Technology Crossroads

By John Drew | Exploring the intersections of society and technology

Security Is Fast Becoming The Achilles Heel of Consumer Internet of Things

Despite increased consumer interest, new scenarios, and multi-million-dollar investments, Internet of Things is still struggling with one of the worst problems of the hi-tech industry – security. The recent DDoS attack on DynDNS where hackers exploited insecure cameras and DVRs is just an …

Internet of Things

Your smartphone could soon act as a glaucoma testing device

We've seen smartphones work as electrocardiograms, so why not use them to test for glaucoma at home? That's the idea behind Cambridge Consultants' Viewi headset. Rather than hitting the hospital or optometrist's to monitor your vision, you could simply slide your phone into a head-mounted Gear …

Gear & Gadgets

Michigan may soon allow self-driving cars on the road with no one behind the wheel

Michigan may soon become the first state to allow self-driving cars on the road without a human driver sitting behind the steering wheel.<p>Lots of companies are already testing self-driving cars on the road all over the country, but they have an actual driver at the controls, ready to take over if …

Transportation

Apple is imaginging a future where iPhones can track and identify their thieves

In Apple’s vision of the future, an iPhone can catch its own thief.<p>According to a patent application filed Aug. 25, the iPhone maker is exploring the possibility of designing devices that covertly capture the fingerprints, photos, videos, and audio of unauthorized users.<p>The proposed technology …

Identity Theft

Uber Chooses Self-Driving Cars Now

A Silicon Valley software business is launching self-driving taxis later this month. It has no choice. In the new world order of software there are two choices: Quick or dead.<p>Uber’s deal-making chief executive Travis Kalanick has always been impatient. He began<p>spreading the seed of his ride-hailing …

Uber

Oxford study shows how tiny bacteria ‘wind farms’ could power electronics

A team of scientists from Oxford University used a virtual prototype to demonstrate how the natural movement of bacteria could be harnessed to turn cylindrical rotors and provide a steady power source.<p>The study, published in the journal Science Advances, showed that the chaotic swarming effect of …

Wind Power

The smartphone has become the center of our political lives

If all else fails, grab a smartphone.<p>When the Turkish military reportedly began shutting down internet services like Facebook and Google during a coup attempt Friday, the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, tried a different way to call for help. He held a phone in front of his face and, …

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Periscope and Facebook Live help document Turkey attempted coup

As an attempted military coup unfolded in Turkey Friday night, with bridges closed, tanks rolling through cities and aircraft flying low overhead, news of what was actually happening was hard to come by.<p>Social media was a flurry of confused updates that suggested a terror attack, or perhaps a coup, …

Social Media

Cars aren’t just connecting to the internet; they’re connecting to everything

Advertisement<p>1 Comment<p>Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg<p>As in previous years, we’re seeing a lot of car connectivity news at the Consumer …

Internet of Things

Are You Guilty of Mobile App Overindulgence? (Infographic)

Mobile devices and apps have driven the increased use of the internet all over the world, and some might find the amount of time people spend on …

“Smart yard” system by Irvine tech firm controls sprinklers with iPhone app, WiFi

David Witting was enjoying July 4th fireworks with a few friends on his Irvine patio when, suddenly, his garden sprinklers went off.<p>“I didn’t miss a …

Oops! Wearables can leak your PINs and passwords

The security nightmare posed by the Internet of Things isn’t just related to the lack of expertise in the types of companies adding connectivity to gizmos and gadgets.<p>It’s the sensitivity of the connected sensors, strewn hither and thither, opening up potential attack vectors for determined …

Wearable Tech

Scientists Fit Hundreds of Megabytes of Data onto DNA

The most durable storage in history is in our own bodies.<p>Researchers at the University of Washington, working with Microsoft, have encoded 202 megabytes of data onto synthetic DNA molecules. In a breakthrough for storage, researchers fit more than a hundred books, the Universal Declaration of Human …

DNA

Helping save endangered species? There's an app for that

When it comes to mobile apps, you've no doubt heard of Angry Birds. But what about Endangered Birds?<p>No, it's not a game, it's serious business. San Diego Zoo Global -- a conservation group with programs worldwide, and the parent organization of the famous California zoo -- is using a customized …

Mobile

Celebrities Back ‘All Lives Matter,’ Internet Goes Nuts

In the aftermath of the successive police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the deadly attack that left five police officers dead in Dallas, protesters have flooded the streets and citizens have flooded our social media timelines with grief, anger, and calls for …

Black Lives Matter

Are You Happier Without Facebook?

You may not 'like' the answer<p>As social networks become more and more prominent in our lives, one has to wonder if we are happier being constantly connected. The Happiness Research Institute, an “independent think tank focusing on well-being, happiness and quality of life” in Copenhagen, quite …

Happiness

Robots are set to take the jobs of millions of Asian workers in the coming years

In the next few decades, about 56% of all salaried workers in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam could be displaced by automation and advanced technologies, such as 3D printing. That’s the conclusion of an extensive series of new studies by the International Labour …

Robots

Facebook *is* biasing the news — but not in the way you think

Over the last three days we saw a really clear example of the new world of news that Facebook is creating, whether you like it or not.<p>On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg defended his decision to show a video of Philando Castile — a black man who was shot by the police at a routine traffic stop in …

Facebook

Marriott’s CIO says mobile apps are changing the guest experience

Hotel giant Marriott International Inc. MAR, +0.99% is working to craft a customer experience that is the right mix of high-tech and highly personal.<p>The company is rolling out many tech-driven amenities, including the ability to skip the front desk at check-in, order room service via a mobile app …

Mobile

Your Smartwatch Could Give Away Your ATM Password

Hackers managed to crack ATM passwords 80% of the time on the first try.<p>Could wearing a fitness tracker or smartwatch make it easier for scammers to …

Security

Facebook just took away the last reason to watch TV

On Wednesday, police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shot and killed a man named Philando Castile during a traffic stop. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was riding in the car at the time.<p>She opened the Facebook app on her phone and broadcast the aftermath of the shooting using the new Facebook Live …

Televisions

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki asks YouTube stars to speak out against racism and violence

“There’s no group of people on Earth that has more power to move people than you do.”<p>“There’s no group of people on Earth that has more power to move people than you do.”<p>That was part of the message that YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared with the site’s Creator Blog on Saturday morning. After a …

Susan Wojcicki

How to Use YouTube to Record a Video of Your Screen

With nothing more than a browser and YouTube you can create a screencast of your desktop in a matter of minutes powered by Google Hangouts. To get …

Google Hangout

Tricorder-like tech could detect bombs, tumors

When it comes to the most impressive practical technology in the sci-fi universe, a serious nod goes to the original tricorder from "Star Trek." Dr. McCoy, Spock and the other Federation explorers used the handheld device to analyze both the health of patients in sickbay and the atmosphere on alien …

Robotics

New Jersey town first in U.S. to use Uber to curb drunken driving

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey town on track for a record-breaking number of drunken driving cases has become the first U.S. municipality to partner with ride service app Uber [UBER.UL] to keep inebriated residents from getting behind the wheel.<p>To keep the roads safe in Evesham Township, a town …

Uber

American tech is freaking out about the rise of 'digital protectionism' in Europe

Washington (AFP) - As American tech giants extend their global reach, fears are growing on their side of the Atlantic over trade barriers some see as "digital protectionism."<p>While China has long been a difficult market for US firms to navigate, tensions have been rising with the European Union on …

Privacy

This startup will tell you how much experience a doctor has treating your condition

Amino analyzed health insurance claims from 188 million Americans<p>Choosing a doctor can be a real pain. Besides looking at a physician’s credentials — where they went to school, for instance — or checking for online reviews that may not be truthful, there aren’t many resources that can help someone …

Health Care

Students in Switzerland built a wheelchair that knows how to climb stairs

<i>(By Jim Drury, Reuters) –</i> An electric wheelchair that can climb most stairs, including spiral staircases, has been developed by Zurich-based students.<p>The Scalevo Wheelchair can mount one stair per second and was designed by 10 students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and …

Johnson & Johnson

Russia reportedly looking to remove itself from Internet

Russia has reportedly run tests to see if it can remove itself from the World Wide Web to stem the flow of information to and from foreign countries, according to a top industry official.<p>Experts told the UK Daily Telegraph the tests were run to prepare for an information blackout in case of a …

Russia