WRITING LINKS

INVERSE

The best sci-fi thriller on HBO Max reveals a brutal truth about life on Mars
Total Recall forces us to consider the harsh realities of life on Mars — and how those in power might one day control the planet’s precious resources. Is the movie a vision of humanity’s future life on Mars? Let’s take a closer look.

Scientists rank the 8 best movie time machines of all time
We all know there’s no such thing as a time machine, but that’s never stopped Hollywood from building them. I quizzed physicists and engineers about their favourite movie and TV time machines.

Superhero cosplay makes you a better person for one science-backed reason
Research suggests we’re hardwired to seek out tales of heroic adventures. Studies show just thinking about these characters can influence how we feel and act.

From cheating to pregnancy reveals, wearables know what you’re doing intimately
Remember when wearables could only track your 10,000 steps goal and little else? Now there’s an unintended consequence of wearable devices that could prove to be the most interesting—their effect on relationships.

Read more from me on Inverse

WIRED

These earplugs can save you from sound sensitivity
Earplugs aimed at people with auditory sensitivities claim to ‘take the edge off noise’. But what does that mean? And do they really work?

What to do when your health and fitness goals turn against you
It’s time to ask yourself tough questions about why, and how, you use tracking tech to monitor your health and fitness.

How to avoid phubbing your friends and family in lockdown
It’s time to refresh our screen time versus people time protocols. And no, that doesn’t mean a ban on social media or games

The ISS is home to potentially harmful bacteria
Scientists from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are using DNA sequencing to detect potentially dangerous microorganisms hitching a ride on the ISS.

Read more from me on Wired

NEW SCIENTIST

Why we urgently need a mission to Neptune
To understand the secrets of the most common type of planet in our galaxy, we need to explore ice giants Neptune and Uranus. But we must act now, says planetary scientist Leigh Fletcher.

How to avoid using your devices too much during the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has had us glued to our screens, but there are easy ways to reach a better balance.

Horror VR game can ramp up the fear factor if you’re not scared
A new virtual reality horror game uses the player’s heart rate to gauge how scared they feel, and if they’re not scared enough, it intensifies the horror.

Virtual reality lets doctors guide you through your own guts
A trip of a lifetime. Boston Children’s Hospital are testing virtual reality that can give people a 3D tour of their own digestive tract.

Read more from me on New Scientist

METRO UK

Emotional contagion: What you need to know about catching feelings online
Do you ever wake up feeling hopeful and positive, reach for your phone, check Twitter (or Instagram or Facebook) and next thing you know you’re filled with dread?

Will we ever have flying cars?
When Blade Runner came out in 1982 it was heralded for its dizzying vision of a future filled with humanoid robots and flying cars—but it’s now in the past.

If space is nothing, how do we know it’s expanding and how big can the Universe get?
We say the Universe is at least 91 billion light-years across because that’s all we know. But how big is the whole universe? That’s anyone’s guess.

Will you ever be able to upload your brain to a computer?
Our physical bodies are always likely to have an expiration date. But what if our brains could live on forever without our bodies?

Read more from me on Metro UK

TECHRADAR

Sustainable sound: how headphones, speakers and turntables are going green
The (small) steps audio tech companies are taking to become environmentally sound—and the ways we can change our own habits when we lust after a new shiny tech device.

Do fitness trackers have an impact on eating disorders?
We know a preoccupation with numbers can be detrimental to our mental health. So let’s take a closer look at whether there’s a link between health-focused tech and disordered eating.

Star spangled glamor: the mission to make space travel cooler than ever before
There’s a trade-off in sci-fi between what’s scientifically accurate and what’s dramatically satisfying. But movies inspire people to look at the night sky and wonder about our destiny.

Why do we mourn our space robots?
Why does it feel sad to bid farewell to rovers, diggers and spacecraft when they inevitably go quiet? I explore our surprising feelings for space-faring machines.

Read more from me on TechRadar

THE COMPANION—THE SCIENCE OF STAR TREK 

The science of Voyager’s ‘Threshold’ (No, Janeway can’t turn into a newt)
Say “Threshold” to any Trek fan, and they’ll sigh so loud you could hear it from the outer edges of the Alpha Quadrant. But what do biologists think about the concept of rapid evolution?

Just like a Trill: the science of symbionts
The Trill’s symbiont-host relationship isn’t as typical in sci-fi as the chest-bursting, brain-controlling variety. But science shows us many types in the real world—some that are very close to home.

The science behind Discovery’s mycelial network
Trek’s creators often take a seed of science fact and develop it into science-fiction. But to what extent is Discovery’s network based on mycelial networks here on Earth?

Why have audiences gone mad for the multiverse?
What’s happened to turn a fringe scientific theory into comfy box office? The storytelling potential has always been there, but is it that audiences are now more science-savvy? 

Read more from me on The Companion

ONEZERO

A VR view from space could change the world
Astronauts describe the sight of Earth from orbit — the overview effect — as life-altering. Can we recreate this experience on the ground?

Eyes are the window to a robot’s soul
we pay attention to all kinds of eyes — even when they’re not “real.” Which means how a robot’s eyes are developed could provide a shortcut around the uncanny valley.

Keeping virtual reality environments harassment-free
In the new world of virtual reality and the metaverse, how do we ensure that virtual touch doesn’t violate people in VR spaces?

The reality is virtual, but the motion sickness is real
VR experiences make some people — especially women — feel nauseous and ill. Here’s how the industry is trying to fix that.

Read more from me on OneZero

WAREABLE

Facebook’s smartglasses and AR tech explained: From Project Aria to Ray-Ban Stories
Facebook is known for its social network, but it’s pumping huge money into AR and VR devices. The company is the owner of Oculus, but it’s been open about its interest in augmented reality glasses – one of the great untapped wearables.

AR smartglasses in 2021: the devices, apps and new tech coming
Will smartglasses with mini-computers onboard ever be so light, unobtrusive and wearable that we’d keep them on 24/7? And, importantly, would we want a face filled with apps anyway?

Apple’s AR glasses: the patents, hires and acquisitions behind the rumors
There have been countless rumours, patent applications and leaks that point to Apple’s VR and AR headset plans. But only recently does it seem like these products aren’t just a sci-fi pipe dream but could soon become a reality.

Beyond sci-fi: ​Building the bionic body
Prosthetic body parts have been around in many shapes and forms for thousands of years. But up until just a few decades ago, they were often uncomfortable, provided little to no control for the user and didn’t look all that great either.

Read more from me on Wareable

THE GUARDIAN / OBSERVER

Ten ways to take control of your smartphone
Instead of setting well-intentioned but ultimately unsustainable resolutions or signing up for some kind of extreme “digital detox”, think about changing the settings on some of your apps to make them less of a time sink.

‘No one else has this end-to-end offering’: the new system unlocking the true potential of hybrid working
Now, in this post-pandemic age, it’s time for IT managers to take the lead once again – securing the technology that will equip their organisations with the tools they need to continue to collaborate and innovate in our new hybrid world.

‘I was always told I was unusual’: why so few women design video games
There’s a stereotype that women don’t play video games, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. If so many women are playing games, why are so few making them?

How do I swap Apple for Android? Your tech questions answered
Our tech expert Becca Caddy answers your questions about passwords, MS Office and future-proof digital cameras.

MISC

MIT TECH REVIEW
How to have a better relationship with your tech
What should we do in the months ahead to make sure our relationship with tech stays as healthy and constructive as possible at a time when we’re all so reliant on it?

INSIDER
How TikTok helped me get over my crippling fear of spiders
Experts warn there can be pitfalls to turning to TikTok for help with mental health conditions, but they also say that when done right, it can be hugely beneficial for people like me.

GRAZIA
Should you feel guilty about your kids’ screen time?
The last thing both parents and kids need right now is strict rules and unrealistic expectations – we’re all doing our best to make it through a pandemic, remember. So, instead, let’s aim for a bit more balance.

STYLIST
Screen exhaustion: 4 proven ways to deal with burnout from staring at a screen
It’s the combination of always-on devices with always-on expectations of work that can create the perfect conditions for elevated stress levels – this applies whether you’re working in an office or at your kitchen table.

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