Dominic Basulto

The Robotic Future Is Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

The robotic future is here, and it looks nothing like we thought it would. Instead of humanoid, highly-intelligent robots that do our bidding, the future is increasingly one of robotic swarms, robotic quadrotors, and tiny robots no larger than insects that perform surgery. The robotics revolution, in short, is fast, cheap and out of control.

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Think Green, Drink Brown: Recycled Water

Slate recently highlighted the fastest-growing industries in the USA - everything from hot sauce to self-tanning products to 3D printers to generic pharmaceuticals. Here's one industry they missed: the recycled water industry.

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Mobile Is So Money: The Future of the Internet

Across Silicon Valley, companies like Google and Facebook are waking up and realizing that the future of the Internet is no longer taking place on the desktop or laptop - it is taking place on the tablet and smartphone. As a result, there has been a huge land grab in 2012 to control the future evolution of the mobile Internet.

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Meet the Urban Datasexual

The same cultural zeitgeist that gave us the metrosexual - the urban male obsessive about grooming and personal appearance - is also creating its digital equivalent: the datasexual.

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Is the Internet Becoming the Bot Net?

On the Internet, we’ve reached a tipping point where more than 50% of all Internet traffic is no longer generated by humans – instead, it's generated by a motley mix of search engine spiders, bots, scrapers, scammers, hackers and, yes, spies. We are no longer talking about the Internet, we are talking about the Bot Net – a “bot-mediated reality” where algorithms and bots influence where we go, how long we spend there and with whom we communicate. 

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The Internet's Cult of Now

There is only one measure of time that matters to the current Internet generation: the here and now. The Cult of Now is influencing everything that we do and every interaction we have on the Internet, especially since providing a live, real-time update is often no more difficult than pressing a button on a smart phone. 

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You No Longer Have a Right to Privacy

The concept of privacy is undergoing a radical transformation, thanks to our continuing willingness to provide companies like Facebook and Google our data for free. If, before, we largely lived our lives in private, we now live our lives in public. In many cases, we no longer even know what is public and what is private, who has our information, and what they are doing with it.

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The New Digital Realism: Retina Display, Lytro and Senseg

The real world has never been more real, with the latest proof being the release of the much-hyped Retina Display on the new iPad from Apple. This new tablet screen, boasting a jaw-dropping 3 million pixels of visual goodness, promises visual clarity greater than that capable of being processed by the human retina. In a review for The Washington Post, Joshua Topolsky compared the new Retina Display to "glowing paper."

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Paradise Lost: What if Manhattan Is the Next Maldives?

The latest climate change catastrophe scenario is now out: rising sea levels over the next century could flood 3.7 million people in over 500 U.S. cities, including New York, New Orleans and Miami. This scenario from Climate Central follows other reports, such as one this week by the Asian Development Bank that outlines a scenario in which one-third of South East Asia would be uninhabitable as a result of rising sea levels.

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KONY 2012 and the Global Hive Mind

The speed with which KONY 2012 went viral around the world has been stunning. Even if you don’t love the politics of Invisible Children's "Stop Kony" campaign, it’s hard to find fault with the execution of a viral video campaign that attracted 100 million YouTube views within a week, making it the most successful viral video ever in the history of the Web.

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