Here is the latest from the Washington Posts ‘Innovations’.
Fewer foreign entrepreneurs say they need the U.S. That’s a problem.
Apple is facing accusations that it copied Chinese innovations in the iPhone 7. Indeed, China’s smartphone manufacturers released dual-camera systems and handsets without headphone jacks long before Apple did. And the stickers and animations that Apple is adding to iMessage look like a direct knockoff from China’s WeChat. This is quite a twist from the days when Apple […]
China shows the path from emerging economy to innovation nation
As a host of the recently concluded G-20 Summit, China advocated for innovation as a way to renew growth in the sluggish global economy. China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said the decision to focus on innovation indicated that “China is playing a leading role in transforming the G-20 from a system dealing with short-term […]
How one advocacy group plans to battle weight bias in media
Obesity is a disease whose sufferers are no different from those afflicted with breast cancer or asthma, James Zervios maintains, but you wouldn’t know that from the way they are portrayed in media. Stock images of obese people that accompany stories about weight often depict them as deranged over-eaters, lazy couch potatoes or lumpy, headless bodies, he said. “They’re choosing these […]
Apple eliminated the iPhone 7’s headphone jack. Twitter balked and barked.
Even before Apple formally confirmed that the iPhone 7 would no longer include a headphone jack for listening to audio, Twitter was abuzz with (mostly) informed speculation and premature criticism from disgruntled customers. The snark, in short, was rampant. Today, we honor the fallen. #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/dXgUhdPaAu — Michael Collado (@michaelcollado) September 7, 2016 if #apple ditches the […]
Stanford scientists are redefining cool clothes. Here’s how.
Whether it’s the skimpy tank top or moisture-wicking sports apparel, the human pursuit of cooler clothing has led to many an innovation. Scientists at Stanford University added to that canon of research last week when they revealed a plastic-based material that could be used to produce clothing that keeps our skin several degrees cooler than clothing made of cotton. Profuse […]
Palestinian students in Gaza develop solar-powered car
Two engineering students at al-Azhar University in Gaza have developed a car powered by sunlight. The small, three-wheeled vehicle has solar panels affixed to the roof that absorb the sun’s rays and generate electricity that powers the motor. While the car can travel only at speeds of up to roughly 18 mph, its inventors hope solar-powered vehicles may eventually […]
SwiftKey software update promises to make texting more ‘human’
We’ve all been there, cranking out a text message when the phone prompts you to insert a wonky word or autocorrects to something out of context. Text message fails are the stuff Internet memes are made of. SwiftKey hopes to do away with them. The British company, which was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, already […]
The Internet revolution has not reached all of us
The Internet is celebrating some important milestones. Last week marked both the 40th anniversary of the first mobile connection and the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Millennials can’t even remember what life was like without it and, even for us baby boomers, the changes to everyday activities have been at once profound and […]
Why China won’t own next-generation manufacturing
After three decades of dramatic growth, China’s manufacturing engine has largely stalled. With rising salaries, labor unrest, environmental devastation and intellectual property theft, China is no longer an attractive place for Western companies to move their manufacturing. Technology has also eliminated the labor cost advantage, so companies are looking for ways to bring their high-value […]
Obama administration proposes new visa rule for immigrant entrepreneurs
The Obama administration proposed new immigration rules Friday that would allow foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in the United States for up to five years if they own a significant stake in a start-up company that has the potential for “rapid business growth and job creation.” Immigrant entrepreneurs who hold an ownership interest of at least 15 […]
Hungry? Your pizza drone will be there in 30 minutes.
Exactly how much should you tip a pizza delivery drone? That’s just one question likely to vex hungry New Zealanders who could soon find their Domino’s Pizza order landing on the doorstep via an aerial drone. Other quandaries to ponder: What happens if it starts to rain before my food arrives? What if the neighbor’s […]
Stanford wants to make first-day icebreakers way less awkward
The start of school brings an annoyance that students with unconventional names or gender-nonconforming appearances understand all too well: roll call. They’ve likely spent a lifetime of first days correcting teachers and fellow students on the proper pronunciation or gender pronoun. Stanford University will deploy software this fall that aims to prevent officials from butchering fundamental aspects of […]
McDonald’s recalls activity trackers due to burns, irritation
McDonald’s recalled millions of activity trackers that were packaged in its Happy Meals earlier this month after customers complained that the gadgets caused burns and irritation to some children’s skin, the company announced Tuesday. The fast food chain already had stopped distributing the Step-It Activity Bands, which were available to customers in the United States and Canada from […]
How to be a farmer without ever leaving the city
The future of farming is taking root in a parking lot in Brooklyn. A “vertical farming accelerator” called Square Roots is giving average green thumbs the chance to grow produce inside shipping containers and then sell their crop in farmers markets, restaurants and other venues that favor local goods. The long-term goal is to “empower thousands of millennials” […]
Now even backpacks will enable your smartphone addiction
Backpack makers like to consider their products “enablers,” company executives say, especially of active lifestyles. No matter where you go or what you do, a reliable backpack can keep your stuff safe and sound right there with you. Now, backpacks are enabling your smartphone addiction. Traditionally, backpacks are toted along on activities where you need to […]
Four ways innovation shaped the Rio Olympics
The Olympic Games that came to a close Sunday in Rio had no shortage of memorable moments. The two-week competition provided an endless montage of shots, kicks, flips, dives and rides that make these events such an inspiration. But behind all of the impressive athleticism were technological innovations that enhance nearly every aspect of the Olympic […]
Why we scoff when McDonald’s hands out fitness trackers
McDonald’s plan to get kids active by providing them with fitness trackers ended almost as quickly as it started. The fast food company replaced the toys in its Happy Meals with pedometers, but soon scrapped the devices after “limited” reports surfaced that they could irritate children’s skin. But even before the devices raised safety concerns — “Nothing is more important to […]
Why perceived inequality leads people to resist innovation
Americans are often portrayed as technological enthusiasts with unbounded eagerness to adopt new technologies. According to a recent Pew Research survey, nearly 28 percent of Americans view themselves as early adopters of new technologies. This is much higher than estimates in other cultures. But when it comes to biomedical technologies that enhance human abilities, they […]
This temporary tattoo can control your smartphone
Scientists at MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Research have designed metallic body art that allows the surface of your skin to control and communicate with electronic devices, such as smartphones or laptops. The temporary tattoos, which can be made at home and wash off in a day, use the electrodes present in inexpensive gold leaf to create a […]
What glow-in-the-dark mosquitoes can teach us about human smell
Glow-in-the-dark mosquitoes could soon help explain what makes the human scent so darn appetizing. In his lab at Johns Hopkins University, Conor McMeniman is genetically engineering mosquitoes so that their brains glow when they have a strong positive or negative response to chemicals that make up human odor. It should help determine why mosquitoes, particularly those that carry the […]
The government asked innovators to combat Zika. Here are their ideas.
The call for applications was broad and immediate: As the Zika virus was spreading throughout the Americas, the U.S. Agency for International Development wanted innovators with bold solutions to step forward. Nearly 900 did so, and officials winnowed them down to 21 of the most promising ideas Wednesday. Those ideas included sexually transmitted bacteria that […]
I already live in the future — and so should you
I live in the future. I drive a Tesla electric vehicle, which controls the steering wheel on highways. My house in Menlo Park, Calif., is a “passive” home that expends minimal energy on heating or cooling. With the solar panels on my roof, my energy bills are close to zero — and that includes charging the car. […]
This robot lawyer helps the newly evicted file for housing aid
The idea started with a desperate email from a woman in a U.K. hospital. She was scared of being discharged at the end of her treatment, because she had been evicted from her home and had nowhere to return to while in recovery. That email landed in Joshua Browder’s inbox. He’s the creator of DoNotPay, an online robot that has […]
Touch screens are coming to a motorcycle near you
It’s 26 times more dangerous than driving a car, and now it’s getting a touch screen. Almost every new motorcycle on the road can now be loaded with a touch screen after Polaris, the maker of Victory and Indian motorcycles, announced it would put the displays on its new motorbikes and off-road vehicles. It joins Harley-Davidson and BMW, which added touch screens […]
What happens when the Olympics leave? Six former host cities offer examples.