Biological Teleportation: A team of Chinese scientists isolated the [H7N9 flu] virus, sequenced it, and posted in on the internet ... we downloaded it and ... synthesized the H7N9 virus"
Biological teleportation- taking DNA and uploading the code, and downloading that code somewhere else, and using it to make a living thing
A hotel with robot staff and face recognition instead of room keys will open this summer at Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
Robots will provide a wide range of services at the hotel, including room cleaning, front desk and porter services, meaning you could be checked in by robots and have robots carry your bags your room!
The hotel’s first building complex is scheduled to open on 17 July 2015 with 72 rooms, followed by another 72-room building in 2016. A single room will be priced at around £40 (¥7,000) per night and a twin room will cost around £50 (¥9,000).
Initially the hotel will have 10 robot members of staff, but Huis Ten Bosch company President Hideo Sawada told a news conference. “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots.”
The hotel's name, Henn-na Hotel, reflects how the hotel will “change with cutting-edge technology,” a company official said. This is a play on words: “Henn” is also part of the Japanese word for change.
Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park in Nagasaki, Japan, which recreates a Dutch town, complete with actual-sized copies of old Dutch buildings to bring the experience of The Netherlands to Japan.
With the new funding, the research team will expand the types of information that can be transferred from brain to brain, including more complex visual and psychological phenomena such as concepts, thoughts and rules.
They’re also exploring how to influence brain waves that correspond with alertness or sleepiness. Eventually, for example, the brain of a sleepy airplane pilot dozing off at the controls could stimulate the copilot’s brain to become more alert.
The project could also eventually lead to “brain tutoring,” in which knowledge is transferred directly from the brain of a teacher to a student.
“Imagine someone who’s a brilliant scientist but not a brilliant teacher. Complex knowledge is hard to explain – we’re limited by language,” said co-author Chantel Prat, a faculty member at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and a UW assistant professor of psychology.
According to "Future Timeline" by 2040, the technology is largely perfected for everyday use. It works well and is cheap enough to have spread to even developing countries. Privacy and security issues have been resolved, with personal firewalls able to restrict any unwanted intrusion or hacking attempts. The headsets, visors and earphones necessary for users have been miniaturised and made more comfortable. Some are even fully implantable. Whether for business or personal use, people everywhere are now enjoying a faster, more sophisticated, more private way of communicating.
This form of "virtual telepathy" – and the convergence of other network-based technologies – is radically reshaping society and culture during this time. A speculative bubble is formed on the stock markets, with investors everywhere forecasting a revolution in telecoms. This temporarily overheats the economy, resulting in a crash similar to that of the dotcom collapse of early 2000.
The mindreading software that can listen to the 'voices in your head' - and could let the paralysed speak again
Scientists believe they have found a way to read our minds. They have created a computer program that can decode brain activity that creates the ‘voice in our head’ and put it into words. The breakthrough could give the ‘locked in’ or paralysed hope that they could one day communicate using the system. ‘If you’re reading text in a newspaper or book, you hear a voice in your own head,’ Brian Pasley told New Scientist .
‘We’re trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that can allow someone who is paralysed or locked in to speak.’
An experiment involving a chip on a small drone shows how hardware modeled on the brain could provide useful intelligence
The flight test was a challenge set by the Pentagon research agency DARPA as part of a project under which it has funded HRL, IBM, and others to work on neuromorphic chips. One motivation is the hope that neuromorphic chips might make it possible for military drones to make sense of video and sensor data for themselves, instead of always having to beam it down to earth for analysis by computers or humans.
Prototypes made under DARPA’s program—like HRL’s—have delivered promising results, but much work remains before such technology can perform useful work, says Vishal Saxena, an assistant professor working on neuromorphic chips at Boise State University. “The biggest challenge is identifying what the applications will be and developing robust algorithms,” he says.
Google's ambition to cure death is beginning to take shape in a new product from its Google X division. Andrew Conrad, the head of the company's life sciences division, today announced the details of an effort that would use nanotechnology to identify signs of disease. The project would employ tiny magnetic nanoparticles, said to be one-thousandth the width of a red blood cell, to bind themselves to various molecules and identify them as trouble spots.
Google's nanotechnology project, which would also involve a wearable magnetic device that tracks the particles, is said to be at least five years off, according to an accompanying report in the Wall Street Journal. The company is still figuring out how many nanoparticles are necessary to identify markers of disease, and scientists will have to develop coatings for the particles that will let them bind to targeted cells. One idea is to deliver the nanoparticles via a pill that you would swallow.
DARPA’s Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit is the first solid-state amplifier demonstrating gain above 1 THz (1012 GHz). This achievement, recognized by Guinness World Records, could open up new areas of research and unforeseen applications in the submillimeter-wave spectrum and bring unprecedented performance to circuits operating in more conventional bands. (Credit: DARPA)
“If you look at the frequency of your cell phone, it operates at 2 GHz,” Deal said. “We’re building an amplifier that amplifies radio signals at 1,000 GHz. That’s 500 times faster. Let’s compare that to a car going on the freeway. If we took our car on the freeway at 65 mph, and we sped it up by 500 times, we would be going 32,500 mph on that same road. The fastest a human being has ever traveled in a rocket ship is 27,000 mph. So it’s a big achievement, and it’s a different world.”
A technique known as electroencephalogry recorded thoughts (File pic)
In a world first, a team of researchers has achieved brain-to-brain transmission of information between humans.
The team managed to send messages from India to France - a distance of 5,000 miles - without performing invasive surgery on the test subjects.
There were four participants in the study, aged between 28 and 50.
One was assigned to a brain-computer interface to transmit the thought, while the three others were assigned to receive the thought.
The first participant, located in India, was shown words translated into binary, and had to envision actions for each piece of information.
Billions of dollars are spent on experts who claim they can forecast what’s around the corner, in business, finance and economics. Most of them get it wrong. Now a groundbreaking study has unlocked the secret: it IS possible to predict the future – and a new breed of ‘superforecasters’ knows how to do it
For the first time ever, six-year-old Alex Pring hugged his mother with both arms.
The momentous feat for the six-year-old Florida boy born without part of his right arm was made possible after an engineering student and his colleagues built a prosthetic, largely out of a 3-D printer, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
l"When he hugged me with two hands, he just didn't let go," Alyson Pring told the newspaper.
Pring reached out to Albert Manero, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida, through e-NABLE, an online network devoted to creating 3-D printed prosthetic hands for those in need, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"My mother taught us that we're supposed to help change the world," Manero said. "That's why we did it."
Storing photos, documents and other files in brain-implantable liquid could one day be a reality after researchers discovered a new method of storing data in microscopic particles suspended in a solution.
Scientists at the University of Michigan realised that digital information could be stored on colloidal clusters after observing them switch between two states - such as the 0s and 1s of traditional bits - when placed in a liquid.
Through the design and manipulation of discrete, nanoscale systems capable of encoding massive amounts of information, the basic components of computation are open to reinvention. These components will enable tagging, memory storage, and sensing in unusual environments – elementary functions crucial for soft robotics and “wet computing”. Here we show how reconfigurable clusters made of N colloidal particles bound flexibly to a central colloidal sphere have the capacity to store an amount of information that increases as O(Nln(N)). Using Brownian dynamics simulations, we predict dynamical regimes that allow for information to be written, saved, and erased. We experimentally assemble an N = 4 reconfigurable cluster from chemically synthesized colloidal building blocks, and monitor its equilibrium dynamics. We observe state switching in agreement with simulations. This cluster can store one bit of information, and represents the simplest digital colloid.
MUMBAI: The marvel of liver is not just its capacity for regeneration but also the swift pace at which it regenerates. A study by a Mumbai hospital has revealed that a transplanted liver in a recipient, and the remnant liver in a donor, grows back to its normal size much faster than has been previously believed.
Doctors at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) have found that liver regeneration is nearly complete by three weeks, and does not take three months as most conventional medical textbooks suggest. The Andheri hospital that runs a living-donor transplant programme busted the myth by tracking the regeneration of liver in 11 recipients and six donors who had undergone transplants between March and November 2013.
Liver is the only organ in the human body that can regrow to a near normal size from as little as 25%. In living-donor liver transplantation, a part of the donor's liver is used to replace the damaged or cancerous liver of the recipient patient. Both the remaining liver of the donor and the part transplanted into the patient grow back to full size.
The Emotiv Insight is a wireless headset that met its $100,000 kickstarter goal on September 15th. In fact it exceeded that goal. By about $1.5 million dollars. And it seems to be a testament to our society’s readiness to use technologies that harness the power of our minds.
Physicists at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo have demonstrated the distribution of three entangled photons at three different locations (Alice, Bob, and Charlie) several hundreds of meters apart for the first time, proving quantum nonlocality for more than two entangled photons.
The findings of the experiment, Experimental Three-Particle Quantum Nonlocality under Strict Locality Conditions, are published in Nature Photonics.
Overcoming the ‘locality loophole’
Once described by Einstein as “spooky action at a distance,” this three-photon entanglement leads to interesting possibilities for multi-party quantum communication.
Nonlocality describes the ability of particles to instantaneously know about each other’s state, even when separated by large distances. In the quantum world, this means it might be possible to transfer information instantaneously — faster than the speed of light. This contravenes what Einstein called the “principle of local action,” the rule that distant objects cannot have direct influence on one another, and that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings.
But what if hidden local variables are actually responsible for the correlation between the three photons; that is Einstein was right? To determine that, IQC scientists needed the experiment to close what is known as the “locality loophole.” To do that, hey had to separate the entangled photons in a way that did not allow for a signal to coordinate the behavior of the photons.
So they beamed the entangled photons to trailers parked in fields several hundred meters from their lab. To ensure the locality loophole was closed, random-number generators measured the timing of the photon at each trailer independently. The time tagging devices also ensured that the measurements happened in a very small time window (three nanoseconds).
Since light only travels .9 meters in that period of time, no information could possibly be transmitted from one location to the other over a distance of hundreds of meters during the measurement period — a critical condition to prove the non-locality of entanglement.*
MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots.
These “living materials” combine the advantages of live cells — which respond to their environment, produce complex biological molecules, and span multiple length scales — with the benefits of nonliving materials, which add functions such as conducting electricity or emitting light.
This approach could one day be used to design more complex devices such as solar cells, self-healing materials, or diagnostic sensors, says Timothy Lu, an MIT assistant professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering. Lu is the senior author of a paper describing this innovation in the March 23 issue of Nature Materials.
The researchers also demonstrated that the cells can even coordinate with each other to control the composition of the biofilm.
These hybrid materials could be worth exploring for use in energy applications such as batteries and solar cells, Lu says. The researchers are also interested in coating the biofilms with enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of cellulose, which could be useful for converting agricultural waste to biofuels.
Other potential applications include diagnostic devices and scaffolds for tissue engineering.
The research was funded by the Office of Naval Research, the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, the Hertz Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Imagine that psychologists are scanning a patient's brain, for some basic research purpose. As they do so, they stumble across a fleeting thought that their equipment is able to decode: The patient has committed a murder, or is thinking of committing one soon. What would the researchers be obliged to do with that information?
That hypothetical was floated a few weeks ago at the first meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues devoted to exploring societal and ethical issues raised by the government's Brain initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), which will put some $100-million in 2014 alone into the goal of mapping the brain. The commission has been asked to examine issues facing researchers and society now, as well as those around the corner.
Two recently published studies describe scientists implanting fabricated memories and selectively erasing unwanted memories in the brains of lab rodents.
Researchers at UC Irvine have found that by playing a particular tone while stimulating the release of a brain chemical associated with memory formation they can artificially “condition” a response to the tone in lab rats, which is recalled and observable the following day. Fabricated memories have the same features as naturally-occurring memories, Science Daily reports, “including long-term retention.” Researchers say this represents “the first evidence that memories can be created by direct cortical manipulation.”
By Joseph Flaherty
Acquiring a superpower usually requires a bite from a radioactive insect, an uncomfortable dose of cosmic radiation, or the discovery of extraterrestrial parentage, but scientist Michael McAlpine hopes to make the process as simple as purchasing aspirin at the pharmacy. So far, he’s invented a “tattoo” for teeth that can detect cavities—not exactly the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters—although his latest project, a 3-D printed bionic ear that enables superhuman hearing, could be.
McAlpine earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at Harvard and now is an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton, where he leads a nine-person research group. “I was corrupted to being more of an engineer than a scientist,” says McAlpine. “I like to do stuff that’s a little more applied.”
His first papers in 2003 focused on putting silicon nanowires on flexible substrates. It was an astonishing technical achievement for his time, but unfortunately it came at a point when iPods could only be controlled through a click wheel and Mark Zuckerberg was getting ready for his senior prom. Despite its scientific importance, the market wasn’t ready and McAlpine started looking for other research topics, when he asked, “Instead of trying to put nanowires on plastic substrates, why not put them on the body?”
by Catherine Hockmuth
University of California, San Diego bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs has been selected by the National Science Foundation to take part in a five-year, multi-institutional, $10 million research project to develop a computer vision system that will approach or exceed the capabilities and efficiencies of human vision. The Visual Cortex on Silicon project, funded through NSF's Expeditions in Computing program, aims to create computers that not only record images but also understand visual content and situational context in the way humans do, at up to a thousand times the efficiency of current technologies, according to an NSF announcement.
It might seem premature, but I believe the age of technological telepathy is upon us, and it won’t be long until our thoughts alone begin to manipulate the world around us.
We’ll be using intracranial implants, nanobots, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), or Electroencephalography (EEG) headbands; and our computers, our prosthetics, our avatars will all be controlled by thought alone.
Biological telepathy and the somewhat related telekinesis, are recurring themes in science fiction and fantasy fiction, with perhaps the Force of the Star Wars films being one of the most well known. However, the existence of biological telepathy has not received widespread acceptance, cold reading is understood, if limited in use, and the field of parapsychology is heavily criticised for being pseudoscientific.
Technological telepathy is not predictive behaviour, as we see in robots that interact with human co-workers without harm. Nor is technological telepathy the emerging science of implanting electrodes alongside the nerves and muscles of amputees, even though these technologies are quite impressive in their own right.
Telepathy using technology goes much further, for example DARPA’s threat warning system that uses an EEG cap in concert with the subconscious mind’s ability to detect threats. One could argue that EEG headbands for playing games are also part of the emerging field.
We see fMRI coming into use to read the mind, where it has been successfully used to communicate with some non-responsive patients. Similarly, fMRI is being used for lie detection in court.
Mind reading is here now, and we can imagine its use won’t be restricted as it becomes affordable or as benefits outweigh costs. Marketers, airport security, recruiters, retirement homes, and many more industries might find fMRI and EEG mind reading quite compelling.http://www.singularityweblog.com/technological-telepathy/
The Ishin-Den-Shin technology uses a standard microphone to record audio and then converts it into an inaudible signal transmitted through the body of the person holding the microphone.
When they touch someone's earlobe, an organic speaker is formed and the sound becomes audible, effectively whispering a message into that person's ear.
The sound can be passed from person to person using any physical contact.
The technology, which was developed at Disney Research in Pittsburgh, received an honorary mention at this week's Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria.
Neuroscience and computing are advancing faster than ever. Here’s what we can look forward to.
The pill that can text from inside the body Scientists are set to trial a new ‘digital pill’ which can send a text to relatives and doctors from inside the body.
It is hoped the pills could be used to cut the number of drugs that are wasted each year as well as alert family members if medication isn’t being taken properly by elderly relatives.
Each pill contains a sensor that transmits a signal to a patch worn by the patient when the sensor itself hits the stomach acid after being swallowed. This patch then sends the data via text message or e-mail, showing that the pill has been taken.
The sensor is the size of a grain of sand and is embedded into the pill alongside copper and magnesium which make an electrical circuit when they come into contact with stomach acid, much like a potato battery. This electrical circuit powers the sensor.
The digital pill has been trialled as an extra dummy pill alongside normal high blood pressure medication by Lloyds Pharmacy, but there are hopes it could be used in active drugs in the future.
Google has a plan. Eventually it wants to get into your brain. "When you think about something and don't really know much about it, you will automatically get information,"
Google CEO Larry Page said in Steven Levy's book, "In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives." "Eventually you'll have an implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer."
Google is a long way from inhabiting your brain, but the company is building wearable computers and investing heavily in artificial intelligence development to move closer to the brain. Currently, Google Glass is expensive, geeky, and forces you to look up and to the right. But it can make what your smartphone can do more hands-free. With Google Now, the company has a good idea of what comes out of your brain if you are a user of its products. It can tell you about your next appointment and how long it will take to get there, but the digital assistant can't book your family vacation. But Google has big plans for the two products, which are core to Page's long-term goal to automatically and instantly send people information as they are thinking about something.
Read: A look into the mind-bending Google Glass of 2029
With his deep historical perspective, Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist and one of the fathers of the Internet, has been exploring the possibilities of Glass. "You begin to see what can happen with a computer in the sensory environment you are in," Cerf told CNET in May. "It's the early days of this thing. By 2014, we should have a good idea of what people will want to do with Glass."
Could we soon be reading people's MINDS?
How can we ever know, unequivocally, that another person is conscious
and aware? Putting aside deeper philosophical considerations about the
nature of consciousness itself, historically, the only reliable method for detecting awareness in others has been through a predicted behavioral response to an external prompt or command. The answer may take the form of spoken words or a nonverbal signal such as a handmovement or the blink of an eye, but it is this answer, and only this answer, that allows us to infer awareness. In recent years, rapid technological developments in the field of neuroimaging have provided new methods for revealing thoughts, actions, and intentions based solely on the pattern of activity that is observed in the brain. In specialized centers, these methods are now being employed routinely to detect consciousness in behaviorally nonresponsive patients when all existing clinical techniques have failed to provide that information. In this review, I compare those circumstances in which neuroimaging data can be used to infer consciousness in the absence of a behavioral response with those circumstances in which it cannot. This distinction is fundamental for understanding and interpreting patterns of brain activity following acute brain injury and has profound implications for clinical care, diagnosis, prognosis, and medical-legal decision-making (relating to the prolongation, or otherwise, of life after severe brain injury). It also sheds light on more basic scientific questions about the nature of consciousness and the neural representation of our own thoughts and intentions.
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a next generation user interface which can accurately detect the users finger and what it is touching, creating an interactive touchscreen-like system, using objects in the real word.
"We think paper and many other objects could be manipulated by touching them, as with a touchscreen. This system doesn't use any special hardware; it consists of just a device like an ordinary webcam, plus a commercial projector. Its capabilities are achieved by image processing technology."
Using this technology, information can be imported from a document as data, by selecting the necessary parts with your finger.
THE TRANSFORMATION AND THE CONVERGENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS AND HUMAN BEINGS INTO AVATARS/ROBOTS OF A NEW ERA- NEOHUMANITY
Diagnosing genetic disorders and devising personalized therapies just got a lot easier, or at least quicker..
Human moves rat's tail with thoughts alone. One tiny step closer to avatars controlled by our brains.
What's next? Organizing your closet while reading a book?
Email via brain waves?
Who needs a surgeon when I have my printer
Time travel in theory!
Our thoughts too?
Will mothers birth babies that see with tongues?
The end of sleep? New technologies are emerging that could radically reduce our need to sleep - if we can bear to use them
One of the most valuable outcomes of work on sleep deprivation is the emergence of clear individual differences — groups of people who reliably perform better after sleepless nights, as well as those who suffer disproportionately. The division is quite stark and seems based on a few gene variants that code for neurotransmitter receptors, opening the possibility that it will soon be possible to tailor stimulant variety and dosage to genetic type.
Narcissistic lives pretending to have thousands of Facebook friends...
Where will we be in 50 years? 500 years? 5000 years? A survey of undergraduates, grad students, and faculty in Physics reveals some interesting trends.
Hack into the brain for the password!
Biological Computer: Stanford Researchers Discover Genetic Transistors That Turn Cells Into Computers
Will we still have free will as living computers?
90 year old grandmother tries the Oculus Rift.
A clear majority of Americans believe that robots will eventually be cleaning up after us, and about half of us think that robots will go to war on our behalf and drive us to the mall. That's weird, because, you know, robots are already doing all of these things.
Stephen Hawking, who spent his career decoding the universe and even experienced weightlessness, is urging the continuation of space exploration — for humanity’s sake.
Surgeons at a hospital in Japan recently faced a dilemma before transplanting a parent's liver into a child: How exactly to trim the organ to fit the space in the child's smaller cavity while preserving its functions. So they took a knife to a three-dimensional replica of the donor's liver built by a machine that resembles an office printer. The model helped the doctors figure out where to carve it, leading to a successful transplant last month.
The bebionic3, is the culmination of many years of development and is the most advanced commercially available bionic hand in the world today
Study finds companies older than five years destroy one million jobs a year. Younger companies create three million.
Existing firms are net job destroyers
“Both on average and for all but seven years between 1977 and 2005, existing firms are net job destroyers,” write Wiens and Jackson, “losing 1 million jobs net combined per year. By contrast, in their first year, new firms add an average of 3 million jobs.”
“New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation, whereas small businesses do not have a significant impact on job growth when age is accounted for.”
“Policymakers often think of small business as the employment engine of the economy. But when it comes to job-creating power, it is not the size of the business that matters as much as it is the age. New and young companies are the primary source of job creation in the American economy. Not only that, but these firms also contribute to economic dynamism by injecting competition into markets and spurring innovation.”
Based on a 2013 paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne of Oxford, occupations in the U.S. that pay at or near the minimum wage — that’s about one of every six workers in the U.S. — are much more susceptible to “computerization,” or as defined by the authors, “job automation by means of computer-controlled equipment.” The researchers considered a time frame of 20 years, and they measured whether such jobs could be computerized, not whether these jobs will be computerized. The latter involves assumptions about economic feasibility and social acceptance that go beyond mere technology.
The minimum-wage occupations that Frey and Osborne think are most vulnerable include, not surprisingly, telemarketers, sales clerks and cashiers. But also included are occupations that employ a large share of the low-wage workforce, such as waiters and waitresses, food-preparation workers and cooks. If the computerization of these low-wage jobs becomes feasible, and if employers find it economical to invest in such labor-saving technology, there will be huge implications for the U.S. labor force.
First, when we discuss minimum-wage jobs, what types of jobs are we talking about?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has a system for classifying jobs: The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), which was last updated in 2010. Combined with hourly wage data, also from the BLS and dating to May 2012, we can specify the occupations most affected by a minimum-wage increase.
The table below shows 10 low-wage occupations, ordered by total employment, along with the median hourly wage and the 25th-percentile hourly wage (the wage 25 percent of workers earn below). Filtered out are occupations for which the 25th-percentile hourly wage is above Obama’s proposed minimum wage.
A recent report from the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology attempts to quantify what jobs are must vulnerable to computerization. It concludes that 45 percent of American jobs are at high risk of being taken by computers within the next two decades.
1) Computers will start replacing people in especially vulnerable fields like transportation/logistics, production labor, and administrative support. Jobs in services, sales, and construction may also be lost in this first stage. Then, the rate of replacement will slow down due to bottlenecks in harder-to-automate fields such engineering.
2) This “technological plateau” will be followed by a second wave of computerization, dependent upon the development of good artificial intelligence. This could next put jobs in management, science and engineering, and the arts at risk.
The rate of computerization depends on several other factors, including regulation of new technology and access to cheap labor.
America’s top personal computer maker, Hewlett-Packard, was dumped today from the Dow Jones Industrial Index, the list of 30 blue-chip stocks picked to reflect the essential makeup of U.S. economy.
That’s a sign of just how fast computing is changing. But technological change may also be shortening the lifespan of all great companies. (Also off the Dow Jones list today are Bank of America and Alcoa. The new additions are Nike, Visa, and Goldman Sachs.)
Someone who has looked at this question is Richard N. Foster, a consultant who helped popularize of the idea of “creative destruction” (also the cover line for our latest issue). That’s the process by which large companies eventually get crushed by innovations made elsewhere.
HP is a case in point. It sells PCs, notebook computers, and printers. And people just aren’t buying as many of those as before. Instead, they’re shifting to the fastest-spreading consumer technologies ever, smartphones and tablets (see “Are Smart Phones Spreading Faster than Any Technology in Human History?”). HP’s business—though still huge—has started to shrink.
To get a handle on whether the rise and fall of great companies is speeding up, Foster looked at another, more inclusive stock index, the S&P 500, which is a list of the 500 most valuable companies traded on the U.S. stock market.
What Foster found is that the rate at which companies get bumped off the S&P 500 has been accelerating. Back in 1958, a company could expect to stay on the list for 61 years. These days, the average is just 18 years.
Companies can fall off the S&P 500 when they get too small, or get acquired. No one really knows why the rate of turnover is speeding up, but technological disruption could be one big reason. Since 2002, Google, Amazon, and Netflix have joined the S&P 500, while Kodak, the New York Times, Palm and Compaq have all been forced off, essentially by changing technology.
Maybe you heard that collective grumbling from the San Francisco Bay Area last month, when the region's main public transportation system, known as BART, ground to a halt for four and a half days.
Thousands of BART workers walked off the job in the midst of deadlocked contract negotiations with management over salary, benefit and safety issues. The commute nightmare that followed became a source of great frustration for many other Bay Area residents trying to get to their own jobs.
Some of the most vocal complaints about the strike could be found on social media, from folks in the area's booming tech industry. The complaints were not unanimous, of course. But the tension between the frustrated techies, many of whom drive the booming local economy, and the blue collar workers who help get them to the office, brought into focus two very different ways of looking at the changing nature of the work in America.
Here’s a case in point. During the BART strike I talked to a guy named Richard White, the CEO of a tech startup in San Francisco called UserVoice. He'd been on Facebook, complaining about the traffic that had been unleashed on his staff. And he said this about the striking BART workers.
By Robert Nussbaum
In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patents on genes were invalid. Yet corporate intellectual-property claims can still harm patients.The court struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics on two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancers, BRCA1 and BRCA2. The decision ended the company’s U.S. monopoly on testing those two genes for cancer-related mutations. But Myriad is now using a different tactic that restricts patient choice around genetic testing. The company has constructed a database of the genetic variants found in people who took its BRCA test. That unparalleled record of the natural variation in these important genes—collected from patients—is claimed to be Myriad’s own intellectual property.
Doctors can’t assess the significance of gene variants they find in their patients without free exchange of the kind of information held in Myriad’s database. It is as if patients’ radiological images were all examined by a single company that didn’t give the medical community a chance to learn from them.
Myriad’s database prevents patients from easily getting second opinions when they receive diagnoses based on BRCA tests. Patients need to be able to seek confirmation that the gene variant they have really does mean what the testing laboratory says it means. That can’t happen if Myriad is the only one with the data.
You invest years of your life, go thousands of dollars in debt, and walk proudly across that stage to collect your college diploma. Then what? You load up what belongings you have to your name and move back in with your parents? That is not what you expected when you entered college, but it is reality for many recent college grads. Lucrative employment opportunities are not flying around like butterflies in the spring garden.
One thing you don't want to do is hold out too long for that perfect job opportunity. Graduates are getting creative to ensure they do not have holes in their resume, and that shows the entrepreneurial spirit of our country. Rather than sitting back and waiting for your field to open up and make room for you, get out there and make a hole for yourself.
This way you don't have employers sitting across the interview desk asking, "What have you been doing for the past ten years?" You don't want your answer to be "chilling in mom's basement playing video games."
Wait too long for the perfect opportunity and you will find yourself suitable for no opportunity!
What do you do while waiting for the butterflies to come fluttering into your garden?
Technology has, of course, often disrupted and even destroyed whole industries and employment sectors. In the U.S., the mechanization of agriculture vaporized millions of jobs and led workers to eventually move from farms to factories. Later, manufacturing automation and globalization caused the transition to a service economy. Workers repeatedly adapted by acquiring new skills and migrating to jobs in new industries—but these changes have not altered the fact that most jobs continue to be essentially routine. In the past, disruptive innovations have tended to be relatively specialized and to impact on a sector-by-sector basis. Workers have responded by moving from routine jobs in one area to routine jobs in another. Today's information technology, in contrast, has far more broad-based implications: it is transforming and disrupting every sector of the economy. For the first time in history, computers and machines are increasingly taking on intellectual tasks that were once the exclusive province on the human brain. Information technology will continue to accelerate, and it is certain to be tightly integrated into any new industries that arise in the future.
The impact of information technology on the job market, and in particular on more routine jobs, has been well documented.2,3 Economist David Autor of MIT, in particular, has done extensive analysis showing that the job market in the U.S. has become polarized.1 A substantial fraction of moderate wage, routine jobs in areas like manufacturing and white-collar clerical occupations have been eliminated by technology, leaving the remaining employment opportunities clustered at the top (high-wage/high-education jobs) and at the bottom (low-wage jobs requiring little education).
“We were lucky and steadily rising productivity raised all boats for much of the 20th century,” he says. “Many people, especially economists, jumped to the conclusion that was just the way the world worked. I used to say that if we took care of productivity, everything else would take care of itself; it was the single most important economic statistic. But that’s no longer true.” He adds, “It’s one of the dirty secrets of economics: technology progress does grow the economy and create wealth, but there is no economic law that says everyone will benefit.” In other words, in the race against the machine, some are likely to win while many others lose.
About the Course
Back in 1750, there were no complex machines in use, except for church clocks. There was no power for machines other than primitive windmills, water wheels and the pulleys with weights that drove church clocks.
We have changed amazingly since 1750, but the truly dramatic changes are yet to come. If we get things right, we have the potential to create a Neo-Renaissance, fundamentally different from the Renaissance centered around Florence in the 16th and 17th centuries. Later this century there will be ubiquitous computer power, fully automated factories, and intelligent robots doing most of the jobs that people do today. If implemented in an enlightened way, people will become used to having a large amount of leisure time, and the arts and humanities will flourish.
Worried about robots taking over the economy? It may have already happened. If you’ve made a purchase online, used an ATM, or gone through self-checkout at the grocery, then you’ve participated in the growing automation economy.
Lately it seems like we talk about Moore's law at least once a week on our show. It's the idea that our computing power jumps forward by leaps and bounds every two years -- so fast that soon our computers will be as smart as we are.
Kevin Drum is a writer at the magazine Mother Jones, and he's just written a long piece about intelligent robots and how by the year 2025, they'll be taking ALL of our jobs. Don't worry though -- he says that's a good thing -- as long as we divvy up thecomputing power fairly.
The anemic economy has left millions of younger working Americans struggling to get ahead. The added millstone of student loan debt, which recently exceeded $1 trillion in total, is making it even harder for many of them, delaying purchases of things like homes, cars and other big-ticket items and acting as a drag on growth, economists said.
In this new RSA Animate, Manuel Lima, senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world. Taken from a lecture given by Manuel Lima as part of the RSA's free public events programme.
Vernor Vinge is consistently one of the most interesting and conceptually dense futurists I’ve had an opportunity to listen to. While watching this excellent talk of his at Singularity University, my ears perked up at the mention of technological unemployment, the primary focus of this blog.
About halfway into the talk he broached the general issue of technological disruption:
“In the present era we all seem to be involved in the Red Queen’s race. Myself as a writer, I’m up against eBooks, and I’m up against all the piracy. I’m racing as fast I can, and if I hadn’t actually had some success in the past, it would be of course much, much worse for me to be in this steam turbine that’s called modern progress. When I talk about it happening to some other job category, I don’t feel quite so tragedy-struck about their plight. But we’re kind of all up against a situation of terribly disruptive new technologies.”
Soon afterward he addressed the topic of technological unemployment more directly:
“What comes after technological unemployment? There are certain things that humans are still very good at. And some of these crowd-sourcing [successes] tell us that those certain things that humans are still very good are maybe much larger than we think in comparison to the machines, at least if the work is done in coordination with the machines. But what we’re really good at are isolated things. So you can imagine a civilization in which there are these bright little sparks of human level intuition and creativity and insight that are separated by vast stretches of algorithmically accessible problems. And there’s a lot of occupations and businesses, where the successful insight on the part of management is figuring out how to do all the stuff you can do without those expensive people, and then what remains are those bright little spots where you need to have the people.
New research from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce reiterates a truism that may resonate with college graduates in a tough economy.
On average, college grads continue to earn nearly twice as much as high school graduates, according to the report, "The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm."
"It is a tough job market for college graduates but far worse for those without a college education," wrote Anthony Carnevale, director of the center and co-author of the report, in a release.
"At a time when more and more people are debating the value of postsecondary education, this data shows that your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree," he added.
Dazzled by the potential of free online college classes, educators are now turning to the gritty task of harnessing online materials to meet the toughest challenges in American higher education: giving more students access to college, and helping them graduate on time.
Syncapse, a social intelligence company, conducted new research that suggests that each individual “like” or “friend” that a brand receives generates approximately $174.17 for that brand, Business News Daily reports. The number represents a 28 percent increase compared to 2010.
In the study, Syncapse observed over 2,000Facebook users who had liked or friended a brand. By analyzing dynamics such as product spending, loyalty, page recommendations, media value acquisition cost, and brand affinity, the company was able to determine that the average Facebook friend, or “fan,” was worth $174.17.
Government employees see higher rates of workplace violence
Online Social Networking at Work Can Improve Morale and Reduce Employee Turnover
-Software uses LinkedIn network to guide your career
Structure and evolution of online social networks
Analysis of online social networks: a cross-national study
Empirical analysis of online social networks in the age of Web 2.0
Analysis of Ego Network Structure in Online Social Networks
A Forensic Analysis of Images on Online Social Networks
Second White Hat Bombing suspect Dzhokbar A. Tsarnaev reportedly found by police...in custody...ALIVE... robots tipped over boat...
A late-night police chase and shootout has ended with one marathon bombing suspect dead and another on the run, police here said, leaving a still-grieving city on edge. One police officer was killed and another was seriously wounded during the violent spree.
At sunrise, Gov. Deval Patrick ordered a shutdown of all public transit and residents on the edges of Boston to stay indoors as a massive manhunt for the second suspect was underway.
“This is situation is grave and we are trying to protect the public safety,” said Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben, who ordered a temporary lockdown of Watertown, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Newton, Allston and Brighton.
The FBI has released video and photos of two "armed and extremely dangerous" suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and appealed for the public's help in identifying them.
"Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members," Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said at a Thursday evening briefing.
FBI: 'Exercise Caution and Attempt to Verify Information Through Appropriate Official Channels Before Reporting'
The cover of the ninth edition of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s propaganda magazine, Inspire.
'Man in the White Hat' at large; Black hat man dead...
1 "By the year 2060, if we have not had an earthquake, we will have exceeded 85 percent of all the known intervals of earthquake recurrence in 10,000 years." - Jay Patton
See Turbidite Event History — Methods and Implications for Holocene Paleoseismicity of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, USGS:
Accessed 1st January 2013.
2 "Geologists say it will be nothing like the United States has ever seen."
See Hurricane Sandy Will Be Dwarfed by an Earthquake, The Daily Beast:
Accessed 1st January 2013.
3 "The Pacific Northwest has a long geological history of doing exactly what happened in Chile. There is an 80 percent chance the southern end of the fault off southern Oregon and Northern California could break in the next 50 years and produce a Megaquake."
See Truth or Hype: Is Seattle Really at Risk for a Devastating Earthquake?, Seattle pi:
Accessed 1st January 2013
.4 Cascadia mega event, YouTube:
Accessed 1st January 2013.
5 Cascadia Tsunami, YouTube:
Accessed 1st January 2013.
6 Big Quake "Guaranteed" to Hit California by 2037, National Geographic:
Accessed 28th August 2009.
7 Epic 'Dust Bowl Of 2012' Expands Again, Climate Progress:
Accessed 20th October 2012.
8 UN Warns Of Food Crisis In 2013 If Extreme Weather Persists, Climate Progress:
Accessed 20th October 2012.
9 Scientists Predict That Food Riots Will Grip The Planet Within A Year, Inhabitat:
Accessed 20th October 2012.
10 UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013, The Guardian:
Accessed 20th October 2012.
11 High Food Prices: 10 Questions Answered, World Food Programme:
Accessed 20th October 2012.
12 "... recent food price rises are 'just the tip of the iceberg,' and consumers should brace themselves for 'massive' hikes in some commodities."
See Waitrose boss: Britons should brace themselves for 'massive' food price hikes, The Telegraph:
Accessed 5th January 2013.
13 See 2030.
14 When is Kate Middleton due? 5 hints at a July 2013 royal baby, Examiner:
Accessed 1st January 2013.
15 China 'to overtake US on science' in two years, BBC:
Accessed 14th July 2011.
16 Nasa's 2013 solar flare warning: how much do we need to worry?, The Telegraph:
Accessed 16th June 2010.
17 Gaia (spacecraft), Wikipedia:
Accessed 12th June 2011.
18 C/2012 S1, Wikipedia:
Accessed 2nd January 2012.
19 The first gene therapy in the Western world, Future Timeline Blog:
Accessed 2nd January 2013.
20 "The company expects 'significant volume ramp' in 2013."
See Atmel's flexible touch sensors will revolutionize mobile device design, Extreme Tech:
Accessed 11th April 2012.
21 See 2012.
22 PS4 and Xbox 720 – latest, Future Timeline Blog:
Accessed 20th January 2013.
23 PlayStation 4 'Orbis' pegged for 2013 release, Reg Hardware:
Accessed 11th April 2012.
24 Orbis unmasked: what to expect from the next-gen PlayStation, EuroGamer:
Accessed 20th January 2013.
25 High-speed rail link for London, Frankfurt, CNN:
Accessed 30th October 2010.
26 Port of Rotterdam Expansion, Science Channel:
Accessed 24th May 2011.
27 Intel Announces first 22nm 3D Tri-Gate Transistors, Shipping in 2H 2011, AnandTech:
Accessed 15th May 2011.
28 Cell Size and Scale, University of Utah
(drag the slider from left to right to zoom in):
Accessed 15th May 2011.
29 Tiangong-2, Wikipedia:
Accessed 3rd January 2013.
30 Chang'e 3, Wikipedia:
Accessed 3rd January 2013.
31 Huge Private Rocket Could Send Astronauts to the Moon or Mars, Space.com:
Accessed 26th April 2011.