Author Archives: Nora

IKEA Goes Big(ger) and Audio Sleep Aids

On this podcast, Nora Young talks about a few different stories about IKEA's expansion plans and new lines, including partnerships on surprising products like fragrance, expansion plans for Indian cities, and modular pieces that can be re-assembled into different kinds of furniture for small spaces.

Cathi Bond points us to this Gizmodo article about the late painter, Bob Ross, whose PBS instructional show was a surprising hit. Now, his soothing voice is being used as a sleep aid. Apparently, Calm.com has added the audio from one of his episodes to their 'sleep tracks' series.

 

Article Links

IKEA partnerships: http://fortune.com/2018/06/12/ikea-partner-lego-adidas-sonos/

IKEA expands in India: https://www.fastcompany.com/40584160/ikea-is-swapping-swedish-meatballs-for-samosas-in-its-india-stores

Rumtid line borrows from design for outer space: https://www.psfk.com/2018/06/ikea-rumtid-urban-space.html

Bob Ross sleep aid: https://gizmodo.com/this-bob-ross-sleep-mediation-is-the-mental-escape-i-ne-1826796037


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Research into Ketamine and Automated Restaurants

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about this New Atlas article on the history of the drug, Ketamine, and new research into its potential as a treatment for depression, along with questions about how to avoid negative side effects.

Nora Young chats about this article in The Outline on Spyce, a new restaurant in Boston, which is almost entirely automated. Is this a novelty, or a sign of the future? 

Links: 

The Outline: https://theoutline.com/post/4657/please-welcome-the-humanity-free-grain-bowl-lunch?zd=1&zi=gwqnvsso

New Atlas: https://newatlas.com/psychedelic-medicine-ketamine/54970/


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Super Cool Treehouse and Mushroom Leather

We've both been very busy, so had to take a Sniffer break for a bit, but we're back with two fun, eco-friendly design stories for ya. Cathi Bond loves outdoor living, tree houses, and mini-homes, so she was in heaven when she found Sky-Pod, a gorgeous, teardrop shaped tree house inspired by Victorian crinolines (via New Atlas. Check out the images). Nora Young talks about Mylo, a leather-like material made from mycelium, which is the underground network underneath mushrooms (via Core 77, complete with images). She also mentions high end sneakers made from tree fungus. Cathi and Nora both mention Matt and Nat.   [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6711425/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

Fight Malware with AI and Fight Jaywalking with Water

We're back after a little break! This time, Nora talks about EMBER, a release of a large dataset of "avatars" of malware by a cyber security company. The idea is to use it to help machine learning learn to recognize malware (via Technology Review). Cathi talks about the city of Daye in China. Streets are equipped with technology to catch people jaywalking...and spray them with water! Read more at Gizmodo. Nora also mentions the book vending machine at The Monkey's Paw bookstore in Toronto (via Narcity). [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6608094/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

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