Can you hear me now? Good. Now, unlock that phone. University at Buffalo computer scientist Zhanpeng Jin and his team have developed EarEcho, a biometric tool that can authenticate smartphone users via their wireless earbuds. The tool uses unique geometry of human ear canals. “It doesn’t matter what the sound is, everyone’s ears are different and we can show that in the audio recording,” Jin said. “This uniqueness can lead to a new way of confirming the identity of the user, equivalent to fingerprinting.” (link)

Time for a mindful approach to technology

According to Dscout, the average smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times each day (if you’re in the top 10%, it’s actually more like 5,427). Another study shows the average American spends over 4 hours per day on their mobile device (a quarter of their waking hours) with half of that spent browsing social media. But I’d wager a bet that the majority of that time is spent, by default, without intentional thought as to what it is we’re actually doing.

One of the harsh truths of social media is that has programmed us into wanting more, not better. We are consuming, not creating. I highly recommend reading this blog post by Mike Schmitz.

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I’ve Said it Before, And I’ll Say It Again

If you have been a regular reader, then you know my hobbyhorse: the iPhone is killing the standalone camera. And the latest data released by Camera & Imaging Products Association only reinforces my thesis from a few years ago. Just look at this chart:

Even though we are taking more photos all the time, we are not taking them with standalone cameras. Instead, we are using our smartphones for every kind of photography. Continue reading “I’ve Said it Before, And I’ll Say It Again”