Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – March 18

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features Facebook planning a whole new look, cloud and it’s potential impact on Healthcare, and a law that would prevent texting while walking. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Nevada isn’t Tripping: New Law Would Prohibit Texting While Walking

Potential New Texting Laws in Nevada

While many states are still fighting to get people to stop texting while driving, Nevada would like to put a new law on the books that would force people to keep their hands free while walking as well. Edwin Kee of Ubergizmo reports that Las Vegas Councilman Harvey Mumford has proposed a law that would prohibit pedestrians from texting while walking on state roads, intersections, and neighborhoods. The reasoning behind the law, according to the article, would be so people don’t bumb into other walkers, walk into manholes, or cross highways without paying attention. If the law is indeed put into place, the first two offenses would result in warnings, while the third offense would cost someone a $250 fine.

How Cloud May Change the Face of Healthcare

Cloud computing is known to improve aspects of many industries, and the latest one being talked about is healthcare and patient care in particular. While cloud has been approached with care thus far in the industry, according to Jake Gardner of Wired, it could eventually be one of the technologies to help lower healthcare spending and associated costs. The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is changing the processes that organizations use for Healthcare–look for cloud to take on a more prominent role moving forward.

Startup Rents Out Children’s Books in Netflix-like Service

Sproutkin

The new company Sproutkin has taken Netflix’s idea of delivering entertainment right to your doorstep, but they’ve put their own twist on it. The founder, a lawyer with two children, came up with the idea out of necessity because she was reading to her kids every night and getting low on material, according to TechCrunch. Sproutkin is currently available for parents of children ages 3 to 6, and users are allowed to get up to 10 books at a time.

Sophisticated Software for Retail Stores Tracks Customer Movements

As retailers try to track which products in their stores are attracting the most customers, many of them are turning to state-of-the-art technology from San Francisco startup Prism Skylabs. Sumi Das of CNET reports that the software takes security camera footage and uses it to track customer movements and create “heatmaps.” The images show the retailers where the shoppers went throughout the store, and which items they came into contact with. Retailers use the technology to determine product placement and floor layout.

Facebook to Get Major Facelift

Big changes are in store for the popular social media site Facebook, as the company has announced plans for a complete makeover of it’s homepage, according to The New York Times. Users of the site will start seeing much bigger photos, links, photos and advertisements. The company’s co-founder and chief executive is quoted as saying he wants Facebook to be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” Facebook is hoping the changes encourage users to stay on the site longer and help bring in more advertising dollars. No official launch date has been set, but the end of March has been mentioned as a possibility.