Signs That Your Kids Might Need Less Screen Time

Leave it to the olds to come up with the perfect experiment to shame their children about their technology use. Australian pasta sauce company Dolmios wanted to show how technology use was interrupting an important ritual (one in which the company obviously has a financial interest): family dinner time. With parents’ cooperation they filmed families … Continued

Culture

Human Ingenuity: Consider the RoadPrinter

Human ingenuity is not just about doing new things—it’s also about making it easier to do things we’ve always done. Imagine if previous civilizations had been able to make use of the RoadPrinter. Rome really would have been built in a day. Seriously, though, there are some tasks that are so tedious and so time-consuming—though … Continued

Culture

Why Brushing Your Teeth Doesn’t Need to be “Gamified”

Like every other parent in the throes of summer vacation, I wake up every morning vaguely panicked about how to meet the biggest challenge of the day ahead: how to get more screen time for my children. In between the video games and the television, the smartphones and the tablets, with the occasional Super Smash … Continued

Parenting

The Kids Are Alright. It’s the Parents That Need Limits on Technology

Parents know that they are supposed to limit our children’s exposure to technology. Television, the internet, game consoles and tablets tend to suck in kids’ attention, and can discourage the type of imaginative play, free-thought, and physical exercise that we know is important for their mental and physical development. But you know who really struggles … Continued

Parenting

The Virtues of Reading the Fine Print

Holiday weekends, like the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, are a good time to catch up on rest, relaxation and . . . watching that thirty-two-hour webcast of Norwegians reading aloud the terms and conditions of various apps they’ve downloaded. That’s right. Norwegian television is broadcasting a program devoted to reading the fine print on all … Continued

Culture, Tech

Teens and Technology: Too Much Too Soon?

“No phones on a walk,” I said to my 10-year-old cousin. “Is that the rule?” she asked as she put down her phone before heading out the door. “Yes, no phones on a walk is the rule.” I was making that up, of course. I had suggested that we get some fresh air and just … Continued

Culture

Is Everything About to Vanish In The Cloud?

There’s an ongoing debate about whether we should be scared of technology. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, recently extended that question in an interesting way: Should we be afraid of what the Internet does to cultural memory? Carr makes a great argument: Because memory is not just a mental phenomenon but is also tied … Continued

Tech

Is the Future of Fashion a Dress that can Tweet?

In a recently-opened exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, designers of so-called technological style showcased the future of fashion, including “clothes that respond to the environment, dresses you can tweet, and garments that come off a 3-D printer ready to wear.”  Such innovations in #techstyle are “poised to have a profound impact on the … Continued

Fashion, Tech

Fear, Loathing, and Artificial Intelligence

Recently in the Washington Post, Joel Achenbach wrote a long and very smart piece of reporting on the state of Artificial Intelligence doom mongering. The short version goes something like this: Science fiction writers have been worrying about the possibility that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could bring about a cataclysm since the 1950s, when computers barely … Continued

Culture, Tech

Facebook Ex’s and Oh’s

  Bravo, Facebook! I’d never expect to write those words but alas, the social media conglomerate has finally done right by their users. I’m not talking about Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan’s pledge of roughly $45 billion to philanthropic causes after the birth of their baby daughter. No, what’s impressed me is the recent … Continued

Tech