by Brandy D. Anderson
With 2020 arriving, it seems only fitting that we take an inside look at some of the best and most up-to-date tech sites. Twitter is the principle place to receive fast news as it happens, so I’ve rounded up the top three Twitter tech accounts that you should be following if you want to keep in ‘the know’.
About: “theverge.com covers life int he future.”
First making its way online and onto Twitter in 2011, The Verge has been a popular tech mainstay ever since. Founded with Vox Media, The Verge combines technology, media, art, science, and pop culture. Its extensive website is comprehensive and sleek, set up in tones of deep purple, dark indigo, and black. Its plethora of material can get a bit overwhelming if you mindlessly keep scrolling down the endless page, but there are neat tabs at the top that contain tidy categories for each section. Things are separated into the following major categories: Tech, Reviews, Science, Creators, Entertainment, Video, Features, Podcasts, and More (which has two sub-tabs containing Newsletters and Store).
Although the Verge’s website is expansive and impressive, their Twitter account is the best place for you to get up-to-date tech news as it happens, and they are certainly prolific tweeters. It’s also a wonderful way to receive quick and easily digestible tutorials and news bites. They post informative pieces like the recent “How to use the iPhone’s Health app’ which gives you a nice breakdown, complete with screenshots, of how to navigate the iPhone system. There are fun videos to watch, like the new seven minute video entitled “Waymo’s driverless car: ghost-riding in the back seat”.
The Waymo driverless car is a real trip, there isn’t even an emergency safety driver in the front. The video shows the car changing lanes, following construction road rules, and pulling to a slow stop at the destination. This test ride happens in the heavily populated Phoenix, Arizona, although it’s limited to preset locations within the more residential areas of the sprawling metropolitan city. Towards the end of the video, the host talks with a Waymo engineer so you’re treated to some technical insider information. You also get a brief interior look at the details of the car, including sensors, cameras, AI, etc. The host also tells us that each self-driving car costs a whopping $400,000. However, if self-driving cars aren’t your thing, how about checking out how to make your very own “Pi-rate radio” FM station for under $35. There’s a nifty link with all of the instructions. If you’re the more visual type, you’ll enjoy The Verge’s very colourful “2019: A year in photographs”. There are a ton of different topics to explore here.
About: “WIRED is where tomorrow is realized.”
Heavy-hitter WIRED has been on Twitter for a long time, since early 2007. In addition to its Twitter feed, WIRED has an extensive magazine and website. The categories on the website include Business, Culture, Gear, Ideas, Science, Security, and Transportation. You’ll find articles in subcategories including Connectivity, Top 3, By Us For Us, Cover Story, and Movies and TV. What is particularly fun about WIRED is that their website is easy to both use and aesthetically pleasing, and its website and Twitter both offer completely different experiences, so it’s fun to check out both.
In the video entitled ‘The Best of Autocomplete 2019: Funniest Moments from Stranger Things, Spider-Man and More‘ you’ll be able to watch ‘Tom Holland, Zendaya, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Dove Cameron, Jon Hamm, David Tennant, Novak Djokovic, Daniel Radcliffe, Sophie Turner, Jack Black, and much more answer the web’s most searched questions about themselves’. A provocative tweet piques your curiosity with this opening comment: “Her subject was a man wanted by the FBI for stealing $2 million. US Marshals couldn’t find him and neither could three private investigators. She did.’ And the accompanying article bears this headline: ‘The World’s Best Bounty Hunter is 4’11. Here’s How She Hunts: Michelle Gomez is a genius at finding people who want to stay lost. But she’d never gone after anyone like Ryan Eugene Mullen before’.
One recent tweet is very topical, and it combines politics, news, and technology: ‘Fake information isn’t leaving the internet anytime soon. But the incentives for creating it may be changing. Internet Deception is Here to Stay – So What Do We Do Now?’ The teaser for the article starts out by saying, ‘Fake followers. Fake news. Foreign influence operations. The last decade revealed that much of what’s online is not as it seems’. Elsewhere on the feed, you’ll see a thoughtful and beautiful art piece comprised of mysterious globs of blue and white, and the tweet informs you that ‘These swirling patterns, likely caused by heat rising from the water below, look like frozen Jackson Pollock paintings’. There is a nice mix of straight tech talk with techy entertainment here.
About: ‘A media company making technology a greater force for good. Get our journalism: https://go.technologyreview.com/newsletters ‘
Since 2008, MIT Technology Review has long been educating the public in the Twittersphere. Their website looks sleek in its clean black and white format, and you’ll find tabs at the upper right corner. The tabs are Topics, Magazine, Newsletters, Events, and a search option. There are subcategories within these tabs including: The Big Story, Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Blockchain, Climate Change, Computing, Humans and Technology, Tech Policy, Silicon Valley, Smart Cities, MT News, Daily Briefing, and Space.
The currently pinned tweet and accompanying article is right on the mark for water cooler talk: ‘How does pervasive, always-on tech influence the way the next generation learns, makes friends, and understands the world and themselves? These are the questions we tackle in our special issue on youth, and the answers contain many contradictions’. Another article is about “How iPads might actually help kids learn to read: A study out today in the journal Developmental Psychology suggests that animated text could make e-books superior to physical books’.
Are you a Shakespeare or literature fan? You can learn about technology and classic literature combining together in this piece: ‘Machine learning has revealed exactly how much of a Shakespeare play was written by someone else: Literary analysts have long noticed the hand of another author in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. Now a neural network has identified the specified scenes in question – and who actually wrote them’. If you’re more of a car enthusiast, well you’re covered here, too, because you’ll find all of the latest auto-tech news, like in this article about Rivian: ‘The Rivian’s pick-up’s real edge over Tesla’s Cybertruck isn’t its battery’, it’s the $2.9 billion dollars in funding and it’s ‘skateboard’ chassis. Tech meets education seems to be the main theme of this account.