HD 189733b, an exoplanet whose atmosphere is being blown off by its sun's solar flares, was discovered by the emerging field of exo-meteorology. Science
"Science is advancing, and as it does, fields like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy are becoming increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, leading to entirely new avenues of inquiry. Here re 11 emerging scientific fields you should know about."
If we want to protect privacy, we should be more clear about why it is important.
Our privacy is now at risk in unprecedented ways, but, sadly, the legal system is lagging behind the pace of innovation. Indeed, the last major privacy law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, was passed in 1986! While an update to the law -- spurred on by the General Petraeus scandal -- is in the works, it only aims to add some more protection to electronic communication like emails. This still does not shield our privacy from other, possibly nefarious, ways that our data can be collected and put to use. Some legislators would much rather not have legal restrictions that could, as Rep. Marsha Blackburn stated in an op-ed, "threaten the lifeblood of the Internet: data." Consider Rep. Blackburn's remarks during an April 2010 Congressional hearing: "[A]nd what happens when you follow the European privacy model and take information out of the information economy? ... Revenues fall, innovation stalls and you lose out to innovators who choose to work elsewhere."
Even though the practices of many companies such as Facebook are legal, there is something disconcerting about them. Privacy should have a deeper purpose than the one ascribed to it by those who treat it as a currency to be traded for innovation, which in many circumstances seems to actually mean corporate interests. To protect our privacy, we need a better understanding of its purpose and why it is valuable.
Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness. In 2004, Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed the eyeborg, a device that translates colours into sounds. Harbisson has been claimed to be the first recognized cyborg in the world, as his passport photo now includes his device. In 2010, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas created the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization to help humans become cyborgs.
The happiest city in America is Napa, California -- and the saddest all swear too much.
The researchers coded each tweet for its happiness content, based on the appearance and frequency of words determined by Mechanical Turk workers to be happy (rainbow, love, beauty, hope, wonderful, wine) or sad (damn, boo, ugly, smoke, hate, lied). While the researchers admit their technique ignores context, they say that for large datasets, simply counting the words and averaging their happiness content produces "reliable" results.
Can we use our brains to directly control machines -- without requiring a body as the middleman? Miguel Nicolelis talks through an astonishing experiment, in which a clever monkey in the US learns to control a monkey avatar, and then a robot arm in Japan, purely with its thoughts. The research has big implications for quadraplegic people -- and maybe for all of us.
Clay Shirky, who does a lot of good thinking (see his latest book) about the social and economic effects of internet technologies, has posted a new piece on the slow but steady demise of the newspaper.
"Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead."
Hacktivism 1.0 was the activism of outsiders. Its organizing principle was to get outsiders into the territory of the other. Wikileaks, on the other hand, is an infostructure developed to be used by insiders. Its sole purpose is to help people get information out from an organization. Wikileaks shifts the source of potential threat from a few, dangerous hackers and a larger group of mostly harmless activists — both outsiders to an organization
This stick-on silicon electrode network is wearable technology to the extreme, designed as a non-invasive diagnostic sensor.
FitBit too bulky? Why not glue a sensor array to your skin?
The quantified self goes nanoscale with a stick-on silicon electrode network that could not only change the way we measure health metrics, but could enable a new form of user interface. And the researchers behind it aim to have the device available in the next few weeks through a spinoff company, MC10.
The development takes wearable technology to the extreme, designed as a non-invasive diagnostic sensor that could be used to measure hydration, activity, and even infant temperature. It bonds to the skin, somewhat like a temporary tattoo, flexing and bending in sync with your skin the way you wish a Band-Aid would. How? Researchers at the University of Illinois, Dalian University of Technology in China, and the University of California at San Diego made it really, really small.
With a thickness of 0.8 micrometers at the widest — around one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair — the thin mesh of silicon actually nestles in to the grooves and creases in your skin, even the ones too small to see. Being small helps, but it’s also important that the silicon is laid out in a serpentine pattern and bonded to a soft rubber substrate, allowing the stiff material to flex, a little bit like an accordion.
“Although electronics, over the years, has developed into an extremely sophisticated form of technology, all existing commercial devices in electronics involve silicon wafers as the supporting substrate,” says John Rogers, who led the study published this week in Advanced Materials.
Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud.
Ninety-nine percent of us live on the wrong side of a one-way mirror
Imagine an Internet where unseen hands curate your entire experience. Where third parties predetermine the news, products and prices you see—even the people you meet. A world where you think you are making choices, but in reality, your options are narrowed and refined until you are left with merely the illusion of control.
This is not far from what is happening today. Thanks to technology that enables Google, Facebook and others to gather information about us and use it to tailor the user experience to our own personal tastes, habits and income, the Internet has become a different place for the rich and for the poor. Most of us have become unwitting actors in an unfolding drama about the tale of two Internets. There is yours and mine, theirs and ours.
Affordable and hobbyist-friendly manufacturing tools that convert polygons into physical objects have been available for more than a decade. Although new technologies such as ABS extruders are diff...
"I am excited about 3D printing, but also uneasy with our way of thinking about the future of home manufacturing. For the driven hobbyists, the printer is just another tool that allows them to bring their designs to life. It shares many of its problems with the approaches that existed before – and adds its own serious challenges to the mix. Perhaps the best we can do is to learn from the manufacturing industry, rather than proclaiming its untimely death."
The hottest new field in biotech is synthetic biology: Scientists can now re-program life at the cellular level, just like a computer program. Syn-bio expert...
Inventing the Future is a live news program featuring coming trends that will shape society. In today's world, success means knowing "What's Next After What's Next?" Lead by Robert Tercek, Inventing the Future offers insight into the future of the world after tomorrow