Frisk #182

Mary Poppins, it’s Frisk #182! Fun fact about the band Blink-182 – they were originally called Blink, until an Irish band of the same name threatened legal action, so they randomly chose the number 182 to tack onto the end. It has no meaning.
(Blink have faded into obscurity; Blink-182 are still going)

In-app purchases
As a parent, one of the golden rules you learn pretty quickly is this: don’t leave your little ones unattended with your phone. Sure, it may seem like a neat solution to leave your five-year-old watching the ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ video from Trolls for a couple of minutes on YouTube while you nip off to answer the doorbell, but by the time you come back you’ll find they’re watching outtakes from Fight Club or something. “Daddy, am I a beautiful and unique snowflake?”
Similarly, they can’t be trusted with games. Like, at all. So many mobile games work on the principle of being free to download, then making their money from in-app purchases, and since there’s often no password control within the game, it’s easy as pie for the nippers to spend eye-watering amounts of cash buying non-existent things. It’s not their fault, they don’t know they’re doing it.
In the period Nov ’11 – May ’16, a robust $70m was spent globally on unauthorised in-app purchases (an impossible number to calculate, really, but it sounds impressive) by kids on tablets and smartphones, spending away without their parents’ permission. So, two fun facts we can offer relating to this trend: firstly, smartphones are the number-one gaming device. Secondly, Amazon has been refunding parents for this kind of thing. Ah, so that’s where the $70m figure came from.

Biometric train tickets
A silly idea I’ve been banging on about for years is that someone should really remove the NFC chip from their Oyster card and implant it into the skin of their palm, so they can get through Tube barriers simply by waving. Well, it turns out that the Swedish state-owned train operator, SJ, actually thought it was quite a good idea…
This isn’t even a joke, that’s basically exactly what they’re doing – SJ have so far signed up around a hundred people, and their official response to any data security concerns is amusingly bullish: “Some people are confused and think they can be tracked via microchip – but if that’s something they’re worried about, they should be more concerned by their mobile phone and credit card use,” they say. "You can already be tracked in many different ways other than a microchip." Yeah, stop complaining and get a chip in your hand, stupid commuters. Then hopefully you’ll quit whining about having lost your season ticket.

60% of people say that social media has a negative impact on their self-esteem. 40% of teens feel pressure to post content that makes them look good to others. You can see why the average Instagram feed is a pin-sharp parade of beautifully edited perfection, every image carefully tweaked to ensure that you know everyone’s life is better than yours.
However, Minutiae is different. An antisocial network, if you will. It’s an image-sharing platform in the style of Instagram, but it’s specifically geared to hold up a true mirror to your own reality: it’ll sporadically send you push notifications, and when you get one it’ll only give you five seconds to take a picture before it just takes one for you. So people’s feeds will naturally be filled with blurry and unremarkable snaps of kettles, or the backs of toilet doors, or just the insides of pockets. And it’s anonymous too – no profiles, no liking, no comments.
Interesting? Debatable. But it’s certainly real.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

28th June 2017