Banishing bacn – Twitter’s birthday – 80s tech predictions
Developers hope to banish sneaky bacn from inboxes
Spam emails are a daily problem for most users, but many developers are now focussing on tackling the slightly different inbox issue of bacn.
While spam is simply unsolicited content that you haven't asked for, bacn tends to be messages that the user has requested, but perhaps doesn't need to read straight away. Examples of this include newsletters or promotions from sites you might have signed up for and forgotten about.
The fact that you have requested these emails is what sets them apart from spam, and this is how the term 'bacn' was coined back in 2007 - it is midway between spam and genuine emails. Many of the senders will have checked their content against spam filters beforehand, ensuring their message sits alongside your important emails.
There are concerns that this high amount of bacn has been impacting on productivity, as users must spend time seeking out genuine correspondence and may become distracted. For this reason, developers are stepping up their efforts to combat bacn in the same way as the long-standing battle against spam.
Twitter celebrates seventh birthday
In the same week that Twitter marked seven years since its creation, co-founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone were finally awarded a patent for the micro-blogging site.
Dorsey and Stone submitted the patent request in 2007, but it has only now been officially approved. Additional co-founder Ev Williams is not named on the patent.
The millions of users Twitter has accrued since the site was established have today been celebrating its seventh birthday, with many news outlets looking back at some of the historic tweets to have been published.
It has been suggested that Twitter has changed the way news is reported, with many turning to the social network even before official news outlets in order to get live eyewitness accounts and see images posted by other users.
Of course, it has also found fame as a place where people can go and interact with celebrities, from film stars to politicians. Last year, US President Barack Obama posted the most retweeted message in the history of the site in the wake of his election victory, while UK Chancellor George Osborne set up his official account this week.
1988 tech predictions assessed
Back in 1988, the LA Times interviewed 30 futurologists to gauge how they thought technology would have progressed by 2013.
This week, The Guardian revisited those predictions to analyse how close they were to the reality.
Impressively, the interviewees did correctly foresee the arrival of the satnav and video calls, as well as email and internet banking. They also outlined a system whereby users could create their own newspaper based on topics that interested them, a concept available in many online publications and mobile apps today. However, in 1988 it was thought that this newspaper would then need to be printed out at home to before reading.
'Personal portable computers' were also mentioned, although the group did not expect the emergence of mobile phones.
Among their mis-steps were the arrival of robot butlers, while the prototype 'future family' they created were also able to talk to their fridge in order to ascertain what they needed to buy at the supermarket, and operate household appliances such as ovens using voice commands.