Category Archives: Personal Transportation

Best E-reader Ever? And Inside Uber’s Strategy

On today's podcast, Cathi Bond has been on the hunt for the e-reader that can trump the experience of the good old paper book. She surveys reviews of the new Amazon Oasis, and thinks it may be the killer tech for e-books - for a price. Meanwhile, Nora Young points out this terrific story The Guardian did on how Uber approached taking on the London market. Regardless of what you think about Uber, it has great lessons about how to really nail the user experience. Did you like this episode? Please consider sharing it, rating us, or leave a comment! Thanks! [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4352429/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Home Monitoring Heart Rate and Stress, a Growing Medical Trend

In this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about this home ECG monitor, the mobilECG. It promises "open source electrocardiography". Nora Young talks about this Spark interview with Joe Cafazzo from the University Health Network in Toronto. Continuing the self-tracking trend, Nora talks about Neumitra, a start-up that aims to help individuals monitor their stress levels (via Kernelmag). The intriguing thing is the potential to use aggregated data to understand the stressful parts of the city. [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4233517/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Urban Farming and Cool Trailers

This time, Nora Young looks at the urban agriculture trend. According to a new study, the majority of people doing small scale urban agriculture (eg, rooftop market gardening) in the U.S. generate less than $10,000 in sales. This calls into question the sustainability of the urban ag trend (via City Lab). In a bit of good news, though, Modern Farmer looks at a really cool idea: mobile urban farm stands that sell fresh food near public transit, for people in "food deserts". Cathi Bond continues her love of tiny, perfectly planned spaces with the Tiger Moth, a really cool trailer designed by a former NASA engineer. There's a neat-o video tour! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeWR2b-jRNw     [iframe style="border:none" src="http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4202253/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

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

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

Car Tech, Traffic Tech, and Then Some Beer

Hi, we're back after a liiiitttle bit of a hiatus, but amped up and ready to go. This time around, Nora Young and Cathi Bond talk about some new tech solutions to the problem of distracted driving (via The Economist). As we move into a world of smart cars, and more devices in our vehicles, how will we maximize the power of them without becoming a distracted menace on the road? Nora mentions Social Physics, a new book by Alex (Sandy) Pentland, which includes an intriguing idea about how realtime information from smarter cars can make driving safer. In other news, remember Gort, the giant alien robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still? (We call him Klaatu in the podcast, but as fans will point out, Klaatu is the humanoid, and Gort is the robot). In any case, we were reminded of Gort when Cathi read the news of the use of a robotic looking automated traffic control system, in Kinshasa intersections (via PSFK). It's a smart invention, and it's even solar-powered! Cathi is a fan of fine beer. And here in Canada, beer is practically a bonding national characteristic. So Nora brings her Lean Machine Ale: a health beer, meant to be a healthier alternative to the post-exercise beer (via Springwise) Would you try it, or is there something special about a frosty pint after sports?

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