• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Jared Lawrence

Jared Lawrence
Jared is a Chicago based blogger with a keen interest in entertainment and technology.
  • Gamification begins at home: the algorithms changing our everyday lives

    Reality: it's the worst game ever. The landscape of our lived experience is one that becomes so familiar over time that it disappears into oblivion. We walk the hallways of our offices, down the aisles of the grocery store and into different rooms of our apartments and homes, scarcely noticing them, lost in thought -- or, as is more common now, our cellular phones. Video games were once perceived by mainstream society as an escapist diversion, much like rock and roll and television were upon their introduction. But just as these cultural elements were eventually embraced and understood to be...

  • Don’t lose yourself: avoid identity theft on social media

    More than three-quarters of American adults are active on social media, and the numbers total approximately 2.3-billion people worldwide. By living with and through our technology, it is easier than ever before to reconnect with friends, stay in touch with family and meet new people across previously unassailable physical distances. But this also means that the likes of identity theft is becoming a bigger problem. Unfortunately, in stark contrast to real-world interactions, there are few reliable ways to be sure a person is who they purport to be on the internet. The proliferation of social media tools has created new space...

  • How do tech giants contribute to the clean, green energy economy?

    Most of us consider the internet to be a virtual world in which we can learn, communicate, store data and perform a host of other useful activities without actually having much of an effect on the physical world. It's important to note, however, that the energy required to run the internet must come from actual, brick-and-mortar electricity suppliers. As the popularity of computing devices increases, particularly in the mobile and home automation spaces, we can expect there to be more Internet traffic and therefore a corresponding increase the the amount of energy expended. While the ink's still wet on December’s...

  • Smart cities for sustainable, sharable energy

    Smartphones have transformed how we engage with almost every aspect of our daily lives. Now the outward progression of this technology – the so-called “Internet of Things” – has begun to encapsulate even more of our everyday interactions. Today entire cities are striving to perform in a way that harnesses the benefits of “Big Data” and digital technologies, promising residents a more eco-efficient and sustainable standard of living. Digital communication tools are being used to around the world to better improve municipal services and enhance the capabilities of basic city infrastructure. By bringing formerly analog services and devices online,...

  • This is why the internet really needs green energy

    The physical realities of data are far from popular conceptions of the internet as a vapourless “cloud.” Online services, especially for streaming video content, consume vast amounts of power. Greenpeace has in fact noted that if the internet were a country, its electricity usage would rank sixth globally. We once built steel mills near energy sources, but now that’s where we construct data centres -- the factories of the digital economy. The virtual cloud starts with coal, which provides much-needed electricity as well as the greenhouse gases which greatly contribute to global warming. The consequences of warming world are...

  • Addressable TV is here, and we’re all for sale

    Up until recently, television advertiser’s ability to optimize and direct content was relatively limited – beyond targeting certain media markets, channels or TV programs, it was difficult to disseminate messages to individual groups directly. Addressable TV advertising, on the other hand, uses digital data to target ad campaigns at specific households, even individual consumers, based on certain unique demographic factors. While the audience as a whole sees one show, not everyone sees the same commercials. The delivery of “addressable” ads can take into account a wide variety of variables, of which income range, location, age, marital status and spending preferences...

  • Is encryption keeping us from finding extra terrestrials?

    Humans have speculated about the existence of sapient, sentient beings from outer space for generations. Meeting and communicating with such extraterrestrial creatures has been a prominent theme in science fiction stories for years, harking back to the days of H.G. Wells and the publication of War of the Worlds in 1898. Forty years later, this story would surface again in Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast, the first contemporary example of a media story gone “viral.” Many people believe that given the sheer size of the universe, extraterrestrial civilizations have to exist somewhere. But where could they be? The Fermi Paradox...

  • How Apple TV went from afterthought to exciting in one night

    Apple TV has long been regarded by consumers as an afterthought in Apple's product lineup. While each passing year brought new and much-touted updates to mobile phones, tablets and computing systems within Apple's offerings, changes to Apple TV have been much less frequent. With the announcement of a new Apple TV on September 9th, it seems the company is finally taking big steps to enhance the appeal and popularity of this television. This is the first new version since 2012, and plenty of features have been added, which make it better than the previous model and open up the...

  • What did WWDC tell us about the future of Apple?

    The popular Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) began this year on June 8. This annual event enables Apple to inform developers about new products as well as upgrades to existing software and hardware. Just a few days ago, Apple released information about changes to dozens of its products, which is of interest to ordinary consumers and industry observers alike. Apple Maps has been notorious for its unreliability in the past, with CEO Tim Cook even apologizing for it and urging users to instead use third-party software. Apple has now added transit information to Maps for about a dozen Western cities...

  • Elon Musk vs Richard Branson: will the geek or maverick win the battle to privatise space?

    Locked against each other in the race to build a space-based Internet serving the entire globe, Elon Musk and Richard Branson have monumental plans to launch massive satellite fleets into orbit around the Earth. While the potential benefits are many -- bringing Internet service to billions of people who are still unconnected, allowing travelers to stay online no matter where they go and even preparing a telecommunications system to link us to future colonies on other planets -- no one is certain who can achieve the mammoth task of making it a reality. Here's how these two competitors stack...