Did you ever wonder who gets your money when you go shopping? You may, without knowing it, be donating your hard-earned cash to people and corporations who use it to fund campaigns that go against your beliefs and values. This Forbes article describes Buycott, a smart phone app that can instantly reveal the secret origins of the items in your shopping cart. Whether you’re concerned about a cleaner environment or a more equitable society or something else, technology can help you vote with your wallet every time you shop.
10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age
A few short decades ago the Surui tribe lived a stone-age lifestyle in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. Encroachment of modern civilization into their forest threatened their home—and their very existence. But today the tribe is using digital technology to help preserve the rainforest, the people that live there, and the health of our shared planet. This unlikely story is described in this NPR piece and the accompanying YouTube video.
We’ve heard about how 3D printers can be used to manufacture toys, small machine parts, and even some prosthetic devices for human bodies. But as applications emerge, so do some difficult questions.
- According to this Wired story, a printed car might soon share the road with you. But for legal reasons, it might technically be a motorcycle.
- This NPR story explores some of the intellectual property questions raised by 3-D printers.
- It’s one thing to print a figurine of a copyrighted comic book character; printing a lethal weapon is something else altogether.
This NPR story explains how 3-D printers muddy the waters in the debate over gun safety.
NPR’s Radiolab is radio at its best—entertaining, informative, provocative. This episode will change the way you think about time and speed. One segment reveals the surprising truth about the relative speeds of the human nervous system and the Internet, and the a critical role of speed in today’s computer-controlled financial marketplace.
If you don’t understand how the stock market works, you’re not alone. The market has developed a digital mind of its own, and in many ways it’s beyond human comprehension. The blog that accompanies that story includes some dazzling animated visualizations.