Adidas miCoach Fit Smart Shows How Hard You're Exercising At a Glance

The Adidas Fit Smart might seem like just another fitness tracker, and in many ways it is. But the app-and-watch combo also features a handy a color-coded gauge that shows just how hard you’re exerting yourself. No more slacking, slacker.

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If Humans Shed So Much Dead Skin, How Are Tattoos Permanent?

Your body is constantly throwing off dead skin cells—a million every day. So how come tattoos don’t fall off with them? It turns out, your body’s immune system tries to get rid of the ink under your skin, but in the process, it makes those marks permanent, as this video from TED-Ed explains.

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A couple of days ago I wrote about Apple and accessibility, and the work they’ve done not only implementing but promoting accessibility — or better put, inclusivity. The same day an article from Reuters hit the wires that managed to mangle the story of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). It was unfortunate, but it has given the NFB a chance to tell it again, tell it directly, and hopefully to reach even more people. From the NFB blog:

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind in Convention assembled this fifth day of July, 2014, in the city of Orlando, Florida, that this organization call upon Apple to work with the National Federation of the Blind to create and enforce policies, standards, and procedures to ensure the accessibility of all apps, and to ensure that accessibility is not lost when an app is updated.

Apple is singled out, probably, because they’re the industry leader. Just like the environmental movements and others have singled out Apple in the past. It’s the equal and opposite reaction to the headlines Apple gets when a new iPhone or iPad is launched.

The idea is, where Apple goes, so goes the rest of the industry. That’s worked in the past at motivating Apple, because the people at Apple seem to care deeply about issues just like this. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if it’s motivated anyone beyond Apple.

Rather than seeing the attention Apple gets as a competitive challenge, some competitors see it as competitive advantages — something that lets them save time and money by ignoring things while all eyes are on Apple.

I think it’d be hard to argue, however, that Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Samsung, Amazon and any and everyone else with skin in the platform game should be and has to be part of the discussion. For accessibility and inclusivity to be real, it can’t depend on any one vendor.

Some customers will choose to use Android or ChomeOS, TouchWiz or Sense, Windows or Windows Phone, FireOS or BB10 — shouldn’t they be able to experience the same level of support that OS X and iOS users enjoy? Better even, if they can?

The second part is harder to unpack. The NFB calls for policies, standards, and procedures, and the enforcement thereof. What does enforcement mean? Should apps be rejected from the App Store, Google Play Store, or Windows Phone Store if they fail accessibility, the same way they would if they crashed on launch? If so, which accessibility technologies should be enforced? What kind of team or teams would be needed to review them?

If not outright rejection, then should non-accessible, non-inclusive apps be excluded from featured promotions on the various app stores? Would loss of such an important marketing opportunity incentivize developers to make accessibility and inclusivity a priority? Or, if a carrot works better than a stick, could accessible, inclusive apps be included in special promotions, with dedicated sections, badges, indicators, awards, and other forms of recognition?

If we push down to the developer level, should dedicated advisors, evangelists, “kitchens” and other workshops, code and design reviews, and consulting resources and services be made available, or perhaps even be subsidized by the platform owners?

Should peer and customer pressure be applied, with non-accessible, non-inclusive apps receiving the same kind of scorn as those with horrible visual design or terrible interactivity?

That’s a lot of questions. I ask them because I don’t know the answers. Maybe there are no easy answers to know, at least not yet. I think the NFB understands the complexities and nuances involved far, far better than most, and even they used the language “work with”, because there’s a lot of work to be done.

Accessibility and inclusivity, after all, don’t just mean making an iPhone or iPad or Mac that can be used by the blind or the deaf, the motor impaired or those with autism, the very, very young or the very, very old, the absolute beginner or the person for whom technology still feels like a challenge even after decades.

It means making an iPhone or iPad or Mac that can be used by everyone. And an Android or ChromeOS device, and a Windows or BlackBerry device. All of them. Everyone.

Give the NFB resolution a read and then let me know — what do you think?

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This Vintage Typewriter Is Actually a Keyboard For Your Tablet

For some of us who type all day for a living, the world is too quiet. We pine for the whir of the Xerox machine, the rattle of rotary telephones, the clackety-clack of the typewriter. A slightly romantic vision, maybe, but no longer completely impossible, thanks to this keyboard modeled to look exactly like a vintage typewriter.

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When Adam Savage isn’t busy blowing stuff up while filming Mythbusters, he’s often found tinkering about in his San Francisco workshop. It’s in this “cave” that Savage films his popular YouTube series for Tested, but it’s also home to an incredible…

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How much would you fork out for a 77-inch, curved, 4K, OLED TV? Well, LG hopes you’re hovering around a couple of grand per descriptor, having announced it’s launching such a gogglebox in the UK for only £20,000. It won’t actually be available until…

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This Movie About the Grandfather of Debunkery Looks Amazing

"No matter how smart or well-educated you are, you can be deceived," says James Randi in the trailer for the new film An Honest Liar. If you’re at all familiar with his work, I can bet you’re pretty damn excited to see a new documentary devoted to this man who knows a thing or two about deception. But does James "The Amazing" Randi have a few lies of his own?

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