Technology

The Human Face of Big Data | Everything is Quantifiable

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In recent years, technology has allowed us to store and process mass quantities of data. The visualization of such data allows us to see the functioning of complex systems previously invisible to us. Almost everything is measurable and quantifiable, and the more information we can collect and process in a readable form, the larger the problems we can solve. Data will help us to understand the world that we live in better and allow us to make strides in solving problems including climate change, health, and jobs.

How Much Can Data Improve Your Health? | PBS Idea Channel

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You may have heard of the Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, or one of the myriad of other wearable self-tracking gadgets. You might even be wearing one right now! These gadgets help track everything from hours slept, calories consumed, to number of steps taken in a given day. But, can they actually make you healthy? Sure they provide us with tons of data about our bodies, but what do we do with all that information? Is it just about the knowing? Or does this actually motivate us to change and enhance our behavior? And if it does, can that be a bad thing? 

Will Minecraft and Makerbot Usher in the Post-Scarcity Economy? | PBS Idea Channel

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From the Jetsons to Cory Doctorow, science fiction writers of all stripes have imagined a world where any object could be instantly created. Modern economics on the other hand, is built on the principle of competition for scarce resources. And while it may not seem like a video game and printer could alter this economic reality, we beg to differ. Minecraft's creative mode is the perfect vehicle for understanding a Post-Scarcity world: a place where resources are permanently available and constantly regenerated. It shows that with unlimited resources, people end up creating amazing digital structures! Of course, a world of infinitely available resources seems pretty fantastical until you consider the Makerbot and the future of 3D printing. The Makerbot is an at home device that allow you to print real, three dimensional objects, meaning a Minecraftian future where you can print anything you want at anytime might not be that far away. Watch the episode, and tell us what you think!

Online "Friends"

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You know your friends in your neighborhood or at school because you see them almost every day, you play with them, sometimes you are in class with them, you see them at the store, the library, or the playground. On the Internet there are places where you sometimes meet people you don't know. Stick with what is real; only accept online friends you know in real life.

Career Connections | Sonographer

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Meet a cardiac sonographer at the Cleveland Clinic who uses an ultrasound machine and probe to obtain amazing images of the heart, so doctors can diagnose problems.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

The Human Face of Big Data | Prison Geography

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They’re called “Million Dollar Blocks,” and they represent some of the priciest locations in cities around the United States—not for their real estate, but for the annual cost of incarcerating their residents. Rather than plotting where crimes were committed, as analysts had done for years, criminal analyst Eric Cadora plots where criminals lived before they were incarcerated. The resulting maps depict neighborhoods, in vivid color, of million dollar blocks. Many of these communities are poor, crowded, and disproportionately filled with people of color.

Do You Choose To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech? | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent Heartbleed bug was, for many, just another reminder that our information will never be secure on the internet. We feel vulnerable and hopeless in the face of a long string of privacy concerns, and many argue that this is an inevitable result of technology. But since our culture has wholly jumped on the digital bandwagon, do we as individuals truly choose to sacrifice our privacy? Or maybe the better question is, how much do we even choose to use technology? 

Are Bitcoins and Unusual Hats the Future of Currency? | PBS Idea Channel

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If a community agrees on the value of something, then that thing can become a currency to exchange for other goods. Just like American dollar bills (or euros, yen, or any other currency), or... bitcoins. Bitcoins are an online currency worth over $200,000,000, and though they are just 1s and 0s, some think that this is the future of money. Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

Posting Pictures Online

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Posting a picture on the Internet only takes a second, but a photo is forever on the Internet. It is easy for someone to copy and paste a photo from one website to another. Once a picture is posted, it is virtually impossible to get it back.

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