Thursday, June 23, 2016

Friday Thinking 24 June 2016

Hello all – Friday Thinking is a humble curation of my foraging in the digital environment. My purpose is to pick interesting pieces, based on my own curiosity (and the curiosity of the many interesting people I follow), about developments in some key domains (work, organization, social-economy, intelligence, domestication of DNA, energy, etc.)  that suggest we are in the midst of a change in the conditions of change - a phase-transition. That tomorrow will be radically unlike yesterday.

Many thanks to those who enjoy this.
In the 21st Century curiosity will SKILL the cat.

“Be careful what you ‘insta-google-tweet-face’”
Woody Harrelson - Triple 9



The digital revolution is like a huge global wave breaking through people’s lives. This is probably the fastest period of technological innovation in human history in terms of its speed and global scope. When it was first invented, the telephone took around 75 years to reach 50 million users. The first iPhone came on the market in 2009, smartphones generically a little earlier; today there are more than two billion smartphones in the world. Cutting-edge technology has never gone directly to the poorest regions on such a level in the way mobile phones have. There are now more mobiles per capita in Africa than any other continent. These transformations are being driven by the internet, of course, but also, crucially, by supercomputers and robotics.

A moving connection between these three is what is transforming our lives. A smartphone is more powerful than a supercomputer of 30 years ago — and such a computer used to occupy many metres of floor space.

If you go to a strange city, you don’t need to ask where a restaurant is. You can just find it, using GPS. Migrants fleeing from Syria into Europe are using smartphones to find their way, keep in touch with others and even check what the authorities in different EU countries are doing. They take and send photos along the way.

Anthony Giddens and Matthew Taylor discuss what the digital revolution means for both institutions and individuals

The social and economic impact of technology is widespread and accelerating. The speed and volume of information have increased exponentially. Experts are predicting that 90% of the entire population will be connected to the internet within 10 years. With the internet of things, the digital and physical worlds will soon be merged. These changes herald exciting possibilities. But they also create uncertainty. And our kids are at the centre of this dynamic change.

8 digital skills we must teach our children

Must Read - Feminism for the 21st Century
Ours is a world in vertigo. It is a world that swarms with technological mediation, interlacing our daily lives with abstraction, virtuality, and complexity. XF constructs a feminism adapted to these realities: a feminism of unprecedented cunning, scale, and vision; a future in which the realization of gender justice and feminist emancipation contribute to a universalist politics assembled from the needs of every human, cutting across race, ability, economic standing, and geographical position. No more futureless repetition on the treadmill of capital, no more submission to the drudgery of labour, productive and reproductive alike, no more reification of the given masked as critique. Our future requires depetrification. XF is not a bid for revolution, but a wager on the long game of history, demanding imagination, dexterity and persistence.

XF seizes alienation as an impetus to generate new worlds. We are all alienated – but have we ever been otherwise? It is through, and not despite, our alienated condition that we can free ourselves from the muck of immediacy. Freedom is not a given—and it’s certainly not given by anything ‘natural’. The construction of freedom involves not less but more alienation; alienation is the labour of freedom’s construction. Nothing should be accepted as fixed, permanent, or ‘given’—neither material conditions nor social forms. XF mutates, navigates and probes every horizon. Anyone who’s been deemed ‘unnatural’ in the face of reigning biological norms, anyone who’s experienced injustices wrought in the name of natural order, will realize that the glorification of ‘nature’ has nothing to offer us—the queer and trans among us, the differently-abled, as well as those who have suffered discrimination due to pregnancy or duties connected to child-rearing. XF is vehemently anti-naturalist. Essentialist naturalism reeks of theology—the sooner it is exorcised, the better.

Laboria Cuboniks - Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation

This is a 30 min video by Jesse Schell an iconic force in the world of video game developing. This is a MUST VIEW for anyone interested in the future of VR.

Forty Predictions for VR/AR through 2025

What can we expect from VR and AR in the coming decade and beyond? How will the market develop? What types of games will we see? How will VR change the types of entertainment that are common today? How will VR be portrayed in the media? Come hear game designer Jesse Schell's bold and thought provoking predictions for the future in this 2016 VRDC session.

GDC talks cover a range of developmental topics including game design, programming, audio, visual arts, business management, production, online games, and much more. We post a fresh GDC video every weekday. Subscribe to the channel to stay on top of regular updates, and check out GDC Vault for thousands of more in-depth talks from our archives.

This is another weak signal of the looming change in the conditions of change - emerging disruption in the world of finance and records keeping.

Sweden tests blockchain technology for land registry

Sweden is conducting tests to put the country's land registry system on blockchain, the underlying technology supporting the digital currency bitcoin, the Swedish Land Registry said on Thursday.

The Scandinavian country is working on the project with Swedish blockchain company ChromaWay, consulting firm Kairos Future, and telecommunications service provider Telia, the registry said in a statement.

Together, they have come up with a framework or the so-called "proof of concept" through a white paper and technical demonstration of how the Swedish land registry would work on blockchain.

The blockchain technology works by creating permanent, public "ledgers" of all transactions that could potentially replace complicated systems such as clearing and settlement with one simple database.

"In the first phase of the technology, we have tested the process with some banks," Magnus Kempe, director of retail and finance at Kairos Future, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday. "Now we're on the second phase of the project where we will test in a full-sized environment."

It’s always good to have a counter case - and this should demonstrate that security is an eternal evolution - security-in-hacker-environments - each step changes the conditions of the challenges of the next step.
Coincidentally, there’s a pretty good fiat-currency analogy to the DAO hack. The Bangladesh central bank had $81 million stolen from it in an online heist in February, after the SWIFT messaging network, which connects the world’s major financial institutions, was exploited by attackers.

A $79 million cryptocurrency heist just happened, and it’s threatening the future of blockchains

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a radical experiment in crowdsourced investing, and it raised over $150 million in ether, a cryptocurrency that’s starting to rival bitcoin. The funds were stored at an address on the ethereum blockchain (the protocol underpinning ether) where they would sit until members of the DAO decided how they wanted to spend these funds, by collectively voting on proposals put before them.

But about nine hours ago (from the time of publication on June 17), chunks of ether started getting transferred away from the DAO’s address. As recently as an hour ago, the transfers were still taking place. All told, during that period the DAO’s balance fell by 3.7 million ether, worth $79.6 million at the time. As the hack was discovered, however, the price of ether itself has plunged by 27%, from being worth $21.50 each to $15.59 at its lowest. The price of bitcoin has also fallen by about 6% this morning, putting the brakes on a white-hot bull run.

This is a 15 min read - but a worthwhile analysis and description of the issues of of the Blockchain

Understanding The DAO Hack for Journalists

EARLY IN THE MORNING of June 17th, 2016, an unknown person or group attacked a fund called The DAO, exploited a software vulnerability, and started draining Ether, a cryptocurrency, from the main address where it was stored. This is my attempt to help journalists understand what happened and why it’s important to get the story right. It will be updated continuously.

THE ETHEREUM NETWORK is a network of computers all running the Ethereum blockchain. The blockchain allows people to exchange tokens of value, called Ether, which is currently the second most popular cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. Ethereum also allows people to write and put on the network smart contracts  —  general-purpose code that executes on every computer in the network (currently over 6,000 computers). People then execute these programs by sending Ether to them.

A DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Its goal is to codify the rules and decisionmaking apparatus of an organization, eliminating the need for documents and people in governing, creating a structure with decentralized control. Here’s how it works:
  1. A group of people writes the smart contracts (programs) that will run the organization
  2. Then there is an initial funding period, in which people add cash to the DAO by purchasing tokens that represent ownership — this is called a crowdsale, or an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) — to give it the resources it needs.
  3. When the funding period is over, the DAO begins to operate. People can make proposals to the DAO on how to spend the money, and the members who have bought in can vote to approve these proposals.
  4. It’s important to understand that great care has been taken not to make these tokens into equity shares — they are more like contributions that give people voting rights but not ownership. In most cases, a DAO is not owned by anyone — it’s just software sitting on the Ethereum network.

Here’s one aspect of the Brave New World of AI and the economy. Of course the claims made in this article raise many questions.
The field of artificial intelligence is advancing rapidly. We believe this intelligence could dramatically improve global welfare when applied to finance by increasing the efficiency of the market. Yet large barriers prevent these new forms of intelligence from accessing data or capital. On Numerai, data scientists don’t need capital or data because we provide both. They also don’t need identities or bank accounts because we encourage anonymity and process all payments in Bitcoin.

Rogue Machine Intelligence and A New Kind of Hedge Fund

On February 27th 2016, an artificial intelligence named NCVSAI joined Numerai. His creator downloaded encrypted stock market data, trained a machine learning model, and began submitting stock predictions to Numerai. He uses an untraceable email address. He doesn’t share any code. He is completely anonymous.

On April 18th 2016, the Financial Times reported that the creator of NCVSAI works in genomics and biostatistics.

In early May, NCVSAI uploads a set of global equity price predictions from his model. At this time, NCVSAI had the most accurate model on Numerai. His strongest prediction: buy Salmar ASA — a Norwegian salmon company.

At Numerai, we are building the first interface between machine intelligence and global capital. It is a hedge fund built by a community of anonymous data scientists. And it’s working.

Anonymous users like NCVSAI constantly upload new predictions based on their machine learning models. These predictions are ensembled to control the capital in our hedge fund. Since we launched 7 months ago, 1.9 billion equity price predictions have been submitted to Numerai. This number is growing by 50 million per day.

This is an interesting article discussing the continual development of search tools for social media and the closure of platforms.
The free or cheap tools we have at our disposal are now significantly less powerful than they were. None of the API changes or product closures have been deliberately aimed at making it harder for independent journalists or those working at smaller newsrooms, but that has been the effect.

Journalists are losing key tools to changes in social media tech

With Topsy, Google Real-Time Search, RSS feeds for social platforms and Google Reader all gone, what are some alternatives for news gathering which get results?
On June 1, API changes at Instagram mean that Gramfeed, a favourite Instagram search engine, is no more. It is now called Picodash, is no longer free, and some search functionality has disappeared. Instagram made these changes in response to their community who argued “it can be unclear where […] content is being shared and viewed.”

While these changes have certainly improved user privacy, this most recent shift is one of many small API tweaks and product closures that have impacted social news gathering over the past seven years.

It’s important to stress that professional tools such as Banjo, Crowdtangle, Dataminr, Geofeedia, and SAMdesk enable large, well-resourced newsrooms to search the social web for eyewitness media very quickly and effectively. It is easier for these premium tools to comply with revised API guidelines, so their functionality remains unchanged. But these tools are not cheap.

One of First Draft’s most popular posts was by Derek Bowler from Storyful and was titled 10 news gathering and verification tools for newsrooms on a budget. There was a reason this post did so well. There are so many small newsrooms, independent journalists, or even interested citizens who care about the news. They want to be able to search for and verify social content themselves.

This is an interesting paper - highlighting what seems obvious - open access science enables scientific knowledge to be more accessible.

Amplifying the Impact of Open Access: Wikipedia and the Diffusion of Science

With the rise of Wikipedia as a first-stop source for scientific knowledge, it is important to compare its representation of that knowledge to that of the academic literature. Here we identify the 250 most heavily used journals in each of 26 research fields (4,721 journals, 19.4M articles in total) indexed by the Scopus database, and test whether topic, academic status, and accessibility make articles from these journals more or less likely to be referenced on Wikipedia. We find that a journal's academic status (impact factor) and accessibility (open access policy) both strongly increase the probability of it being referenced on Wikipedia. Controlling for field and impact factor, the odds that an open access journal is referenced on the English Wikipedia are 47% higher compared to paywall journals. One of the implications of this study is that a major consequence of open access policies is to significantly amplify the diffusion of science, through an intermediary like Wikipedia, to a broad audience.

This is a great 16 min video by Peter Norvig - who has literally written the book on AI - he’s now Director of Research at Google. For anyone interested in the state of art in AI. He also discusses the iterative implication of the OODA loop.

Google's Peter Norvig - State-of-the-Art AI: Building Tomorrow’s Intelligent Systems

One more milestone in Machine Vision

Machine-Vision Algorithm Learns to Transform Hand-Drawn Sketches Into Photorealistic Images

Deep neural networks are beginning to outperform humans in a rapidly increasing variety of vision-related tasks.
Drawing an accurate sketch of a person’s face is an art that is hard for most people to master. But it turns out to be relatively easy for computers. Various programs exist for converting images into line drawings. That often produces a decent start, although these systems can have difficulty with shadows and high contrast.

A more promising approach is to use machine-vision algorithms that rely on neural networks to extract features from an image and use these to produce a sketch. In this area, machines have begun to rival and even outperform humans in producing accurate sketches.

But what of the inverse problem? This starts with a sketch and aims to produce an accurate color photograph of the original face. That’s clearly a much harder task, so much so that humans rarely even try.

Now the machines have cracked this problem. Today, Yagmur Gucluturk, Umut Guclu, and pals at Radboud University in Denmark have taught a neural network to turn hand-drawn sketches of faces into photorealistic portraits. The work is yet another demonstration of the way intelligent machines, and neural networks in particular, are beginning to outperform humans in an increasingly wide variety of tasks.

Here’s another article under the Moore’s Law is Dead - Long live Moore’s Law file.

World's first 1,000-processor chip

A microchip containing 1,000 independent programmable processors has been designed by a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The energy-efficient "KiloCore" chip has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second and contains 621 million transistors. The KiloCore was presented at the 2016 Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Honolulu on June 16.

"To the best of our knowledge, it is the world's first 1,000-processor chip and it is the highest clock-rate processor ever designed in a university,"

The chip is the most energy-efficient "many-core" processor ever reported, Baas said. For example, the 1,000 processors can execute 115 billion instructions per second while dissipating only 0.7 Watts, low enough to be powered by a single AA battery. The KiloCore chip executes instructions more than 100 times more efficiently than a modern laptop processor.

Here’s another interesting weak signal about the domestication of matter - right now diamonds are still a scarce valuable commodity - yet is it possible that  in a decade (more or less) the ability to manufacture cheap ‘bloodless and green’ diamond goods will disrupt the diamond industry?
With technology advancing, and with younger shoppers drawn to synthetic options, the question of whether or not lab-grown diamonds will invade the market is now a matter of when, not if.
The oil, mining, and space industries, which were using industrial diamond scraps from mines at the time, instantly saw the value of a new source for the material. Companies immediately bought lab-grown diamonds to incorporate into machinery and drill bits. Thanks to these innovations, diamonds now play a vital role in countless industries: electronics, construction, dentistry, weapons, even skincare.

A Lab-Grown Diamond Is Forever

Can synthetic stones solve the jewelry industry’s problems?
American Grown, which has exclusive rights to buy diamonds from several undisclosed labs in the US, started selling synthetics (a scientific term loathed by the lab-grown industry, but routinely used in the greater jewelry world) a little over three years ago and now wholesales stones to some 250 stores around the country. Four months ago, the Baruchs decided to promote their business more widely in New York City, and so they put up the sign that attracted Sharon and plenty of others.

Baruch takes a 1.5-carat synthetic diamond that's set in a ring and holds it under a lamp. The clear, smooth facets sparkle in the light. The stone is beautiful.

"There's no way to look at it and know it's not natural," Baruch says. "Not with the naked eye, not with a loupe, and not with a standard microscope. Only special technology can tell the difference. Right now I believe we're the only ones selling lab-grown diamonds around here, but I want to say in two to three years more people are going to be carrying them. There are just no negatives to it."

Here’s another signal of a change in conditions of change regarding new ways to feed ourselves within an increasingly urban environment.

The price of LEDs is falling so fast it’s profitable to farm in a New Jersey nightclub

US agriculture has reached a tipping point: It’s now possible to buy greens grown indoors for the same price as those farmed in California fields thanks to the falling price of LEDs.

New Jersey-based AeroFarms is shipping arugula, kale, and spinach from a farm inside a former Newark nightclub to grocery shelves around New York City. Local ShopRites sell five ounces of AeroFarms’ greens for $3.99, the same price as EarthBound, an organic grower in California.

For decades, growing indoors was confined to uniquely profitable markets (like marijuana) that could justify the enormous expense of using artificial light. But dramatic advancements in light-emitting diodes (LEDs)—and new ways of controlling growing conditions indoors—have redefined the economics of farming.

The Department of Energy says the price of LEDs has fallen 90% since 2010, and should keep falling in the years to come. At the same time, LED efficiency (light emitted per unit of energy) and lifetime (now up to about 36,000 hours) have nearly doubled.

Here is a potential weak signal for the advent of what every sci-fi depiction of the future has presented - the flying car and extends the current ideas of self-driving cars into the air. ( the key problem of flying cars was less about the technology of a flying car and much more about the need that every ‘driver-flyer’ had to have a flying license).

Passenger-carrying drone gets symbolic approval for test flights in Nevada

But that's not the same as a thumbs-up from the government
Chinese company Ehang caught our eye at CES earlier year, with the firm unveiling an autonomous quadcopter prototype it said was capable of ferrying human passengers without a pilot. We were wary of these unproven claims, but Ehang is obviously forging ahead with the vehicle. The company recently reached an agreement with Nevada's governor's office to develop the Ehang 184 at the state's FAA-approved UAV test site. However, this news should be taken with a pinch of salt: the Ehang 184 still isn't approved for testing by the FAA itself, and the company has yet to show a fully working prototype.

And another weak signal of the rapid progress in drone technologies. However, distant primetime is for these capabilities - the development once accomplished can scale quickly and be recombined in many imaginative (and unforeseeable) ways.

Quadrotors Learning to Surf Urban Winds for Huge Performance Boosts

At MIT, John Ware and Professor Nicholas Roy have been working on ways of helping quadrotors leverage the wind fields created by structures in urban environments to improve their energy consumption. By modeling how wind blows around dense concentrations of buildings, quadrotors can plan intelligent trajectories to seek out tailwinds and avoid headwinds, boosting their efficiency and potentially leading to both higher speed and longer range.

Most of the work that’s been done on drones and wind focuses on the calm, happy sort of wind that makes golden fields of wheat gracefully sway back and forth as a puppy frolics through them. It’s much harder to deal with the complicated angry wind that you get when fast moving air tries to find its way through an obstacle course of urban buildings. You can’t use a simple model for this; you need something much more sophisticated: namely, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver along with a 3D model of your urban area plus some weather data as an input.

And self-driving is not only for air and land.

‘Solar Voyager’ autonomous boat looks to make history in sun-powered journey across the Atlantic

About 200 miles due east of Boston, a robotic boat is putting along at a walking pace on what could be an historic journey across the entire Atlantic. “Solar Voyager,” built by two friends in their spare time, would be the first autonomous vessel to cross that ocean — and the first one to cross any ocean using solar power alone.

Isaac Penny and Christopher Sam Soon have been tinkering away on the project for four years now and, while the craft, which they launched on June 1, still has a long way to go, it’s safe to say it’s already a success in many ways.

“We’re sort of saying, look what you can do with a small group of people who are passionate about what they do,” Penny told me on the phone. “It’s not like Christopher and I are super-geniuses or something. We’re not even marine people. I grew up in Kansas!”

Nevertheless, the two built Solar Voyager from scratch, with only the solar panels and some standard motor parts taken off the shelf. The 18-foot boat is slowly making its way between GPS waypoints and, if all goes well, it should arrive in Portugal this fall.

This is probably still way too premature - but the question is just how pre-mature? Because stuff like this and more looms on the horizon. The whole article is worth the read.

Doctor’s Plan for Full-Body Transplants Raises Doubts Even in Daring China

The idea for a body transplant is the kind of thinking that has experts around the world alarmed at how far China is pushing the ethical and practical limits of science. Such a transplant is impossible, at least for now, according to leading doctors and experts, including some in China, who point to the difficulty of connecting nerves in the spinal cord. Failure would mean the death of the patient.

The orthopedic surgeon proposing the operation, Dr. Ren Xiaoping of Harbin Medical University, who assisted in the first hand transplant in the United States in 1999, said he would not be deterred. In an interview, Dr. Ren said that he was building a team, that research was underway and that the operation would take place "when we are ready."

His plan: Remove two heads from two bodies, connect the blood vessels of the body of the deceased donor and the recipient head, insert a metal plate to stabilize the new neck, bathe the spinal cord nerve endings in a glue-like substance to aid regrowth and finally sew up the skin.

Whether or not he performs the operation, leading medical experts have condemned the plan.

This article is interesting in that it points to the potential change in both how we regulate and how we fund the change in energy provision. This is well worth the read for its contribution re-thinking how we will implement new infrastructure.

New York Takes A Major Step Toward Rethinking Utility Economics

Throughout the United States, utilities earn a profit through a tried and true regulatory model that has worked well for over 100 years. This model was built on the assumption that customers would use ever increasing amounts of electricity, and it worked for some time. But, as the need to save power and make electric systems more efficient becomes essential to adapt to climate change, this and other assumptions no longer hold true. Without changing how utilities are compensated, we run the risk of experiencing a true irony: utilities, the cradles from which our modern civilization rose, may become the chains preventing us from advancing toward a clean energy future.

Last week, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) – which regulates the state’s utilities – took action to transition to a new model aligned with Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), the state’s initiative to transform the electric grid into a cleaner, more efficient and affordable system. By issuing the “Order Adopting a Ratemaking and Utility Revenue Model Policy Framework,” the PSC is changing how New York’s utilities will be compensated, taking a major step to break the chains holding utilities back, and moving from a system where utilities get paid according to how much electricity they sell to one where utilities are compensated for producing environmental benefits aligned with the public good.

Setting the stage for utility 2.0
Also known as the REV Track 2 Order, the ruling is a significant milestone for New York. It does not do away with the traditional regulatory model, but sets the stage for utilities to earn revenue from new sources. According to the Order, “Utility revenue opportunities must be expanded to more closely align utilities’ financial interests with the customer benefits from these elements of a modernized electric system.” It’s clear they will be tied to achieving goals under the New York State Energy Plan .

The Order points out specific earnings opportunity that utilities can pursue as an incentive to reduce pollution, and helps dispel many early concerns that REV may not yield favorable environmental outcomes. While exact details on how earnings measures will be implemented are underway, linking utilities’ performance to this metric is an example for other states. It illustrates how to address the increasing need for energy efficiency and renewable energy by tying utilities’ compensation directly to greater environmental benefits.

If anyone wonders why we have to re-imagine economic theory and paradigm - here’s one reason - the looming of near zero marginal cost renewable energy paradigms. The graphic also illustrates the tremendous difficulty that humans have with grasping exponential change.

This is the most important chart in global energy

If there is one graphic that neatly sums up the long-term sustainability of renewable energy, then this could be it, according to a new Bloomberg Report.
It shows the maths of the rapidly declining costs of solar energy. Falling costs are driving increases in global production of solar energy, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and are a key part of the battle against climate change. This chart is a powerful reminder of the progress we are making.

“It describes a pattern so consistent, and so powerful, that industries set their clocks by it,” explains Bloomberg in a news article accompanying the report.

And one more article about the looming phase transition into a new energy geo-politics.

The World Nears Peak Fossil Fuels for Electricity

Coal and gas will begin their terminal decline in less than a decade, according to a new BNEF analysis.
The way we get electricity is about to change dramatically, as the era of ever-expanding demand for fossil fuels comes to an end—in less than a decade. That's according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets for the next 25 years.

Call it peak fossil fuels, a turnabout that's happening not because we're running out of coal and gas, but because we're finding cheaper alternatives. Demand is peaking ahead of schedule because electric cars and affordable battery storage for renewable power are arriving faster than expected, as are changes in China's energy mix.

Here are eight massive shifts coming soon to power markets.
There Will Be No Golden Age of Gas -The costs of wind and solar power are falling too quickly for gas ever to dominate on a global scale
Renewables Attract $7.8 Trillion - Already, in many regions, the lifetime cost of wind and solar is less than the cost of building new fossil fuel plants
Electric Cars Rescue Power Markets -
Batteries Join the Grid -
Solar and Wind Prices Plummet
Capacity Factors Go Wild - the percentage of a power plant's maximum potential that's actually achieved over time
A New Polluter to Worry About - First China - now India
The Transformation Continues

The world of 3D printing continues to advance. Although this is only a prototype the promise is real.

Airbus showed off the world's first 3D-printed aircraft

Dwarfed by huge jets all around, the mini-plane Thor was nonetheless an eye-catcher at the Berlin air show this week -- the small Airbus marvel is the world's first 3D-printed aircraft.

Windowless, weighing in at just 21 kilos (46 pounds) and less than four metres (13 feet) long, the drone Thor -- short for "Test of High-tech Objectives in Reality" -- resembles a large, white model airplane.

Yet to the European aerospace giant Airbus, the small pilotless propeller aircraft is a pioneer that offers a taste of things to come -- an aviation future when 3D printing technology promises to save time, fuel and money.

For Fun - and Inspiration
This caught my eye - it was shared with me by a compatriot curious mind - and it captured both my imagination and inspiration - an embrace and celebration of our evolution and becoming. As McLuhan noted - technology is the most human thing about us.  I think this is a must see - and personally I think a project worth supporting.

Humana, to make ourselves more than human

Humana - Debuting Bionic Ballerina, a Duo Acrobatic Ballet Combined with High Technology
Bionic Ballerina
Informed by my journey of advanced robotic surgical hip replacement, this fine art dance film incorporating smart technology light suits will tell the story of my re-awakening. I threw myself into ballet to overcome my daily challenges, and I now have followers that put their hope in me to show them ultimately what is possible in a new human condition.

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