The Week: Most Recent Tech Posts recent posts.en-usSat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Tech Posts from THE WEEKSat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500Innovation of the week: A smartphone driver's license<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Iowa is developing the country's first smartphone driver's license, said Jeff Elder at <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. It will co-exist with the traditional plastic cards. It could theoretically be used if you are stopped by police or at airports in the state if you lose your traditional license or leave it at home. There are some privacy concerns; it's not clear what would happen, for instance, "if someone who was pulled over received an incriminating text while the officer was checking the license."</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0500A brief history of the Zamboni<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The technical name for the funny-looking machine that refurbishes the ice at hockey and figure skating rinks is an ice resurfacer, but you probably know it better as a Zamboni. Here are a few points you may not have known about the leading brand in the industry for more than 60 years.</p><p><strong>Who invented the Zamboni?<br /></strong>Frank Zamboni, the son of Italian immigrants, invented the first ice-resurfacing machine in Paramount, California, in 1949. Zamboni initially wanted to name his company the Paramount Engineering Company, but the name was taken, so he used his family name instead.</p><p>To fully appreciate Zamboni...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Scott AllenThu, 18 Dec 2014 14:44:00 -0500How computers will replace your doctor<img src="" /></P><p>You've probably read some widespread sillinesses about how technology is moving us toward a world split between "high-skill" and "low-skill" jobs. Worriers claim that people with high-skill jobs will gobble up all of the economic pie, and those with low-skill jobs will be left with mere crumbs. This notion was perhaps best exemplified by economist Tyler Cowen's book <em>Average is Over.</em></p><p>This is nonsense. Because high-skill jobs are in peril, too. And sometimes, their death will make way for a raft of new "low-skill" jobs.</p><p>For example, look at the future of the general practitioner of medicine. This...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/pascal-emmanuel-gobry" ><span class="byline">Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry</span></a>Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500The mechanized future of warfare<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong> How advanced are today's weapons?</strong><br /> Modern soldiers are equipped with a wide array of highly sophisticated, computer-enhanced weapons systems that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago. About 40 percent of the U.S. aerial fleet consists of unmanned combat drones, and the Air Force now trains more drone operators than bomber or fighter pilots. Robotic ground vehicles have also flooded the battlefield, with more than 6,000 deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan to haul gear, climb over obstacles, and provide advanced reconnaissance. The military is now testing a more advanced version called...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 13 Dec 2014 08:00:00 -0500Innovation of the week: The counterfeit catcher<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Never be fooled by a fake again, said Takashi Mochizuki at <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. Japan's NEC has developed software that lets users spot counterfeit products "with the discreet click of a smartphone camera button." The system uses a pattern recognition system to scan and analyze the tiniest of details in the products' surface patterns and compare them with an online database of luxury goods &mdash; just like a fingerprint. NEC hopes retailers will use the system to discern knockoffs more quickly and cheaply.</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 12 Dec 2014 12:28:00 -0500Innovation of the week: A high-tech carry-on<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Kickstarter-funded Trunkster has developed a high-tech hard suitcase that eschews zippers in favor of "a sliding door, which works just like a steel grate" and will never jam, break, or tempt you to overpack, said John Brownlee at <em>Fast Company. </em>Trunkster's suitcase "also has a whole gaggle of gadgetry," including a built-in battery and USB port to charge devices, a GPS unit to help you track your luggage if it gets lost, and "a digital scale that allows the Trunkster to weigh itself." Trunkster aims to start shipping the suitcase ($245-$295) next year.</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 06 Dec 2014 11:00:00 -0500My night with the world's most expensive watch<img src="" /></P><p>On Tuesday night, I pulled my car into the breezeway of Los Angeles's Sunset Tower hotel.</p><p>It was raining. The valet hurried up with an umbrella.</p><p>"I'm here for the event," I told him. What event? Luckily he did not ask, because I really had no answer.</p><p>I'd gotten the text with just two hours to spare. "You up for an event tonight?" my friend Patrick, a luxury goods consultant, had asked me. And there I was.</p><p>It turns out that the event, hush-hush with the high security of a presidential fundraiser, marked the unveiling of a watch. Patek Philippe, the oldest family-owned horological company in...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderThu, 04 Dec 2014 21:15:00 -0500Tech journalism needs to grow up<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">We are all familiar with what passes for technology criticism. The internet is stuffed with digital publications dedicated to reviewing the hardware and software issuing from Silicon Valley. There are the fetish-style videos in which gleaming machines are unboxed, the gadget reviews that aspire to be long-form think pieces.</p><p class="p1">We need a better class of tech criticism. Even though these publications talk a big game about the disruptive nature of the industry they cover, their coverage remains decidedly less than revolutionary. Just as literary criticism looks beyond the cover design to the moral and...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/michael-brendan-dougherty" ><span class="byline">Michael Brendan Dougherty</span></a>Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:20:00 -0500Innovation of the week: The Sleep Monitor<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Want to track your sleep patterns but think wearables are a hassle? asked Dean Takahashi at <em>Venture Beat</em>. Finnish startup Beddit has a new device that monitors your heart rate and breathing while you sleep &mdash; without having to put anything on. Beddit attaches to your mattress, where sensors detect a sleeper's heartbeat, respiration, and movements. Data is sent to a smartphone, and sleep quality is calculated. The device also offers "a smart alarm" that will rouse you during a light sleep stage when waking up is easier.</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 28 Nov 2014 11:00:00 -0500This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality<img src="" /></P><p>The Federal Communications Commission is preparing for a politically contentious vote over "open internet" rules, more commonly known as net neutrality. For those who've been living under an (internet-less) rock, the principle at stake here is that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally, and that consumers should be able to use the internet more or less however they please. But the devil, as they say, is in the details &mdash; specifically, the arcane details of communications law.</p><p>The big political fight is ostensibly over how the FCC should classify broadband internet service...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:00:00 -0500