Moving World Wednesday 20140219


Hello! Here’s this week’s roundup of business, tech and creative news from across the Moving World! Many thanks to all who submitted links and a special thanks to the creator of this amazing GPS cake!


Turn left at birthday cake

Happy birthday GPS! The first satellite of what was to be twenty four entered orbit on the romantic occasion of Valentines Day, back in 1989. Flash forward 25 years and the system is depended on worldwide, and used daily for phone and transport navigation purposes. In 1993 the US Department of Defense (who created and maintain the system) allowed everyone to access to the information, for free. The European Union and China are also currently building their own systems, Galileo and BeiDou. These could serve as alternatives to the GPS system, or at least to provide a backup if the system goes down or becomes jammed.

This week Brad Parkinson, the inventor of the GPS system, said that there need to be harsher penalties, including jail time, for those blocking GPS signals. These devices, which cost as little as $50, could be causing critical problems for aviation and maritime systems, without the user even realising. Though these devices are illegal to buy in the UK, it is not illegal to import them. Be wary: if your chosen (very bad impression of a celebrity) GPS voice suddenly falls silent, you may be the victim of a signal jamming nearby.


He She They Book

Facebook has expanded its gender options, with 50 new terms including Transexual, Pangender, Cisgender, as well as choices Spike Jonze may approve of; ‘him’, ‘her’ or ‘them’.

It has been applauded from members of the LGBT community and beyond, who felt like the previous options were conformist and not a true reflection of many of the users who have Facebook accounts. Masen Davis, of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, said, “We applaud Facebook for making it possible for people to be their authentic selves online.” They’re hoping it will bring increased acceptance and awareness to other users on the site.

Not all reactions have been so positive, with many people worried about the implications of this, in a realm where your personal information is up for sale. Facebook uses gender as one of their main options for advertisers, so increasingly specific gender information could arguably increase targeting and profitability. The Guardian reported that many women prefer to have their gender as ‘male’ on the social networking site, in order to avoid patronising ads aimed at women on themes such as beauty and diet. Could this be a marketing ploy disguised as media friendly social cause?


You win some, you lose Samsung

Founder of the Android project, Andy Rubin, pitched the mobile operating system to Samsung before Google, a chance that (with the benefit of hindsight) could have given Samsung a head start in the Apple/Google dominated handset wars – however their response was rather cold.  Rubin recounts the conversation: “’You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom.”

Two weeks later, Rubin pitched to Google and signed a $40m deal. Today the company is worth around $2bn, and ironically, Samsung are now their largest customer.


You may have missed


Netflix Is building an artificial brain using Amazon’s cloud

Philips’ new store lighting is able to track shoppers

Returning physicality to media storage

Squarepusher and the robot band with a guitarist with 78 fingers and a drummer with 22 arms

Google buys SlickLogin, looks to swap passwords for inaudible sound waves

Samsung files $9.43M suit against Dyson

Why is my mouse cursor all tilted? Here’s why.

What’s in the envelope? Oh just a paper-thin Keyboard

Ototot, an all-in-one musical controller / invention kit on Kickstarter


Sewer blocked by massive pooh

Jamaica Tourism Board release official 8-bit bobsleigh team video