Tag Archives: smartphones

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

The Internet of Things…that Go Bump in the Night

An artist's rendering of the Internet of Things.
Drawing by wilgengebroed.

As sci-fi and techno-horror flicks are fond pointing out, the future is chock-full of things that want to kill us. Yep, our own technological progeny want to consign us to the great bit-bucket in the sky but, hey, at least we were warned, right?

Well, sure, if we had any intention of heeding these cinematic Cassandras. Think about it: The Terminator warns us about Skynet, so what do we do? We set to work on autonomous drones. Christine  frightens us with a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury, so we get busy designing self-driving cars. It’s like we want to die.

And then there’s the Internet of Things: Trillions of everyday objects exchanging data, everywhere, all the time, with only the most basic human oversight. Can’t wait to see how that one turns out.

10 Nightmare Scenarios From the Internet of Things

Android Wear is Stalking You

The much-ballyhooed Moto 360, one of the flagship Android Wear smart watches. Photo by Chris F.

Personal assistants who know all of your business might be fine in the halls of Downton Abbey or stately Wayne Manor, but there’s something a bit unsettling about their 21st century equivalents, smart watches. Chalk it up to working-class roots or incipient techno-paranoia, but many of us balk at a networked device that tracks our every habit, secret and preference like a cybernetic Mrs. O’Brien, particularly one built by a company with a burgeoning robot army and a secretive barge flotilla. Then again, they’re kind of cool…

How Android Wear Works

The Future: At the Corner of Close and Soon

Aerocar 600 fantasy flying car
Not quite what we had in mind.
(Photo by Joe Mabel)

Somehow the future we get is never quite the one we were promised. Then again, sometimes the very ideas wrapped in the pages of sci-fi and Popular Science are right under our noses, in disguise. After all, we have hand-held sensor-communicators and miraculous supermaterials – they just take the rather mundane form of carbon-fiber-wrapped smartphones.

Maybe our blindness arises from our physical and electronic architecture. Has exchanging Googie buildings for Google caused us to overlook the flying-car equivalents that fill our everyday lives, or soon will? Read on.

Our 10 Favorite Replacements for ‘Where’s My Flying Car?’

Tracking 2013’s Tastiest Tech

Detail of Google Glass
Photo by Antonio Zugaldia

Looking back on the tech trends, triumphs and tribulation of 2013, a few patterns emerge: Private projects took off even while privacy took a beating; robots and AI servants made great strides while their drone cousins stalked us with cameras and weapons; reality was simultaneously augmented and scrutinized, while 3-D-printing and private-sector space races seemingly brought the whole world into the realm of DIY.

2013’s Biggest Tech Moments