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New Fiction: The Hidden Rider

“This tissue graft sounds like everything the implants are but more,” I said.

“That’s exactly right. It will live off excess blood sugar or fat, whatever fuel source is readily available.” The doctor was nothing but professional.

“The implants can do that and run off batteries.”

“The graft is actually more advanced, since it will never need to have the batteries changed, and it can change itself.”

“Bio-rejection is a risk”

“Yes, true, but the Marcon Biologics C model caused thousands to get sick when the biologically derived plastics inside of it caused bio-rejection when they started to break down,” the doctor countered.

“That’s poor material selection. And the implant itself in this case is biological. It could be considered a parasite,” I told the doctor.

Why Jobs Robots Cannot Take May Still Disappear

Have you ever used a self-serve kiosk? Perhaps you checked out with your groceries to save time. Or you waved your RFID pass to roll on into the carwash without waiting in line to get change for a $10 bill. In either case, technology has enabled self-service, a fancy term for “you do the work.” No matter what you may call it, the term “shadow work” coined by Craig Lambert applies.

Which Technologies Are Most and Least Likely to Change Manufacturing?

Whether you’re watching Shark Tank or reading a crowdfunding campaign, the term “revolutionary” gets tossed around quite a bit. I like Peter Drucker’s definition of revolutionary: the true revolution is when technology or processes from a totally different sector overturn a market, such as genetics upending medicine or the internet altering everything from social interactions to looking up information.

There are four technologies often cited as certain to dramatically alter manufacturing: the Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.

Dystopian Movies Head-to-Head: 4 Reasons Why ‘Equals’ Beats ‘Equilibrium’

On the surface, Equals and Equilibrium have the same premise. Humanity had a horrible war. Emotion itself was blamed, so it is outlawed. In Equilibrium, everyone takes mandatory medication to suppress emotion but is otherwise normal. In Equals, it is implied they do something at birth to suppress emotions, though the process fails periodically. In both societies, there is a totalitarian system that seeks to find the deviants and gets in the way of a couple falling in love. While Equilibrium is a bigger budget film with far more action, I think Equals beats it in a variety of ways.

Smart Aleck Appliances, Part 2

I received an ad promoting the potential 40% savings on my auto insurance if I agree to have dozens of variables about my driving recorded. They don’t tell you that your auto insurance rates could skyrocket, too, based on the same data. This information will be used to investigate accidents, and as often as not, it will be used against you. What I am fairly certain will occur is that the data will end up mined by business and government for their profit. If your insurer will already penalize you for hard stops and speeding, eventually governments will mine the same data and send you tickets for speeding even if it is weeks after the actual offense.

Smart Aleck Appliances

I first encountered the horror stories of smart appliances when a client presented a list of error codes and requested articles on how to troubleshoot the errors. Ideally, they’d fix things themselves, but the articles would inform them when it was necessary to call for service or replace parts. In my research for the articles, I realized how much of a headache smart appliances are relative to their dumb counterparts. Here are a few of my observations.

Many glitches and errors can be solved via a reboot the same way we reset our phones and reboot our computers … but most smart appliances lack an easy reset button. A hard reboot of a computer is turning it off and back on. A hard reboot of your smart fridge is unplugging it from the wall, while your smart oven may only be reset by turning it off at the breaker.

5 Pros, 7 Cons, and 2 Questions For Information Appliances

Pros: * If you would have trouble typing something, whether due to a disability like Parkinson’s or simply busy at that home, you can still make queries or place orders.

* Visually impaired? Access to information and services is readily available to you.

* You get directions in a readily understood manner without taking your eyes off the road or the cook pot.

Who Will Be Left Behind after the Singularity

A heated discussion raged about when the Singularity would arrive. The believers were quite convinced it was the technological equivalent of the Rapture in Christianity. Someone asked who would take care of all the servers after everyone was gone. Another replied that the computers would take care of themselves at that point. I thought it was hilarious and added that the Amish would not join a Singularity, though they wouldn’t be taking care of server farms hosting uploaded personalities, either. That exchange is what led to my short story “A Post-Singularity Story”.

Who would be left behind as a Singularity arrives, as some choose to upload their minds to “digital heaven,” likely leaving their bodies behind?

The Ethics of Sex Bots

Let’s be honest – when the world’s first sexbot brothels are opening in Europe, we need to discuss the ethics of it…

A New Hominid Species Might Be Right around the Corner

Someone asked me when I thought a new human species might emerge. Did I think it would be 100,000 or 1,000,000 years off? I had a much shorter timeframe – a couple of generations, if we so chose…

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