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Daily Archives: June 13, 2024

How to Use Your Smartphone to Counteract Vision Loss

Wired: “Vision loss is common and is highly likely to impact you or someone close to you in your lifetime. The World Health Organization estimates that 2.2 billion people worldwide have a near- or distant-vision impairment. Around 12 million Americans aged 40 years and up have some vision loss today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 4.2 million of those have uncorrectable vision impairment (1.02 million are blind), a number that the CDC expects to double by 2050, due to the rise in diabetes and other chronic diseases. Whether you struggle to read distant signs or find yourself squinting to decipher small print, you probably have a gadget that can help. Too many of us ignore accessibility features, assuming they are only for the blind or severely vision-impaired, but they can also help folks with a wide range of vision loss issues. Below, I’ve highlighted several smartphone features I tested with the help of family and friends with varying degrees of vision loss. I also spoke to Apple and Google to learn more about these features in iPhones and Android. Both companies claim they work with blind and vision-impaired communities to gather feedback and new ideas. Updated June 2024: We added information on the new features in Google’s Lookout app, Maps app, and Guided Frame feature on Pixel phones, new options in Apple’s Magnifier app Detection Mode, and new screenshots…”

How the recycling symbol lost its meaning

Grist: “Today, the recycling icon is omnipresent — found on plastic bottles, cereal boxes, and bins loitering alongside curbs across the country. The chasing arrows, though, are often plastered on products that aren’t recyclable at all, particularly products made of plastic, like dog chew toys and inflatable swim rings. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency… Continue Reading

Google’s AI summaries are coming for the news industry

Press Gazette: “The dramatic impact of Google‘s AI-written summaries on search result visibility for publishers has been revealed through exclusive new research.A Press Gazette-led investigation has found that AI-written summaries were returned for nearly a quarter of news-related search queries in mid-May in the US, with the result that organic links to publisher articles were… Continue Reading

ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini

ZDNet. Which is the best AI chatbot? Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed how we work and play in the past 18 months, allowing almost anyone to write code, create art, and even make investments. For professional and hobbyist users, generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, offer advanced capabilities to produce decent-quality content from a simple user prompt.… Continue Reading

How YouTube’s recommendations pull you away from news

Huang, S., & Yang, T. (2024). Auditing Entertainment Traps on YouTube: How Do Recommendation Algorithms Pull Users Away from News. Political Communication, 1–19. “Recommendation algorithms that customize information feeds for individuals have raised concerns about exacerbating inequalities in news exposure among citizens. In response to these concerns, we conducted an audit study on YouTube… Continue Reading

17 Hidden Facebook Features Only Power Users Know

PC Mag – The world’s largest social network is full of advanced features that you’re probably not using, so we dug deep into the settings menu to find the most useful ones for you. Despite its issues (and there are many), Meta’s Facebook remains today’s foremost digital public square. Politicians and journalists gravitate toward X/Twitter,… Continue Reading

Your employer might be spying on your tech. Here’s how to check.

Washington Post: “Your employer may be able to see everything you’re doing on your phone or computer. They might know you’re reading this article right now. (Hi!) But how can you be sure? Companies have a growing number of ways to keep tabs on workers. They can gather details from common workplace apps and use… Continue Reading

Durbin Reveals Omissions of Gifted Private Travel to Justice Clarence Thomas from Harlan Crow

“In exclusively obtained information from Harlan Crow as a result of Durbin and the Senate Judiciary Committee Majority’s Supreme Court ethics investigation and subpoena authorization, Durbin releases details of gifted private travel to Justice Thomas that Thomas has failed to disclose. WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary… Continue Reading

Build it and they will come? The effects of a new infrastructure on cycling practices and experiences

Patrick Rérat, Aurélie Schmassmann, Build it and they will come? The effects of a new infrastructure on cycling practices and experiences, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Volume 25, 2024, 101121, ISSN 2590-1982, Abstract: What are the effects of cycling infrastructure? This question is crucial as cities begin to give more space to cycling. In this… Continue Reading

So What Is Going On With the Supreme Court in 2024?

Slate [read 5 articles free before paywalled] – “If you’re interested in understanding more about what the high court is, how it functions, and why it seems to have recently lurched to the right, start here…The 5 Circuit Court of Appeals covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Trump appointed six judges to this bench, some of… Continue Reading