How Technology Has Caused Us to Procrastinate More Than Ever

The technology industry is focused on making our lives better through convenience and automation. Why else would there be an endlessly line of created products with the goal of increasing efficiency and user ease? Other products are ridiculously expensive when they’re launched but their prices hugely dip when a better version gets released yet people still clamor to buy such products even if they know the price difference later on. Technology has indeed become one of us.

Due to technological advancement, we all end up procrastinating more than ever because tasks and activities that we used to do manually are now being automated or at least done in a shorter amount of time with less effort. Even though part of the goal of technology advancement is to give us more time in order to allow us to do more during the day, some of us are getting the wrong notion of it. They end up wasting time instead of taking advantage of it. Technology’s over-stimulation has led us to underutilize our cognitive abilities.

Technological advancement is a gift to humanity but if we tend to use it the wrong way then it may take a toll on our lives in a negative way as well. This is why we should be weary about these interactions. We shouldn’t let technology dominate our lives but rather see them as tools that can make our lives more convenient. If we have activities and tasks that require immediate attention, then we should recognize that and not be distracted by any form of technological interventions.Focus on the task at hand by turning off notifications, put the mobile phone on silent mode or shut off gadgets if necessary.

U.S. to help fund technology to eliminate Zika in blood supply

The U.S. government said on Monday it has agreed to help fund two pathogen reduction technologies to help reduce the risk of Zika virus and other infections from being transmitted through the blood supply.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the funding will flow through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) unit, which will provide initial funding of $30.8 million to Cerus Corp and $17.5 million to the U.S. division of Japan's Terumo Corp.

Cerus's Intercept technology has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce pathogens in platelets and plasma. It is conducting a trial to show it can also reduce pathogens in red blood cells.

BARDA's agreement with Cerus includes $10.7 million to help evaluate the safety of the blood system in Puerto Rico, which is hard hit by the current Zika epidemic. The initial three-year contract could be extended for up to five years and include an additional $149 million to cover more studies, manufacturing and new products, including additional testing in regions where Zika is prevalent.

Pinterest Buys Rights to Fleksy App Development Team

The company behind the popular Pinterest image-sharing Web site is pinning its own interest on the emerging world of predictive keyboards. Pinterest Inc. announced this week that it has bought portions of the company behind the smart keyboard app Fleksy. Under the terms of the deal, about half of Fleksy’s staff will join Pinterest, including founder and CEO Kosta Eleftheriou. The intellectual property underlying the technology behind the Fleksy keyboard was not part of the transaction. No other details about the transaction were released.

"It’s a bit of nostalgic timing as this month marks four years since Fleksy first launched in the iOS store as a standalone app for our wonderful community of blind users -- at a time when 3rd party keyboards were not yet supported on the platform," Fleksy wrote on its blog.

Lookalike Targeting

Pinterest didn't specifically say what kind of potential applications it might have in mind for the Fleksy team, but it did indicate that the Fleksy team might help it build its visual search engine via Fleksy's expertise in mobile engineering.

"Pinterest is intensely focused on refining the mobile experiences that make it possible to flow effortlessly through our catalog of ideas -- on any device, any place in the world," stated Scott Goodson, Pinterest’s head of core experience. "The Fleksy team is made up of truly noteworthy engineers and world experts in their areas. These technical artists have a history of developing architecturally innovative, highly optimized software."

Learning to Love Virtual Reality

At Nvidia's GTC, GPU Technology Conference last week, I saw a variety of new technologies showcased. From deep learning systems -- computers that arguably are smarter than we are -- to self-driving cars that can drive better than we can, the technological advances on display made me feel just a tad inadequate. 

One way to get over my sudden concern over obsolescence was to check out the virtual reality showcase. With the realization of all the free time I'm likely to get, the prospect of computers doing what I used to do suddenly didn't look so bad.

This year is the true birth year of consumer VR, and while I worry that the technology is not yet ready for consumers, I have to admit I want a VR headset.

I'll walk you through the current state of VR and close with my product of the week: a new hands-free smartphone headset to rule them all from Plantronics.

VR for Business

I have some doubts about consumer VR at the moment, largely because the state of the hardware, which I'll get to in a minute. That said, I have no doubts about VR for business. 

One of the showcases at the Nvidia event was an Audi implementation of a virtual showroom experience. It was pretty impressive. The prospective buyer puts on a headset, selects the desired car and options, and then can walk around and view a fully photorealistic image of it.

Fans set to benefit from revolutionary new mobile apps

Fans of Football League clubs will have the opportunity to enjoy new club-branded official mobile applications following the signing of a ground-breaking seven-year agreement between The Football League and intechnologyWiFi. 

The new apps will provide fans of participating clubs with a free digital hub featuring real-time content on their club, including the latest news, social media content, commentary, highlights and statistics, as well as betting – delivered in association with the League’s title sponsor, Sky Bet.

Fans will be able to access and use the new mobile apps seamlessly, 365 days a year – even inside busy stadiums on matchdays, thanks to the state-of-the-art, high-capacity stadium WiFi networks that intechnologyWiFi will deliver as part of the deal. Rather than facilitating open access to the internet, the combination of the stadium WiFi network and mobile application is designed to deliver the complete digital matchday experience to supporters.

Both the development and delivery of the new mobile apps and the installation and management of the stadium WiFi networks will be delivered by intechnologyWiFi at no cost to The Football League, its clubs or their fans.  Instead, intechnologyWiFi will facilitate a host of new revenue generation opportunities to clubs.


Apple’s Safari Technology Preview is a stable test platform for users and devs

Over the last two or three years, Apple has put an increasingly large amount of its software development out in the open. Early betas of OS X and iOS updates, once locked behind a developer paywall and a bunch of nondisclosure agreements, are now released for the public to download and try out. Swift, Apple's new programming language, is now open source. And today, the company is releasing the first of many Safari Technology Preview builds, a new development snapshot of the browser designed to show off more features while offering more reliability and stability than the nightly WebKit browser builds.