10 BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGIES 2018 – from MIT Technology Review

Here top 10 trends which will likely affect our lives and society in the near future:

1) 3-D Metal Printing

  • Breakthrough: Now printers can make metal objects quickly and cheaply.
  • Why It Matters: The ability to make large and complex metal ­objects on demand could transform manufacturing.

2) Artificial Embryos

  • Breakthrough:Without using eggs or sperm cells, researchers have made embryo-like structures from stem cells alone, providing a whole new route to creating life.
  • Why It Matters: Artificial embryos will make it easier for researchers to study the mysterious beginnings of a human life, but they’re stoking new bioethical debates.

3) Sensing Cities

  • Breakthrough:A Toronto neighborhood aims to be the first place to successfully integrate cutting-edge urban design with state-of-the-art digital technology.
  • Why It Matters: Smart cities could make urban areas more affordable, livable, and environmentally friendly.

4) AI for Everybody

  • Breakthrough:Cloud-based AI is making the technology cheaper and easier to use.
  • Why It Matters: Right now the use of AI is dominated by a relatively few companies, but as a cloud-based service, it could be widely available to many more, giving the economy a boost.

5) Dueling Neural Networks

  • Breakthrough:Two AI systems can spar with each other to create ultra-realistic original images or sounds, something machines have never been able to do before.
  • Why It Matters: This gives machines something akin to a sense of imagination, which may help them become less reliant on humans—but also turns them into alarmingly powerful tools for digital fakery.

6) Babel-Fish Earbuds

  • Breakthrough:Near-real-time translation now works for a large number of languages and is easy to use.
  • Why It Matters: In an increasingly global world, language is still a barrier to communication.

7) Zero-Carbon Natural Gas

  • Breakthrough:A power plant efficiently and cheaply captures carbon released by burning natural gas, avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions.
  • Why It Matters: Around 32 percent of US electricity is produced with natural gas, accounting for around 30 percent of the power sector’s carbon emissions.

8) Perfect Online Privacy

  • Breakthrough:Computer scientists are perfecting a cryptographic tool for proving something without revealing the information underlying the proof.
  • Why It Matters: If you need to disclose personal information to get something done online, it will be easier to do so without risking your privacy or exposing yourself to identity theft.

9) Genetic Fortune-Telling

  • Breakthrough:Scientists can now use your genome to predict your chances of getting heart disease or breast cancer, and even your IQ.
  • Why It Matters: DNA-based predictions could be the next great public health advance, but they will increase the risks of genetic discrimination.

10) Materials’ Quantum Leap

  • Breakthrough:BM has simulated the electronic structure of a small molecule, using a seven-qubit quantum computer.
  • Why It Matters: Understanding molecules in exact detail will allow chemists to design more effective drugs and better materials for generating and distributing energy.


Credete che la “digitalizzazione” sia solo una moda passeggera?

Vi ricordate che poco più di 10 anni fa non esistevano gli smartphone, i tablet e le Apps?

Usavamo telefonini Nokia, BlackBerry o Motorola: società’ ormai pressoché scomparse dal mercato. Cosi come e’ avvenuto alle videoteche Blockbuster con l’avvento dei film in digitale.

Il futuro sara’ sempre più “distruttivo” rispetto agli attuali stili di vita e di conseguenza cambieranno ancora di piu’ le professioni richieste dal mercato del lavoro, cioe’ cosa dovranno sapere fare i nostri figli.

Che piaccia o no, bisogna abituarsi all’idea, prepararsi a viverla e munirsi (soprattutto i ragazzi) delle competenze necessarie per saper gestire una societa’ in veloce cambiamento per esserne attori/promotori e non esserne travolti!


Industria 4.0, con la digital transformation profitti in crescita del 13% in tre anni

Cloud, IoT e analytics le tecnologie che avranno un maggiore impatto nella produzione, meno centrali robotica e stampa 3D. Per l’Italia grandi opportunità

Source: Industria 4.0, con la digital transformation profitti in crescita del 13% in tre anni

Learning from Google’s digital culture – from McKinsey

What can traditional organizations learn from digital natives? In this interview, Google’s VP of US sales and operations explains how the company’s culture developed and continues to be nurtured.

For traditional companies, making the transition to thinking and acting digitally is easier said than done. Yet digital natives must also continually work to maximize the advantages of digital technology. In this interview, Google’s vice president of US sales and operations, Jon Kaplan, tells McKinsey’s Barr Seitz how the company’s culture developed and how Google keeps pushing to retain its entrepreneurial spirit. An edited transcript of Kaplan’s remarks follows.

Elements of Google’s DNA

From the very beginning, we were actually incredibly scrappy. Think about Larry and Sergey’s1 first servers: they were built, in part, with Legos. Literally, with Legos.


That’s just one example of how scrappy the company had to be in the early days, and I think that’s really a part of what we’re trying to keep in the culture of the company. I think that’s number one. Number two is that we’re a data-driven company. At Google, you really don’t walk into a meeting talking about your gut feel on something. You need to have the data to back it up. And so data is another key tenet of what’s made our decision making really successful.

Third is that we have to be agile. As you think about the businesses that we are in and how the company has changed over the last 10 or 15 years, it’s totally different today than when we started. So we have to have leaders, we have to have employees, and we have to have technology that is all very agile for where the industry is going.

What agile means at Google

We do dozens of tests and experiments every single quarter. We can do that with a 1 percent test, for instance, on our core search product—scale that up if it’s successful, but we can start very small and test a theory, and if it doesn’t work, we can very quickly pull that back. That’s a really important part of what we do every day. We do thousands of tests a year on our various products to see how they perform, again, on a very small subset of our audience.

One of the hallmarks of Google, though, is how do we learn from failures that happen in this test-and-learn culture? And we have many examples of failure, first of all, and of using that information to improve the product going forward. We celebrate failure. Google Buzz is a great example of that. It was not a successful product in the social ecosystem, but we used that experience to understand how we would iterate for Google Plus in a much better way.

Focusing on the ‘10x return’

Everybody in the world is thinking about the next 10 percent. How do you think about a 10x improvement in an industry? Our role is how do you apply a technology to that—to fundamentally transform that industry? Think about the implications to this.

If you are successful, there’s no competition, because you’re creating something that has never been created before. You’ve got an opportunity to really define a market.

Second, it really inspires people to think big about the aspirations of the company and how they could do something that really does change the overall trajectory of an industry.

And third, you get the best people who want to solve the biggest, toughest problems in the world. And so, by nature, people want to start to work on those problems, and even if there’s just a halo effect of working at Google, that’s a real benefit for us.

There are product managers who can create amazing, incredible products. An example of this is our contact-lens project, Iris, which applies technology to the contact lens—the contact lens is connected to the Internet and it monitors your glucose. We were able to launch this as a product and then, in partnership with our business organization, struck a deal with Novartis to license it. That’s a great example for somebody who has a very tangible product. I think it’s now permeated the entire organization to say, “What does a 10x relationship change with our clients look like?”

How Google supports its culture

We are, as you could imagine, highly analytical about our culture. One of the key ways that we measure how Google is changing over time is called Googlegeist, which is our internal survey that we give to all of our employees once a year, in January. It covers every aspect of what a great culture would include: innovation and autonomy, forward thinking, teamwork. All the things that are important to the DNA of the culture. This is a very comprehensive study.

We look at this and analyze it every single year, and then we actually take every piece of feedback—the big buckets of feedback, where we need to improve—and, over the course of the rest of the year, all of our programs are designed to address the areas of our Googlegeist feedback that have not performed very well.

Balancing innovation and business results

The 20 percent time has been a hallmark of Google’s culture from the very beginning. And I think that’s attracted people to come and work on a core product, but to have the ability to think about where this could go that would be, again, tangential to the core product.

I think it’s something that continues to be important to the culture, but it’s not hard and fast. It’s not literally that you have one day a week that you can go work on something totally different. You need to think about, if you’re an engineer, for instance, how that product—that 20 percent time product—would be complementary to something that is now our focus. In the early days, it was “Let a thousand flowers bloom, and we’ll see what happens.” Now there’s a lot more focus, and we say, “If we’re going to do 20 percent time, how is it tangential to a core product?”

Importantly, it can’t be just you out there doing your own 20 percent time. You need to create a team that would go work on a 20 percent project. So part of it is, you’ve got to be a good salesperson internally. Part of it is that it needs to be something that you are able to convince people that it’s a good enough idea that they should take their 20 percent time and go work on it, as opposed to creating their own idea.

Rapid prototyping in action

The concept of rapid prototyping is something that we have had to learn as we’ve got into new industries, like hardware. I think there are a couple of things that have benefited us as we’ve gone into that. First, we’ve actually brought the expertise of hardware manufacturing and fabrication in-house in some cases.

So we have tinkerers—people who actually like building things.

And it’s not going to be beautiful or perfect by any means. But there are incredible labs at Google where they are creating these initial prototypes.

I think second is that the technology, the software and hardware that are available, is allowing us to iterate very, very quickly.

That’s a difference between a decade ago, where rapid prototyping wasn’t really something you could do with the hardware and software that were available.

Those two things have been, most importantly that first one, the change that Google had to go through.

Report: Mobile Ads Drove 80 Percent Increase In Store Visits Within 24 Hours


[…] in-store visits increased 80 percent within 24 hours of mobile ad exposure and stayed above average store-visitation benchmarks for the following six days. We don’t know much about the specific ad creative generating these visits. It appears however that they’re mostly offer-based ads.

One of the most interesting sets of findings in the report involves an analysis of ad performance in relation to store proximity. Here it appears performance is measured by CTR, which is a questionable mobile metric for ultimate performance. Nonetheless it can be a directional indicator of intent.


Famous “innovation” quotes from Steve Jobs, Gunter Pauli, Einstein, Henry Ford and many others.

Food4Innovations (EN) - Wouter de Heij M.Sc.

Famous quotes from Steven Job (Apple Inc.)

  • Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower [Steve Jobs]
  • But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem [Steve Jobs]
  • “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” [Steve Jobs]
  • “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” [Steve Jobs]

Famous quotes from Gunter Pauli (The Blue Economy)

  • Key in life is to…

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THE INTERNET OF EVERYTHING: 2015 [SLIDE DECK] – via Business Insider

Cisco defines the Internet of Everything (IoE) as “bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries”

Whatever you call it the “Internet of Things” or “Everything” will be the World’s largest  device market soon!

Access the full deck  here.

“CODING” una nuova literacy

cittadinanza digitale

Il  “coding”, ovvero utilizzare i linguaggi di programmazione, è considerato una nuova literacy del 21° secolo. Essa è indispensabile per un cittadino digitale che voglia essere non solo fruitore ma anche “creatore” della tecnologia che ogni giorno utilizza. Questo il messaggio dell’interessante articolo “Raising a Hacker: Cool Tools to Help Kids Learn to Code” pubblicato da Common Sense Media, un’organizzazione no-profit con sede a San Francisco che si occupa di educazione ai media e alla tecnologia.

6424274071_65b40d3956_z http://www.flickr.com/photos/breyten/

Perché è importante educare al coding?

Educare al coding è offrire agli allievi l’occasione di sviluppare importanti skill come il problem solving e il critical thinking. Consente di “lavorare”, in particolare, su alcune delle 8 competenze chiave contenute nella Raccomandazione 2006/962/CE del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio, del 18 dicembre 2006, relativa a competenze chiave per l’apprendimento permanente 

  • Competenza matematica e competenze di base in campo scientifico e tecnologico

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LittleBits Gives You AC Control With Its New Smart Home Kit | MAKE


Hands on: Apple Pay is even slicker than your snakeskin wallet, brah


My first experience with Apple Pay was nearly flawless. After waiting in line at Panera Bread for a few minutes, I approached the cashier, made my order, and got ready to use Apple Pay. The cashier told me my total and I held my phone above the payment pad. The Passbook app opened immediately and prompted me to place my fingerprint on the Touch ID sensor. I did so and as soon as my fingerprint was recognized, a check mark appeared in the fingerprint circle, telling me that I had finished paying. The system beeped, and the cashier handed me my receipt.

“That’s cool!” he said