A reality check on 3D printing, how voice commands on Android are being improved with neural networks, what the skyscraper of the future could look like, the dangers of being judged by our data, and trying to diagnose traffic problems with the help of SimCity.
Quote of the week
By trying to understand more of the world, we’ll probably feel like we understand less.
–Roel van der Ven
Articles of the week
- Make: 3D Printing Revolution: the Complex Reality
Michal Zalewski provides a much needed reality check for the 3D printing hype, looking at the challenges of the process and actual use-cases. Spoiler: No, not everybody will have a 3D printer at home in the near future. Also check out this interview with Debbie Chachra, a material scientist, talking about peak plastic.
- Wired: How Google Retooled Android With Help From Your Brain
Following on from the cat recognition successes of a few months back, this is how Google is using neural networks in a more concrete and applied way: processing speech signals to carry out voice commands.
- Ars Technica: Envisioning the urban skyscraper of 2050
Arup, the company that designed Sydney’s Opera House, has an imaginative take on the skyscraper of the future, incorporating ideas for sustainable energy and food supply, transport, health and education, and even a bit of Jenga-style swapping out of building parts.
- Bruce Schneier: Automobile Data Surveillance and the Future of Black Boxes
Bruce Schneier expresses concern over “being judged by our data,” as black-box data collection tools become ubiquitous. Often, even huge amounts of data can’t be interpreted unambiguously, as a recent dispute between Tesla Motors and New York Times journalist John Broder shows.
- Gamasutra: Using SimCity to diagnose my home town’s traffic problem
Mike Rose made this admirable and elaborate effort to reconstruct his town of Northenden, near Manchester, in SimCity in order to figure out its traffic problems. He didn’t figure them out, in the end, but did find an appreciation for what SimCity is capable of.
This week we read about Gulf futurism from the female perspective, Misfit Wearables’ new shiny gadget, what new things Valve is up to, ‘native advertising’ and Twitter’s core identity.
Quote of the week
The thing we give our information to today is not necessarily the thing that will have it tomorrow.
Articles of the week
- Dazed Digital: The Desert Of The Unreal
Gulf futurism, and why the oil-rich region’s restrictive desert consumerism holds the keys to the future. A fantastic insight into the female perspective on youth and art culture in Arab countries.
- Forbes: Misfit Adds Shine To Wearable Health
A small sensor created by Misfit Wearables that not only tracks movement, but on top of that is waterproof and carefully designed in a way that will not make the wearer want to hide it.
- AllThingsD: Valve’s Gabe Newell on the Future of Games, Wearable Computers, Windows 8 and More
Gabe Newell doesn’t look for the spotlight, but when the managing director of Valve speaks, people should usually listen. Don’t put him aside as the guy who runs that gaming company. Yes, Valve produces games – like Half-Life – and yes, it distributes them – through its very successful Steam service – but it is potentially on the brink of building its own gaming console. Not only that, the company is openly exploring how gaming can solve big issues.
- Jack Marshall: What is ‘Native Advertising’?
After having caused a lot of buzz in the media and advertising industry, the term ‘native advertising’ gets broken down and redefined by some of the advertising heavyweights out there.
- Dalton Caldwell: Twitter is pivoting
Everyone inevitably goes through a time when it is necessary to redefine oneself. That time has also come for Twitter. After reading this, the claims that Twitter has been befallen by the Myspace illness will seem less exaggerated.