Author Archives: Nora

Health Trends: Apps for Recovery and Tech for Mobility

In this podcast, Nora Young talks about Triggr Health, an app designed to support people in recovery from substance abuse (via Technology Review). It reminds her of Onward, an app to help people manage 'overuse' that her show Spark covered recently. Nora also mentions Cathi's fabulous story in the new collection, Any Other Way Cathi Bond talks about a fascinating Manual Standing Wheelchair that users can manipulate to raise themselves to a standing position (via MedGadget) Here it is in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I_OTUS9heQ [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5460807/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 Ideas for Mass Customization: Houses and Shoes

This time, Cathi Bond talks about Cover, an architectural startup that aims to give people customized, small houses - based on their preferences - at a lower cost than hiring an architect to design a home, but with more options than just buying a regular prefab (via PSFK) Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about Adidas' plan to partner with innovative 3D printing company, Carbon, to produce customized midsoles for sneakers (via Technology Review) [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5383886/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

Gig Economy Pushback and Still Using Word

Welcome back to the podcast! This time, Nora Young talks about this article over at Backchannel, and why some service-based startups are rejecting the 'Uber for X', gig economy model in favour of hiring actual employees. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond points to this Gizmodo article questioning why people still need to use Word. Cathi's been having her own frustrations, and wonders whether she should find an alternative. In the comments, Gizmodo's readers, however, seem to like Word. How about you? Is it still the industry standard where you work? If not, what do you use instead? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5315801/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

Sorry State of the Web and Cool, Modular Phones

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and recent winner of the Turing Award, has been sounding the alarm about the sad, sad state of the Web (read it here in The Guardian). Cathi Bond has heard the alarm bells loud and clear. Is the promise of the Web as an open, democratic place dead? People have been talking about modular smart phones for a while now, where you swap out parts of your phone that need upgrading, instead of trading them in for a whole new one. Are they ready for their close-up? Nora Young says there are a bunch of modular phones around (see the comparison at CNet) including a new version of the Fairphone (via PSFK), which ethically sources materials. What would it take to make modular phones sexy rather than just worthy? Finally, astonishingly, people watch a billion hours of content on YouTube per day! What if people actually did something for the public good with all that time? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5248734/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 Ways to Pay: Do You Tap? And Using Your Ring to Pay

Cathi is a fan of "tap and pay" credit cards. But now she's wondering if they're really secure. She also mentions this security report about malware on phones installed somewhere along the supply chain. 

Nora looks at Kerv, a cool-looking ring that gives you the ability for contactless payment without a card, or a phone, at all (via Tech Radar). 


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Innovation in heating and cool new robot

Cathi Bond talks about Swiss research into a process that supposedly stores summer heat for use in the frosty winter months. Read about the process here. Meanwhile, HOLY CATS! Nora Young talks about Boston Dynamic's cool/freaky new robot, Handle (via Mashable) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7xvqQeoA8c [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5139620/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

Taming Trolls and Adult Swaddling

In this podcast, Nora Young talks about research suggesting pretty much any of us can be a troll, or otherwise just plain nasty online, given the right circumstances (via Technology Review). And, Cathi Bond shares this video on the trend in Japan towards adult women being swaddled and rocked. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5079901/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

Your Own Smart Home Robotic Assistants

In this podcast, Cathi Bond takes a look at the story coming out of the recent CES extravaganza, and the dominant role played by Amazon Echo in building a smart home hub (see, for example, CNET's writeup. Nora Young talks about cute home robots (via Technology Review). There's Kuri, which can control things in your house, but can also roam around and check on different parts of your home when you're not there. Or consider Lynx, which is integrated with Amazon Echo. It's starting to look like the smart home will increasingly be integrated with one of the big players' voice activated systems, like Echo, or Google's Home. Would you have one in your home? Do you? Let us know in the comments!   [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4994537/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

Cool, Sustainable Buildings and Uncanny Valley Update

In this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about architect Vincent Callebaut's cool, sustainable, luxury condo project. Will this be the way of the future for condos that aren't on the luxury end too? See more of Callebaut's projects here.

Nora Young talks about new research suggesting just how good - and fast - humans are at visually distinguishing reality from unreal images. What does this mean for virtual reality design, as well as the design of robots?


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High Cost of Fast Fashion and Cool Gift Guide

In this podcast, Nora Young talks about this Motherboard story on the environmental cost of "fast fashion". Cathi Bond picks out some of her favourite Christmas gifts from Gizmodo's gift guide for the hermit on your list. Nora's favourite is one she also saw at Technology Review: Cozmo the cutie robot! Happy Holidays! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4vjitQH-tU&t=29s [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4922877/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