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Dreading Instagram's New Timeline? Enabling Post Notifications May Not Help

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Earlier this month, the popular photo-sharing app Instagram announced it's planning to do away with its chronological timeline in favor of a Facebook-style feed based on an algorithm. Fearful that their photos will end up being hidden (or at least hard to find) from those who want to see them, some users are now imploring their followers to turn on push notifications to make sure they never miss a post. But as reported by The Independent, Instagrammers who do this may be wasting their time. 

Contrary to what many posters claim, this new change isn't happening overnight. Instead, Instagram will be rolling it out gradually over the next few months, experimenting with certain pictures and accounts before applying the algorithm to everyone. 

And once the updated feed is implemented across the board, that doesn't necessarily mean users will miss out on posts. While timelines will be rearranged according to relationships and engagement history, low-priority pictures—as determined by your likes and comments—will still be included, albeit lower down on the feed. If anything, the new algorithm will make it easier to keep up with your favorite accounts—especially if you're someone who doesn't check the app obsessively. 

Activating notifications for specific users is easy enough: Simply click the ellipses at the top of their profile and select "turn on post notifications." Just bear in mind that the feeling of staying completely up-to-date may not be worth having your phone vibrate in your pocket every other minute. And if you decide to receive post notifications on every account you follow, chances are your inbox will become overwhelming, and you'll miss photos all the same. 

Twitter announced a similar change to their timeline back in February, and users were quick to overreact in that case as well. The hashtag #RIPTwitter quickly rose to the top of the trending list, but after several weeks the (optional) algorithm has yet to tank the social media giant. Most of the specifics of Instagram's new feature haven't been revealed, but the company says they plan to release more details ahead of making any universal changes.

[h/t The Independent]

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Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
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How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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Design Firm Envisions the Driverless School Bus of the Future
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Engineers have already designed vehicles capable of shuttling pizzas, packages, and public transit passengers without a driver present. But few have considered how this technology can be used to transport our most precious cargo: kids. Though most parents would be hesitant to send their children on a bus with no one in the driver's seat, one design firm believes autonomous vehicle technology can change their rides for the better. Their new conceptual project, called Hannah, illustrates their ideas for the future of school bus travel.

As Co.Design reports, Seattle-based design firm Teague tackled both the practical challenges and the social hurdles when designing their driverless school bus. Instead of large buses filled with dozens of kids, each Hannah vehicle is designed to hold a maximum of six passengers at a time. This offers two benefits: One, fewer kids on the route means the bus can afford to pick up each student at his or her doorstep rather than a designated bus stop. Facial recognition software would ensure every child is accounted for and that no unwanted passengers can gain access.

The second benefit is that a smaller number of passengers could help prevent bullying onboard. Karin Frey, a University of Washington sociologist who consulted with the team, says that larger groups of students are more likely to form toxic social hierarchies on a school bus. The six seats inside Hannah, which face each other cafeteria table-style, would theoretically place kids on equal footing.

Another way Hannah can foster a friendlier school bus atmosphere is inclusive design. Instead of assigning students with disabilities to separate cars, everyone can board Hannah regardless of their abilities. The vehicle drives low to the ground and extends a ramp to the road when dropping off passengers. This makes the boarding and drop-off process the same for everyone.

While the autonomous vehicles lack human supervisors, the buses can make up for this in other ways. Hannah can drive both backwards and forwards and let out children on either side of the car (hence the palindromic name). And when the bus isn’t ferrying kids to school, it can earn money for the district by acting as a delivery truck.

Still, it may be a while before you see Hannah zipping down your road: Devin Liddel, the project’s head designer, says it could take at least five years after driverless cars go mainstream for autonomous school buses to start appearing. All the regulations that come with anything involving public schools would likely prevent them from showing up any sooner. And when they do arrive, Teague suspects that major tech corporations could be the ones to finally clear the path.

"Could Amazon or Lyft—while deploying a future of roving, community-centric delivery vehicles—take over the largest form of mass transit in the United States as a sort of side gig?" the firm's website reads. "Hannah is an initial answer, a prototype from the future, to these questions."

[h/t Co.Design]

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