MADHATTERS Weekly – Issue 14: 21 Feb 2017



Tech news with a HAT perspective

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Tech News This Week

Are Europeans safe from Trump? Or is Europe just finding another fault…European officials are concerned that the US President’s Executive Order on illegal immigration, which excludes foreigners from US law protecting individuals’ personal data rights, may affect cross-border data flows. More specifically, the transatlantic Privacy Shield that enable tech giants Google, Facebook and Microsoft to store data about EU citizens on their US servers. Honestly – do we even know where our data is stored?

You have a filing system for your photos and videos?  Just give it up already….or wait awhile and you’ll get some help with it. Mylestone is experimenting with AI and machine learning, with Alexa’s help, to turn our digital footprints into narratives of our memories. And with plans to pull in data from social media accounts, you’ll soon be able to retell your life story in multiple ways. Time for that mini movie you’ve always wanted to curate…

Give me all your money!? Voice recognition banking is catching on fast in the UK. Customers of Santander can now tell their bank – via their smartphone app – to ‘pay Sam £30 now’ or ‘show me my bank balance’. Already,  HSBC and Barclays customers can use voice recognition instead of passwords to identify themselves for phone banking. Remember how mum used to make you ask nicely? That was practicing for this…

Be Cautious About…

Your car unlocking by itself…Turns out that connected cars are still err…connected to their previous owners, who can continue controlling their old cars even after they’ve been resold. Same goes for IoT devices in second-hand homes. Always check out the smart tech before buying a used car or house.

Talking dolls…who may be spying on your kids. German authorities have advised parents to dispose of My Friend Cayla, an Internet-connected doll. Seems Cayla records conversations without proper consent, and could be a hacking risk. Chucky could be more real than you think…

Impress Your Friends With…

Quality family time. Now made even easier with the help of this Japanese smartwatch that tracks how much time you spend with your loved ones.

Geek Out On…

Comic gamers. Comic Relief returns but to gaming channel Twitch first. Beginning Feb 20, British celebrities are pitted against famous gamers to raise funds for charity. Get your gaming Red Nose on…

And Finally…

It’s all in the eyes. Those with motor neurone disease may soon be able to communicate with their eyes via an affordable smartphone app. One small step for tech, one giant leap for humanity…


Leila Trilby, Editor-in-Chief 




HAT News

Featured News. Rumpel is open-sourced for the dev community.

New releases of both Rumpel and Rumpel Lite were published to the HAT’s GitHub Repository for the open-source community this month. Check out our entire codebase here. These software libraries are among the world’s most robust hyperdata browsers, and currently function as the “dashboard” for the back-end storage containers we call the HAT.

Building on the HAT. Developers can build apps and services that take advantage of the trove of data plugs storing HAT users’ personal data streams by accessing the APIs that input and output data to our users’ containers. Having all this interesting data in one place can lead to some very interesting app ideas. We have a developer community on Slack to talk about them – request an invite by email.

What can you do with Rumpel and Rumpel Lite? These feature-rich apps for web and iOS securely pull data from hundreds of live HATs, and their open codebase makes them a valuable starting point for new app developers. Use this stable repo to build new services without starting from scratch.

HAT Researchers, assemble. HAT Community Foundation and Cambridge’s Wolfson College are hosting the inaugural Annual Symposium on the Digital Person beginning March 15. Featuring Professor Wendy Moncur from the University of Dundee and Siân Lindley from Microsoft Research who will begin the conversation on Digital Personhood. Sign up here. Also, the National University of Singapore’s Computer Science Dept is hosting Prof. Irene Ng for a HAT seminar on March 6 at 10:30am local; click here for more information.


Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager


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