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Android 10, privacy and digital wellbeing

Android 10, privacy and digital wellbeing

Google released, on 3 September 2019, the new version of its mobile operating system, Android 10, for now only available for selected smartphones. This update, “powered by on-device machine learning”, includes new features, among which are the dark theme,...
‘Quiet Ride’ in Uber: Technology Defeats Small Talk.

‘Quiet Ride’ in Uber: Technology Defeats Small Talk.

In May 2019, Uber announced that they have added the quiet ride feature. People who call an uber can now make a preference for the level of conversation they want to have with their driver: prefer quiet, or let...
Video Assisted Refereeing in Football: The False Idol of Mechanical Objectivity

Video Assisted Refereeing in Football: The False Idol of Mechanical Objectivity

 “When phenomena are variously reduced to data, they are divided and classified, processes that work to obscure — or as if to obscure — ambiguity, conflict, and contradiction.” – Lisa Gitelman Finally, the pseudo-objectivist logic of Big Data has...
When platforms support emergency services: the case of Namola in South Africa.

When platforms support emergency services: the case of Namola in South Africa.

People are increasingly relying on technology to improve their everyday life, and new media like social media platforms are progressively providing a safe space for those in difficulty.  Smartphones have already proven to be a great medium when it...
“Dadfindboy”: How activists in Hong Kong are hijacking state tools of surveillance

“Dadfindboy”: How activists in Hong Kong are hijacking state tools of surveillance

Protesters in Hong Kong have flipped a tool of government surveillance on its head, transforming it into an instrument of crowdsourced counter-surveillance. Here’s how a popular channel on the cloud-based messaging platform Telegram has reversed the invasive gaze of...
Fooling the deepfakes: How we can outsmart A.I. in pursuit of the truth

Fooling the deepfakes: How we can outsmart A.I. in pursuit of the truth

From innocuous face-swapping tools to perfectly realistic doctored footage of global leaders and personalities: Deepfake technology makes it all possible. The applications of this technology are seemingly endless, and the rate at which it is developing is mind-boggling, to...
The digital “gig economy”: empowering or constricting freelancers?

The digital “gig economy”: empowering or constricting freelancers?

In the last decade sharing economy led to the blossoming of digital platforms that facilitate connections between clients and service providers. New companies managed to enter established industries and they didn’t do it quietly. Their approach is redefining actors,...
Trick-or-Treating Dressed as Apple

Trick-or-Treating Dressed as Apple

Only with a mask was it possible for Romeo to disguise his true identity and enter the Capulets’ ball to meet Juliet. An unimaginable feat in today’s world of digital footprints and traces. With Apple’s recently announced sing-in alternative...
Quantum supremacy is coming: What does it have to offer in communication?

Quantum supremacy is coming: What does it have to offer in communication?

Quantum computing is the now the fever of the mind. Needless to say, there is a huge effort to make powerful quantum computers and this used to be the stuff of university’s physics department. But you can see the potential...
Launchmetrics: the fortune-teller Fashion Week has been waiting for

Launchmetrics: the fortune-teller Fashion Week has been waiting for

Has Fashion Week become irrelevant? The question hangs in the air this month as magazine editors are replaced with Instagram influencers and exclusivity is lost to live streams at the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris....
A bridge between worlds – Robots as a physical platform for the digital

A bridge between worlds – Robots as a physical platform for the digital

Robots – gimmick or game changer? The current picture one has, when the words “robot” or “robotics” are dropped, can vary widely. While most would probably imagine either Science-fiction-like, humanoid beings or simplistic and gimmicky robots that are commercially...
A Rhetoric of WeWalk-ing. Smart Canes and “feeling of freedom” in the urban environment

A Rhetoric of WeWalk-ing. Smart Canes and “feeling of freedom” in the urban environment

The new uses of smart technology are being constantly introduced, and unlike a cat selfie device or a cute planter that aim to add some fun to our humdrum existence, WeWALK smart cane attempt to make a difference. This...
Surfing on the free trial wave – New app cancels free trials by the end of subscription period.

Surfing on the free trial wave – New app cancels free trials by the end of subscription period.

A new feature within the DoNotPay app launched this September and promises to cancel free trials before they run out and cost customers a lot of money. In a world in which streaming- and subscription services have become part...
“Checkout on Instagram”: Chance or risk for e-commerce businesses?

“Checkout on Instagram”: Chance or risk for e-commerce businesses?

Ever since Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, the platform has not only grown from ten million active users to over one billion, but has also introduced a number of new features. Instagram Stories, live streams, television and shopping –...
Will you find your next #1 Hit via Instagram? How the app’s new feature ‘Clips’ could make TikTok obsolete.

Will you find your next #1 Hit via Instagram? How the app’s new feature ‘Clips’ could make TikTok obsolete.

Funny clips, a lot of laughter, number-one hits and challenges with friends - That sounds very refreshing in times of self-presentation on social media platforms, such as Instagram. No wonder, TikTok became so popular and took over the music...
Discerning Familiarity in the Rise of Facial Recognition

Discerning Familiarity in the Rise of Facial Recognition

Facial recognition is ‘hot’: it has been in science fiction since the 1960’s, but nowadays biometric technologies – the technologies that recognize individuals based on biological aspects – are advancing and are increasingly being adapted by tech giants and...
iPhone 11 Memes – Online Discourse in Digital Cultures

iPhone 11 Memes – Online Discourse in Digital Cultures

Apple has recently revealed its latest iPhone at their keynote event in the Steve Jobs Theater in California. The new iPhone 11 offers some new and interesting features, and marks a bold new look for its already iconic design....
ImageNet Roulette: This mean Sorting Hat is not magic, it’s how AI works

ImageNet Roulette: This mean Sorting Hat is not magic, it’s how AI works

ImageNet Roulette is not just another selfie app. It shows us why it is deeply problematic to classify people through “AI” systems. The debate around ImageNet Roulette is urgently needed: Around the globe, machine learning systems are popping up...
MyFitnessPal or MyFitness-Prosecutor?

MyFitnessPal or MyFitness-Prosecutor?

We have all been there on New Years Day, thinking about our new years resolutions and the first one that most people think about is “get more active” or “lose some of the Christmas weight”. The health and wellness...
Power to the People (or not?): Twitter allows its users to hide responses

Power to the People (or not?): Twitter allows its users to hide responses

In 1996 John P. Barlow wrote his piece ‘A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace’. In this text Barlow refers to cyberspace as a whole new world without government regulations nor limitations. Barlow addresses a world in which anyone...
Forest at Fingertips – Making Every day an Earth Day!

Forest at Fingertips – Making Every day an Earth Day!

I can still remember that my high school teacher drives us to the suburb on Arbor Day to plant a tree, spending all day long to teach students a lesson of the importance of environmental protection. We couldn’t imagine...

What’s in the box? Kiwibot and the platform economy

Cute white boxes ride around trendy city streets. A bespectacled young man orders a nice burger with his iPhone, sitting behind his space grey Macbook air. The new-age delivery men ride along on four wheels, delivering anything and everything...
Substack: Against the advertising model

Substack: Against the advertising model

In a world filled with advertising, there are platforms moving towards subscriptions. Amongst them newsletter service Substack. But what is wrong with admodels? And can platforms like Substack do without ad models?
Human Programmability and Happiness

Human Programmability and Happiness

Perception pushing art from Dries Verhoeven talks about pharmaceuticals and makes us question our humanity.