‘Disruption’ Is a Two-Way Street

from Wired BIG TECH AS we know it was built on the ethos of subverting sanctity. Ideas, institutions, service delivery, how I make my chai—nothing could be beyond the reach of technological disruption. In this vision, the tech company was the lean, scrappy, innovative underdog taking on the powerful, entrenched status quo, freeing the consumer from the shackles of history. But tech can no longer claim to be the underdog (if it ever could). So-called tech disruptors today have unchallenged access, funding, and regulatory support (or at least acquiescence). As the current hype of technological disruption reaches the markets of […]

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The FTC Sues Nvidia to Block Its Historic Deal With Arm

from Wired (via Ars Technica) The Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm, the semiconductor design firm, saying that the blockbuster deal would unfairly stifle competition. “The FTC is suing to block the largest semiconductor chip merger in history to prevent a chip conglomerate from stifling the innovation pipeline for next-generation technologies,” Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, said in a statement. “Tomorrow’s technologies depend on preserving today’s competitive, cutting-edge chip markets. This proposed deal would distort Arm’s incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia’s rivals.” More here.

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Tools For Modern Citizens

from Seth’s Blog It has taken us by surprise, but in our current situation, when everyone has more of a voice and more impact on the public than ever before, it suddenly matters. You wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic who didn’t know how to fix a car, and citizens, each of us, should be held to at least as high a standard of knowledge. Everyone around us needs to know about: More here.

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Flipped Learning: What Is It, And When Is It Effective?

from Brookings Instructors are constantly on the lookout for more effective and innovative ways to teach. Over the last 18 months, this quest has become even more salient, as COVID-19 has shaken up the academic landscape and pushed teachers to experiment with new strategies for engaging their students. One innovative teaching method that may be particularly amenable to teaching during the pandemic is flipped learning. But does it work? In this post, we discuss our new reportsummarizing the lessons from over 300 published studies on flipped learning. The findings suggest that, for many of us who work with students, flipped […]

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The Grid Isn’t Ready for the Renewable Revolution

from Wired YOU CAN ALMOST hear the electrical grid creaking and groaning under the weight of the future, as two forces converge to push it—often literally—to its breaking point.  One force is climate change, which can exacerbate disasters that take down parts of the grid, as Hurricane Ida did this summer, knocking New Orleans offline just as a heat wave settled in. Or extreme weather can suddenly spike the demand for energy just when the grid is least able to provide it, like during last winter’s Texas freeze and subsequent power system failure. The other force, ironically enough, is the massive […]

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Congestion Pricing Is Coming to New York. Everyone Has an Opinion.

from NYTs More than two years after New York State lawmakers approved a congestion pricing plan that would toll drivers entering the busiest parts of Manhattan — the first such program in the country — New Yorkers and those who travel alongside them are getting a chance to voice their opinions. Public hearings, which started last week, kick off an extensive review process that federal officials are requiring the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to complete before the agency can begin charging vehicles that enter Manhattan between 60th Street and the Battery. Congestion pricing is meant to discourage drivers and address the […]

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Is Our Machine Learning? Ars Takes A Dip Into Artificial Intelligence

from ars technica Every day, some little piece of logic constructed by very specific bits of artificial intelligence technology makes decisions that affect how you experience the world. It could be the ads that get served up to you on social media or shopping sites, or the facial recognition that unlocks your phone, or the directions you take to get to wherever you’re going. These discreet, unseen decisions are being made largely by algorithms created by machine learning (ML), a segment of artificial intelligence technology that is trained to identify correlation between sets of data and their outcomes. We’ve been […]

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How the Space Station Became a Base to Launch Humanity’s Future

from NYTs For the International Space Station, Leroy Chiao was, in a sense, there before the beginning. In October 2000, he was one of seven astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery, which brought pieces of the nascent space station to orbit. Construction had begun a couple of years earlier. But no one was living there yet. Much of the work on Dr. Chiao’s flight was done outside the space station, during spacewalks. But the astronauts also got to go inside briefly. “It had that new-car smell,” Dr. Chiao recalled. It was a runt of a space station then. The habitable […]

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Boston Dynamics’ Robots Won’t Take Our Jobs … Yet

from Wired IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO talk about Boston Dynamics robots without acknowledging two things: They’re a marvel of modern engineering, and their agility can be incredibly unnerving. A 46-second video of Spot the robot “dog” opening a door has more than 56 million views on YouTube. Atlas, the company’s headless humanoid robot, can go for a jog or do parkour. And just last week, the company released new footage of Spot the robot recharging on its own. (If it sounds like a Black Mirror episode, well, that’s because it sort of is.) But even as many observers joke about a […]

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Agtech’s Moment To Shine

from Forbes Agtech, the marriage of agriculture and technology, recently hit headlines with word of AppHarvest’s impending IPO. AppHarvest is an agtech startup that builds high-tech greenhouses with innovations that support water and energy conservation, including what is may be the world’s biggest greenhouse. The company’s high profile investors include domestic lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart and Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance. Over the summer celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry invested in Apeel Sciences a California-based food bio company that produces a coating that extends the life of produce. Earlier this month Syngenta announced its acquisition of the Italian biotech […]

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How To Tell If The Company You’re Interviewing With Is Not Interested In You

from Forbes Job seekers always wonder what happened in their interviews. After six to 10 Zoom meetings over the course of five months, communications from the company have abruptly stopped. You’re left wondering, “Did I do something wrong? Do they not like me?” In the past, companies would freely share feedback and constructive criticism. The firm would divulge what the candidate did right and where they may need some help. The human resources person would also share some insider tips, such as, “Tell Bob when he meets with Karen, the hiring manager’s manager, he should give the same elevator pitch […]

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Why Online Voting Is Harder Than Online Banking

from ars technica For a feature last week, I talked to a number of election experts and computer security researchers who argued that secure Internet voting isn’t feasible today and probably won’t be for many years to come. A common response to this argument—one that came up in comments to last week’s article—is to compare voting to banking. After all, we regularly use the Internet to move money around the world. Why can’t we use the same techniques to secure online votes? But voting has some unique requirements that make secure online voting a particularly challenging problem. Every electronic transaction in the […]

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Welcome To Human-Computer Co-Creation: What GPT-3 Means For Education

from Forbes It’s a super auto-completer. With a little training, it’s a writer, coder, composer, translator, and puzzle solver. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of AI from OpenAI, a San Francisco R&D shop set up to guide a path to safe artificial general intelligence and funded by Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, and Vinod Khosla.  Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) is a deep learning language model that produces human-like text. The third-generation model “is the most powerful language model ever,” MIT Technology Review.   Trained by supercomputers with 175 billion parameters—an order of magnitude more than prior models—applications for GPT-3 have the potential […]

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This Hoodie Comes With A Built-In Mask

from Fast Company If you’re tired of wearing a DIY mask, a new hoodie offers another option: a built-in mask, made from a material that can (theoretically) filter out more germs than an N95 mask, zips up into the hood—which is itself a filter. The hoodie, which is available for preorder now, is the latest design from G95, a company that also makes scarves that double as air filters. Founder Carlton Solle launched the company three years ago after getting sick on a business trip to China; a doctor told him that high levels of air pollution might be the […]

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Some Shirts Hide You From Cameras—But Will Anyone Wear Them?

from ars technica Right now, you’re more than likely spending the vast majority of your time at home. Someday, however, we will all be able to leave the house once again and emerge, blinking, into society to work, travel, eat, play, and congregate in all of humanity’s many bustling crowds. The world, when we eventually enter it again, is waiting for us with millions of digital eyes—cameras, everywhere, owned by governments and private entities alike. Pretty much every state out there has some entity collecting license plate data from millions of cars—parked or on the road—every day. Meanwhile all kinds […]

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Gustave Eiffel’s Original Drawings for the Statue of Liberty

from kottke Long thought destroyed or lost forever, a cache of original engineering drawings & blueprints for the Statue of Liberty done by Gustave Eiffel were found among some of Eiffel’s papers purchased at auction last year. Smithsonian magazine has the story of how they came to be found and why the drawings are so significant. More here.

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How To Quickly Capture Today’s Untapped Business Opportunities

from Forbes During an economic downturn, if you look close enough, there are always industries that are doing better than they ever did. What’s interesting is that despite the economy’s negative impact on buyers’ purchasing power, the demand for certain companies’ products is so high that even the leaders of the industry cannot keep up with demand. Will you do something about it? Entrepreneurs owe their leadership, hustle, problem-solving skills and risk-taking to those in need. You know there’s a promising business opportunity when you see people ready to spend their money but can’t find anyone to take it. This […]

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