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Mobile Technology News, March 3, 2015

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.

  • VIDEO: Keeping in touch with 'smart products'
    The Mobile World Congress is taking place in Barcelona and it features a wide array of products connected by mobile technology.
  • Here Are The Top 10 Part-Time Jobs For 2015
    As the country has slowly recovered from the Great Recession in recent years, many workers have been forced to take on part-time or temporary work, as full-time options are often more limited. But choosing a part-time job should not mean that workers have to sacrifice their happiness or well-being.

    Job database website CareerCast set out to evaluate 200 different part-time and temporary employment opportunities to see which ones are the best bets for American workers. In its annual Jobs Rated Report, released Tuesday, the team at CareerCast used data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to review jobs on the basis of four “core criteria” relevant to every work experience: environment, stress, income and potential career outlook. Each criterion was divided into subcategories — for example, the environment category was broken down to account for various emotional and physical factors — and each subcategory was assigned a numerical ranking.

    CareerCast gave one-third of the weighted score to a combination of stress and environment, one-third of the weighted score to income and the final third of the weighted score to potential career outlook, which accounted for such factors as potential for income growth and unemployment rates. These overall rankings were then used to compare each part-time job and determine which options proved most desirable across the board. Part-time employment was defined as anywhere from one to 34 hours of work per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The report identified several trends. Because many companies still cannot afford to hire a team of information technology professionals on site, part-time computer programmers and network administrators do particularly well financially as they hop from assignment to assignment between businesses. When it comes to seasonal success, accountants experience an incredible spike in demand come tax time, and product delivery workers do particularly well around the holidays.

    To see which 10 part-time and temporary jobs made CareerCast’s best of the best list for 2015, check out the slideshow below:

  • Geico Creates 'Unskippable' Preroll YouTube Ads That You'll Want To Watch Till The End
    After sitting through the first five unavoidable seconds of a YouTube preroll ad, most people don’t bother watching the spot till the end. But Geico is now hoping to change that with two new preroll commercials that promise to be “unskippable.”

    Both Geico ads, created by The Martin Agency, cleverly place emphasis on the first five seconds, acknowledging that they only have those few moments to capture the audience’s attention.

    “You can’t skip this Geico ad,” the commercial says, “because it’s already over.”

    If viewers choose to continue watching, however, they’re rewarded with an unexpected and funny ending.

    One of the ads features a family sitting around a dining table while another shows two friends enjoying a barbecue. Watch how the first commercial unfolds in the video above. The other ad can be viewed here:

    H/T Reddit

  • Terminator Robots and AI Risk
    2015-03-03-dreamstime_m_46857537.jpg

    Concerns about risk coming from the development of AI have been recently expressed by many computer science researchers, entrepreneurs and scientists, making us wonder: what are we fearing? What does this worrisome thing look like? An overwhelming number of attempts to explain the risk came in the media accompanied by pictures of terminator robots. But while the prevalent visual representation of AI risk has become the terminator robot, this is in fact very far from the most likely scenarios in which AI will manifest itself in the world. So, as we begin to face our fear, the face of what we’re told we should fear is utterly misleading. My fear is instead that, like with any representation that reveals some things and hides others, what the terminator robot reveals is simply something about our mind and its biases, while hiding the real dangers that we are facing.

    The terminator robot becoming such a “catchy” representation is due, I believe, to the fact that our minds and the fears they dream up are embodied. We have evolved to fear moving atoms: tigers that could attack us, tornados that could ruin our shelters, waves that could drown us, human opponents that could harm us. Killer robots from the future are just a spinoff that cultural evolution has put onto our deeply rooted sources of fear that we’ve evolved to react to.

    There is much research showing that the way we conceive of the world and the way we act or react in it are based on embodied representations. In their book Metaphors We Live By, Lakoff and Johnson talk about how we represent even very abstract concepts in relation to our own physical bodies. For example, we think of happiness as being up, and sadness being down when we talk about events that “lift us up” and days when we feel “down”. These metaphors we use for representing abstractions in embodied ways are so deeply ingrained in our language that we don’t even think of them as figures of speech anymore. Equally so, our reactions are highly influenced by embodied representations. Several studies have found that when people are looking at drawings of eyes, they cheat less and behave more pro-socially than when they are not. Finally, the way we act in the world and the way we perceive our actions to be ethical or not depends on embodiment. Variations of the famous trolley problem (in which a person is asked whether it is morally right to sacrifice the life of one person in order to save the life of five by using this person as a trolley-stopper) have shown that people are more willing to say that it is ethical to do so when one needs to pull a lever that will cause the person to fall in front of the trolley, than when one needs to push the person oneself.

    All of this suggests that the reason why killer robots “sell” is because we are wired to fear moving atoms, not moving bits of information. It’s almost like we need to give our fears an embodied anchor or it’s not scary anymore. But what is the price we pay for the sensation of fear that we need to nurture through embodied representations? I believe the price is blindness to the real danger.

    The risk of AI is very likely not going to play out as armies of robots taking over the world, but in more subtle ways by AI taking our jobs, by controlling our financial markets, our power plants, our weaponized drones, our media… Evolution has not equipped us to deal with such ghostly entities that don’t come in the form of steel skeletons with red shiny eyes, but in the form of menacing arrangements of zeros and ones.

    In spite of our lack of biological readiness to react to such threats, we have created societies that are more and more dependent on these elusive bits of information. We no longer live solely in a world of moving atoms but we also live in a world of moving bits. We’ve become not just our bodies but also our Facebook page, our Twitter account, our Internet searches, our emails, etc. We no longer own just gold coins or dollar bills, but we own numbers: credit card numbers, passport numbers, phone numbers. Our new digital world is quite different from the one that hosts our bodies and it is silly to think that what is worthy of fear in it will have the same characteristics as what’s worthy of fear in this one. And just because our emails and Internet searches being stored and read by others does not feel as creepy as a pair of eyes always peering above our shoulder, it doesn’t mean that it really isn’t. Just because silent and stealthy taking over by AI does not give us the heebie-jeebies quite as much as roaring armies of terminators do, that doesn’t mean it is not equally dangerous or even more so.

    So, even if we do not feel the fear, we need to understand it. We need to be fearfully mindful not of the terminator robots themselves, but of what they hide and misrepresent.

  • New HP Spectre x360 Ultra Sleek Notebook Now Available at HP Starting at $899

    This weekend at MWC, HP announced the all new Spectre x360 ultra sleek notebooks powered by Windows 8.1.  Now you can order yours on the HP Online Store starting at just $899.  This new lineup has been seeing some raving comments from those in attendance in Barcelona for the sleek design and look of the Spectre x360.  When it was announced this weekend there was some question as to when it would be available.  Those questions are answered it seems as both the i5 and i7 versions of it are now available for order. Spectre X360 Ultra Sleek Notebooks –

    The post New HP Spectre x360 Ultra Sleek Notebook Now Available at HP Starting at $899 appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Will Sony march away from mobile?
    Should Sony stop making smartphones?
  • 'Robo-investing' reaches the masses
    How computers are taking over the finance world
  • HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet – Now Only $79 At The Microsoft Store

    At the Microsoft Store today they are once again running a promotion they ran last month on the HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet.  The promotion makes it one of those hard to pass up deals on what has been on a highly rated and well liked economy tablet. Right now you pick up a HP Stream 7 for $79 which is a $20 savings off the regular price.  Keep in mind that this is the Signature Edition so there is no crapware installed on this model.  In addition to the $20 savings, you get a year of Office

    The post HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet – Now Only $79 At The Microsoft Store appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Handy Tools Software Developers Love and Why They Love Them
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    Talk to software developers and these are the tools they’ll tell you they love.

    Technology and software development continue to be among the fastest growing industries in the world right now. As outspoken venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has said time and time again, “Software is eating the world.”

    This explosion in software development has led to an influx of new developers and developer tools. In this sea of software development products, there are a few gems that might be overshadowed by some of the bigger names. Ask a developer, and they’ll tell you all about them.

    @socialmktgfella My preferred tools: @builtio, @sublimehq, Dash by @kapeli, @pixelmator and JSON Accelerator by @the_nerdery

    — Kurt Collins (@timesync) February 18, 2015

    These software development tools are lauded by their users.

    Hall

    Communication is the cornerstone of any team’s success. If everyone isn’t on the same page, projects become mismanaged and time is lost. Companies realize this and many invest in a chat tool for their employees to make sure communication is strong. One such tool, Slack, has exploded as one of the most popular chat tools in Silicon Valley due to it’s beautiful interface and superior search. Others such as Flowdock and Atlassian’s Hipchat are two chat tools that thousands of companies have relied on for years. These are great communication tools, but a newcomer Hall (yes, they somehow secured that domain name), has quietly crept up on the competition.

    Hall’s unlimited private or group chat rooms keep teams in the loop. Their suite of integrations, like Asana and one of my favorites,Trello, allow teams to connect chat and task management together with file-sharing and version control, so that your team can make real-time updates and then chat about them.

    What developers say about it:

    Integrations on @Hall are amazing! Please add basecamp https://t.co/dotqKuj9Cw

    — jessica madrazo (@MadrazoJessica) February 26, 2015

    Jixee

    Established development teams need a project management tool or task tracker to keep their team organized as the work piles up. Atlassian’s Jira and Pivotal Tracker get a lot of the buzz when it comes to project management and task tracker tools, but Jixee is the new kid on the block and offers more flexibility for teams at a lower cost.

    Jixee’s minimal design makes set-up and product navigation easy for new teams. The product connects with tools you’re already using, so you don’t have to adopt an entirely new suite of products like Atlassian. Jixee is considered by many to be a great tool for development teams under 10 people.

    What developers say about it:

    Searching for a #Jira alternative? Here is Jixee: https://t.co/ka2OdjrFkK
    Totally worth a look!

    — Kovah (@kovah_kvh) September 25, 2014

    Sublime Text

    “Make ten changes at the same time, not one change ten times,” the text editor for code advertises. With split screen editing, the markup tool allows multiple selections to be interactively changed many lines at a time, enables easy renaming of variables with ease, and fast file manipulation.

    Sublime’s Command Palette holds infrequently used functionality, like sorting, changing the syntax and changing the indentation settings accessible with just a few keystrokes. Develpers can search for commands without ever having to navigate through the menus or remember obscure key bindings.

    What developers say about it:

    Just discovered how awesome the Emmet plugin for sublime text 3 is. #awesome #codefaster @emmetio

    — Joshua Weaver (@3cordguy) February 26, 2015

    Gitlab

    Git repository management is an essential tool for development teams. Version control keeps your code well organized and can serve as a safety net for complex code repositories. Products like Github and Bitbucket are two of the more ubiquitous brands out there for version control, but Gitlab is a solid alternative to both of these options.

    Gitlab is free, open-sourced software that runs on top of Gitolite. It does offer a paid option that can be downloaded to your own server which provides more features, like the power to implement granular permissions. This is perfect for the development team that requires more advanced access control rights.

    What developers say about it:

    Love @gitlab! v7.8 released: import from http://t.co/pb5xTbYOUK and GitHub Enterprise, store large files with git https://t.co/5OUNr9S6iN

    — Michael C. Hogan (@mch82) February 22, 2015

    Ruxit

    Real-time performance analytics are essential for your application. Understanding how your app is working and where you can improve it will help your business grow. Companies like New Relic and AppDynamics are leaders in real-time analytics for the software industry. They enable you to monitor the performance of your application at every turn by collecting, storing, and visualizing your application’s data. These leaders in the space are proven and vetted, but are there any alternatives to these two behemoths? There are, and Ruxit is one that stands out.

    Ruxit automatically discovers and tracks your applications, processes, services, and related interdepencies. Whenever you make an update, it’s detected and tracked. You never have to fear that your new code will affect app performance, because Ruxit will automatically notify you when it does.

    What developers say about it:

    @ddprrt @ruxit this looks really cool! have an awesome time!

    — Georg Ringer (@georg_ringer) February 25, 2015

    Kapeli’s Dash

    The folks at Kapeli are the makers of developer-popular Dash. Called an “indispensable masterpiece for developers,” Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager that stores snippets of code and instantly searches offline documentation sets for APIs. Over 150 of them, in fact, including HTML5, ActionScript, Bootstrap, Haskell and others.

    The snippet manager allows for things like easy snippet reuse, tagging for organization, special placeholders, and syntax highlighting. The tool then integrates with package managers to generate documentation sets for anything developers might need, as well as provide custom documentation sources of its own.

    What developers say about it:

    Thank god for dash… if you go offline and need documentation – don’t leave home without it! @kapeli
    http://t.co/BdZWRZVT2F

    — Craig Campbell (@kraig) February 25, 2015

    Atom

    Every developer has their preferred integrated development environment (IDE) where they write code. There are a ton of different options out there, ranging from simple text editors to more robust applications. Some developers simply use the IDE that they started with. Sublime and Webstorm are two of the more popular IDEs used by beginner and expert developers alike. Sublime alone has more than 2.5 million downloads and is considered the standard that all other text editors are judged by.

    Sublime is loved because of its comprehensive language support, TextMate compatibility, GoTo Anything quick navigation to locate files and code, and extensive customization options.

    Atom is a new open-sourced editor from GitHub. It’s quickly gaining traction due to its Sublime-like design and the fact that it’s free. Integrations with Git and GitHub make it a reliable choice for devs who already use those products. There is also a well documented API with a wide selection of themes and plugins, and it comes with a built-in package manager. So if you like Sublime, but don’t have the budget for the $70 license, Atom is a great alternative.

    What developers say about it:

    My Content Management System is my TEXT EDITOR #Atom #WebDesign https://t.co/uYdhMyA87j

    — John Foderaro (@JohnFoderaro) February 27, 2015

    Built.io

    Built.io powers the entire backend – servers, cloud infrastructure, database – so developers can focus on creating an amazing user experience. The company’s mobile backend SaaS allows deployment of mobile applications in a cloud environment, while maintaining top to bottom control. The platform’s flexibility allows users to move mobile workloads and data effortlessly between private, public and hybrid hosting options.

    What developers say about it:

    @builtio has won the Top Innovator Award in the MOBILE DEV TOOLS category at #devweek15 (Feb 6 – 12, SF)! pic.twitter.com/52AnvVlQGi

    — DeveloperWeek (@DeveloperWeek) January 23, 2015

    Invision

    Depending on what type of developer you are, you may or may not use a prototyping tool. Many developers are becoming “full-stack” devs, therefore having a go-to prototyping tool is important. Omnigraffle and Balsamiq are two prototyping tools that have been loved by developers and designers for years. Each program comes with stencils that you can drag and drop into your design, making prototyping mock-ups a breeze.

    Invision is a web-based app that allows for collaborative, real-time prototyping. You’re able to send team members a link to your prototype and they’re able to click around your design and experience first-hand what you’re envisioning. Teams can comment on the design, and updated designs are right there for your team to see.

    Your team might well be satisfied with your current set of the tools, but it’s always important to keep an eye out for alternatives, in the hopes of saving money or upping efficiency. New tools are popping up daily and it’s useful to be aware of them, they just might be a better fit for your team.

    What developers say about it:

    I bet prototyping new versions of @InVisionApp from within @InVisionApp is tricky. #inception

    — Jory Raphael (@sensibleworld) February 26, 2015

  • Poor Farmers Lose Income When Milk Spoils During Delivery. This $5 Jug Helps Solve That
    In Kenya alone, 80 percent of the milk is produced by small-scale farmers who helplessly watched their income source spill and spoil during delivery.

    For dairy farmers in developing countries, one of the greatest challenges is safely transporting milk to its destination, since the flimsy pails they relied on couldn’t handle the task. That’s what prompted a number of innovators to develop the Mazzi, an efficient and inexpensive jug that can carry milk on long journeys and help prevent the product from curdling.

    The standard pail dairy farmers used presented a number of issues.

    Because they weren’t sturdy, they’d often get kicked over during the milking process and the inefficient shape would invite in contaminants that would lead to spoiling.

    milking

    Once the milk was collected, the farmers would transport the liquid into jerry cans that break easily during transport and are difficult to clean.

    To streamline the process and prevent waste, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tasked Global Good with taking on the issue, and identifying a viable and scalable solution. Together with Heifer International, the groups developed the Mazzi, a 10-liter reusable plastic container.

    The container’s wide mouth allows farmers to use both hands during the milking process, which increases output. A detachable black funnel enables farmers to identify if the cow has an udder infection, limits contaminants from entering and prevents spilling. The stackable lid allows for easy transport to purchasing centers and for hassle-free cleaning once they’re emptied.

    jug

    The Mazzi, which will be produced in Africa and sold throughout eight countries, will cost about $5 each, a sizable improvement from the $30 cost of other jugs, and will help create new manufacturing and sales jobs, according to Gates Notes.

    SNV Ethiopia announced in June that it will invest $1 million to coordinate local manufacturing efforts, according to Intellectual Ventures.

    “The container is a perfect example of how innovative thinking specifically for these farmers can make a significant impact,” Jane Maindi, who managed Heifer International’s East Africa Dairy Development research efforts, said in a statement. “Kenyan farmers who participated in our pilot program have been raving about Mazzi and crediting it with reducing wastage and spillage, improving yields and increasing their incomes.”

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  • Are Banks In Store For An 'Armageddon' Cyber Attack?
    As with most things in the modern age, our banking has largely shifted from physical, brick-and-mortar banks to a “secure” website or app that handles our money. According to experts, however, online banking might be in danger in the coming months.

    A four-person panel — Lisa Sotto, a privacy expert at Hunton & Williams; Richard Turner, vice president at FireEye;
    Robyn Greene, policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute; and Steve Fox, the CEO at Security Pursuit — joined HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill to discuss the state of online banking, and whether it could be headed for an armageddon-level hack.

    Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

    Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

  • Vast Majority Of Us Would Prefer A Thicker Smartphone If It Meant A Better Battery
    Americans don’t want thinner phones. At least, not if that means shorter battery life.

    A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that an overwhelming majority — 73 percent — of adults polled would prefer a thicker phone with longer battery life to a thinner one with shorter life.

    Only 12 percent said they’d prefer a thin phone with less battery life, while 15 percent said they weren’t sure.

    The results come one day after Samsung announced its new flagship Galaxy S6 phone, which is thinner and lighter than the Galaxy S5. It also has a smaller-capacity battery than the S5. Samsung, however, claims the new device is more efficient and should last longer than the old one, despite the weaker battery.

    In a recent column for The Wall Street Journal, tech columnist Christopher Mims suggested it would take a brave phone maker to buck the trend of thinner smartphones in favor of longer-lasting batteries. If our survey is any indication, maybe it would just take a smart one.

    Tell us what you think:

    The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews, including 571 smartphone users, conducted Feb. 27-March 1 among U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

    The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the poll’s methodology are available here.

    Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

  • 'Textastrophe' Pulls Off Hilarious Texting Pranks On Unsuspecting Phone Numbers
    We’ve come a long way since, “Is your refrigerator running?”

    “Textastrophe: A Collection of Hilariously Catastrophic Text Pranks” is a new book based on the popular Tumblr that showcases one man’s unique use of publicly posted phone numbers. If there was ever a PSA against sharing your personal cell phone number on Craigslist, this would be it.

    If you haven’t yet witnessed how hilariously off-the-rails one texting conversation can go, check out three of our favorites below and find the book on Amazon.

    This guy was just looking for some subs and amps:

    This person was just looking for a nice, new logo for their restaurant:

    And this one was just trying to get rid of a Chili’s gift card:

  • You Can Manufacture What You Desire
    Peter Diamandis recently spoke with The WorldPost about his new book, “Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World.” He is also founder of the XPRIZE Foundation and co-founder of Singularity University, Planetary Resources and Human Longevity Inc.

    WorldPost: What differentiates this digital era of what you call “exponential transformation” from the earlier industrial era of “linear” change? Why is change so much more accelerated and expansive?

    Diamandis: Industrial production was basically a one-for-one proposition. If you wanted to double your output, you doubled the number of factory workers or the amount of machines.

    In the digital age, the marginal cost of replicating data is near zero and the marginal cost of distribution is near zero. You can produce and distribute an app, a document, or a service a million-fold or a billion-fold at almost no new incremental cost.

    So today, any single individual can impact the lives of millions or billions of people without the huge costs of capital, as used to be the case.

    The curve of change — which I boil down to 6 “d’s” — is exponential because culture makes progress cumulative. Innovation occurs as humans share ideas. You build on my idea; I build on yours.

    We’ve gone from transmission of ideas through storytelling around the campfire to print to Kodak photographic film and now to digital. Anything that becomes digital — biological, medicine, manufacturing and so on — hops on to Moore’s law of increasing computational power, which he said would double every 12 to 24 months. This has remained true for the last 60 years when he first posited it.

    Once a product or a service becomes digital, it is exponentially empowered. Thus, digitalization is the first “d.”

    The second “d” is deception. Exponential growth usually remains hidden from most observers when it gestates in small increments before it starts doubling.

    That is when disruption takes place, because any innovation that creates a new market disrupts an old one. We have seen how digital pixels replaced Kodak analog film cameras that needed photographic chemicals and paper. At its height, Kodak had 144,000 employees and a $10 billion market capitalization. Today, Instagram has the same market cap with only 13 employees.

    Kodak’s fate is an example of another “d” — demonetization. Digital pictures cost nothing to take or transmit once you’ve got a smartphone.

    The smartphone is a prime example of dematerialization — its functions replace in one small device the computing power of old IBM machines that filled whole rooms, landline phones, cameras and watches.

    When the cost falls so dramatically with dematerialization, you get democratization — smartphones are affordable to billions of people empowered now as never before with devices that were once only available to a few. Democratization is the logical result of demonetization and dematerialization.

    WorldPost: In your book, you present a road map to the exponential technologies that will transform all of our lives — infinite computing, artificial intelligence, 3D manufacturing, robotics, genetics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and others. To take one example, how will 3D manufacturing work?

    Diamandis: If you wanted to produce something by the old linear industrial means, you’d have to design it, build a prototype, get customer feedback, produce a mold and, to get prices down, you’d have to gear up to scale to thousands of items at least.

    Then you’d have to store those items in a warehouse, send to distributional hubs when orders come in from retail outlets — and hopefully get them into the hands of customers before the items was out of date or out of fashion.

    It is a lengthy and logistically challenging process.

    On the flip side, if you wanted to buy something from a manufacturer, you’d have to find a supplier that has it, perhaps place an order, and get it delivered to you, hopefully in a timely manner. Sometimes there are bottlenecks in distribution that throw a big wrench in the works — for example, the recent port strikes on the west coast that backed up shipping for weeks.

    As 3D manufacturing develops, this whole model I’ve described will be turned upside down. You will be able to design a product or a service digitally, upload it onto the Web and have that file available anywhere for printing.

    So you could upload a design you did in your home to the Cloud, where it could be downloaded to anyone in China, India or the Bronx and printed on their 3D printer at home or at their local equivalent of a Kinko’s.

    We’ve seen what has happened with Kinko’s. We used to go to Kinko’s in order to copy and reproduce documents and reports. Now, those photocopy functions moved to the home with high-quality printers.

    The same thing will happen with 3D printers. You will be able to design, or download, the dress, the toy or the pottery you want and produce it in your closet.

    WorldPost: The futurist Alvin Toffler called this “prosuming.” We will be both the producer and consumer at the same time.

    Diamandis. Exactly that. We are exploding the number of innovators and creators around the world. Further, artificial intelligence will soon be able to understand what you are saying, what you are thinking about, what your desires are.

    If you mix that with a 3D printer, you describe what you want, and what it looks like and go into an iterative process — “I want it smaller, make it red, not blue,” and so on. AI will print it. You are manufacturing what you desire.

    FROM NATURAL SELECTION TO INTELLIGENT DIRECTION

    WorldPost: What about synthetic biology?

    Diamandis: Today, the world of biology, which gives us our medicines and our foods, is based on the processes of nature over millions of years that created a diversity of organic molecules through the trial and error of natural selection.

    In the future, we will reverse that process. We will go from evolution by natural selection to evolution by intelligent direction.

    Now, by our own human trial and error science — we can discover a protein or a carbohydrate that has attributes making it useful as a fuel source. With AI and other digital tools, we will be able to design those proteins and carbohydrates ourselves and fit our purposes — whether as a vaccine, as a diet source or an energy source for cars, trains and planes.

    In short, synthetic biology will enable us to think of the cell as a manufacturing platform for any particular organic material that we desire to produce.

    CONNECTIVITY, NOT NEGATIVITY

    WorldPost: Your view, then, is that the convergence of all these exponential technologies will lead to an “exponential transformation” — a leap into a new order, singularity?

    Diamandis: I don’t write about singularity in this book, or my previous book, “Abundance.” What I focus on are the next 10 to 20 years, in which I believe we are headed toward an extraordinary future where we will be able to meet the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet.

    In 2010, 70 countries were in extreme poverty. This year that number is down to 35. In the next 20 years, that number is projected to fall to zero.

    WorldPost: Isn’t there also a competing future out there? Exponential degeneration is also possible. After all those magnificent world expos of the industrial arts at the turn of the 20th century, WWI erupted in 1914 in three months, from June to August. Today signs of splintering are all around in revived nationalism and geopolitical blocs, ardent religious war. ISIS, after all, spread across the Mid-East in a matter of months.

    Diamandis: Yes, we have ISIS. But the data overwhelmingly suggests the future I’ve been describing.

    One big problem is that the news media has a grip on our imagination. The fundamental function of the news media is to deliver every piece of negative news to my living room in high definition over and over again. It’s a drug pusher that fuels our instinctual addiction to paying more attention to negative news instead of positive news.

    Sure, there are lots of problems. But the world is getting better in extraordinary ways we’ve never seen before. Though you wouldn’t believe it from the headlines, violence per capita of the global population is at its lowest point in history. Food, water, sanitation, health — all have improved dramatically over the last century and will improve even more dramatically in the decades ahead.

    We all tend to have this negativity bias. We need to balance that out a lot more and focus on connectivity, not negativity.

  • Vine Star Jeffrey Marsh Has #GotYourBack In Inspiring Campaign For LGBT Youth
    Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Marsh is open to the use of any pronoun, but for the purposes of this story, we are using “they/them/their.”

    Vine star Jeffrey Marsh is known for spreading positive messages and promoting self-acceptance as well as starting viral hashtags like #DontSayThatsSoGay. With their latest project, they’re letting young people in the LGBT community know they’ve got their back.

    As part of GLAAD’s #GotYourBack campaign, Marsh posted a video on Vine pledging their support for LGBT youth.

    Both members and allies of the LGBT community are spreading the movement by also sharing their support on Twitter, Instagram and Vine under the hashtag #GotYourBack. Each video supports GLAAD’s mission of promoting LGBT acceptance and Marsh’s message of being true to yourself.

    Though the message is coming through a screen, it’s still clear. LGBT youth community, all these people have got your back.

    To learn more about the #GotYourBack campaign and pledge your support to the LGBT community, visit here.

    Follow HuffPost Teen on Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pheed |

  • Instagram: How It's Changing the World of Photography
    The popular smartphone application Instagram has drastically changed the way we look at photography, and further, our world. The photo-worthy moments we share with our followers serve as an important function in cultivating the photographic artistic eye. The Instagram photos we choose to share can be seen as our own personal documentation of important moments, aesthetic experiences and perhaps even just your last meal. Looking at someone else’s world through their Instagram account is most often not a clear representation of a person’s life, because as in most art forms, reality is abstracted. The intertwining of reality and how we present it in both Instagram and professional photography has changed the way we look at the art of professional photography. It is both groundbreaking and challenging to the art form.

    Picture this (pun intended): You go to an expensive, popular restaurant in your area. As you sit at your table you salivate over the plates that servers bring past you and gaze longingly at the food being delivered to other tables. It almost makes you think perhaps that you shouldn’t have skipped lunch because the hunger is nearly engulfing you from the inside out. Finally your server brings out your artfully prepared meal, you thank the lord your prayers have been answered just in time for you to pull out you phone and take a picture of your plate?

    Instagram has allowed people to start noticing the art in their everyday life. It has allowed for us to share the artful moments in our lives with others. Clearly, making people focus on beautiful moments in their lives and how to share them is a positive takeaway from Instagram. (But hurry up and eat your food already!)

    Not only has Instagram changed the way we dine, dessert and approach a sunset, but it has also changed the way people view professional photography. Instagram has turned everyone with a smartphone into an artist. Opening up art to the general community is an incredibly groundbreaking aspect of this application. Making artistic endeavors accessible for everyone to discover their artistic talents and explore creatively is something that has made people find the beauty in the everyday. However, this accessibility has also created questioning around art and respect deserved by professional photography.

    There is a noticeable quality difference between photos taken on a DSLR camera and an iPhone, but as technology advances, the gap in quality is getting smaller and smaller. The art in a professional photograph versus an Instagram can sometimes be hard to notice at quick glance. Photographs taken by true professional photographers hold dynamic intricacies that Instagram’s cannot match in terms of photographic quality, or advanced compositional knowledge utilized by professional photographers.

    This is not to say Instagram is per se a lesser art. Aesthetic qualities of art are a personal matter and how good an artwork is depends on personal preferences, experiences and affinities. Good is a very arbitrary term in the art world. For example, I may find one photo more aesthetically pleasing than another, but not everyone has to agree with me.

    The point I am trying to make is that professional photography should not be lost, but instead approached with a new, enhanced level of respect and admiration — despite how accessible, common and fun Instagram now makes the taking and sharing of photos.

  • Tinder to charge over-28s more
    Dating app Tinder announces it will charge the over-28s nearly four times as much for its premium features as it does younger users in the UK.
  • Connecting the Dots in Digital Politics
    CONNECTing the dots‘ is the title of UNESCO’s upcoming conference on digital politics (Paris, March 3-4 2015). What kind of lines can we expect to see, connecting the dots in digital politics? In computer engineering, dots are often connected using straight lines. Problems are identified and addressed in a straightforward, rational, and scientific way.

    As this illustration implies, the further we move from science towards real life, the more the lines bend, a new curve is formed by each emotional requirement, and perceptions, divergent interests, institutional dynamics, and politics are just a few of the stimuli for detours.

    2015-03-02-diplomacy_technology.jpg
    Net neutrality is an example of a problem which cannot be linked to a solution with a straight line. The latest ruling (February 26, 2015) by the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC), which endorsed net neutrality, triggered new controversies. While the FCC’s ruling to treat all bits equally (the core principle of net neutrality) enjoys public support, the approach opens new problems for the telecom industry.

    Should different types of traffic (e.g. e-mail and voice) be treated equally? While we do not notice small delays in our email traffic, any delay in voice traffic is easily perceived, as any of us using Skype, or other VoIP applications, have experienced. Doesn’t this provide a good reason to prioritize voice traffic?

    Most new net neutrality discussion will center on how to achieve a reasonable balance between treating all Internet traffic equally, and reasonably differentiating traffic to maintain efficient functionality of different types of services (e.g. giving priority to voice traffic). In the coming months, we can expect more curves, as we watch the lines connecting problems and solutions for net neutrality.

    Most digital policy issues are similar to net neutrality. Typically, these issues involve complex interplays and delicate trade-offs which rarely result in straight lines between problems and solutions. We are observing with interest to see what will be the shape of the lines connecting the dots among the core themes to be addressed at the UNESCO conference: access, freedom of expression, privacy and ethics.

    For background reading on Internet governance, consult An Introduction to Internet Governance. For events and resources on Internet Governance, consult the Geneva Internet Platform and DiploFoundation.

    Follow Jovan Kurbalija on Twitter: @jovankurbalija

  • Tinder Plus Just Launched, But You Have To Pay A Lot More If You're Over 30
    You can now undo accidental left swipes — but the ability to do so will cost you more if you’ve bid farewell to your 20s.

    Popular dating app Tinder has officially launched Tinder Plus, a paid upgrade that allows users to undo accidental left swipes (meaning they said “no” when they meant to say “yes”) by using the “Rewind” feature. The upgrade also allows users to connect with people in other cities, not just with people near them, using “Passport.”

    Here’s the catch, though: If you’re between 18 and 29 in the United States, Tinder Plus will cost you $9.99. Once you hit the big 3-0, however, you’ll have to pay $19.99, Tinder rep Rosette Pambakian told The Huffington Post.

    In the United Kingdom, the cutoff age is even younger, she added: If you’re over 28, Tinder Plus will cost you £14.99, up from £3.99 for users ages 18-27.

    Here’s what Pambakian had to say about the price differences:

    Over the past few months, we’ve tested Tinder Plus extensively in several countries. We’ve priced Tinder Plus based on a combination of factors, including what we’ve learned through our testing, and we’ve found that these price points were adopted very well by certain age demographics. Lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example. Tinder is no different; during our testing we’ve learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about TinderPlus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger. Globally, the two most common prices for Tinder Plus are $9.99 for more developed countries and $2.99 for emerging economies.

    So if you’re a fan of Tinder Plus’ features and have a big birthday coming up, get your cheap swipes in while you can.

    H/T BuzzFeed

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