Physical privacy matters

If you’ve ever worried about the privacy of your sensitive data when seeking a computer or phone repair, a new study suggests you have good reason. It found that privacy violations occurred at least 50 percent of the time, not surprisingly with female customers bearing the brunt… More here. It is a fact that many … Continue reading Physical privacy matters

Clinging on to old tech

It took me three weeks to save up £60 to buy my first secondhand video player in 1981. Now I’ve got seven players and more than 6,000 VHS tapes which I’ve collected over the years. Although I do use Netflix, I prefer videos because I enjoy owning something physical, and I’ve got a lot of … Continue reading Clinging on to old tech

Social networks can be controlled by any one person

The recent fuss over Elon Musk and his silly management of Twitter has led many to claim that he will ruin the experience by allowing anyone to say whatever they like. It could well be true that he will potentially allow people to say nasty stuff and to spread untruths, but you would still have … Continue reading Social networks can be controlled by any one person

Now we realise why we love Twitter

Musk appears to be doing everything he can to undermine the reputation that Twitter has built up and it is hard to work out why he spent $44 billion on it. From mass layoffs to treating staff badly to a strangely high number of missteps in a very short space of time. Paying for a … Continue reading Now we realise why we love Twitter

When you browse and buy in person, paragraph and place are joined forever

I can certainly remember where I was when I first encountered a great many of my favourite books. I never meant to keep these memories; I seem to have had no say in the matter. The bookstores, my mind decided, were important: the setting for a bildungsroman… More here. Interesting that books can be tied … Continue reading When you browse and buy in person, paragraph and place are joined forever

Get debunking, people.

“To fully realize the impact everyday tech has on us, we sourced scientific research and expert opinion on the subject,” the TollFreeForwarding post reads, “before working with a 3D designer to create a future human whose body has physically changed due to consistent use of smartphones, laptops, and other tech.” Its sources, though, are dubious. … Continue reading Get debunking, people.

Time to say goodbye to the fax machine

The fax machine is about to be pushed closer to the dustbin of history. The device – formally known as a facsimile machine – was once a regular feature of British offices. But now the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom is consulting on changes to telecoms rules that could formalise its obsolescence. It would mean telecoms … Continue reading Time to say goodbye to the fax machine

Then hoofprints appeared in the sand…

The wild horses all have names. Ronald, for example, and Becky and Clyde. The names sound mundane, even for horses, but each is something like a badge of honor. For years now, the people of Cedar Island, North Carolina, have named each foal born to the local herd of mustangs after the oldest living resident … Continue reading Then hoofprints appeared in the sand…

‘We’re packed in like battery hens. I was told off for leaning’

They’re OK on toilet breaks these days, because they got such bad press on the difficulty of staff taking toilet breaks, but you still have to be quick, because you have to keep scanning items. If you’re not constantly scanning, a team leader comes to have words. They don’t like you idle. Ten hours a … Continue reading ‘We’re packed in like battery hens. I was told off for leaning’

Welcome To The Circus (We’ve Got Bots & Sockpuppets!)

While my account is in this “temporarily limited” state, Twitter has essentially stripped me of having a (public) voice on their platform. I was similarly silenced by Twitter back in April 2017, when I was no-platformed by Twitter-owned Periscope (yes, I was no-platformed before no-platforming became en vogue)… More here. Very interesting article. You may … Continue reading Welcome To The Circus (We’ve Got Bots & Sockpuppets!)

Are Smartwatches Just A Temporary Thing?

Our beloved traditional watches have outgrown their practical use. We do not need watches any longer. We wear them because they give us a sensation that we cannot find anywhere else. There is a romance there, enough to be an actual hobby, clearly. The smartwatch, meanwhile, is a practical item. You want one because you … Continue reading Are Smartwatches Just A Temporary Thing?

The Death Artist

Deborah Carr, a sociology professor at Boston University who has written extensively on death and bereavement, says that people didn’t struggle as much with death in the past as they do today, in part because death was swift. Now, modern medicine extends the process. “The sorrow — that’s persistent,” she says. “But the fear, the … Continue reading The Death Artist

We used to get excited about technology

Something is missing from our lives, and from our technology. Its absence is feeding a growing unease being voiced by many who work in tech or study it. It’s what drives the new generation of PhD and postdoctoral researchers I work with at the University of Edinburgh, who are drawing together knowledge from across the … Continue reading We used to get excited about technology

Madman Economics

In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-9, conservative politicians like George Osborne and Wolfgang Schäuble continued to insist that the space of democratic decision-making was, whether people liked it or not, tightly constrained by what the markets would permit. One of Osborne’s first acts on entering the Treasury in May 2010 was … Continue reading Madman Economics

Why You Can’t Tickle Yourself

In the new study’s first phase, each subject had their moment in front of the GoPros and microphone. Previous studies have established that tickling is mood-dependent—anxiety and unfamiliarity suppress it like a wet blanket. Since participants would have to take turns tickling each other, Brecht’s team made sure each pair knew each other beforehand and … Continue reading Why You Can’t Tickle Yourself

Mental health in the UK is about to get worse

The UK government’s recent mini-budget has come in for a lot of criticism. Its effect on stock markets, pensions and the value of the pound have barely been out of the news. As a clinical psychologist, one issue I find alarming, but has barely been discussed, is the possible effect this will have on the … Continue reading Mental health in the UK is about to get worse

Why Printers Are So Terrible

Because wow, they truly are. Like many people, I’ve had printers break on me in a myriad of irritating ways. Sometimes, the nozzles on inkjet cartridges started leaking or clogging, or wireless connections crapped out and never worked again. Other times, paper jams created a pile of internal confetti impossible to extract — or, conversely, … Continue reading Why Printers Are So Terrible

A shed, a tragedy

Greetings. As you might be aware, I have reached middle age. Firstly that’s a reasonably big achievement, secondly it means sheds, power tools and receding hairlines. There are a number of ways one can procure a man shed. A lot depends on three factors: TimeMoneyHow waterproof your stuff is.The answer to most of these is … Continue reading A shed, a tragedy

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