Government Society

Why Can’t We Register to Vote Online? (and Other Ways Tech Could Improve Democracy)

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American democracy is out of date, in large part because we have failed to take advantage of voting technology. Turnout is now low and the experience of voting and registering inconvenient. Most Americans must still go to the DMV to register. The infrastructure is old and creaky. But an influx of new tech could bring American democracy out of the stone age, and possibly reinvigorate the entire system.   More

Business Global Tech

Billion Dollar Shave Club

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A company that first gained fame with its goofy YouTube ads has now been bought for close to $1 billion, as a European consumer good giant tries to catch up with Amazon and other titans of the digital world. Dollar Shave Club's big money buyout from Unilever means good things for digital commerce startups looking to turn a nice profit.   More

Arts & Culture Global Tech

Building a Universe in a Video Game

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A tiny video game studio in England has reinvented the cosmos. The game No Man's Sky, set to be released this summer, uses procedural generation to create an entire explorable universe. Complete with 18 quintillion planets and all the geography and biodiversity to go with them, No Man's Sky pushes the limits of what a video game can be and what virtual simulation can achieve.   More

Government Society

UPDATE: What You Should Know about Mike Pence and Tech

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After weeks of conjecture, we finally know who Trump's running mate will be as he enters the final months of the presidential race: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. His tax cuts have helped turn Indiana into the Silicon Prairie (or so he claims), but he also lost a fight with tech executives like Marc Benioff over LGBT discrimination. Here's what you should know about Mike Pence and tech.   More

Arts & Culture Society

Reflections from Ross: Go Pokémon!

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In under a week, Pokémon Go has taken over phones - and lives - everywhere. As the world scrambles to catch Doduos and Bulbasaurs, our program director gives the game a try on the streets of New York City. It may be buggy, and it's certainly distracting, but could Pokémon Go be ushering in a new era of mass consumption for augmented reality? And just why, exactly, has the nostalgia-driven remake of a Gameboy classic taken over the mobile world?   More

Business Global Tech

China’s Empty Incubators are a Sign of Development Run Amok

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For years, the Chinese state has managed to strong arm the country’s economy through global crises by making huge investments into sectors like real estate and infrastructure. That top-down capital strategy is hitting a wall when it comes to China’s new dream: growing start-ups. Across the country, brand new innovation centers sit empty as education levels fail to meet China's demand for entrepreneurs.   More

Business Community Insights Society

From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: The Transformation of Business

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Six hundred years ago, Gutenberg’s press ushered in an era of mass communication. Radio, TV, and film all broadcast a single message and make a clear distinction between broadcaster and audience. Today's digital platforms create a new world of mass collaboration, with more distributed, diverse and personalized interactions. In this “many-to-many” world, we are equally broadcaster and audience. We are all co-creators.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government Healthcare

Obama: Genetic Data + Precision Medicine Will Improve American Health

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Lost in a news cycle rife with heartbreak, the Obama administration made a major push last week for its Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). Also referred to as personalized medicine, precision medicine is based on the idea of using a trove of genetic and clinical information to determine ahead of time which drugs will work best for which patients, at which doses, and in which combinations. It could be the first step in an important breakthrough for American health.   More

Government Internet of Things Learning

Giant Texas School System Makes a Giant Internet Commitment

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The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, with 114,000 students, is decidedly Texas-sized. But the district's latest project lives up to that grand scale: updating its entire digital network to bring 100G broadband internet access to every square inch of its classrooms and offices. Cypress-Fairbanks CTO Frankie Jackson is on the front line of an emerging challenge in education.   More

Analytics & Data Business Internet of Things

It Takes More Than a Machine to Know You: Assistance In An Instrumented World

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There’s a big gap between today's smart virtual assistants and the futuristic robot-butlers of fiction that anticipate our every need. For the foreseeable future, it will still take a human touch to understand how people assess value and solve problems creatively. Still, in the context of IoT, on-demand everything, and ubiquitous analytics, tech and humans are coming closer to jointly becoming “trusted advisors.”   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business Healthcare

Consumers to Health Insurers: Keep it Simple

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The American healthcare markethas undergone a period of rapid change in recent years. Chief among these changes has been a general shift towards consumer choice, prompting the rollout of new tech products in a bid to entice customers. But a new study suggests the best way to win over consumers is to bring things back down to earth.   More

Cities Government Transportation

Parking ticket? There’s a Bot for That

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A legal chatbot called DoNotPay helps users appeal parking tickets through a series of simple questions: Was the signage confusing? Were signs clearly visible? Was the parking bay large enough? It has already helped overturn 160,000 parking tickets in New York and London and has saved users over $2 million, but for its young creator, parking tickets are just the beginning.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Healthcare Startup Culture

Funding, Coaching, and Data: StartUp Health Wants to Transform Healthcare

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Part incubator, part venture fund, part mentorship program, StartUp Health aims to create an ecosystem for digital health entrepreneurs. Backed by Steve Case, Mark Cuban, Jerry Levin, Esther Dyson, and GE Ventures, among others, five-year-old StartUp Health has 150 companies in its portfolio.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Global Tech

Nobel Laureates Tell Greenpeace to Ditch the GMO Conspiracies

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On the list of misunderstood technology, genetically modified organisms might take the top spot. Now, more than 100 Nobel laureates have written an open letter asking the environmental group Greenpeace to reverse their stance on GMOs and promote potential breakthrough technologies like Vitamin A rich Golden Rice. Despite the pressure, Greenpeace remains skeptical.   More

Business Global Tech Government

Obama’s Big Start-up Seminar

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President Obama wants to encourage young entrepreneurs, and if he has to go out and lecture them himself, he’s willing to do it. Over the course of the two-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit last week, the president found time to share tips with young business owners on pitching their ideas. Plus, he talked with Mark Zuckerberg, and interviewed young entrepreneurs from Rwanda, Egypt, and Peru.   More

Global Tech Society

Reflections from Ross: On the Need to Capture

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I had a quick visit to Bangkok recently for some family matters: A birth, a (40th) birthday, a wedding, a death…the full circle of life. So what do these four things have in common? Photos. Lots and lots of them. In Thailand there seems to be a constant need to be taking photos, posting them (mostly on Facebook) and sending them around. Will we have access to them in the future? How will VR change this behavior?   More

Government Society

Report from Europe: Brexit Vote Reflects Global Failure

Middle Eastern refugees in Greece in 2015. The Brexit vote stems largely from fears about such people ending up in the UK. Photo courtesy Shutterstock, copyright Anjo Kan

The shocking Brexit vote in the UK may be a landscape-altering moment that will shift how we have to view the world. At a top-level conference in Germany there was both near-despair and some hope. But nobody was sanguine, and the overarching issue of how to deal with a world increasingly awash with refugees loomed very large.   More

Business Government Jobs

As Race Heats Up, Clinton Talks Tech

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Having fought off an ambitious Bernie Sanders and now preparing to enter a brutal fight with a fiery and unpredictable Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is taking a bit of a detour this week into the world of tech. She wants to forgive student debt for young entrepreneurs, bring broadband to every home in America, and defend net neutrality. Plus, Silicon Valley is starting to get on board.   More

Analytics & Data Business Society

Endless Questions on AI at a Techonomy Dinner

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How big an impact will artificial intelligence have on business and society? Should we fear it? What will it mean for jobs? At a recent Techonomy salon dinner discussion on AI, top leaders from Accenture, IBM, SAP, and Verizon, among others, gave some fascinating answers.   More

Arts & Culture Learning Manufacturing

Five Ways AR and VR Will Improve Our Current Reality

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A flood of investments into the new tools of reality continues to fuel innovation. Virtual and augmented reality, from the original Google Glass to the latest Oculus Rift, has continually shaped the technology market,and will grow substantially in the coming years. AR and VR will impact the world around us in a number of interesting—and beneficial—ways. Here are five things to look forward to.   More