Killer robots, killer mobiles and how to avoid human-wide extinction. This was the week on The Edge

Oooh! So much created a stir this week. So here’s a chance to catch-up with all the very best bits. As well as those bendy phones.

The biggest news by far was that The Large Hadron Collider may have found ‘new’ matter. But don’t expect to get to touch it. This new goo only exists at several trillion degrees Kelvin. And was created by the Big Bang. Or was it The Big Bounce?

Equally as popular, judging by the retweets, was the announcement that it’s already possible to use DNA to store your videos, raising the possibility that hard drives will soon be rather easy to keep about your own person. Millions found that idea so curious it’s still trending on Twitter.

As is the buzz around Sci-fi game Ingress from Google. It blurs movie plots with virtual and actual realities, asking people to take part in a mobile game that occurs in the real world. Laser fights in Soho anyone? The fact that the search giant, quite separately, is  getting into the clairvoyancy business didn’t go unnoticed either.

Other trends were also clearly big hits in the news-a-sphere.

We found out that robots are growing really big muscles, will get better vision than humans and are soon to make their own ‘moral’ choices – turning them into autonomous killers within 20 years, which explains the need for laws to govern their behaviour.

There were also ponderings over the benefits of the internet becoming semi self-aware. It’s just as well that three big brains have created a new lair at Cambridge University to think about how to avoid human-wide extinction.

But in a shorter timeframe, consider the onwards march of the mobile phone. With the news that Intel is to produce less PC-friendly microchips a tipping point was reached. It’s no longer a case of if the once-humble handset will completely replace your desktop, tablet and many other control systems built into gadgets, including your car. But when. Our money’s on it starting in earnest late next year (if it hasn’t already).

Minecraft also had an unbelievable week, moving from the virtual stuff of pixels into the real world.

First we discovered that Minecraft has been turned into a revolutionary 3D printing app, making proper solid objects out of mere pixels. Then it was reported that the UN, no less, is using a different modified version to help regenerate local areas. And finally, a geo-location app is launched which allows anyone (not just the Minecraft faithful) to scatter models made in the original game across the globe with centimeter precision via augmented reality.

Which explains the buzz at the Minecraft conference last weekend held, appropriately enough, at Disneyland, Paris.

And – as we commented on the Rough Type blog – this is part of a bigger trend. Pixels and the real world are becoming far more interconnected. Perhaps in some places indistinguishable. Scary?

But if that thought’s a little too much for the weekend and you want lighter relief, try these:

– Networked cattle stomachs to reduce co2

Turn pee into power

– Feeling SAD? Wait for a bus in Sweden

Print yourself in 3D

Add bat-like sonar to your senses

But if you need something more to chew on, have a think about the idea that corporates don’t need headcounts within departments. Can there be an effective internal marketplace for talent that finds its own equilibrium in terms of efficient use of resource? Sounds far-fetched but a convincing argument can be made.

Well, that’s this week over. What on earth will the next bring us?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s