Tuesday News: Wearable technologies, Readgeek book recommender, audiobook albums, and growable books
Some physicians, academics and ethicists criticize the utility of tracking as prime evidence of the narcissism of the technological age — and one that raises serious questions about the accuracy and privacy of the health data collected, who owns it and how it should be used. There are also worries about the implications of the proliferation of devices for broader surveillance by the government, such as what happened with cellphone providers and the National Security Agency.
Critics point to the brouhaha in 2011, when some owners of Fitbit exercise sensors noticed that their sexual activity — including information about the duration of an episode and whether it was “passive, light effort” or “active and vigorous” — was being publicly shared by default.
They worry that wearables will be used as “black boxes” for a person’s body in legal matters. Three years ago, after a San Francisco cyclist struck and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian, prosecutors obtained his data from Strava, a GPS-enabled fitness tracker, to show he had been speeding and blew through several stop signs before the accident. More recently, a Calgary law firm is trying to use Fitbit data as evidence of injuries a client sustained in a car crash.–Washington Post
Users can rate books classic titles they have read in the past to determine what they might like next. For instance, we gave a 8.0 ratings for a couple of the Harry Potter books and the engine recommended The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson and The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse, among eight others. (Every vote will suggest 10 potential titles to read.) –GalleyCat
“Recordings published on vinyl and read by the author used to be the standard format for spoken word recordings, dating back to when Dylan Thomas first recorded for our Caedmon label in the 1950s,” said Ana Maria Allessi, Vice President Digital Innovation and Publisher of HarperAudio. “Yes Please is a terrific recording that exemplifies modern audiobook publishing at its finest and we’re happy to be able to broaden its reach by releasing a vinyl edition.”–infoDOCKET
Publishing company Pequeño Editor created a hand-stitched children’s book made from acid-free paper, ecological ink and jacaranda seeds, as part of a project called, Tree Book Tree. After reading the story, kids can plant the book in soil and it will grow into a tree.–Huffington Post