The Week: Most Recent Tech Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Tech Posts from THE WEEKMon, 15 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -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 -0500Beyond the Segway: The bright future of personal transportation<img src="" /></P><p class="Default">With a stigma even greater than a pocket protector or a Bluetooth headset, the Segway remains one of the most memorable failed attempts at revolutionizing personal transportation.</p><p class="Default">But there are still lots of companies figuring out new ways to move people around, whether it's for sport, leisure, or necessity. The tough part is breaking into the mainstream consciousness &mdash; and doing so in a way that makes personal transportation hip and desirable.</p><p class="Default">Onewheel tries to do that with an idea born from the hoverboard, which has remained something of a holy grail for inventors ever since Marty McFly...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/tyler-hayes" ><span class="byline">Tyler Hayes</span></a>Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:00:00 -0500Innovation of the week: An even better virtual assistant<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Amazon's new smart speaker is like Siri for your house, said Heather Kelly at <em>CNN</em>. The Echo is a personal assistant that you can station anywhere in your home, where it's "ready to answer questions, provide news updates, and set personal reminders." Using far-field microphones that pick up voice commands from across a room, you can simply say, "Remind me to buy shampoo," or "Play some bluegrass music," or "utter the keyword 'Alexa,' and the speaker's virtual assistant springs to life." The Echo will retail for $199.</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 23 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500