Heart of darkness? We Africans can now put our own lights on, thanks.
Electrifying opportunities are opening up for vast numbers in energy-deprived rural communities Have you seen the latest ‘This is not financial advice’ kind of, er, non-financial advice? If you watch…
Tearing the startup accelerator to pieces
(and hopefully putting it back together in better shape) This is going to be one of those ‘don’t get me wrong’ intros: So yes, I’m a serious fan of the…
Dunkirk spirit? ‘Essential services’ will now be redefined
Healthcare and groceries? Obviously essential, but what else? The reality? Name a sector, any sector, and the answer to whether there is anything at all that’s essential about it is…
Why not join an online-only socially-distanced startup?
These are the kind of startups that never require any face to face meetings From the application interview onwards, you will never, ever be expected to be in the same…
Is hosting your app in a proprietary cloud becoming too risky?
Are clients beginning to demand continuity, even in the face of disruption so severe as to potentially undermine the continuity of any hosting service, no matter how large? Even the…
Is this planet’s centralised infrastructure about to be put to the ultimate test?
Even its biggest fans don’t think all decentralisation will be quick or painless, and yet… Nobody, not even the most committed decentralisation enthusiast, underrates the daunting challenges, whether related to…
Neither side gets journalism now
Neither old nor new media have come to terms with what is self-evidently still working and what obviously still needs fixing
Your startup really needs some surprisingly bad new ideas
The more surprisingly bad a new idea seems, the more likely it is that it will be useful, if only because the very fact that it seems as bad as…
The innovator’s crucial non-listicle
I have got it down to a three-point hypothesis followed by ten simple questions
VR platform incompatibility: what if it doesn’t matter?
You might want to check this article again once we have some solid facts about VR software sales. The more you read about the three soon to be released ‘high-end’…
Where journalist skills and innovation meet (and where they don’t)
It’s journalism, but not as we know it. To set the scene for this rather obscure deployment of the journalist’s skills, let’s just take a brief look at exactly where…
Uncanny valley in reverse?
Software will soon need to start trying to convince us that it’s more stupid than it is and that it knows less than it knows about us, just so that…
Think Kubrick was obsessed with detail? Games design is going much further than film
The social and cultural implications of bringing massively increased realism to upcoming video games design go way beyond anything to do with games. Few would dispute the claim that Stanley…
Overcoming Innovator’s Block
The one infallible trick (well, it works for me) you can use when you’re trying to come up with a new project idea but you’re getting nothing but a painful…
Makers: isn’t it time to embrace and extend?
Yes, 3D printing and the Internet Of things are ‘turning everyone on to the idea of making stuff themselves’, but what about working together with the ‘old-school’ DIY, craft and…
A truly social network where humans are (mostly) excluded
The truly driverless car is a distant prospect whose arrival will be preceded by cars driven not so much by their human drivers as by their need to learn what other cars know about the road ahead
Stand by: this is a platform alteration announcement
Due to an incident involving the wrong kind of interface design, all services by Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft will be subject to change without notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause
High Frame Rate for everything, not just action shots
Mantra Fail: High Frame Rate (e.g., 48 fps instead of 24 fps in movies) supposedly ‘only for action shots’: non-action shots ‘look fake’, revealing so much detail that props don’t look real: NOT!
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
Should the Oculus $2 billion have gone to this man instead?
Never heard of Oliver Kreylos? You will.
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
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
Human motor racing supremacy has five years left
In five years from today, no human driver will be able to win a race against an autonomous car.
12 things wrong with educational games
It’s just a list, it’s probably way too harsh and uncompromising, so educational developers, I know you care: please don’t take it personally, let’s just start making a bit more progress towards putting these things right
What’s wrong with the pictures in our heads?
Whatever’s going on in our imagination, we tend to think of it as being like ‘movies’ that we ‘watch’, but this description isn’t doing justice to the way that imagery really works in our minds
“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?
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
Musicians: video editing is now officially part of your skillbase
Just ‘gigging, recording and getting discovered by a record company’ is yesterday’s intro to a musical career. Nowadays, you need to be able to build your own online TV channel that does justice to your best songwriting and performances.
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
Are robots with analog AI the future?
Digital brains are just too big, slow and unreliable to interact seamlessly with the fast-moving natural world. Human interaction may be the only phenomenon slow enough to make digital look impressive
What’s it like writing story-worlds for others to inhabit and shape?
Job titles like ‘interactive storyteller’ or ‘narrative designer’ do little to convey the joys and nightmares of today’s videogame writing experience: we’ve found writers eager to share an inside perspective
What is soft robotics?
Solutions to just about every hard engineering problem in robotics can be found in the biology of animals, where nature seems to be telling us to ‘take a softer approach’
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
The switch from doing jobs to starting startups: will we even notice?
Could our increasingly online lifestyles morph smoothly into self-employment if today’s culture of ’employee-based careers for all’ gradually fades into oblivion?
Lean Startup Methodology, Critical Design Theory: Separated at birth?
Lean startups use wild speculations about imaginary products to start conversations with customers aimed at eliciting real requirements. Critical Design aims to make things which provoke enlightening responses. Snap?
The post-screencast era
Screencast videos are almost all painfully harder to watch than they need to be: here’s our top 5 suggestions for making screencasts infinitely more watchable, mostly just by adding a little bit of post-production.
Turning churnalism back into journalism
Covering an innovation story? Re-hashing a press release may be better than nothing, but doing it whilst maintaining full disclosure and explicitly adding your own specialist perspective? Journalism!
How can a professional economist help innovative startups?
What special skills can an economist bring to help innovative startups explore new business models more effectively?
Could Luton turn out to be the UK’s first Silicon Town?
Everyone’s looking for the UK’s next startup hotspot, but they might not be looking in the right place
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
The Achilles’ Heel of 3D Printing
Why additive manufacturing isn’t expected to take over large scale industrial production any time soon
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
Rescuing serious journalism by productively reducing it to mindless fun
Few news editors would claim that they are not an endangered species, so even the most whimsical-sounding ideas are no longer quite so easily dismissed as being irrelevant or unnecessary
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
Startup mentoring: is there something missing?
The list of services that an officially accredited UK mentor is NOT allowed to provide just boggles the mind
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?
Steam-powered 3D printer anyone?
19th century-style Steampunk innovation
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?
10M die every year, just begging for better diagnostics
Cheaply improving diagnosis in the developing world has an impact which is simply staggering. There’s a vast backlog of breakthrough science and technology waiting to be applied
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.