Spark 443

How smart home security could have real impacts on privacy, racial profiling. Empowering trans people with technical and digital skills. The evolution of the syntheszier. The cognitive cost of communications bloat.
(Adam Killick/CBC)

Google and Amazon are both going big into home security. Why?

Recently, Amazon has pushed hard into the home security market. They bought the Ring Smart Doorbell, with its companion app that encourages neighbours to share crime and security concerns. Google, too, is banking on its smart doorbell. Stacey Higginbotham is a popular journalist and podcaster specializing in the Internet of Things. She explains why home security is a Trojan Horse for the smart home, and what some of the privacy and transparency issues are.


Smart home surveillance could have real impacts on privacy, racial profiling

Amazon and Google both have smart doorbells on the market that promise to give you remote notification and audio/video verification of who is on your property. It's just one example of the rise of consumer level surveillance tech, bringing together facial recognition, police involvement, citizen reporting, and the smart home. Chris Gilliard, who specializes in the negative consequences of technology on People of Colour has concerns about smart security.


There are way too many apps for that

Thanks to the myriad messaging apps and social media platforms we now have, we're in an era of channel overload. How do all these ways of communicating with one another affect our stress levels and concentration? Sophie Leroy is an assistant professor at the Bothell School of Business at the University of Washington, where she focuses on how various technologies affect our attention. 


Synth synth evolution

Most acoustic musical instruments, like the guitar or the violin, haven't changed in over 200 years. But electronic instruments, continue to be upgraded, even though some, like vintage 70s synthesizer the Mini Moog, are a favourite of musicians. Synth enthusiast (and CBC's Digital Art Director) Ben Shannon travels to Bristol, UK to talk to synth luminaries about when (and if) synthesizers will stop evolving.


'Pose' star works to amplify trans voices in tech 

Angelica Ross is an actress and trans activist who has seen the power of tech skills to help marginalized people find good work. She founded TransTech Social Enterprises to help empower trans people with technical and digital skills.