Thibault Milan
Aug 9 · 7 min read

This content was sent on august, 8th via our Tech Watch Newsletter

Following our effort on the last edition, we’ll focus on how our #mentalhealth is influenced by technology and #socialmedia, with a very disturbing journalistic investigation from The Verge and the new law proposal in the US to prohibit dark pattern usage. Also, people in Germany planning to force Youtube to disclose their internal rules about content moderation using #GDPR. On the #opensource side, we’ll cover how Github is impacted by US embargo against several countries and we’ll give you a nice free online tool to create your own printable #mockup sheets.

This is Smile’s Innovation Watch.

Innovation •/ˌɪnəˈveɪʃən/

Artificial vocals chords are a thing

Researchers have developed a wearable device which detects the skin movement, as well as pulse or heartbeat, which are, this time, thinner than what’s already exist and can be stick to the neck like a temporary tattoo. The device measures 1.52 cm by 3.6cm and uses water to attach the film where it’s engraved to the muted people skin.

This startup will vaporize your trash

Tech4good is a conviction at Smile, especially at in the Innovation team. That’s why we’re investing time and resources to smart trash that let corporate restaurants measure their food waste in order to understand and correct the tendencies. But here’s the bigger next step. Vaporizing the trash by making everything melt and create carbon monoxide and hydrogen, but only as of the result of the reaction and not while it works (unlike incinerator). The gas can be used to create get fuel, plastic or fertilizer, and will help us to rely less on the new fossil fuel extraction to do so.

Privacy •/ˈpɹaɪ. və. si/

The social cost of mass content moderation on Facebook

They though working for Facebook will be a very rewarding way of living, making Facebook a better place, moderating content to protect minorities and help businesses to grow. But their hopes and dreams were crushed for the very first minute of work at this subcontractor moderation content facility. Imagine a call centre, but instead of calls, you have to watch people mutilating animals, the worst cruelty you can imagine against pets, disabled peoples and … newborn babies. Suffering from PTSD, being under Xanax and still having night terrors but not being able to talk to anyone because of your NDA. That’s life at the biggest moderation centre of Facebook. 30min lunch break, 9min of “wellbeing Time” a day. Not having the right to talk to your colleagues or remove your eyes from the content. Mostly videos. You have to watch entirely. And, most of the time, not even be able to remove from Facebook because of their own policies … The Verge published video and interview about people who decided to broke their NDA and speak up, for themselves, and for the others ex-colleagues.
Trigger Warning: violent act against people and animals, sexual harassment, PTSD.

Autoplay videos and endless scrolling banned in the US?

Did you hear about dark patterns? Those are manipulations techniques used by corporations to push you to do something or prevent you to do something else. Take for example the video feed on facebook mobile app: When the video you wanted to view is finished, another one is starting automatically right away. Then another one. And another one. Infinitely. And you’re trapped inside this effortless addictive content streaming without anything to do. Or you all have already seen a big, affordance button to click on and a smaller, without button look and feel a link to say “no I don’t want to give you consent to do whatever you want with my Personal information”… Well, that’s the kind of techniques that may be banned in the near future in the US.

Using GDPR to force Youtube explaining about their content rules

You may have heard that Youtube demonetize, dereference and change the description and thumbnail of videos that are too sensitive for their unspoken rules. Sex education video, LGBT+ content … are going through this every day, and we don’t even talk about all the content removed for the abusive copyright takedown request. Sadly for Youtube, content creators unionize, starting in Germany, and plan to use GDPR to get the answer they deserve about all the unspoken rules and why their content is taken down or demonetize.

Acquisition •/ˌakwɪˈzɪʃ (ə) n/

Doordash acquire Caviar, Square’s food ordering & delivery service

Doordash, the leading company in the US for food ordering (think Uber eats but with 80% of the US market as customers) just acquired a competitor called Caviar which was operating by Square, the leading company in a new way of doing business (the ones who invented the Square readers). Despite their bad reputation those last weeks, when they were caught stealing the tips you are giving to the people delivering your food, the company continue its inexorable growing, with more and more “training center” all across the US (places where you got a 15min “training” when you register as a delivery man). Meanwhile, Uber laid off ⅓ of their marketing team last Monday, make 400 unemployed new people on the market.

Apple buys Intel’s smartphone modem activity

That’s a secret for no ones that Apple is getting late on the 5G race. All the other competitors already jumped in the game, and their previous issues with Qualcomm didn’t help. Therefore, Intel wasn’t ready anyway to provide Apple with 5G chips, and the company was in a dead-end. Now, Apple announced they will release their first 5G modems in 3 years, meanwhile they will rely on Qualcomm since nobody seems to have the choice anyway due to their monopolistic position with the more competitive and efficient hardware they are selling at the high price with a lot of royalties to pay for the usage.

Openness • /ˈəʊ.pən/+/nəs/

Github cut the access to their services from Iran, Crimea and Syria due to US trade law

Thanks to P.O.T.U.S., users of Github in Iran, Crimea and Syria are now prohibited to use Github except for open-source public repository. The only way now for them is to make their repo or gist public then checkout them to push elsewhere, exposing the facto all their code to anyone who wants to duplicate them. Github apologizes through the voice of their CEO for the situation and explain that they had no choice but comply since those laws are applicable to US company, or any company having US customers. The reaction of the developers all around the world was strong (check out the link to see the most popular one) and all of that was started with this Medium Post.

Fun • /fʌn/

Design and print your own mockup papers

Ever feel a bit frustrated by finding a nice mockup template and want to use it but it’s only working for a specific case and not the one you want to explore now? Well, you can stop here right now, because we found a web app that let you customize your A4 sheet of paper with a multitude of screens, tablets, phones, smartwatches and even notes module, fully controllable on their look and feel, with a neat drag’n’drop interface. How cool is that?

Google Play Pass is in the testing phase

The answer from Google to Arcade from Apple (the subscription service that let people play all the game they want without having to buy the individual game) is showing from testers. Therefore, Play pass will not limit itself to games but will be covering a “curated catalogue” of more than 100 apps & games, including fitness trackers, premium music apps. Prices showed in the testing is $4,99 a month, with a 10 days trial.


That’s all folks!

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Smile Innovation

A series of articles about innovative technologies we try @ Smile

Thibault Milan

Written by

Innovation Evangelist @ SMILE . Love to share my knowledge & try new things. Product Designer & Design Thinker. Startuper (sometimes).

Smile Innovation

A series of articles about innovative technologies we try @ Smile

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