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.

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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.

Cell phones thrown in the trash are exploding in garbage trucks and dumps

Cell phones exploding

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Replacing smartphones has become a yearly or bi-yearly activity for many of us. We upgrade from old and busted to the new hotness with regularity, but we don’t always know what to our old devices. I stash most of mine in a drawer in case of emergency, but whatever you do with your old phone, do not throw it away.

National recycling program Call2Recycle tells USA Today that the lithium-ion batteries in discarded cell phones were responsible for 65% of waste facility fires in California in 2017. Even worse, one exploded battery can set off a chain reaction, which can lead to massive, devastating fires that can do real damage and put people at risk.

The Phones We Love Too Much

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We have an intimate relationship with our phones. We sleep with them, eat with them and carry them in our pockets. We check them, on average, 47 times a day — 82 times if you’re between 18 and 24 years old, according to recent data.

And we love them for good reason: They tell the weather, the time of day and the steps we’ve taken. They find us dates (and sex), entertain us with music and connect us to friends and family. They answer our questions and quell feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

But phone love can go too far — so far that it can interfere with human love — old fashioned face-to-face intimacy with that living and breathing being you call your partner, spouse, lover or significant other.

The conflict between phone love and human love is so common, it has its own lexicon. If you’re snubbing your partner in favor of your phone it’s called phubbing (phone + snubbing). If you’re snubbing a person in favor of any type of technology, it’s called technoference. A popular song by Lost Kings even asks: “Why don’t you put that [expletive] phone down?”

TED Talk: You Don’t Need an App For That

After sharing a link to my stories about creative uses of technology in developing and emerging markets, a colleague sent through a link to this great TED talk: “While the rest of the world is updating statuses and playing games on smartphones, Africa is developing useful SMS-based solutions to everyday needs, says journalist Toby Shapshak. In this eye-opening talk, Shapshak explores the frontiers of mobile invention in Africa as he asks us to reconsider our preconceived notions of innovation.”

Thanks Chris T. for the link!

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/toby_shapshak_you_don_t_need_an_app_for_that.html