Netflix Experiments with Badges; Deluxe At-Home Spin Classes

On this podcast, Nora Young talks about a text Netflix has been conducting: offering kids virtual badges for watching certain episodes of kids' programming (via Engadget). Cathi mentions her latest DVD purchase, Sabrina. Cathi Bond talks about Peloton (via PSFK), which is basically gym spin class as a service. You buy the bike for your home, and a membership, and you participate virtually in a class, alongside other spinners. Nora mentions this review of Peloton at the excellent review site, The Wirecutter. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6457406/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Fixing the News and Freaky Avatar Assistant

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about Jimmy Wales' idea for Wikitribune: journalism that's crowdfunded, where the community decides what stories professional journalists will research and cover (via Wired UK). Nora Young talks about SK Telecom out of South Korea. They're partnering with a VR developer to come up with a hologram avatar that lives in a cylindrical "HoloBox" in your home (via PSFK). Is this just the natural progression of Alexa, Siri et al on your smart speaker? Nora also mentions the Super Monster Wolf (via BBC). It's a novel idea for a scarecrow designed to frighten wild boars away from crops in Japan. It has flashing red eyes, and a range of howls! Why not get one for your next party? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6425663/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

New IoT Botnet and AI for Fashion

Hi again! On this episode, Cathi Bond talks about Satori, a new bit of malware that, like Mirai before it, can take control of internet- connected household devices and routers and harness them for botnets (via Technology Review). Nora Young mentions this Spark interview with Finn Brunton on the black market for botnets. Meanwhile, Nora talks about this report on how fashion is starting to use the data analytics power of AI in design. The idea is that designers can query things like, for example, "what's emerging as the hot new colour palette?" [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6347780/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Tracking Distracted Drivers and Self-Parking…Slippers!

On this podcast, Nora Young talks about insurance company Arity's driver safety project. Drivers put an app on their phone that monitors whether drivers are picking up their phones or engaging with apps while they drive. It's a bid to charge people more or less for insurance, depending on whether they are distracted or not (via CNN). Arity is a branch of insurance giant Allstate. Nora wonders whether this is a harbinger of the future. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about a cool project from Nissan. In a temporary project, they're placing 'self-parking' slippers at an Inn. The slippers return to their spot by the door - by themselves - thanks to an application of Nissan's ProPilot technology, normally used to help park your car (via PSFK). They had previously used the same technology to move chairs. See more here. Update: Nora also mentions the Nite Hood sleep mask. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6280421/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Drones for Workaholics and Brain-Computer Interfaces

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about a surprising response to the problem of overwork in Japan: drones that chase employees out of the building by blasting annoying music (via New Atlas) Nora Young talks about this article in Technology Review. It looks at the potential for brain-computer interfaces in the future. A brain surgeon and speculative fiction author believes in a possible future of so-called "neural prosthetics" that would allow us to communicate with our computers, and each other, directly with our brains. Freaky! [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6147413/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Diagnose your Car Trouble and 3D Print your Watch

For our annual holiday edition, Nora Young mentions a tweak to Google maps for transit (via Tech Crunch) as well as a cool idea for a 3D printed watch, called Alpha (via New Atlas). Custom fit! Cathi Bond has a gift for drivers: the FIXD dongle for diagnosing what's wrong with your car (via Daily Wise)! Happy Holidays from your Sniffer pals! [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6086788/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Homes for Extreme Weather and Remote Working with Virtual Reality

On today's podcast, Cathi Bond talks about these cool biodomes, geodesic domes designed to be partly nestled into the earth, and to resist intense climate events (via New Atlas). Nora mentions this exhibit at the Royal BC Museum. Nora Young talks about barriers to working remotely, and whether truly realistic virtual reality might eventually bridge that gap (via Technology Review) BTW, there's more on remote working solutions on this weekend's episode of Nora's show, Spark. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6049162/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Writing and Body Hacks: Benefits of Ritual and Fasting

We're back after a little break! This time, Nora Young talks about this New York Times profile of author, Philip Pullman. In particular, she looks at his very specific rituals around writing. Nora and Cathi talk about journaling and their own rituals for writing. Nora's preferred method: pomodoro! Cathi Bond looks at a study on the benefits of fasting, in particular, 5 days of 'regular' eating a week, and 2 days of extremely limited calorie intake (via New Atlas). Do you have rituals to get in the mood to work? Have you tried fasting, and if so, have you seen any benefits? Let us know! [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5962988/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Future of Manufacturing and Interactive Movies

In today's podcast, Cathi Bond talks about PSFK's report on the future of manufacturing and the possibility of more continuous feedback. Could it help reduce waste and increase customization? Nora Young looks at the interactive 'proof of concept' movie Otis (via Engadget). You can watch and interact with Otis for free here. Let us know what you think in the comments! [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5825410/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

AI that Creates Music, and a 16 Hour Work Week

Welcome to season 13 (ack!) of The Sniffer! Thanks for staying subscribed; we really appreciate the support. On this podcast episode, Nora Young talks about this Technology Review profile of Douglas Eck, who works on creativity and AI at Google's Magenta. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond discusses Jack Ma's idea that in the future, we'll all work a 16 hour work week (via Gizmodo). What would you do if your working life was 16 hours per week? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5776252/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3