Staff picks for the week of April 18, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralTechnology plays roles both practical and pleasing, from keeping our skies and our payments safe to making life more enjoyable through headphones that know exactly what sounds you don’t want to hear. Read on for your weekly dose of tech news, including these stories and more!

SkySafe will knock that annoying drone out of the sky with wireless magic (Read by Camillia S.)

Just a few days ago, a drone crashed into the front of an airplane while it was approaching Heathrow Airport in London. The incident drives home authorities’ concerns about the increased use of recreational drones. Luckily, relief is in sight. A startup called SkySafe has invented a technology that not only detects drone activity using radio frequency signals, but can deactivate any drone with the press of a button in an app. The founders of SkySafe don’t go into too much depth (rightfully so) regarding the exact technology, but there is a demo at the end of the article that shows the app in action. I love to fly, but between drones and lasers, it’s becoming a bit worrisome to travel, so any extra precaution helps.

Why do older people love Facebook? Let’s ask my dad (Read by Heidi B.)

Older people are hitting the social media scene, fast — in fact, they’re the fastest-growing demographic on social media. A recent survey (created by one of my former professors at Penn State) discovered that older people like to use Facebook to connect with friends, develop new relationships with like-minded people, and follow updates from loved ones. Sound familiar? That’s because those are the same things that attract younger people to the social platform. The best part of this story, in my opinion, are the hilarious stories readers submitted about their own parents and grandparents on Facebook. Check it out!

That chip in your credit card is actually doing its job (Read by Heidi B.)

It turns out that chip in your credit card — the one that requires you to dip your card into a slot on the pin pad — really is cutting down fraud. Since late last year when EMV smart chip technology was first put to use, counterfeit transactions have fallen more than 18 percent at retailers that support chip-enabled purchasing. On the other hand, merchants that have not adopted the technology saw an increase of over 11 percent in fraud. With a recent upgrade that allows customers to dip and remove their cards in two seconds, there’s really no reason not to love EMV chips, and I hope to see the technology being used in more retailers soon!

These headphones will only drown out the sounds you tell it to  (Read by Alexandria H.)

What’s a girl to do when she wants to enjoy quality music through her headphones but fears she might miss her train stop because she can’t hear the conductor’s announcements? Purchase a set of noise-cancelling headphones that let you choose which sounds to drown out. The IQbuds were created by a team of researchers to allow the listener to pick and choose which noises from the outside world can be heard through the noise-cancellation feature. While some prefer headphones that block any and all outside noise, others hate feeling so secluded. IQbuds provide a happy medium. If I ever get my hands on a pair, the first sound I’ll be sure to block when I’m in the office is the noisy printer!

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