AirPods could revolutionize what it means to be hard of hearing

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Last month, it was reported that Apple would add Live Listen, a feature that allows people to hear conversations in noisy settings, to AirPods later this year. The feature has been around since 2014. It uses the iPhone as a mic and connects to Apple-certified hearing aids to amplify hearing. When the next version of Apple’s key mobile software, iOS 12, is released, AirPod users will have access to the feature, though it’s recommended that those who require hearing aids still use them and not simply rely on AirPods for clarity and amplification.

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The UK is testing signs that detect when phones are used in cars

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Weary of drivers still using their phones behind the wheel, one area of the UK is using tech in an attempt to stop people from picking-up their handsets. The technology, developed by Norfolk-based Westcotec, can detect phone usage in cars, similar to a speed indicator sign and it’s hoped new signs will persuade motorists to change their behaviour.

Could You Make It Through Dinner Without Checking Your Phone?

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The reason for the tech-free dinner? The cellphones were stashed in a small decorative box on their table, an initiative that Marco Canora, Hearth’s chef and owner, began in November to help customers disconnect from their devices for a little bit.

Some restaurants, partly from irritation when patrons take pictures of the food, place limits on cellphones in their dining rooms. Others, including in Chicago and San Antonio, have banned them entirely.

This photo of people taking photos haunts me

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A music festival took place in London’s Finsbury Park this weekend, and the organizers, perhaps confusing me for a writer for Verge Magazine, sent me photos from the event. One of those images has stuck with me, haunted me, since I first saw it. The photo shows one half of the Rae Sremmurd duo mingling with excited fans… none of whom appear to be looking directly at him. A couple of faces in the crowd are looking at the camera taking the photo, and everyone else’s gaze seems fixed on their phones, trying to capture either photos or video of the rare occasion.

The Men Who Wear Fitbits to Track Their Coke Benders

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…some drug users find wearable devices like the Apple Watch and the Fitbit helpful in managing their intake of stimulants, which tend to get your heart rate up. They reason that by keeping their heart below a certain threshold of beats per minute (bpm) while high, they can lessen the always-present risk of an acute cardiac event. And so, ever since the consumer technology to keep tabs on your pulse 24/7 first became available, they’ve been sharing health data from their binges in online drug forums like the r/cocaine subreddit…

Digital commemoration: a new way to remember victims of terrorism

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Social media platforms, through the digital traces they create, will lend these passing events greater permanence. The social media archive of images, videos and hashtags is, of course, ephemeral in its own way (posts have limited circulation, a narrow window in which they are viewed and are vulnerable to deletion and loss). But it is important to understand that social media plays more than a documentary role. They enable unique and spontaneous commemorative practices such as people sharing photographs of themselves with tattoos, balloons and other memorials that need to be studied further. They create a shared sense of commemoration between those present at public memorials and those participating online.