Bull Session

Streaming Wars

May 17, 2018          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we discuss the latest salvos in the streaming video wars as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube Red duke it out.

On YouTube Red, the show Cobra Kai is full of GenX nostalgic goodness. But is that enough for a service to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu? And will it attract new subscribers in a crowded marketplace for streaming video? Netflix may have some original content programming problems of its own. Does data really give you a better show? Or does every television series wind up feeling the same—the plots washed out imitations? When it comes to video streaming, what’s more important, content or platform? And how does this all shake out? Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
YouTube Crane Kicks Into the Streaming Wars With ‘Karate Kid’ Sequel

Does Original Content Help Streaming Services Attract More Subscribers?

Bull Session

Sustainable UX

May 11, 2018          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we discuss the environmental price of technology and the growing need for sustainable design and UX. A series of research studies has detailed the increasing carbon footprint of the tech industry. The largest contributor to this carbon footprint are servers and data centers, but as more IoT devices come online, they are sure to play an increasing role. We need to reduce, reuse, and recycle our technology, over the course of the product lifecycle, and this is where sustainable UX design can have an impact. In industrial design, there are a number of environmentally friendly approaches including Design for Disassembly and Design for Remanufacturing. Can these types of ideas be applied to the design of software and the Web? In what ways can UX help reduce the carbon footprint of tech? Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Mozilla Internet Health Report 2018

Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations

Bull Session

The Neuroscience of Improvisation

May 4, 2018          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we chat about creativity and the neuroscience of improvisation. Over the past decade, the field of improvisational neuroscience has exploded. Neuroscientist Dr. Charles Limb investigated the neural underpinnings of spontaneous musical performance, by examining improvisation in professional jazz pianists using functional MRI. Dr. Limb wanted to know more about the cognitive context enabling the emergence of spontaneous creative activity. Dr. Limb’s research and others like it are fundamental to discovering how human creativity operates. Everyone is creative, it’s just a matter of degree. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Musical Performance: An fMRI Study of Jazz Improvisation

Jazz improv and your brain: The key to creativity?

Bull Session

The Redwood Genome Project

April 27, 2018          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we discuss the Redwood Genome Project, a five-year initiative launched by the Save the Redwoods League to sequence the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes, in order to better understand the redwoods on a genomic scale, and in so doing, protect and restore the forests.

Threats to the redwoods include not only logging and development, but also disease, drought, and pests, which have been exacerbated by climate change. Because the redwoods manifest a broad genetic range, some are better at withstanding drought or resisting disease than others. In the past, reforestation projects placed an emphasis on those varieties exhibiting rapid growth rather than these other traits. However, today managers must be able to plan for a genetically diverse forest.

The Redwood Genome Project has begun to sequence, assemble, and annotate these genomes. It will also develop tools for assessing genetic diversity, which will assist in the creation of the forest management plans. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Redwood Genome Project

Bull Session

Ready, Set, Automate

April 20, 2018          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about automation, potential job losses, and the findings in Barclay’s newly released report: “Robots at the gate: Humans and technology at work”.

Technology is reshaping work and the global workforce from agriculture to manufacturing, financing to healthcare, and everything in between. Transformation is coming, maybe more quickly than we think. Routine work is being automated and non-routine jobs that favor human ingenuity and adaptability will make up the core of future employment. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Robots at the gate: Humans and technology at work