Friday Five: digital dressing and life beyond GPS

1. Mapping out the future of navigation

From built-in car sat navs to getting around an unfamiliar city while on holiday, we’ve come to rely on GPS pretty heavily. But the tech is fallible (as I discovered on a recent trip to Germany) — just ask anyone who’s tried to use it in a tunnel or when surrounded by tall buildings.

2. Digitally dress to impress your virtual friends

It’s widely acknowledged that if you didn’t take pictures of something and post them on social media then it pretty much didn’t happen. But this has been taken to the extreme, with a digital-only dress (as in, it doesn’t actually exist) recently selling on blockchain for more than £7,500. I mean. I don’t even know where to begin here.

3. Making history with AI

Next week marks 30 years since Chinese forces cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrations and killed anywhere between hundreds and thousands of protesters in Tiananmen Square. Although you wouldn’t know that if you were in China, where AI has been employed to cleanse the internet of any mention, reference or allusion to the massacre.

4. The lasting legacy of Tamagotchis

If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s, it’s likely that you had an emotional bond with a Tamagotchi at some point. But did you know that the small, egg-shaped piece of plastic may have moulded the person you are today? Two decades after their heyday, Tamagotchis are being credited for the way a generation interacts with tech, from social media to smartphones.

5. Figuring out Facebook’s friend zone

Ever received a slightly leftfield friend suggestion from Facebook? You’re not alone. The platform has always been coy about what powers the People You May Know algorithm, changing its story several times. Theories range from it being based on people who view your profile to paranoia that Facebook listens in on conversations.

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