Is forward compatibility for analog mailboxes too much to ask?
Peculiar image of the week.
Is forward compatibility for analog mailboxes too much to ask?
Peculiar image of the week.
I think therefore I am a malfunctioning robot? This gloomy seven minute video by David Cage may evoke feelings of Anthropomorphobia.
A new species is populating our cities. These small electronic life forms, called Buqs, can shift the experience of the streetscape from the primarily visual to a more auditory experience.
Regular readers of this blog know we are closely monitoring razor technology as a symbol of our co-evolutionary relationship with technology. This basically means that, like the bees and the flowers, people and technology are caught in a relationship of mutual dependence: we serve our technology as much as it serves us. And just like humans, technology wants to prosper, propagate and grow.
The latest species in the Razorius line is the Razorius Gilletus Gold Plastic. Like the exorbitant feathers of the peacock, which only function is to aesthetically stand out amid its competitors, this new species of Razorius Gilletus only differs from its predecessor with a thin layer of gold paint on its plastic body.
How much would an iPhone have cost in 1991? Tech Policy Daily has tried to do this evaluation. Mobile evolution and digital advance don’t concern only features, performances and size, but also a progress in cost containment.
While in old nature people build shelters to protect themselves from natural forces like wind and rain, today one has to protect oneself from nextnatural forces like electromagnetic signals, cellphone tracking, closed circuit television, drone attacks, radiation, etc.
The Faraday tent is a personal space that protects you from all electromagnetic signals in your surroundings. The nextnatural shelter was developed by Sarah van Sonsbeek. She also made a handy Faraday bag, which blocks all calls if you drop your phone in it.
Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. Get into twenty-first century bird spotting with The Drone Survival guide.
The downloadable guide is an attempt to familiarize people with a changing technological environment. It contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species. It is also possible to order a copy printed on Chromolux ALU-E mirrored paper that, according to designer Ruben Pater, can be used as a defense against drone cameras because of its mirrored surface.
Prepare yourself for next natural predators. After reading the guide your follow up step could be to get a drone hunting permit.
Drones are typically thought of as flying spying robots, or even worse flying spying shooting robots. But could we also employ drones for good? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos certainly thinks so. In a 60 Minutes interview, he announced that Amazon wants to use octocopters to deliver your order within a half hour at any location you choose.
This mesmerizing drone ballet was brought to you by Kmel Robotics and Lexus. Although, if you are living in Afghanistan or in some other gloomy future, the idea of drones entering your living environment while you sleep might feel less poetic and the waking face of the car at the end may evoke anthropomorphobic shivers.
Thanks Liam Young.
So you might have heard about the Technological Singularity, but did you ever wonder what happens after the fact? Black Sky thinking is a term that is being developed to shape an approach for dealing with unfamiliar territories – both real and conceptual.
Black Sky thinking seeks to understand more about our situation without prejudging or even needing to know the future. It travels into the unknown, not as a reckless gesture but as a creative act, so that we may envision the world we wish to inhabit. This does not mean that anything goes, but rather, signals a fresh exploration of things we thought we knew, so that we can look and imagine afresh.
Thanks to new technologies, life sciences now have to face the age of big data. With advances in genome sequencing, imaging and other technology, biologists and neuroscientists are generating data very quickly. According to David Relman, a physician and microbiologist at Stanford University:
“We are now faced with the daunting challenge of trying to understand the system from the perspective of all this big data, with not nearly as much biology with which to interpret it. The whole genome can fit on a CD, but the brain is comparable to the digital content of the world”.
To go through the big data revolution, scientists will need to develop data analysis tools and to get used to the concept of sharing their data.
Find more on Quanta Magazine
Just like razors, cowboy hats, and Mickey Mouse, the treble clef has “evolved” over the centuries. It started out as a relatively simple “G”. It’s fancier form may be due to the fact that, occasionally, vocal pitch was also indicated along with instrumental pitch. The resulting “G sol” was turned to “G.S”, and then either mistakenly or carelessly transcribed into the elaborate curlicue shape we know today. Just as with genetic evolution, transcription errors in texts can lead to surprising new forms.
Read the full history of the treble clef’s evolution at Smithsonian Magazine.
The next guest in our interview series is Jason Silva, Venezuelan-American filmmaker, futurist, and media artist. The TED Conference called him a performance philosopher for his poetic, impassioned and inspirational take on scientific and technological advancements, his riveting on-stage delivery style, and his hyper-enthusiastic insights on creativity, innovation, technology, philosophy and the human condition.
His non-commercial series of short videos, named Shots of Philosophical Espresso, explore the co-evolution of humans and technology and have gone viral with over 1.2 million views. Many have called Silva an “Idea DJ” and a poet, describing him as a re-vitalizer and remixer of optimism, and above all, a curator: of ideas, of inspiration, and of awe.
In our culture, nature is generally depicted as a beautiful spectacle that is romanticized as a positive force. Time to shed some light on its darker sides. Meet Cymothoa exigua, aka the tongue parasite. You’ll never be alone again once it crawls into your mouth (if you’re a fish). This parasitic crustacean will eat and replace your tongue:
When one of these crustaceans encounters a rose snapper, it enters the fish’s mouth and steadily devours the fish’s tongue. Once it has done this, the crustacean uses hooks on its underside to attach itself to the floor of the fish’s mouth and thereafter serves as a replacement tongue.
Cymothoa exigua is strictly speaking off-topic as it is an old nature rather than a next nature phenomenon. Nonetheless it is a good example of the extreme crudeness of old nature, which we hardly ever encounter among the biomimic marketed products in the supermarket.
Readers question: Does a next nature equivalent of Cymothoa exigua exist and if so, what would it be?
Egyptian authorities detained a stork last week on suspicion of espionage, mistaking its migration tag for spying equipment. In fact the stork was innocent – like a number of other animals falsely accused over the years of undercover work.
Throughout the US, coal mines abandoned before environmental laws produce acid mine drainage, a soup of toxins that can turn contaminated streams as acidic as lemon juice. One of the main byproducts of acid mine drainage, ferric oxyhydroxides, also happen to be the base for commercial red and yellow paints. Guy Riefler, a professor of environmental engineering at Ohio University, has invented a method for collecting the iron sludge in the runoff and converting it into pigments. With the help of artist John Sabraw, Riefler is tweaking his process with an eye to eventually manufacturing commercially viable paints. There’s certainly no shortage of raw materials: a single seep near Ohio University oozes out enough sludge to produce one ton of pigments every day.
Via Smithsonian Magazine.
Big Data has made it into the bird-watching world. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird app allows scientists and citizens to record sightings to a form a vast, real-time map of bird populations and species across the globe. Far from being a niche product, the app is hugely successful in the birding world: Users logged more than 5.6 million observations in May alone, with the number increasing every month.
Unlike traditional methods of tallying birds, eBird makes sharing and recording sightings with scientists easy. Its instantaneous aspect addressed the day-to-day distribution of creatures that are, by definition, highly mobile. EBird has already proven its scientific mettle: ornithologists now know that the US has two genetically distinct groups of orchard orioles, and that the population of Eastern meadowlarks is in decline, suggesting that meadow ecosystems themselves are in trouble.