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Monthly Archives: April 2015

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Stanford Virtual Reality Lab Ditches $40K Rig for $350 Oculus Rift

Ever since the Oculus Rift first started blowing minds a few years ago, virtual reality hasn’t just been a hot topic, it’s inspired a $2 billion Facebook acquisition and a mob of competitors. Immersive...

Digitizing DIY: Lowe’s to Offer 3D Printing Services at Orchard Supply Hardware

We’ve all been to a hardware store, questing for that weirdly sized screw or bolt. Led by some DIY guru, and after navigating aisles with hundreds of grey plastic drawers, we find just what...

Feeding Tomorrow’s Billions: Lab-Grown Meat Products, Vertical Farms, AI-Designed Recipes, and More

Food and agriculture accounts for about 5.9% of the global GDP. Global food retail sales alone account for about $4 trillion/year, and food accounts for 15% of what American households spend each year. It is an...

Watch Tiny Gecko Robots Haul Loads Up to 2,000 Times Their Own Weight

Biologically inspired gecko-bots? They aren’t as rare as you might imagine. We’ve been covering them since 2009, and they’ve existed since at least 2006. That said, the latest generation, out of Stanford, comes in more sizes—and...

Celebrate 25 Years of Hubble With This Warp Speed Tour of the Spectacular Gum Nebula

When our ancestors looked up at night, they saw the star-studded dome of heaven. It’s easy to understand why they thought this. Even today, gazing at the sky, the stars appear fixed on a gently curved surface. Of...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Apr 25)

COMPUTING: HP's Audacious Idea for Reinventing Computers Tom Simonite | Technology Review "Nearly three-quarters of the people in HP’s research division are now dedicated to a single project: a powerful new kind of computer known as...

The Coming Problem of Our iPhones Being More Intelligent Than Us

Ray Kurzweil made a startling prediction in 1999 that appears to be coming true: that by 2023 a $1,000 laptop would have the computing power and storage capacity of a human brain.  He also...

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

If you look closely enough, Earth has rings. NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites...

They’re Alive! Watch These Mini 3D Printed Organs Beat Just Like Hearts

There’s something almost alchemical going on at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Scientists there have genetically transformed skin cells into heart cells and used them to 3D print mini-organs that beat just...

Why There Has Never Been a Better Time to Be an Entrepreneur

Doctor, engineer, and businessman. These were the top three career choices for the children of middle-class families in India when I was young. Doctors earned the most respect; engineers were second-best; business was something...

The Internet of Everything Is a Simply Massive Opportunity: $19 Trillion in the Next Decade

This week I interviewed Padma Warrior, CTO and Chief Strategist of Cisco, to discuss the Internet of Everything (IoE). Padma is a brilliant and visionary person, one of the most important female leaders of this...

Looking Ahead as Moore’s Law Turns 50: What’s Next for Computing?

On April 19, 1965, Intel cofounder Gordon Moore (then of Fairchild Semiconductor) published a paper on the fledgling technology of integrated circuits. In the paper, Moore noted that the number of components (diodes, capacitors, resistors,...
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Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction To Science Fact

For the past 25 years, my beat as a journalist has been covering those moments in time when science fiction became science fact. As a result, and on a good number of occasions—like when...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Apr 18)

Enjoy this week's stories! COMPUTING: Moore’s Law Shows Its Age Don Clark | Wall Street Journal "At first, Moore’s Law was largely a yardstick for chip engineers. It gradually became a competitive imperative, spurring companies to relentlessly innovate." ARTIFICIAL...

Discover the Chemical Composition of Everyday Stuff…With a Smartphone Camera

Our smartphones can do a lot—compute, pin down our location, sense motion and orientation, send and receive wireless signals, take photographs and video. What if you could also learn exactly what chemical components were present...

The 4 Steps That Transform Physics Theories Into Groundbreaking New Technologies

Ever wondered how the technology we use every day came into existence? Sure, an engineer designed it, a manufacturer produced it, and some savvy marketing helped sell you the product, but where did the...

2015’s Most Electrifying Emerging Tech? World Economic Forum Releases Annual List

Writing lists forecasting technology is a bit like writing science fiction. Prerequisites include intimate knowledge of the bleeding edge of technology, the ability to separate signal from noise, and more than a little audacity. Looking back,...

Disrupt or Be Disrupted: Exponential Finance Is Coming to Wall Street This June

CNBC and Singularity University are partnering to present Exponential Finance, a two-day conference in New York City exploring the game-changing technologies poised to disrupt business and the financial world. Technology moves as fast as the...
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Why Startups Like Uber, Airbnb, and SpaceX Succeed, While Others Fail

What's most important for the success of your project? Is it the team? Funding? Timing? Idea? Business model? Recently I heard Bill Gross, one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century, offer a compelling answer—one...
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Sci-Fi Sunday: What Happens When Our Technology Outpaces Our Understanding?

Though the sci-fi short “Burnt Grass” deals with themes related to futuristic technologies, it doesn’t bother to develop said future in detail. It is, after all, a short film. You’ve got to pick your...

What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Apr 11)

Enjoy this week's stories! ROBOTICS: Human Laws Can't Control Killer Robots, New Report Says Kari Paul | Motherboard "​When a human being is killed by an autonomous machine, who takes the blame? Human rights non-governmental organization Human Rights...

Our Solar System’s 9 Extraterrestrial Oceans in One Surprising Infographic

When scientists looked at Mars through early telescopes, they saw a fuzzy, rust-colored globe scored by mysterious dark gashes some believed were alien canals. Later, armed with sharper images, we scoffed at such naiveté. Mars is obviously dry as...

Here’s How We Can Reinvent the Classroom for the Digital Age

When I was in elementary school, about 50 years ago, teachers used to stand in front of a class of 40 or 50 children and write on a blackboard with chalk. To make sure...

Crowdfunding’s Continued Maturity Is Empowering Entrepreneurs Like Never Before

One of the core ideas in my latest book Bold is that today, for the first time in history, entrepreneurs have the ability to take on grand, world-changing projects—the kinds that twenty years ago were...

The Secrets of Unicorn Companies (and the 100 Most Scalable Organizations)

We are in era of unprecedented value creation, and its symbol is the Unicorn — a company that rapidly gains to a valuation of a billion dollars and beyond. While pundits are again asking “Are we...

Pilots Need Not Apply: Matternet Launches Autonomous Drone Delivery System

We’ve covered drone delivery startup, Matternet, for a few years now. Before Amazon’s Jeff Bezos talked drone delivery on “60 Minutes,” Matternet was already working the problem. But their vision didn’t begin with retail and e-commerce—it began with...

Meet the Rising Billion Who Will Fuel Disruption in the Global Economy

The most dramatic (positive) change in our global economy is about to occur between 2016 and 2020. Three to five billion new consumers, who have never purchased anything, never uploaded anything, and never invented and...

How to 3D Print Instant Disaster Relief

For the first time, late last year, astronauts 3D printed tools and replacement parts in space. It was a momentous occasion. Astronauts are at the mercy of resupply missions, and it can take weeks...

Finland’s Latest Educational Move Will Produce a Generation of Entrepreneurs

Last Friday marked the fifth anniversary of the iPad, a device heralded for triggering the broad adoption of tablet computers and for further spurring our always-connected, digital lives. Like the iPod and iPhone before it, the iPad significantly impacted a number...

This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Apr 4)

Surviving another April Fool's on the web requires effort and some just ignore the Internet for the day. Fortunately, we've filtered through all the excessive nonsense to find some true gems in the midst of the silliness. Enjoy this...

Which Industry Will Produce the Next Henry Ford…Space? 3D Printing? Biotech?

Modern machines, powerful and clever, have enabled us to attempt seemingly impossible tasks, like traveling to the moon. Now, mere decades after Apollo’s computers guided us to the lunar surface, millions carry vastly more processing...
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The End of Meaningless Jobs Is a Win For Us All

Many experts studying the topic of automation believe that the current rate of advancement is leading us into a future with fewer and fewer available jobs. Maybe that’s a good thing. In his 2013 essay, “On the Phenomenon...

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