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What the potentially useless draft Brexit agreement means for tech
One of the big questions for Brexit is data protection, and the agreement seeks to hold onto the status quo. Scroll through to Article 71 for the text, which says that EU data protection law will continue to cover the UK before and after the transition period, which runs until the end of 2020. That means personal data can continue to flow between the UK and the EU.

"This issue is critical to the tech sector and to every other industry in a modern digitising economy," says Tech UK CEO Julian David in a blog post. Data's the oil that greases tech, and all that.

That doesn't mean that GDPR will continue to apply in the UK post Brexit. Christopher Knight, privacy lawyer at 11KBW, notes that the UK will become a "third state". That means the UK won't be required to apply GPDR and other data laws to "wholly internal situations of processing".
brexit  technology  gdpr  dataprotection  politics 
3 days ago by terry
The magnetic stripe
Remember life before card swipes? The chunk-chunk of a credit-card imprinter, the rattle of hotel keys, the tinkle of subway tokens: Life was a little louder and a lot slower. Now we’ve left it all behind, all thanks to the ubiquitous, overlooked technology of a tiny strip of powder ironed onto a piece of plastic.
plastic  money  technology  commerce 
5 days ago by terry
A brief guide to everything that’s annoying about Apple
What are the most common complaints about Apple? “Let me check on that ...” Actually, save your circuits, Siri. We can tell you exactly why the world is falling out of love with Apple. We’ve been storing up these complaints for years. So, why don’t you just shut your British/American/Australian, male/female speech unit and listen?
technology  apple  gadgets  humour 
5 days ago by terry
After murder and violence, here's how WhatsApp will fight fake news
WhatsApp has announced it is giving 20 different research groups $50,000 to help it understand the ways that rumours and fake news spread on its platform. The groups are based around the world and will be responsible for producing reports on how the messaging app has impacted certain regions. The range of areas that are being studied highlight the scale of misinformation that WhatsApp faces. One set of researchers from the UK and US are set to see how misinformation can lead to disease outbreaks in elderly people, one will look at how information was shared on WhatsApp in the 2018 Brazilian elections and another is examining how posts can go viral on the messaging service.
news  socialmedia  technology  whatsapp  research  fakenews 
5 days ago by terry
The Android back button and why we cling to redundant features
The lack of physicality means we’re losing the ability to interact with these devices in a predictable way,” says Sarah Wiseman, a lecturer in computing at Goldsmiths College, University of London. “When I set my oven, I know I can whack the dial around to the left. Those dials are always there and they’re not going to change. You lose that with touchscreens.
design  ui  phones  technology 
9 days ago by terry
7,000 UK households still watching TV in black and white
Regular colour broadcasts began on BBC Two in July 1967 with the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The number of black and white licences issued each year has since been in steady decline since. In 2000, there were 212,000 black and white TV licences but by 2003 that number had shrunk to 93,000. By 2015, the number had dipped below 10,000.

The television and radio technology historian Jeffrey Borinsky said: “There are hundreds of collectors like myself who have many black and white TVs. Who wants all this new-fangled 4K Ultra HD, satellite dishes or a screen that’s bigger than your room when you can have glorious black and white TV?
television  technology 
10 days ago by terry
Black and white TVs are a lo-fi rebuke to a world gone wrong
One champion of black and white, TV historian Jeffrey Borinsky, asked rhetorically yesterday: “Who wants all this new-fangled 4K ultra HD, satellite dishes or a screen that’s bigger than your room when you can have glorious black and white TV?” Viewed thus, black and white TV is like craft beer, lo-fi reproof to a world gone wrong.

It’s a good point. Technological “progress” often just gives us more of what we don’t want. Endless choice is misery-making rather than liberating. No wonder the 7,000 rebel against colour TV’s gimcrack lunacy of red buttons; endless channels screening nothing worth watching; the binge-based death-in-life of modern viewing, and the whole lie that having access all the time to everything will make us happy rather than confused and sad.

The report doesn’t break down the demographics of those 7,000 into lavishly bearded, vinyl-collecting, folk-loving, vegan hipster devotees of the slow movement; but it’s my guess that this group is well represented.
television  nostalgia  technology 
10 days ago by terry
Dear HMD, the world is finally ready for the Nokia Communicator
The Communicator series (my favorite is either the 9110i or the E90), is ripe for a 2018 remake. If you never saw one of these beasts, they were extra chunky phones (back when phones were already chunky), that flipped open to reveal a second, full-length display and a QWERTY keyboard, almost like a mini laptop. The Communicator screamed "I do business" and came with all manner of apps for the suit on the go. This was the defining "smart" phone of its day (if you're asking me that is).
phones  nostalgia  technology  gadget 
11 days ago by terry
Guardian Voice Lab
The weekly blog from the Guardian's Voice Lab team, a project supported by Google. Our aim is to experiment with interactive audio for the Google Assistant, bringing Guardian storytelling to a new platform. If you are interested in voice and journalism, we’ll be writing about our progress here.
journalism  technology  google  voice 
12 days ago by terry
The dream of virtual reality is dying
We were promised better worlds, and all we got was this lousy headset.
technology  vr  gadgets  future 
18 days ago by terry
It can be difficult to make data from information
Extracting data from information can be like trying to get eggs out of a cake. And while cake is ideal for people who want cake, given the raw ingredients we could also have pancakes, Welsh cakes and Yorkshire puddings.
technology  data  information 
19 days ago by terry
What do we actually know about the risks of screen time and digital media?
The lumping of everything digital into a monolith is a framing that makes Oxford Internet Institute psychologist Andrew Przybylski groan. “We don’t talk about food time,” he points out. “We don’t talk about paper time. But we do talk about screen time.” [...] The new series of papers includes a look at childhood screen use and ADHD, the effects of media multitasking on attention, and the link between violent video games and aggression. The separate papers are a good reminder that these are really separate issues; even if screen time ends up being problematic in one area, it doesn't mean it can't have a positive effect in another.
internet  socialmedia  children  parenting  technology 
21 days ago by terry
A dark consensus about screens and kids begins to emerge in Silicon Valley
For longtime tech leaders, watching how the tools they built affect their children has felt like a reckoning on their life and work. Among those is Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now the chief executive of a robotics and drone company. He is also the founder of GeekDad.com. “On the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s closer to crack cocaine,” Mr. Anderson said of screens. Technologists building these products and writers observing the tech revolution were naïve, he said. “We thought we could control it,” Mr. Anderson said. “And this is beyond our power to control. This is going straight to the pleasure centers of the developing brain. This is beyond our capacity as regular parents to understand.”
internet  socialmedia  children  parenting  technology 
21 days ago by terry
Meditation in the time of disruption
Mindfulness and meditation have become big business for tech-savvy entrepreneurs. But can you really unplug and reset while tied to an app on your phone? Companies like Headspace and Insight Timer say yes. But longtime practitioners, philosophers, and scientists aren’t so sure. […] A 2016 blog post by Puddicombe on the Headspace site entitled “How to meditate in ten minutes” begins, “If you’ve decided to give meditation a shot, congratulations! You’ve also decided to improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, increase your marital harmony and reduce your stress.” Puddicombe’s 10-minutes-a-day claim speaks to the hilariously modern expectation that self-transformation be fast, friendly, and neat. It also fits with the company’s broader focus on metrics and results. As with mindfulness meditation generally, the science surrounding Headspace serves the dual purpose of making meditation seem worth one’s time and dispelling the worry that one is being indoctrinated. In other words, the question is less about faith, which is unseen, and science, which—as those with faith in science believe—sees all. Or, as the company’s chief science officer, Megan Jones Bell, puts it, the research is there “for people who need science as a belief point.” Jones Bell joined the company in March 2017. For her, meditation is in part a subset of mental health, and the people who seek out Headspace are looking for ways to nurse internal wounds. “Their motivation to change something or learn something new is coming from a place of ‘I’m not OK, and I need help,’” she says. The distinction is important: Whereas some come to meditation as a way of reckoning with the incredible gifts existence has already given them, others come because they want to see what else is in the bag. This sort of rhetoric only gets ramped up in reference to meditation as a performance booster. For example, the promise that meditation will make you more effective at work seems to have a lot more salience and motivational charge than the promise that meditation will just make work feel a little less important overall.
meditation  mindfulness  technology  blog2 
23 days ago by terry
Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing down phones
Believed to be the first ruling of its kind against smartphone manufacturers, the investigation followed accusations operating system updates for older phones slowed them down, thereby encouraging the purchase of new phones.

In a statement the antitrust watchdog said “Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices” and that operating system updates “caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones’ substitution”.
phones  technology  apple  samsung 
25 days ago by terry
What is the internet? 13 key questions answered
How will the whole world get online? A major challenge is to get affordable internet to poor, rural regions. With an eye on expanding markets, US tech firms hope to make inroads. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, scrapped plans for solar powered drones and is now focusing on high-altitude balloons to provide the internet from the edge of space. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and a company called OneWeb have their own plans to bring internet access to everyone in the world via constellations of microsatellites.
internet  technology  computing 
28 days ago by terry
Robots! A fantastic catalog of new species
IEEE Spectrum editor Erico Guizzo and colleagues have blown out their original Robots app into a fantastic catalog of 200 of today's fantastic species of robots. They're cleverly organized into fun categories like "Robots You Can Hug," "Robots That Can Dance," "Space Robots," and "Factory Workers." If they keep it updated, it'll be very helpful for the robot uprising.
robots  technology 
29 days ago by terry
Open offices have driven Panasonic to make horse blinders for humans
At what point do we just give up and admit we’re living in exactly the dystopian nightmare speculative fiction warned us about? It probably ought to be these horse blinders for people, which look like something straight out of a Terry Gilliam movie.
technology  offices  gadgets  design 
4 weeks ago by terry
Social robots will become family members in the homes of the future
With fewer stay-at-home parents, social robots can serve as personalized practice partners to help with homework and reinforce what children have learned that day in school. Far beyond helping you find recipes and ordering groceries, they can be your personal sous-chef or even help you learn to cook. They can also act as personal health coaches to supplement nutrition and wellness programs recommended by doctors and specialists for an increasingly health-conscious population. As the number of aging-in-place boomers soars, social robots can provide a sense of companionship for retirees while also connecting seniors to the world and to their loved ones, as well as sending doctor-appointment and medication reminders.
technology  robots 
4 weeks ago by terry
Europe’s history explains why it will never produce a Google
The equivalent historical forces in the 21st century could prove to be differing attitudes to migration. America’s technological superiority is built on its ability to attract talented, success-hungry people, one reason businesses resist Republican plans to limit legal immigration. Of the 98 high-tech firms in the Fortune 500, 45 (including Apple and Google) were founded by immigrants or their children. China lacks immigration but sends many of its young abroad to study, and then repatriates their skills. Europe does neither and treats migration as a threat, as its debates about how best to seal off the Mediterranean show.
europe  technology  politics 
4 weeks ago by terry
The future’s so bright, I gotta wear blinders
Is there an overarching bias to the advance of communication systems? Technology enthusiasts like Kelly would argue that there is — a bias toward greater freedom, democracy, and social harmony. As a society, we’ve largely embraced this sunny view. Harold Innis had a very different take. “Improvements in communication,” he wrote in The Bias of Communication, “make for increased difficulties of understanding.”
technology 
4 weeks ago by terry
The battle for the home
If the first stage of competition in consumer technology was the race to be the computer users went to (won by Microsoft and the PC), and the second was to be the computer users carried with them (won by Apple in terms of profits, and Google in terms of marketshare), the outlines of the current battle came sharply into focus over the last month: what company will win the race to be the computer within which users live?
technology  gadgets  amazon  apple  facebook  google 
4 weeks ago by terry
The AI art at Christie’s is not what you think
Hugo Caselles-Dupré, the technical lead at Obvious, shared with me: "I’ve got to be honest with you, we have totally lost control of how the press talks about us. We are in the middle of a storm and lots of false information is released with our name on it. In fact, we are really depressed about it, because we saw that the whole community of AI art now hates us because of that. At the beginning, we just wanted to create this fun project because we love machine learning." [...]

Early on Obvious made the claim that “creativity isn’t only for humans,” implying that the machine is autonomously creating their artwork. While many articles have run with this storyline, one even crediting robots, it is not what most AI artists and AI experts in general believe to be true. Most would say that AI is augmenting artists at the moment and the description in the news is greatly exaggerated. [...]

In fact, when pressed, Hugo admitted to me in our interview that this was just “clumsy communication” they made in the beginning when they didn’t think anyone was actually paying attention. [...]

As we saw with Salvator Mundi last year and with the Banksy last week, the most prestigious auction houses, like museums, have the ability to elevate art and increase its value by putting it into the spotlight, shaping not only the narrative of the work, but also the narrative of art history.
art  ai  technology  auction 
5 weeks ago by terry
Screen blocking glasses
IRL Glasses are the answer to screen overload and digital fatigue, putting people back in the driver’s seat to control when and how they interact with screens. Wearing IRL Glasses makes screens that are “on” look like they are “off.”
gadgets  technology 
5 weeks ago by terry
Why is Xiaomi’s fitness tracker detecting a heartbeat from a roll of toilet paper?
So what about other objects? We tried wrapping the Mi Band 3 around a mug, because we had a mug, and a banana, because the internet likes bananas. Both gave us a heart rate quickly and far more consistently than the toilet paper did.

But the Xiaomi band isn’t alone. We also tried the banana and mug with an Apple Watch Series 4 and a Ticwatch, an Android Wear smartwatch. Both also displayed a heartbeat for the two heartless objects, ranging from 33bpm on the banana (Apple Watch) to 130bpm for the mug (Ticwatch).
wearable  technology  gadget  health 
5 weeks ago by terry
The automation charade
Since the dawn of market society, owners and bosses have revelled in telling workers they were replaceable. Robots lend this centuries-old dynamic a troubling new twist: employers threaten employees with the specter of machine competition, shirking responsibility for their avaricious disposition through opportunistic appeals to tech determinism. A “jobless future” is inevitable, we are told, an irresistible outgrowth of innovation, the livelihood-devouring price of progress.
automation  future  technology  work 
6 weeks ago by terry
Boris Johnson's profile immediately vandalised with hardcore pornography in Tory conference app security blunder
The highly serious blunder allowed anyone to access details of hundreds of MPs including Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - who have police protection and warn regularly of the hacking threat from Russia. But it also gave pranksters an opportunity to have fun with the profiles of prominent Conservatives.
politics  conservatives  phones  technology  dataprotection 
7 weeks ago by terry
Major security flaw in Tory conference app reveals users' data
Commentators said the flaw raised questions over the ability of the government to harness technology to solve issues around the Irish border and customs checks. The app may also have breached data laws. Its privacy policy states that it “complies with … the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR)”.
politics  conservatives  phones  technology  dataprotection 
7 weeks ago by terry
Exclusive: WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton gives the inside story on #DeleteFacebook and why he left $850 million behind
Acton had left a management position on Yahoo’s ad division over a decade earlier with frustrations at the Web portal’s so-called “Nascar approach” of putting ad banners all over a Web page. The drive for revenue at the expense of a good product experience “gave me a bad taste in my mouth,” Acton remembers. He was now seeing history repeat. “This is what I hated about Facebook and what I also hated about Yahoo,” Acton says. “If it made us a buck, we’d do it.” In other words, it was time to go.
facebook  whatsapp  socialmedia  technology  messaging  business  advertising 
7 weeks ago by terry
Why bother teaching drone pilots about ethics? It’s robots that will kill us
For the most part, armies are keen to maintain that there will always be humans in charge when lethal decisions are taken. This is only partly window dressing. One automated system is dangerous only to its enemies; two are dangerous to each other, and out of anyone’s control. We have seen what happens on stock markets when automatic trading programs fall into a destructive pattern and cause “flash crashes”. In October 2016 the pound lost 6% of its value, with blame in part put down to algorithmic trading. If two hi-tech armies were in a standoff where hair-trigger algorithms faced each other on both sides, the potential for disaster might seem unlimited.

Nuclear war has been averted on at least one occasion by a heroic Russian officer overriding the judgment of computers that there was an incoming missile attack from the US. But he had 25 minutes to decide. Battlefield time is measured in seconds.
technology  robots  automation 
7 weeks ago by terry
The printed world in peril
At the end of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the exiled hoboes return to the cities, which have been destroyed by the nuclear conflicts of the illiterate, bringing with them their head-borne texts, ready to restart civilization. And it’s this that seems to me the most prescient part of Bradbury’s menacing vision. For I see no future for the words printed on paper, or the art forms they enacted, if our civilization continues on this digital trajectory: there’s no way back to the future—especially not through the portal of a printed text.
books  reading  willself  technology 
7 weeks ago by terry
Turn off push notifications
Notifications are no longer used to notify you of anything—they’re used by apps to beg for attention.

[...]

Facebook appears to be increasingly sending meaningless notifications to people who use the site less and less in hopes of enticing them back to it.

[...]

Like I said, none of these changes have significantly changed how much I use my phone, but they have definitely changed the ways in which I use it. My phone use is now intentional—I use my phone rather than wait for it to tell me what to do or what to pay attention to. In that sense, it's more like a computer: I intentionally check email, I intentionally check social media, and I can now actually read an article or book or play a game without being constantly bombarded with popups.
phones  socialmedia  technology  gadgets 
8 weeks ago by terry
AI may not be bad news for workers
Some jobs could be made a lot easier by AI. One example is lorry-driving. Some fear that truck drivers will be replaced by autonomous vehicles. But manoeuvring a lorry around busy streets is far harder than driving down the motorway. So the driver could switch into automatic mode (and get some rest) when outside the big cities, and take over the wheel once again when nearing the destination. The obvious analogy is with jetliners, where the pilots handle take-off and landing but turn on the computer to cruise at 35,000 feet. Using AI may prevent tired drivers from causing accidents. [...]

And the report argues that AI can produce better decision-making by offering a contrarian opinion so that teams can avoid the danger of groupthink. A program could analyse e-mails and meeting transcripts and issue alerts when potentially false assumptions are being made (rather like the boy in the Hans Christian Andersen tale who notices that the Emperor has no clothes). Or it can warn a team when it is getting distracted from the task in hand.
ai  technology  jobs  work 
8 weeks ago by terry
The case for locking up your smartphone
Lockers and sleeves for phones can feel like an infringement on personal rights, but they also might save people from their worst habits.
technology  phones 
8 weeks ago by terry
Orwell knew: we willingly buy the screens that are used against us
One can easily imagine choosing to buy a telescreen – indeed, many of us already have. And one can also imagine needing one, or finding them so convenient that they feel compulsory. The big step is when convenience becomes compulsory: when we can’t file our taxes, complete the census or contest a claim without a telescreen.
technology  philosophy  books  politics 
10 weeks ago by terry
Forget easy-to-use design. Choose something hard instead
For me, Vim was a game-changer. Once I got the muscle memory down, I felt like I had spent the rest of my life typing on training wheels. Or like I had been playing piano one note at a time, not realizing that I could make chords by playing multiple keys at once. [...]

The new cult of simple software is making us less productive. Simple tools get in the way of our thinking by making assumptions about what we want to do, and by putting the ease of getting going ahead of optimizing productivity. By contrast, using a tool like Vim makes me more expressive. It reduces the friction between what’s in my head and what I can make happen on the computer. [...]

It is time to embrace the difficult tool. No more accepting Excel when learning R or Python would let us do better work; no more out-of-the-box flashcards instead of customized software like Anki. Let’s stop expecting software to do everything for us, and put our minds to work.
technology  software  productivity 
10 weeks ago by terry
Javid: tech firms not taking online child sexual abuse seriously
The home secretary chose not to spell out what any future legislation would involve and, when pressed, declined to say if it would include forcing technology firms to share their encryption codes with police and intelligence services. The NCA said this week that end-to-end encryption and increased anonymity on the internet were progressively becoming standard.
politics  technology 
11 weeks ago by terry
Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound
The possibility that critical analysis, empathy and other deep reading processes could become the unintended “collateral damage” of our digital culture is not a simple binary issue about print vs digital reading. It is about how we all have begun to read on any medium and how that changes not only what we read, but also the purposes for why we read. Nor is it only about the young. The subtle atrophy of critical analysis and empathy affects us all. It affects our ability to navigate a constant bombardment of information. It incentivizes a retreat to the most familiar silos of unchecked information, which require and receive no analysis, leaving us susceptible to false information and demagoguery.
books  reading  ebooks  kindle  technology 
11 weeks ago by terry
Alan Rusbridger: who broke the news?
If journalists cannot agree on a common idea of the public interest – of the public service we claim to be providing – then it complicates the defence of what we do. And in an age of horizontal free mass media, it is even more important for us to be able to define and declare our values, our purpose – and our independence. Which includes independence from the state.

But five years after the Snowden revelations, it is now apparent that states themselves are struggling with the digital disruption that first tore through the established media and has now reshaped politics. The digital giants have not only unleashed information chaos – they have, in the blink of an eye, become arguably the most powerful organisations the world has ever seen.
news  journalism  technology  politics 
11 weeks ago by terry
Logged off: meet the teens who refuse to use social media
But when you are from a digitally native generation, quitting social media can feel like joining a monastery. Amanuel was recently asked by co-workers if she had Snapchat. “I said no,” Amanuel remembers, “and I instantly heard, like, gasps. It was like I’d revealed something disgusting.” She explained that she did have a Snapchat handle, but never used it. “Relief came out of their eyes! It was really weird.”
socialmedia  technology  society 
11 weeks ago by terry
How the shared family computer protected us from our worst selves
Long before phone addiction panic gripped the masses and before screen time became a facet of our wellness and digital detoxes, there was one good and wise piece of technology that served our families. Maybe it was in the family room or in the kitchen. It could have been a Mac or PC. Chances are it had a totally mesmerizing screensaver. It was the shared family desktop.
computing  culture  technology 
12 weeks ago by terry
How teens and parents navigate screen time and device distractions
Parents, too, are anxious about the effects of screen time on their children, a separate survey shows. Roughly two-thirds of parents say they are concerned about their teen spending too much time in front of screens, and 57% report setting screen time restrictions for their teen in one way or another.

At the same time, some parents of teens admit they also struggle with the allure of screens: 36% say they themselves spend too much time on their cellphone. And 51% of teens say they often or sometimes find their parent or caregiver to be distracted by their own cellphone when they are trying to have a conversation with them.

Additionally, 15% of parents say they often lose focus at work because they are distracted by their phone. That is nearly double the share of teens (8%) who say they often lose focus in school due to their own cellphones.
technology  gadgets  phones  mobilephones  socialmedia 
12 weeks ago by terry
DeepMind’s data deal with the NHS broke privacy law
"The Royal Free did not have a valid basis for satisfying the common law duty of confidence and therefore the processing of that data breached that duty," the ICO said in its letter to the Royal Free NHS Trust. "In this light, the processing was not lawful under the Act." [...]

"The Commission is not persuaded that it was necessary and proportionate to process 1.6 million partial patient records in order to test the clinical safety of the application. The processing of these records was, in the Commissioner's view, excessive," the ICO said.
ai  dataprotection  health  science  technology 
august 2018 by terry
Artificial intelligence 'did not miss a single urgent case'
He told the BBC: "I think this will make most eye specialists gasp because we have shown this algorithm is as good as the world's leading experts in interpreting these scans." [...]

He said: "Every eye doctor has seen patients go blind due to delays in referral; AI should help us to flag those urgent cases and get them treated early."
health  ai  science  technology 
august 2018 by terry
Revealed: Google AI has access to huge haul of NHS patient data
Google says that since there is no separate dataset for people with kidney conditions, it needs access to all of the data in order to run Streams effectively. In a statement, the Royal Free NHS Trust says that it “provides DeepMind with NHS patient data in accordance with strict information governance rules and for the purpose of direct clinical care only.”

Still, some are likely to be concerned by the amount of information being made available to Google. It includes logs of day-to-day hospital activity, such as records of the location and status of patients – as well as who visits them and when. The hospitals will also share the results of certain pathology and radiology tests.
health  technology  google  ai 
august 2018 by terry
Artificial intelligence equal to experts in detecting eye diseases
The breakthrough research, published online by Nature Medicine, describes how machine-learning technology has been successfully trained on thousands of historic de-personalised eye scans to identify features of eye disease and recommend how patients should be referred for care.

Researchers hope the technology could one day transform the way professionals carry out eye tests, allowing them to spot conditions earlier and prioritise patients with the most serious eye diseases before irreversible damage sets in.
health  technology  ai 
august 2018 by terry
Artificial intelligence to look for early signs of eye conditions humans might miss
With the number of people affected by sight loss in the UK predicted to double by 2050, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and DeepMind Health have joined forces to explore how new technologies can help medical research into eye diseases.
health  technology  google  ai 
august 2018 by terry
This is why Amazon continues to develop tablets
Amazon bills their tablets has multimedia friendly and totally envelops users into their ecosystem. Download apps from the Amazon App Store, buy Kindle ebooks or Audible audiobooks. Shop online and use Prime for access to free content such as Prime Music and Prime Video. [...] I think Amazon is making tablets because they realized that they are just gateways, they don’t make much profit through the hardware, but each device turns them into an Amazon minion.
amazon  kindle  tablet  gadget  technology 
august 2018 by terry
Town dusts off typewriters after cyber-attack
Government workers in a borough of Alaska have turned to typewriters to do their jobs, after ransomware infected their computer systems. A spokeswoman for Matanuska-Susitna said the malware had encrypted its email server, internal systems and disaster recovery servers. She said staff had "resourcefully" dusted off typewriters and were writing receipts by hand.
typewriters  virus  technology  computers 
august 2018 by terry
IKEA and the Man Booker Prize create reading rooms for relaxation
The initiative is designed to help alleviate stress and help make the home a haven again. Over half of workers (59%) feel they are under pressure to respond to emails even when they are home and have finished official work hours — which suggests that preventing the trials of workplace from entering our homes has never been more important. Sitting down and disappearing into a good book is a way to do just that.
books  ikea  technology  reading 
august 2018 by terry
A decade of digital dependency
2008 was the year the smartphone took off in the UK. With the iPhone and Android fresh into the UK market, 17% of people owned a smartphone a decade ago. That has now reached 78%, and 95% among 16-24 year-olds. The smartphone is now the device people say they would miss the most, dominating many people’s lives in both positive and negative ways.

People in the UK now check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes of the waking day. Two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, climbing to 65% of those aged under 35. Similarly, 37% of adults check their phones five minutes before lights out, again rising to 60% of under-35s.
research  internet  mobilephones  technology 
august 2018 by terry
IKEA 'Reading Rooms' to celebrate Man Booker longlist
Gaby Wood, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, added: “If you associate reading with holidays then you probably associate it with indulgence. And – it’s true – reading fiction can be, at its best, a form of escapism. But that doesn’t make it a guilty pleasure. It’s more like a fast route to better health. Our homes are filled with devices that allow the digital world to encroach on our private lives.” She urged people to “reclaim your privacy, and your imagination” through reading a book.
ikea  technology  books  reading 
august 2018 by terry
Britons spend average of 24 hours a week online, Ofcom says
The total amount of time spent online by Britons has also doubled over the last 10 years, with a quarter of adults saying they spent more than 40 hours a week on the internet – a move driven by the uptake of smartphones.
technology  internet  mobilephones 
august 2018 by terry
IKEA and the Man Booker Prize create reading rooms with free books
“More than half of workers (59 percent),” news copy says, say that they “feel they’re under pressure to respond to emails even when they’re home and have finished official work hours—which suggests that preventing the trials of workplace from entering our homes has never been more important. Sitting down and disappearing into a good book is a way to do just that.”
ikea  technology  books  reading 
august 2018 by terry
How spammers, superstars, and tech giants gamed music
On a website with more than 100 million active daily users, there are plenty of ways to game the system, be it for attention, or, if the streams pile up enough, profit. And the frauds cashing in on the latest hot single are hardly alone. A bevy of unknown artists have found ways to juice their streaming totals, whether it’s covering songs from artists who don’t allow their songs on Spotify, or uploading an album of silent tracks, each precisely long enough to generate a fraction of a cent for the artist.
music  technology 
july 2018 by terry
Meet the 11% of Americans who don’t use the internet
“We bought the first family computer in 1998, and the kids would sit around all day, tinkering on the internet,” she says. “I watched them go from playing outside with friends, riding bikes, talking to each other, to being obsessed with the machine. It was like a switch flipped in their heads.”

While her children and husband became accustomed to the internet, Simpson brushed it off as an “unnecessary evil.” Aside from an unfruitful and frustrating attempt to find a local plumber using Ask Jeeves 19 years ago, she’s completely refrained from logging online.
technology  internet 
july 2018 by terry
London’s Design Museum announces 2017 exhibition programme
“‘Designed in California’ is the new ‘Made in Italy’. While California’s mid-century modernism is well documented, this is the first exhibition to examine the state’s current global reach,” says the museum. The exhibition will follow the culture of California taking in everything from LSD to skateboards and iPhones. “This ambitious survey brings together political posters, personal computers and self-driving cars but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences. The exhibition reveals how this culture of design and technology has made us all Californians.”
apple  computing  design  gui  icons  mac  technology  typography  ui 
july 2018 by terry
The sketchbook of Susan Kare, the artist who gave computing a human face
There was an ineffably disarming and safe quality about her designs. Like their self-effacing creator — who still makes a point of surfing in the ocean several mornings a week — they radiated good vibes. To creative innovators in the ’80s who didn’t see themselves as computer geeks, Kare’s icons said: Stop stressing out about technology. Go ahead, dive in!
technology  design  gui  ui  mac  apple  icons  computing  typography 
july 2018 by terry
Kohler releases the most romantic toilet commercial ever made
A piano plays. We see a montage of faces. Happy faces. Perhaps, the happiest faces that have ever been happy before.

“Imagine having the power to make everyday moments more meaningful,” the screen reads. What is the secret? What ancient wisdom do they know that we do not know?

Two minutes of art-directed perfection later, we find out. The answer is Kohler’s new smart line of “Konnect” bathroom products. This voice- and gesture-controlled smart mirror, shower, bathtub, faucet, and, most of all, toilet promise to not just make your life better, but flood your psyche with nonstop waves of ecstasy from the moment the plumber tightens the final bolt on your porcelain throne.
technology  toilet  iot  humour  future 
july 2018 by terry
The bad things that happen when algorithms run online shops
“It almost felt like somebody broke into your house or your personal life and started to take things away from you,” says Richard Burri, whose office stationery store was affected by the error. He and his wife estimate that the various computer algorithms working together would have cost the business between $100,000 and $150,000. Fortunately, the majority of the firm’s human customers who had bought one penny items agreed to return them when contacted

Others found that buyers weren’t always so obliging. Shamir Patel sold pharmaceutical products via Amazon. He also asked customers to return one penny products, but he says about half of them refused to do so. The cost to his business, he calculates, was around £60,000. “You were a bit powerless to do anything about it,” he recalls. “You were literally just watching your money flush down the drain.”
shopping  data  commerce  technology 
july 2018 by terry
Who makes those insanely specific t-shirts on the internet?
One site, Sunfrog, implores a user to enter a range of my data (name, city, birth month/year, hobbies, job), and then generates hundreds of customized t-shirts — “just for you!” — in seconds.

Another company boasts more than 10k variations of a single t-shirt phrase, with personalized names ranging from Aylin to Zara. Its catalog includes classics like “Never Underestimate A Woman Who Loves Stephen King And Was Born In April,” and “I’m a Tattooed Hippie Girl Born With a Mouth I Can’t Control.”

But as it turns out, the key to these operations (huge volume) can also be its curse — and oftentimes, these “algorithmically-generated” products can go terribly, terribly wrong.
shopping  data  commerce  technology 
july 2018 by terry
Jára Cimrman on Wikipedia
Another one of his great inventions was also the internet itself,[7] although without the widespread use of computers. Due to the technologies available at the time he had to rely on telephones. His internet basically consisted of an old circus tent where the maestro arranged the telephone apparatus for various pensioned high school teachers to answer all kinds of questions people asked. The well known WWW prefix as well originated here. One of the teachers' name was Weber and since he stuttered, he introduced himself as "W-W-W.Weber." His achievements in this field go even further, thanks to Mr. Šustr, who was responsible for answering biologically themed questions. Šustr answered every one by operating with field mice (African elephant's weight was equivalent to 30,000 mice, a weasel was 1.5 times faster than a mouse etc.). This is the first recorded use of mouse as a peripheral in computer technology.
biography  humour  technology  czech 
july 2018 by terry
Nowhere Man
The greatest Czech citizen is a man who doesn’t exist. Jára Cimrman was dreamed up as a modest caricature of the Czech people for a 1966 radio program, but he’s been adopted as a sort of fictive national hero. By general agreement he’s an accomplished author, detective, poet, inventor, mathematician, playwright, sportsman, philosopher, traveler, teacher, and composer [...] When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he found three missed calls from Cimrman.
biography  humour  technology  czech 
july 2018 by terry
Microsoft has been dreaming of a pocketable dual-screen Surface device for years
The Verge revealed last week that Microsoft wants to create a “new and disruptive” dual-screen device category to influence the overall Surface roadmap and blur the lines between what’s considered PC and mobile. Codenamed Andromeda, Microsoft’s project has been in development for at least two years and is designed to be a pocketable Surface device. Last week, Microsoft’s Surface chief, Panos Panay, appeared to tease just such a machine, built in collaboration with LG Display. We’re on the cusp of seeing the release of a folding, tablet-like device that Microsoft has actually been dreaming of for almost a decade.
microsoft  technology  future  gadgets  computing 
july 2018 by terry
Microsoft obsesses over giant displays and super thin tablets in future vision video
While everyone is busy flicking and swiping content from one device to another to get work done in the future, it’s nice to see there’s still a few keyboards laying around. Microsoft also shows off a concept tablet that’s shaped like a book, complete with a stylus. The tablet features a bendable display that folds out into a bigger device. If such a tablet will exist within the next 10 years then I want to pre-order one right now.
microsoft  technology  future  gadgets  computing 
july 2018 by terry
Imagining Windows 95 running on a smartphone
Microsoft released their Windows 95 operating system to the world in 1995. 4096 created an amusing video that imagines a mobile edition of Windows 95 running on a Microsoft-branded smartphone. Move over Cortana, Clippy is making a come back.
microsoft  technology  mobilephones 
july 2018 by terry
A visual history of the future
“A Visual History of the Future” will explore how imagery in advertising, magazines, and other media has been used to inspire, sell, and build our ideas of the future. We’ll look at everything from the home to infrastructure to the cities we live in — at ideas that ranged from the insightful to the absurd. And we’ll be looking at the times in which these images were created: what was happening in the world that formed “the future” of that time?

When we celebrate progress, we often talk about scientists, engineers, and designers who developed theories or built tangible things. Artists are often overlooked, and their contributions — the production, visualization and distribution of ideas — are less tangible. This series will shine a light on these creators and how they reached the audiences of the day.
advertising  future  history  technology 
june 2018 by terry
The touch-screen generation
By their pinched reactions, these parents illuminated for me the neurosis of our age: as technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming more, not less, wary of what it might be doing to their children. ... On the one hand, parents want their children to swim expertly in the digital stream that they will have to navigate all their lives; on the other hand, they fear that too much digital media, too early, will sink them. Parents end up treating tablets like precision surgical instruments, gadgets that might perform miracles for their child’s IQ and help him win some nifty robotics competition—but only if they are used just so. Otherwise, their child could end up one of those sad, pale creatures who can’t make eye contact and has an avatar for a girlfriend.
children  gadgets  parenting  technology 
june 2018 by terry
Screen time harm to children is unproven, say experts
Researchers say World Health Organisation’s warnings over ‘gaming disorder’ are premature and say other factors affect child wellbeing
science  technology  gadgets  children  parenting 
june 2018 by terry
My Tamagotchi is everything that went wrong with our future
And anyway, what’s one more beeping annoyance in my life? The Tamagotchi is just another red dot for me to clear off yet another screen. At least this one doesn’t monetize my engagement through targeted advertising.

My smartphone, I’ve realized, is also a Tamagotchi. My laptop is a Tamagotchi. My tablet is a Tamagotchi. These new Tamagotchis have nicer screens and more than three buttons, but more importantly, they’re hooked into much more elaborate guilt trips. Now it‘s not just a virtual pet at stake; it’s my friends, my family, and my work being held hostage in order to keep me pressing these stupid buttons.
games  gadgets  technology 
june 2018 by terry
Apple's Airpods are an omen
There are some consequences to this scenario, if it plays out. For one, earbuds will cease to perform any social signaling whatsoever. Today, having one’s earbuds in while talking suggests that you are on a phone call, for example. Having them in while silent is a sign of inner focus—a request for privacy. That’s why bothering someone with earbuds in is such a social faux-pas: They act as a do-not-disturb sign for the body. But if AirPods or similar devices become widespread, those cues will vanish. Everyone will exist in an ambiguous state between public engagement with a room or space and private retreat into devices or media.
apple  gadgets  technology 
june 2018 by terry
My life without a smartphone
The problem is, divided out like that, we are left as partially everywhere and fully nowhere. We live with a constant Fear of Missing Out; but in need to fill the moments documenting life and making sure we don’t miss an email or update, we miss out being present in life, a sentiment beautifully illustrated in the viral “I forgot my phone” short film from last year.
technology  phones  gadgets  mindfulness 
june 2018 by terry
Underpaid and exhausted: the human cost of your Kindle
In the Chinese city of Hengyang, we find a fatigued, disposable workforce assembling gadgets for Amazon, owned by the world’s richest man.
amazon  china  work  technology 
june 2018 by terry
This is what it’s like to not own a smartphone In 2018
Four years ago, I wrote about having no regrets for being a “dumb phone” user. At the time I was an anomaly: 58% of Americans, according to Pew researchers, owned a smartphone; that figure was around 80% for people in my age demographic. Now, I’m a clear oddity: 77% of U.S. adults are smartphone users, as are around 90% of my peers. But, oh well. I don’t plan on changing tack anytime soon. Here’s why.
technology  phones  gadgets  mindfulness 
june 2018 by terry
Automating the end of movies on physical discs
The real shame will happen when movies stop coming out on DVDs and Blu-Rays altogether. That’s not because they were such a lovable way to package films (they have their pluses and minuses); it’s because with the loss of each media format, we also lose some titles forever.
technology  movies  robots  automation  netflix 
june 2018 by terry
Reflex: Bringing back the analogue SLR camera
Reflex is a modern update of the timeless manual SLR 35mm film camera. Distinctive in its modular design, it combines contemporary mechanical and electrical engineering with the classic design of an analogue camera, making it the first newly designed manual SLR system in over 25 years.
photography  technology  cameras 
june 2018 by terry
The failed quest to bring smells to the internet
In November of 2001, the smell of success began to fade for Joel Bellenson. His invention, the iSmell, promised to bring scent to the internet. He’d developed cutting-edge sensory technology, assembled a dream-team of Fortune 500 execs, and raised $20m. Video game companies, Hollywood studios, and internet giants were lining up for partnerships. But he’d forgotten to ask a crucial question: Did anyone actually want this?
technology  internet 
june 2018 by terry
Canon is officially done selling film cameras after 80 years
Over the next 80 years, Canon would produce a long, respected line of rangefinders and SLR cameras that turned the company into a global leader in camera equipment. But after the introduction of Canon’s first digital camera, the RC-701 in 1984, Canon’s focus began shifting more and more toward the emerging digital camera market. Even as virtually all of its film cameras were discontinued in the digital age, Canon kept the EOS-1V alive for professional film photographers as its sole film camera.
photography  technology  cameras 
june 2018 by terry
Has dopamine got us hooked on tech?
Well-intentioned strategies often produce unintended consequences. “I don’t know whether [these apps] can generate addiction,” says Schultz, who, along with two other researchers, was awarded Denmark’s €1m Brain prize in 2017 for discovering dopamine’s effects. “But the idea behind behavioural economics, that we can change the behaviour of others not via drugs or hitting them on the head, but by putting them into particular situations, is controversial. We are telling other people what is good for them, which carries risks. Training people via systems to release dopamine for certain actions could even cause situations where people can’t then get away from the system. I’m not saying technology companies are doing bad things. They may be helping. But I would be careful.”
technology  science  apps 
may 2018 by terry
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