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-- - Larry Larry Oct 30, 2011. This will help us to sift through the articles and determine which ones resonate most strongly with the board as a whole.

Recommended Reading

  • Amazon Debuts A Storefront Just For Wearable Tech
    Online shopping giant Amazon wants to get out ahead of the curve with wearable tech – hence the launch of its new Wearable Technology store today. The store is a subsection of its e-commerce portal, with a focus on devices like the Misfit Shine, Jawbone UP24 and Narrative Clip, to name just a few. - jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014 - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 Bricks and mortar was "dead." Of course, no one ever told that to Starbucks....- edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 13, 2014
  • Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?
    A new app for Android from the University of Bonn monitors your smartphone usage to gauge if you have become dependent on your device. It tells you how long you spend on the phone per day and which apps you use the most, as part of what the team hopes will become the most comprehensive and accurate study of smartphone usage to date. - helga helga Oct 10, 2014 - jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014Interesting, but I'd take this with a grain of salt. The research group had a narrow demographic and I'm not convinced the app is totally reliable in what it claims to measure. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Oct 19, 2014Watch for more of this addiction language. We've already seen it around games and internet use in general. Usually it's bogus. - amichaelberman amichaelberman are we addicted to printed language? It's really killing our ability to memorize stories...
  • Artists in Dialogue 2
    The Smithsonian has created an iPhone and iPad app for an exhibition on the collaborative art between Sandile Zulu of South Africa and Henrique Oliveira of Brazil, inviting users to experiment virtually with the artists' techniques and to test their knowledge on South Africa and Brazil. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 Wonderful! - edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 13, 2014: The myth that art and technology are antithetical is slowly breaking down. Cf. the digital version of the British Museum, museums making apps, etc. Art was *always* technology!
  • British Museum to be Digitally Recreated in Minecraft
    The British Museum in London - complete with all of its exhibits - is to be recreated in the video game Minecraft in hopes to serve as an effective educational tool among a younger demographic. - lkoster lkoster Oct 8, 2014 I find it interesting how a simple game like Minecraft has become such as huge impact on education, especially K-12. I wonder if it has been used in HigherEd. - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 11, 2014 Sigh. It's Second Life all over again... (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014) - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 A real win-win for this demographic. - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 28, 2014 minecraft seems to have done a lot of things I was hoping Second LIfe could do...
  • The Company Reinventing How To Learn A New Language
    Duolingo, the free language learning app, is rapidly expanding by embracing crowdsourcing as a way to provide more language courses to its 12 million users. To keep up with demand, Duolingo launched an ambitious project in October 2013--the Language Incubator--allowing the service's community members to collaborate on the creation of new language courses. - lkoster lkoster Oct 8, 2014 - helga helga Oct 9, 2014 - jochen.robes jochen.robes Oct 11, 2014 - jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014 - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 11, 2014 (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014) - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 This is a very fun and useful app claiming that a few minutes a day 'playing' on it can begin to lay the foundation for language learning. I've used it and like it. - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 14, 2014 I love this application of crowd sourcing.
  • 18 Apps Every Creative And Artist Type Should Download Right Now
    The Huffington Post has put together this list of mobile museum and art exploration apps that can help spark creativity in our day-to-day. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014
  • 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. - helga helga Oct 9, 2014very appealing idea and perhaps could do something for education as in detecting quality...? Though of course the principle would have to be a totally different/new one, as this map service is based on fotos...- jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014The world as seen through aesthetics. Wonderful. - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 11, 2014 Surely beauty is in the eye of the beholder? One man's brutalist architectural nightmare is another's brutalist architectural dream. (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014) - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 This could be coupled with place-based learning applications.
  • The Future of Travel Has Arrived: Virtual-Reality Beach Vacations.
    The Teleporter is a new virtual-reality installation from Marriott Hotels that leverages 4-D elements like pneumatic pumps embedded in the floor, misting nozzles in the walls, heater blowers in the ceiling, fans in the ceiling and floor, a scent dispenser, and a 1000-watt amplifier in the rear cabinet to send guests on a 90 second vacation. Pointless. Ridiculous. Love it. (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014)
  • Heartbleed, the Branding of a Bug, and the Internet of Things
    This interview with cryptographer and security expert Bruce Schneier describes what he considers the surprisingly effective response to Heartbleed, how difficult security is because of humans, and why he’s happy Heartbleed wasn’t discovered in the near future, when the Internet of Things will make it much more difficult to fix bugs. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Oct 19, 2014Schneier's the go-to person for security issues.
  • Meet The Finalists Of Intel's Make It Wearable Challenge
    Nine months ago, Intel kicked off the Make It Wearable (MIW) Challenge. Part-competition, part-entrepreneurial mentorship program, MIW challenged thousands of global participants to inspire the next big idea in wearable technology. Since then, 10 teams of young entrepreneurs and developers were selected to develop their proposals into working, marketable prototypes. - jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014 I think there's room somewhere to address Maker Culture - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 28, 2014
  • Raspberry Pi Commended for 'Inspiring Social Change'
    Credit card-sized computer Raspberry Pi has been recognised as one of the top 100 technologies being used for social good. The Raspberry Pi, which has sold more than 1.2 million units worldwide, was recognised for opening up basic programming to new generations as well as providing an ultra low cost computer in the developing world. - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 Love the idea of providing a low-cost computer for the developing world. - edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 13, 2014: MakerStuff won't go away. People want handmade things, new handmade things. Slick electronic devices are only part of the story.
  • Social Tech Guide
    Compiled by the Nominet trust to, "recognise the pioneers who are using digital technology to make a real difference to millions of lives. It offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date and authoritative collection of the world’s most inspiring applications of digital technology for social good." - jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014 - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 11, 2014 (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014)
  • Smartphone Photography Evolves With Camera Apps and Related Tools
    We may like our camera’s automated systems. But a few apps can help you add a human touch to your photography. - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 28, 2014 we still haven't come to grips with what it means to have a camera with us all the time
  • Smithsonian Has High-Tech Flag for President's Day
    A multimedia artist is bringing his 12-foot American flag that's viewed with Google Glass to the National Portrait Gallery for a special President's Day weekend exhibition. The flag installation is a collage made of plywood, newspapers and images of George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Lady Gaga and other figures. The top layer is made of hundreds of eyeglass lenses that give the piece a different look from different vantage points.
  • Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All
    In the late 1960s and ‘70s, working with the New York City Planning Commission, the sociologist William H. Whyte conducted groundbreaking granular studies of the city’s public spaces, spending hours filming and photographing and taking notes about how people behave in public. The Street Life Project, as it was called, was revolutionary in urban planning, changing not only the way we think about public spaces but also what can be learned in this kind of close observational research of human interaction. Now, a modern research has begun a similar project the story of public spaces in the last 30 years has not been aloneness, or digital distraction, but gender equity. - helga helga Oct 10, 2014 Interesting and impressively painstaking comparison of old(er) and new findings, though it is an important point to note that the new experiment captured "the middle of the business day" (quoting Rich Ling´s observation in the article). Consequently, my guess would be that the fact that a much higher percentage of women was on the streets now than compared to the 60s/70s reflects the significantly higher contemporary percentage of working women. That would also be congruent with the observation that less women were to be found in the Boston shopping area at mid-day. - jasonr jasonr Oct 11, 2014 Great story, would be nice of compare recordings of classroom settings to compare the effect of technology in a similar way. - e.degroot e.degroot Oct 12, 2014 [- Jolie Jolie Oct 13, 2014 This is a very interesting study. I think the implications for this project would be how technology changes the learner's experience of space (online, in class, or in the field) and connection with others. For example, is there greater name recognition of classmates online than in-person? Are social networks and the social web a new way of communicating? What role have women played in the growth of social networks? Should higher education be more cognizant of the affordances of these kinds of social technologies? Should faculty consider integrating these technologies into pedagogy and methods?] - edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 13, 2014Technology connects us socially, and the importance for education can't be overlooked. - amichaelberman amichaelberman Oct 28, 2014
  • 10 Crowdfunding Success Stories to Love
    Crowdfunding has become a powerful tool for getting projects off the ground in multiple fields. - helga helga Oct 10, 2014 - jochen.robes jochen.robes Oct 11, 2014 - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 11, 2014 (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014) - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 A good model to reflect on for the decaying funding sources in Higher Ed. - Elizabeth_Hodas Elizabeth_Hodas Oct 14, 2014 I agree that crowdsourcing could very well see more application in higher ed, especially in the many consortia. We use Sakai, and the Sakai Foundation recently announced that they could be going down that route as well in order to fund specific projects.
  • Ubiquitous Across Globe, Cellphones Have Become Tool for Doing Good
    The cellphone has become more of a tool and less of a toy, especially among the poor, and those trying to help them, in emerging markets. It helps deliver, via text message, water, energy, financial services, health care and even education. ~~When did mobile phones outpace laptops and desktops as humanity's main computing device?
  • Virtual Reality Startups Look Back to the Future
    "People have wanted virtual reality for decades. There is a reason it has been core to so much great science fiction storytelling. Unfortunately, the tech was just not ready in the past.” ...and check out the $32 million donation to the University of Maryland for a VR classroom. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Oct 12, 2014 (- damian.mcdonald damian.mcdonald Oct 13, 2014)
  • The Walking Dead Online Course at UC Irvine Was Such a Global Hit Expect More to Come
    The popularity of the MOOC "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's The Walking Dead," a joint UCI and AMC presentation, is causing scholars and entertainment programmers to think about other pieces of pop culture that might lend themselves to online study, according to Instructure. By acting as a springboard for exploring academic ideas in contemporary media, this course illustrates the potential for pop culture to serve as a modern-day literature review. - helga helga Oct 9, 2014 - deborah.cooke deborah.cooke Oct 13, 2014 Interesting gateway experience. - edward.oneill edward.oneill Oct 13, 2014"Gateway experience" is a nice way to frame this. This used to be called a "thematic approach." Can fiction be a better lens for science than non-fiction?