What if the synapse isn’t really doing what we think?
It’s hard to find a more profound challenge to a central tenet of neuroscience: in our so far unrewarded struggle to locate our elusive memories within the junctions between brain cells, shouldn’t we also be looking inside the neuron itself?
The other six: VR hardware projects funded on KickStarter
Apart from the Oculus Rift, there are currently six other Virtual Reality hardware projects that have been successfully funded through KickStarter
The wild frontier of innovation intelligibility: an edgy video
I’ve been having a serious struggle deciding whether or not to share this important video because I’m just not sure how much of a struggle with intelligibility you’ll be able to tolerate
Sam Altman, tomorrow’s Mark Zuckerberg?
Over $5 billion jump in valuation in one month, even though none of their highest valued investments has yet had an exit? At this rate, Sam’s startup club may start putting Facebook to shame
Which new technology market is expected to reach $177 billion in five years?
Suddenly nanomedicine is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but ask those typically clued-up about science and technology to define it: the answers may be surprisingly inconsistent
Healthcare’s identity crisis: is a massive role reversal looming?
There was a point where professionals felt as if they were being turned into robots, forced to spend more time processing data about their patients than engaging with them as human beings.
“There was no national infrastructure for this, so I’ve funded it”
An Intensive Care Unit where it’s needed. In every home. Millions already connected. He cashed out two startups, spent some exit money (he’s still got $7 billion left). The Steve Jobs of healthcare?
Your clients can innovate faster than you can, so why not pay them to do it?
What are the implications for those of us outside of the games business of Gabe Newell’s claim that his customers are better innovators than his best creatives
Stodgy, predictable, strategic research? It doesn’t need to be
‘Going against the grain’ is getting some surprising endorsement in the rarefied upper strata of professional industry analysts
Alas poor Oculus, I knew you well
Until the day before yesterday, it was the toast of the gaming hardware world: today, John Carmack’s illustrious involvement notwithstanding, maybe the Rift is just toast.
Farming machinery’s next big move? Stop getting bigger
Squeezing bigger crop yields out of the soil by just upgrading to larger, heavier, more powerful machines doesn’t look sustainable. Up to 90% of the energy used in crop cultivation is wasted on dealing with the damage caused by the cultivation equipment itself
Probing the innovation management implications of iconic ex-Valver Ellsworth’s ejection
Promoting Valve’s quirky employee handbook as a manifesto for unfettered workplace creativity set Gabe Newell on a collision course when he hired the legendary geek goddess
Why not bake augmented reality into your hardware startup?
Start looking for ways to ‘transcend physical user experiences’ by liberating your device’s mobile app from the constraints of the real world
Viewing the TV implications of Steam from 50,000 feet
Google TV, Apple TV, Facebook TV, Netflix, you need to watch your backs. A more ‘socially optimised consumer experience’ may give Valve’s Steam an unbeatable edge over other contenders for tomorrow’s TV
The intensifying innovation debate about mental diagnosis
The long-awaited update to the clinician’s guidebook DSM-V was released on May 18th, affecting mental healthcare for billions worldwide. How well is it keeping up with the latest developments in science, technology and ideas?
A formidable new contender on the tech review scene
His YouTube channel alone is an eye-opener: is a new standard for consumer technology review videos being set?
Is video content heading for the holodeck?
It’s time to ask whether recent technological advances should make us revisit some long-abandoned dreams about interactive content
The contest for your living room gathers Steam
Apple TV, Google TV and let’s not forget Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft or Sony. Here at the iij, our money is on someone else.
Neurologist pivots to schoolteacher, then to teaching teachers neuroscience
She was seeing a 5 to 10x spike in teacher referrals for students with epilepsy, ADHD and OCD symptoms: mysteriously, those symptoms failed to show up outside the classroom. Did they come from changes to teaching methods? What she found made her switch careers, twice
Top guitar innovation videos of 2012
Yes, you’ll find some pretty lame excuses for also including some (admittedly awesome) clips which are sometimes more about exceptional inspiration than innovation
It’s official: Apple has windows, Microsoft doesn’t
Microsoft has ditched the window metaphor in order to make its OS feel like a mobile app, but Apple’s desktops, tablets and phones all still use a window metaphor
Cultural literacy education theory humbled by games culture
A fashionable return to 19th century teaching methods is being challenged by astonishing findings on the impact of online games culture upon ‘hopeless’ struggling learners
Mel Brooks Producers as a model for lean startups
Founders having an innovative idea, a fruitful search for a solution, generous early investors: what could possibly go wrong?
The MOOCs are coming! The MOOCs are coming!
The educational world, terrified by Massive Open Online Courses, is putting on a brave, smiling face and joining in, because it sees them as unstoppable and hopes it can somehow survive and even benefit from them
12 Robotics projects, all successfully funded using KickStarter
There are hundreds of other robot-themed projects on Kickstarter, I’ve just left out out the books or films about robots, as well as most art, education, hobby and toy projects
Post-Genomics: Wikipedia says no
There is no Wikipedia article on this subject at the time of writing, but it is now a well established field which cries out for a much wider public understanding
Nine 3D printer startups have been funded on KickStarter
Hardware crowdfunding successes from under a thousand to well over half a million dollars
New Bond Thriller, With Social Impact
Don’t let the impenetrable jargon put you off. Social Impact Bonds, which bring “only paying for success” to public funding for privately-run social projects, are genuinely innovative. But will they make a real difference?
What happens when government goes ‘Third Platform’?
We’re told endlessly how ‘running everything from the cloud’ shreds costs for startups, so does this mean that even government could be run cheaply, if they do this too?
Building systems that can solve tougher problems
To achieve this, a system (involving people and machines) should be constructed so that it can ultimately, in some relevant ways, become ‘smarter’ than any of its individual (human) participants
Nomination For the 2012 Infinitely Improbable Pivot Award
And you thought AirBnB’s Chesky’s early switch into repackaging breakfast cereals which he eventually had to eat in order to survive would clinch it? Nope. Not improbable enough.
Gamification isn’t enough: we’re missing something big here
Using the dynamics of games as a way of improving engagement in such things as work, marketing and education shows great promise, but something relevant that gamers do is being ignored
Fixing the ‘unsolved problem shortage’ that holds back potential startup founders
Shortages of easily-tackled unsolved problems are a first world problem: elsewhere, countless established ‘solutions’ are just unaffordable, each one a gift to any problem-seeking would-be entrepreneur
What if a time-travelling, pre-Apple Jobs & Wozniak applied to Y Combinator without a startup idea?
What kind of problem would YC have suggested for these prospective startup founders to work on?
Codecademy horror? 40 years of research into computer learning ignored
The ‘teach yourself to program’ site is just not equipped to have an intelligent conversation about any problems you’re having as you go along. What impact is this having on the dropout rate?
When (media) worlds collide
This video reveals something shocking about Old Media: they are doing more new media stuff than any New Media operation: Why? They have much greater resources and they’re scared
Is blaming PowerPoint really just “shooting the messenger”?
It turns out that claims of causing “Death by PowerPoint” may conceal a far more pernicious offense: our unpardonable ignorance of how human attention actually works
Major debate video: Is ‘who we are’ more than just brain-wiring?
Which side are you on? Are you a ‘connectomist’ who believes that once we fully map the connections in the brain, all it’s secrets will be revealed? Or are you ‘connectome-quizzical’ and looking for a wider range of perspectives before taking up a position?
1.8 million regular listeners to a US science and philosophy radio show?
Is the BBC’s long-established domination of ‘serious’ talk radio finally seeing a serious challenge?
Video: talk brings you up to date on just about every major field in genomics
A roller-coaster ‘how we got to where we are today’ tour by the US government’s Director of Research, starting with a look back to the point eleven years ago when the momentous results of the Human Genome Project were made public for the first time
Humanoid, moi? We’re all Stepford wives now
It’s 1996: students experiment with being cyborgs. That strange circuitry covering one eye? People imagine they’re disabled, offer them chairs. Nowadays you’d need to pry our ubiquitous connections to the borg collective (er, sorry: ‘cloud’) out of our cold, dead hands. So are we there yet?
Love: the most important thing about startup founder matching
What will hold startup founders together through those ‘sense of impending doom’ moments? The fact that the business idea is great? Y Combinator’s Paul Graham thinks not: the relationship between founders has to be more important than the venture.
Did Eric Schmidt really invent The Pivot before Eric Ries?
Google’s Schmidt talked about ‘morphing’ a project, but watching this Marissa Mayer video today, as she describes her boss’s suggestion three years before Ries’s, although the idea and the approach are different, the outcomes feel uncannily similar
For women computer scientists, Mudd sticks
Paltry numbers of computer scientists are women. Christine Alvarado helped QUADRUPLE those numbers at Harvey Mudd College, whose reputation for excellence rivals MIT: this video offers insight into how she did it
He’s a NASA legend, acclaimed songwriter and science marketing guru
If it’s a tough time to be a scientist, maybe that’s more than just a branding issue. Nonetheless, scientists would probably be unwise to ignore thoughtful advice about presentation from someone highly regarded in both the arts and sciences