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Don’t fall for it: a parent’s guide to protecting your kids from online hoaxes

It’s a parent’s responsibility to protect their children from harm, no matter where that threat of harm comes from. But what if the threat is a hoax? We’ve seen recently a rollercoaster of panic from parents trying to protect their kids from a supposed online threat known as the Momo challenge, that has for months been debunked as a hoax.

Hackers are making personalised ransomware to target the most profitable and vulnerable

Once a piece of ransomware has got hold of your valuable information, there is very little you can do to get it back other than accede to the attacker’s demands. Ransomware, a type of malware that holds a computer to ransom, has become particularly prevalent in the past few years and virtually unbreakable encryption has made it an even more powerful force.

Alone together: how mobile devices have changed family time

There is now widespread concern about the amount of time children spend staring at screens – with many people worried about the negative impacts mobile devices might have on health and well-being. Concerns have also been raised about the influence of technological change on relationships and face-to-face interactions. Sherry Turkle, a professor of the social studies of science, came up with the...[Read More]

Becoming more like WhatsApp won’t solve Facebook’s woes – here’s why

Zuckerberg aims to make private messages private and ephemeral – meaning Facebook can’t read our messages, and the data doesn’t stick around on the company’s servers for longer than necessary. His vision involves merging Facebook and the company’s other digital platforms – Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger – into a super app, similar to China’s WeChat.

Humans and machines can improve accuracy when they work together

Some people suggest these tasks should be automated, as machines do not get bored, tired or distracted over time. However, computer vision algorithms tasked to recognize faces could also make mistakes. As my research has found, together, machines and humans could do much better.

Algorithms have already taken over human decision making

Instead of being central to the system of decisions that affects us, we are cast out in to its environment. We have progressively restricted our own decision-making capacity and allowed algorithms to take over. We have become artificial humans, or human artefacts, that are created, shaped and used by the technology.

Virtual reality adds to tourism through touch, smell and real people’s experiences

Lonely Planet, and others, have become excited by tourism powered by virtual reality(VR) – both on this planet and, thanks to NASA, on others. VR films are also being developed by travel companies, such as Thomas Cook. And Tourism Australia has partnered with Google to understand the marketing potential of VR (well, 360 degree panoramic videos).

Autonomous drones can help search and rescue after disasters

Drones are useful, and are helping in the recovery after the deadly Alabama tornadoes, but most require individual pilots, who fly the unmanned aircraft by remote control. That limits how quickly rescuers can view an entire affected area, and can delay actual aid from reaching victims.

Fingerprint and face scanners aren’t as secure as we think they are

Despite what every spy movie in the past 30 years would have you think, fingerprint and face scanners used to unlock your smartphone or other devices aren’t nearly as secure as they’re made out to be. While it’s not great if your password is made public in a data breach, at least you can easily change it. If the scan of your fingerprint or face – known as “biometric template data” – is revealed...[Read More]

Print your city? 3D printing is revolutionizing urban futures

The Fabrication City concept puts manufacturing back in the hands of communities — using 3D printers. It could have far-reaching implications for economic development, environmental sustainability, inclusion and other benefits. The use of 3D printing provides cities with opportunities through their local innovators and entrepreneurs.

How SpaceX lowered costs and reduced barriers to space

On March 2, SpaceX launched its first test of an unmanned Dragon vehicle which is designed to carry humans into low Earth orbit and to the International Space Station. If the test is successful, later this year, SpaceX plans to launch American astronauts from United States soil for the first time since 2011.

Your car is more likely to be hacked by your mechanic than a terrorist

Hollywood would have us believe our cars are extremely vulnerable to hackers. A hacker remotely logs into the onboard computer of a car on display in a showroom, causing the car to burst through the glass out onto the street – just in the nick of time to block a car chase.

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