Staff picks for the week of Jan. 16, 2017

Happy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our team read this week.

Google and Uber alums have created a doctor’s office that’s like an Apple meets ‘Westworld’ (Read by Alexandria H.)

The doctor’s office of the future includes unlimited doctor’s visits, discounted prescription medicine, access to wearables, and AI-equipped medical devices all in one place. Sounds far-fetched, but this place already exists. San Francisco-based, medical startup Forward offers all sorts of futuristic bells and whistles, like body scanners that deliver biometric data just by scanning your finger and exam rooms with oversized touch screen displays. My favorite part of the facility is the built-in urine chute that delivers samples directly from the bathroom to the where it needs to go. This eliminates the awkward exchange with the medical assistant and reduces the possibility of error. How neat!

Warning: Sharing selfies may let hackers copy your fingerprints (Read by Alexandria H.)

We’ve all done it, casually thrown up a peace sign or some other hand gesture in a silly attempt to look cool in a photo. But these kinds of poses actually leave you vulnerable to hackers looking for a way to steal your identity. The digital cameras included in just about every smartphone take high-res photos that make fingerprints easily accessible to hackers. What I think makes this article even more interesting is the underlying question of how secure biometric data really is, and what to do if that data ever gets stolen.

Is your digital life ready for your death? (Read by Ed M.)

One of the reasons I love Larry David’s standup and TV shows (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) is because death is never far from his mind. So when I read that Facebook allows you to designate a “legacy contact” to manage your online profile in case of an early demise, I imagined Larry or alter-ego George Costanza spending an episode selecting, then de-selecting who that person would be. (Prediction: No one would be deemed worthy of such responsibility and either Larry’s or George’s “final resting post” would be something hilarious and embarrassing that lived in cyberspace immortality forever. Cue the tuba.) Who would you select to manage your social media and backup accounts after you head to the big cloud in the sky? Choose wisely!

The evolution of the phone (Read by Heidi B.)

Clunky, shoe box-sized cell phones were a staple of 90s sitcoms, but what did phones look like before then? In honor of #FlashbackFriday, check out this video to explore what phones looked like in every decade, all the way back to 1910. I have to say this video made me appreciate my iPhone even more – it’s amazing to think we really do have a little piece of history in our hands. You can’t help but wonder what technological advances await us.

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