This week, more solar power goodness (sensing a trend here?), kids helping to cure cancer, how to discern fiction from fact (esp helpful given our upcoming US elections and generally listening to me talk when I’m just BSing), and much more from my “Read It Later” queue.
The Weekly – 6/21
Last week, India made it cheaper than diesel. This week, I see Germany created over half their country’s weekend load (22GW) from solar. Now the only thing we need to figure out is energy storage and there is some pioneering work I recently saw and talked with the pioneer at MIT (good old fashioned potential energy from our Physics 101 class) and from TED (batteries). Algae is my next passion.
Dougie Howser, MD
Not only can NPH host an epic Tony broadcast, he also has inspired countless smartypants to reach beyond their station (this demi-smartypants included). This week from the Howser File comes a 15-year old kid who has developed a carbon-nanotube/plain old paper based way to detect pancreatic cancer. I’m going to hire him to hang around me and tell me to work harder. Mr. Andraka’s sensor is 168 times faster, 26,667 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive than the state-of-the-art currently in use. It can spot the presence of the cancer-linked protein well before the cancer itself becomes invasive. This, in scientific terms, is baller.
Truth and Fiction
Sometimes I find it all too easy to…believe. You hear something, it sounds right, it matches your preconceived notions of the world, so you believe it and in many cases propagate it. What should we do? Lifehacker this week gives us a remedial course in how to sniff fact from fiction. They mention G all too much, but replace those with Bing and you get the idea.
People who know me know I LOVE the singularity and am in line to be one of the first to be uploaded into holographic memory crystals when the time comes. In the interim, last week’s always excellent “To The Point” has a great discussion on progress we’re making to augment our human capacity. Daniel Wilson, professor at CMU and author of two fun sci-fi books (Robapocolypse is a blast) talks about the upcoming ‘super-ability’ of humans. And for those who haven’t seen it, my all –time favorite TED talk featuring my personal hero Dean Kamen is always, always worth 20 minutes of your time. Seriously. Warning – you will tear up J
I’m occasionally accused of hyperbole, but in this case, Arthur C Clarke was right – great tech is indistinguishable from magic. The Israeli R&D team released on(x) last week to some great fanfare. Despite it only being on Android for now (cough, cough Shira) due to Android’s crappy open security model, it heralds a new way to think about search. Imagine your phone, loaded with sensors, being smart enough to text your wife when you leave the office because it detects you are moving about 30 miles and hour and leaving your office coordinates. Or telling you to pack a rain jacket when you wake up since the Bing weather forecast for the day says it’s going to rain. Bonus? You don’t even need to be technical to use it. Check out the future…now.
Til next week…