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The Public Access Weekly: What planet are you from?

Amber Bouman
03.25.16
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Obviously this week's big news was Monday's Apple announcement (or non-announcement if you prefer), wherein they announced a 4-inch iPhone, a 9.7-inch iPad Pro and some additional bands for the Apple Watch. While these offerings are not exactly shocking new advancements in the hardware line up, some of the developments on the OS side were more intriguing to our editors -- for example, CareKit which is designed to help people manage their health, illnesses and medications.

In non-Apple news, this month we've seen ten new contributors publish their first posts on Public Access -- which is outstanding. An official tip of my hat to: Lovisa Alvin, Andrei Mircea, Cassie Phillips, David Balaban, Ari Shohat, Jamil Bryant, Elizabeth Kartini, Sherry Gray, Neal Cotton, and Maheshwor Bhattarai. Welcome and thanks for all your stories!


If you haven't given a read through some of the newest Public Access stories on the home page yet, take some time to do so! There are some really interesting pieces going up -- I was particularly excited to see that Neal Cotton has written about Syfy's The Internet Ruined My Life, a show I've been watching with intentions on reviewing it for Public Access.

Honestly though, I've found it hard to get into TIRML; the reenactments come off as cheesy to me, and there doesn't seem to be much to really say about it other than the obvious "Watch what you say and do online" lesson. If you're looking for a show that really examines the harms and pitfalls that may lie in technology, I personally think that Black Mirror is a better, more imaginative -- and more chilling -- show. I'm still reeling from some of those episodes.
It took me days to recover from this episode.

Also, if you're a Public Access member and you haven't filed out your profile page yet, let me take this moment to encourage you to upload an image and add your social links -- not only does this make it easier for us to give you a shout-out on social media, but it also makes your author page look hella professional.

Looking for something to read? Check out:

Starting today, we're taking a week-long break from comments. I detail why in this post.

If you have an Android smartphone, you need to know what Stagefright is. If you're not running Android 6.0 Marshmellow, then you really need to know what Stagefright is.

LED lights for bicycle wheels seem like such a cool idea, but do they work as well in practice? Andrew gets some hands-on time with Balight's offerings.

One of the panels at GDC discussed the representation of Muslims in video games; this article highlights the panelists examples and suggestions on how to improve.

Looking for something to write about? Mull over:

There are times, as a writer, that you see a headline and think "I wish I'd written that." This story on Danny Trejo, tacos and VR is fine example. It's another instance where a truly novel approach was taken to a developing technology, and made me wonder: What's your best idea for how VR should be used? Do you have a unique idea to what VR would be best for, that pushes it past the boundaries of roller coasters and games? Tell us what you see as the future of VR.

It was recently announced that Android Pay will soon be rolled out to UK customers, meaning that users will have options other than Barclays' bPay. The comments discussed the fragmentation of payment systems and how it could hurt overall adoption. What are your thoughts about mobile payments? Is it detrimental to users to have so many different options? And does this type of fragmentation extend to other aspects of technology as well -- say streaming services?

Between my commute on public transportation, and working in an open office, I spend a significant amount of time listening to music. Lately when I'm working I find myself leaning towards instrumental and ambient tunes which has resulted in me getting really into video game soundtracks (namely Dead Island and The Last of Us). What your favorite video game soundtrack and why?