Author Archives: Nora

Streaming Music Trends and Autonomous Car Pushback

On this podcast, Nora Young talks about Apple shuttering its iTunes radio service (via Tech Crunch), and Songza being folded into Google Play Music. What does the future hold for streaming music services? Will we start to see artists making exclusive deals with services and distribution platforms as this article suggests we might? On the next edition of Spark, Nora will do two interviews on a related issue: what do new players in the video content world (formerly known as TV and movies) mean for the future of the entertainment biz? Cathi Bond refers to Mixcloud as a source of great curated, streaming music. Here's one of her favourite DJ/curators. Meanwhile, Cathi looks at the growing push for connected cars and autonomous vehicles, including the Obama administrations efforts to get national standards (via PSFK). She is ticked off, and feels that autonomous vehicles are being shoved down our throats. Do you agree? Also, Cathi's first car was a Spitfire; what was yours? Leave us a comment here! [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4131767/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Next Generation Personal Assistants and Cheap, Waterless Toilets

In today's podcast, Cathi Bond talks about the Nano Membrane toilet, designed for use in situations where there are currently no toilets. It's an inexpensive solution that doesn't require water, and yet produces (grey) water and power (via Gizmag). Meanwhile, Nora Young mentions the MyMe camera and personal digital assistant, a sort of Siri-meets-Google-Glass device that you wear unobtrusively around your neck or on your belt (via New York Times). Would you wear something like this? Leave us a comment!   [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4099348/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

New in New York and Zuckerberg’s New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! This time, Nora Young talks about what she observed on a holiday trip to New York, including bathrobe chic (hello Julian Schnabel!), visiting the new Whitney at the foot of the High Line. She also mentions the current obsession with Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up. Cathi Bond discusses Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's Resolution to build an intelligent personal assistant to run his home. What intrigues Cathi the most is Zuck's approach to setting goals. She's going to try to apply it to her life. Nora mentions this article on speech recognition tech, and design approaches to life. [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4076774/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Holiday Special: Fab Prefab and Farm Drones

It's a holiday tradition here at The Sniffer: our picks for super cool Christmas treats we'd love to have. This year, Nora Young picks this fantastic dining pavilion by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher (via Design Boom). It's one of a series coordinated by a developer named Robbie Antonio. Check out the whole series here. Cathi Bond, meanwhile, has her eye on a special drone which can be used on the farm, in particular, for crop dusting (via PSFK). Have a wonderful holiday, and all the best for 2016. Thanks for listening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT6x9Aullek   [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4037215/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

360 Cameras, The News, and Mobile Motion

A look at new developments in media this time. Cathi Bond talks about Bublcam, a round, 360 degree camera on a stick. The Toronto-based startup lets you explore spaces immersively. See, for example, this image. In an interview with PSFK, Brendon Montgomery from Buble Technology talks about how VR experiences might change the news. Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about research that looks at motion sickness in virtual reality, and also in HD video with lots of rapid action watched on mobile (via The Guardian). Cathi and Nora reflect on how much of our use of screens is contrary to how our bodies naturally work. Oh, and here's the early Walter Cronkite newscast Nora mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmQTfYTe044   [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4003418/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Ingestibles for Health Care and Humanoid Robotics

Nora Young talks about this ingestible monitor for the body's vital signs, courtesy of MIT research. Alongside Proteus, which promises "digital health" via tiny sensors attached to medication, Nora wonders if we're entering a new era of ingestibles for health. Cathi Bond and Nora talk about the potential future of monitored health. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond discusses a new generation of humanoid robot, Surena, from researcher Aghil Yousefi-Koma from the University of Tehran (via IEEE Spectrum). Nora mentions a fascinating robotics panel at this conference, and Baxter, the pretty darned inexpensive robot. Nora promised to check out the Robot Operating System, which is "...a collection of tools, libraries, and conventions that aim to simplify the task of creating complex and robust robot behavior across a wide variety of robotic platforms".   [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3994734/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Future of Travel and Cutting Edge 3D Printing

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about Next Future Mobility, a concept for the future of transit (via Gizmag). The idea is for a modular train-like system where individual cars would pick you up and join up with the bigger train. Nora Young talks about emcee-ing the B3Dimensional conference in October, and some of the cool stuff she saw, including a replica of the Erebus Bell. One of the speakers, Tatjana Dzambazova talked about the use of 3D scanning and printing in a museum context. Check out the scanned work The Smithsonian has here.   [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3951436/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Future of Social Networks and Paid Content Online

On this podcast episode, dealing with "infobloat" online. This. aims to be a social network built on sharing quality journalism. The hitch is that you are only allowed to share ONE link per day. Sign up here, if you're interested. You can read more about what they're up to here. Would you join? Do you think this kind of thing is sustainable? Nora also mentions Next Draft, one dude's daily email newsletter of smart news stories. Cathi Bond talks about PSFK's report on the Future of Retail 2016. You can get a teaser glimpse for free, but if you want the indepth document, it'll set you back about $900. Cathi and Nora talk about the future of paid content. What's the right mix of free info that's useful promotion and value added material that you can charge a lot for? PSFK is presumably targeting businesses at that price point, but what about for individuals? What are you willing to pay for in online news?   [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3908155/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Ditching Power Cords and Beyond Demographics

On today's podcast, Cathi Bond talks about WallJax wireless electronics chargers. There are two versions, the Float and the EZ, that free you from the tyranny of power cables (via Gizmag) She also talks about FurniQi, furniture with embedded chargers (via Gizmag). How about you? Have you seen cool wireless charger solutions? Let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, Nora Young mentions the recent trend report at Trendwatching. It talks about life beyond demographics, where people increasingly create their own narratives and can be marketed to as individuals. The down side? All that data that's known about us. [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3867379/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Virtual Reality for Empathy and Future of Life Extension

On this podcast, Nora Young mentions "In the Eyes of the Animal" a virtual reality project from Marshmallow Laser Feast. The idea is to let you experience life in the forest through the eyes of animals (via Fast Company). Nora and Cathi chat about creative applications of VR for therapy or for empathy. There's so much about VR in the news lately, with Facebook saying it plans to continue to invest in the technology over the long term, and Netflix working with Samsung Gear on VR applications. Cathi Bond talks about the importance of recognizing our animal natures, and mentions this installation at High Park Condominiums. What uses would you like to see for VR? Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about Better Humans, a site she used to visit, which is now back in revitalized form, with funding from the Methuselah Foundation. Their goal is to work on healthy life extension and it's got Cathi and Nora talking about what a world of healthy old people might be like, and who might benefit if that were to come about. What do you think? [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3841998/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3 #VirtualReality #MarshmallowLaserFeast #BetterHumans #LifeExtension