Three artists who find art in the finger smudges on device screens

Smudge Art 02

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Wired recently featured Tabitha Soren’s project, Surface Tension, for which she photographed the fingerprints and smudges left on the screens of devices.

The marks on the glass screens that technology users normally try to ignore or get rid of are the focal point of SURFACE TENSION. The textural conflicts in these pictures record how we now spend our lives. They’re not just grime; they’re evidence of the otherwise invisible.

In an earlier project (also, weirdly, titled Surface Tension), photographer Meggan Gould took photos of her and her husband’s smudged iPad screens.

 

What online comments can reveal about the person behind the keyboard

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By finding patterns in the messages – such as readability, frequency of swearing and tendency to veer off topic – Cheng thinks there are clues to “who’s behind this bad behaviour.” And Cheng, whose fellowship is sponsored by Microsoft, isn’t the only one who believes our personalities, mental states, and even physical health are reflected in the language we use online.

It turns out, the comments we make online reveal a lot about us. Researchers are now analyzing online comments for a wide array of predictive patterns and signals, using Internet discussions and social media as sources of constant, easy-to-access information about what’s going on in people’s lives.

Their efforts may eventually allow health professionals to monitor patients’ well-being based on their Twitter streams and Facebook entries. Controversially, employers or insurance companies could one day screen job applicants and potential clients based on their social media status updates.

In Cashless Sweden, Even God Now Takes Collection Via an App

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In the most cashless society on the planet, even God now accepts digital payments.

A growing number of Swedish parishes have started taking donations via mobile apps. Uppsala’s 13th-century cathedral also accepts credit cards.

The churches’ drive to keep up with the times is the latest sign of Sweden’s rapid shift to a world without notes and coins. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; some shops and museums now only accept plastic; and even Stockholm’s homeless have started accepting cards as payment for their magazine. Go to a flea market, and the seller is more likely to ask to be paid via Sweden’s popular Swish app than with cash.

Your Baby Boomer Mom’s Use of Technology Is Incredible, Not Embarrassing

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She has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which she essentially uses as intended by documenting her rad (post-retirement) life. There’s the occasional selfie with her girlfriends, dispatches from vacations and hikes, her favorite funny signs at political rallies. But the majority of her posts are homages to her children — me and my brother. She uses social media both to keep tabs on what we’re up to and to broadcast that information to her network of people. She loves to share my work (with simply the caption “Alana,” no tag) and photos of our family awkwardly squeezed into a restaurant booth and bathed in terrible overhead lighting. She also LOVES to interact with our status updates, as if they are addressed directly to her…

Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Dog Gone? Refresh Your Feeds

MISSING/LOST CHIHUAHUA FOUND! Hey guys, my Daddy just found a lost and scared Chihuahua in the street in South Beach on 2nd and Meridian (south of 5th) at 1am this morning! She was terrified and walking in the middle of the street and could have been hit by cars. She was running away from my dad scared but some nice people helped us gather her and my Dad put her in his car and drove her home to me. We gave her a bath because she was a little dirty, poor girl. It turns out once she got over her initial fear she is super sweet! And as soon as she met me she started wagging her tail and smelling my butt! She did not have a collar on but tomorrow we are gonna take her to the vet to see if she has a chip! We are hoping that we can find her mommy and or daddy! If anyone recognizes her or heard anything about a missing chihuahua let us know. Also she may be blind but my dad's not sure, she has those cloudy eyes. Wishing the best for this sweety I already love her! I Keep wanting to play with her but Daddy is saying let her rest because she might have been through a lot 😩

A post shared by "Gomi" "Gomi-Bear" "Gomachan" (@gomithefrenchie) on

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Thousands of lost and found pet Facebook groups have popped up all over the country in recent years helping to reunite pets with frantic owners. (If your area doesn’t have one, don’t fret. Community Facebook pages are just as dedicated to searching for lost pets.) One group, Lost Pets of the Hudson Valley, has 49,000 members, and eight volunteers run it practically round the clock. The group’s founder, Bentley Potter of Kingston, N.Y., whose day job is tuning skis at his family-run business, started the page after noticing an unreadable sign for a missing pet on a telephone pole.

Sometimes, Mr. Potter said, pet owners will find their animals merely minutes after a photograph is posted. “Without social media, I can’t imagine that this would happen that frequently or effectively,” he said. “So many people have told me that this is the only good reason for Facebook.”

Lost and found pet apps have also emerged: Paw Boost alerts shelters and rescuers, the Pet Safety App from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can help you build a shareable “lost pet digital” flier, and Finding Rover uses an interactive tracking map and facial recognition technology to search participating local shelters, over 200 so far.