In the 21st Century, if theres one thing that’s joined the pantheon of annoying teen behavior–along with sex, drugs, rock n’ roll–it’s smartphone use. The texting, the sexting, the emoji-speak, the Snapchats. “Put your phone down” is the new “Get off my lawn.” For a new holiday spot, AT&T is actually encouraging people to give the present of being present by putting down the phones. The new ad, by agency BBDO and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), follows one family’s Christmas adventures and the phone-obsessed teen among them. But in the end, the festive spirit wins out over checking that Instagram feed yet again. “We constantly look for signals of human behavior in the marketplace–it drives insights on what might be next for our products and services,” says Valerie Vargas, vice president of advertising and communications for AT&T. “Recently, we noticed that … [Read more...] about AT&T Wants You To Give The Gift Of Putting Down Your Damn Phone This Christmas
Not sure why some photographs just brand themselves deep into your memory, while others make no impact whatsoever? With the help of a new neural network that learns to think like humans, researchers at MIT hope to figure out what makes the best photographs so memorable. The results could not only help up your Instagram likes, they could help graphic designers apply science to their work to make it more memorable. advertisement Like any other deep learning neural network, such as the one driving Google Photos, MemNet first needs to learn from a dataset that humans have previously gone over. In MemNet’s case, that data came from LaMem, a library of about 60,000 images tested for how memorable people found them. Here, memorability means “how long were human observers able to remember the image after they stop looking at it?” Those scores were tabulated and fed, along with the initial images, into MemNet’s neural network. MemNet then created its own model of … [Read more...] about What Makes An Image Memorable? This MIT AI Might Hold The Key
Around 3:15 p.m. yesterday, a building in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood exploded and caught fire, injuring 19 people–three critically. As of this writing, at least two people are reported missing. advertisement advertisement The blast, apparently “caused by plumbing and gas work being done” in the neighborhood, according to the New York Times, shook nearby restaurants, drew crowds of people into the streets, and sent up a thick gray smoke plume that could be seen across the city. As often happens now, witnesses tweeted and Instagrammed photos and videos of the scene. But for the first time, people also flocked to two brand-new live-streaming apps: the month-old Meerkat and the then-hours-old Periscope. Live-streaming video has suddenly gotten easier than ever before–and as is the case every time social media takes a leap forward, a host of practical and ethical questions about using technology during times of tragedy have presented … [Read more...] about Is It Wrong To Watch?
Add up all the five or 10-minute bits of time you spend mindless scrolling Twitter/Facebook/Instagram etc. and you might be embarrassed about how much of your life you waste on something that studies have shown makes us unhappy. Now imagine how many more hours you would have in your week to get the real work that matters to you done if you logged off completely. Here, we’ve compiled some expert advice for curbing your addiction to social media, depending on what level of intervention you need. Moderate Sometimes the obvious solution is also the best: Delete the apps from your phone. If everybody did, we’d reduce an incremental creep that makes it harder and harder to resist social pressure, says Ana Homayoun, author of Social Media Wellness. Aggressive Social check-ins during a few minutes of downtime can become second nature, says Homayoun. Apps like Flipd block time-sucking/time-wasting sites from your phone or computer either for a period of time you set—or for … [Read more...] about 3 simple steps to kick your social media addiction
On the evening of February 17, professor Mary Beard posted on Twitter a photograph of herself crying. The eminent University of Cambridge classicist, who has almost 200,000 Twitter followers, was distraught after receiving a storm of abuse online. This was the reaction to a comment she had made about Haiti. She also tweeted: “I speak from the heart (and of course I may be wrong). But the crap I get in response just isn’t on; really it isn’t.” advertisement advertisement In the days that followed, Beard received support from several high-profile people. Greg Jenner, a fellow celebrity historian, tweeted about his own experience of a Twitterstorm: “I’ll always remember how traumatic it was to suddenly be hated by strangers. Regardless of morality–I may have been wrong or right in my opinion–I was amazed (later, when I recovered) at how psychologically destabilising it was to me.” Those tweeting support for … [Read more...] about How To Design A Civil Internet