My walletless month: Happier, healthier and ready to ditch cash forever.
[technology / culture / mobile / innovation]
Wired writer Christina Bonnington gave up her wallet (cards & cash) for a month and paid for everything using “purely mobile means.” What she found? “Although we’re a long way from where we were even a few months ago, being able to live completely walletless is still a long ways off. There are just too many entrenched forces - primarily government agencies, mom-and-pop stores, and anyone qho requires an ID - for this change to happen quickly.” But if you’re in a major metropolitan area? “It’s pretty darn doable (and in fact, enjoyable),” writes Bonnington.
My walletless month: Happier, healthier and ready to ditch cash forever.
Calculate how much Google & Facebook are making off your privacy settings.
[culture / privacy / technology / tools]
PrivacyFix is a free tool that checks to see just how private (or not) your Facebook settings actually are - And gives you one-click options to update those settings based on what they find. But beyond that, they show you how much Google and Facebook are making off of your privacy settings. I’m worth about $600 to Google (a small price to pay for access to Gmail) but only $3 a year to Facebook ;)
IBM’s Watson is learning its way to saving lives.
[culture / technology / innovation / creativity]
IBM’s Watson is one of the best pieces of advertising I’ve seen in my lifetime. IBM wanted to show people just how good their technology was, so they made a super smart computer. That consistently won Jeopardy. (Yes, really.) Now they’re sending Watson to hospitals, creating fake problems and seeing if Watson comes up with the same solution as real doctors. After Doctors input certain information, the computer filters the information through algorithms and then suggests solutions with varying levels of confidence. Oh, and it keeps learning. So in a few months, or even a few years it will be even smarter. It can learn and share knowledge from across the world! This is the part of the future I’m excited about.
Interview with the man behind Comantra, the “cold call virus scammers.”
[culture / virus / technology]
I’m fascinated by scammers. Particularly the most recent wave of cold call scammers pretending to have identified viruses on PCs running Windows. This writer interviews the person behind it all. (Well, one of the big players.)
Lark: What Nike’s Fuelband could be.
[culture / quantified self / technology]
Alright, I admit I’m a bit down on the Fuelband right now because mine recently broke after only a few months. But still, Lark is awesome. It may not be as pretty as the Fuelband, but it incorporates sleep patterns and nutrition. And if Nike used the same technology advances, it would have an even better product. Though neither have figured out exactly how to account for biking.
DIY Infographics with Piktograph.
[creativity / surprise & delight / mobile]
This web app provides themes, inspiration and editing tools that help make infographics easier. That’s not to say it’a complete breeze - You still have to have some design sensibility. And you need to start the process with an idea of what you want to say and stats in hand. Still, I foresee this coming in handy.
Sunrise tells you what you’ve got on the books today.
[mobile / scheduling / life hacks / tools / technology]
Sunrise syncs with your Google calendar, Facebook and Eventbrite to pull your daily schedule and then cross checks members of meetings with LinkedIn to provide you not just with your schedule for the day, but some background on the people you’re meeting with. I love this in theory, but until it works with Microsoft Outlook, it’s not super helpful for me.
Download, print, fire: gun rights initiative harnesses 3D technology.
[technology/ culture / tools / 3D]
3D printers are awesome. They’ve made the cover of Wired. And Bre Pettis, maker of the makerbot, was even on Colbert! Thingiverse is a community built around digital designs for “real, physical things.” The technology is getting good - It’s not too much of a pain in the ass to use it (or so I’ve heard.) But what happens when people want to make things that are, well, not so great? Like guns? This article from The Guardian explores just that. (It was written before the 3-D printer was confiscated from the buyer.)
The day I confronted my troll.
[technology / culture / geekery]
One of the things I dislike the most about the internet isn’t buffering. Or forgetting my password. Or having to re-sign-in to Pinterest every time I want to pin something. What I really hate about the internet are internet trolls. Those people whose parents apparently never told them to shut their traps if they didn’t have anything nice to say. This article is about a guy who went through the trouble of finding and meeting his troll. As one commenter said, “I think the moral of the story is that these people who post hateful messages online are generally sad little tossers.” (Still. It’s rude! Get some manners people!)
The new iPhone is here.
[technology / innovation / mobile]
Can you believe the iPhone5 is here? Sometimes it feels like just yesterday everyone was lining up for Apple’s first cell phone. Fast Company pulled together ‘The best of Apple’s iPhone5 announcement’ while scotty321 on YouTube put together “Shit Apple Fanatics Say.’ What do you think? I’m not quite sold. Yet. ;)
Dissecting your life on Facebook.
[narcissism / technology / social media / tools]
It’s not nearly as pretty as a Feltron Report or even MySocialMemories, but this new Wolfram Alpha app gives you a deep dive into your personal Facebook stats. It’s not too surprising, but it is fun. And kinda interesting! (Go on, you know you want to check it out.)
The all new MySpace looks surprisingly sleek.
[technology / social media / culture]
I never got into MySpace. And when I tell people this, they’re often surprised, given my love of music and my old school love of technology. But I could never get into it because the design was just too jarring to my eyes. I’ve mocked MySpace for years. I never thought I’d say this, but the redesign looks great, and it’s enough to spark my sign-up. Of course I have to wonder if they’re too late to the game… I signed up for the new Outlook, but haven’t visited it more than a few times.
hi-Call Bluetooth gloves turn your hands into a phone.
[technology / innovation / design]
Looking for the gift for someone who has it all? These gloves feel like they’re straight out of the Sky Mall magazine: something you never knew you needed ;) But really, gloves that turn your pinkie and your thumb into a microphone and a speaker - and that are hooked up via Bluetooth to your phone! Crazy cool.
Heat-proof paint withstands bomb heat.
[Innovation / Inspiration / Technology / Science]
Researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi replaced camouflage face paint’s carbon base with silicone, a non-flammable substance. The formula protects guarded skin for 2-15 seconds (the time required to withstand a bomb’s heat blast.) This kind of science is awesome.
Rootsy’s private social network lets you build your family tree online.
[Social Media / Technology / Family]
If you’re one of those people that gets creeped out by social networks, but want to keep in touch with family, Rootsy is for you. You can build out your family tree (simply and easily, mind you!) and add accompanying photos/videos to help tell the story. Your story. I’m into this. Disclosure: I’m friends with one of the founders, Cezary. (But he didn’t ask me to write any of this!)