9 Things To Increase Your Digital IQ

Danielle Beurteaux

Keeping track of all the news in the digital economy is a tough task. So we’ve put together some of the latest and most interesting news bits that you may have missed.

1. Drones and airplanes = No big deal

At least, according to one study from researchers at George Mason University, which examined incidences of collisions between aircraft and birds. They found that most flying animal encounters didn’t result in damage, and those that did were due to large birds. Further, only a small percentage of those crashes ended with someone getting hurt or dying.

2. Internet of Things in Washington

A bipartisan bill was introduced this month that aims to regulate the IoT. The “Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things” Act – or the DIGIT Act, for short – calls for a working group to examine IoT needs and development and also for the FCC to report on whether there will be enough spectrum available to manage the U.S.’s share of the predicted 20.8 billion connected things that will be in use by 2020.

3. Driverless cars… at some point

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that driverless cars are a-OK according to the laws already on the books – but that’s only if they have steering wheels and brakes. Also, if you’re saving up for your first autonomous vehicle, it looks like you’ll have plenty of time to throw dimes in the old piggy bank. During at talk at this year’s SXSW, a Google project manager said that the company’s cars are likely to be introduced in stages, and environments with sunny skies and clear roads will probably be the first on the list.

4. Smart(er) cities with Alphabet

Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs wants to become traffic cops. The company’s Flow analytics platform will take all the messy data that comes from your morning commute in order to turn your rush-hour traffic jam into an efficiently flowing, data-driven stream.

5. Smart health with blockchain

One of the tech-smartest countries in the world, Estonia, will be using a company called Guardtime, which uses a type of blockchain technology, to secure the health records of all the country’s citizens. Hopefully, this will help them avoid attacks like these hospital hacks.

6. E-commerce and VR

Chinese mega-e-commerce company Alibaba just announced that it’s got a virtual reality research lab. It’s called GnomeMagic Lab. The primary goal: figuring out how to combine VR and online shopping.

7. Name that film

You know that film, right? The one with that actor… what’s his name… and he’s in a submarine… A tech company aims to help cure Forgotten Film Syndrome with whatismymovie.com. The site is a “descriptive movie search engine” that uses deep content to analyze all the elements in a film that, until now, couldn’t be used as search components. For now, the site only has English-language films.

8. Privacy I

The FTC sent letters to a bunch of Android app developers who were using SilverPush ad software. Turns out SilverPush can pick up audio in a surrounding environment, but doesn’t notify phone owners, a violation of FTC rules.

9. Privacy II

With the discussion between the FBI and Apple about encryption and access continuing, some tech companies, including Google, Snapchat, and Facebook, are reportedly looking to increase encryption. Apple also seems to be looking to further increase encryption and make it more difficult for investigators like the FBI to access information.

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Danielle Beurteaux

About Danielle Beurteaux

Danielle Beurteaux is a New York–based writer who covers business, technology, and philanthropy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and on Popular Mechanics, CNN, and Institutional Investor's Alpha, among other outlets.