Moto G (2015) tips and tricks

The Moto G (2015) hasn’t quite lived up to the 2014 Moto G but we’ll show you how to squeeze every last drop out of your of your phone with these tips and tricks.

(This is a preview – click here to read the entire entry.)

…read more

Blinded by technology: has our belief in Silicon Valley led the world astray?

In Geek Heresy, computer expert Kentaro Toyama warns against our over-reliance on technology and explains why people, not smart tools, are the key to social change

When Microsoft programmer Kentaro Toyama was sent by his employers to India in 2004, charged with using technology to improve education, he expected to swoop in armed with gadgets and effect whizzy social change. It didn’t quite pan out like that. Toyama had some early successes at Microsoft Research India, including the invention of a device that allowed multiple mice-wielding pupils to control one computer at the same time. (MultiPoint, a problem-fixer for classrooms that had too few computers, won awards.) But he quickly came to see that technology was not the “magic cure” export his employers – and, indeed, many in Silicon Valley – seemed to expect.

In his new book, Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology, he writes that this was “hard to take. I was a computer scientist, a Microsoft employee, and the head of a group that aimed to find digital solutions for the developing world. I wanted nothing more than to see innovation triumph… But exactly where the need was greatest, technology seemed unable to make a difference.” He worked in schools that had been given computers but had no tech support, the broken-down hardware quickly ending up stacked in cupboards. He watched teachers struggle to cope with screen-enthused kids, for whom “a computer was less a help, more hindrance”.

Continue reading… …read more

Anita Sarkeesian interview: ‘The word “troll” feels too childish. This is abuse’

When Anita Sarkeesian launched a YouTube series on misogyny in video games, she received death threats and was forced into hiding. A year on from GamerGate, she explains why a global ‘temper tantrum’ won’t make her quit

Anita Sarkeesian doesn’t give me the address of her San Francisco apartment over email. Instead, she texts it to me a few hours before we’re set to meet. After thousands of rape and death threats, a bomb scare and an email promising a mass shooting at one of her speaking events, a woman can’t be too careful.

Sarkeesian, media critic and executive director of the nonprofit and video web series Feminist Frequency, has spent the past few years of her life at the centre of a firestorm in the gaming community – one that brings together misogyny, technology and a cultural shift in an industry so huge it now outperforms Hollywood. In videos that discuss misogyny in video games and widespread tropes that diminish women, Sarkeesian – named one of the 100 most influential people of 2015 by Time magazine – talks to the camera, with a commentary that runs the gamut from feminist theory to historical analysis. Her videos are smart, incisive and much needed in an industry in which women are often treated as little more than background decoration or damsels in distress.

Continue reading… …read more