This is Change Log — my weekly observations and links on the intersection of tech, commerce, health, culture and markets.
Free of its past penchant for frugality and utilitarian design, the new Google launched a slew of beautifully polished products last week. The new Google is talking the talk but sales will prove if it can walk. … The new name for the parent company, Alphabet, takes effect this week. For a spell at least. …. Apple execs seem to be passionate about blocking ads and trackers but it's clear they have no defense for Facebook and that's a big problem because just three mobile apps now account for 80 percent of media consumption on mobile devices… Blackberry waited until its own operating system was completely obliterated before finally working with Google to build an Android powered device. Canadians, sometimes to their detriment, are so darned polite… Few expected the first big beneficiary of the Internet of Things (IoT) to be cars that communicate with each other. Fewer still expected it would be marketers to collect the early rewards of the data onslaught… The top iOS add blocker is offering to 'white list' ad networks for a fee. What, you thought app developers were altruistic… More than 5 million fingerprints of federal employees and people seeking background checks have been stolen in a massive cyber hack. No worries though, the feds say 'the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited' but 'this probability could change over time as technology evolves'. Gee, you think? … Apparently robots, just like the rest of us, are really terrible at assembling IKEA furniture…
The Array of Things Will Be The Central Nervous System Of Cities. Without Invading Privacy
Medium: I've been excited about the Array of Things — a network of beautifully-designed sensors poised to capture and make public real-time, non-personal data about the livability of a city — ever since it (they?) started following me on Twitter in June 2014. A sensor network with a personality and a public service mission — what more could a responsive city want? I was happy to let it follow me, and followed it back so I could read its tweets. This month, the Array of Things moved several giant steps closer to becoming a crucial general-purpose, worldwide sensor data infrastructure for researchers and policymakers. Read
Are AI And 'Deep Learning' The Future Of Everything?
Alphr.com You might not know it, but machine learning already plays a part in your everyday life. When you speak to your phone (via Cortana, Siri or Google Now) and it fetches information, or you type in the Google search box and it predicts what you are looking for before you finish, you are doing something that has only been made possible by machine learning. However, this is just the beginning: with companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook spending millions on research into advanced neural networks and deep machine learning, computers are set to get smarter still. Read
Synthetic Biology Is Not Just Good, It's Good For YouTechcrunch: Synthetic biology (synbio for short) is a term that circulates freely through the tech world, but what exactly does it mean? It inspires both excitement and concern, depending on application and context. To advance uses of synthetic biology we need to promote better understanding of what these technologies mean, and how they can be used to improve the world around us in new and exciting ways. Simply put, synthetic biology redesigns existing organisms for specific purposes. This approach is multidisciplinary, bringing together biologists, chemists, software engineers, software developers and bioinformatics specialists, among others.