Category Archives: Internet

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

The Future of Skyscrapers and New Tool for Managing Info Overload

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about recent awards for futuristic skyscraper concepts, handed out by Evolo architecture magazine. The winning design was, literally, a "hole in the ground" but other designs include The Hive, a drone-docking tower, and a super tall data centre (via New Atlas). Cathi and Nora chat about the near future of skyscrapers. Nora Young looks at Explain to Me, a tool that scans and summarizes web-based articles so you can decide whether it's worth your time to read the whole thing (via Lifehacker). Is it a handy helper, or a sign that we're spending way too much time online? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4695726/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Trends in Virtual Reality and Annotating Text

Howdy! It's been a long time, but we are back with a new episode! This time around, after years - and years - of talking about virtual reality, and augmented reality, they're finally here, and that means figuring out how to actually make it work seamlessly in daily life. Researcher Pulkit Budhiraja and his colleagues have been thinking about a problem with virtual reality: how do you pick up physical, real world objects while you're in an immersive, virtual environment? (Via Technology Review) Nora Young also mentions the Reality Cave at Communitech. Has this happened to you? You get a link on social media that sounds like an interesting read, and then you're taken to a 5,000 word article? Great read, maybe, but so long! Cathi Bond talks about Pith.li, a sort of 'highlighter for the Internet' that allows you to share an article but highlight what you find interesting (via PSFK).    

Second Screens, Bot Etiquette, Free Images for your Blog

This time around on the podcast, Cathi Bond talks about an experiment at some movie theatres in China: allowing moviegoers to text comments about the film, which turn up on the side of the screen! The future of social moviegoing, or a distracting nightmare? (via The Verge). Nora Young talks about an intriguing personal assistant A.I. called Amy (read more at PSFK). The bot schedules your meetings and pops the time of the meeting into your calendar. Certainly a cool idea, but it had Nora wondering about future etiquette in a bot-ified world. Should you disclose to the person you're meeting with that they're about to be conversing with a non-human entity? Finally, quick source of free, public domain images for you. The Internet Archive has been taking images from the public domain books it has scanned and is posting them to their Flickr account (Via Ars Technica). The Flickr account is here!

The Sniffer, Nov 3rd, 2013: Trends in Housing and Web Nostalgia

Hi! This time around, Cathi Bond talks about The Citadel, a new project from the design firm Waterstudio. The idea is to design luxury housing units in the Netherlands as a possible response to climate change. They float! The plan is to re-flood the "polders" (low lying areas now surrounded by dikes) so that they can respond to rising water levels. Cathi thinks the aesthetic is reminiscent of Expo '67's Habitat project. Nora Young talks about a cool project from CERN, which is trying to re-create aspects of the early Web. They've created a simulation of the early text-based "line mode" browser experience that you can run on your current browser (via Ars Technica). (Note: at the time of posting, the link to the bookmarklet doesn't seem to work, though it did when we recorded the project). Nora talks about it not just because it's a cool little thing, but because it suggests the Web is mature enough for us to have nostalgia about. She points to The Wayback Machine as a way of visiting the early Web, and Wochit, a startup that uses A.I. to create video news stories (an example of how visual the Web has become compared to the old days). Finally, Nora mentions Relately, a way of managing your social network connections (via Springwise).

The Sniffer, March 18th, 2013: Trends in Self-Tracking and Connectedness

This time, our gal Cathi Bond mentions the Underarmour wearable band for runners that tracks your stats and your 'willpower' (via PSFK). Does wearing tracking devices like this improve your performance, or keep you motivated? We'd love to hear about it. Nora refers to this cool visualization at the Smithsonian Magazine blog. Researcher Albert-Laszlo Barabasi found that any two pages on the web are connected by no more than 19 clicks. Quite cool to look at the hyper-connector 'hubs' in the visualization.

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Buy Motilium No Prescription, Hey trendwatchers, in this podcast Nora Young talks about a possible move to push back on our info-overload online lives. Motilium mexico, New York Times journalist (who has also contributed to Spark) Anand Giridharadas writes about two trends in services: the immersive spend-your-time-behind-a-screen experience, vs, Motilium coupon. 10mg Motilium, a move to quick check-ins that help manage your offline life. Designer Jack Cheng advocates for The Slow Web, 1000mg Motilium, Motilium canada, making a similar call to keeping our online tools in check, serving us instead of the other way around, 150mg Motilium. Motilium us, It squares with my (Nora's) own sense that the real push in a market crowded with streams of information and apps galore, is in creating tools that give you real utility, Motilium india, Motilium overseas, and offer the space for you to create meaning in your life.

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