What IT Is and Why IT Matters: a February Round-Up of Information Technology News

It’s been a short month but there’s been no shortage of things to do. You’re busy, that’s cool. But there’s also been no shortage of amazing news in the tech sphere, and we think you should know about it. So, we took it upon ourselves to compile a few of the most interesting articles out this month for your reading pleasure… 

Art:

“An Artist Sees Data So Powerful It Can Help Us Pick Better Friends” by Laura Sydell, NPR

What IT Is

NPR’s All Things Considered did an intriguing interview with artist Laurie Frick, who is using Big Data to answer big questions about who we are and how we relate to those around us. Frick takes vast amounts of data and distills it into visual and relatable ideas. She’s been an artist in residence for companies who see the value in finding new applications for the data they collect and she regularly comes up with out of the box ideas to try to engage people with the data they create.

Jenn Liv for NPR

Why IT Matters

More and more user information is collected and stored every time any one of us does anything online. Having someone put some of that information back into context can lead to better decision-making from companies and increased awareness as consumers about just what kind of information we’re putting out into the world. Plus, we think her idea of using data as a visual dashboard to know how you respond on a physiological level to individuals is a crazy-cool way to find new friends!    

Culture:

“‘Black Panther’ designers break down the futuristic technology of Wakanda” By Victoria Johnson, Mashable

What IT Is

You might have noticed that Black Panther is having a bit of a moment right now, and with good reason! This Mashable article walks you through the creation and inspiration behind the cutting edge technologies and the real-world influences that were combined for this blockbuster hit and cultural phenomenon.

Media: Marvel Images

Why IT Matters

The nation of Wakanda might be a fictional African nation, but much of the technology dreamed up for the film pays homage to real aspects of African heritage. Languages, costume patterns, symbols, weapons, and so much more were combined to create realistic, beautifully layered, and respectful nods to the cultures that they borrowed from. With the film’s deep commitment to genuinely reflecting every aspect of the hero’s homeland, it’s no surprise that the technologies utilized by the characters are also a testament to the continent’s heritage and culture. All of this brings to life a fictional nation that feels like it could realistically be added to the list of present-day UN Member States. This commitment has been overwhelmingly supported by the public as the film continues to get rave reviews and brings in huge numbers at the box office.  

Legal:

“Google Says It’s Received 2.4 Million Takedown Requests Under EU’s ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Laws” By Tom McKay, Gizmodo

What IT Is

In this article, Gizmodo’s Tom McKay does an excellent job of explaining Google’s most recent Transparency Report as it pertains to the EU’s “Right to be Forgotten” laws that were established in 2014. The report shows Google’s efforts to comply with users requesting the removal of personal information in relation to the EU regulations. Although it appears there is a niche group of search result ‘Fixers’ being hired to take care of an increasing number of requests, the report shows that a lot of individuals are taking it upon themselves to take back control of their search histories.  

Why IT Matters

When everything from bad prom pics to a criminal past are easily available through a quick Google search, the question of who can and should be able to access your personal information is one of great concern to a lot of people. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “the internet is forever” and immediately thought of the embarrassing video you made for your high school Spanish class, then you know what we mean (La Catrina, am I right?). If those search results have been keeping you up at night, you might find this article comforting. As if we needed another reason to move to Europe…

Local:

“One Year In, The Ameren Accelerator Has Surpassed All Expectations” By Oliver Cox, EQ STL

What IT Is

According to the official website the Ameren Accelerator  is “an innovative partnership with Missouri System, UMSL Accelerate and Capital Innovators designed to invest, mentor, and accelerate the growth of next-generation energy technologies.” And according to this article from EQ, one year in and the Accelerator is proving to be an invaluable space for energy technology growth and innovation in St. Louis.

Businessman using tablet pc and selecting start-up.

 

Why IT Matters

If you’re not 100% sold on packing up and heading to Europe to be ‘forgotten,’ then you might be interested to know that St. Louis has been positioning itself as a great spot for technology innovation and start-up incubation. The success of yet another highly visible accelerator helps prove that point to potential investors, startups, and tech professionals trying to decide where to call home. Unfortunately, with this year’s application deadline passing on March 9, if you’ve got an energy idea you’d like to bring to fruition, it’ll have to wait another year. On the plus side, you’ve got the maximum amount of time to prepare for next year’s funding to make the dream come true.

Leave a Reply