Five tech points someone: #WeekendReading 30/11/14

20 Nov 2014 — Curated stories on tech & entrepreneurship

Print Thyself

At Aspen, Summit appeared onstage with a forty-six-year-old wheelchair-bound woman named Amanda Boxtel. In 1992, a skiing accident left Boxtel unable to use her legs; she is now the director of Bridging Bionics, a foundation that tries to restore mobility to people who are paralyzed. In 2013, researchers at 3D Systems scanned the contours of Boxtel’s lower body and then printed snug sleeves, made of flexible nylon fibres, for her torso, thighs, and shins. They then connected these to an existing set of motorized leg braces and hand controls made by a company called Ekso Bionics. The result, in effect, is a customized exoskeleton; when Boxtel wears it — as she later did at the conference — she can slowly walk.

The biggest leap for medical 3-D printing lies ahead. For years, researchers have dreamed of engineering kidneys, livers, and other organs and tissues in the lab, so that a patient who needs a transplant doesn’t have to search for a donor. But growing usable tissue in the lab is notoriously difficult; the advent of 3-D printers that can print ink made of cells has offered a ray of hope.

How to rebuild Journalism

what happens to story-telling when the tools of publishing are available to everyone?

Journalism stood by while blogging took root. They covered it, but largely dismissed it. They ignored RSS. They ignored everything, including the threat to their art. I warned them many times, that they would regret letting the tech industry own their distribution system. But that’s what happened. Without any resistance whatsoever. Journalism let tech move in and take over.

Yet tech has been a lot more generous than I thought they (we) would be. Perhaps because they understand as little about journalism as journalism understands about tech. Or perhaps because they want journalism to be independent of tech. Hard to know.

How Technolgy is changing media

An in-depth look at how BuzzFeed is leadingthe industry’s trends in social, mobile, and video. BuzzFeed’s reach now rivals that of the largest TV networks, and is even bigger among millennials.


One is that being mean makes you stupid. That’s why I hate fights. You never do your best work in a fight, because fights are not sufficiently general. Winning is always a function of the situation and the people involved. You don’t win fights by thinking of big ideas but by thinking of tricks that work in one particular case. And yet fighting is just as much work as thinking about real problems. Which is particularly painful to someone who cares how their brain is used: your brain goes fast but you get nowhere, like a car spinning its wheels.

Startups don’t win by attacking. They win by transcending. There are exceptions of course, but usually the way to win is to race ahead, not to stop and fight

…… being mean makes you fail.

Peering Into The Minds Of The 4.3 Billion Unconnected

the reality is we live in a world where 4.3 billion people have never experienced the Internet. These are people who mostly can’t tell what the X at the top-right of the screen does, or what “sign up” means, or what a username and password are, or that cancel buttons are red or gray, or how a QWERTY keyboard works, or how to sign up for mobile data, or why should one even do it in the first place. All this represents a highly complex, multifaceted problem and the payoff of ultimately solving it will fundamentally change us as a species.

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