But will it be an iPad App?

 

Available soon — a tricorder, a la ‘Star Trek’.

Remember the tricorder from Start Trek, that miracle box Doctor McCoy would use to give instant diagnoses just by waving a salt shaker over the patient?

Thanks to the folks at the X Prize Foundation, it looks like we’re getting a little closer to having one in real life.

Rise of the Machines

A robot for every job | Marketplace.org.

Meet Baxter, the latest in a line of industrial robots that will take yur jerb!

Industrial robots and automation have been changing manufacturing for decades now. And with every new innovation, we always have this doom and gloom about how robots are going to destroy all the manufacturing jobs. This of course, ignores the main reason US manufacturing jobs have declined in recent decades: Cheap overseas labor that’s willing to work for low wages and difficult conditions. Conditions that are so bad, manufacturers have to instal suicide prevention nets for when the workers finally do break.

Robots are changing the face of manufacturing, it’s true. And the advent of automobile put buggy whip makers out of work. Workers are going to be retrained. People are going to be needed to build, install, and maintain the robots and do the things robots can’t do.

But none of that will matter unless we as a society stop rewarding companies in their race to the bottom in working conditions with countries like China.

Isaac Asimov: Visionary

This an except of an interview Bill Moyers conducted with science fiction author Isaac Asimov back in 1988. Many of the concepts in online learning he predicts here have to come fruition. It’s pretty amazing he saw it coming at a time when the internet was barely in its infancy and was mainly used by scientists to share data.