Blog Archives

We can’t blame the loss of mid-level jobs purely on robots

We can’t blame the loss of mid-level jobs purely on robots

Several developed countries including the US, UK and Germany have seen their labour markets polarised in recent decades as the number of middle-skilled jobs has declined relative to that of low and high-skilled ones. Technology has been singled out as the main culprit: computers and automation have reduced the demand for mid-level skilled workers in […] … learn more→

Virtual smells may soon be ready for your phone and TV

Virtual smells may soon be ready for your phone and TV

Virtual reality promises to someday transport humans into other worlds, scents and all. Here’s how the technology of virtual smells work, and what such odiferous “VR smells” could mean for our noses and the future. When you watch a movie, you may not always be thinking “wow, I wish I could smell this.” That’s because […] … learn more→

What to know about China’s cyber weapon, the great cannon

What to know about China’s cyber weapon, the great cannon

The Great Wall isn’t the only thing China has with that superlative. Though the country’s censorship and cyber capabilities have been well documented, one specific tool — called “The Great Cannon” by researchers — transforms web traffic into a powerful weapon. Here’s what to know about the Great Cannon, and what it means for China […] … learn more→

Enormous hole in the universe may not be the only one

Enormous hole in the universe may not be the only one

Astronomers have found evidence of a giant void that could be the largest known structure in the universe. The “supervoid” solves a controversial cosmic puzzle: it explains the origin of a large and anomalously cold region of the sky. However, future observations are needed to confirm the discovery and determine whether the void is unique. […] … learn more→

The awesome evolution of the push button, from flash to dash

The awesome evolution of the push button, from flash to dash

From the flashlight to Amazon’s “Dash” button delivery, push buttons have defined and redefined how we interact with the world. Every day, we push hundreds if not thousands of buttons. From the snooze button to the start button, to the pause button and the car-lock button, to every single key on a computer, many people […] … learn more→

Responsible development of new technologies critical in complex, connected world

Responsible development of new technologies critical in complex, connected world

On July 31, 2012, a massive blackout swept across northeast India. At 1 pm local time, a power line in the state of Madhya Pradesh became overloaded and tripped out. As the supply grid struggled to pick up the slack, other lines went down. By 1:03, a cascading series of failures had pushed the electricity […] … learn more→

The LHC is back and it’s ready to probe the limits of matter

The LHC is back and it’s ready to probe the limits of matter

Since shutting down in early 2013, the most powerful particle accelerator on the planet, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has been sitting dormant. Over the past two years this scientific colossus situated at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, has undergone a series of repairs and upgrades. But now it is ready to reawaken from it’s slumber. […] … learn more→

What happens when a self-driving car meets a road rage driver?

What happens when a self-driving car meets a road rage driver?

Driverless cars could soon be cruising Australian roads if South Australia gives the go-ahead to reforms to its road legislation. The technology promises to increase safety on our roads, but what happens when such automated cars meet the less attractive side of human driving: the road rage driver? Such incidents may be rare on our […] … learn more→

In the absence of satisfying facts—or any facts at all

In the absence of satisfying facts—or any facts at all

On January 29, this was the lead headline on the NBC Nightly News newsfeed: “Malaysia Airlines MH370 Declared an ‘Accident,’ Search for Survivors Ends.” On the surface, this headline is absurd in at least two very obvious ways. First, how can the loss of the plane be declared an “accident” when no one has located […] … learn more→

Scientists and public disagree, but let’s not get too excited

Scientists and public disagree, but let’s not get too excited

A new set of surveys of scientists and the public finds the two groups have widely different views about scientific issues. Conducted by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the survey found scientists tended to have a more positive opinion of many technologies than the general […] … learn more→