Oh look, a firefly…or is it a laser? Firefly-watching festivities are immensely popular in China and each season from the end of May until October draws flock of tourists. These events involve the release of tens of thousands of these glowing bugs outside their natural habitat. The East Lake Peony Garden, located in Wuhan (the capital of Hebei province) is China’s first firefly theme park. Yet, although the park itself is populated by some indigenous fireflies, many of them are not what they seem.
For many people it’s hard to imagine going a day without a smartphone. We use them for everything: talking to friends, browsing the Internet, playing games, tracking fitness goals and much more. They’ve become almost a part of who we are. According to tech industry experts, however, the smartphone’s days are numbered and that number is lower than you might expect.
How many times a day do you check your phone? According to Dutch virtual mobile network Ben, the answer is 200 times a day. As a commercial telecom provider, Ben should be very happy of our addictive smartphone habits. However, they recently launched an advertising campaign to sell smartphone plans by promoting disconnection. Remarkable, if you ask us.
Humans and computers have a long history of competing when it comes to playing board games. From Wolfgang Von Kempelen’s ‘Turk’ (a mechanical chess-playing machine which eventually turned out to be operated by a small human) to the infamous match between IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue versus human chess genius Garry Kasparov. Another victory can be added to computer wins, as Go world champion Ke Jie has just lost two games of ‘Go’ against Google’s DeepMind AI system AlphaGo.
Recent researches cast attention to screen time for children. The results show how the time kids spend playing with smartphones, tablets and other handheld screens has a direct negative influence on the development or their expressive speech.
What it’s like to be dead? That’s a question we humans cannot answer until we are there, at the end of our lives. The big unknown. But this virtual reality experience developed at the University of Barcelona might get you a glimpse into how it could feel like to be dead, and with that eventually reduce the angst of leaving this earth.