Daily Archives: January 21, 2015

Views from the Solar System (245)

First Notable Solar Flare of 2015

NASA – The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:24 p.m. EST on Jan. 12, 2015. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Image Credit: NASA/SDO

Technology disrupting the American Dream

By Richard Cohen – The conventional answer is retraining.

Truck drivers will become something else, maybe teachers or dental hygienists, which is, of course, possible.

It’s also likely that many of them will sink into the funk that is the loyal companion of unemployment. Family life will shred, and possibly an army of former truck drivers will enlist with others of the digitally ditched and wreak political havoc.

Shippers will sing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” For truckers it will be, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” more> http://tinyurl.com/kgczo66


Empowering a New Wave of Government Innovation


The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Author: Walter Isaacson.

By Robert Shea – Isaacson ascribes progress not to leadership, but to collaboration.

In almost every innovation he describes, he tells how the result was accomplished by the feverish work of a number of innovators occasionally working together, but often working separately, sometimes very far apart in geography or even time. more> http://tinyurl.com/o2r9aff

Updates from GE

The Emerging Multibillion Dollar Cybernetic Brain Revolution
GE – Where does the human end and the machine begin? In the era of neuroprosthetics, tiny electronic devices embedded in the body that stimulate the brain and other parts of the nervous system to improve their function, this question may soon get harder to answer.

Last week, researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, introduced a flexible neural implant that delivers electric and chemical pokes directly to the nervous system. In early trials, it allowed paralyzed rats to walk again with fewer side effects than other treatments.

The device, called e-Dura, is made from a material that mimics the dura matter, the thick membrane that protects the brain and the spinal cord. It could become the first long-term neuroprosthetic implant that could stay inside the human body for as long as 10 years. more> http://tinyurl.com/ljwax9b

Don’t kid yourself—US manufacturing jobs are never really “coming back” from China

By Heather Timmons – And factory jobs continue to be increasingly automated, to the point where unskilled labor no longer has a place on the factory floor in many developed economies.

The US sectors where domestic manufacturing is growing are high-tech and focused on “lean” assembly lines that have as few people and as many machines as possible. more> http://tinyurl.com/ls3uwjy