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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Techno Beat

3609TQ11The Technology Quarterly issue of The Economist came out last week, and as usual it amazes and dazzles.  I encourage you to check it out as usual.  A favorite of mine from this issue has to do with 3-D printing.  As the name implies it is possible to “print” out 3-D objects now, such as the one shown here.

Pretty amazing.  I also like the article on turning softwoods into hardwoods with recycled alcohol and the environmental benefits of that.  Check it out if you have a chance.

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An all digital election in Honolulu did not go as planned apparently.  They had an 83% drop in voters!  The neighborhood board election drew 44,000 voters last year, but this year rang up only 7,300.  This was the United States’ first all-digital election, where people could vote by internet or phone.  Conventional wisdom would hold that making voting easier this way would increase participation not decrease.

The cost of running the digital voting was half the cost of traditional paper ballots and manned polling stations – so both convenience and cost were on the side of the all-digital format.  But alas, the Hawaiians did not find it so convenient, or perhaps trustworthy as the article points out.  An interesting disruption to the idea that new technology will always be better.  I think eventually it will be the way of voting, but perhaps making it all digital in one year was too quick.

HT: Drudge

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Louis C.K.

HT: Cherry Tree Lane

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Thought I’d turn your attention to a bit I heard on NPR last night about new technology that tracks down taggers as they are in the process of vandalism.  I hate graffiti… hate taggers… hate vandalism.  Here’s hoping this technology works and the criminals pay their dues.

–Too bad we can’t have the wall that sprays paint on the taggers like shown in the movie The Naked Gun.

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The TED Conference is up and running today in Long Beach.  Here is a schedule so you can see what discussions and programs are going on.  Can I reiterate how badly I wish I could be there?

Below are photos of the Kohler Livinghome, part of an exhibit on sustainable living at the conference.  Apparently it is going to be sticking around outside the Terrace Theater for a while so non-TED Long Beachian’s can see it.

The Kohler Livinghome

The Kohler Livinghome

kohlerlb

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I found this to be a very interesting article from the Washington Post.  It seems the technology is severely limited in the White House.  I’ve read reports of this before where people from the private sector are shocked at what is available to use when they become employed in government, but this will be an especially interesting transition since Obama and his staff are much more tech-savvy than their predecessors.  Maybe only the CIA and FBI get the good computers… I’ve seen the Bourne movies, I know what gov’t computers can do if only given the chance!

  • Also check out the new White House website.  If you ever browsed around the old version, you will find this one much cleaner and functional.

[courtesy of Drudge]

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It is very easy to become depressed and cynical when the news you hear all day is peppered with sobering economic forecasts, climate change concerns, and terrorist warnings.  My friend Mark (not myself…I’m not that narcissistic) and I were talking and he told me that he is rather pessimistic about the future, particularly our energy resources and consumption.  I told him that I many times feel the same way, until the Technology Quarterly in The Economist comes out.  Then I read about all the innovation and advancement that is taking place worldwide, and I get a boost of enthusiasm for where we are headed.  It is always reassuring to me to know that there are people, businesses, schools and governments out there that are pursuing exciting and beneficial ways to improve our world and our lives.  Well the newest Quarterly is out; check out the link above to read it online, or better yet get a subscription so you can enjoy it every time it comes out.

Here’s some of what you’ll find in this Quarterly:

  • Better stoves for developing nations
  • Surgical sutures made from cows’ blood
  • Reduced energy consumption at telecoms firms
  • Digital-cinema projectors using lasers
  • Enhanced ballot encryption
  • Industrial wastewater treatment
  • Space solar power
  • Wind power update
  • Abu Dhabi zero-emission city?

Always a good read.

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