Coal miners become computer coders

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Career, Women in IT.

After five back-breaking years in a coal mine, Laucher feared his job would be next to be cut. Then the unthinkable happened: Laucher learned how to write computer code.  “I could barely get to a website, let alone build one,” says Laucher, 33.  Now he also supports his family with a second job building websites for… Read more »

Airbnb looks at expanding into leisure activities

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues.

Accommodation-listing service Airbnb is looking at moving into other businesses, its co-founder has said.  Nathan Blecharczyk told the BBC the willingness of people to stay in the home of a stranger showed the demand for personal connections while travelling.  He said the company was now looking at pairing hosts and guests for tours, playing sport,… Read more »

Mobile game Sea Hero Quest ‘helps dementia research’

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies, Entertainment.

Dementia researchers have developed a video game that could lead to the development of early diagnostic tests for the disease.  The way players navigate the 3D levels in Sea Hero Quest will be anonymously tracked and sent to the researchers.  Understanding how people navigate 3D environments is important because the skill is often one of… Read more »

Inside Facebook’s plan to be more human

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, App Economy, Consumer Technology, Entertainment, Ethical issues.

Source: CNN Tech Date: April 23rd, 2016 Link to video: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2016/04/20/facebook-mostly-human.cnnmoney/index.html Discussion 1) Is this really “more compassionate products”? 2) The video talks about using an algorithm to surface favourite posts from the pasts.  How might other organizations use this sort of algorithm to better serve their own customers?

Google is helping this school build a ‘Waze’ for the blind

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies.

Like many Bostonians, Joann Becker uses her smartphone to find the nearest bus stop. Unfortunately, GPS is only accurate give or take 30-feet, and unlike most people, Becker can’t look up to see exactly where the bus is going to stop. Becker is blind. Source: CNN Tech Date: April 15th, 2016 Link: http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/12/technology/google-org-blind-waze/index.html Discussion 1) The goal here is… Read more »

Facebook’s next big thing: Bots for Messenger

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology, E-Business, E-Commerce, Emerging Technologies.

No longer satisfied with being the dominant network for our humble species, Facebook is now courting a different type of user: bots. And eventually you’ll be able to talk to them as if they were your friends.  “Could you transfer £100 to my brother, please?” you might one day ask your bank. Or maybe, “Do… Read more »

The problem with forced tech obsolescence

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues.

Arlo Gilbert – chief executive of health app specialists Televero – has Revolv set up in his home. He calls controlling all of his devices like conducting a “beautiful orchestra of home technology”. The orchestra will stop playing on 15 May when Nest switches the Revolv system off. To be clear – that doesn’t just mean… Read more »

How Google is endangering police officers

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Civil Liberties, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues, IT and Politics, IT Trends, Web 3.0.

For the fifth year in a row, ambush attacks on police officers were the No. 1 cause of felonious deaths of law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Nevertheless, Google continues to market a smartphone application that lets lawbreakers pinpoint the location of police officers in the field. Google’s executives won’t even discuss the… Read more »

Would you let a robot invest your hard-earned cash?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, App Economy, Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, IT Trends.

The floors of the New York and London Stock Exchanges now exist mostly for show. The real trading is done automatically by robots.  About three-quarters of trades on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq are done by algorithms – computer programs following complex sets of rules.  And this “robo-trading” is having a profound effect… Read more »