Eleanor Jacobs, 91, Dies; a Force Behind the Earth Shoe Phenomenon

from NYTs Eleanor Jacobs, who stumbled upon a pair of odd-looking shoes in Denmark and, with her husband, Raymond, created a short-lived phenomenon by selling them in the United States as Earth Shoes, died on Aug. 25 at her home in Litchfield, Conn. She was 91. Her daughter Susan Jacobs said the cause was congestive heart failure. In 1969, while she and her husband were vacationing in Denmark, Ms. Jacobs’s chronic back pain increased from all the walking she had been doing. She found unexpected salvation with a pair of negative-heel shoes she found at a store in Copenhagen. More […]

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A Different Kind of Civil-Service Organization

from The Atlantic The U.S. national government is failing in its response to the pandemic. One recent example: A month ago, on March 20, the United States and South Korea had about the same number of coronavirus deaths: nearly 100 in South Korea, versus somewhere over 200 in the U.S. Since South Korea has a much smaller population—about 50 million, versus more than 300 million for the U.S.—its per capita death rate was actually much higher. One month later, South Korea’s death total had risen to only 236—while that in the U.S. was rising quickly past 40,000. With adjustments for […]

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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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The End Of Handshakes?

from Seth’s Blog In the future, of course, there are no handshakes. Star Trek, Star Wars, even Spaceballs… no one shakes hands. And handshakes haven’t been the standard default for as long as we think–they were codified by the Quakers five hundred years ago, because they were thought to be more egalitarian than tipping a hat or bowing. Today, of course, a handshake is often seen as a threat more than a disarming form of intimacy and equality. More here.

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The Expert Generalist: Why the Future Belongs to Polymaths

from Medium Some of history’s greatest contributions have come from polymaths. Aristotle practically invented half a dozen fields of study across philosophy. Galileo was as much a physicist as he was an engineer when he helped kick-start the scientific revolution. Da Vinci might have been even more famous as an inventor than an artist if his notebooks were ever published. Even in the last 100 years, we have had people like John Von Neumann and Herbert Simon who have made breakthrough advances across fields as diverse as computer science, economics, and psychology. That is, of course, not to detract from […]

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Think You Can’t Escape Google? You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet

from Fast Company More than any designer this side of Cupertino, Matias Duarte has made phones easy to use. During his tenure at Google — first overseeing the design of Android — the vice president of design watched Google’s operating system capture more than 85% of the global smartphone market. Duarte has likened his own work in mainstreaming these addictive devices to that of an arms dealer — “I just make the guns! I didn’t make you guys shoot each other!” — but he’s also not slowing down. After pioneering Material Design — a user interface metaphor that’s helped de-uglify […]

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New Ransomware Doesn’t Just Encrypt Data. It Also Meddles With Critical Infrastructure

from ars technica Over the past five years, ransomware has emerged as a vexing menace that has shut down factories, hospitals, and local municipalities and school districts around the world. In recent months, researchers have caught ransomware doing something that’s potentially more sinister: intentionally tampering with industrial control systems that dams, electric grids, and gas refineries rely on to keep equipment running safely. A ransomware strain discovered last month and dubbed Ekans contains the usual routines for disabling data backups and mass-encrypting files on infected systems. But researchers at security firm Dragos found something else that has the potential to […]

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The Future Is Faster Than You Think

from Reimagining The Future In a recent Interview, Peter Diamandis talks about the rapid pace of innovation and how it is about to get a lot quicker. Diamandis has always had a positive outlook on the path of innovation – and although I share his optimism, there is no disputing societies need to map that Path. His ability to explore possible futures is very instructive, as leaders everywhere must understand the potential to advance our human development. Mr. Diamandis believes we will see more change in the coming decade than we have in the last 100 years. He speaks of […]

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Meet the Leftish Economist With a New Story About Capitalism

from NYTs Mariana Mazzucato was freezing. Outside, it was a humid late-September day in Manhattan, but inside — in a Columbia University conference space full of scientists, academics and businesspeople advising the United Nations on sustainability — the air conditioning was on full blast. For a room full of experts discussing the world’s most urgent social and environmental problems, this was not just uncomfortable but off-message. Whatever their dress — suit, sari, head scarf — people looked huddled and hunkered down. At a break, Dr. Mazzucato dispatched an assistant to get the A.C. turned off. How will we change anything, […]

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Google Reportedly Attains ‘Quantum Supremacy’

from c|net Google has reportedly built a quantum computer more powerful than the world’s top supercomputers. A Google research paper was temporarily posted online this week, the Financial Times reported Friday, and said the quantum computer’s processor allowed a calculation to be performed in just over 3 minutes. That calculation would take 10,000 years on IBM’s Summit, the world’s most powerful commercial computer, Google reportedly said. Google researchers are throwing around the term “quantum supremacy” as a result, the FT said, because their quantum computer can solve tasks that can’t otherwise be solved. “To our knowledge, this experiment marks the […]

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Apple, The iPhone, And The Innovator’s Dilemma

From Wired If you re-read the first few chapters of The Innovator’s Dilemma and you insert “Apple” every time Clayton Christensen mentions “a company,” a certain picture emerges: Apple is a company on the verge of being disrupted, and the next great idea in tech and consumer electronics will not materialize from within the walls of its Cupertino spaceship. The Innovator’s Dilemma, of course, is about the trap that successful companies fall into time and time again. They’re well managed, they’re responsive to their customers, and they’re market leaders. And yet, despite doing everything right, they fail to see the next wave of […]

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Where Are You In Your Innovation Journey?

from Forbes Digital transformation has gone from trendy best practice to survival prerequisite. Every business worth its salt has a hand in the game. But “getting it” is one thing, and getting it done is another. Adapting to new technologies, developing new skill sets, and keeping up with customers poses a set of pretty complex challenges. As an organization that exists to help businesses create opportunities from new and emerging technology, navigating this landscape of continual change is fundamental to our role in the world. And one thing we’ve learned is it’s a lot easier to get where you’re going […]

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What We Often Get Wrong About Automation

from HBR When leaders describe how advances in automation will affect job prospects for humans, predictions typically fall into one of two camps. Optimists say that machines will free human workers to do higher-value, more creative work. Pessimists predict massive unemployment, or, if they have a flair for the dramatic, a doomsday scenario in which humans’ only job is to serve our robot overlords. What almost everyone gets wrong is focusing exclusively on the idea of automation “replacing” humans. Simply asking which humans will be replaced fails to account for how work and automation will evolve. Our new book, Reinventing Jobs: […]

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Why Now Is The Best Time To Embrace Blockchain Technology

from Forbes This is going to be a bold statement: It’s time for your business to start embracing blockchain, the biggest game-changer in technology since the internet. Blockchain, to those unfamiliar with the concept, is a hyperledger. This technology makes it possible for users to enjoy a transparent and distributed digital record of transactions while doing away with the need for a central database. By decentralizing data storage and enabling distribution of digital records, this technology provides transparency and allows users to transact with one another without needing a third party. With blockchain, everyone can manage their own data — from […]

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Experts Say Tesla Has Repeated Car Industry Mistakes From The 1980S

from ars technica Production had been halted for much of last week in Tesla’s car factory in Fremont, California, and its battery factory near Clark, Nevada. In a Tuesday note to employees, CEO Elon Musk said that the pause was necessary to lay the groundwork for higher production levels in the coming weeks. Musk said he wants all parts of the company ready to prepare 6,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of June, triple the rate Tesla has achieved in the recent weeks. The announcement caps a nine-month period of turmoil that Musk has described as “production […]

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