Elon Musk, leader of SpaceX (and Tesla Motors) recently unveiled the latest version of the Dragon manned spacecraft. The walkthrough was quite impressive, while the capsule resembles some of the manned re-entry vehicles used during NASA's apollo missions, the Dragon has some notable differences.
In fact some of these features represent huge leaps forward in manned spaceflight technology. I provide a rundown of some of these new features in my article on the SpaceX Dragon V2.
Apple recently acquired popular headphone maker Beats Electronics for approximately $3 billion. Beats makes a very popular, though often critically maligned headphone, and has recently created a music streaming service that has had some initial success.
A number of people in the tech world are confused by this latest purchase from Apple: it seems highly out of the norm and somewhat strategically vague. I provide a rundown of the details of the buy in my article on Apple's Acquisition of Beats.
Over the years it's been difficult not to marvel at the sheer range of new technologies that Google develops. No other company casts so wide a net, from cars to mobile phones, operating systems to backpack mounted cameras. I've collected some of my articles on Google's new tech together to provide a brief look at how wide Google's reach truly is. Check out this collection on Google's varied tech strategy.
The recent Heartbleed vulnerability caused a massive stir in the tech community. For such a fundamental technology to have had a potential hole for so long was considered catastrophic. These events have highlighted a trend in web technology: The reliance of some of the webs biggest companies on an open source web software stack. I've provided a look at this issue specifically through the lens of OpenSSL, the technology behind the Heartbleed bug in my article on OpenSSL and Heartbleed.
Flipboard has achieved an impressive level of success with its mobile app, and its growth in user base is great news for content. With the new release of the app, user curated magazines have become a great way to share interests. However as the users and content have grown on the platform, it's made finding the stuff you care about more challenging.
This is why Flipboard's acquisition of Zite last month makes a lot of sense, as Zite will bring a great recommendation engine that is sorely needed by Flipboard's growing market. I outline both the acquisition, and the history and future of the company in my profile on Flipboard.
Image © Flipboard
A difficulty in working with new technology is in trying to predict where tech is headed. While the short term roadmap may be relatively clear, we need only look to past examples to find very qualified people making wrong guesses about the future of tech. One reason for this is that the rate of development in technology is becoming faster. This means that tech development is not a linear process, but rather an exponential one. Linear processes are easy to predict, while exponential processes tend to move into realms that are difficult to imagine in the here and now. Noted futurist Ray Kurzweil calls this concept in tech development the Law of Accelerating Returns, and I profile this concept in my most recent article.
I've written a number of articles recently on the future of technology, from artificial intelligence to DNA computing. The wide range of topics covered indicate to me that this future is difficult to predict, and technology appears to be branching out into a wide variety of areas. I think it's not wise to attempt a prediction at which of these areas will become the dominant paradigm for computing in the future, but rather to familiarize yourself with the different concepts so that one may have some basic preparedness if and when an idea takes hold. That's why I've collected these articles together in one page, called: the Future of Computing.
While stories like Google's driverless car dominates many tech headlines, the fundamentals of what makes an artificial intelligence project like this work are often glossed over. At the core of almost every AI project is a very simple framework that outlines how a piece of technology can act as an autonomous agent within its environment. While the framework itself is simple, the ways to implement it can be endlessly complex, but it can be encouraging to know that even projects like Google's car are made from some basic building blocks. I outline the base principles of AI projects in my article on Rational Agents and AI.
Is having a conversation with a computer a good measure of the state of artificial intelligence? While many in the modern field of AI would say this is a rather limited view, this was the operational measure put forward by Alan Turing, the well known computer scientist. The Turing Test became a well known concept in the world of computer science, and still generates some philosophical debate over the nature of human and computer intelligence. I provide an overview of the Turing Test in my most recent article.
Technology is empowering people worldwide, making them more independent and self sufficient. The impact of technology on cultures may not be universally positive, it has opened avenues for people to express their creativity. Tools and platforms have emerged that have created a culture of makers, amateurs enthusiasts and hobbyists who will likely drive innovation in many areas, from software, to hardware, to physical objects. I've written about this phenomenon and emerging culture in my latest article on Maker Technology.