Staff picks for the week of May 16, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralHappy Friday! This week we’re talking origami robots, the benefits of buying used electronics, and more. Wrap up your week by checking out what’s new in technology with our staff picks!

Origami robot may operate from inside the body (Read by Camillia S.)

A tiny, foldable robot made out of dried pig intestine will soon be able to operate from inside the body — untethered. It’s swallowed as a capsule, which dissolves to allow the origami robot to unfold and get to work. Researchers are expecting the robot to be able to repair wounds or remove small objects that were accidentally swallowed. The demonstration looks like a Lego being jostled around a cavity, but is interesting nonetheless. If any advancement in science can help alleviate doctors’ stress and give them more time to tend to life-threatening matters, then I’m all for it!

Taking the stigma out of buying used electronics (Read by Camillia S.)

Electronic waste is a real problem. Especially with the speed at which new technology is being manufactured. One proven way to reduce waste is remanufacturing/repairing and reuse. While most will opt out of buying a used device out of fear that it will malfunction, this article paints a different picture. Refurbished electronics are subject to rigorous testing and most come with some sort of warranty (albeit reduced) to protect you in case of any mishap. Also, the price difference alone is enough to bait someone into purchasing used. If you’ve considered buying remanufactured devices but had some hesitation, this article may sway your opinion.

Swiftkey’s newest keyboard app, Swiftmoji, suggests emoji as you type (Read by Alexandria H.)

Texting with emojis has become a crucial way to communicate, yet somehow they’re still buried as an option within a phone’s keyboard. Swiftkey, the popular keyboard app, is working to solve that with its new app, appropriately named Swiftmoji. Using predictive algorithms and AI technology, Swiftmoji anticipates which emojis users might want to include in their text and floats those icons to the top of the keyboard, thereby making emoji selections easier and quicker. So far the app is in its testing phase and only available to a select few, but I think it will be a well-received addition once it becomes available to the public.

Why a staggering number of Americans have stopped using the internet the way they used to
(Read by Heidi B.)

Nearly half of us are afraid to take full advantage of the internet’s vast capabilities, according to a recent government survey. After polling 41,000 households, it was found that due to privacy and security concerns, roughly one in two internet users are afraid to do basic things like post on social media, write on a forum, or make a purchase. This interesting read makes me wonder how cybersecurity will continue to advance and how that progression will affect the public’s opinion of (and activity on) the web.

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