Category Archives: Uncategorized

Summer Travel Special – Pandemic Edition

Cathi and Nora are in Nora's backyard again for a couple of takes on how to enjoy summer vacation when many of our conventional travel plans have been disrupted by the pandemic.

Cathi Bond brings you the Luno Air Mattress, an inflatable mattress designed to fit in the back of your vehicle, so you can camp in your car in comfort. Cathi and Nora reminisce about old timey camping with terrible gear!

Nora Young talks about Drive and Listen, a charming website that lets you virtually drive around various cities around the world while listening to local radio from those cities. They chat about the indie internet and VR.


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COVID and Tech Behaviour; Gym Rats are Losing It

This time, Cathi drops by Nora's backyard for a physically distant recording. Nora mentions this survey suggesting, unsurprisingly, how much take up there's been for online shopping during the pandemic. Nora talks about how COVID is changing tech habits, including hers. Cathi argues for the value of in-person shopping for community. Cathi has been a hard core gym rat for many years...like, *many* years. She's dying for the gym to open again, and talks about the impact on people's well being. Will folks in small spaces be able to have home gyms? What will we do when the long dark winter returns? What are your health strategies (mental and physical) during the pandemic? Share your thoughts in the comments. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/15121070/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

Stress-Busting 2020 and Smart Glasses

This time, Nora Young continues the conversation about living smarter in 2020 with this Fast Company article on handling stress better as a key to resiliency. She also refers to Kelly McGonigal's book The Upside of Stress. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond talks about Bosch's upcoming smart glasses, which offer an augmented reality display that aims to be non-intrusive. Use cases include cooking with recipe instructions in front of you, instead of referring to a book, or driving directions. Cathi points out how distracting today's car dashboards are. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/12809258/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

Happy New Year: The Resolutions Edition!

Happy New Year, all! Hope your year is off to a great start, and thanks so much for listening to The Sniffer.

This time on the podcast, Cathi Bond and Nora Young share their resolutions for the year ahead. 

Cathi has decided to try out the Wim Hof method, which combines breathing exercises and fffffreezing cold baths, with an eye to greater health and wellness. Cathi talks about her personal experiences and will report back. You can read more about the method, as well as some of the controversies, reservations, and questions some researchers have in this Discover article. See also Wikipedia's entry for a good overview.

Meanwhile, Nora points out that unlike most years, 2020 has seen very few tech predictions for the year(s) ahead. She talks about this great, short article by Kara Swisher, where she builds a business case for tech innovation.


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Looking Back at the 2010s and Hands-on Shopping

Happy (nearly) holidays!

On this podcast, Nora and Cathi look back at the decade that was. What are your picks for highlights (and lowlights) in your own life and in the culture? Leave a comment!

Nora mentions this New York Times look back at the 2010s.

Meanwhile, Cathi talks about Woondering, a cool pop-up on Brick Lane in London, where you can check out actual physical versions of products with crowdsourcing campaigns at Kickstarter or Indiegogo. It's wrapped up for the year, but there are plans to take it to other cities in the future.

Cathi also mentions Genussee, a Flint-Michigan company that makes glasses from discarded water bottles.

All the best for the season, and we'll be back for a New Year's special!


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Innovations in Solar and Surprising Sources of Traffic Jams

This time, Cathi Bond talks about Heliogen, which seems to have had an early stage breakthrough in using Concentrated Solar Power systems to get to temperatures of >1,000 degrees C, enough to power industrial processes, as opposed to just generating electricity. More details at New Atlas.

Nora Young talks about why the spike in traffic problems may be due to our convenience economy, especially quick delivery of online ordering, and ride hailing. See this well-researched Boston Globe article. 


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Battling Digital Distraction and Brand Experiences

On today's podcast, Nora Young talks about this post on dealing with digital distraction by having a clear idea of what you would do instead of being on your phone. She also mentions Nir Eyal's new book, Indistractable.

Meanwhile, Cathi Bond mentions this PSFK article on a sort of 'loyalty card 2.0' approach some retailers are using. Customer loyalty earns people experiences and makes them 'part of the club'.


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Tracking Health and Design for the Environment

On this podcast, Nora Young talks about a possible future of health tracking technologies, based on this Wired article about Fitbit's recent moves.

Cathi Bond talks about the potential power of art and design to address species diversity. Read Gizmodo's description of the Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial exhibit here.


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The Humans in Artificial Intelligence

We kick off the new season of The Sniffer with a machine learning twofer for you. Cathi Bond talks about this New York Times look at the workers who label the data that machine learning is trained on, in particular, in a medical context.  Nora Young talks about machine learning hype and this article on how to spot "AI Hype". She also mentions this Atlantic article by the excellent tech writer Sidney Fussell. [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/11250224/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

Learn to Meditate and Subscription Fee Hell

This time, Cathi Bond talks about subscription fee creep, where inch by inch your monthly subscriptions are piling up. Here's Gizmodo's interesting take. How about you? Do you find the number of services you're subscribed to creeping up?

Meanwhile, Nora Young talks about this lovely and helpful post over at Legal Nomads. It's a curated 10 week introduction to meditation, that gives you a taste of a number of mainstream meditation approaches, so you can see what works for you.

And, are you having a bad day? Could you use a little sweetness in your life? Check out these Swiss cat ladders over at Core 77!


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