This week on my radio show/podcast Download This Show we did something a bit different. Online Porn producer & director Michelle Flynn and Adult Performer Lucie Bee talk about the push to make ethical adult entertainment and how technology has been changed by erotic content and how porn is changing with new digital innovations like VR and more.
The SNL comedy stars Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer talk about how an accidental YouTube upload changed their careers. We also work out which company should buy Twitter and Snapchat release their own version of Google Glass. Sort of.
Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode is easily among the best connected, most feared journalists in Silicon Valley. I had the pleasure of sitting down with her at the Walkley's excellent Storyology conference. It's a great listen. She explains why Twitter is likely to be sold in the next 6 months, explores the companies that she believes are true innovators and also explains why she gave birth holding a Blackberry. That part I liked best. As always you can subscribe to more interviews like this in the Download This Show podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Pocketcasts and Omny
The technological home: Sir James Dyson has built a $2billion fortune out of applying new technology to reinvent familiar appliances like the vacuum cleaner and the hand dryer. I spoke with him about innovation and invention.
Everyone is guilty of it but is using your mobile phone really an addiction? Some people say it is and are pushing for people to stop 'phubbing' and return to the real world.
We're all guilty of it. You're sitting around talking to friends and you pull out your phone to check your emails, or reply to texts only to realise that you don't know what happened in the conversation.
Phubbing is a mashup of the words phone and snubbing and many online are using it to describe people using their phones and ignoring others around them.
But there's a growing movement of people aiming to put their phones down and break the phubbing trend.
"We've all sort of been in that situation where you're in a cafe or bar, someone whips out their phone and they start ignoring you or they start snubbing you," says Alex Haigh the campaign leader of the stop phubbing movement.
There's now more than 37,000 people who have joined the stop phubbing movement and Mr Haigh says many people have contacted him online as they try to kick their mobile phone use.
"We've had some people get in contact and they might be phubbing at a funeral for example, or a bride phubbing a groom," says Mr Haigh. "I think the smartphones come in... in that they help you to fuel this digital identity."
"It all ties in to this online person that you've created and whether or not that matches up with you you are as an actual person, it varies from person to person."
And while many people might call phubbing an addiction the truth is it is currently not listed as an official disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM).
Dr Ben Williams, a senior lecturer in psychological science at Swinburne University of Technology, says phone addiction could potentially fall in the category of behavioural addictions like problem gambling.
"It comes down to whether or not the behaviour is causing you distress or to neglect other obligations that you have," says Dr Williams. "I think the difference between a problem with say smoking and a problem with say mobile phones is you don't have to smoke but most of us have to make phone calls."
Selfies. footstagrams. babygrams. drinkstargams. They are the lifeblood of the social web. But now you can exponentially enhance your narcissism with a third dimension.
Seene is an app that wants to bring the third dimenson to your phone. Quite simply it lets you take photos in 3d.
The technology itself has been around for a very long time but they’re using the motion senseors inside the phone to help you map a shape.
You select the subject and rotate around it. Then Seene maps it into a 3d shape. It doesn't always work and when it doesnt you just get the stuff of childhood nightmares.
But the cool part is that that you can use the images Seene creates on any platform - mobile or desktop.
Just last week Seene was even named the UK’s most innovative mobile company by the Smart UK project.
Of all of the things Minority Report promised at least one thing is finally coming true: the ability to interact with your computer with the flick of a wrist.
Well that is the promise of a small device called Leap Motion. If you’ve ever played with a Microsoft Kinnect, think of Leap Motion as small one of those but attached to your computer.
The Leap Motion controller tracks your hands in 3D space and converts your movements into actions and gestures on screen. The tiny LEDs and infrared cameras tracking your movement can generate around 300 frames a second of data - almost 12 times as much detail as what you see on TV.
Certain kinds of lights directly above your desk can tend to freak it out but clearly it’s struck a chord because computer manufacturers are now starting to build Leap Motion straight into laptops.
There's also a steadily growing app store - mostly of games where you can stroke radioactive trees or play serial killer. You can also use it to read The New York Times and potentially even completely do away with the mouse and computer handsfree.
Why re-invent the wheel when you can re-invent the ball. That seems to be the thinking behind Sphero.
At $170 Sphero is halfway between Wall-E and your favourite pet. You control Sphero with your phone and can let it roll in water, change colour, and even impersonate Evel Knievel.
It may seem stupid, it may indeed even be stupid, but credit where credit is due there is a lot of innovation that’s driving this ball of stupidity.
Inside the sealed white shell is a tiny robot that uses a gyroscope to balance on two wheels. The robot drives up the side of its own shell creating forward and upward movements. Think of it like a Segway stuck inside of a ball. The trick is that it runs on gravity.
wires, or battery compartments. Instead Sphero has its own built-in batteries that are charged by passing energy through the shell itself.
The charging station is basically a copper coil, which generates an alternating electromagnetic field and Spehro converts that invisible field into electricity.
Where it really gets fun, apart from torturing your cats and toddlers, are the augmented reality games. Sphero uses your phones camera to overlay a game environment, with say zombies, to give you a unique game play experience. It's fun but gameplay can be challenging. After all you are trying to control a ball that has a tendancy to run into objects.
Most of us play video games by furiously thumbing a console or hurling a Wii around the living room. But not Drew Hobbs and Zoe Tame. The prefer to play games with flesh and blood. Literally. They are the team behind IRL Shooter and they stage real life video games that you can physically play, level-up and win.
IRL's first event Patient Zero: Melbourne remains the biggest crowdfunded venture in Australian history. It was played in a 7000sqm warehouse meticulously converted into an abandoned underground medical facility with over 200 non-player character (ahem.... zombies) radio communications and more. Now as they get set to mount an even bigger game in Sydney the team have added even more advanced infrared weapons and electrical “pain belts”.
The Mk.2 is IRL’s 2nd generation gun, an upgrade from the one they ran in the first version of the game. It’s reasonably close to the weight of a Colt M4 rifle and fires with a gas-powered recoil that replicates about 80% of the real recoil of a weapon of this nature. They’ve also replicated the process of reloading. You have to expel the empty clip and put in another – which is kind of stressful with 20 zombies bearing down on you. The weapons are also capable of affecting the building environment itself. You can ‘shoot out’ lights for example, if you want to employ stealth tactics in certain parts of the facility.
But far more notable this time round are the Pain Belts. It’s basically like strapping a cattle prod to your chest. It gets triggered by proximity to the zombies, misfires from your home team or by the game designers if you behave like a douche. There's seven settings and the impressive thing is the contractions you get from the electrical pulses actually do replicate a feeling of impact. And when I say ‘impressive’, please understand I actually mean “fundamentally awful”.
Mobile technology has allowed the evolution of many industries from news, to food, to business, and education. But what about sex?
While applications showing sexual content are banned in the various app stores, applications allowing people to hook-up are not.
I popped up on Ten Late News talking about the never ending war between Apple and Android.