The future of work: maximizing your distributed workforce


Traditional work is being uprooted. Knowledge and creative workers are increasingly distributed and decentralized and their work and project teams transient. Mobile access to business documents for employees and collaborators outside the company firewall is critical. Workers are geographically dispersed and increasingly blurring the boundaries between work and home life. This all leads to loosely coordinated teams collaborating on high-velocity, short-term projects. At the same time, the consumerized, easy-to-adopt-and-use technologies supporting the distributed workforce are entering a company’s IT infrastructure through the “side door” of line of business and functional management and by individual users.

In this webinar, our panel will address these topics:

  • How can managers harness the creative collaboration of the distributed workforce?
  • How can IT managers create more-efficient workflows for them?
  • How do these workflows vary by industry?
  • What kind of collaboration tools will be adopted first, and for what types of functions?
  • How can companies better…

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Tiny channels of water could cool windows and cut down on air conditioning bills


Like blood circulating through the human body, a new system out of Harvard harnesses channels of running water to cool windows that receive a lot of sun. The water carries away heat, leading to less work for air conditioners and a lower electricity bill.

The channels are ultra-thin and encased in a sheet of clear silicone rubber that is stretched over a window. They crisscross to create a mesh-like pattern. While the channels are visible when empty, they become transparent when they contain water.

Cooling windows with water

The project grew out of the Wyss Institute at Harvard, where researchers were using water channels to cool small medical and research devices. A team led by Wyss Institute founding director Don Ingber figured out a way to scale up the channels, making the material ideal for windows.

In the lab, the team tested the system by heating a small window panel to 100 degrees. The circulating…

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13 Remote-Control Aerial Tours of Abandoned Places


The influx of relatively inexpensive, remotely-controlled flying machines sporting high-definition video cameras has meant that long-forgotten locales can be explored more easily and less dangerously than in the past. In that spirit, here are videos of 13 abandoned places being explored thanks to the magic of flight.

Hashima Island, Japan

From the video’s description:

Gunkanjima (“Battleship Island”) is one of the world’s most well-known “ghost towns.” Originally developed as a seabed coal mining facility, more than 5000 people inhabited the island at the peak of its prosperity. The last inhabitants left in 1974, and today the island remains uninhabited. Using a radio-controlled helicopter equipped with a Sony’s Action Cam, we took some aerial footage of this breathtaking deserted island to serve as a record for generations to come.

Sony’s Action Cam on RC Helicopter filming 軍艦島 (Gunkanjima / battleship island) – YouTube

Bodie, California

Bodie – From the Sky. on…

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The quantified patient: Boston hospitals show the future of data-driven remote care


About seven in 10 Americans track some health indicator, like their weight, diet or symptom from their homes (even if they take a low-tech, paper and pen approach). But now hospitals are adopting more high-tech ways to help doctors follow along remotely.

Last month, for example, Boston’s non-profit Partners HealthCare launched a new system that enables patients to share information from their home medical devices with their doctors’ electronic records. The program, which some have described as a first in its field, allows patients to use blood glucose meters, blood pressure cuffs, bathroom scales and other devices to collect their own data and then transmit it securely through a computer or mobile device to the hospital’s database.

Although the system is just over one month old, it looks as though early signs are positive. According to a Monday story in the Boston Globe, the program, which is most…

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A 3D printed future: 10 surprising things we could see printed soon

TED Blog

It is the dawn of the era of 3D printing. From artificial prosthetics to very real human kidneys to filigree skull sculptures — the number and variety of applications for this technology are growing, layer by printed layer. Combine this with the decreasing cost of owning a printer, as well as the cheaper cost of manufacturing in general, and it appears that 3D printers are here to stay. So, why stop at a kidney?

[ted_talkteaser id = 1798]Bastian Schaefer of Airbus has a far bigger use in mind. In today’s talk, he shares a vision for the sustainable future of aviation: a jumbo jet that’s light, cheap and spacious, with an exterior that mimics the structure of bone. He imagines the jet  as a “living, breathing organism,” complete with its own consciousness. And he imagines the jet printed from the ground up.

Why use 3D printing technology to create…

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