The Ethically-Murky Edition Sunday, October 16, 2022

An Uneasy Use For Apple’s AirTags: Tracking A Loved One With Dementia, by Julie Jargon, Wall Street Journal

Caregivers have turned to Apple’s tiny, $29 tracking devices after finding other methods of monitoring people with dementia aren’t a fit, or are too expensive. Many tracking apps require people to have their phones with them. People with dementia might forget them when they leave the house, say caregivers. They do tend to remember keys and wallets, however, to which the AirTags were designed to attach.

Public-health officials say tracking people with dementia is ethically murky, because some individuals don’t want to be tracked—though the people caring for them are often in a bind. And even the people using AirTags find they lack the precision to be useful in dire situations. Helping people stay safe in their homes as they age is placing a growing strain on families who are often the caregivers of loved ones with dementia. An estimated 6.5 million Americans ages 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia, a number that is expected to reach 12.7 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Reason The Default iPhone Alarm Is So, So Terrible, by Mia Armstrong-López, Slate

The very idea of a radar—a device used to monitor and alert for danger—has negative, anxiety-provoking connotations, McFarlane told me, and is generally “an inappropriate metaphor for the sound design with respect to waking up pleasantly and effectively.” The volume follows a receding pattern, starting off loud and getting softer, before repeating in a quick loop. Evolutionarily, McFarlane said, loud receding sounds indicate a nearby threat, potentially inducing anxiety or, as many Radar critics point out, a fight or flight response.

So, yeah, Radar is fine for, say, a reminder to turn off the oven or a warning that enemy troops are approaching. But for rising peacefully and productively from slumber? Not so much.

Apple Store Geniuses Should Be Able To At Least Tell The Time, by Vladimir McTavish, Edinburgh News

After my experience of the past week, that allure has definitely worn off. Indeed, even that return train trip to Glasgow seems like a nano-second compared to the amount of time I have spent waiting around to find someone to fix my iPhone.

We constantly hear people complaining about waiting times in the NHS and how difficult it is to get an appointment to see their GP. To them, I say this “try getting some actual service in the Apple Store”.


How To Use The EmptyMyFridge App To Plan Healthy Meals And Reduce Food Waste, by Sarah Chaney, MakeUseOf

Put simply, the EmptyMyFridge app works to reduce food waste by monitoring the contents of your fridge. This ensures that no food gets pushed to the back of your fridge and forgotten, only to be thrown out when it’s finally discovered.


E-waste: 5 Billion Phones To Be Thrown Away In 2022, by Victoria Gill, BBC

This year, 5.3 billion mobile phones will be thrown away the international waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) forum says.

Its estimate, based on global trade data, highlights the growing environmental problem of "e-waste".

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Someone need to do an app to tell me whether the food in my fridge that has expired are still edible.


Thanks for reading.