Staff picks for the week of Jan. 23, 2017

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

Blame technology, not longer life spans, for health spending increases (Read by Camillia S.)

Ever wonder why health care spending is on the rise? Aside from increasing medication costs and insurance premiums, one might think it’s because we’re living longer. Turns out that’s not necessarily the case. Rather, technology is to blame. But this is a good thing – although not for our wallets – because technological advances directly contribute to us living longer. And not just longer, but healthier too. I thought this was an interesting read that puts a positive spin on how much we spend on health care.

I have perfect vision, and yet I wear these computer glasses every day – here’s why (Read by Heidi B.)

Disclaimer: I definitely DON’T have perfect vision, but this article offers some important info, even if you can read the bottom row of the eye chart. Many of you may already be aware of how “blue light” can negatively impact your sleep, and perhaps have even taken steps to reduce your blue light intake by enabling “night shift” on your Apple device. But there’s even more you can do. This reporter tested a pair of JINS “computer glasses” and was able to cut out over a third of blue light emissions, ultimately helping him improve his sleep and reduce eye stress. I know I sometimes leave work with a bit of a headache, so I might just have to try these out.

Facial recognition will replace passports in Australia (Read by Alexandria H.)

If Australia isn’t on your bucket list of travel destinations, you might want to reconsider: Traveling there may get a whole lot easier. In an effort to create a quicker and more seamless experience for international travelers, the ‘land down under’ plans to replace traditional security checkpoints with biometric authentication. Instead of producing passports or other travel documents, travelers would simply walk through facial recognition, iris, and fingerprint scanners. I love the idea of increasing efficiency in airports, but after reading last week how easily hackers can steal your biometric information, I’m curious about how these airports will keep highly sensitive and personal information out of the wrong hands.

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