The insurance drone skims above the roadway, humming softly as it tracks your car. Multiple failed login attempts caused by an out-of-date token have prevented the vehicle from downloading a firmware update to its stabilization system. The vehicle broadcast this to all connected stakeholders, so now the drone is watching for unexpected guidance problems. It mainly serves to add a bit more to the evidence stack in case there’s an accident. The car is sending detailed analytics that show problems immediately, and if it posed a risk, the highway’s control system would know and quickly pull the car from the road. advertisement advertisement And now the other cars know too. They’re all connected by a wireless mesh net, exchanging data and using an array of sensors to continuously map their surroundings. They move a bit further away in their lanes, their guidance systems heightened to run the probabilities of your vehicle maintaining trajectory, slowing down, or … [Read more...] about Inside The Near-Future World Where All Our Data And Machines Are In Constant Communication
Hemmed in by Israel on one side and the Mediterranean on the other, the Gaza Strip is largely blocked off from the outside world. The 5-by-25 mile territory has little private enterprise and the idea of entrepreneurship is still strange to many. advertisement advertisement But, remarkably, Gaza still has a startup scene, much of it centered on Gaza Sky Geeks, an accelerator founded by the charity Mercy Corps and funded originally by Google. Since 2011, Sky Geeks has inspired dozens of young people to start their own businesses, some of which now have funding of their own. The initiative is a bright spot amid continuing conflict and lousy infrastructure. “For me, the feeling that it brings is that you can reach for sky,” says director Iliana Montauk. “It brings that feeling of hope and opportunity in a place that’s pretty constrained. Gazans can’t leave Gaza, so the Internet and social media are some of the only ways our entrepreneurs can get … [Read more...] about Help Fund Gaza’s Only Startup Accelerator
On a typically drizzly Seattle night this past May, a crowd shuffled through metal detectors to pack the plaza outside CenturyLink Field, the downtown stadium where the Seahawks play football. Beneath a small white party tent sat Paul Allen—music nerd, lead guitarist of blues-based rockers The Underthinkers, philanthropic Renaissance Man, and a Microsoft cofounder. It’s not unusual to see him at the stadium during football games (he owns the team, along with the Portland Trailblazers), but tonight he was there to watch the first headline show at Seattle’s newest music event, the Upstream Music Festival and Summit, which he also founded. advertisement advertisement As a cloud of vape vapor descended over the audience, Allen and his companion reclined in lounge chairs and the producer DJ and MC Flying Lotus (real name Steven Ellison) took the stage. Ellison often performs in a special contraption: a traditional DJ booth surrounded by projection screens, … [Read more...] about A Tech Billionaire Wants To Reboot The “Best Music Scene In The World”
Oxford Dictionaries defines its official Word of the Year, post-truth, as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” This month, we will briefly highlight each day a major moment from 2016 that most exemplifies the concept of post-truth. Many of these moments will, inevitably, pertain to our president-elect. advertisement As 48.2% of the electorate spent the month of November mourning the prospects for the environment, their right to free speech, and their ability to express their beliefs without fear of violence from official state actors following the election of Donald Trump, the “water protectors” at Standing Rock who gathered to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline were already engaged in a struggle based around all of those things in the administration of his predecessor. The protests at Standing Rock, which began in April, took on an … [Read more...] about The Year In Post-Truth, Day Four: Conflicting Stories at Standing Rock
Each year, food companies and supermarkets donate millions of meals to hunger relief nonprofits like the Greater Boston Food Bank, a massive warehouse with two-story-tall refrigerators. Around the country, a sophisticated network of food banks and pantries helps feed people every day. But despite the billions invested in the system, it’s designed to mitigate hunger, not fix the underlying problems that cause it: millions of people in the country still rely on donated food—even if they have full-time work. advertisement advertisement “We have the most-efficient emergency food system, and we have historically low unemployment,” says Noreen Springstead, the executive director of the nonprofit WhyHunger. “And still 40 million Americans are hungry.” Hunger is less a problem of food scarcity than of poverty, she argues. And that means that the country’s system of hunger relief, and the philanthropy supporting it, needs to continue to … [Read more...] about Can food banks put an end to hunger if their biggest donors are the cause of the hunger?