Roland’s Sunday Smart Trends #239
November 9th, 2008

Is a ‘global superorganism’ in our future?

Inventor says device for blind has much broader uses.
I’m catching up after a week’s vacation to places which, I’m happy to report, still don’t speak Internet. So pardon for being late to comment, but Kevin Kelly’s latest piece, “Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism” is a must read.
Kelly’s post is nuanced and complex and I hesitate to reduce his thesis to a simple (and simplistic) summary. Suffice it to say, though, he posits the ultimate emergence of a global digital superorganism. His point of departure is the uncontroversial assumption that the sum of the world’s connected computational devices creates what essentially is a “superorganism of computation with its own emergent behaviors.”
Source: Charles Cooper, CNET News, November 3, 2008

The next generation wireless chips

New mathematical algorithms for the next radio chip generation will be developed under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Caren Tischendorf. According to Prof. Tischendorf: “In the future, mobile devices will provide customers with services ranging from telephony and internet to mobile TV and remote banking, anytime, anywhere. It is impossible to realize the necessary, extremely high data transfer rates within the frequency bands used today (approximately 1-3GHz).” The project serves to enable the development of low-cost wireless chips that can operate in a frequency range of up to 100GHz.
Source: Raphael Köllner, University of Cologne, Germany, November 4, 2008

In 2028, sensors are everywhere

From environmental sensing networks across the globe to personal processors in our clothes that detect nutrition and hydration deficiencies, the buzzword is no longer “embedded intelligence” but “embedded inter-operation.”
Source: James Truchard, Cofounder and CEO of National Instruments, for, November 10, 2008

Firefox on Your Cell Phone

With the iPhone, Apple showed how to surf the Web on the small screen. Now, it seems, a modern version of the browser wars of the 1990s could be shaping up, with the battleground being the mobile phone. And there’s a new list of contenders: Safari on the iPhone, Internet Explorer Mobile for Windows Mobile, RIM’s BlackBerry Web browser, and a version of Chrome for Google’s Android phones. Within the next few months, there will be a new entry: a scaled-down, sped-up version of Firefox, called Fennec.
Source: Kate Greene, Technology Review, November 7, 2008

Obama website goes online

The official website of US President-elect Barack Obama for his transition to the White House,, went online on Thursday inviting users to offer their ideas for the future of the country. […] “The story of the campaign and this historic moment has been your story,” the website states. “Share your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive lasting change to this country.”
Source: AFP, November 6, 2008

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