The role of texting (and talking) in the future of UI

Kyle Vanhemert, for Wired: Last December, in a blog post on Chinese app trends, designer and engineer Dan Grover announced the emergence of “chat as a universal UI.” Grover had moved from San Francisco to Guangzhou to work as a product manager for popular messaging app WeChat and noted the advent of “official accounts” for brands…

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We don’t look the way we think we look

Medical Xpress, from the British Journal of Psychology: Results of the study show that the unfamiliar participants chose a different set of ‘good likeness’ images compared to those that people had selected of themselves. Surprisingly, the images selected by strangers also led to better performance on the online face matching test. The size of the advantage…

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“Passive frame theory” paints consciousness as reflexive interpreter

San Francisco State University: Because the human mind experiences its own consciousness as sifting through urges, thoughts, feelings and physical actions, people understand their consciousness to be in control of these myriad impulses. But in reality, Morsella argues, consciousness does the same simple task over and over, giving the impression that it is doing more…

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Experiment confirms future measurement at quantum level affects the past

Australian National University: Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide? Common sense says the object is either wave-like…

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LEGO Kit Instructions vs. Creativity

Garth Sundem, for GeekDad: Basically, is the shift toward kit- rather than free-building creating a generation of sheep-brained automatons, suited only to Laverne-and-Shirley-like assembly line work rather than to the creation of new and novel ideas? (Not to be, you know, alarmist or anything…) This was the question Page Moreau of the Wisconsin School of Business and Marit Gundersen Engeset of…

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Voices in our heads shaped by our culture

Clifton B. Parker, for Stanford Report: The striking difference was that while many of the African and Indian subjects registered predominantly positive experiences with their voices, not one American did. Rather, the U.S. subjects were more likely to report experiences as violent and hateful – and evidence of a sick condition. The Americans experienced voices as…

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Elon Musk’s satellite swarm to provide global internet service?

Cecilia Kang and Christian Davenport, for The Washington post: Elon Musk’s space company has asked the federal government for permission to begin testing on an ambitious project to beam Internet service from space, a significant step forward for an initiative that could create another major competitor to Comcast, AT&T and other telecom companies. The plan…

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Why Music Makes Our Brain Sing

Robert J. Zatorre and Valorie N. Salimpoor, for the New York Times: More than a decade ago, our research team used brain imaging to show that music that people described as highly emotional engaged the reward system deep in their brains — activating subcortical nuclei known to be important in reward, motivation and emotion. Subsequently we found that listening…

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Selective amnesia: routinely forgetting familiar things

Alison Beard interviews UCLA professor Alan Castel for Harvard business Review: It would be overwhelming and maladaptive to mentally record everything we see. So subconsciously we let some things fall away. The most famous experiment on this topic showed that few people can correctly recall the placement of the features on a penny—which way Lincoln is…

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Our personalities determine how easy it is to hold eye contact

Suomen Akatemia, at the Academy of Finland: Previous research has suggested that eye contact triggers patterns of brain activity associated with approach motivation, whereas seeing another person with his or her gaze averted triggers brain activity associated with avoidance motivation. This indicates that another person’s attention is something important and desirable. However, many people find…

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What 3D takes away from a movie

Daniel Engber, for The New Yorker: I liked the Herzog movie, as well as Godard’s, which made a fetish of its glitchy, sloppy stereography. But I worry that films like these reveal an overarching and myopic ideology, in which 3-D serves as anti-art, or as a tool for the puncturing of spectacle. That mixes up 3-D…

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When the Color We See Isn’t the Color We Remember

John Hopkins University news release: In a new paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, researchers led by cognitive psychologist Jonathan Flombaum dispute standard assumptions about memory, demonstrating for the first time that people’s memories for colors are biased in favor of “best” versions of basic colors over colors they actually saw. For example, there’s azure, there’s…

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Slower thinking during the heat death of the universe

Paul Halpern, on Medium, quoting Freeman Dyson: It is impossible to calculate in detail the long-range future of the universe without including the effects of life and intelligence. It is impossible to calculate the capabilities of life and intelligence without touching, at least peripherally, philosophical questions. If we are to examine how intelligent life may…

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