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The Top 10 Technology Game Changers for the Next Decade

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media on 30/06/2012 at 20:09

This content was produced by GOOD with the support of Intel

How close to reality are some of our most futuristic fantasies? Consider that going to the moon was once a giant step for mankind, but in the near future you’ll be able to purchase a two week vacation to the International Space Station (if you’ve got a few million bucks to spare, of course). Here’s our list of ten incredible technological innovations that are poised to change our lives within the next decade.
Nanotechnology
Microscopic nanorobots placed inside the human body to fight disease from within will make enormous strides in the next ten years. Eventually, we’ll eliminate the need for invasive surgery and chemotherapy. The cancer cure we’re seeking might not come as a magic pill, but rather a technological advancement enabling us to repair from within using microchips one-billionth of a meter in size. The future is now at Cyberdyne, a Japanese electronics firm manufacturing Hybrid Assisted Limbs for Parkinson’s patients and miniaturizing from there.

Computer Eyewear
In the next decade, the simple act of pulling out a smartphone to take photos and record videos will seem clunky and outmoded. What if you could simply touch a button on your sunglasses and instantly record your surroundings exactly as you see them? The design team behindYouGen.tv is hoping to do just that. Their Epiphany Eyewear glasses will incorporate “magic glass”—chromatic shifting conductive glass—to power their instant on-off recording feature. The data captured from a first person’s perspective can be streamed to social networks, and has untold implications for learning, as you’ll literally be able to see through someone else’s eyes. “We believe this will raise the overall level of human empathy across the world,” said Erick Miller, founder of YouGen.tv.

Genome Sequencing
The building blocks of the human body may contain clues to unlock underlying causes of diseases. Life Technologies is producing a genome sequencing map to explore an individual’s DNA within 24 hours, potentially preventing future diseases. Cost is expected to plummet to $1,000 by the end of the year. Expect a more targeted treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases based on a unique genetic blueprint. (cont … GOOD)

Meet The League Of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing The World

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media, the World on 30/06/2012 at 19:33

ALL PHOTOS BY MIKE MCGREGOR

The previously untold story of how an unprecedented network of high-achieving women from the world’s largest companies, innovative startups, philanthropic organizations, government, and the arts combined forces to change the lives of girls and women everywhere.

Act One

IGNITION

They needed the cows.

Maria Eitel, CEO of the Nike Foundation, is starting her tale at the beginning of her eight-year journey to save the world’s girls. She is telling me about one 13-year-old in particular, the very one who inspired her to invent the Girl Effect, a global initiative that in less than a decade has created or supported groundbreaking programming and research that has put the often-terrifying needs of indigent girls in the toughest parts of the world on the global agenda. “I was in this ridiculously poor part of Ethiopia,” says Eitel, whose title at the time was vice president of corporate responsibility at Nike. The founder and CEO, Phil Knight (along with future CEO Mark Parker), had tapped her to create a not-for-profit arm–but had not dictated a mission. Eitel was in the midst of a yearlong exploration to determine how to make the biggest impact.

In Ethiopia, she followed this girl, named Kidan, through her entire day, watching her strap a filthy jerrycan to her back and haul water, then grind grain as she sat in the dirt. “She was amazingly smart,” recalls Eitel, who likes to talk about creating “that moment of inspiration when you know that a girl believes in herself.” She calls it “ignition,” and Kidan had it–she wanted to be a doctor. “She was such a bright light,” says Eitel. “But we learned that it’s not enough.”

When Eitel spoke to Kidan’s mother about her dreams for her daughter, she found out that the child had already been committed to be married, in exchange for cattle. The mother did not share Eitel’s dismay. “Once I was a girl,” she told Eitel. “One day, there was this commotion and they picked me up and put me on a donkey and that was my wedding. I never saw my family again. So Kidan will just have to be strong.” Kidan’s hope for a career–for anything like the self-directed life that Eitel, and probably any reader of this magazine, believes to be a human right–was effectively over, just as her mother’s had been not so long ago. And her survival? Well, her marriage commitment placed that in greater doubt: In sub-Saharan Africa, says Eitel, more than 90% of deaths related to pregnancy are among adolescents. They needed the cows. (cont … Fast Company)

Why I Believe That This Will Be The Most Innovative Decade In History

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 30/06/2012 at 18:31

Many people believe that we’ve run out of ideas and that the future will be one of bleak shortages of food, energy, and water. Billionaire Peter Thiel, for example, argues that despite spectacular advances in computer-related fields, technological progress has actually stalled because the internal combustion engine still rules our highways, the cancer death rate has barely changed since 1971, and the top speed at which people can travel has ceased to improve.

Thiel is right about engines, speed, and cancer death rates. But he and the pessimists are completely wrong about what lies ahead. I don’t believe that the future holds shortages and stagnation; it is more likely to be one in which we debate how we can distribute the abundance and prosperity that we’ve created.

Why am I so optimistic? Because of the wide assortment of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging. They are enabling small teams to do what was once only possible for governments and large corporations. These exponential technologies will help us solve many of humanity’s grand challenges, including energy, education, water, food, and health.

Let me give you a taste of what lies ahead.

Vivek Wadhwa – Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University

Most people in the world have been affected by the advances in computing and mobile technologies. In a short 15 years, the Internet has changed the way we work, shop, communicate, and think. Knowledge, which used to be available only to the elite classes through books such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, is today abundant and free. All of this happened because computing power is growing exponentially. The technology industry knows this growth as Moore’s Law.

The advances are happening not only in computing but also in fields such as genetics, AI, robotics, and medicine. For example, in 2000, scientists at a private company called Celera announced that it had raced ahead of the U.S. government–led international effort decoding the DNA of a human being. Using the latest sequencing technology as well as the data available from the Human Genome Project, Celera scientists had created a working draft of the genome. It took decades and cost billions to reach this milestone.

The price of genome sequencing is dropping at double the rate of Moore’s Law. Today, it is possible to decode your DNA for a few thousand dollars. With the price falling at this rate, a full genome sequence will cost less than $100 within five years. Genome data will readily be available for millions, perhaps billions, of people. We will be able to discover the correlations between disease and DNA and to prescribe personalized medications—tailored to an individual’s DNA. This will create a revolution in medicine. (cont … Forbes)

Another View on Microsoft’s Surface Tablet and its associated technologies

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 27/06/2012 at 11:01

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The following blog was written by one of my Google+ and Facebook friends Shawn P. Scott.  He has offered up an interesting industry perspective on Microsoft’s new tablet platform.  Check it out and feel free to share your thoughts.

Everyone keeps talking about how the new Microsoft Surface tablet will not stand up against the iPad and is doomed to fail unless it comes in at a super cheap price point. Personally I don’t think anything could be further from the truth. First of all I don’t think the 1st gen Surface is even looking to compete with the iPad but rather target people in the market for a new laptop.

Windows 8 is a bold move on the part of Microsoft, one that will ultimately decide the fate of the company going forward. With the RTM release expected in late July or early August, time is running out for getting devices into the marketplace that truly harness it’s power. I believe Surface is just an example of how much Microsoft believes in Windows 8 and is banking on its success.

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One of the most different aspect of Windows 8 is the all new touch interface for navigating around. Yes you can still use a mouse, but it’s clear that the future of Windows lies in your fingertips. This is evident with just a few minutes use of the new operating system and the only way to maximize the efficiency the new interface brings is with a touch display. I’m sure Microsoft realized this early in the development process and started thinking of ways they could promote this new change.

That is where the Surface was born. Traditional laptops are simply not the most effective way to run Windows 8, and to keep the OS from being a dud like Windows ME and Vista Microsoft needed to release a device on day 1 that could run the OS like it was designed.

Some OEM partners like Acer were upset at the move but Microsoft had no choice in the matter. They couldn’t leave the future of their company up to PC manufacturers who are struggling to make quality hardware that meets the needs of the general public. If you were to walk into the computer section Best Buy right now, you would see a sea of laptops many with the exact same specs. Most of them won’t have battery life of more than 3-4 hours. Most of them will have the barest specs necessary to keep their price down.

The 3 most popular brands at Best Buy are HP, Sony and Dell. As far as I know, none of these companies have a touchscreen device ready to be launched alongside Windows 8. HP has worked with Microsoft in the past on tablet devices and each one has been a miserable failure. Given the bad track record of Windows powered tablets, Microsoft simply could not afford to leave its fate up to ill conceived devices.

The iPad is a great device for internet consumption, but thats where it ends. College students don’t write 20 page essays on their iPads, photographers don’t edit professional level pictures on their iPads, developers don’t build sites and apps on their iPads. All of these tasks are performed on a traditional computer with the power and functionality to handle them.

This is where Windows 8 and Surface stand to shine because together they alleviate the need of owning a second device for actual work. While the RT version will only run Metro apps, the Pro version is where the sweet spot for Microsoft is. Companies may be buying iPad in large numbers, but when real work needs to be done they also have secondary devices.

In 2011 nearly 17 million laptops were shipped in the US and over 85 million worldwide. The top worldwide producers were HP (14.8 million), Dell (10.6 million) and Lenovo (10.2 million). The Surface doesn’t have to outsell the iPad to be successful, it simply needs to get Microsoft onto this list. Toshiba comes in on the lower end of this list with 4.4 million units shipped and is a prime target for Microsoft.

The reason Toshiba ranks so low on the worldwide scale is they make low quality products that don’t perform very well. If they can manage to sell 4.4 million of them, I’m quite sure Microsoft can manage to ship 5 million Surface devices that showcase the best features of Windows 8.

Right now is a horrible time to buy a new Windows PC, every single device on the market will be rendered obsolete as soon as Windows 8 hits the shelves. No one knows this better than Microsoft and they are hedging their bets on themselves.”

Bad day for LinkedIn: 6.5 million hashed passwords reportedly leaked – change yours now

In Tech and Social Media on 06/06/2012 at 12:06

Update: LinkedIn has responded to the issue, updating its official Twitter account to state that it is “looking into reports.” Scroll down for more information.

Already in the spotlight over concerns that its iOS app collects full meeting notesand details from a device’s calendar and sends them back to the company in plain text, LinkedIn user accounts are now said to have been compromised, with 6.5 million hashed and encrypted passwords reportedly leaked.

Norweigan IT website Dagens IT reported the breach, with 6.5 million encrypted passwords posted to a Russian hacker site. Security researcher Per Thorsheim has also confirmed reports via his Twitter feed, stating that the attackers have posted the encrypted passwords to request help cracking them.

Finnish security firm CERT-FI is warning that whilst user details have not been posted, it is believed that the attackers will have access to user data as well as their passwords.

One LinkedIn user has already confirmed his password was leaked: (cont … TNW)

MAVA Capital Connection ’12 Conference – Day Two

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 28/05/2012 at 16:44

Panel Discussion on Investing in a Volatile World-How to See Opportunity and Value Risk

(WASHINGTON) May 24th, Omni Shoreham Hotel – It’s day two, the energy is still very high and it’s time to get down to business.  The general session is starting.  It’s a panel discussion dealing with the topic of “Investing in a Volatile World – How to See Opportunity and Value Risk”.

The panel is moderated by Dan Primack, Senior Editor of Fortune Magazine.  The panel itself comprises of Peter Barris, Managing Director of NEA, Cameron Lester, General Partner Azure Capital Partners and Tony Palcheck, Managing Director of Motorola Solutions Venture.

The panel discussed the current venture market, the quality of tech startups available to invest in and the recent facebook IPO.  Crowdfunding and its value was also discussed.  But at the end of the discussion it was clear that three things were important to the venture and investment community when it came to technology startups.  Cloud, Big Data and Mobile.

It was stated that any startup with a good idea, great executive and a good product in either of these spaces had a real shot at being funded.  And that’s the point of it all.  Every year MAVA sponsors this conference to bring the best and the brightest together in the Mid-Atlantic region to have such discussions. (cont … Examiner.com)

MAVA Capital Connection ’12 Conference – TechBUZZ: Where VC’s and Tech Meet

In Business, Tech and Social Media on 27/05/2012 at 22:16

(WASHINGTON) May 23rd, Omni Shoreham Hotel – It’s late morning and the energy is high.  The smell of coffee, danishes and the sounds of people talking outside the main entrance to the conference hall where the opening keynote speaker, Dan Yates CEO and Founder of Opower is about to kick things off.

At this point attendees to the conference, entrepreneurs and investors alike rush to complete their registration, get their name tags and pick up their conference packets as to not miss the beginning of this very important conference sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association (MAVA) along with a number of corporate sponsors.

Today marks the conference’s 25th anniversary of the Capital Connection Conference. The Mid-Atlantic regions premier conference for venture capitalists, investors and tech entrepreneurs.  It’s day one and this part of the conference is refered to as TechBUZZ.

The focus of the day is to provide a forum for 28 finalists out of 200 original entreprenueurial startups to pitch their companies.

Each company has four minutes on the stage to share their vision, ideas and innovative products to a crowd of hungry venture capitalists (VC) and investors anxiously awaiting to hear and view each pitch.

As always VC’s are looking for the next Google, Pinterest or Instagram. As each presentation is done, one after another, the audience is asked to download an app to their smartphones called Disruptathon.  This app, which supports both Android and iOS. allows each audience member to vote in real-time on the presentations.

Once the votes were tallied, the top three were choosen and awared a stage to move on to the second round of presentations to be held on day two of the conference.  The three finalists were Augaroo, Cont3nt.com and Speek. (cont … Examiner.com)

10 mental traits of truly innovative leaders

In Business, Science, Tech and Social Media on 26/05/2012 at 11:19

Ever since I was young I’ve always loved thinking of ways to fix things, build products and make money.

And, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with so many creative and innovative people.

I’m talking about people like Whitepages’ Alex Algard, Cheezburger’s Ben Huh and BuddyTV’s Andy Liu. These guys are absolute masters at drawing profitableconclusions from problems and ideas from totally unrelated fields. The businesses that these new ideas trigger speak for themselves.

So I thought I would put down on paper what it is that makes these guys innovative thinkers and leaders, and tips that you can use to help you reach their kind of success, too. Here are 10:

Recognizing patterns

Truly innovative people have an ability to see connections across data and ideas, and then turn those patterns they see into even better ideas.

This mental trait starts early with you recognizing patterns in things like language, faces and handwriting, but through experience you see connections between ideas and concepts in the world. They call this lateral thinking.

A good innovate leader will blend information from different sources to come up with solutions and products. If you want to get really good at this, you have to do this:

  • Look at lots of sources of data and ideas and seek out the associations.
  • Encourage those around you to do the same.
  • Question conventional thinking and constantly get into the habit of developing different theories on how you can do something better.

Predicting

Most people stare straight ahead and look for the obvious. That can leave you open to missed opportunities, allowing competition to jump on them instead…or take advantage of weaknesses that you have.

Great innovative leaders instead develop what is called peripheral vision. This is the ability to look not just ahead, but up and down the vertical you are working in and across into very different verticals.

Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Try to find information that could change the way you do business or the way your industry does business.
  • Look past all of your current boundaries.
  • Create networks of people who are also looking out at the peripheral to help you scan for opportunities. These reciprocal relationships work best with people not in your industry. (cont … Geek Wire)

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free

In Education, Tech and Social Media on 25/05/2012 at 19:48

All education is self-education.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a college classroom or a coffee shop.  We don’t learn anything we don’t want to learn. Those people who take the time and initiative to pursue knowledge on their own are the only ones who earn a real education in this world.  Take a look at any widely acclaimed scholar, entrepreneur or historical figure you can think of.  Formal education or not, you’ll find that he or she is a product of continuous self-education. If you’re interested in learning something new, this article is for you.  Broken down by subject and/or category, here are several top-notch self-education resources I have bookmarked online over the past few years. Note that some of the sources overlap between various subjects of education.  Therefore, each has been placed under a specific subject based on the majority focus of the source’s content.

Science and Health

  • MIT OpenCourseWare – MIT OpenCourseWare is a free web-based publication of MIT course materials that reflects almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.
  • Tufts OpenCourseWare – Tufts OpenCourseWare is part of a new educational movement initiated by MIT that provides free access to course content for everyone online.  Tufts’ course offerings demonstrate the University’s strength in the life sciences in addition to its multidisciplinary approach, international perspective and underlying ethic of service to its local, national and international communities.
  • HowStuffWorks Science – More scientific lessons and explanations than you could sort through in an entire year.
  • Harvard Medical School Open Courseware – The mission of the Harvard Medical School Open Courseware Initiative is to exchange knowledge from the Harvard community of scholars to other academic institutions, prospective students, and the general public.
  • Khan Academy – Over 1200 videos lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, and biology.
  • Open Yale Courses – Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet.  The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. (cont … MarcAndAngel.com)

‘Faulty’ computer chip is 15x more efficient

In Science, Tech and Social Media on 25/05/2012 at 11:56

In terms of speed, energy consumption and size, inexact computer chips like this prototype, are about 15 times more efficient than today’s microchips. (Credit: Avinash Lingamneni/Rice University/CSEM)

RICE (US) —Researchers have created an “inexact” computer chip that’s super efficient, challenging the industry’s 50-year pursuit of accuracy.

The design improves power and resource efficiency by allowing for occasional errors. Scientists unveiled prototypes this week at the ACM International Conference on Computing Frontiers in Cagliari, Italy.

The research, which earned best-paper honors at the conference, was conducted by experts from Rice University, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Switzerland’s Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), and the University of California, Berkeley.

“It is exciting to see this technology in a working chip that we can measure and validate for the first time,” says project leader Krishna Palem, who also serves as director of the Rice-NTU Institute for Sustainable and Applied Infodynamics (ISAID). “Our work since 2003 showed that significant gains were possible, and I am delighted that these working chips have met and even exceeded our expectations.”

This comparison shows frames produced with video-processing software on traditional processing elements (left), inexact processing hardware with a relative error of 0.54 percent (middle) and with a relative error of 7.58 percent (right). The inexact chips are smaller, faster and consume less energy. The chip that produced the frame with the most errors (right) is about 15 times more efficient in terms of speed, space and energy than the chip that produced the pristine image (left). (Credit: Rice University/CSEM/NTU)

ISAID is working in partnership with CSEM to create new technology that will allow next-generation inexact microchips to use a fraction of the electricity of today’s microprocessors.

“The paper received the highest peer-review evaluation of all the Computing Frontiers submissions this year,” says Paolo Faraboschi, the program co-chair of the ACM Computing Frontiers conference and a distinguished technologist at Hewlett Packard Laboratories. “Research on approximate computation matches the forward-looking charter of Computing Frontiers well, and this work opens the door to interesting energy-efficiency opportunities of using inexact hardware together with traditional processing elements.”

The concept is deceptively simple: Slash power use by allowing processing components—like hardware for adding and multiplying numbers—to make a few mistakes. By cleverly managing the probability of errors and limiting which calculations produce errors, the designers have found they can simultaneously cut energy demands and dramatically boost performance. (cont … Futurity.org)