The 3D-printed ‘living’ tattoo that could enable next generation wearable sensors

MIT 3D printing cells living tattoo

The last couple of years have seen an acceleration in the use of 3D printing techniques, from the US launch of the first 3D printed prescription medicine to advances in producing human organs and prosthetic legs.

Techniques continue to be refined all the time, and this month MIT engineers marked another first, creating a ‘living tattoo’ from a new kind of ink that’s made from genetically programmed living cells. Read the rest of this entry »


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Digital music roundup: Alphabet funding for United Masters, sold and Pandora suffers

United Masters digital music

Alphabet backs digital data-powered record company United Masters, acquired by a Chinese media firm, Pandora’s suffering continues, Spotify buys a digital music production company and YouTube partners with Ticketmaster

Google’s parent company Alphabet made a $70m investment into United Masters last year. The news surfaced earlier this month as the firm emerged from stealth mode. Founded by former Interscope Records president Steve Stoute, United Artists aims to be a new kind of record company, one that combines music, marketing, data and technology to offer artists a direct-to-consumer relationship with their fans across digital services. Read the rest of this entry »

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Building trust to defeat fake news

Fake News Chicago Trump Tower Beau Rogers

Every day some 50,000 web pages come online, offering a smorgasbord of information to consume, but when it comes to news do people really want to know what’s behind the stories they read online?

The Trust Project is hoping they do and recently launched digital standards to show things like who wrote a story, whether it’s news or opinion and who owns the site publishing it.

The Project, a consortia that includes the likes of The Economist, The Washington Post and 75 other news organisations, as well as online giants like Google and Facebook, hope it will raise the profile of quality journalism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Looking into our online lives with The Glass Room

The Glass Room Mozilla Tactical Technology Collective

What is personal data in an age where data is everything but personal?

That’s the question posed by The Glass Room, a pop-up interactive exhibition of artists, activists and technologists on London’s Charing Cross Road that runs until Sunday.

Put on by Berlin-based non-profit Tactical Tech and Mozilla, the non-for-profit behind the Firefox web browser, it aims to reveal some of the all-too-easily overlooked dynamics of living in a digital age. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mapping social media’s ‘conversational networks’, the Conversation Prism gets an update

Conversation Prism social media map Brian Solis JESS3

The central role of social media in the consumption and spread of news – not to mention shaping the news agenda itself – is well established.

According to a recent Reuters report more than half (54%) of internet users said they use social media as a news source every week. Read the rest of this entry »

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Steps towards fitness with the NHS Active 10 app


Walk by Bruce Aldridge @ Flickr


Most of the time mobile fitness apps offer to log and track a dizzying array of measurements.

My Fitbit app, for example, can track my exercise, the water I drink, my weight, how I’ve slept and what I’ve eaten, though I think it stops short of requesting my inside leg measurement.

So it was refreshing to see the launch last week of a user-friendly fitness app aimed at those in middle age who would benefit from regularly taking a brisk* 10 minute walk. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are they getting their digital five a day?

Social media kids children digital 5 a day

Pic: Suspense by Hernán Piñera @ Flickr

As I write this my younger son is watching yet another Minecraft video, while his older brother updates his Snapchat story – neither of which are uncommon, given that it’s the school holidays.

Getting children’s on- and off-line balance right is an ever-present slog, as I’m sure it is for many, many parents, so the recently-released government guidelines on the time kids spend online should be welcome.

Certainly UK children’s commissioner Anne Longfield’s attacks earlier this month on internet firms’ methods for hooking children into ever-greater use of their sites and apps were timely. Read the rest of this entry »

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