Category tech

Mobile is eating the world (and that’s just the beginning)

This deck isn’t about phones. It’s about looking backward to understand the context for where we are today, how mobile is the current bellwether for technological proliferation… but perhaps more important than all that, what this all means for the next 10 – 15 years.

Must watch. 30 min.

Mobile Is Eating the World, 2016 from Andreessen Horowitz on Vimeo.

When autonomous robots leap

In the midst of what’s become almost an overload of drone photography and filming… the below video caught my eye.

First, it’s not a helicopter drone… it’s a plane drone that only goes forward and does so quite fast. Second, it’s autonomous… meaning it alters it’s flight path in real time as it heads into (literally) a forest of random obstacles.

And then I came across this MIT-creation.

We’ve all seen endless robot fails… expensive experiments that run into walls or trip and fall. The simple truth it that those fails are just visual representations of invention and iteration. Those trials lead to something like this. A cheetah that can jump over obstacles coming at them in seemingly random heights and cadence.

Note the DARPA end card, “funded by DARPA Maximum Mobility and Manipulation.” That begs the question, is the following a behind-the-scenes look at the next Star Wars film or a trailer for the next regional conflict?

Saving you from yourself

I’m fascinated by the intersection of humans and technology. No, I’m not talking about the singularity or cloning. I’m talking about the idea of people writing code that automates processes in our everyday lives.

We used to think technology only existed to serve us. We tell it what to do and it completes the task. Siri, text my wife I’ll be home in 30 minutes.

But what if we make bad choices? How can technology help us and perhaps even save us from our bad decisions or poor habits?

These two ideas caught my eye for these reasons. The first is an elevator that prompts you to not be so lazy… and suggests you walk a flight of stairs.

The second is a breathalyzer tied to the Uber car service. You drink, we drive.

And of course there is the (not so new) idea of the self-driving car.

5 second video captures yielding dreamlike montages

Nothing better than technology breakthroughs that make you stop and not only watch the content but wonder how it was pulled off.

Ok, so what’s better is how all these capabilities are finding their way into the hands of the mainstream.

Here’s another. The footage for the music video below was filmed at the unheard-of rate of1000 frames/second. When played back at normal rate the 5 second shoot turns into a captivating 3.5-minute dream.

unconditional rebel – siska from Guillaume Panariello on Vimeo.

How an idea should use Instagram

Love this simple execution by NASA on Instagram.

Tell me a story, do it well… you’ve got 10 seconds.

Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains at the end of this century could be drier and longer compared to drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years, according to a new NASA study. The study, published Feb 12 in the journal Science Advances, is based on projections from several climate models, including one sponsored by NASA. The research found the risk of severe droughts in those regions would increase if human-produced greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. “Natural droughts like the 1930s Dust Bowl and the current drought in the Southwest have historically lasted maybe a decade or a little less,” said Ben Cook, climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York City, and lead author of the study. “What these results are saying is we’re going to get a drought similar to those events, but it is probably going to last at least 30 to 35 years.” Read more: Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center #nasagoddard

A video posted by NASA Goddard (@nasagoddard) on

Mobile is eating the world

Excellent, comprehensive deck for everyone in business everywhere in the world.

Best viewed in fullscreen mode.

Algae-powered, German-engineered, ARUP-designed… what’s not to love?

The word modern seems to have lost it’s luster. Hyper-modern better describes things that truly push the envelope… and this building does just this.

I think what I love most about this project is the overlapping of disciplines. Energy and architecture are somewhat strange bedfellows.

Most of us think we’ll eventually fly around (thanks Jetsons). We’re already using tri-corders (thanks Star Trek and Apple) to stay in touch. But I’m guessing very few of us thought we’d see the day when a building would be powered by algae.

Architecture powered by scum. If that doesn’t say 2014 than what does?

Wild project. Of course it’s in Germany. I love this.

MIT, multi-screen interoperability and gaming

I love seeing innovation in it’s raw essence… prior to the packaging and promotion.  THAW is an advancement from MIT that utilizes existing technology to open a new layer of screen/device interaction. Essentially they make systems and organizations work together in ways that didn’t exist until… now.

THAW: Hybrid Interactions with Phones on Computer Screens from Tangible Media Group on Vimeo.


Next geopolitical hack… weather modding

The pairing of human control and weather systems isn’t new. Every year we get better at forecasting; we tune algorithms to hone our knowledge related to when and where rain will fall… but we still have to be reactive to the rain event itself.


Or do we?

I remember reading that the Chinese hacked their weather during the Beijing Olympics. They fired 1,100 rockets filled with silver iodide into the clouds. The result was that clouds let their precipitation fall before they arrived in Beijing. How do you improve the odds for dry weather connected to an event important? You take things into your own hands, there is even a government office for this, the Beijing Weather Modification Office.

Of course the U.S. is into this area as well, cloud seeding has been experimented with for a decade. Other experiments connected to weather mods literally go back a century.

This is one of those subjects that sounds small until you fathom how it could be used to streamline and focus access to natural resources. Of course it will be used to drive economic returns (crop yields, water table replenishment, access to clean water, etc). It might even be used to address the massive amount of energy used to move water (an estimated 19% of California’s energy used to move water). It could also be used to force one region to comply with another region’s geopolitical preferences.

The simple truth is that it’s hard to tell where this will go but the road ahead is bound to be (sorry) slippery.


What excellence looks like

Someone once told me to never force a story into someone else’s framework. Tell a story in such a way that people connect with it… and at whatever length that demands.

The below video falls into this camp.

Leicas are the Mercedes of cameras.

Their cameras aren’t slammed together by robots. Leica is obsessive in their attention to hand-crafted detail. And so that is the story they tell… and take all of 45 minutes to make sure you understand this point. I love it.