7 Days In Tech

This past week has proved to be another exciting week in terms of technological breakthroughs. As technology continues to advance, numerous industries benefit, paving the way for a more safe, healthy and productive planet. Here are 8 more new discoveries in the world of technology from the past week.

1) Computing

A new quantum computer that “computes without running” sets a record for counterfactual computation efficiency.

2) Communication

China will complete a 2000 km – long quantum communications network by 2016 that could be impossible to hack.

3) Medical

A device that can keep a heart beating outside the human body will lead to more successful heart transplants.

4) Space

A company that developed a magnetic hover-board is working with NASA to develop “tractor beams” for small satellites.

5) Robotics

Thanks to a robotic exoskeleton a 39-year-old man who had been paralyzed for 4 years can now control his leg muscles.

6) Space

The world’s largest digital camera (3.2 gigapixels) for photographing the night sky will soon start construction.

7) Material

A polymer made with proteins derived from squid teeth can repair itself as strong as before using only water.

8) Robotics

A robot that has been trained to spot and assassinate coral-killing starfish will soon start trials in the Great Barrier Reef.

Educational Materials: Should They Be Free For All Everyone?

Last week, a letter signed by over 100 educators, scientists, lawyers, and students was sent to the White House. They were asking for educational materials and professional development to be free for the public to use and funded by the government. Writing for The Hechinger Report, Nichole Dobo reveals the letter’s contents.

“We, the undersigned organizations from the education, library, technology, public interest and legal communities are writing in response to the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s call for ideas to strengthen the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. To ensure that the value of educational materials created with federal funds is maximized, we call upon the President to issue a strong Administration policy to ensure that they are made available to the public as Open Educational Resources to freely use, share, and build upon.”

Making educational tools readily available to the public will not only help improve the infrastructure of our school systems, but will give companies the opportunity to implement recent technology so their businesses can grow.

OER are Open Educational Resources free for everyone to use. Dobo tells us to think of these as the Wikipedia of educational resources, stating, “It is a free, online encyclopedia that can be repurposed and rewritten by anyone, anywhere, without fear of violating copyright laws.”

Today, more and more companies are adopting tools that will help educate employees and improve their business strategies. For example, a nonprofit organization called CK-12 has recently devoted multiple resources to help develop free digital materials for science, technology, engineering, and math – collectively known as STEM. CK-12 hopes to bring these resources to not only younger students, but for those willing to learn and educate themselves throughout the workplace.

Dobo’s report says that the CEO of the Learning Accelerator, Scot Ellis, believes that competition for resources that can be made available for the public to use will have an overall positive impact and value.

4 Emerging Technologies That Will Change The World

Technology continues to expand at an exponential rate. The growth of technology has helped to improve our productivity and efficiency, which in turn helps to fuel even more advancements. New technologies are redefining almost every industry, including computing, medicine, manufacturing, transportation. There are seemingly new, amazing breakthroughs everyday, many of which have the opportunity to completely change the way we live our lives. You have probably have heard about some of these technologies before, however, these products have yet to even scratch the surface of what they will be capable of in the years to come.

Here are 4 emerging technologies that I believe will change the world over the course of the next decade.

1) Neural Interfaces

Brain-machine interface is a technology that allows communication between a human and an external technology. This technology can refer to an interface that takes a signal from the brain to an external piece of hardware such as a robotic arm, leg, or even eye! Neural Interfaces have the capacity to improve the lives of millions of people.

2) Augmented Reality / Google Glass

Augmented Reality is a live, direct, or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. Technology such as Google Glass, will completely change the way in which we interact with the world around us.

3) 3D Printing

3D Printing is the process of converting a digital file into a three dimensional solid object. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes (laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created).

4) Driverless Cars

Driverless, or autonomous, cars refer to vehicles capable of fulfilling the main transportation capabilities of a traditional car. Simply put, they drive themselves! In places such as Nevada, autonomous trucks have already been licensed to operate and will likely be on the road within the next few years. Driverless cars and trucks will make the roads a safer place and will help to improve energy efficiency of the vehicles as well.

‘Ask Me Anything’: How a Weird Internet Thing Became a New Form of Media

Interesting article about “Ask Me Anything” in MIT Tech Review  “Perhaps the most fascinating part of the popularity of the AMA is that it did not really exist before the modern (post-2000) Internet. Most social media forms find their roots in stuff people have long been doing. Word-of-mouth information sharing was the rule long before the industrialization of news production in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

via ‘Ask Me Anything’: How a Weird Internet Thing Became a New Form of Media.

What CES 2014 Is Really About: Your Connected Future

The Internet of Things is the focus of CES this year.  “The future of computing is not just the ability to get push notifications to device you wear on your wrist, answer a phone call or take a picture. It is about gathering and using data to make your life better, easier and more productive. The machines should make life less complicated. Companies like Intel and Qualcomm are leading the charge in innovation by building the platforms, processors and tools that will fundamentally alter how people live their lives.”

via What CES 2014 Is Really About: Your Connected Future – ReadWrite.

An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network

Friendster is a social network that was founded in 2002, a year before Myspace and two years before Facebook. Consequently, it is often thought of as the grand-daddy of social networks. At its peak, the network had well over 100 million users, many in south east Asia.In July 2009, following some technical problems and a redesign, the site experienced a catastrophic decline in traffic as users fled to other networks such as Facebook. Friendster, as social network, simply curled up and died.

via Best of 2013: An Autopsy of a Dead Social Network | MIT Technology Review.

Meet the Geniuses Who Finally Mastered Virtual Reality

From Wired – The Rift is the brainchild of a 19-year-old tinkerer and VR enthusiast named Palmer Luckey. A collector of old VR headsets, Luckey was all too familiar with the shortcomings every system had faced—small fields of vision, unwieldy form factors, horrific resolution. He was also uniquely suited to do something about it: Years of modding videogame consoles and refurbishing iPhones for fun and profit had given him enough fine-soldering skills to start Frankensteining pieces from his existing headset collection.

via Oculus Primed: Meet the Geniuses Who Finally Mastered Virtual Reality | Game|Life | Wired.com.