May 4, 2014

Interactive portrait of Vito Acconci

Jonathan Harris explores the relationship between humans and technology, incorporating computer science, statistics, storytelling, visual art, and other techniques to create his work.
Recently he was paired with architect and artist Vito Acconci as part of Bit by Bit hosted by The Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University. The event explored and reflected on the powerful pairing of story and technology and the roles they play in society.  Seven storytellers were paired with seven technologists and challenged to come up with something new.

April 25, 2014

10 breakthrough technologies according to the MIT Review

1. Agricultural Drones
Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage.

2. Ultraprivate Smartphones
New models built with security and privacy in mind reflect the Zeitgeist of the Snowden era.

3. Brain Mapping
A new map, a decade in the works, shows structures of the brain in far greater detail than ever before, providing neuroscientists with a guide to its immense complexity.

4. Neuromorphic Chips
Microprocessors configured more like brains than traditional chips could soon make computers far more astute about what’s going on around them.

5. Genome Editing
The ability to create primates with intentional mutations could provide powerful new ways to study complex and genetically baffling brain disorders.

6. Microscale 3-D Printing
Inks made from different types of materials, precisely applied, are greatly expanding the kinds of things that can be printed.

7. Mobile Collaboration
The smartphone era is finally getting the productivity software it needs.

8. Oculus Rift
Thirty years after virtual-reality goggles and immersive virtual worlds made their debut, the technology finally seems poised for widespread use.

9. Agile Robots
Computer scientists have created machines that have the balance and agility to walk and run across rough and uneven terrain, making them far more useful in navigating human environments.

10. Smart Wind and Solar Power
Big data and artificial intelligence are producing ultra-accurate forecasts that will make it feasible to integrate much more renewable energy into the grid.

March 17, 2014

Navigate the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon via Google

Google Maps launches a new "river view" of 286 miles of the Colorado River, including stunning views of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, as seen from aboard a raft.

View here.

(via usa today)

March 14, 2014

Ballad of a WiFi Hero (McSweeney's)

H. Jon Benjamin stars in this exclusive animated adaptation of the famed McSweeney's Internet Tendency piece, "In Which I Fix My Girlfriend's Grandparents' WiFi and Am Hailed as a Conquering Hero," by Mike Lacher. Rejoice!

Animation by Jesse Benjamin

(via the atlantic