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Your TED-inspired New Year’s resolutions

Originally posted on TED Blog:

If you’re dreading the inevitable day your New Year’s resolutions—to lose weight, get a better job, and drink less, perhaps?—fall flat, it might be because you need different resolutions. Instead of focusing on outcomes, why not set your sights on process in 2014? Here, 10 resolutions you can’t fail at, inspired by TED Talks published this year. They just might inspire you in turn.

[ted_talkteaser id=1653 lang=en]
Resolution #1: Make time to make art.
From the talk: 
Young-ha Kim’s “Be an artist, right now!”
“There are hundreds of reasons why we can’t be artists right now,” says Korean author Young-ha Kim—that is, all the reasons we invent when we’re too scared or intimidated. But, Kim reminds us, “We are all born artists.” Unleash those suppressed artistic impulses: take an acting class, buy some paint, or just sit with a notebook and write like crazy.
[ted_talkteaser id=1833]
Resolution #2: Take charge…

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Robots tackle tough environments

Originally posted on Gigaom:

For years people dreamed of a world where robots lived alongside humans as workers, sidekicks and friends. Today humans most often envision a future where robots work collaboratively with people.

“As a species, humans have always had an interest in projecting ourselves into distant places. We started with voice — that was the telephone. Next were images, better known as the television. And robotics is the next step,” says Robbie Mandelbaum, a robotics expert and CTO for Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories.

While humans travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere, exploring the deepest corners of the solar system remains a job for robotic systems These space exploration vehicles, thousands of miles from Earth, must operate for years without physical human intervention.

“We’re trying to build robots that go where it is too hard for people to go and do what is too hard for people to do,” said Gill Pratt…

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Divining The Underlying Value Of Bitcoin

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Business Insider’s Joe Wiesenthal today published an interesting piece on Bitcoin, partially responding to Paul Krugman’s somewhat inscrutable recent blog post that called the cryptocurrency “evil,” and partially answering the question of why Bitcoin has value. It’s been a topic we’ve been discussing for months, making Wiesenthal’s argument worth digging into.

He breaks Bitcoin into three interrelated characteristics that support one another: It’s a currency, equity, and a social network.

Bitcoin acts as a currency because you can use it as a generic exchange medium in lieu of dollars and other traditional currencies in a growing number of places. Bitcoin also at least behaves as an equity, because the more people who use and accept it, the more the value of each coin — at least thus far — generally rises.

Interestingly, Bitcoin’s ability to act as a currency and an equity are both predicated on its network effects. Wiesenthal puts…

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5 features desktop 3D printer companies should focus on in 2014

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The year 2013 is over. Everyone has heard of a 3D printer, and maybe even seen one at a friend’s house or the mall. The next 365 days are a huge opportunity for 3D printer companies to capitalize on that newfound awareness and convince the average person it is a machine they want. Here’s what the companies gunning to put a printer in every home should focus on.

Simplicity

The best 3D printer is the least involved. The new wave of users doesn’t want to have to tweak temperature settings and babysit a printer through a print job. So far, MakerBot has done the most visible job of building a printer that works intuitively, but it still requires an intermediate knowledge of the technology. Its printers still break down more than the average appliance and require regular hardware maintenance.

Makerware 3D printing screenshot

MakerBot’s Makerware software

A wave of printers set to hit…

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The War For Your Wrist

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The past decade has seen the consumer electronics war grow more furious and more personal: your living room is a battlefield, as are your desks and your pockets. Now, more than a year-and-a-half since the Pebble (née Allerta) team saw its e-Paper smartwatch concept shatter a $100,000 Kickstarter funding goal, gadget purveyors of all stripes are vying for a spot on your wrist.

As I write this, a Jawbone UP24 is lashed to one of my wrists (being mindful of all the steps I’m not taking) and a Pebble just buzzed on the other. We unabashed nerds have embraced the smartwatch age with open arms and open wallets, but what’s been going on since those heady days of mid-2012?

The Bubble Keeps Growing

The buzz around wearable second-screen tech has been enough to inspire players both small and massive to enter the fray. It used to be that you couldn’t…

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Obama, Celebrities, Politicians And Tech Co’s Come Together To Launch Coding Education Push

karenimmanuel:

US attempts to help increase programming skills going well!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Back in January, brothers Ali Partovi and Hadi Partovi launched a new non-profit organization called Code.org with a simple mission: Change the perception America has of coding and computer science and make those subjects accessible to the masses.

There’s no better indication of just how far Code.org has come in less than a year — and how much America now supports the need to make STEM a greater part of our national priority — than what you will witness over the coming week. Tonight, in celebration of the arrival of Computer Science Education Week (December 9th – 15th), President Barack Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both separately issued video statements today asking every student in the U.S. to learn to code.

This week also marks the official launch of a campaign that the Partovis and Code.org have been planning for the last few months, called “Hour of…

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The Gigaom interview: Bill Ford on the new golden age of automotive innovation

karenimmanuel:

FORD’S ADVANCEMENTS IN AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Is Ford (s f) a tech company? It’s easier to tie Ford’s great age of innovation to the era of the industrial revolution than the internet revolution. But Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford wants to convince both car buyers and the tech industry that one of the most iconic companies in American history is just getting started.

Ford, of course, is more intimately tied to his company than most people; he’s the great-grandson of Henry Ford, who perfected the use of the assembly line for auto manufacturing and produced the first automobile that was affordable for middle-class Americans. You can think of Ford Motor Company as the first pioneer of mobility: Ford changed the definition of what it meant to be physically mobile with the Model T, and you could argue the sense of freedom the automobile imprinted on the American psyche has influenced the way almost everything since has been…

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Communication

While communication itself is a deep concept,
The generartions flow through a continuum of awe at communication technologies…
By-the-minutes
As each second passes
Each day brings forth a new device at bay