Desktop Research: Technology in Popular Culture

The initial listing of news on how technology is used by consumers or in popular media culled from a variety of sources we monitor on a regular basis.

We'd love to see your clippings here as well! Please use the edit this page button to add more, or add comments on how or why you think they may or may not be important. As is the convention throughout the Horizon Project Wiki, we ask you to identify items you think are of high interest to us, as I have done here by typing 4 tilde (~) characters-- - Sam Sam Jan 12, 2015. This will help us to sift through the articles and determine which ones resonate most strongly with the board as a whole.

Recommended Reading


  • Alta Devices’ Flexible Wearable Solar Charger to Make Soldiers’ Backpacks Lighter
    http://www.ecochunk.com/5234/2013/01/05/alta-devices-flexible-wearable-solar-charger-to-make-soldiers-backpacks-lighter/
    The more important our electronics and devices have become to our day to day lives the more we now are lugging around and continuously needing to keep charged up by plugging in whenever possible. This solar charging mat can be attached to a backpack to continuously generate renewable electricity, which is then used to recharge a lithium battery connected with it. Once charged, the battery can be used to power a range of portable electronic devices such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  • This App Uses The Power of You to Report the Weather
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/02/13/171715999/this-app-uses-the-power-of-you-to-report-the-weather
    An app developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Oklahoma uses crowdsourcing to collect geographic, winter precipitation from users that cannot be detected using automatic systems.
  • Debunked: 9 Common Myths About Technology
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/228237
    This article repudiates some of the most common myths concerning the technology we use every day, from battery draining to deleting files off your computer.
  • A Game that Plays with Private Information
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/06/a-game-that-asks-why-give-your-data-away-when-you-can-sell-it.html
    A team of developers in Austria created the online game, Data Dealer, about collecting and selling personal data, in which the user takes on the role of a data-collection agency, paying for data from both legitimate and illegitimate sources. - Interesting role shift to create awareness - helga helga Oct 4, 2013
  • The First 4G Car, the Audi S3, Debuts in Europe; U.S. Must Wait Until Spring
    http://gigaom.com/2013/08/15/the-first-4g-car-the-audi-s3-debuts-in-europe-u-s-must-wait-until-spring/
    The world’s first LTE-connected car, courtesy of Audi, is available in Europe with fully integrated 4G connectivity. The S3 and forthcoming A3 will use their LTE chips to link its on-board nav system to the cloud with access to Google Earth and Streetview. Drivers can access social media networks Facebook and Twitter with voice commands, though its Audi Connect platform is still light on other apps. And the LTE connection can also be redistributed to other devices in the car through Wi-Fi.
  • A First Look at the Digital Public Library of America - b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Jan 17, 2015
    http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/a-first-look-at-the-digital-public-library-of-america/48729
    The Digital Public Library of America has launched its website that gathers together the digital collections from many partner institutions. The DPLA aggregates the metadata for these items and points users to the digital copies available at the partners’ websites. - bonnie.long bonnie.long Jan 19, 2015
  • Forget the Shortest Route Across a City; New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful
    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/528836/forget-the-shortest-route-across-a-city-new-algorithm-finds-the-most-beautiful/
    Often, pedestrians want the quietest route or the most beautiful but if they turn to a mapping application, they’ll get little help. That could change now thanks to the work of Daniele Quercia at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, Spain, and a couple of pals. These guys have worked out how to measure the “beauty” of specific locations within cities and then designed an algorithm that automatically chooses a route between two locations in a way that maximizes the beauty along it.
  • Google’s ‘Cookie Choices’ Shows how Users are Being Tracked
    http://www.techcentral.ie/googlea-cookie-choices-shows-how-users-are-being-tracked/
    Google has launched a new site, CookieChoices.org, to help visitors of European sites learn more about the digital breadcrumbs they leave behind through cookies.
  • Google Glass: Not for the Hearing Impaired
    http://mashable.com/2013/08/05/google-glass-hearing-impaired/
    A hearing-impaired freelance journalist applied for Google’s Explore program to test Google Glass, finding that the device does not offer alternatives for people who can’t understand speech or who have an accent. There’s also no captioning of what the Glass agent says or a way for a hearing-impaired individual to input commands contributing to a huge communication barrier. - I should hope improvements are in the making - helga helga Oct 4, 2013 - ken.brown ken.brown Jan 21, 2015
  • Issues of dialect, accent and colloquialism are major determinants in any voice recognition system. - ken.brown ken.brown Jan 21, 2015
  • Hiring an Electric 'Smart' Bike in Copenhagen
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28261140
    Copenhagen has upgraded its bikes to include electric assistance and GPS travel guides and they can be booked using a smartphone.
  • How Irish Tech Entrepreneurs Are Rebooting Ireland's Economy
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alisoncoleman/2014/01/23/how-irish-tech-entrepreneurs-are-rebooting-irelands-economy/
    In spite of the turbulent last few years, Irish entrepreneurs have continued to innovate, disrupt and drive growth, justifying their homeland’s place atop the Forbes list of Best countries for Business.
  • How Smartphones Make You Smarter
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/does-technology-make-us-dumber-2013-08-01
    This is an interview with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a psychologist at University College London and vice president of Hogan Assessments, an online personality consultancy, and Sharon Oviatt, author of “The Design of Future Educational Interfaces,” a new book about how technology helps people improve their performance in mathematics, science and languages. - bonnie.long bonnie.long Jan 19, 2015
  • How Technology Companies Could Help Ireland's Economic Recovery
    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25945326
    Last month Ireland exited the 85 billion euro bailout that was needed to keep the country's economy afloat. This video discusses how technology companies are helping.
  • Journal App Narrato Gets Quantified Self With Moves Integration And Wider Platform Play
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/30/narrato-got-moves/
    Narrato aims to be an intermediary between different data types, like an Evernote for your life, giving you a personal cloud for populating any type of data. For example, you can import Tweets, Foursquare checkins, any social data, or more advanced things like health-related data,” he says.
  • SPIDER Visits Unique Irish Sensor Technology Project for Extended Independent Living
    http://thespiderproject.eu/spider-visits-unique-irish-sensor-technology-project-for-extended-independent-living/
    This project is the result of a unique collaboration between Local Authorities in Louth, the Health Service Executive, industry partners, research and development centres and older residents. The Great Northern Haven is a demonstration project for independent living using sensor technologies in a community and research context.
  • Tame Wants To Help Hacks, Flacks, And Other Social Media Types Tame The Noise On Twitter
    http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/09/tame/
    Berlin-based startup Tame is a context search engine for Twitter. The mobile and tablet-friendly web app analyses content from your Twitter followers or based on a specific search to algorithmically surface the top hashtags, the Twitter users most mentioned, and the top links shared over the past 24 hours. The idea is to give you an at-a-glance overview of content populated on Twitter via your own Twitter feed or topics that you explicitly wish to delve into, without having to do much upfront work. - bonnie.long bonnie.long Jan 19, 2015
  • 10 Amazing Jobs You Could Land With the Right STEM Education
    http://mashable.com/2013/02/05/10-awesome-stem-jobs/
    This article profiles some of the exciting professions that are held by people who have a STEM background.
  • The 10 Best Technology Advances of 2013
    http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2013/12/the-10-best-tech-advances-of-2013.html
    According to Paste magazine, this year had no shortage of technology advances. Their 10 best technology advances of 2013 range from the bionic eye to helium hard drives. - Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Jan 18, 2015
  • Things You Probably Never Knew About Wikipedia
    http://www.edudemic.com/2013/08/things-you-probably-never-knew-about-wikipedia/
    Wikipedia has made a global impact on our culture. In this infographic by www.website-monitoring.com statistics are displayed showing exactly how.
  • A Tiny Computer Attracts a Million Tinkerers
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/technology/personaltech/raspberry-pi-a-computer-tinkerers-dream.html?ref=personaltech
    A good overview of the rise of Raspberry Pi, tiny affordable computers that are now selling so rapidly that many distributors are out of stock. - bonnie.long bonnie.long Jan 19, 2015 - ken.brown ken.brown Jan 21, 2015
  • Will 2013 be the Year We See More Educational Startups in Indonesia? I Hope So
    http://www.techinasia.com/2013-educational-startups-indonesia/
    An Indonesian company plans to install 100,000 wifi hotspots in Indonesian high schools by the end of this year, and even more in later years. The author of this lists reasons why he believes this will spark Indonesian entrepreneurs to focus more on the education industry.
  • An Internet of Things. "In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations."
    http://postscapes.com/internet-of-things-examples/ - Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Jan 18, 2015 - lwidger lwidger Jan 19, 2015 - ken.brown ken.brown Jan 21, 2015- Gerry.Gallagher Gerry.Gallagher Jan 24, 2015 - enda.donlon enda.donlon Jan 26, 2015 - paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015