In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Jonathan Safran Foer (award-winning author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) contemplates the implications of living in a society full of “iDistractions,” arguing that the increased daily use of new technology might be limiting our capacity for empathy and compassion....more
Posts Tagged: technology
What do you do with a loved one’s letters, photos, and journals when they pass away?
What about their emails, online accounts, and computer files?
In an essay at Locus Online, Cory Doctorow describes his efforts to preserve the digital effects of a friend who unexpectedly died—and how that process may become standardized in the future....more
On October 5th, a collection of speakers presented their use of technology in modern day storytelling.
Featuring innovations beyond flourishy eBooks, the fifteen short films featured on The Future of Storytelling’s site are inspirational and provide a starting point for conversations around new/old media....more
Tech crunch hypothesizes that yes, contrary to what you may have believed previously, there is in fact money to be made in the DIY sentry gun scene.
Rudolph Labs has released an open source tracking sentry gun system that uses household items such as your webcam, computer, and paintball gun or airsoft rifle....more
You may have used your cell phone to have a heart-to-heart with someone else, but have you every opened up and talked it out with that very phone? A new collaborative video project from Eric Slatkin asks us to do just that and, like his “I check after” Twitter project, provides a chance for us to reflect on “the unintentional relationships we’ve gained to a piece of electronics.”...more
Dennis Ritchie created the C programming language (“the basis of nearly every programming and scripting tool”) and co-developed the Unix operating system. His death on October 8th fell in the shadow of that of Steve Jobs, but his work is seen as the building blocks of the modern world....more
In this Nation Conversations audio interview, reporter Laurie Penny takes a closer look at how digital resistance groups such as Anonymous and LulzSec have enabled protests from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street. She breaks down the relationship between online and offline dissent, and how the concept of security operates in both realms....more
“We are watching 18 screens showing high-definition images captured by nine cameras. Each camera was set at a different angle, and many were set at different exposures. In some cases, the images were filmed a few seconds apart, so the viewer is looking, simultaneously, at two different points in time....more
Technology and higher education have been enjoying a symbiotic relationship in recent years.
Apple’s creative visions have been coming to life and flourishing on academic platforms, but now that Steve Jobs is stepping down, should we be worried about how it’s going to affect higher education?...more
Booktrack, a New York start-up, is weaving noises and music into e-books. According to their website, the idea behind synchronizing soundtracks to existing e-books, is to “dramatically boost the reader’s imagination and engagement.”
To hear a demo you can check out this piece, which wonders whether readers will find the format distracting, while pointing out that that the concept seems to be gaining ground in the wider e-book realm:
“E-books with added interactive features and soundtracks may be the format’s next step....more
Certain technological mediums seem to encourage lying, and—according to this article— “may make it easier for talking heads to lie.”
Researchers have found that—compared to in-person interactions—people lie more by phone, but less by email and IM. Factors that encourage lying include real-time interactions and being in separate rooms, while lying rates decline when the interactions can be easily recorded....more
Now body hacking exists! A new startup focused on “rewiring your brain” accounts for your caloric intake, exercise habits and sleep patterns, all to make you into a happier person.
“Much as an engineer will analyse data and tweak specifications in order to optimise a software program, people are collecting and correlating data on the “inputs and outputs” of their bodies to optimise physical and mental performance.”
Wired has 5 reasons why E-books cannot replace print.
Besides the tech-related qualms (like books being divided by app, not allowing readers to see all their books in one place), problems like “an unfinished e-book isn’t a constant reminder to finish reading it,” make the list....more
Jonathan Franzen dispensed some optimistic guidance in a NY Times Op-Ed essay, an adaptation of his recent commencement speech to Kenyon graduates.
He covers techno-consumerism, the environmentalist anger that once confined him to his room and his bird-watching revelation that assuaged his real life qualms....more
“Such encounters are becoming increasingly difficult. With a growing number of people turning to Kindles and other electronic readers, and with the Apple iPad arriving on Saturday, it is not always possible to see what others are reading or to project your own literary tastes....more
“New online lockboxes allow you to specify beforehand who’ll get your passwords, which private Flickr photos should be purged, and what final status should be posted at Facebook, but these services are no substitute for a will. And writers and other artists should be especially careful about relying on them.”...more
Update: Amazon caves to Macmillan’s demands! Read on to learn more about the dispute:
After Macmillan Publishers challenged Amazon‘s pricing of e-books for Kindle users, Amazon retaliated on Friday by pulling not only all e-books by Macmillan authors but also physical literature by the publisher as well....more
The books blogs always like to talk about the future, but this week was like some sort of official book blog crystal ball week, what with this new decade they tell me we’re in now and everything....more
“We talk too much about television as an antecedent to the Web, and not enough about the telephone… In America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940, the sociologist Claude S. Fischer argues that our customary mode of discussing new technologies leads us astray by casting the technology as the protagonist and the human user as a victim....more
Scott Rosenberg, a co-founder of Salon who has written a fascinating history of blogging (in time, we’ll be interviewing him about his book), recently wrote up his thoughts on Twitter in two posts: how Twitter differs from blogging, how it has changed blogging, and where he sees the platform going from here....more
“[Doug Engelbart], for those who haven’t heard of him, conceived of and then went on to invent much of what we value today in computing from the standpoint of the user.
Networks, graphical computing, hypertext, the mouse — Doug’s the guy behind all of those in one way or another....more
The arrival of the Internet and the wide dissemination of information that ensued has inspired the belief that technology may be able to break down hierarchies and allow for the equal access to and expression of information....more