Sparkwith Nora Young


3 experts on failure explain what we can learn from our mistakes

Failure is having a moment in the tech industry. What can that teach us about our limitations and how we measure success?

Disabled people want disability design—not disability dongles

People with disabilities want to be participants in design, not recipients of design

The case against predictability

Everything we do is analyzed, measured, and quantified to create a model of us online, which then tries to influence our behavour. But how accurate is our quantified self?

People rely on devices to store information, but that's not a bad thing, researchers say

With smartphones and automated technologies taking care of our information for us, the means to store information outside of our brains is endless. But does this “information offloading” have an impact on the brain’s memory function?

Inside the machine: Hidden technologies from sea to sky

From weather forecasting to sending email, there is an astonishing amount of hidden technology involved - we take a peek inside the machinery.

Classes are moving online, but teaching methods still need to catch up, says education expert

The pandemic rapidly switched education to an emergency remote teaching model. But does that temporary change mark a bigger shift toward online learning? And could that make university and college a more flexible experience? Online education expert Tony Bates weighs in on how higher education is changing.

The new, new normal: is the pandemic heralding a 'golden age' of cycling?

"It's a 19th-century solution to a 21st-century problem," says Michael Longfield, the head of Cycle Toronto

How emerging technologies amplify racism—even when they're intended to be neutral

Ruha Benjamin's book, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, explains how even attempts to address racial bias can actually amplify it.

'We behave differently if we know we're being watched'

Richard Lachman says Google's cancelled Sidewalk Labs project taught us valuable lessons about privacy

When it comes to COVID-19, social media fills a gap left by scientists — and it's a problem, says sociologist

It takes time for scientists and public health officials to provide reliable answers in crises like the current pandemic. That can be frustrating for people seeking accurate, science-based information, who then turn to other sources, says Fuyuki Kurasawa.

Think for yourself: how to judge expertise in a time of conflicting opinions

Vikram Mansharamani urges us not to turn over critical thinking to technology

A brave new road: how transportation might look post-pandemic

If you live in a city, the way we used to get around--at least before March--has changed dramatically. Public transit use is way down. You can't buy a bicycle for demand. People who previously took the bus or ridesharing services have gone back to the safe isolation of their car. Of course, that's if they have a car, or live close enough to their work to ride a bike. For many, public transit is the only option. So how will urban transportation look after the pandemic?

Shifting consumer habits during the pandemic may change the future of retail in Canada

Retail experts say the industry could be changed for good with in-store experiences adapted to prevent virus transmission and consumer habits permanently shifted to favour e-commerce.

The future as fiction: how speculative novels teach us about the present

Five top fiction novelists offer their thoughts on what we can learn from speculative fiction

Join this video conference so you can read silently with others

Njeri Damali Sojourner Campbell has a YouTube channel and a Facebook group where she focuses on Afrofuturist fiction. But when the pandemic hit and so many of us were suddenly alone in our homes, she decided to start Quarantined Pages, a daily silent reading group.

COVID-19 has ushered in return of a more 'positive' internet culture, says digital expert

With all this time we’re spending online during social isolation, The Walrus’ digital director Angela Misri argues that we’re experiencing a sort of return to the golden age of the internet, when the web was open, collaborative and altruistic.

From access to Zoom: measuring internet health during the pandemic

The pandemic has underscored the importance of internet connectivity in an unprecedented way. Most of us are now using it as our primary means of communicating with friends, family, colleagues, even healthcare providers. Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, explains what this means for privacy and internet traffic generally.

How artists are turning to the internet in creative ways amid COVID-19 isolation

Artists and cultural institutions have been upended by the isolation measures of COVID-19, but they are also using their creative juices to find novel ways to make and show their work in a digital space — from online concerts to collaborative virtual museums. 

What wayfinding teaches us about history, memory and our brain

From our early ancestors leaving Africa to spread across the globe, to today's GPS directions, finding our way is an essential human skill. Our spatial sense is also crucial to our psychology, and even our ability to remember things. Science journalist Michael Bond explores the history and neuroscience of navigation in his new book, From Here to There.

Montreal AI lab develops 'privacy-first' contact tracing app to track COVID-19 cases

Canadian researchers are using Bluetooth technology to develop an app to trace, and even predict, the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. McGill law professor Richard Janda explains how the app would work.

This 3D printing company is solving Kenya's PPE shortage by producing face shields

A Nairobi-based 3D printing company Ultra Red Technologies is one of many businesses stepping up to produce personal protective equipment as Kenya faces a PPE shortage. Industrial resilience expert Mukesh Kumar explains the role local industry plays in addressing global supply chain disruptions.

'Idiocy of our current urban systems': Inequality, not high-density cities, to blame for COVID-19's spread

Urban planner Patrick Condon says inequalities in metropolitan areas, such as the kinds of jobs worked by less affluent people and their reliance on public transit, are the real issues when it comes to containing the spread of COVID-19.

How to stay in touch with our basic senses in isolation

Working and studying from home mean much more time spent in front of screens, which we counterbalance with hands-on activities. Dr. Christine Law offers tips for managing eye strain from extra screen time; and neuroscientist Victoria Abraira explains why touch is so important to us as social beings.

Online communication is a lifeline during pandemic, but lacks non-verbal cues: behavioural scientist

The way we communicate with people online versus in real life has always been very different in both positive and negative ways, but what does that mean for us now that nearly all of our socializing has become virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic?

4 ways we connected with each other before the internet

We explore the early moments in Western culture that hinted at our internet future.