Technology – disrupting lives

Technology is increasingly influencing so many aspects of our daily lives.  It changes so rapidly that it’s difficult to stay on top of the latest innovations, ideas and thoughts.  Below are just a few:


The Atlantic: How Self-Driving Cars will Threaten Privacy: “Automated vehicles will learn everything about you—and influence your behavior in ways you might not even realize.”

Business Insider: Google just Proved how Unpredicatable AI can beHumans have been taking a beating from computers lately.  The 4-1 defeat of Go grandmaster Lee Se-Dol by Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence (AI) is only the latest in a string of pursuits in which technology has triumphed over humanity.

Independent: Textiles that can clean themselves with Light: “You could one day wash your clothes by exposing them to light, if pioneering materials developed by Australian nanotechnology researchers prove successful.”

October 2013 Links:

BBC : Imagine a World without Shops or Factories: “I have come to think that our world is being turned upside down. We probably do not grasp the huge implications because, perhaps, we are still imprisoned by our past.  We are all of us, almost everywhere, swept up in a maelstrom of change which overturns many of the assumptions we have lived with for the past 100 years.” : Asda supermarket launches 3D Printing Service: “Asda is to become the first UK supermarket to offer an in-store 3D scanning and 3D printing service, allowing customers to capture and print scale models of their possessions or even themselves.”

September 2013 Links:

PM – Eddie Mair : James Burke predicted the future in 1973.  Now he does it again – “Forty years ago for Radio Times, the scientist and broadcaster James Burke predicted events in 1993. He got a lot right. So we asked him in to PM this afternoon to predict the future.

August 2013 Links:

Business Week: New Software Forces You to Pay Attention During Company Training: “Online training technology company Mindflash on Tuesday announced a new feature called FocusAssist for iPad that uses the tablet’s camera to track a user’s eye movements. When it senses that you’ve been looking away for more than a few seconds (because you were sending e-mails, or just fell asleep), it pauses the course, forcing you to pay attention—or at least look like you are—in order to complete it.”

July 2013 Links:

Gigaom : Data-driven health practice MDRevolution launches web-based employee wellness service: “San Diego-based MDRevolution, a health company that blends genetics, metabolics and mobile technology, is rolling out a subscription service for employers, health systems and physician practices”.

June 2013 Links:

GuardianPrism & online privacy – news and teaching resources round up:The extent of the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance using a computer programme called Prism to access the contents of emails and live chat held by the world’s major internet companies including Google, Facebook and Skype is one of the most significant leaks in US political history.”

May 2013 Links:

McKinsey Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy: “The relentless parade of new technologies is unfolding on many fronts. Almost every advance is billed as a breakthrough, and the list of “next big things” grows ever longer. Not every emerging technology will alter the business or social landscape—but some truly do have the potential to disrupt the status quo, alter the way people live and work, and rearrange value pools.”

February 2013 Links:

CreativeGood – The Google Glass Feature No one is Talking About.  “… The key experiential question of Google Glass isn’t what it’s like to wear them, it’s what it’s like to be around someone else who’s wearing them. I’ll give an easy example. Your one-on-one conversation with someone wearing Google Glass is likely to be annoying, because you’ll suspect that you don’t have their undivided attention. And you can’t comfortably ask them to take the glasses off (especially when, inevitably, the device is integrated into prescription lenses). Finally – here’s where the problems really start – you don’t know if they’re taking a video of you.”

New York Times – What Data Can’t Do.  “Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.  Computer-driven data analysis, on the other hand, excels at measuring the quantity of social interactions but not the quality.”

January 2013 Links:

WallStreetJournal – The Future According to Google’s Eric Schmidt: 7 Points. “We’ve been taking a look through unreleased galleys of Google GOOG -1.62% executive chairman Eric Schmidt‘s new book, “The New Digital Age”, to be released this April”

TheNextWeb – The Norwegian Ministry of Finance may open source cash registers to prevent tax fraud.  “The reasoning here is quite simple: if the code is open, no one can sneak new elements into it, and thus cheat the system by writing exceptions that might hide revenues, for example.” – The Crowdfunding API Is Here: Welcome To A New Era Of E-Commerce. “When future historians look back at the evolution of the Internet, today might mean something special. Today, we watch crowdfunding break out of its holding tanks—the self-contained websites of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rally and others—and rush foaming across the web, spilling into the playbooks of developers, tinkerers, and global brands alike.” – What turned Jaron Lanier against the Web?  “The digital pioneer and visionary behind virtual reality has turned against the very culture he helped create.”

December 2012 Links: – Student expelled for refusing location tracking RFID badge.  “School makes good on threat of ‘consequences’ for refusing to submit to ‘Mark of the Beast’ ID scheme.” – UK’s rural broadband project gets EU approval. “The UK’s plans to roll out broadband to rural areas has received EU approval.” – Quids in: How new Midata scheme will create your own personal data bank.  Introducing the new data revolution that will help you live more cheaply than ever – Cellular data network for inanimate objects goes live in France.  “A startup hopes to connect millions of low-power sensors worldwide to the Internet, making everything—from power grids to home appliances—smarter. – The UK government has repeated its threat to legislate if businesses do not voluntarily release data gathered on customers who ask to see it.  “An initiative called Midata calls on firms to provide details to the public in a “machine-readable” format.”


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