As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.
8 Technologies Every Boomer Needs To Learn
SPECIAL FROM Next Avenue
By Clair Jones
Have you ever wondered what your Millennial coworkers are doing when they’re glued to their smartphones or tablets? Maybe it’s time to have a closer look.
They’re likely employing innovative technologies that you, too, should be using to make your job easier and make you more impressive to your current employer or your next one.
To stay up-to-date, learn these eight ways that technology can help you at work:
1. Manage your personal brand with IFTTT.
If This Then That (IFTTT) is a free service that makes updating your social media accounts, personal blog or LinkedIn profile easy. It uses what the service calls “recipes” to link your accounts. This way, when you post in one, an update is automatically posted in the others.
For instance, you can make an IFTTT recipe that updates your LinkedIn Profile every time you publish a new post on your personal blog. Guides like this one from Lifehacker provide detail instructions about how best to use the service.
2. Maximize your workday with Sunrise.
Sunrise is a free calendar app that combines Google Calendar with LinkedIn, Facebook and other profile calendars to display a comprehensive view of your day. It lets you see real-time updates to meetings in one place, send messages to meeting attendees from within the app and even adjust your events based on time zone. Sunrise also puts alerts from your Facebook, LinkedIn and other linked accounts into your everyday calendar to ensure you never miss an important date.
3. Schedule meetings effectively with Google+ Hangouts and Doodle.
Google+ Hangouts is a free videoconferencing service that works on any device and allows more flexibility than many of its paid competitors. You can start a videoconference directly inside an email, share your screen and collaborate on Google Docs relatively glitch-free.
Doodle cooperates with your calendar to make it simple to schedule meetings with multiple participants and avoid overscheduling your time (it’s free or costs $39 a year if you want extra features). You can provide participants with a variety of meeting time options, all of which hover over their calendar. Once a time is chosen, Doodle automatically saves the meeting details. Doodle works seamlessly with different calendar formats.
4. Create dynamic work presentations with the Prezi and Keepvid web applications.
If you really want to impress your boss, ditch PowerPoint and use Prezi, whose customizable templates let you create dynamic, individualized presentations. You put in your text and images and then choose a color scheme, theme and filters. Prezi is free if you don’t mind sharing your presentations with its online community or $5 a month if you want to keep them private.
Frozen video slides can bring even the best-planned presentation to an embarrassing halt. One solution: Keepvid, which lets you download your videos beforehand and save them to your smartphone, computer or tablet free of charge. It’s useful when Internet access is unavailable or unreliable or when you’re in a place where certain websites (like YouTube) are blocked.
5. Hack graphic design with Easel.ly.
Easel.ly is an innovative service that lets you choose from hundreds of infographic templates and customize them to suit your needs. Whether you’re creating visual aids for a presentation or making an attention-grabbing image for a report, you can avoid the cost and turnaround time of hiring a designer with this free resource.
6. Manage projects gracefully with Evernote.
This free app, which has taken on cult-like status among its fervent users, makes project management simple and easy. Evernote lets you take notes, capture pictures of visual aids, record audio clips and store important project information in categorical files using one versatile interface. You can either email your files directly to Evernote or store them as you go, using simple tags.
Evernote is a huge upgrade from run-of-the mill note-taking apps, because it uses secure cloud technology to make finding your information completely seamless when you’re switching devices. In short, it’s more efficient than taking regular notes, especially if you’re prone to misplacing files.
7. Protect company and personal data with LastPass.
It’s is a free add-on that makes strong alpha-numeric passwords for each of your accounts, while requiring you to remember only one simple password of your choice. Password data is locally encrypted on your computer, so it’s not sent over the Internet. LastPass is great for protecting yourself when you’re using an unsecured network away from the office.
8. Stay abreast of current events with Pocket.
Pocket is a free tool that lets you save for reading later the media that interests you. Say you discover something on your smartphone you don’t have time to look at now or that you’d rather view on a larger screen. Just email a link to your “Pocket,” or download the Pocket browser extension to bookmark relevant media as you discover it.
You can also use tags to categorize your media. For instance, if you’re job hunting and interested in resumé best practices, you can start a resumé tag and revisit the media you’ve saved before your next CV revamp. Then, Pocket can rocket you to success.
Clair Jones is a freelance journalist who loves to write about career and business trends, lifestyle advice, technology and travel. Keep in touch with Clair on Google+ and Twitter.
Read more from Next Avenue:
4 tips for getting hired in the improving job market
The joy of pursuing a personal quest
How to find the best place to work
Students Give Professors Better Evaluations If They Think They're Male: Study
Students tend to give better evaluations to their professors if they think they’re male instead of female, according to a study published last week in the journal Innovative Higher Education.
The study, led by Lillian MacNell, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, used an online summer course on introductory anthropology and sociology to, essentially, catfish students. The class was divided into four discussion groups, with two assistant instructors, one male and one female, teaching two discussions groups each. The assistant instructors collaborated to write and teach in similar ways.
However, the male instructor only told one of his groups that he was male, and told his other group he was female. Likewise, the female instructor only told one group she was female, and told her other group she was male.
At the end of the course, students were asked to fill out an evaluation about their instructor. Overall, the instructors did not receive significantly different evaluations. But the female instructor received better evaluations when students thought she was male. The male instructor, meanwhile, received worse evaluations when students thought he was female.
Mean of Student Ratings – Male Instructor |Create infographics
Mean of Student Ratings – Female Instructor |Create infographics
The evaluations also included specific questions about how the instructor performed, and the responses to these questions reveal an even deeper bias. Both instructors returned grades to their students after two days. But when students were asked to rate their instructors on promptness, instructors perceived as male received an average rating of 4.35 out of 5, while instructors perceived as females received an average rating of only 3.55.
Male-perceived instructors also scored higher on questions about interpersonal measures, even though, according to the study, “both actual instructors demonstrated the same level of interpersonal interaction in their attempts to create a sense of immediacy in the online classroom.” The researchers theorized that female instructors are generally expected to have high interpersonal skills — meaning that a female instructor would have to work harder than a male instructor just to get the same rating.
The study argues that if these biases are coming across so clearly in teacher evaluations, “this particular form of inequality needs to be taken into consideration as women apply for academic jobs and come up for promotion and review.”
The Funniest Someecards Of The Week
Blimey! This was quite an interesting week wasn’t it?
We were visited by British royalty (as evidenced by our superb use of British slang), we survived our office holiday parties, we watched Sony (and all of Hollywood) self-destruct, and we learned that yes, all dogs DO go to heaven.
We’ve compiled the week’s best Someecards below to commemorate the week’s monumental events. Jolly good fun, right?! Okay we’ll stop.
Facebook Wants To Help You Stop Posting Drunk Photos
Posting a red-faced, drooly-drunk picture of yourself on Facebook may seem like a good idea at 2 a.m., but the next day? Not so much.
Facebook apparently wants to help you avoid such embarrassment. The Facebook Artificial intelligence Research lab is working on a feature that would study any photograph you’re trying to post to the social network, determine whether you look intoxicated in that photo, and then advise you against posting it.
This would be one aspect of a tool Facebook is developing called a “privacy assistant,” which would help users make sure their posts are seen by the right people, a representative told The Huffington Post. For example, if you’re looking a little too full of “holiday cheer,” Facebook might suggest you share a photo with a group that doesn’t include your mom. It’s still in development, with no rollout date planned.
It’s part of a broader effort to make Facebook “smarter,” helping you get your content to the people who are most likely to find it interesting and/or appropriate.
Facebook can already predict a face’s identity with 97-percent accuracy.
It’s just one small part of a broader push toward “deep learning”, an effort to bring artificial intelligence closer to how humans actually think. Facebook has used such technology to accurately identify individual faces up to 97 percent of the time.
Facebook says its technology is already smart enough to filter spam out of your News Feed, along with upsetting content, though much of that work is still done by actual human beings.
Privacy Rules for Uber
Uber provides a convenient service that is gaining popularity across the country. Investors have also signaled support for the company’s business model, setting its worth at more than $40 billion. But the recent outcry over privacy, news of the “God View,” and the threats to journalists reveal a problem that will not solve itself: There should be privacy law to regulate Uber and other companies in the ride-sharing industry.
Why a privacy law? Uber collects far more detailed information than was ever gathered before. In the early days, most people paid for cabs with cash. Transportation was essentially anonymous. Manifests were kept for auditing purposes. That changed with the introduction of credit card readers in cabs, but even with credit payments, cab companies rarely kept detailed date and location data on passengers. Records were handwritten. The world was not yet digital.
And then there is “the God View.” Apparently the managers at Uber can, at any time they choose, track who is in an Uber vehicle, where the passenger lives and where the passenger is going. That’s just creepy.
What is to be done? Congress or the states — or both — should pass privacy legislation to regulate the use of personal data collected by Uber. Of course, there is no need to single out Uber; other companies that provide similar services should be covered.
What would the law do? First, Uber would be limited in the type of personal information it can collect. Payment information is obvious, as is travel information. But beyond those categories, the burden would be on Uber to justify the collection of personal data. Second, Uber would be required to delete passenger information after it was no longer needed. It seems obvious that once the ride is completed, Uber should delete the travel records. Third, users should be able to access at any time a complete record of all of the information Uber has about them: all of the records and logs and advertising promotions. If Uber has information about passengers, they should know what Uber knows.
Also, there should be clear legal limits on the use of “God view.” Telephone companies have the right to monitor telephone communications to assess line quality and improve service. But those companies face serious legal penalties for simply listening in on the conversations of their customers. So, too, Uber may have in some circumstances the need to use God view to protect the safety of the passenger or the driver. But any use of that feature to track or stalk passengers should be prohibited by law. And all of these legal rights should be backed with meaningful fines if the company crosses the line.
Passengers of course would be free to keep whatever information about their Uber service they wish. Passengers could also choose to disclose travel records and experiences with other users. But those decisions should be made by the passengers, not by the companies. That data belongs to the passengers, not the companies.
Passing privacy legislation for the ride-sharing industry will not solve all the problems. There are also legitimate concerns about the impact of Uber on the regulated taxi industry, the safety of Uber passengers, and the liability of drivers. But the collection of detailed information on Uber passengers is a real problem that can no longer be ignored. Uber may be big, but it is not God.
Time to enact the Rideshare Privacy Act of 2015.
Marc Rotenberg is President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., and teaches privacy law at Georgetown University. Julia Horwitz is EPIC Consumer Protection Counsel.
Walmart Is Offering An iPhone 6 For Just $129
Walmart has slashed the prices on several models of the new iPhone.
The largest retailer in the world is offering the new iPhone 6 for just $129, a $50 discount from the usual Walmart price, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The offer applies to the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6, but the store has also discounted the bigger-screened iPhone 6 Plus, cutting the price of the 16-gigabyte model to $229 from $279.
Walmart also said it’s knocking $50 off the 64-gigabyte versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, offering the phones at $229 and $329.
Walmart’s prices are significantly discounted from the retail prices on Apple’s website. Apple lists the on-contract of the 16 gigabyte iPhone 6 at $199 and the 16-gigabyte 6 Plus at $299, while the prices for the 64-gigabyte models of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are $299 and $399.
To take advantage of the offers, customers will have to sign a new two-year contract with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. The deal is only available in stores and will run through February, Walmart said.
Walmart is also discounting the older iPhone 5S, offering the 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S for $49, down from $79, as well as the 16-gigabyte model of Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung’s flagship phone, for $79, down from $139.
Fortune’s Phil Wahba noted earlier this week that Walmart has been offering heavy discounts this season and trying to get more people into its stores “to reverse chronic declining store traffic trends.” The latest discounts — and there are more at Walmart than just iPhones — also come as retailers have been stretching what have traditionally been Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals over weeks and weeks.
Scott McCall, Walmart’s senior vice president of toys and seasonal merchandising, acknowledged as much in a statement. “Gift buying no longer happens on just one day or in just one way,” he said. “We’re seeing more customers shopping across the season while visiting both our store and online aisles.”
The iPhone 6 is on track to be Apple’s best selling iPhone yet. The company said it sold more than 10 million new iPhones the first three days they were on sale, and Neil Cybart, an Apple analyst, estimated last month that Apple will sell 68 million iPhones this quarter, up 33.3 percent over the same period last year.
Facebook's MarkZ Bytes the Cooked Apple
I’m an online privacy advocate. I do dozens of radio interviews every month on the subject. I attend and speak at symposiums such as the GMIC SV Conference last week. I am also CEO of Sgrouples Inc., which recently launched the world’s private communication network, MeWe.
Why am I telling you this? Because as a recognized expert in the field, I just read an interview that CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave to Time magazine and it gave me serious pause. You see every now and then, when the big girls and boys in Silicon Valley breach the subject of privacy, the words they choose speak volumes about who they are, what they believe, and what they think of you.
In the interview, Zuckerberg was asked two questions in direct relation to privacy. The first question concerned the social media network Ello, which gained some notoriety recently for positioning itself as the anti-Facebook. Zuckerberg either completely missed the point of the question or purposefully deflected it when he responded in a classic political nod and bump, “Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for.”
That response is the equivalent of being asked about immigration and answering that you like foreign foods. Sorry, MarkZ, no one was talking about money here. The subject was privacy. Isn’t there a moral responsibility to have filters in place that protect each of us and our freedoms as we connect the world? Do we have no say in how we build that bridge and who sees our information or do you think that’s just a price we have to pay for the privilege of contact?
In fairness to Zuckerberg, from a business perspective, he is answering to stockholders, but from a human level he is wrong, woefully wrong. The goal shouldn’t be to publicly connect every person in the world by any means or method. That’s opening a Pandora’s Box of pain and makes no sense. Secondly, let’s be serious, Facebook’s mission isn’t humanitarian. Facebook isn’t the United Nations. Facebook intends to connect everyone in the world as a venue for profit. I know that, you know that, Zuckerberg knows that, and his dinosaur privacy logo knows it too.
When the interviewer, following Zuckerberg’s non-sequitur, went on to point out that Zuckerberg’s statement was actually hypocritical and that Facebook’s users are paying through the use of their personal information instead of cash, Zuckerberg had an epiphany and realized the error of his ways. Yeah, right. Here’s what actually happened. The subject was promptly changed by Zuckerberg’s publicist, whom Facebook’s CEO had strategically placed in the interview room next to him (like a protective lawyer I presume), to keep him from saying anything of depth concerning the subject. I think that’s unfortunate and also quite telling.
Even more telling was his reaction to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s online statement about privacy. Back in September, Cook shared an online message about Apple’s business model that went as follows:
“We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers….We don’t monetize the information you store…We don’t read your email or messages to get information to market to you.”
In response, Google and executive chairman Eric Schmidt blew a gasket and appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box, taking Cook’s statement as a personal affront to Google and asking aloud if Cook is familiar with how Google works while zinging the iPhone6. The bully pulpit message was clear; best not make Momma mad, Mr. Cook. Now Momma can move over, because here comes Daddy Zuckerberg responding in kind:
“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers,” Zuckerberg said. “I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper.”
Why are Schmidt and Zuckerberg so angry with Apple? Because at its core, Cook’s statement says something that Schmidt and Zuckerberg can’t say, mainly that Apple hears everyone’s privacy concerns and that the technology they design caters to those concerns. Whether Apple succeeds in their privacy pivot or not is another story – yet they likely already are by taking the high road. Empty handed, Mr. Zuckerberg, much like Mr. Schmidt, sideswiped the question by bullishly ridiculing the speaker. The emperor and empress indeed have no clothes.
To Silicon Valley I say, don’t pretend you are making privacy changes when they are only skin deep and please don’t portray your wares as something they are not. Facebook and Google have chosen a profitable model for social media. Good for them. But as the days’ flavors change and the Privacy Revolution continues to take root, these companies will either have to substantially change their foundation or move aside. In either instance, bullying the messenger won’t prove fruitful and avoiding the question won’t solve the public’s thirst for online protection.
$ave on Time, Overload and Complexity With User Experience
The world got really complicated all of a sudden. You see it in life and you see it especially at work. While so many great applications exist that simplify life’s transactions and advances in technology make a 24/7 layer of connectedness, there is a cost that we have incurred as a result.
Look up anything, and I mean literally anything, and there are probably more than 50 applications for the same use or feature. The fact we can get an application for anything we need and that we have such choice, is truly amazing. But, which do you choose with this app-saturated world? Do you go with the cheapest, the free one or the one with the most recommendations? Do you not care because, after all, you download one, then if you do not like it, you just get the next. Let’s take the alarm clock. How much time did you spend choosing the application for your alarm clock? Just so you can have it on your phone, which means you will be looking at your phone first thing in the morning. Then, you will notice all your notifications and simply have to look. Now you read a work email and all you are thinking of is your response. Hello, overload. Now, when the alarm goes off – you used to just slap your hand down onto the clock and turn it off. Now, with your cool new app, you go to do that, but wait…you have a phone cover so you have to open your sleepy eyes, get to the phone, type in your pin code, then select your option. Welcome, complexity.
Now this was a trivial example. But, the truth is, it is easily translatable into many scenarios as “we are undergoing a period of technological advancement that will alter the way we live our lives in nearly every way“. Let’s look at work. When did it become so complicated?
Before, your computer was a desktop so work was pretty much at work (unless you logged on from your home computer). If you needed to talk to someone, you called them. If you needed to email someone, you did so from the email solution your company had implemented. Fast forward to now. You want to talk to someone – what do you use? Is it a quick note? So maybe the IM application? Is it lengthier? So maybe an email? But which email application? You have one on your laptop, 3 on your mobile phone. You ping them on IM (ignoring their busy red status, as what does busy even mean anymore), hear nothing so email them too incase, and send them a text. On their end, they get an IM notification and an email notification on their laptop and phone, as well as the SMS notification. 4 Notifications, 2 devices, all for the same message. Now think – how many ways do you have to connect to someone? How many applications do you have to share files? How many notifications do you have on a daily basis? How long does it take you to find things across this distributed landscape?
Back to life. How many real world experiences have you missed because you are so busy photographing it so that you can show others and “remember it later”? How many applications do you now upload the picture to? There are so many, we had to introduce a little button to “Share” just to fit in all the options. We have the ability to share our photos with a large audience, with much greater ease than previously possible. Before, you had 25 pictures on the film in your camera. You had no idea what the picture was going to look like and you had to wait days to see. Because of this, you carefully chose when to take a picture and only took one of each different view you wanted to keep. Now, you can take as many as you want, delete them on the spot and see them right then and there. But what are you missing while you are so busy taking all these photos? Are you really seeing the great sunset or the beautiful view?
The fact that obtaining things today feels so “effortless”, just like taking pictures, means we have learnt to take it for granted. This is exactly why User Experience is key. In an overloaded market place, it will differentiate your product. It is how the user connects with your product emotionally and will keep them coming back to it, recommending it and choosing it from the plethora of similar ones available.
It is up to you, the Experience Designer, to enrich people’s lives with the experiences you design. It is your responsibility to think through the full experience; how your solution interacts with the users existing landscape and makes things truly better for people while minimizing the costs they experience from the world today. The bar is high, and getting higher.
Guess Which State Is About To Put Driver's Licenses On Smartphones
We’re creeping ever closer to a world in which you don’t need to carry a wallet.
The state of Iowa will release a free smartphone app in 2015 that can be used in place of a physical driver’s license. If the state moves fast enough, it could be the first in the country to release such an app, according to The Des Moines Register.
“It is basically your license on your phone,” Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino said on Monday during a budget hearing. The app will be optional — Iowans can still opt to use a regular driver’s license card. (It’s probably also a smart idea to continue to carry around your original license anyway, in case your smartphone battery dies.)
A mockup of the digital driver’s license. The head will actually move a little.
Digital driver’s licenses are just the latest thing moving out of our wallets and onto our phones. Money-transfer systems like Apple Pay and Venmo make it that much easier to survive without carrying cash or cards.
The Iowa DOT is promoting the driver’s license app as a way to eventually limit fraud of all sorts, including the production of fake IDs. People will verify their identity using a PIN code to open the app.
The app is still very much in the development phase, Mark Lowe, director of the motor vehicle division for the Iowa DOT, told The Huffington Post. He noted that many of the security issues are getting worked out.
Lowe said that one of the greatest concerns that the public has expressed about the idea is that law enforcement officers might ask to see someone’s driver’s license app, only to poke through other things on the smartphone. Officers aren’t legally allowed to do that, Lowe said. But to make sure people feel safe, they’re creating a button that will allow officers to see the license without gaining access to anything else on the phone.
Paul Steier, director of the Iowa Bureau of Investigation and Identity Protection, told HuffPost that the state may eventually allow people to only carry a digital license, doing away with their plastic card once and for all.
“We see that as an option — that someone could say I only want my driver’s license digitally, please,” Steier said.
The app could also become much more than just a digital driver’s license. The plan is to eventually integrate a number of other services into the app, like weather and driving alerts, or even the ability to access your personal record.
The Smallest Screen Wins
Once upon a time, movies and television competed for our attention by touting which screen was better, the big screen for films in a theater or the smaller one on the wall of our living room.
Today, though, there’s no debate. Regardless of where you are, the winner goes to the smallest screen of all: the one on our mobile device.
Just look at the statistics. According to statistica.com, the annual shipment of smart phones around the world in 2014 is expected to reach 1.3 billion new units, a dramatic increase from only 174 million in 2005. Looking out farther, growth looks unabated, with total shipments in 2018 forecast to hit 1.8 billion.
Clearly, small screens on smart phones and tablets continue to push the frontiers.
And the app is where it’s at … driving the small screen to such prominence, not just chit chat.
If you needed hard evidence, look at the exponential growth of the App Store. Dan Rowinski, former mobile editor at ReadWrite and now editor-in-chief at Applause, writes:
“The Apple App Store launched in July 2008, a year after the first iPhone was released. It had 500 apps and, to many, was a revelation. It also signaled the dominance of the native mobile application. 10 million applications were downloaded in the first weekend.”
So it’s no wonder that mobile app usage has become a key tool for measuring digital growth and usage of that small screen on our handheld digital device.
In fact, comScore — the research company that looks at how people navigate the digital world — makes a dramatic point when it talks about mobile devices, digital platforms and skyrocketing app usage in its 2014 study:
“American’s don’t just download apps regularly, but they use them regularly, too. More than half (57 percent) of smartphone users accessed apps every single day of a given month, and 79 percent of users accessed apps at least 26 days per month.”
The comScore research goes on to focus on who is leading the pack and setting the trend:
“According to comScore Mobile Matrix data, those between the ages of 25-34 spend more time on mobile apps than any other age segment examined – slightly edging out the younger 18-24 year-old demographic. At 75 hours of mobile app usage per month, the 25-34 year-old age group topped those ages 35-54 and those 55 and older by nearly 11 hours and 25 hours per month, respectively.”
Once again, Millennials – in their late 20s and 30s – lead the way, driving mobile in much the same way that they drive all things digital. After all, digital is their world and they demand the most.
Their smart phones are always close at hand. At work. At play. Never beyond reach. And even at the dinner table.
Think about Thanksgiving or the December holidays. How many smart phones rest aside the dinner plate or on laps? Whether turned silent or on vibrate, they still can’t be missed.
When I speak with my millennial kids about the impact of smart phones. they’re very realistic about some of the pluses and minuses:
Love ‘em and hate ‘em - Sometimes they hate getting text messages. Those texts seem to be an intrusion, demanding a reply. But, even when they ignore them, they’d never do without them.
Fast and furious – It’s great for quick access to information, shopping and the latest news. But it can be a distraction.
The social of social networking – Smart phones are their social device, not a desktop. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, to name a few, are favorites for mobile.
Real friends – In spite of countless online “friends,” they are very aware of how much they value those with whom they can have face-to-face personal discussions about substantive things.
The lesson from screen size, smart phones and apps is our penchant to adopt and adapt. Like almost everything in life, the pendulum swings. With time, we reach a natural balance. Some developments endure. Others fall by the wayside. Adopters become discarders. Then innovation triumphs again.
We should expect nothing less for the future of digital. Just as Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden, more than 150 years ago:
“Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.”
This New Phone App Can Tell When You've Had Too Much To Drink
A new federally funded cellphone app allows people who may have had one too many to get an idea just how drunk they are — and hail a ride home.
Users enter their sex, height, weight, and number of drinks consumed to help figure out their blood-alcohol level. They also can play two interactive games to test reaction time and cognitive agility. And the app uses GPS technology to call cabs and pre-load phone numbers for potential designated drivers.
The app, called ENDUI — pronounced “End DUI” — was announced Thursday by government and police officials in Maryland. Funded by federal money reserved for drunken-driving education efforts, the app is among several in a handful of states to tackle drunken driving — though Maryland’s is one of the most elaborate.
“It’s unique,” said Kara Macek, a spokeswoman at the Governors Highway Safety Association, of the new app, which was developed by the Maryland Highway Safety Office for about $50,000. The app was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“I think states are starting to go that route because they’re trying to reach consumers where they are and where they spend time, and everyone spends time on their phone,” Macek said. “I think we’re going to see more of that as we go forward.”
States with similar apps include New York, New Mexico, Colorado, and California, which launched its version two weeks ago.
Like the other states, Maryland’s app is available for free on Android and iPhone.
One of the games on the app involves pressing a red “brake” button when an image of a pedestrian passes by or a car ahead stops. The app says just how fast — or slow — users react and how much time their car would have needed to avoid a collision.
The other game shows nine road signs that blink in different order; users try to recall the order, which gets increasingly challenging with each round — with or without drinks.
“The game is meant to be a hook and pull you in,” said Tom Gianni, chief of the Maryland Highway Safety Office. “Then it’s meant to give you a lesson of, ‘See what can happen. Imagine if you were behind the wheel.’”
A feature that estimates blood-alcohol levels has users enter their height and weight, and details about what kind and how many drinks they have. For instance, the app estimates that a 130-pound woman who just drank a glass of red wine would have a blood-alcohol level of .04 percent.
Though that’s under Maryland’s legal limit of .08 percent, the app warns that “driving ability is likely to be impaired.”
“Get a cab or have someone that has not been drinking take you home,” the app advises.
At nearly every step, the app warns users that no matter what the results, “driving with any amount of alcohol in your system may impair you and be illegal.”
Gianni called the driving-related features the most important for someone who’s been drinking.
“It kind of takes the guesswork out of a situation where you’ve had a few drinks and you’re not sure what to,” Gianni said. “This takes all the brainwork out of it.”
Previous versions of this story incorrectly stated who funded the app. The app was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, not the Governors Highway Safety Association.
OneDrive for Windows Phone Gets A Big Update
The OneDrive for Windows Phone app has just had a big update drop in the Windows Phone Store that brings significant changes to the user experience along with several other key updates. The new version 4.5 build is out now and you can get it free in the Store. OneDrive for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now The release notes of changes that are in this update cover a pretty extensive amount of updates to the OneDrive app for Windows Phone. UX updates and improvements All Photos view Search updates for personal and work accounts Shared with Me and
The post OneDrive for Windows Phone Gets A Big Update appeared first on Clinton Fitch.
Sean Boies Posed As Victoria's Secret Rep To Get Underwear Photos From Women: Cops
A man in Iowa City, Iowa, is accused of posing as a Victoria’s Secret representative in order to get women to send him underwear photos.
Police said Sean Boies, 29, used a phishing scheme to get IDs and passwords of University of Iowa students
He then used that information to create a profile on Qualtrics, a web-based survey platform that he used to create surveys he would send to female students, the Iowa Press-Citizen reports.
In one survey sent last January, Boies claimed to represent the Victoria’s Secret lingerie company and allegedly asked interested women to upload pictures of themselves in their bras and panties in hopes of being flown to Miami for a photo shoot.
Two women submitted photos, the Associated Press reports.
Police said Boies admitted that he created the survey specifically to receive pictures of women.
He also admitted sending a second survey in March promising a $25 Victoria’s Secret gift card in return for information, according to KCRG.com
Boies allegedly admitted to police he never sent those promised cards.
Boies is charged with two counts of identity theft under $1,000 and unauthorized computer access, KWWL.com reports. He was booked and released Thursday morning at the Johnson County Jail.
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2014 Mobile Year in Review
From the nation dousing itself in ice water for a good cause to wearable mobile devices topping holiday gift lists, mobile innovation is yet again skidding into home plate as another year draws to a close. With consumer mobile data use climbing, competition intensifying and vigorous wireless network and spectrum investment underway, we at Mobile Future are proud to present our own holiday tradition–the 2014 Mobile Year in Review.
Three trends to watch:
• The future is mobile–and video. Ellen’s Oscar selfie may have crashed Twitter with over a million retweets, but the big trend of 2014 was mobile plus video. In April, Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed the future of Facebook is mobile. The nation got a glimpse of this with the Ice Bucket Challenge, in which 3.7 million Instagram videos helped raise $115 million for ALS research.
• Wearble is the new orange. By year-end, 19 million connected wearable devices will ship worldwide. And, we see the evidence of ready-to-wear wireless fashion on wrists across the nation as Americans adopt en masse health and wellness devices that measure everything from heart rate to steps to sleep patterns. Leave it to mobile innovation to nearly eradicate the wristwatch (as we all check our phones for the time) and then revive it as a powerful, connected tool that’s improving our lives. Next stop? Your eyeballs. Check out Google’s prototype for a wireless contact lens that can measure your blood sugar.
• Data traffic growth is the new normal. More sophisticated and bandwidth-intensive mobile applications (like video) and ever more high-resolution, high-performing devices will continually mean more and more demand for wireless capacity. The good news? Wireless carriers invested a record $33 billion this past year to keep pace with consumer demand. Policies that allow them to continue to do so in the years ahead are essential, as is the continued press for open and ample spectrum auctions that allow wireless providers to expand the amount of overall wireless capacity devoted to commercial spectrum use.
This week the Mobile Future team had the opportunity to spend time with a group of remarkable mobile entrepreneurs who represent inspiring and public-spirited wireless innovation. The Mobileys awards, which were presented this week, honored mobile innovators who are making a lasting difference in their communities through their pioneering products and services.
This year’s Mobileys winners are true examples of the amazing results when great ideas, hard work and mobile technology are combined:
Code Blue- A mobile support system that helps young people experiencing depression or bullying get immediate help from their support network. Home base: San Francisco, CA
First Derm – A mobile app that connects users to professional dermatological advice to promote early detection of skin cancer and other ailments. Home base: San Francisco, CA
VolunteerMark – A mobile-friendly software that facilitates communication, scheduling and reporting between organizations and their volunteers. Home base: Merriam, KS
As mobile ends the year strong, 2015 presents even greater opportunities for mind-blowing progress, growth and investment in the next wave of American innovation and innovators. Happy holidays.
Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter, a technology executive and former senior federal government national security official, leads a coalition of technology companies/stakeholders dedicated to increasing investment and innovation in the burgeoning U.S. wireless sector.
Using Facetime can be an effective way to supervise intubations & other procedures
University of Arizona researchers compare virtual supervision of intubations using FaceTime to in person supervision.
The post Using Facetime can be an effective way to supervise intubations & other procedures appeared first on iMedicalApps.
Iowa developing driver's licence app
The US state of Iowa is developing an application to put residents’ driver’s licences on mobile devices.
NASA's 'All About That Space' Parody Is 100 Percent Adorkable
You know I’m all about that — space?
A group of NASA interns recently created a parody of Meghan Trainor’s hit song “All About That Bass,” and the resulting video is wonderfully nerdy and totally adorable.
Spotlighting NASA’s new exploration spacecraft, Orion, the interns boogied their way around the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, singing gleefully about their love for rockets and everything space-related.
“If you got boosters, boosters, just raise ‘em up, ‘cos every spacecraft needs propulsion from the bottom to the top.”
IT spending grows at fastest rate in five years
Agile IT departments are emerging with the ability to flex their budgets quickly to meet new business demands
Laci Green Reminds Us That Sexism Hurts Men Too
While sexism negatively affects women, Laci Green is here to remind us that everyone is impacted by gender inequality.
Green, a sex-positive video blogger and peer sex educator, breaks down how sexism affects men and young boys in her video “Does Sexism Hurt Men?” Her answer? Damn straight it does.
“Obviously, the fact that women and girls face inequalities is reason enough to stand up against sexism,” Green says. “But let’s not forget that sexism also affects men and boys.”
Sexist conditioning tells men that the worst thing they can be is “like a woman” — meaning being emotional, vulnerable or generally feminine. While none of these stereotypical gendered traits are actually bad (and don’t ring true for all women), our culture pressures men to be the complete opposite, which can be just as hard as subscribing to the standards women face.
As Green says in the clip, boys are told from a young age that they can’t be emotional, they should be into sports and have “manly hobbies,” some of which include having lots of (heterosexual) sex to prove their manhood. While women are traditionally taught to stay at home as caregivers, men are told they need to be the sole breadwinners and leaders in their households. That’s a lot of pressure for everyone.
Sexism perpetuates “one version of masculinity, one way of being a real man that we impose on boys in a million subtle ways all throughout their lives and the effects of that are serious,” Green says. She also points out that out sexism affects gay men, lesbian women, trans* people and “everyone in between.”
“Understanding how these inequalities and attitudes permeate our society, and working to correct them, is in the best interest of everyone.” *Mic drop*
Head over to Green’s YouTube channel Sex+ for more information on sex-positive education.
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