WEEKLY REVIEW  |  January 26, 2017



Log in with your heartbeat.

Certainly passwords leave something to be desired in terms of tech security—the words, the numbers, the absurd combinations. So tech has turned to biometrics. We’ve seen thumbprint authentication and face tracking through systems like Windows Hello. Now researchers at Birmingham State University are exploring a new authentication method: your heartbeat.


Super ads surrounding some sort of game.

That big game is coming up. You know, when big brands pay a ton of money for some airtime. If you watch for the ads, here’s a must-read list of teasers. Highlights include Melissa McCarthy for Kia, Adam Driver for Snickers, and DJ Khaled for TurboTax. Remember when Ogilvy made the case against celebrities in ads? Turns out, most agencies and brands choose not to remember.

Google plays hard to get with I/O save the date.

In true Google form, the company didn’t announce the dates for their annual event. Instead, they tweeted out puzzles to deliver the dates and location. Hacker News figured out the puzzles (May 17–19 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, in case you weren’t able to solve the clues).


We can now detect infections with a paper disc and string.

The Paperfuge, made of paper and string, can spin biological samples at a rate of 125,000 rpm. That’s enough to separate plasma from a blood sample in 90 seconds—about eight times faster than the standard centrifuges used to detect infections like malaria and HIV. The inventor, Manu Prakash, is traveling the world with his invention and has since received a MacArthur fellowship for his work.

Nike uses augmented reality to showcase custom kicks.

If you’re a Nike fan, you’ve gone down the rabbit hole of creating your own custom Nikes, called NikeIDs. Now you can see your customizations projected in real time on a shoe—at the Nike Store in Paris at least.


Insight into Tuesday’s Google Doodle.

If you searched the Internet on Tuesday, you may have seen a Google Doodle of Ed Roberts. And you may have wondered, “Who’s that?” Roberts was an early leader of the disability rights movement and cofounder of the World Institute on Disability. He was the first UC Berkeley student with severe disabilities and created the Physically Disabled Students Program there. Tuesday would’ve been his 78th birthday.


Lava Mae repurposes retired transportation buses into showers and toilets on wheels to deliver hygiene and restore dignity to the homeless in San Francisco—helping over 2,300 San Franciscans since June 2014. We supported them during our end-of-the-year giving, and you can support them too by attending any of their “Coming Clean” events, particularly their participatory art installation tonight from 6 to 8.


The drought that never ends.

OK, this is not so fun. If you’re like us in SF and feel like it’s been raining for weeks, you may think the drought has to be over. And for a good reason: “Northern California has already received its entire annual precipitation.” But still, water demand exceeds supply, and it seems the state of water in our state is still dire.

“You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.”

Mary Tyler Moore