Hold the world in your handIn the past, mobile phones could do mostly two things: make calls and send (and receive) text messages. If you had a fancier model, you could also play a little game. Features were added over the years, including music playback and photography. Smartphones like the BlackBerry and the Palm Treo that combined the functionality of PDAs and phones eventually came about, but they were mostly designed for business users.The iPhone, which debuted in 2007, changed the landscape. It popularized the notion of an all-touchscreen phone (even though similar handsets like the LG Prada preceded it), did away with the concept of a stylus and made it a lot easier to download and install apps. Importantly, the iPhone was also a catalyst for smartphones being a tool for everyday consumers instead of just executives with an expense account.Since then, the smartphone has become a near-ubiquitous computing platform. For many, it's the sole means of communicating with the world. … [Read more...] about Engadget at 15: A look at how much tech has changed
How communication technology has changed
Over the past 15 years, Facebook has changed the way we keep in touch with friends, how we feud with family members, how we think about privacy, and how we consume Russian propaganda—not always for the better. But Facebook also changed computing. From Netflix to Uber to Walmart’s website, many of the apps and services we use every day are built with technologies that Facebook developed and then shared with the world. As the company grew to accommodate millions, and eventually billions, of users, it had to create tools, from data storage software that can handle mind-boggling amounts of user information to hardware designs for data centers that host those databases. More recently it created new ways to build interfaces for its web and mobile apps. Crucially, Facebook didn't keep these creations to itself. It released much its work as open source, meaning that anyone else could use, modify, and share Facebook's inventions. "Facebook has been a driving force in open source for … [Read more...] about How Facebook Has Changed Computing
After decades of banishing retail stores from residential neighborhoods, the nation’s real estate developers, city planners, and the general public finally came to see the benefits of including stores in the places where people live and work. Ironically, the conventional wisdom shifted just in time for an economic shakeup so profound and widespread that it’s been called a “retail apocalypse.”Iconic department stores like Sears are faltering, malls are closing, and longtime chains like the Gap — once ubiquitous in downtowns and suburbs alike — are shutting stores. There are several reasons for the collapse, but one is the rise of online shopping, led by Amazon and Walmart, which have made it possible to get the same stuff these stores sold without ever leaving the house. In even the most walkable Boston neighborhoods with ample retail stores nearby, delivery drivers ply the streets, dropping off Amazon Prime boxes on the stoops of brownstones and in … [Read more...] about How Amazon Prime will change the way our cities look
Gareth Wilson, Chief Constable of Suffolk Police. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Archant In his latest column, Suffolk Constabulary chief constable GARETH WILSON writes about the way technology has changed policing during his 30-year career. Since announcing my retirement a few weeks ago, I have had some wonderful messages from a real variety of people and also had time to reminisce. Around 30 years ago, I was apprehensive as I approached the regional police training centre at HMS Ganges on Shotley Point and started on a journey that would give me the most fascinating insight into our communities, societal inequalities and those who cause harm through offending. My class comprised of officers from across the region and beyond and I formed friendships that have lasted throughout my career.There are many enjoyable duties I perform as chief constable but one that I truly enjoy is the ‘passing out parade’, where new recruits celebrate the end of their initial training alongside … [Read more...] about How technology has changed the face of crime fighting
Five big thinkers — Regina Barzilay, George Church, Jennifer Egan, Catherine Mohr and Siddhartha Mukherjee — puzzle over the future of the future. NOV. 16, 2018 The Tech And Design Issue From Gene Editing to A.I., How Will Technology Transform Humanity? The Future of Aging Just Might Be in Margaritaville Proteomics Might Have Saved My Mother’s Life. And It May Yet Save Mine. The Human Brain Is a Time Traveler On Instagram, Seeing Between the (Gender) Lines May A.I. Help You? 20 Americans Die Each Day Waiting for Organs. Can Pigs Save Them? The ‘Geno-Economists’ Say DNA Can Predict Our Chances of Success Gaming Out a Chance at Motherhood — Later Data-Driven Medicine Will Help People — But Can It Do So Equally? Climate Change and the Savage Human Future Jokes From the Future Group 3 Created with Sketch. Group 3 Created with … [Read more...] about From Gene Editing to A.I., How Will Technology Transform Humanity?