Ix Digest

Weekly tech dose and other fascinating insights curated by Ionixx Technologies

Top Picks

  • Delivery Technology Is Keeping Chinese Cities Afloat Through Coronavirus | HBR.org

    Amazon and airport vendor OTG announced on Wednesday that Amazon’s technology would be installed in several CIBO Express stores at Newark Liberty and LaGuardia airports. This news comes two days after Amazon announced that it had begun selling its so-called “just walk out” technology — which combines ceiling cameras, computer vision, and weight sensors — to other retailers, in a move that could someday impact the millions of Americans who hold cashier jobs today.

  • What Does A Foldable Web Actually Mean? | Smashing Magazine

    Foldable devices have brought with them talk of a ‘foldable web,’ and the idea that long-standing web conventions may be on the verge of a serious shakeup. Is it all hype, or is it time to get flexible?

  • Welcome to Botnet, Where Everyone’s an Influencer | Wired Tech

    Ever wondered what it's like to be a celebrity on the internet? You can find out for yourself with Botnet—a social media platform filled with bots ready to shower you in adoration. Simply post a selfie or an update on your life, and watch the likes and comments roll in. The idea is to simulate mega-fame on the internet, except without the trolls—if you want to be abused, you'll have to pay 99 cents.

  • Seven UX/UI Design Trends For Mobile Apps To Look Out For In 2020 | Forbes

    With or without 5G, we are going to see apps that are lighter by design and more flexible. Elements that are more data-intensive, such as immersive imagery, can be stored on a server, while the lighter elements can be stored locally on a phone or other device. Going into 2020, the changes with app design will be both philosophical and technological. You'll need to plan accordingly so your business can take advantage of the changing tide.

  • Still testing like its 1999? | SD Times

    Over the last 20 years, we have seen massive changes to how we design, develop, and deploy applications; from monolithic applications to microservices, desktop applications and static web applications to highly interactive web and mobile applications. The changes happened incrementally but the cumulative impact has been dramatic.

  • Is Neumorphism really 2020's hottest design trend? | Creative Bloq

    Everybody's talking about Neumorphism, a hot new design trend that's appeared out of nowhere over the past couple of months – but is it really all that? Designers love a good trend, and there's much about Neumorphism that suggests this could be a big one (people are already talking about it as a potential look for iOS 14) rather than an exercise in experimental design.

  • Blockchain for the Environment: It Is Real and It Is Here | Coin Telegraph

    Every week sears a new image of climate change into our collective consciousness. A few decades ago, we heard about ozone holes and ice melting at slightly higher rates than anticipated. Today, the reminders of climate change are more visceral and immediate: California’s hills and forests burn, Venice’s city council chamber floods, and Iceland holds a funeral for a glacier.

  • Can Blockchain Survive Mass Adoption? Future Perils Disclosed | Coin Telegraph

    Prediction can be a bit of a gamble. And when cryptocurrency and blockchain are involved, it wouldn’t be surprising to see people shying away from scrying experiments of any sort. Blockchain gets a bad rep because of its relation to Bitcoin (BTC), the cryptocurrency that many love to hate due to its apparently volatile value.

  • What’s next for serverless architecture? | InfoWorld

    Serverless services are everywhere. The driving force behind an evolution towards a new way of programming, serverless offerings come in all forms and shapes including application hosting platforms, serverless databases, CDNs, security offerings, etc. Automatic distribution of logic and data to the edge will bring minimal latency to end users, without provisioning, scaling, or configuration worries for developers.

  • The Scroll subscription service is an ingenious web technology hack | The Verge

    Scroll, a new $5 per month subscription service that gives you a bunch of websites without ads. I kept on experiencing successive waves of small revelations when I thought about it. I’ll disclose now that Vox Media (and therefore The Verge) are partners, but I had no idea this service existed until it was announced yesterday.

  • The CIA’s Infamous, Unsolved Cryptographic Puzzle Gets a ‘Final Clue’ | Vice.com

    Almost exactly 30 years ago, the artist and sculptor Jim Sanborn was devising an encrypted code for his sculpture complex at the new CIA headquarters. The centerpiece of the complex, called Kryptos, is an eight-foot-tall sculpture of a copper scroll, with four paragraphs of letters cut from the metal. At first glance, the letters seem to be gibberish. But cryptologists, including NSA experts and the American scientist James Gillogly, gradually decrypted the first three paragraphs of the text. But the full solution has eluded cryptographers, and the 74-year-old Sanborn has just released a new clue in order to help hobbyists solve it.

  • A brief history of UX design and its evolution | The Next Web

    When you think about user experience design it’s a term we instantly associate with apps and websites. And especially when considering a typical job description of a UX designer, it can trick you into thinking that it’s a modern concept. The term was first coined in 1993 by the cognitive psychologist and designer Don Norman when he worked at Apple Computer — but the UX field is older than the term.

  • Google’s ads just look like search results now | The Verge

    Last week, Google began rolling out a new look for its search results on desktop, which blurs the line between organic search results and the ads that sit above them. In what appears to be something of a purposeful dark pattern, the only thing differentiating ads and search results is a small black-and-white “Ad” icon next to the former. It’s been formatted to resemble the new favicons that now appear next to the search results you care about. Early data collected by Digiday suggests that the changes may already be causing people to click on more ads.

  • 2030: from technology optimism to technology realism | WEForum.org

    Today’s technological revolution is a time of enormous promise, but also new challenges. As we enter the 2020s it is clear that we are far from unlocking the potential of technology for our toughest challenges. We are entering a new era where powerful Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are being infused at exponential speed into the world around us. As organizations and countries race to harness these new technologies to spur growth and competitiveness, we stand at a critical juncture to put these technologies to work in a responsible way for people and the planet.

  • Everything We Know About the Jeff Bezos Phone Hack | Wired

    In May of 2018, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos received an unexpected text on WhatsApp from Saudi Arabian leader Mohammed bin Salman: a video file that reportedly extolled Saudi Arabia’s economy. But what Bezos didn't know was that the video file was loaded with malware. According to the UN’s findings, the Saudi regime began exfiltrating large amounts of data from the phone within hours of sending the tainted MP4 video file. The attack raises questions about others who communicate with the crown prince—like President Donald Trump, who is known for using personal, consumer-grade smartphones.

  • The 3 biggest design trends at CES 2020 | Fast Company

    Every January, the annual Consumer Electronics Show snaps the tech press out of its holiday stupor to fly to Las Vegas and walk through aisle after aisle of new televisions, robots, and plain old weird gadgets that are all billed as the next big thing. Here’s what happened at the biggest product show of the year that you actually need to know about.

  • The next decade of design will be about fixing the last century of excess | Fast Company

    The 1980s have gone down in history as the decade of excess (as if the gas-guzzling V8 cars of the 1970s or the rise of fast fashion in the 1990s never happened). But the 2010s have put it all to shame. This was the decade where convenience crushed everything else. Prime two-day shipping became not a luxury, but a way of life—that would give way to one-day shipping, then same-day shipping.

  • Will 2020 be the year blockchain overcomes its hype? | World Economic Forum

    Another year has rolled on by, and while many things in the blockchain space have changed, a lot remains the same. 2019 saw a continued cooling of indiscriminate funding and a renewed focus on quality over hype. At the World Economic Forum, while they ensure that there will be greater blockchain adoption, which may deem inevitable, occurring in ways that support inclusion and avoid replicating the consolidation of power that currently exists, particularly in the financial system.

  • These design trends ruled the 2010s. It’s time to let them go | Fast Company

    Banks, other tech companies, and national governments—most notably, China’s—are readying digital currency pilots of their own; Facebook’s Libra stumbles might ease the path for those that come later, or at least force regulators to clarify what they’ll allow. Libra itself, meanwhile, promises to course-correct based on the (often scorching) feedback it has received. How will Libra, or any new currency, satisfy global regulators? What will it look like in its final form? Will Libra be the first globally viable, price-stable e‑cash? Or will someone else beat the association to it? Fortune explores these questions and canvasses the financial and digital worlds for this account.

  • Apple Has Secret Team Working on Satellites to Beam Data to Devices | Bloomberg

    Apple Inc. has a secret team working on satellite technology that the iPhone maker could use to beam internet services directly to devices, bypassing wireless networks, according to people familiar with the work. The Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker has about a dozen engineers from the aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries working on the project with the goal of deploying their results within five years, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal company efforts.

  • Why Facebook’s Libra Hangs in Limbo—and What’s Next in the Digital Currency Race | Fortune

    Banks, other tech companies, and national governments—most notably, China’s—are readying digital currency pilots of their own; Facebook’s Libra stumbles might ease the path for those that come later, or at least force regulators to clarify what they’ll allow. Libra itself, meanwhile, promises to course-correct based on the (often scorching) feedback it has received. How will Libra, or any new currency, satisfy global regulators? What will it look like in its final form? Will Libra be the first globally viable, price-stable e‑cash? Or will someone else beat the association to it? Fortune explores these questions and canvasses the financial and digital worlds for this account.

  • What Happens After Prisoners Learn to Code? | The Atlantic

    A very 2019 fairytale - Slack, one of Silicon Valley’s more diverse companies, has hired three formerly incarcerated coders.

  • State of the Art Industry - Results from Design Census 2019 | Design Census

    Curious about your fellow designers? Read up on the results of the 2019 state-of-the-industry Design Census, made in collaboration with AIGA Eye on Design. Understanding the state of design and the people who make it. Explore the results of this year’s survey, available as raw data and data visualizations by visiting the link.

  • Jack Dorsey Wants to Help You Create Your Own Twitter | WIRED

    Twitter has formed a new engineering team dedicated to building a new decentralized social media system. The CEO tweeted that he's hiring a team to develop open source standards for decentralized social networks. His hope: It will spawn better ways to combat hate and harassment.

  • How To Win With A Design Focused Strategy | CNET

    As described in my earlier article on What It Takes To Accelerate Through A Strategic Inflection Point, if there is a change in your situation or your ambitions, you need to jump-shift your strategy, organization and operations altogether, all at the same time. There are four primary areas of strategic focus: design, produce, deliver, and service. The choice of which of those areas on which to focus dictates your organizational and operational choices.

  • Why it’s time to start talking about blockchain ethics | MIT Technolgy Review

    If blockchain technology can be reasonably expected to make a significant difference in society, then it deserves its own field of ethics, just like biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and nuclear technology, argues Rhys Lindmark, head of community and long-term societal impact at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

  • The Environmental Benefits of Digital Design | MIT Sloan Review

    Digital advances in product design are creating new opportunities to boost both environmental sustainability and profit margins. By making product development more design- and information-intensive, companies are creating a new generation of digitally enhanced offerings that are reducing material use, lowering energy demands, and increasing revenues.

  • From AirPower to Zune, a decade of Tech in review | CNET

    The Apple iPad Mini, Mac Mini, MacBook Air, Mac Pro and iPod were on our endangered list for years before Apple surprised us with upgrades to all. On the other hand, the company's AirPort router line and Time Capsule backup drive also were on a long death watch until they finally landed on Apple's vintage and obsolete product list this year.

  • Design may be the next entrepreneurial gold rush | TechCrunch

    Ten years ago, the vast majority of designers were working in Adobe Photoshop, a powerful tool with fine-tuned controls for almost every kind of image manipulation one could imagine. But it was a tool built for an analog world focused on photos, flyers and print magazines; there were no collaborative features, and much more importantly for designers, there were no other options. Since then, a handful of major players have stepped up to dominate the market alongside the behemoth, including InVision, Sketch, Figma and Canva.

  • AI for software development is already here | AI News

    Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. The past seven days were rather painful for Bitcoin (BTC), with the leading cryptocurrency tumbling by some 4% according to Coin360. Altcoins have posted similar losses. As of the time of writing this, BTC is trading for $8,500, seemingly poised to break down further as bulls fail to step in.

  • The most important cloud advances of the decade | Tech Republic

    Cloud computing has been perhaps the most transformative technology in the past several years and has changed the nature of how organizations work. Although cloud took root before 2010, the technology gained serious momentum in the 2010s, as evidenced by the number of offerings and companies that started moving some workloads off-premises— followed by most or all of their businesses.

  • Crypto Tidbits: RBC May Embrace Bitcoin, China Bashes Cryptocurrency, Ethereum DeFi Booming | News BTC

    Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. The past seven days were rather painful for Bitcoin (BTC), with the leading cryptocurrency tumbling by some 4% according to Coin360. Altcoins have posted similar losses. As of the time of writing this, BTC is trading for $8,500, seemingly poised to break down further as bulls fail to step in.

  • Why Millennials Trust Cryptocurrency More Than The Stock Market | Finsmes.com

    Millennials are the best hunters the world has ever seen. Do you realize how many entire industries they’ve been killing? Business Insider even wrote a piece where the headline said Millennials are killing “countless” industries — and then went on to list 19 of them. A few of the biggest are Real Estate, department stores, and the billion-dollar cereal industry. Well, it may be time to add another industry to the list: the stock market. Yes, millennials, may be gearing up to kill Wall Street. But why? And how? The article goes through a list of 5 reasons Wall Street may soon become Broke Street — and how cryptocurrencies may be the reason.

  • Q&A: Dark Design — the good, the bad and the very attractive | Digital Journal

    Dark pattern design is becoming more common, influencing the user experience promoted by many companies. Bhav Chohan explains the good and bad points about this approach, plus some notorious examples of UX. “Dark pattern design” is the practice of using software design to influence the behavior of users. The practice is becoming so large that the U.S. Senate is planning to pass a bill to control its use, which can lead to addiction in some extreme cases.

  • We Teach A.I. Systems Everything, Including Our Biases | New York Times

    Researchers say computer systems are learning from lots and lots of digitized books and news articles that could bake old attitudes into new technology. Last fall, Google unveiled a breakthrough artificial intelligence technology called BERT that changed the way scientists build systems that learn how people write and talk. But BERT, which is now being deployed in services like Google’s internet search engine, has a problem: It could be picking up on biases in the way a child mimics the bad behavior of his parents.

  • How Progressive Apps are changing businesses | Business.com

    Technology progresses quickly, and now there is a new way to engage with your website visitors in a more effective and engaging way, which is through the use of progressive web apps. First announced by Google four years ago, the format has already been adopted by many big brands, including Twitter, Forbes, and Housing.com. However, thanks to the maturity of the tech required for their creation, PWAs are now becoming accessible to all, including small businesses – even those who could not have afforded to have their own app developed from scratch, which is a big part of their appeal.