but its constant drone was like a cruel mnemonic for everything that bothered him: his powerlessness, his sense of injustice that the city was ignoring its residents’ welfare, his fear of selling his home for a major loss because no one would want to live with the noise, his regret that his family’s haven (not to mention their biggest investment) had turned into a nightmare. EHHNNN. EHHNNNNNNNNN. EHHNNNNNNNNNNNN. He tried meditating. He considered installing new windows to dull the hum, or planting trees to block the noise. He researched lawyers. And he made one final appeal to the newly elected members of the Chandler city council.
environment  technology  sound  noise 
october 2019 by terry
Lurking: How a person became a user
In a shockingly short amount of time, the internet has bound people around the world together and torn us apart and changed not just the way we communicate but who we are and who we can be. It has created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of—even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate—but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled. We have churned through platforms and technologies and in turn been churned by them. And yet, the internet is us and always has been.
books  future  technology  socialmedia  internet  web 
october 2019 by terry
Smart homes, bountiful oceans and casual sexism: the future as envisaged from 1967
In 1967, the Ford Motor Company (then known as Philco-Ford) released the short film 1999 AD, which imagined daily life for a US family in the not-so-distant future. Screened today, the film is a fascinating and humbling glimpse at the ever-fraught business of predicting the future. As the viewer watches the Shore family – mother, father and young son – the film’s forecast of life at the turn of the 21st century stuns both with its prescience and its shortsightedness, all served up with a side of folksy, 1960s-style cheese.
video  technology  future 
october 2019 by terry
Teletext was slow but it paved the way for the super-fast world of the internet
The BBC has announced that 2020 will mark the end of the Red Button text service – the final incarnation of what was originally known as CEEFAX and Oracle. Those old text-based TV services would seem ridiculously clunky and old-fashioned to an internet generation used to instant streaming and apps for everything. But – as slow and frustrating as that old text system was – it paved the way for the World Wide Web and helped prepare us for the world of social media.
television  technology  internet 
september 2019 by terry
Our motto: Dronepocalypse Now
But, looking forward, will those detect small autonomous drones which hug the ground while avoiding obstacles like a Skydio? Or kamikaze drones which can conceivably defend themselves? Iterations will continue, on both sides, in a classic arms race. One side builds better defenses; he other side builds bigger drones that fly faster/farther and carry more explosive and nosedive onto their targets, or smaller nimbler drones that outswarm defenses; then the defenders upgrade; then the attackers innovate. All in a highly irregular, punctuated way, over the space of years.
future  drones  technology 
september 2019 by terry
The rise and fall of Flash, the annoying plugin that shaped the modern web | WIRED UK
Before 1996, the web was a static, dull place. But the accidental creation of Flash turned it into a cacophony of noise, colour, and controversy, presaging the modern web.
internet  technology  historyoftechnology  web 
september 2019 by terry
Battery icons shape perceptions of time and space and define user identities
"People no longer think about their destination being 10 km away or 10 stops on the tube. They think about it being 50 per cent of their battery away," said the study's lead author, Dr. Thomas Robinson.


One of the study's respondents described the experience of watching their battery icon throughout the day: "Full would be 'Yeah, ok great', good to go for the day'; 50 per cent I'd be a bit 'Oh God, I had better stop it from updating itself all the time in the background' ... then it would be at 30 per cent and I would be like: 'Now I'm not having fun anymore'," the respondent said.
technology  gadgets  phones 
september 2019 by terry
What’s your hour in ‘Silicon Valley Time’?
6:00 SVT: Greatest company in the world!
In a company’s journey, growth and success are followed by struggles and doubt. Which is why, at the top of the mountain, there is no where to go but down.

6:01 SVT: Greatest company in the world?
It starts at 6:01. From there, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure of negative storylines. “Failure to innovate.” “Monetization problems.” “Employee exodus.” The dreaded “privacy issues.” Each company’s turn around the clock is unique, but there are some common themes.
news  journalism  time  technology 
september 2019 by terry
Net prophet
In his immaculate Italian suit, Nicholas Negroponte looks more like an international financier than one of the leading thinkers of the information age. His new book, Being Digital, may have propelled the head of MIT’s Media Lab into the spotlight, but is he a true visionary or just a well-connected hype merchant?
technology  future  internet 
september 2019 by terry
Bit Rot
Negroponte's departure marks the end of an era when Magna Cartas for the Knowledge Age and Declarations of the Independence of Cyberspace were taken seriously, at least by the self- anointed "digital elite." Oddly, Negroponte himself seems not to have noticed how retro his Jetsonian visions of digital butlers and supercomputing cufflinks seem in the politically turbulent, economically anxious late-'90s. At the end of a century that has witnessed acid rain and global warming, Bhopal and Chernobyl, he beckons us toward a future where technology never fails, corporations are always benign, and there's a high-tech magic bullet for every social malady.
digital  future  technology 
august 2019 by terry
Fax machines
William Gibson, the ​novelist who gave us the word cyberspace, first saw a fax machine in the home of Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, and went on to regularly communicate with his Japanese artist friends via “yards, and yards of slippery, oddly photosensitive paper.” In 1994, asked what the most important recent technological breakthroughs were, Gibson said the Walkman and the fax machine. “We live in a very different world because of [the fax]: instantaneous written communication everywhere. It is also a very political technology, as the Tiananmen Square events told us,” Gibson said.
august 2019 by terry
Leave your phone at home this holiday and you'll feel better (after you feel worse)
Our participants overcame the initial emotions and then started to enjoy the digital-free experience. They found themselves more immersed in the destination, created more valuable moments with their travel companions, and had many more memorable and authentic encounters with locals.
technology  phones  smartphone  holidays  society 
august 2019 by terry
Should I have let my daughter marry our robot?
Some people think robots will need a slight jolt of spontaneous irrationality programmed in their behavior if they are to be partially unpredictable like humans often behave. This is scary for me, but in the end, to get robots similar and compatible with humans, we will need to create them so they are not always rational — just like ourselves. Otherwise, it’s unlikely we will have share true empathy with them — even if humans start to marry them.
future  technology  robots  ai 
august 2019 by terry
How I became a robot in London—from 5,000 miles away
My tool in this feat was a Shadow Hand, perhaps the most complex robotic hand on Earth. On each of its fingertips is a sensor that allows the robot to feel, a sensation that’s piped across the world into my haptic glove. If I merely brush the Shadow Hand against a ball, I get a subtle sensation. When I grip the ball, the sensation grows more intense. Amazingly, there’s very little latency between my movement and the robot’s, even though the system is running through a 4G phone sitting on the table beside me.
technology  robots 
july 2019 by terry
Sony's new Reon Pocket is an in-shirt air conditioner
Called Reon Pocket, the small, lightweight gadget slides into the upper back pocket of a specially designed t-shirt. Controlled with a smartphone app, it’s capable of heating or cooling the wearer via the Peltier effect, a thermodynamic principle widely used in refrigeration.
gadgets  clothing  technology 
july 2019 by terry
101 things changing how we work
From the BBC, a list of the 101 people, ideas, and things changing how we work today. I pulled out a few of things I thought were interesting
technology  work  business  society 
july 2019 by terry
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