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Let’s bring back apprenticeships!

March 23, 2012 by Dale J. Stephens

UnCollege

Dale J. Stephens, age 20, is a Thiel Fellow and leads UnCollege, the social movement changing the notion that college is the only path to success. His first book, Hacking Your Education, will be published by Penguin in 2013.

The idea that the world is constantly changing — and faster than ever before — is nothing new. But what’s new is that companies and organizations are starting to realize that our… read more

Let’s tell everyone how to make a virus that could kill millions!

November 26, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

H5N1 virus (credit: Lennart Nilsson)

Here’s an idea: why don’t we just tell everybody in the world how to make an airborne H5N1 influenza virus strain (“bird flu”) that has been genetically altered to be easily transmissible (between ferrets, which mostly closely mimic the human response to flu), and which if released, could trigger an influenza pandemic, quite possibly with many millions of deaths?

OK, it seems like a totally evil idea, one that… read more

Long before the Spike Jonze film Her there was Teknolust

Lynn Hershman Leeson and her virtual personas
March 6, 2014 by R.U. Sirius

Teknolust film poster

Lynn Hershman Leeson has been making art and films about the thin line between the real and the virtual for four decades.

She is probably best known for her two films Conceiving Ada (I had a small role, 1997) and Teknolust (2002), both starring Tilda
 Swinton — which explore emotions, sexuality and technology, and the ways in which they converge.

Around 1999, while Leeson was working on Teknolust,… read more

Looking to the future of A New Kind of Science

May 15, 2012 by Stephen Wolfram

wolfram

Today ten years have passed since A New Kind of Science (”the NKS book”) was published. But in many ways the development that started with the book is still only just beginning. And over the next several decades I think its effects will inexorably become ever more obvious and important.

Indeed, even at an everyday level I expect that in time there will be all sorts of visible reminders… read more

Know Your Meme | Magnets, how exactly do they work?

April 27, 2011

Know Your Meme logo

Source: Know Your Meme — June 11, 2010

Know Your Meme | Internet Scientist Elspeth Jane of The Rocketboom Institute for Internet Studies explores the viral sensation that was Insane Clown Posse’s “Miracles,” aka “F***ing Magnets: How Do They Work?”

[ For more info on this, visit the Meme Database! ]

Related:
Know Your Meme
HowStuffWorks | "How magnets work"

Man will become like God, say Mormons and transhumanists in Salt Lake City

April 10, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

mta2013

Like every year, I attended the yearly conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association (MTA), on April 6 in Salt Lake City.

It is no mystery that I am very fond of the MTA. I think it represents the best example of successful integration of transhumanist ideas in a mainstream religion, and one of the best transhumanist communities.

Man becoming godlike: belief or heresy?read more

Mask-bot: A talking video humanoid robot

November 8, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Mask-Bot

Welcome to the creepiest uncanny-valley experience yet: a talking robot face called Mask-botdeveloped by a team at the Institute for Cognitive Systems (ICS) at TU München and AIST, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.

What sets Mask-bot apart is that it can instantly construct and project a static video image of anyone’s face (from a photo) on a 3D surface,… read more

Medieval tech support

January 21, 2010

medieval-tech-support

Source: "Øystein og jeg" on Norwegian Broadcasting — 2001

From the show “Øystein og jeg” on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.

Meet Stompy: the giant, rideable walking robot

August 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Wanna take a ride? Sorry, you'll have to pledge first. Stompy is a work in progress. (Credit: Hexapod)

It’s an open-source, 18 ft. wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged hydraulic robot. So yet another quirky Kickstarter project? Well, not exactly, read on….

“We dream of a world where imagination becomes reality simply because enough passionate people decide that an idea has merit.” So say the folks at Project Hexapod, based out of a makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts called Artisan’s Asylum.

OK, but what’s the purpose of… read more

Meetup and 9/11

September 9, 2011 by Scott Heiferman

meetup

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don’t write to our whole community often, but this week is special because it’s the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many people don’t know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the… read more

Microsoft offers a glimpse into the future of productivity

October 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

cell

Microsoft has posted an awesome new concept video with some ubercool new interfaces that could be here in five to ten years, estimates Kurt DelBene, President, Microsoft Office Division.

That sounds a bit conservative. “All of the ideas in the video are based on real technology,” he said. “Some of the capabilities, such as speech recognition, real time collaboration, and data visualization, already… read more

Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see and interact with objects on the tabletop

February 11, 2011 by Sarah Black

(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface | Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see what’s going on on the tabletop. This allows for all manner of natural user interfaces to be employed both with everyday objects, and objects specifically crafted to work with Surface.

Wikipedia | Microsoft Surface is a surface computing platform that responds to natural hand gestures and real world objects. It has a 360-degree user interface, a 30 in (76 cm) reflective surface… read more

MIT panel discussion on Steven Spielberg’s AI film with Raymond Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Sherry Turkle and Cynthia Breazeal

May 7, 2001

Steven Spielberg’s film “A.I.” was previewed at MIT on April 20, 2001 at an event that seemed geared more toward humans than futuristic robots.… read more

Molecular cut and paste

July 28, 2011 by William Mcewan

Future Science book cover

A combination of cheap DNA synthesis, freely accessible databases, and our ever-expanding knowledge of protein science is conspiring to permit a revolution in creating powerful molecular tools, suggests William McEwan, Ph.D., a virologist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K., in this excerpt from the new book Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge, edited by Max Brockman.

This afternoon I received… read more

movie review | New science fiction movie Elysium

Now in U.S. theaters and in IMAX
August 5, 2013 by L. Stephen Coles

Elysium2

The science-fiction movie Elysium opens in theaters and IMAX in the U.S. on Friday, August 9. The ostensible bionics (exoskeleton technology) and special effects for this film are mesmerizing.

The folk who live on the space station Elysium appear to have eliminated poverty, war, illness (including cancer), and possibly death.

The unfortunate folk who remain on Earth have all of these problems in spades and worse. Recall the… read more

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