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DaVinci Coders
December 20th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

A Futurist on our Future

Mining asteroids, an activity that could produce the world’s first trillionaire by 2030. 3D-printed cruises ships and hospitals. But no more taxi drivers, firefighters and (gulp) journalists. Indeed, the future of the world according to Thomas Frey is not quite what you might expect.

Frey is executive director and “senior futurist” at the DaVinci Institute, a 17-year-old think tank where he gathers a group of high-profile intellectuals for deep conversations about tomorrow. And we mean high profile: regular contributors to these “mastermind groups” include nearly every sitting governor of Colorado (the think tank’s home state), CEOs like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, the commissioner of the U.S. patent office, university presidents and science fiction authors like David Brin.

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December 20th, 2014 at 4:42 pm

What Happens to your Social Media Accounts when you Die?

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“One small fact: You are going to die,” Death says in the opening of The Book Thief. “Despite every effort, no one lives forever.” If you’ve come to terms with that (or have at least thought of death at one time or another), perhaps you’ve prepared for the inevitable by getting insured, saving up for those you’re leaving behind and writing up a last will and testament. These days, though, you also need to decide what will happen to your online life after death. What can you do to prepare for it, and what can you do to help if someone close to you passes away?

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December 20th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Top 14 Photos of the Week

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What he lacks in muscle and leg strength, he makes up for in wires …or whatever that is!

Quote of the Day:  “All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.” — H. L. Mencken

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December 19th, 2014 at 11:46 pm

The Coming Era of Mega Systems, Part 1 – Transportation

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Futurist Thomas Frey – Let me begin with a couple questions.

Question #1: The U.S. has two countries that touch its borders – Canada and Mexico. But what is its third closest neighbor?

While most would probably look at the island nations in the Caribbean, the third closest is actually Russia, a scant 2.4 miles away, the distance between Alaska’s Little Diomede Island and it’s sister Big Diomede Island on the Russian side of the Bering Strait. During the winter an ice bridge usually forms between the two islands and a person can actually walk from the U.S. to Russia.

Question #2: Is it possible to drive a car from North America to South America?

The answer to this question is “no,” because plans for the highly publicized Pan-American Highway were never completed, leaving a 60 mile gap across a dense jungle region, known as the Darian Gap, between Panama and neighboring Columbia.

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December 19th, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Russian cash has already fled the country

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Russian Rouble hits all time low

It may already be too late for Russia’s Central Bank to regain control. The collapse of the ruble has prompted a flight of capital as investors and savers in Russia seek shelter outside the country’s borders.

A CNBC.com analysis of money flows monitored by the Russian Central Bank shows that large cash hoards have already left the country. Nations in the ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have been disproportionate recipients of those funds. Ukraine is also a major destination for Russian cash.

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December 19th, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Will big data change the music industry?

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Future music monetization remains a mystery

 - Where will the big money be in the music industry in the future? The topic of royalty payouts from streaming services comes up every year. The arguments remain the same, yet no progress has been made.

Industry leaders continue to focus on streaming royalties as the only future of artists’ revenue. As of yet, the fate of music monetization remains undecided. Some argue the goal is — and always will be — to simply get artists’ music in the ears of consumers. Others seek to continue getting consumers to pay for music. Still, it’s unlikely that subscription models will be the only answer to how music creators, both signed and independent, get compensated for their art in a sustainable way.

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December 19th, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Astronaut aboard the ISS needs a wrench and NASA successfully ‘emails’ him one

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Astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore poses with the 3D-printed socket wrench emailed

 - We’re finally starting to see the benefits of having a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station, as NASA and Made in Space basically emailed a ratcheting socket wrench to astronaut Barry Wilmore.

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December 18th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

LG’s TV at the Next Level with the Quantum Dot

Quantum-Dot-TV

A new kind of display is about to make TV images appear even more lifelike. LG will show off a TV based on quantum-dot technology at CES 2015 in January, and the company also plans to start selling it later that year.

Quantum-dot tech uses extremely tiny crystals — measuring 2 to 10 nanometers — to generate light. (That’s so small that the tiniest crystals are only about 20 atoms thick.) Different-size crystals generate different colors, and the size of the crystals can be controlled precisely. As a result, quantum-dot displays can reproduce color that’s even better and more accurate than OLED screens, the current leading tech for advanced TVs.

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December 18th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

The First Lady of Graphene

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The birthplace of graphene – the one-atom-thick carbon – is Manchester University, where it was created by two physicists. But Cambridge could become the adopted home of the so-called wonder-material.

A vast new facility that can make up to five tons of the ultra-valuable black dust each year is being built in the city and is due to open in 2015.

Cambridge Nanosystems, a university spin-out, led by chief scientist Catharina Paukner, 30, has built the factory with the help of a £500,000 grant from the Technology Strategy Board.

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December 18th, 2014 at 9:14 am

How Online Courses are Changing Education

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Online courses may not be changing colleges as their boosters claimed
they would, but they can prove valuable in surprising ways

Justin Pope:  College education remains out of reach for many people.

A few years ago, the most enthusiastic advocates of MOOCs believed that these “massive open online courses” stood poised to overturn the century-old model of higher education. Their interactive technology promised to deliver top-tier teaching from institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and MIT, not just to a few hundred students in a lecture hall on ivy-draped campuses, but free via the Internet to thousands or even millions around the world. At long last, there appeared to be a solution to the problem of “scaling up” higher education: if it were delivered more efficiently, the relentless cost increases might finally be rolled back. Some wondered whether MOOCs would merely transform the existing system or blow it up entirely. Computer scientist Sebastian Thrun, cofounder of the MOOC provider Udacity, predicted that in 50 years, 10 institutions would be responsible for delivering higher education.

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