for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
Virtual Reality and the COVID Mental Health Crisis
Anne says: This year, there’s been a rapid adoption of technologies that may not have occurred if it had been a “normal” year (whatever that is). We’ve all had to figure out ways to stay connected and get our work done – it’s been innovative and inspiring to see how things have adapted. Of course, there’s also been the overuse of some, like too many Zoom (or video) meetings, messages scattered across several platforms from Slack to Microsoft Teams to WhatsApp and Skype. And some trial and error – but overall, people have adapted. However, the impact of lockdowns and the pandemic on mental health has been felt globally. This week, I was particularly drawn to this article that describes the use of virtual reality (VR) headsets to assist people with depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
The numbers are staggering, but not surprising. And again, under all sorts of constraints, people have innovated. Doctors and health care professionals have determined how they can reach people through telemedicine, and now, through the use of VR. By using the psychological sense of presence, they are able to present scenarios and self-therapy to help people manage their conditions. I remember first hearing about the use of VR to help returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress through Professor Skip Rizzo at the Disrupt Sydney conference. It was powerful and impressive then, but turning this into treatment where people can self-manage, in their own homes – that’s groundbreaking.
The author, Brennan Spiegel, M.D., is Director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the author of VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine. He believes the evidence is showing that VR therapy is having long term effects, not just short term relief, and claims “VR does all this by radically changing our perspective of the world”. (Let’s just hope it stays in responsible hands and doesn’t become a method for altering unwanted behaviours in society).
For now, I think we should be acknowledging the transition of VR from gamers to an effective mental health treatment strategy.
Stop using 123456 as your password
Jakkii says: A quick one, but an important one – the list of the worst passwords for 2020 is here! It’s a great time to review your passwords and do a security checkup. Are you using any of these terrible passwords? Change them! Are you reusing passwords on multiple websites? Get changing!
The article also gives some tips for how to create strong passwords, including what to avoid, good practice for passwords, and a reminder that using a Password Manager is an excellent idea.
Why post-pandemic Ubers and Netflixes will be nothing like their predecessors
Jakkii says: First, a heads up. If you’re the type to be easily offended by someone describing the people most often “in charge” as “old white dudes”, then this article is not for you. Otherwise, read on!
This is an opinion piece, relatively short, on disruption following the pandemic, with an interesting take: the author believes the pandemic may just be the catalyst for a creativity movement.
I’m sharing this one this week simply as food for thought. Questions of what will come next when we eventually reach the other side of the pandemic may seem like far-future thinking for those in places where the pandemic is still very much a crisis, but it’s certainly the type of question for which the answers may affect us all. The author concludes:
Simply put, when this worldwide tragedy is finally behind us, we will look back and find that the great business disruption of our time won’t be the Netflix of marketing or the Uber of supply chain management.
The movement that finds a completely new way to empower the culture class of creators, inventors, and founders with a business-building framework that fits the morals of the artist rather than the other way around will be hailed as the great innovator of our time.
That’s certainly something to ponder, isn’t it?
Around the house
Jakkii says: What a week in covid in Australia. First Adelaide went back into a hard lockdown, then a day later it’s discovered a person lied and they’ll soon be straight back out of it again! Whether you’re home in lockdown, under a curfew, or just living with some level of restrictions, we hope you’re staying safe and healthy (mental health very much included!). Here’s this week’s list of things to read, watch and do from home:
- Use the letter generator to write entire letters in less than a minute
- We may not have Thanksgiving to worry about, but Christmas is coming soon, so here are 7 strategies for dealing with political debates over the holidays
- Eating the same meals a lot during covid? Find out whether it’s bad to eat the same thing every day
- Ever wanted to try your hand at urban foraging? Here’s a beginner’s guide to get you started
- Check out this list of dead celebrities who still earned more money than most of us will see in a lifetime during 2020
- This animation shows just how deep the ocean really is
- Climate change: what is climate migration?
- Travel by photo with these photographs by top architects and designers
Me on a Zoom call pretending I’m listening and not just looking at myself
— Hannah Tindle (@hannahtindle) November 16, 2020
a symbol of wealth among pigeons pic.twitter.com/3U6RPCVrin
— Living Morganism 🌱 (@ok_girlfriend) November 16, 2020
Urgent and Important pic.twitter.com/nq8N4WYnmH
— work chronicles (@_workchronicles) September 7, 2020
Worst. Lanyard. Ever. pic.twitter.com/ozYnbpaUyl
— Legs (@L3GSV) October 2, 2020
Going to any website in 2020: pic.twitter.com/VaYV7FnPWy
— Lee Trott (@MC372) October 5, 2020
US Election Friday Five
- How Trump uses Twitter to distract the media – new research
- Conspiracy and disinformation: America’s new politics
- Election 2020: Debunking false and misleading videos claiming to show voter fraud
- Twitter’s next Trump problem
- Inside the behind-the-scenes fight to convince Joe Biden about Silicon Valley
Bonus: Despite everything, Facebook remains a prominent facilitator of election misinformation
Misinformation Friday Five
- Conspiracy theories, explained
- The denialist playbook
- Why facts don’t change our minds
- How fake news aimed at Latinos thrives on social media
- Parler makes play for conservatives mad at Facebook, Twitter
COVID-19 Friday Five
- Now that two highly effective Covid vaccines are within reach, we just have to get them to 7.8 billion people
- Who will be the first to get covid vaccines?
- Google Maps will now display number of COVID-19 cases in an area
- AI discovered an old arthritis drug that can help elderly people survive COVID-19
- How to talk to a COVID denier
Work Friday Five
- Breaking down the distance barrier
- The new elements of digital transformation
- A workplace with heart: inclusive, connected, and unmuted
- New Zoom feature can alert room owners of possible Zoombombing disruptions
- Some workplaces are embracing contact-tracing tech that’s wearable and constantly tracking you
Tech Friday Five
- Amazon launches Amazon Pharmacy, a delivery service for prescription medications
- Analysts predict 26 smart cities by 2025 – from zero today
- Apple apps on Big Sur bypass firewalls and VPNs — this is terrible
- How to tell the difference between AI and BS
- Researchers developed ‘explainable’ AI to help diagnose and treat at-risk children
Social Media Friday Five
- YouTube doesn’t want to remember 2020, either
- Messenger and Instagram’s ‘Vanish Mode’ makes chats self-destruct with a swipe while Twitter’s disappearing tweets, called Fleets, are now available for everyone
- One for the haters: Twitter considers adding a dislike button
- YouTube will now play ads before more videos, but creators won’t see a dime
- Facebook makes its latest experimental app available to all users
Bonus: TikTok’s US ban has been delayed another two weeks — or maybe forever
Corona Business Insights Podcast
How are cities changing and adapting during the pandemic? We talk with urban geographer Dr Dallas Rogers on how COVID-19 is reshaping urban areas.
As COVID-19 sets out to change the world forever, join Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer as they think about what’s to come in the future of business.
Our guest this week
Dr Dallas Rogers, The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning
Dallas’ new book on understanding urbanism
Urban academics from around the world discuss their respective cities during COVID
Journal article on podcasting as digital methodology
Dallas’ paper on housing policy and COVID-19
Dallas’ paper on long-term, structural housing issues in Australia
Dallas’ paper on public housing and COVID-19
Has COVID-19 harmed Western cities?
How previous pandemics have shaped cities
Why big cities will survive and thrive after the pandemic
The changing nature of urban retail
How COVID all but killed the Australian CBD
Global experts predict what life in cities will look like post-COVID
COVID-19 could radically alter urban life
Research from the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) on remote work and public transport confidence