216 posts tagged technology
The ‘Mystic Writing Pad’: What Would Freud Make of Today’s Tablets?
No, of course Freud didn’t write anything about the iPad. But an obscure 1925 essay on the “Mystic Pad” gives us some clues as to what he would have made of modern computing technologies.
In 1925, Sigmund Freud published an essay, “A Note upon the ‘Mystic Writing Pad.’ ” In it, he considered a recent market arrival, the Mystic Writing Pad (of course), as a sort of metaphor for the human mind. At base, the Mystic Pad was “a slab of dark brown resin or wax” on which sat a translucent sheet of wax paper covered by a transparent sheet of celluloid. When a person set a stylus to it, the dark resin would become visible through the wax paper at the points of contact, and thus one could write. When the record was no longer desired, erase it by simply lifting the wax paper off of the slab. (This contemporary kids’ toy is a rough equivalent.) The celluloid served merely to protect the wax paper from ripping as the stylus ran across it. This may not sound like much of a metaphor for the human mind, but one unintended consequence of this procedure struck Freud as quite significant: “The permanent trace of what was written is retained upon the wax slab itself and is legible in suitable lights.” The Mystic Pad had a particular kind of memory. “I do not think it is too far-fetched,” Freud wrote, “to compare the celluloid and waxed paper cover with the system of Pcpt.-Cs. [Perception -Consciousness] and its protective shield, the wax slab with the unconscious behind them, and the appearance and disappearance of the writing with the flickering-up and passing-away of consciousness in the process of perception.” For Freud, this was new, as far as technology metaphors go. The other two major technologies he examines in his essay — paper and slate — he scrutinizes not so much as a metaphor for the mind, but in their capacity as memory aids or, “mnemic apparatus,” as Freud calls them. (via The ‘Mystic Writing Pad’: What Would Freud Make of Today’s Tablets? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic)
If you struggle with editing videos, then an app called Magisto might be just what you’re looking for. Available for iOS and Android as well as on the web, the app takes your videos and edits them automatically, creating high-quality movies you can then turn around and share with friends or family, or upload to the web to share with the masses. There are plenty of apps that help the average user create professional looking photos, but nothing has done that for video, said Oren Boiman, CEO of Magisto. He said, “We dove deep into the art of editing and production and given people the ability to truly tell their stories. We’ve fully automated and simplified an extremely sophisticated process to a few clicks, and believe this will solve for what’s missing in social video today.”
PaperTab: Revolutionary paper tablet reveals future tablets to be thin and flexible as paper.
Not a Blimp, Not a Plane: The Gigantic Aeroscraft Is Ready, and It’s Awesome
This is a new type of rigid aircraft. It’s not a blimp, and it’s not an airplane, but this thing has the potential to alter the way we understand travel and completely change military transportation. You can see a video of its first move here.
According to the company, “the final configuration and vehicle systems integration functionality testing has been completed as the Aeroscraft subscale demonstration vehicle reaches the finish line.” The aircraft will enter a flying tests phase over the next 60 days. After they are done with the testing, they will build the full scale version. Yes, this gigantic aircraft is only a small version of what’s coming. Imagine that.
Aeros CEO Igor Pasternak thinks that “this is truly the beginning of a vertical global transportation solution for perhaps the next 100 years.” Indeed, it may become just that. Imagine having the capability of transporting huge amounts of material or people across any distance, without the need of any ground infrastructure.
Civilian versions would be able to offer air cruises at any altitude. Just like a cruise ship but over land. Imagine taking the most awesome trip over a three or four days, from New York to San Francisco, slowly flying over the Grand Canyon or the Rocky Mountains, watching the incredible scenery while sipping on a cocktail or comfortably having dinner in a restaurant with huge glass windows. Then, at night, you sleep in your comfortable room. That’s what the full-size Aeroscraft will be able to offer and I will be the first one in line to experience it.
- source (PonderAbout.com)
Why You Want To Become a Biohacker: Rodrigo Martinez @TEDxBeaconStreet
Imagine living in a building that was not constructed, but ‘grown;’ or imagine designing your own shirt, printing it while you take a shower and recycling it at night…every day. Who makes all the things we use and how these are made is about to change dramatically. Rodrigo Martinez believes that we are in the early stages of a new revolution that will affect every design, manufacturing and industrial process around us - “If you want to be part of some of the most exciting things that will take place in the coming decades, become a biohacker!”
Rodrigo Martinez, Life Sciences Chief Strategist at award-winning design firm IDEO, explores the opportunities at the crossroads of design + biology to envision future products and services.
2012: Visions of the future - BBC
Iron giant Suidobashi Heavy Industry unveiled Kuratas: a 13-ft (4-m) high, smartphone-controllable robot with motion-controlled weapons. Yours for $1.35 million. (Copyright: Getty Images)
Supersonic airliner In August, the US military tested a new jet – Waverider – which may help create a future hypersonic airliner that travels six times the speed of sound. (Copyright: Nasa)
Twist and shout Phones that can be bent and twisted may be the hot new trend for 2013, after various flexible prototypes were unveiled this year. (Copyright: Samsung)
Foam first aid The next generation of soldiers on the battlefields may be treated with a new method – a prototype foam – which can be injected to prevent internal bleeding. (Copyright: Darpa)
Greater strength and endurance. Enhanced thinking. Better teamwork. New classes of genetic weaponry, able to subvert DNA. Not long from now, the technology could exist to routinely enhance — and undermine — people’s minds and bodies using a wide range of chemical, neurological, genetic and behavioral techniques. It’s warfare waged at the evolutionary level. And it’s coming sooner than many people think. According to the futurists at the U.S. National Intelligence Council, by 2030, “neuro-enhancements could provide superior memory recall or speed of thought. Brain-machine interfaces could provide ‘superhuman‘ abilities, enhancing strength and speed, as well as providing functions not previously available.” Qualities that today must be honed by years of training and education could be installed in a relative instant by, say, an injection or a targeted burst of electricity to the brain. Rapid advancements in neurology, pharmacology and genetics could soon make such installations fairly easy. These modifications could give rise to new breeds of biologically enhanced troops possessing what one expert in the field calls “mutant powers.” But those troops may not American. So far, the U.S. military has been extremely reluctant to embrace human biological modification, or “biomods.” And that could result in a veritable mutant gap. In this new form of biological warfare, the U.S. could find itself outgunned. But not if Andrew Herr can help it. A 29-year-old Georgetown-trained researcher with degrees in microbiology, health physics and national security, Herr is one a handful of specialists in the defense community preaching greater U.S. investment in biomods. First as a consultant with the Scitor Corporation, a Virginia-based firm whose clients include top military and intelligence agencies, and later as the head of his own research organization, Herr’s job has been to think about biological modifications whose effects he says are “more than evolutionary.” Another word for that: revolutionary. Whether positive or negative, the impact of routine biomods could be huge. “The best-case scenario is extraordinary increases in quality of life in the First World and beyond,” Herr says. The worst-case scenario, he adds, is people being biologically modified “without them knowing it.” That is, an evolutionary sneak attack. But it’s not clear how closely the government is listening.
EVER since the 1930s, self-driving cars have been just 20 years away. Many of those earlier visions, however, depended on changes to physical infrastructure that never came about - like special roads embedded with magnets. Fast forward to today, and many of the modern concepts for such vehicles are intended to work with existing technologies. These supercomputers-on-wheels use a variety of onboard sensors - and, in some cases, stored maps or communications from other vehicles - to assist or even replace human drivers under specific conditions. And they have the potential to adapt to changes in existing infrastructure rather than requiring it to alter for them. Infrastructure, however, is more than just roads, pavements, signs and signals. In a broad sense, it also includes the laws that govern motor vehicles: driver licensing requirements, rules of the road and principles of product liability, to name but a few. One major question remains though. Will tomorrow’s cars and trucks have to adapt to today’s legal infrastructure, or will that infrastructure adapt to them?