Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ashleigh.
1. The ‘social network of brains’
Using electroencephalograms (EEGs) someone has created a so-called brain-to-brain communication system that could one day allow the possibility of “cooperative problem solving by humans using a ‘social network’ of connected brains”.
The system uses sensors to ‘read’ people’s thoughts and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to transmit thoughts.
Apparently there are already several companies in China that use brain caps to scan their workers for different emotions such as anxiety, stress etc. They claim that the technology has boosted their profits, as they have been able to alter their employees’ workloads to fit their emotional state, and maximise efficiency.
Is this genius or terrifyingly spooky?
2. Unilad heads into administration with whopping £6m debt
During a court case yesterday it was ruled that Unilad should enter administration as it owes more than £6m to debtors, an application that will be returned at the end of the month.
The debts are owed to the company founder, Alex Partridge, and the HMRC, a total of £5m to Partridge and £1.5m for its unpaid taxes.
So what will this mean for Unilad? Apparently there are already two bidders gunning for the takeover.
3. FitBit data used to catch a murderer
In the US a 67 year old woman was found dead at home with a kitchen knife in her hand which, on first investigation, implied that the lady had taken her own life.
When her stepfather, 90-year-old, Anthony Aiello, was questioned he told the police that he had visited the victim, Karen Navarra, for quarter of an hour to take her a pizza. However the victim was wearing a FitBit and the data from that showed her heart rate rise at 15.20, which then slowed rapidly and completely stopped 8 minutes later.
During this time, Mr Aiello’s car was filmed outside Ms Navarra’s house and showed him leaving 5 minutes after the recorded time of her heart stopping.
The stepfather, who is still pleading not guilty, is awaiting trial.
This isn’t the first time that FitBit data has been used to convict murderers. I always wondered how they establish the exact time of death of victims when there aren’t any witnesses (or anyone that is willing to admit to being a witness), but FitBit data must be pretty accurate – fascinating!
4. Watch out for Facebook Watch
Facebook’s attempt at a YouTube rival, Facebook Watch, was launched a year ago in the US. At the end of August it was announced that it would soon be available across the world, and it is now available in Europe.
The platform, like YouTube, allows users to watch videos on mobile, desktop or TV but also includes some social features like Watch Parties, Premiers, and a game show platform, distinguishing it from its rival.
However, like YouTube there will also be “Ad Breaks” within its content, allowing advertisers to reach people watching videos on the platform. These ads appear as either mid-roll or pre-roll or as images below the video, that publishers can post themselves or by using Facebook’s automated ad tool.
Will it take off though? We’ll have to wait and see.
5. New breast pump creators chastised for comparing mums to cows in advert
Elvie, a tech company, has created the world’s first silent, portable breast pump for breastfeeding mums that need to express on the go.
Sounds like a good idea, yes? However to advertise the product the company, with help from a female director and a group of four female dancers all of whom are mums, thought that this was the most tasteful way to advertise the product:
Speechless? Me too!