Find out if you can meet all your needs within a 15-minute walk from your house.

source:  fastcompany.com

In a “15-minute city,” it’s possible to meet your basic needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. Instead of sitting in traffic during a rush-hour commute, you can work at home or walk to an office nearby. You can walk to get groceries, go to the doctor, take your kids to school, or run any other everyday errand. Housing is affordable, so a barista could live in a walkable neighborhood as easily as a lawyer. It’s a concept championed by the mayor of Paris and, more recently, pitched by a global network of cities as a tool for helping urban areas recover from the pandemic—and improve sustainability and health as people start to get more exercise while conducting their day-to-day activities.

In the U.S., car-dependent sprawl is more common. But a new tool lets you map out local services to see how close your neighborhood comes to the ideal.

 

Click here to try out the tool:

https://app.developer.here.com/15-min-city-map/

“The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of location and proximity,” says Jordan Stark, a spokesperson for Here Technologies, the location data platform that created the map. The company typically creates maps for businesses, such as delivery companies that need to route vehicles, and built the new tool to demonstrate how developers could work with its data. While the current version maps out amenities like grocery stores, transit stops, and medical care—along the lines of Walkscore, another tool—the company says it might later create an iteration that considers how far residents might have to travel to get to an office.

The map also shows how many services can be accessed by car from an address. “We wanted to show, especially in the U.S., the contrast in the accessibility between walking and driving,” Stark says. “And as you can imagine, there are a number of communities where you have all of your essential items within a 15-minute drive, but potentially less than one essential location in a walk. So it was a way to show that contrast in spatial makeup.”

While pockets of American cities are walkable now—the map tells me that my own neighborhood in Oakland qualifies as a “15-minute city”—it’s possible that more neighborhoods will move in this direction as cities begin to use it as a framework for urban planning. Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development is one of the latest to say that it is exploring the concept of 15-minute neighborhoods.

“We wanted to show, especially in the U.S., the contrast in the accessibility between walking and driving,”

IT Predictions from the Past: How Accurate Were They?

predictions

source: eweek.com

eWEEK looks back at three years ago on the conversation around automation: As the internet gets increasingly more fragile, automation–as it is in most other IT categories–becomes a big factor in making it run more efficiently. How accurate were the predictions from thought leaders?

[Editor’s note: Each December, eWEEK asks IT professionals to look ahead to the next year and let us know what important trends they see coming. We’ll be publishing these predictions again this year, so get them ready to send us! Meanwhile, periodically we look back at previous years’ predictions to see how how accurate–or inaccurate–they were. In this case, the thoughts around automation were particularly on target. Enjoy!]

Networking in 2017 encompassed far, far more technology than simply the pipes used to hold data as it moves from one location to another. It always has. In 2018, networking will evolve even more into software-controlled, artificial intelligence-fortified systems that will be thinking far ahead of humans as data moves through its veins.

 

Continue reading “IT Predictions From The Past: How Accurate Were They?”

too much tech

‘I’m Not Sure We’ll Survive It’:  How Constant Tech Is Breaking Our Brains


source: fastcompany.com

 

If you’re worried that our brains are being permanently and irrevocably altered by the constant use of technology during the coronavirus pandemic, Jaron Lanier has bad news and worse news.

“I’m not sure we’ll survive it,” the VR pioneer and noted technology skeptic said this week during a virtual panel discussion at the 2020 Fast Company Innovation Festival.

 

Granted, he followed that up with a more optimistic afterthought: “I do think the capacity of people to become more self-directed [with their use of technology] during the pandemic is actually a good sign—and it gives me some hope,” he added.

Continue reading “‘I’m Not Sure We’ll Survive It’: How Constant Tech Is Breaking Our Brains”

source:  Fastcompany.com

As 2020’s experiment with working from home turns into something more permanent, gitlab—the world’s largest all-remote company—offers a glimpse of what’s ahead, for better or worse.

A group of employees at the tech firm is debating the merits of an inflatable kayak over Zoom.
“It’s definitely [for] calm waters,” says engineer Lien Van Den Steen, 
as Thursday afternoon sun streams through a window in her Ghent, Belgium, home. 
 

From his home in Minnesota, Timm Ideker, a regional sales director, drops a link into the chat for  a kayak that breaks into pieces for easy transportation. “I have some concerns that this just means it’s going to leak in seven places,” says Simon Mansfield, a member of GitLab’s sales team, in Cardiff, Wales..

For most employees, this sort of conversation would be a brief sidebar from work, but discussing  kayaks—and weekend plans and favorite board games—is the entire point of this call. Employees from any GitLab team (or time zone) log on to these recurring 30-minute Company Calls to replicate the casual conversations that happen naturally when coworkers share the same office.

Artemus Note:  If you REALLY want to see a GREAT media-rich article about what GitLab’s doing on this front, click here!  You won’t be sorry!!

Continue reading “Extremely Transparent & Incredibly Remote: GitLab and Remote Working”

source: kottke.org (contributed by FAN Steve Jones)

 

Researchers have demonstrated that they can make a working 3D-printed copy of a key just by listening to how the key sounds when inserted into a lock. And you don’t need a fancy mic — a smartphone or smart doorbell will do nicely if you can get it close enough to the lock.

The next time you unlock your front door, it might be worth trying to insert your key as quietly as possible; researchers have discovered that the sound of your key being inserted into the lock gives attackers all they need to make a working copy of your front door key.It sounds unlikely, but security researchers say they have proven that the series of audible, metallic clicks made as a key penetrates a lock can now be deciphered by signal processing software to reveal the precise shape of the sequence of ridges on the key’s shaft. Knowing this (the actual cut of your key), a working copy of it can then be three-dimensionally (3D) printed.  The next time you unlock your front door, it might be worth trying to insert your key as quietly as possible; researchers have discovered that the sound of your key being inserted into the lock gives attackers all they need to make a working copy of your front door key.

It sounds unlikely, but security researchers say they have proven that the series of audible, metallic clicks made as a key penetrates a lock can now be deciphered by signal processing software to reveal the precise shape of the sequence of ridges on the key’s shaft. Knowing this (the actual cut of your key), a working copy of it can then be three-dimensionally (3D) printed.

How Soundarya Ramesh and her team accomplished this is a fascinating read.

 

Continue reading “Researchers Can Duplicate Keys from the Sounds They Make in Locks”

source:  washingtonpost.com (contributed by Artemus FAN, Demetria Simantiras)

 

Campaigns to manipulate public opinion through false or misleading social media postings have become standard political practice across much of the world, with information ministries, specialized military units and political operatives shaping the flow of information in dozens of countries, a British research group reported Monday.

These propaganda efforts exploit every social media platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond — and rely on human users and computerized “bots” that can dramatically amplify the power of disinformation campaigns by automating the process of preparing and delivering posts. Bots interact with human users and also with other bots.

Though most social media platforms are designed and run by corporations based the United States, the platforms are infiltrated almost immediately upon their release to the public by a range of international actors skilled at using information to advance political agendas, within their own countries and beyond, said the researchers from Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Research Project.

“The government propaganda evolved with social media and has grown along with it,” said Philip N. Howard, an Oxford professor and co-author of the report, called “Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation.”

source:  technewsworld.com

 

United States government agencies and cloud technology providers are heading toward a reset in how they cooperate on cybersecurity challenges. The expected growth of cloud use will create a more complex federal security landscape, according to a recent report from Thales Group.

Federal agencies actually have moved ahead of businesses in cloud adoption, with 54 percent of agency data already embedded in the cloud, the report notes. Furthermore, cloud technology is central to a broader “digital transformation” goal in the federal government, recently highlighted by ramping up remote workplace sites in response to the COVID-19 virus.

“Data security requirements will only continue to be more stringent as more and more data and services are migrated to the cloud,” said Brent Hansen, federal chief technology officer at Thales.

“This year registers the first year where more federal data is stored in the cloud versus on premises. This is a huge turning point and the trajectory will only continue to favor cloud,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Continue reading “‘NEW NORMAL’ SECURITY ERA BEGINS FOR US AGENCIES, CLOUD PROVIDERS”

source: sciencedaily.com

MIT engineers have designed a “brain-on-a-chip,” smaller than a piece of confetti, that is made from tens of thousands of artificial brain synapses known as memristors — silicon-based components that mimic the information-transmitting synapses in the human brain.

The researchers borrowed from principles of metallurgy to fabricate each memristor from alloys of silver and copper, along with silicon. When they ran the chip through several visual tasks, the chip was able to “remember” stored images and reproduce them many times over, in versions that were crisper and cleaner compared with existing memristor designs made with unalloyed elements.

Their results, published today in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, demonstrate a promising new memristor design for neuromorphic devices — electronics that are based on a new type of circuit that processes information in a way that mimics the brain’s neural architecture. Such brain-inspired circuits could be built into small, portable devices, and would carry out complex computational tasks that only today’s supercomputers can handle.

Continue reading “ARTIFICIAL BRAIN SYNAPSES ON A SINGLE CHIP”

source: technewsworld.com

 

Apple may launch an augmented reality line of smart glasses in the spring of 2021, according to Jon Prosser, host of the video blog Front Page Tech.

The new peepers will be called “Apple Glass” and sell for US$499, with prescription lenses costing more, Prosser claimed.

Both lenses are displays that support gesture interaction.

The glasses will work in conjunction with an iPhone.

Early prototypes supported the LiDAR sensor for 3D scanning and wireless charging, said Prosser.

Apple originally planned to unveil the specs at its fall event, but it may postpone the announcement until March 2021, with release planned for late 2021 or early 2022, he added.

“These rumors have been building up for quite some time, but this is the most cohesive information we’ve had on this so far,” said George Jijiashvili, senior analyst at Omdia, a research and consulting firm in London.

“I think Apple has been working on AR glasses behind closed doors, and they will release them because they have all the right pieces to make it work,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Phone Dependency

Incorporating gesture control into the glasses is a good move, observed San Jose, California-based Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm.

“Gesture control allows the Apple Glass to be controlled without resorting to using a controller that is easily lost,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Continue reading “WILL APPLE’S AR GLASSES BE READY?”

source: the collaborative fund, courtesy of Bob Wallace

Big takeaways about how, and why, people do what they do.

 

The most important lessons from history are the takeaways that are so broad they can apply to other fields, other eras, and other people. That’s where lessons have leverage and are most likely to apply to your own life.

But those things take some digging to find, often sitting layers below the main story.

***

The Great Depression began with a stock market crash. October 24th, 1929. That’s the story, at least.

It makes for a good story because it’s a specific event on a specific day. But if you were to go back to October 1929, during the crash, the average American might seem unfazed. Only 2.5% of Americans owned stocks in 1929.

The huge majority of Americans watched in amazement as the market collapsed, and perhaps lost a sense of hope that they, too, might someday cash in on Wall Street. But that was all they lost: a dream. They did not lose any money because they had no money invested.

The real pain came nearly two years later, when the banks started to fail.

Just over 500 U.S. banks failed in 1929. Twenty-three hundred failed in 1931.

When banks fail, people lose their savings. When they lose their savings they stop spending. When they stop spending businesses fail. When businesses fail, banks fail. When banks fail people lose their savings. And so on endlessly.

The stock market crash wasn’t a relevant lesson to the vast majority of Americans who didn’t own stocks in 1929 and likely never would for the rest of their lives. But the bank failures upended the day-to-day lives of tens of millions of Americans. That’s the real story of how the Depression began.

As we look back at the Depression 90 years later, you might think the main lesson is “don’t let the banks fail.” And it’s a good lesson.

But it’s also a lesson that’s not useful to many people today.

I don’t know.

And does it even apply to bank regulators in 2019, when things like FDIC insurance now lower the odds of repeating the kind of consumer bank runs we saw in the 1930s?

Only a little, I’d say.

The point is that the more specific a lesson of history is, the less relevant it becomes. That doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. But the most important lessons from history are things that are so fundamental to the behaviors of so many people that they’re likely to apply to you and situations you’ll face in your own lifetime.

Let me offer one of those lessons from the Great Depression. I think it’s one of the most important lessons of history:

Lesson #1: People suffering from sudden, unexpected hardship are likely to adopt views they previously thought unthinkable.

One of the most fascinating parts of the Great Depressions isn’t just that the economy collapsed, but how quickly and dramatically people’s views changed when it did.

Continue reading “FIVE LESSONS FROM HISTORY”