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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Hello Friends, Charles Warner, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief

We are honored to present to you, the finest audience in the world, the finest issue of Innovation & Tech Today we have produced yet. As we move into 2017, as they say, “the times they are a changin.” After a tumultuous election where Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, there have been a lot of questions about the future of science and particularly sustainability with regard to the new administration. Although everyone is crossing their fingers and hoping for the best from President Trump, his own belief that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese and his campaign promise to “get rid” of the Environmental Protection Agency “in almost every form,” are quite troubling. Trump campaigned on an anti-environment platform and it remains to be seen how far that could set back the climate change progress that the U.S. has made in the past eight years under President Obama. This is not about politics; it is about facts, science, the kind of world we want to live in, and, more importantly, what legacy we will leave behind for future generations. Clean air and water should be the universal standard regardless of political party, but lately those issues have been disregarded and downplayed. The poisoned drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the impending water crisis in California, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the increased temperatures across the planet are all very real issues that must be dealt with using all the means at our disposal, not simply sneered at and disregarded by a new administration that now controls all branches of the government. Yes, the people have spoken and we shall see what kind of impact the new administration has on sustainability. Speaking of the people, another topic of recent concern is where people get their news or, to be more specific, fake news. It has been estimated that at the end of the long and grueling campaign, more Americans were

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

getting their news from fake news sources than real ones. That is downright scary and is a byproduct of the fact we get our news from social media; it also represents an overall distrust of the mainstream media due to the echo chambers we insulate ourselves in. The good news is we are more innovative than ever in America and there are still plenty of great, hard working news organizations out there that care about getting the story right and cutting through the noise and clutter. We need to support those news gathering organizations more than ever. We need to subscribe to magazines and newspapers that tell the whole story. We need to support science and STEM more than ever too. There are organizations we partner with, like Sustainable Brands and the USA Science & Engineering Festival, that need our backing more than ever. It is time for those of us that care about the important issues to get involved and get informed on a local, national, and even global level. We need to let those in powerful positions know that this is not a left or a right issue but an American issue. When we work together and utilize all our ingenuity and resources from both the public and private sector that is when America is at its best. We can innovate our way through anything and that will be the mission of us here at Innovation & Tech Today now more than ever: to inspire and inform an engaged audience regarding STEM, sustainability, and innovation as a whole. So it is with an eye toward innovation that we are proud to present to you our first “double issue,” featuring the top 50 most innovative products, right around the 50th anniversary of the greatest innovation event, CES. Enjoy this issue and please make sure you continue the conversation with us online and at the many events where you will find us in 2017. Thanks for your support and it is with the warmest compliments that we present you this issue. Enjoy!


PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Charles Warner cwarner@goipw.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Shane P. Brisson shane@goipw.com Published by INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES WORLDWIDE, INC 3400 E. Bayaud Ave., #333, Denver, CO 80209 www.innotechtoday.com (720) 708-4250 info@innotechtoday.com

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SPECIAL THANKS TO Marcel Pariseau, Samuel Yu, Michelle Rydberg, Christopher Rosenbluth, Nathan Gietl, Steve Lambert, Brian Boothe, USA Science & Engineering Festival, CES, Koann Skrzyniarz/Sustainable Brands, Jon Brouchoud/Arch Virtual, Daniel Freeman/ National Institute of Health Research.

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FOR OUR CYBER WARRIORS THIS IS THEIR BATTLEFIELD. U.S. Army Cyber Warriors are on the front lines of our nation’s cyber defense. National security cannot be compromised and there are those who will not relent in their pursuit to damage our defenses or disrupt our way of life. When all is silent in the night, the adversary crawls through the digital world seeking our systems, data, and security. Army Cyber Warriors safeguard against those who seek to do us harm and steal our information. Steadfast and focused on our country’s interests, the Cyber Operations Specialist remains steps ahead and committed to protecting our way of life. Join the team that fights the silent adversary. Execute offensive and defensive cyberspace operations in all facets of military operations. Learn to use the most advanced technology to target the activities of the enemy while ensuring our nation’s freedom of maneuver within the cyberspace domain. If you are of high character, devoted to the cause, and have the drive to serve with the best, you may be the one to help lead us in protecting this great nation against cyber terrorism. Find out more at goarmy.com/cyber or goarmy.com/team (click on ’play Cyber Warriors’)


contents

WINTER 2016

62 Cover Story: Cyber Scarlett, Interview with Scarlett Johansson by Paul French

Cover Photo by Maciej Kucia, Background by Paramount Pictures, Compositing by Shane Brisson

Departments 12 Since Last Issue

26 Drones

14 By the Numbers

28 Women in Tech

16 Event Wrap-Ups

30 Home Automation

18 Quickbytes

32 Science

34 Innovator Profile Lisa Randall, Dark Matter’s Brightest Scientist

36 Security The True/Two Faces of Anonymous by Robert Alexander 42 Interview with Carbonite’s Mohamad Ali 44 A History of Hacks

46 Connected Car California Regulates the Driverless Car by Michael Coates 50 The Best Cars of 2017

54 Outdoor+Adventure Tech with Section Editor Billy Brown Pep Fujas on Pro Skiing 56 Mossberg and the Science of Shooting by Charles Warner 58 The 2AM Principle

76 Art & Tech Christine McConnell, Queen of Instagram

60 Gear Guide

62 Gaming & Entertainment with Section Editor John Gaudiosi 68 Avengers Star Josh Brolin 70 Best Games of 2016 by John Gaudiosi 72 The Rise of 4K Gaming

80 The Lighter Side Life with a Flip Phone in 2016 by Rob Mills

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


Complicated.


Simple.

One input, one remote, one incredible experience.

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M E D I A

S Y S T E M S


Since Last Issue … Photo Credits All trademarks, service marks, and logos contained within this publication are the property of their respective owners, and may not be individually identified in this publication. pg. 18a Titanic | via Flickr/Nancy <I’m gonna SNAP! , Camera Lens & Dog | Dreamstime.com pg. 22a Family & Stingray | Dreamstime.com pg. 26a Chip courtesy of Intel pg. 26a Women in Green Forum | Carol Hink pg. 34-35a Photos provided by Lisa Randall pg. 36-38a Dreamstime.com pg. 42a Mohamad Ali| Carbonite pg. 50a A7 Courtesy of Audi, Volt Courtesy of Chevrolet pg. 50, 52a 4Runner, Tacoma, Lexus NX, Courtesy of Toyota pg. 52a 911R Courtesy of Porsche pg. 54-55a Pep Talks| K2 Skis/Ian Coble pg. 56a Images provided by Mossberg pg. 62-64a Scarlett Johansson | Paramount Pictures and Jasin Boland pg. 68-69a Josh Brolin | Universal Pictures | pg. 70a Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare | Activision, Battlefield 1 | EA pg. 71a Forza Horizon 3 | Microsoft, Steep | Ubisoft, Civilization VI | Firaxis/2k pg. 76-77a Christine McConnell (Instagram Artist)| Courtesy Christine McConnell | pg. 56b Louisville | via Flickr/The Pug Father pg. 54b BenjiLock | Robbie Cabral pg. 40b Images courtesy of The San Francisco 49ers pg. 38b Bill McKibben | Bill McKibben pg. 34-36b Justin Wren | Water4 pg. 28-32b Derek Muller | Derek Muller pg. 22-25b Images courtesy of CERN pg. 16-17b Off the Grid | Michele Bigler pg. 13b CRSPR| MOKI Yoshito pg. 9b Mirrorless Cameras | FUJIFILM USA pg. 4b VR for non gamers Find a Future / Daniel Freeman / National Institute of Health, Jon Brouchoud | Arch Virtual

Believe it or not, we are only human: Fall 2016 corrections: Cleveland Tech Zone started on page 60, not page 62 as listed in the Table of Contents. The product review for the GE Z-Wave Plus Plug-In Switch with Dual Outlets mistakenly had the photo of the GE EZ Smart Door Sensor.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


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G A R A G E

D O O R

O P E N E R S


e NUMB RS

by the

A look at the metrics shaping the technology market — and our lives

Security in a Connected World

The larger the network, the greater the chance for compromise. As our connected world grows, so too does our need for security. Below are some of the alarming figures from society’s new online underbelly.

Top 5 Cybercrime Countries by Victim Location

United Kingdom

1

2 China

2.47%

India

1.46%

United States

80.2%

5 3

Most Victimized Groups in USA:

Top 5 U.S. States Affected

1.91% 4

Nigeria

2.2%

BY VICTIM state 1. California 2. Florida 3. Texas 4. New York 5. Illinois

victim count 34,842 20,306 18,392 15,116 8,413

MEN • AGES 50-59 LOST $171,954,578 WOMEN • OVER 60 LOST $129,811,342

$1,070,711,522

worth of losses due to internet crime were reported last year.

BY DOLLARS state 1. California 2. Florida 3. Texas 4. New York 5. Washington

amount lost $98,564,264 $58,020,800 $38,155,169 $37,515,748 $28,664,202

identity fraud $15 billion lost to identity theft in 2015 $112 billion stolen by identity fraudsters in the past six years = $35,600 stolen per minute = four years of college in four minutes. The healthcare industry faces MORE

340%

cyberattacks than the average industry. 14

INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

75%

UP TO

of hospital network traffic goes unmonitored.

Sources: Total Loses/Victim Location/Victim Groups/Top 5 States: The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3 2015 Report); Identity Fraud : www.javelinstrategy.com; Healthcare Statistics: Raytheon|Websense Security Labs

devices by 2020.


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[ Event Wrap-Ups ]

Held in Dallas, this year’s Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association conference was a medley of some of the best in smart home tech. Imagine a show floor packed with high-end products, all for which the label “state-of-the-art” is almost a given. Now imagine trying to select the best ones. It wasn’t easy. See this year’s picks for Editor’s Choice at www.innotechtoday.com. An offshoot of the immensely popular SXSW (South by Southwest), this environmentally conscious conference applies a mix of popular appeal and scientific savvy to spread the word on green initiatives. And perhaps no one better represents this method of messaging than this year’s keynote speaker (and I&T Today alumnus) Bill Nye.

The Los Angeles Convention Center was packed for this year’s Greenbuild, the world’s largest gathering of innovators inspired by sustainable building. The conference and expo saw three days of presentations and workshops, with several pavilions dedicated to a variety of different industries, from health and wellness, to residential, to startups.

The LA Auto Show (founded in 1907) has a long history of giving attendees a glimpse into the future of car tech. In this year’s special media preview (dubbed “Automobility”) the spotlight was on connected car innovations, as auto appdevelopers are increasingly a part of the broader industry.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


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FBI Director Says Cover Your Webcam The notion of covering your webcam with a piece of tape or a BandAid is no longer limited to your paranoid, conspiracy-obsessed friend. The idea has now entered the mainstream. For years it’s been well documented that it is shockingly easy to hack into a webcam and record footage without people being aware their camera is even on. Now FBI Director James Comey has weighed in, advising citizens that they should be covering their cameras. “There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” Comey expressed during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Comey elaborated, “You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.” At this point, this is simply sound advice, although it’s hard not to notice the irony of the FBI Director, fresh from waging a privacy war with Apple over encryption, talking about privacy and using such a primitive device.

Unsinkable.

(For Real This Time) Maritime enthusiasts, rejoice! You may have the opportunity to take a journey on the legendary RMS Titanic – or at least on its modern-day resurrection. Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer has already set in motion a plan to construct a 1:1 replica of the original RMS Titanic, called the Titanic II, with 840 cabins and the capacity to host 2,435 passengers and a crew of 900. Though ticket prices are currently unknown, some wealthy individuals have already expressed a willingness to pay close to $3 million for a spot. Palmer has plans to make the reconstruction as faithful as possible, with everything from Deck D upward being an accurate re-creation of the original, excluding minor modifications for safety and comfort. The Titanic II’s engine room will be updated to include modern diesel engines, and the ship will also have an extra deck with – you guessed it – extra lifeboats.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

DOGS PREFER PRAISE OVER FOOD The loyalty of man’s best friend just received scientific support from the Dog Project at Emory's Department of Psychology. Its researchers just released a study showing that when dogs are faced with the choice between their two great loves – food and praise from their humans – dogs are often partial to the praise. The experiment began with an MRI component, where dogs had to choose between symbols that produced either food or praise, while their neural activity was monitored to see how strongly they reacted to each reward. Next, the dogs worked through a maze to reach either a bowl of food or their owner and her praise. Gregory Berns, the lead author of the research, said that “out of the 13 dogs…we found that most of them either preferred praise from their owners over food, or they appeared to like both equally. Only two of the dogs were real chowhounds, showing a strong preference for the food.” Previously, scientists have thought that dogs only used humans as a means to get food, but now Berns says, “another, more current, view of their behavior is that dogs value human contact in and of itself.”


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LASER WARSHIPS The U.S. Navy is beginning to implement an ambitious plan to arm all of its destroyers with ship-based lasers that will be able to target hostile drones and destroy them. This may sound like a weapon out of Star Wars, but it is a very real defense system that represents the realities of a changing battlefield, where armed drone conflicts may become as common as cavalry skirmishes were a century and a half ago. Aerospace and defense powerhouse Northrop Grumman announced in a statement that “…the company will design, produce, integrate, and support the shipboard testing of a 150-kilowattclass solid state laser weapon system [for the Navy].” The laser system will also have the capability to shoot down missiles. It will be a little while before a system like this will be fully operational, but the idea of lasers incinerating armed drones and missiles is pretty cool. It seems likely that militaries will increasingly rely on these futuristic weapon systems.

A MAMMOTH FIND

Scientists recently uncovered a 13,000-yearold mammoth skull on Santa Rosa Island off the coast of southern California. While mammoth remains are not too uncommon (there have been numerous discoveries up to this point), this particular finding has piqued the interest of the scientific community for two reasons: first, because of how well-preserved the skull is and, second, because of the specimen’s size. North America was home to two primary kinds of mammoth: The Columbian mammoth, and then later the Pygmy mammoth (which is believed to have descended from the earlier Columbian species). The skull discovered on Santa Rosa Island is both too big to have belonged to a Pygmy mammoth and too small to have belonged to the larger Columbian mammoth, suggesting the possibility of some kind of intermediate species between the two. It’s a discovery which, if verified, would be exciting for the paleontological world.

Drug delivery through a temporary tattoo? Thanks to researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University, the medicine used to treat autoimmune diseases could soon be distributed with a temporary, decorative mark on a patient’s skin. Stronger and more effective antioxidants were recently developed by Rice chemist James Tour to fight autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. Scientists had to then find a way to allow the new medication to enter the

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

body safely. Injecting it just under the skin was effective, as the medicine releases slowly but doesn't stay in the system long enough to be harmful. The only side effect of the injection was a small, temporary dark mark on the skin that looks like a tattoo. The scientist who led the study that put Tour’s medication to work, Baylor’s Christine Beeton, said that the medication could, of course, be injected into a spot that isn’t visible, but that the tattoo resemblance could also be an asset. Micropattern needles could be used to shape the mark and make it look like a tattoo that fades after a week. “I can see doing this for a child who wants a tattoo and could never get her parents to go along,” she said. “This will be a good way to convince them.”


Cinema Re-Invented

3D Virtual Mobile Theater Royole re-invents personal mobile theater and gaming with Moon; a truly immersive cinematic experience that goes anywhere. Moon uses two AMOLED Full HD displays and advanced optics to simulate a gigantic scalable 800” curved screen and is the only mobile theater to incorporate active noise cancelling headphones. Moon auto-detects 2D and 3D content for optimized viewing. And, uses Wi-Fi®, USB, and HDMI® to connect your smartphone, computer, online streaming services, gaming consoles, and more for easy access to all your personal entertainment content. Moon features a unique travel-ready folding design, and touch-sensitive user interface powered by Royole’s patented flexible electronic technology. And, Moon comes in three stunning colors: White, Black, and Gold.

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Mother Knows Best The hereditary component of intelligence has been accepted for some time now, but despite more than three decades’ worth of research the question of where that component comes from – the mother or the father – has remained unanswered. At least until just recently. The conclusion came from a long-term study conducted by the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, Scotland, which looked at survey results from more than 12,000 respondents each year since 1994. The survey examined several demographic factors, and when all the numbers were crunched, the research indicated that above all else, the best predictor of a person’s intelligence was the mother’s IQ. But don’t fret, dads. You have to remember that these results are in no way definitive and are at best only a suggestion to the possible relationship between a mother’s IQ and her child’s intelligence.

Chewing Stingrays

Space Exploration, Brought to You by Water A team of Cornell students known as the Cislunar Explorers is crafting a satellite no larger than a cereal box and powered only by water. The CubeSat satellite has two goals: 1. To win a contest sponsored by NASA, which will award a total of $5.5 million in prize money to winning teams and 2. To become the first CubeSat to orbit the moon. The satellite will be carried out of the atmosphere aboard a rocket, and will launch from there towards the moon. It is composed of two L-shaped halves that will split apart and continue spinning, further propelled by water on board. Energy from the sun will split the water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which will then combust in short, intermittent bursts. Onboard cameras will take nonstop pictures of the Earth, moon, and sun, and the series of images will later be used to track the satellite’s exact path – an oldfashioned geometry trick. The throwback satellite is not only exciting to its student creators but also to scientists like faculty leader Mason Peck, who thinks the project can show that spacecrafts can be reused and refueled to keep exploring space.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

New research from the University of Toronto shows that a freshwater stingray eats its prey with the same grinding chewing pattern as grazing mammals. The Amazon’s exotic Potamotrygon motoro shatters the belief that chewing is an adaptive behavior evolved exclusively by mammals. As lead researcher Matthew Kolmann puts it, “It’s pretty extraordinary…here’s this bizarre-looking fish from the Amazon that evolved these behaviors separately from mammals, but chews its food just like a cow or a goat.” Chewing is an advantageous eating behavior because it lets animals ingest tougher, more calorie-rich animals that would be too costly for the stomach to break down alone. “Both mammals and these stingrays – two groups that have little to do with each other – developed a similar solution to tackling a bio-materials problem, and that is how to break down tough prey,” Kolmann says. To catch its prey, the stingray first lifts the fins on its head create a suction cup that traps its meal, then sticks out its jaw and rapidly shreds the animal to pieces before swallowing. Because the fins catch the prey and not the mouth, Kolmann thinks the stingray was able to evolve to perform the chewing function.


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Columbus Discovers Tech

The city of Columbus, Ohio, through its innovative proposal, won a cool $140 million from multiple investors during the Smart City Challenge of 2016. The Smart City Challenge, proposed by Anthony Foxx in December 2015, challenged U.S cities to change their transportation systems by using the power of technological innovation. Seventy-eight cities participated, including tech-savvy Austin, Texas and burgeoning Denver, Colorado. Columbus’ win, despite this stiff competition, means that the city can hope for self-driving

Blue-Collar Bots While technology certainly improves many aspects of our lives, there can also be some potentially negative consequences to our innovative enhancements. According to a report by Forrester, 7% of jobs in the United States will be taken over by robotic tech in the next nine years. One field that appears to be increasingly at risk of being taken over by artificial intelligence is transportation, with the development of driverless cars. Interestingly, the total amount of jobs that look to be replaced by robotic tech is actually 16%. However, these innovations will also result in a 9% rate of job creation. The occupations created include the fields of data science, content organization, and even expert management for robot employees. While it’s tough to know what the future of automated work will hold, this will definitely have an interesting impact on the economy of 2025.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

shuttles to connect residents to job opportunities, along with 13,000 buses and cars connected using vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and so much more. Foxx explained that Columbus’ proposal stood out for its creativity and went on to say that the Smart City plan could even address Columbus’ infant mortality rate by providing access to transportation for mothers in need. The committee of this collaborative group hopes to get federal, state, local, and private sector resources to aid these innovative dreams.

Math and Memory An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology provides new answers for questions about the causes of math disabilities, which plague up to an estimated 6% of the U.S. population. Previously, teachers and researchers thought math disabilities arose from deficits in spatial skills or in short-term memory, but this new research from Georgetown University claims that the true cause of math disabilities is a deficient procedural memory. Procedural memory involves the basal ganglia and regions in the frontal and parietal lobes, and helps us automate nonconscious skills, like driving or using grammar. Dr. Michael T. Ullman, the study’s senior researcher and a professor of neuroscience at Georgetown, says the connection is more intuitive than it might appear: "Given that the development of math skills involves their automatization, it makes sense that the dysfunction of procedural memory could lead to math disability.” Researchers like Dr. Ullman think declarative memory is first used to process the knowledge of math and other skills, and then the knowledge is gradually automatized by the procedural memory (unless a math disability stands in your way). Dr. Ullman hopes this current research “offers a powerful, brain-based approach for understanding the disorder, and could help guide future research.”


Stanford University and T EXAS A&M Studies Agree: Two Key Ways to Improve Your Health and Productivity

Sit-stand desk workers were 78% more likely to report

Lose weight faster. When you stand at your desk, you

a pain-free day than those who only sat at work.

metabolize fat more efficiently and burn 33% more calories.

– Stanford University

- University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology

Nearly 75% of sit-stand workers experienced decreased

Standing reduces body fat an average of 5.25%

body discomfort compared to those who only sat.

compared to only sitting which increases body fat.

– Texas A&M

- American Journal of Public Health

Sedentary (sitting) jobs have risen 83% since

All studies† point to two key factors — the need to sit less and

1960 and today, 50% of working Americans

move more. Movement generates good blood/oxygen flow,

experience back pain every year.

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were 46% more productive than those with traditional, seated desk configurations.

“Many small business owners and work-at-home

– Texas A&M

warriors such as myself pay added

Walking breaks boosted everybody’s

attention to the health aspects

creativity by 60% - Stanford University

of our career. I agreed to try out a

How do you motivate your team to sit less and move more at work

Wurf Board for a few days, but ended up using it for a couple weeks.... They were the most comfortable weeks of my writing life!” - Allena Tapia,

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DEPARTMENTS / Drones

Drones Swarm to Entertain Guests By Cyndy Hernandez-Martinez

Air shows have evolved greatly over the years. In the past, these displays have involved human aviators showing off their flying skills, with the first international aircraft show hosted in France in 1909. By 1910, aviators were competing with one another in races, aerial acrobatics, and other aerial stunts. As plane technology evolved from rickety, wooden biplanes to more aerodynamic jets, air shows changed as well. Thousands of spectators regularly show up to watch the latest aircraft show off their moves across the sky. And now, with drone technology on the rise, aerial entertainment may never be the same. While it may not be as sleek or as fast as an F-35, Intel’s Shooting Star is made to swarm and create displays with coordinated placement and movement to marvel audiences. Much like a marching band, the drones fly as a group to develop hypnotic patterns. Unlike a marching band, however, the process to coordinate every drone has been simplified. Instead of requiring each drone to be flown perfectly by an individual, Intel has created an algorithm that allows animators to create, build, edit, and bring whole aerial displays to life. The software allows

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

the drones to fly together as one group controlled by one person. Further, the drones are built to be lightweight – covered with soft foam, with cages around their propellers – just in case the device crash-lands into an unsuspecting crowd. Not to be left behind, Disney has also stepped up its drone use to entertain park guests. Currently, Disney uses large firework displays to dazzle audiences at Cinderella’s Castle. However, in a 2016 teaser video, the Happiest Place on Earth showed off its drones (named Flixels) creating a floating, rotating Christmas tree display. Disney has further placed a patent on several drones, one that supports a marionette and another that flies with a projector. If Disney hopes to trump its famous firework display, this might just be the way to go. Using drones for entertainment purposes does come with a challenge. In November of 2016, Intel had to ask the FAA permission to fly a swarm of 500 drones to beat a Guinness World Record. Disney, in its proposal to use drones in the park, has had to indicate where drones

would fly, and whether a no-fly zone was being implemented. Further, the drones are designed to fly in restricted areas away from guests. Currently, the FAA does not have regulations allowing the use of drones for entertainment displays, with Intel’s use of drones restricted to its record-setting event. As Natalie Cheung, Intel Light Show business lead, said recently, “We’re showing regulators around the world that UAV technologies used the right ways can help shape new rules for manned and unmanned aerial vehicles.”


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DEPARTMENTS / Women in Tech

Business as (Un)Usual The Women in Green Forum By Carol Hink What you’ll find as a common thread in the environmental industry is a lack of women adequately represented in leadership roles. The tide, however, is shifting, and the Women In Green Forum, created seven years ago by Founder Jaime Nack, is a testament to this. While the Forum may have started out years ago as an opportunity to highlight women in the industry, it has grown into something much more. At the most recent event, held in Los Angeles, attendees ranged from companies in the Fortune 500 all the way to students and every professional level in between. It was the proverbial who’s who of sustainability and activism in a very casual atmosphere, clearly designed to break down barriers and promote long-term relationship building. The event was much like the early days of Twitter, when it was amazingly easy to reach out to CEOs or other thought leaders and engage them directly. Jaime Nack’s Forum is having the same effect in the sustainability industry for women by encouraging speakers to share stories as opposed to giving pitches (sorry, no slideshows allowed, folks). I witnessed speaker after speaker continue their conversations offstage with anyone who reached out. You could see them gathering in small circles all around the room, sharing advice, trading notes on grant opportunities, and offering strategies to help each other’s ventures. It was a sea of professional women with their guards totally down, eager to make a difference. It was a very uplifting thing to experience because it really was business as unusual for any industry, which also just happened to be the Forum’s theme this year. For the Forum, the intention of highlighting women in sustainability has unintentionally created an impressive list of over 300+ female speakers that other events now use as a key resource tool. What’s more, after encouraging mentorships and scholarships over the years, this conference has given rise to a “Youth Mentorship Program,” which

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

Pictured (top) Participants brainstorming at a table during the conference. (middle) -left - Maxine Jimenez from the Alliance For Climate Education/ right -Dolores Huerta, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation(bottom) Jaime Nack, President of sustainability consulting firm 3 Squares, Inc

connects seasoned environmental professionals directly with students. What started as a more localized event has grown to attract attendees from all over the world who are now inquiring as to how they can replicate the Forum in their own respective areas.

As the event wrapped up, it was clear that this new way of thinking, “business as (un)usual,” had produced a highly collaborative environment that resonated with women. You could almost see all the little seeds being planted. The anticipation of what may pop up next is quite exciting.


DEPARTMENTS / Home Automation

Jasco CEO Cameron Trice Talks Philanthropy and Home Automation Innovation & Tech Today: Who are leaders you admire and try to model your leadership style after? Cameron Trice: In terms of really iconic industry CEOs, Bill Gates comes to mind—not only as an exceptional industry leader, but also in the second part of his career as an inspired philanthropist. About two decades ago, my father, who was then CEO and the founder of Jasco, introduced a culture of serving others…We were at that time giving 10 percent of the profits of Jasco to charitable causes, helping people in the community and around the world. Despite the giving, which some people thought was irrational at the time, Jasco has grown prolifically over the last couple of decades… Today we give 50 percent of the company’s profits to charitable causes, and I really think that sets a tone for our culture and it’s one of the reasons people love working here and love partnering with us. No matter what they do, they know they’re ultimately helping to change lives and make the world a better place. I&T Today: How did Jasco become involved with Water4 and Justin Wren’s Fight for the Forgotten? CT: In Oklahoma, we’re good at getting things out of the ground; not only energy but also water. Water4 is an OKC-based nonprofit that has come up with a sustainable method for drilling wells that they’ve taken to Africa. Really our…goal in partnering with Water4 is to solve the global water crisis in our lifetime. We just met Justin Wren more recently...and he added another amazing dimension to our partnership…He lives in Colorado and he travels to the Congo all the time, and those are two great places to test the durability and ruggedness of the various Eco Survivor products

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

we bring to market. So it’s certainly a cool, fun collaboration.. I&T Today: Big-picture, what do you see coming for this industry? CT: Increasingly, we’re seeing more and more DIY installs and home monitoring in the market. We expect that to continue as home automation becomes more affordable, more cross-compatible, and easier to use. Today, the game changers, voice recognition and artificial intelligence, are really moving the landscape… Until just recently, the primary interface was your smartphone or your tablet in terms of control, and now a lot of that is moving to voice…Voice recognition, smart virtual assistants like Alexa, will continue to change the game along with falling cost, and that’s where we see home automation becoming more mainstream in its adoption. As it becomes easier and easier to use, more cross-compatible, more affordable, it’ll become more and more ubiquitous. I&T Today: What does Jasco do to ensure that IoT products are protected from hacking? CT: It’s a critical issue. Jasco has a full ecosystem of products that reside behind hubs that have security and encryption from the cloud. Most of them use bank-level-type encryption to help ensure the security of the hub itself and all the products that are controlled by the hub. All those things help bolster the security of our systems. I&T Today: Is there anything that Jasco is working on currently that has you really excited? Any big collaborations through GE? CT: Currently, we’re thrilled to be leading the space with over 2 million Z-Wave products installed in homes already and the largest

ecosystem of Z-Wave connected lighting controls in the market today. Something I am personally excited about is our new line of GE branded motion and occupancy sensors, which take real time home convenience and energy savings to the next level. For example, our portable motion sensor can sit on a shelf and blend in with other items on book shelves or mantles, or you can mount it on a wall. We are also introducing an in-wall occupancy sensor that replaces a standard light switch. It knows when you walk in or when the room is occupied. Jasco also just launched our new Hinge Pin Smart Door Sensor that discreetly fits onto any existing door hinge and notifies you when the door opens and can trigger events. DIY door sensors have traditionally been intrusive. For example, a magnet and block you would need to mount to the inside of your door – which are not aesthetically pleasing and often difficult to install. There is no drilling, no sticky tape, and no unsightly block on your door with this smart door sensor. It’s discreet and can easily match your hinge or trim colors.


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DEPARTMENTS / Science

Beating Scientists at their own Game By Ashlyn Stewart When scientists want to design a new drug – say, one that combats the invasive proteins of HIV – they need to design new proteins to work inside the human body. Crafting new proteins is no small task. A small protein can contain 100 amino acids, with some human proteins possessing up to 1,000. This naturally results in an exceedingly high number of possible configurations. Figuring out the right way to arrange these acids into protein clumps is seen as one of the most difficult problems in biology today. Plus, current methods of testing amino acid configuration in proteins takes a lot of time and a lot of money, even with computers. Frustrated by this tedious, resourceintensive process of calculating and designing protein folds, scientists decided to give another group a chance to develop an efficient way to model folded proteins: video gamers. Four hundred sixty-nine gamers from

across the country recently participated in a study-turned-contest to model the best way to fold a yeast protein known as YPL067C. The gamers used the popular online puzzle game Foldit, which was designed to help non-scientists work on protein folds and thus contribute to real science. Other competitors included two trained crystallographers, 61 University of Michigan undergraduates, and even two computer algorithms. Each group tried to identify a particular protein’s ideal folded shape. But the gamers won handily. “It shows that anybody with a 3D mentality, including gamers, can do something that previously only scientists did, and in doing so they can help scientific progress,” said study co-author James Bardwell, University of Michigan professor in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. One of the unique characteristics of the Foldit game is that it encourages users to be collaborative and competitive. Players don’t need any biochemistry knowledge; instead,

spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills are paramount. The software has extra capacities unrivaled by other modeling programs, but it’s the motivated gamers who make it useful. So, while the scientists who traditionally model the proteins work independently, the Foldit puzzlers use each other’s errors and advice to advance discovery faster. The authors of the study suggest that crystallographers could learn a thing or two from the joint efforts of the Foldit gamers, saying scientists “could achieve a similar effect by either having multiple laboratory members take turns working on model building and refinement or by submitting their crystal refinement problems to Foldit.” The fact that crowdsourced Foldit players can at least sometimes be more effective than trained crystallographers and advanced algorithms speaks volumes for a new age of big data-powered science, where scientists can parcel out projects to interested novices with internet access. As the study explains, “Citizens hold a tremendous reserve of brainpower that remains largely untapped by the scientific community.” If “non-expert citizen scientists are capable of using structural data to build first-rate models,” as this study demonstrates, perhaps it’s time to continue to push science out of ivory tower labs and into the computers of hobbyists. Sending armies of enthusiastic novices to battle big data and models through puzzles might be the best way to solve the complex issues plaguing medical research – and they’ll have fun doing it.

Proteins depicted in the folding process.

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LISA RANDALL

DARK MATTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BRIGHTEST SCIENTIST

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innovator profile By Peter Gietl the understanding of the Standard Model and supersymmetry.

Dr. Lisa Randall is a scientist who is comfortable pondering the enigmatic reaches of the universe and trying to make sense of it all. She has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, and is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University. She is the author of numerous books, including The New York Times bestsellers Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions and Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World – books that seek to elucidate difficult-to-grasp aspects of particle physics. She is also unique compared to many “celebrity scientists,” a term that Dr. Randall would probably bristle at, because her work is still very much on the cutting edge of research in her field. The fact that she can write books that can explain dark matter to the masses while at the same time challenging the paradigms of the brightest minds in physics speaks to an intellect that is constantly seeking news ways of examining the mysteries of the universe. Her meteoric rise in her field began when she proposed, along with Dr. Raman Sundrum, the Randall-Sundrum model, which used warped geometry to describe our world as situated in a higher dimension of a five-dimensional model. She has also made innumerable contributions to

I caught up with Dr. Randall to discuss her latest book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe. This eloquent tome seeks to explain dark matter, which, while comprising 85% of the universe, remains largely a mystery. By exploring a diverse range of scientific topics and and proposing that dark matter may be responsible for extinctionlevel events, Dr. Randall posits that a disk of dark matter exists on the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy and may be responsible for gravitational anomalies that produce more impact events here on Earth. It’s less a theory about what happened to the dinosaurs and more a jumping-off point to explore how dark matter may actually interact with the visible universe. She speaks in the clipped, matter-of-fact manner of a person at ease discussing ideas that for most people would stretch comprehension. I asked her what it was like writing a book that delved into areas that were outside her usual field. “It’s very compelling, and it’s also kind of fun. It’s a lot easier to write about some of these other things because it’s so much less abstract, but it was also a lot of fun to learn about how much advancement has been made in some of these other fields in physics and science. A lot of books about science focus on one small part of the story. I like that it’s integrated and part of the bigger picture.” She has received some pushback for putting forward a theory not backed up by hard data – that it is merely a thought experiment. However, if you read the book, she is very open about the fact that it’s just a hypothesis for the time being. But where Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs shines is in its ability to describe a universe that is both baffling and awe-inspiring. She pushes scientists to think of new ways that forces like gravity and dark matter interact.

Dark matter, which is the crux of her book, remains something that is difficult to grasp, although its ominous name is really just a misnomer; its name derives from how it interacts with light (it doesn’t). Dr. Randall explained dark matter this way: “It’s just matter. It interacts with gravity like matter. What distinguishes it from ordinary matter is that it does not interact with light or any of the other standard model forces. It’s not made of the same stuff. It’s not made up of atoms, which are in turn made up of charged particles. It’s just different matter.” Tantalizing projects like the Large Hadron Collider in CERN are beginning to open up our understanding of these theoretical aspects of the universe that physicists have known existed, but hadn’t previously been able to prove. I asked her about the prospect of this project confirming some of her life’s work. “Don’t forget, we had a long time to anticipate the Higgs. I’m excited about them looking for a warped extra dimension of space, for example, which is something that I’ve worked on,” Dr. Randall explained. Dr. Randall discusses the LHC with her usual coolness; there’s barely a hint of excitement. Rather, there’s the rationality of a scientist prepared to find the answers to questions that seem unknowable. There’s also modesty in that answer, because if the Large Hadron Collider does find that extra dimension, confirming the Randall-Sundrum model, she would likely win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Solving the mysteries of the universe, while also being able to explain them to you and me, is all in a day’s work for one of the world’s sharpest minds. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe is now available in paperback. You can also check out I&T Today’s feature on the Large Hadron Collider on pg. 22 in the back half of this double-issue.

WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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Design Note: Additional subliminal tie-in. using the shape of their icon to replace the center of the “R”. note: their icon is not a perfect circle and the exact shape was used.

We are Anonymous. > We are Legion. > We do not forgive. > We do not forget. > Expect us. >

THE TRUE FACES OF ANONYMOUS 36

INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


WHO IS ANONYMOUS? I tend to become annoyed when I see articles about this – every tech

reporter out there seems to think they’re contributing to “the revolution” by doing a few Google searches and then regurgitating the results in an edgy manner. Even the ones who make an effort to “get inside” the group still miss the point about its members and purpose. Some pieces sensationalize the group as heroic freedom fighters instead of showing it for what it is: an enclave for fanatical loners. Having witnessed Anonymous’ leaders and operations firsthand, I’ve picked up a lot about them that doesn’t get reported by the posers over at VICE and Gawker. Now that Anonymous’ power has dissipated from a looming threat to white noise, it’s time to reveal how and why they were able to gain worldwide attention without leaving their desks. I’d like to tell you the real story.

THE TWO FACES OF ANONYMOUS By Robert Alexander

WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

37


I

spent the majority of my adolescence on internet relay chat (IRC). IRC is a good platform for internet-based communication Design Note: Additional subliminal tie-in. because it’s minimalist (requiring little using the shape of their icon processing power) and provides a degree ofto replace the center of the “R”. note: their icon is not a perfect circle security and anonymity. It’s also a great place toand the exact shape was used. meet a wide variety of criminal types, including drug traffickers, assassins, con artists, and, obviously, hackers. It wasn’t too long after assimilating into IRC that I started making friends associated with notable hacker groups, including Anonymous. At some point in 2010, I first joined what was called the AnonOps IRC network, which had become the hub of Anonymous’ operations around this time due to the group’s attacks on Amazon, PayPal, and financial institutions. I was already well aware that the group was being used as a cover of sorts for “real” hackers, but I stuck around to see how their efforts would unfold.

THE BEGINNING OF A MOVEMENT Anonymous has always had two masks – divided between doing good and terrorizing the internet. Anonymous originated on 4chan, the largest and oldest English-speaking imageboard (a forum focused on the sharing of images, like a weird precursor to Instagram). The default username on 4chan is “Anonymous,” and it was originally used to refer to the collective of 4chan posters in a way that addresses all of them at once – i.e., “Hey Anon, I have a problem with my website and need your help.” The first interaction Anonymous had with the rest of the internet was through their raids (some would call them pranks) on other websites. The group reached its first major turning point when they disrupted the podcast belonging to white supremacist Hal Turner. Initially, the Hal Turner raids were conducted just for fun, but eventually an ethos developed. Because they were targeting a major figure in the white supremacist community, Anonymous was for once doing the right thing. A year later, Anonymous declared war on the Church of Scientology following the church’s attempted censorship of a video interview with Tom Cruise. Anonymous dubbed their war on Scientology “Project Chanology,” and for the first time began to organize protests in major

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

cities (although Anonymous organized in real life as early as 2007, when 4chan users across the world showed up at various Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book launches to share spoilers of the book that had been leaked online with eager fans). The most significant byproduct of Project Chanology was that Anonymous had gained worldwide attention in major news outlets for the first time. However, the newly found niche of Anonymous in the media as “hacktivists for good” would annoy many of Anonymous’ early members who believed the group should stay dedicated to trolling. While the “good” Anonymous was protesting Scientology, the troublemaking Anonymous was posting flashing GIFs to the Epilepsy Foundation’s website and harassing the family of McKay Hatch, the 13-year-old founder of Nocussing.com. Many of the affiliates I knew that had histories working for Anonymous maintained themselves as trolling groups. Some managed the most popular invasion (/i/) boards where Anonymous planned these raids; others were

members of the Patriotic Nigras, another Anonymous offshoot that disrupted the popular online game Second Life. It seemed that many of the members and contributors were trying to preserve the spirit of the old trolling Anonymous, in an era when Anonymous had transitioned from being hated to praised by most internet users.

RISE OF THE HACKERS While Anonymous defined itself as an anarchistic group without established leaders, the reality is that, during their heyday (roughly 2010-2012), a handful of “real” hackers working under the Anonymous name controlled the collective. It’s important to note that most Anonymous members knew little to nothing about computer security, which left the “hacking,” and thus the direction of Anonymous, up to those who did. Furthermore, the leaders of Anonymous lacked credibility with the wider hacking scene. Most hackers hold a fairly negative view of


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Anonymous: they’re seen as either laughable or the usage of LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon). annoying, and are by no means welcomed in LOIC is a simple program that allows one to traditional hacker circles. This meant that execute a denial-of-service attack. Basically, Design Note: whoever was going to do the dirty work forAdditional subliminal thinktie-in. of it like trying to drink from a fire hose, using the shape of their icon to replace of the Anonymous had to be motivated in some way to the center except the“R”.water is data and you are a server. Get note: their icon is not a perfect circle and the exact shape kids was used. attack the systems of major corporations and enough to point their LOIC clients at the governments under the banner of a group that same IP address and you have enough power to would earn them no money or respect from take down a website. their peers – leaving power as the only motive Another asset of having so many people at for a skilled hacker to support Anonymous. one’s disposal is that there’s a large pool of Some of these leaders would eventually form LulzSec, a splinter group of Anonymous that made headlines by compromising the websites of major media outlets. Interestingly enough, the majority of Anonymous/LulzSec’s hackers lived in poverty as they championed the group. And if it wasn’t poverty, it was something else. Famous hackers like Sabu lived in Section 8 housing, while Commander X was homeless, Ryan Cleary hadn’t left his bedroom in years, and Barrett Brown was addicted to heroin. For many of those in control, Anonymous was no more than a distraction from the miserable life surrounding them.

individuals far more likely to get arrested for such activities than you are. The leaders of Anonymous eventually developed a tactic where a gullible Anonymous regular would transfer illegal information (though usually misinformation) to individuals suspected of being informants to see the response. One example is a young woman using the handle “N0” on AnonOps – aka Mercedes Haefer, who was featured prominently in the documentary Hacker Wars. “N0” was given network privileges, but only to bait the feds into raiding her home in 2011, giving Anonymous a clear red flag that the government was onto them.

The rest of Anonymous, the non-hackers idling in chat rooms, saw it very much as a revolutionary group. They would spend hours chatting with each other, discussing everything from the impending collapse of various world governments to the oppression by the one percent and police brutality, all while eagerly awaiting one of the higher-ups to announce their next big hack.

AN ARMY OF THE VULNERABLE

Whenever the leaders of Anonymous would run into trouble attacking a target (or didn’t feel

Anonymous’ lesser members were often living in situations similar to that of the hackers they admired. Most were teens in difficult family straits, and playing the role of therapist was extremely common. Regulars on the network would share their life struggles in public channels in a way that could be best described as fishing for sympathy. This tactic would

“Whenever the leaders of Anonymous would run into trouble attacking a target (or didn’t feel like actually doing anything themselves), they always had the option to militarize the few thousand enthusiastic 16-year-olds willing to follow their every command.” like actually doing anything themselves), they always had the option to militarize the few thousand enthusiastic 16-year-olds willing to follow their every command. A good example is

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

typically work, though, and eventually AnonOps hosted channels dedicated to nonAnonymous topics such as transgender support and homelessness to provide emotional aid to

its members. I would attribute much of the loyalty Anonymous’ members had to this community-building. The purpose most Anonymous members thought they’d find by joining what they saw as an insurgency somehow transformed into friendships. It wasn’t uncommon either for romantic relationships – or more often than not hookups – to start on AnonOps from time to time. However, Anonymous, and by extension AnonOps, was still largely under the control of the more elite LulzSec crowd. Their internal communication was different than that of the casual Anonymous members: there were no discussions regarding politics, government oppression, or fighting for “good” to prevail. Rather, they’d focus on potential targets and rival hacker groups. What began to complicate the leadership of Anonymous was the fact that there would always be non-Anonymous hackers hanging out in the Anonymous backchannels as well. These were usually friends of LulzSec hackers wishing to contribute privately, though on occasion there’d be certain individuals invited to the channel whom Anonymous was hoping to impress. At times, Anonymous was no more than a means for the hackers, as well as their friends, to publish compromised information under a name that wasn’t directly affiliated with them. Compromised data or information related to hacks would usually flow from LulzSec and affiliates to trusted AnonOps members, and then to Anonymous’ “press team” (the aforementioned IRC users usually set up to take the fall), who would publish info on Pastebin and Twitter. The end result of most of Anonymous’ big hacks was AnonOps patting themselves on the back for their contributions to the fight against tyranny while the hackers responsible celebrated their own power to intimidate corporate, financial, and/or governmental powerhouses while keeping the blame focused on Anonymous.

GOVERNMENT BACKLASH Having someone chatting with you online and then abruptly disappearing because they were arrested is a surreal experience. Someone you know (or as much as you can “know” someone through lines of text over the internet) will be [ Continues on Page 78 ]


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Design Note: Additional subliminal tie-in. using the shape of their icon to replace the center of the “R”. note: their icon is not a perfect circle and the exact shape was used.

Carbonite’s Mohamad Ali Knocks Out Ransomware As ransomware issues and hacking scandals abound, we turned to Mohamad Ali, President & CEO of Carbonite, a Boston-based company that has backed up over 500 billion files to date. In this exclusive, Ali chats about his outlook on the state of cyber security, ransomware, and why backing up your data is vital.

Innovation & Tech Today: What are the greatest challenges of cyber security right now? Mohamad Ali: There are two things. First, the criminals are so successful that they are raising a ton of money to put back into innovation and to come up with newer and better versions of their attacks. The second thing is we’re seeing the government attempting to weaken the security postures of a lot of companies. Like the Burr-Feinstein proposal, where all companies have to put a backdoor in their software. What that basically is is the government telling you to leave the key to your house under the doormat. Don’t tell anyone that it's on the right side of the mat. We’re the only ones who are going to use it. Well, somebody is going to find it. In the digital age, once somebody discovers this, anybody can get access. So, we already have a security posture that is threatened by how good the bad guys are, and now we’re going to help them. New technology is being deployed and it’s even harder to detect these things. A lot of people get caught up with, “Well, it’s personal privacy,” or “It’s national security,” and that’s like a religious debate. So we put an economic angle on it. Eight percent of the world’s GDP is digital. You weaken all these systems and you're really going to threaten the digital economy on a global basis. So the economic impact of these things is really bad. Weakening [security] is not the answer.

I&T Today: Obviously, Carbonite is involved in data backup. Why is that so important right now? MA: I would say that one of the issues now in securing your data is that we just don't have a good way to deal with this ransomware. The attacks are just straight through your front door, right? They come in, usually through phishing, and they get in with incredible success. And there really isn't antivirus technology to deal with this when it’s coming right through your front door. We expect ransomware to [become] a billion dollar business in 2016. It’s good money, really good money. And, as a result, this is actually funding a lot of innovation in the ransomware industry. There really aren’t good defenses and one of the very few things you can do to protect against ransomware is to have backups. In terms of what’s going on in cyber security, that’s driving our business. The bad guys are just getting smarter and smarter. We just have to assume that they’re going to get in, and once they get in, you have to have a way of recovering all your systems. It really does make backup absolutely critical.

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A HISTORY OF HACKING

healthcare providers.

Significant hacks have become a common occurrence. While one might think these giant corporations would be able to protect their own data (and that of their customers), the truth is that they are as vulnerable to cyber attacks as the rest of us. However, unlike with a personal computer breach, hacks of large companies can result in tarnished reputations, lawsuits, and, of course, revenue losses.

Perhaps one of the most notorious hacks was the credit card theft attack on Target in late 2013. Many customers who shopped at the popular department store between late November and mid-December of that year had everything from personal information to credit card numbers stolen. The hack significantly affected Target’s revenue during the holiday season, cutting their fourth quarter profits nearly in half from the previous year. In addition, the chain had to pay $10 million in settlements to customers affected by the data breach.

These large scale info breaches are nothing new. One of the earlier hacks occurred in 2005, when DSW Shoe Warehouse had 1,400,000 different pieces of credit card and shopping information compromised. However, while these kinds of major hacks were fairly rare in the mid-2000s, there have been numerous cases of large companies losing information since then. According to Bloomberg, between 2005 and early 2015 there were over 75 hacks in which at least one million records were taken, with businesses ranging from retail stores to

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Interestingly enough, not all the companies whose information was compromised were completely upfront about the stolen information. For instance, while they experienced a hack in 2012, file hosting service Dropbox claimed only a small number of accounts had been breached. However, new

information suggests that over 68 million accounts and passwords had been compromised, leading to criticism over the handling of the cybersecurity issue. 2016 has been no different. So far, we have seen everyone from Wendy’s to Tidewater Community College get hacked this year, with payment info being taken from customers and account info being taken from students. It’s not always consumer data that hackers are stealing. Popular social media company Snapchat was attacked by a phishing scam this March, as personal information was hijacked from 700 former and current employees. However, one of the most substantial breaches that has dominated headlines in 2016 has been that of Yahoo, Inc. The online giant revealed that a hacker was responsible for compromising at least 500 million accounts. This data breach was thought to go so far as to endanger the planned merger


with Verizon. Considering Yahoo was already struggling, the cyber attack's effects on the merger could spell more problems for the search engine company.

HACKING METHODS There are numerous ways a system can be hacked, from perpetrators infecting computers with malware to simply guessing a password and accessing private information. Hackers attempt to exploit a system’s vulnerabilities, sometimes even creating programs that can scan for weaknesses and immediately exploit them. Spear phishing is by far the most popular way hackers attempt to infect a system. Spear phishing generally involves the sending of a customized email with a malicious link or document. When the link is clicked, malware is executed and begins to infect the system. By doing this, the hacker now has access to private information via a backdoor exploited by the malware.

fighting phishing by educating their employees on the tell-tale signs of a phishing email and how to avoid becoming a victim. As for USBs, some companies have banned their use altogether.

a hacker was able to record a victim saying the

In order to skirt these hacking safeguards and infect a larger pool, some hackers have begun to use drive-by web downloads. Hackers will implant codes onto high-traffic websites and, when users visit the website, the code executes and causes the user’s computer to become infected. This can be considered one of the most effective and devastating forms of hacking a mass audience.

biometric security aren’t quite as easy as, say,

CAN WE EVER STOP THE HACKS?

breaches, another common problem has been the

As with any arms race, there’s a reciprocal ebb & flow here – likely, an endless one. The web has brought a new kind of warfare into the digital theater. And, unless the code behind human nature is rewritten, expect this conflict to follow its predecessor's path: ad infinitum.

Another form of hacking is USB key malware. Unlike with phishing, here a physical USB infected with malware is plugged into a computer port. The malware launches and soon the entire computer has been opened up for the hacker’s use. This method has been used at conventions, where infected USBs are slipped into goody bags and later inserted by unsuspecting users. This method is especially useful for industrial espionage, as the USB-hack grants access to companies seeking competitor secrets.

Still, every innovation that hands us a new defense is worth celebrating. In recent years, both businesses and consumers have become a little more savvy about internet threats and how to defend against them. Biometric authentication, for instance (i.e., using unique physical qualities like fingerprints, irises, and facial features to grant computer/software access), has gained a lot of traction, especially as the theme of hijacked passwords (many of them literally “password”) remains a constant feature of high-profile breaches.

These methods, however, generally target a small number of users. Recently, companies have been

Naturally, some have already found ways to circumvent biometric verification. In one instance,

numbers 1-9, which allowed him to fool the user’s vocal recognition software. However, as a whole, the methods for flanking multiple layers of typing “qwerty” or “12345” into a password box. Another means of protection comes in the form of advanced data encryption. As Edward Snowden himself said, “Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on.” In large data lack of data encryption – meaning that once the hacker achieved access to the raw data, it was instantly readable. By using cryptographic systems that require keys for deciphering data, companies and consumers can better protect themselves from prying eyes. It’s possible that we’ll be getting rid of password systems altogether. This is what Google is attempting to do with their newest mobile security project. Rather than inputting a complex password that you will need to reset every time you forget it, the tech company intends to utilize everything from sound and motion detection to phone usage in order to unlock your mobile devices. This has the potential to not only make passwords obsolete, but increase the protection of your device. Additionally, the company is working on Project Vault, a highly secure microSD card to safeguard personal information.

WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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CONNECTED CAR

CALIFORNIA SEEKS TO STEER THE DRIVERLESS CAR (OFF THE ROAD)

By Michael Coates

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The scene is California, specifically Northern California, home to Silicon Valley and some of the most aggressive automotive regulations in the world. The hottest technologies on the market revolve around the autonomous car concept. Google has had its custom self-driving Lexus SUVs running around for years and has augmented them with low-speed fully self-driving tech that allows them to navigate the streets of Mountain View. And at least a dozen other startups and mature companies like Cupertino-based Apple and Oaklandbased Uber are diving into autonomy as the Next.Big.Thing.

When it comes to vehicle autonomy, there are no small promises — zero accidents, more efficient freight movement, and greater mobility. The goal is to create a system that “drives more like a human,” achieves “100 percent accuracy,” and “superhuman levels of perception,” according to Danny Shapiro, Senior Director of Automotive at the data visualization company NVIDIA. Given these lofty goals, it makes you wonder how long it will be before we’re actually buying self-driving cars. Shapiro is coy on that subject, but he’s more than willing to inform you that his company is currently working with 80 different automakers. Really, with all this momentum, the question is not so much whether the goals will be met, but rather whether they’ll be met in Silicon Valley or somewhere more legally hospitable. WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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CONNECTED CAR

Indeed, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has decided to create some new regulations for this fast-growing industry, ostensibly to help it progress, while protecting consumers. The result from the first round of laws (which outlawed driverless vehicle testing) was clear-cut. Instead of staying in Cali, Daimler/Freightliner demonstrated its self-driving truck in Nevada, and an Uber autonomous ride-hailing pilot started in Pittsburgh, PA. The second round of the autonomous vehicle regulations by the California Department of Motor Vehicles was supposed to help usher in the ability to test and then deploy self-driving cars without drivers. In its draft form, many automakers cautiously endorsed it (with caveats), but the tech companies pouring their efforts into this arena blasted the draft, suggesting that it would push serious field work elsewhere. Their objections were fundamental. As proposed, the new regulations would put the burden of getting permits for testing within each municipality for each company doing the testing. In addition, it appeared to expose a strict 12-month test period prior to deployment. These regulations also wouldn’t allow companies to shorten test protocols simply by using multiple vehicles in different situations. Finally, companies took the state to task for proposing that new automobile data recorders be made available to law enforcement within 24 hours of an incident without any warrant or subpoena. In all, California heard complaints from Google, General Motors, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, and a group representing Google, Lyft, Uber, Ford, and Volvo. When it comes to regulations, the state can

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either nurture innovation or stifle it by clamping down on the ability of innovators to operate. While claiming to want the latest and greatest from the auto world (particularly if it involves zero emission vehicles), California has taken a different tack with autonomous vehicles.

testing and even the deployment of this technology may soon bypass California. Autonomous vehicles are edging closer to reality, but the companies creating the hardware and software that make them tick may have to engage some travel budgets to actually get things on the road.

For instance, another surprising regulation from the DMV involved the prohibition of testing for vehicles with a gross weight greater than 10,000lbs. Since big rigs like the Daimler demo are the first likely market application of vehicle autonomy, this is particularly stifling. It also rubs against the work of another California state agency, the Air Resources Board, which is promoting the use of automated tech as a way to build a sustainable freight system, one that will include a more efficient movement of goods throughout the state and country.

So, regardless of what happens in California law, the bottom line is that self-driving cars and trucks are coming. They will save lives, but will probably cause accidents at some point. Any new regulations will have to be changed, much like the early ones that required a person to precede a car with a flag to warn anyone on horseback, so that our previous hoofed transportation wouldn’t be frightened. The country dealt with those and will deal with autonomous cars and trucks as well. We’ll learn along the way and we may not reduce congestion on the roads that much, but as Saffo observed—most of those cars and trucks crowding the future roadways may not have drivers in them.

DMV executive Jean Shiomoto said the agency would eventually get to the big trucks, but the pace of development means that initial


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AHEAD OF THE CURVE BEST CARS FOR 2017 BEST LUXURY SEDAN AUDI A7 STARTING AT $68,800

Among the top names in luxury sedans, the Audi A7 proves that what’s under the hood can be just as high quality as the sleek exterior. Using the unique quattro all-wheel drive system and a Tiptronic transmission, the A7 provides an elegant ride. The A7 has corner view cameras that enhance visibility for perfect maneuverability while parking. Additionally, the A7’s adaptive cruise control helps you maintain the right amount of separation between your vehicle and the traffic. Safety, elegance, and advanced technology make the Audi A7 the most innovative luxury sedan of 2017.

BEST HYBRID CHEVY VOLT MRSP $33,220

If you’re making great time, the last thing you want to do is make a pit stop at the gas station. Whether you’re a dedicated commuter or a fan of weekend road trips, the Chevy Volt can keep you driving and driving and driving. Combining an electric charge and a gas-powered generator, the Volt ensures you won’t need to make any unscheduled stops to refuel. With the ability to go over 400 miles on a full charge and a full tank of gas, the Volt lets you make use of its 149 horsepower without stopping. The Volt is also ahead of the curve when it comes to safety, utilizing technology such as Lane Keep Assist and Forward Safety Awareness to guarantee that, wherever you’re going, you'll get there safely.

BEST SUV TOYOTA 4RUNNER STARTING AT $34,010

The Toyota 4Runner shows you can have a quality SUV inside and out. Built for endurance, the 4Runner has always been known for being able to last, no matter where you take it. Considering 90% of 4Runners from the past decade are still up and running, it’s clear that this vehicle can work hard and keep on going. In addition to its durability, the Toyota 4Runner is specialized for pretty much any kind of driving. The vehicle utilizes multiterrain selection and locking rear differential to traverse difficult areas and even obstacles. One of the top names in off-road travel, the Toyota 4Runner can take whatever you throw at it.

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AHEAD OF THE CURVE // BEST CARS OF 2017 BEST SPORTS CAR PORSCHE 911R MSRP $184,900

The rumor is that this will be the last 911 with a manual gearbox, and boy did Porsche decide to go out with a bang. This 6-speed manual transmission beast is able to top out with 500 horsepower, and drives like a throwback to the glory days of the Porsche GT sports cars. This is a high-performance vehicle that echoes Porscheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prestigious racing history and is definitely designed for the driving enthusiast. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ditched the rear seats and gone with a carbon fiber hood and polycarbonate rear windows, which makes for a very light, aggressive vehicle. This is a car built to recreate that thrill of that first time you got into a fast car and gunned it.

BEST CROSSOVER LEXUS NX STARTING AT $35,085

The Lexus NX is ideal for family road trips, showcasing plenty of room, a convenient remote touchpad, and a high-resolution navigation system. Families will also be drawn to the excellent safety features, including rain-sensing wipers, a blind spot monitor, and lane departure alert. These features all come at an affordable price, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking for a quality crossover. While it may be ideal for family travel, the NX also brings the power, with a 235 horsepower and 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. A great option for families and commuters alike, the Lexus NX is truly a game-changer.

BEST TRUCK TOYOTA TACOMA STARTING AT $24,120

This choice might raise some eyebrows. Look, we get it; if you use a truck for work or live in a rural location, you would be hard pressed to find a better truck than the Ford F-150. However, for many people who live and work in a city, finding parking for a large truck can be cumbersome. The Tacoma represents the best of both worlds, where you have the versatility and hauling capabilities of a truck in a much more manageable city-friendly size. The legendary 3.5 liter V6, 280 horsepower engine, along with off-road capabilities, ensure you aren't sacrificing anything with this smaller pickup.

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I would really like to see materials improve to be more eco-friendly and eliminate the need for so much resin. If we could come up with a material that could be fabricated to have different characteristics depending on what type of skiing we want to do with a 3D printer, then we could build any characteristic into a ski quickly.

HITTING THE SLOPES WITH PRO SKIER PEP FUJAS

PEP TALKS By Anthony Elio

With wintertime in full swing, there’s a season full of snow sports to enjoy. And pro athlete Pep Fujas is no stranger to ripping through powder. An experienced skier, Pep Fujas has been hitting the slopes for years, leading to entries in the X Games and numerous awards. His talents have been well-documented, as he has starred in over 20 films and plenty of online videos showcasing his abilities. Additionally, he is participating in the Alta Steep Skiing Camp in February alongside fellow pro skier Kim Reichhelm. We asked Pep a few questions about social media, what inspires him, and new technology that could improve his craft.

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Inspiration usually comes before I’m actually skiing, but of course it’s necessary to be proactive with the terrain you are faced with. Different bumps and rolls, waves, and terrain features are what allow for inspiring different moves, from pressing to turning, smearing, arcing, airing, tapping, dragging, etc.


The K2 Marksman ski has an asymmetric outer profile, which essentially designates one ski per foot. The core profile of this ski integrates a dual density technology called double-barrel where the interior wood is light, while the outer is more durable and strong. Combined, the two woods work in conjunction to create an optimally weighted, playful, yet ready-to-charge ski.

I really like most outdoor activities that challenge my body and mind. These days, I mostly rock climb, mountain bike, and hike,since my activity time has been limited.

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THE SCIENCE OF SKILL

By Charles Warner

“I HAD TO RETRAIN MY BRAIN AND BODY TO INTUITIVELY KNOW WHERE TO POINT THE BARREL…” What is it that makes masters of their craft that much better than the rest of the field? Are the best of the best in athletics, art, performance, and so on simply born with superior talent? Or is there a neurological, scientific recipe for excellence? To find out, I traveled just outside of Houston, Texas, where Mossbergrecommended sport shooting experts Vicki and Gil Ash deliver unique lessons that, when combined with specific drills to train the brain, can supposedly turn anyone into a great sport shooter. The Ashes are well-known in the sport shooting community. Together, they’ve trained

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thousands through personal lessons, group classes, and seminars. They’re also the editors of Sporting Clays Magazine, and have together produced nine books and six instructional DVDs. Recently, these two experts of the OSP school teamed up with Mossberg to design a shotgun that works with their training system. When I first met Vicki and Gil, I quickly learned what makes shooting clay pigeons so tricky. You have to teach your brain to point the barrel of your shotgun not at the clay pigeon, but at where it’s going. This is not normal. When I was trained to shoot in the U.S. Army, the targets were often stationary. There was a direct relationship between aiming down the barrel, using a sight, breathing, and squeezing

the trigger. Sport shooting, as Vicki and Gil explained it, throws many of these techniques right out the window. In fact, I had to retrain my brain and body to intuitively know where to point the barrel based on the airborne pigeon’s trajectory. You can’t look down the barrel or try to guess where the target is going, as that’s a guaranteed miss. To score a hit, Vicki and Gil told me, you have to tap into the broadband part of your brain, the part that unconsciously performs with excellence – the part neurologically developed by repeated drills. They also mention something called myelin. In his critically acclaimed book on the science


“HOWEVER, I HAD TO REMIND MYSELF THAT THIS WAS A NEW SKILL, AND TO LEARN IT, I NEEDED TO COMPLETELY SURRENDER TO MY TEACHERS, TRUST IN THEIR TECHNIQUE, AND, YES, FAIL. ”

of mastery, The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle explains the concept of deep practice. “Deep practice,” Coyle writes, “is a deliberate and focused effort to improve, a targeted effort that allows for a biological process called myelination to accelerate the growth of skill.” But what exactly is myelination? And how does it help us learn? Coyle discusses how, as humans, everything we do “is a precisely timed electric signal traveling through a chain of neurons – a circuit of nerve fibers. Myelin is the insulation that wraps these nerve fibers and increases signal strength, speed, and accuracy. The more we fire a particular circuit, the more myelin optimizes that circuit, and the stronger, faster, and more fluent our movements and thoughts become." Thus, according to Coyle, whom Vicki and Gil cite during their lessons, greatness isn’t born; it’s grown. But in order to develop my skills as a sport shooter, I didn’t just have to teach my brain through deep practice and drills; I had to fail. And fail a lot I did. As Coyle writes, part of the learning process often involves “the feeling… of being a staggering baby, of intently, clumsily lurching toward a goal and toppling over. It’s a wobbly, discomfiting sensation that any sensible person would instinctively seek to avoid.” Then again, if we all sought to avoid it, we’d all be crawling in one way or

another. Failure is necessary, according to science. In order to build up myelin and achieve a higher level of expertise, one must trip and fall first. It’s the old idiom of “one step at a time” given biological validation. And so failure, combined with deep practice and constant self-evaluation, is the way to get better faster. You cannot achieve excellence without experiencing the pain of failure, and without understanding why that pain is important.

with the coaches over lunch about how I had it all figured out. Soon, though, I was back at square one and couldn’t hit anything. I was overthinking, using what Coyle likens to the copper wire of the brain, rather than the broadband circuitry that deep practice helps to generate. I was in my head, not tapping into my newly acquired skills and training.

However, I had to remind myself that this was a new skill, and, to learn it, I needed to completely surrender to my teachers, trust in their technique, and, yes, fail. With their gentle but firm corrective coaching (and with a few breaks to let my arm rest), I trudged back through the muddy range to take some more shots.

I had to be okay with this though, with more failure. I’m a competitive person, and learning something new has never been comfortable for me. In fact, it’s downright offensive. However, by drilling and building up the ability for my brain to work using the broadband and not the copper wire, I created a foundation where I could begin to have sustained, relative success. When I tried to think and use the obvious, previous way of shooting, I was terrible. It took some more coaching from Vicki to get me feeling comfortable again and to trust my new training, and, before we left the range, I was hitting the targets again with decent accuracy.

Then something seemingly miraculous happened. My shots were no longer way ahead of the pigeons, or way behind them. I watched as the little clay discs exploded. My confidence grew. I felt like I finally had this down, like I had already reached the level of expertise I’d sought from the beginning. I even started to get a bit cocky – talking

“There is, biologically speaking, no substitute for attentive repetition,” Coyle claims. “Nothing you can do – talking, thinking, reading, imagining – is more effective in building skill than executing the action, firing the impulse down the nerve fiber, fixing errors, honing the circuit.” I couldn’t agree more.

I squeezed shell after shell through the barrel of that Mossberg 930 and missed time and time again. I couldn’t help but be frustrated. When I served in the Army, I was an expert marksman, but here I was, missing clay pigeons – by a lot.

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FOR JON LEVY, ADVENTURE CALLS AT 2AM By Billy Brown

Adventure may seem spontaneous, but if you know what you’re doing, it’s no accident. We spoke to human behavioral scientist Jon Levy, author of The 2 AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure, about his most memorable adventures, and what others can do to add more adventure to their lives. I&T Today: What’s the basic premise of The 2AM Principle? Jon Levy: The 2AM Principle is that nothing good happens after 2AM, except for the most EPIC experiences of our lives. It is the science of adventure, the science of how to ensure that experiences like a night out are incredible, rather than ordinary. I&T Today: Can you describe the four stages you mention in your book? JL: Most people think that adventures happen by chance, that it’s pure luck. If that were true, we’d all live similarly exciting lives – but we don’t. That means that some people embody characteristics that make their lives exciting. My research was to figure out what that was. What I discovered was that every adventure follows a four-stage process. Each stage has specific characteristics that make life exciting. The first stage, Establish, is about putting the right elements in place, so that anything can happen (not that it will). The most important [thing in this stage] is the people you participate with. The right group of people can make a terrible party fun, but the wrong group of people can make the best experience absolutely terrible. Another example is selecting the right location, ideally somewhere you have not been before. Your brain operates

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differently in new environments than those that are familiar, increasing the chances of having a remarkable time. The second stage, Push Boundaries, is essential to any adventure. You must be willing to go outside your comfort zone. Without growth you can’t have adventure. The true gift of adventure is that you become a more experienced person with expanded skills. You have to cross some sort of social, physical, or emotional boundary. This may mean you convince a bouncer to let you into a private party or embarrass your friends by serenading a stranger on the train. In the third stage you Increase or maximize the emotional value from the location that you’re in. That might mean you use challenges to create competition, entertain people with great stories or activities, or even leverage intrigue or surprises. The fourth and final stage is Continue. During this stage, you decide if you are going on somewhere else or if you are going to End with Style. There’s a set of rules that decide if you move on to the next location. If you do, you restart the process. But, if it is not in your best interest to continue, it is essential that you End with Style. The reason is that human beings don’t remember the duration of pleasure or pain. They put a disproportionate value on how an experience ends. If you let the experience deteriorate, you’ll remember it negatively or less positively. Ending on a good note will ensure that you maximize the enjoyment of the experience and how it is remembered. It will also increase your likelihood of participating again.


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Whether you’re camping, snowboarding, or even mountain climbing, you’ll want to take some cutting edge supplies to make your adventure safer, more fun, and extremely memorable. K2 Joy Driver Snowboard – For aggressive riders that love to carve and charge, the K2 Joy Driver can take on tough mountains and be pushed to its limit. Lightweight and easy to maneuver, this snowboard is best for backcountry snowboarding. $650

Lululemon Stay Puff Parka – A ski jacket may not be enough to take on the slopes. This parka provides an additional layer to maintain warmth, while staying light and breathable. It can also be stuffed into its hood to create a pillow to use for naps. $498

Uvex Snowstrike VT Goggles – These goggles take 1/10th of a second to tint, so you'll never be blinded by the sun, or snow, on the slopes ever again. You can also change the color of the lenses with a single touch of a button. $499

Olympus Tough TG 870 -The Olympus Tough TG 870 lives up to its name, with durability that can keep up with all your outdoor activities by standing up to freezing cold, heavy impact, and even water damage. $279

PakPod – Weighing less than a pound, PakPod is water-resistant and enables you to take pictures anywhere. Independent, swiveling legs and a onehanded locking mechanism allow for the PakPod to be staked into or onto anything. $99 60

INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


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CYBER SCARLETT JOHANSSON TALKS ACTING, TECH, AND IN GHOSTTHE SHELL

By Paul French

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Science fiction is said to hold a mirror to the present – with stories escorting us into fantasies and futures still rooted in reality. And, if this is true, one might think sci-fi wouldn’t have much staying power – that after each decade we would cast off the old commentary and never give it another glance. However, since Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818, the genre has been home to classics that, because of their narrative richness or technological foresight, remain relevant today.

here in your upcoming film Ghost in the Shell, you’re once again starring as an artificially intelligent character. How did you prepare for this role and can you cite any specific influences?

Case in point: Ghost in the Shell, a Japanese comic originally published almost 30 years ago, with a story that depicts a world of people both connected and disconnected through their technology, and one in which cyber terrorism is one of the most dominant threats.

SJ: It is complicated, but she’s experienced a sort of loss of identity, and this film is as much about her search for a cyber terrorist as it is about her search for the truth about herself. Her own identity, her past…the experiences that have been taken away from her.

Scheduled for release in March of 2017, Paramount’s live action adaptation of the popular manga and anime has already been making headlines, in no small part because of leading star and highestgrossing actress of all time, Scarlett Johansson. The most striking thing about Johansson is her charisma. While not the quality some would cite first, it’s that aura of intelligence, selfawareness, and subtlety that makes Johansson more of a classic Hollywood beauty than a momentary bombshell. And, likewise, her filmography reflects an investment in characters more obsessed with quests of personal fulfillment and self-discovery than superficial glamour. Johansson’s role as The Major in Ghost in the Shell is no different, as beneath the film’s cyberpunk action, there’s a deeply character-driven story – one that, Johansson claims, is especially relatable in today’s world. Innovation & Tech Today: In one of your most memorable performances, you played the digital assistant Samantha in the film Her, and

Scarlett Johansson: Well, I wouldn’t say my character is actually an AI character because she has a human brain. She’s sort of a cyborg, I guess you would say. I didn’t have any influences really. I think it’d be sort of an impossible character to be influenced because she’s, you know, a person who's experienced – well, she’s both a person and not [laughs]. I&T Today: It’s complicated.

I&T Today: Here you are, an empowered female main character in a futuristic police surveillance state where everyone is connected through technology. Dare I ask, Why now? What drew you to this role and what do you think makes its themes particularly relevant today? SJ: I think oftentimes when we see the future, it’s portrayed in a dystopian way and other times it seems sort of sterile and characterless. I think Rupert’s [Rupert Sanders, the director] idea of the future is one that is a lot more realistic, or at least based in some kind of realism. I think it shows a society that is very much disconnected as a result of how connected they are. And, I think also of course, you see different characters in the film – people in general – having these sort of cyber-enhancements to make their lives easier. But, in a way, some of the characters in the film, certainly my character and also Pilou Asbæk’s character Batou, who is very much human, express longing for just everyday life as it was, or as they either remember experiencing it. And it seems like a conversation that is echoed in the discourse today. It seems like a conversation I have with friends of mine where we kind of yearn for the good old days where you could actually just get on the phone and call somebody, and not have to decipher a text message or wait for an email. I watch my friends

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kind of struggle with what the appropriate email etiquette is. I think we all sort of yearn for a time when everything was more to the point, more visceral and real. I&T Today: I know what you mean. There are protocols and standards that we have to follow, and it does seem a little impersonal at times. SJ: It seems like Rupert’s idea of the future is one that has both beautiful possibilities and also sort of a disconnect. But, y’know, I really loved Rupert’s vision for this project. I mean, when I saw the anime it seemed like it would be a challenge to kind of fill it out. I didn’t necessarily get from it exactly what the full picture of this character’s experience was. And the script kind of followed the anime and was more plot driven. It was hard to get a feel for how the character was going to drive this story. And Rupert and I really talked about this as a kind of coming of age story, a sort of a loss of innocence, which I hope comes across in the film. Of course, there was plenty of action. The world is explosive and it’s visually intoxicating, which is what the audience is expecting. But probably what they’re not expecting, which hopefully will take them by pleasant surprise, is that this is

really a character-driven story, and really the story of one woman’s journey to understanding herself and accepting herself. I&T Today: The anime is very sophisticated, and it does seem to have an emphasis on mystery and conflicted characters. I noticed that this is a recurring theme for you. Looking through your filmography, we see a lot of rebels, misfits, skeptics, and black sheep who are often given power (Black Widow, your character in Under the Skin, Lucy, and now The Major with Ghost in the Shell). Is there a conscious attraction between you and this kind of role? SJ: Gosh, I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it I guess. Perhaps subconsciously there is some kind of connection with these characters that are trying to carve a different story for themselves, perhaps, than what’s expected of them. I’m interested in characters that are curious about themselves, and I think that because of that I’ve often played characters that are on this particular journey of self. I hope to always play characters that are questioning their own destiny and characters that fight against the status quo, I guess. [ Continues on Page 66 ]

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gaming+Entertainment I&T Today: I know cybersecurity is an important component here in the film. More and more movies are incorporating cyber security as a plot device (and, of course, it’s topical). Do you think this will continue to be an obsession in cinema and, if so, why? SJ: Well, I think so, because it’s topical like you said and it’s a good threat. It has a good threat component. It’s a powerful threatening component in any of these stories, like the total takeover. I think as we realize how vulnerable we are, how dependent we’ve become on, whatever you want to call it, cyber intelligence. I can barely like operate a Blackberry. But I think we’ve sort of suddenly, in the past couple years, gone, “Oh, wait, there’s a dark side to this.” I think we, as a society, had been kind of living blissfully and consuming information and also leaving information and have rarely thought about what the long term or even the short term consequences are. And now it’s certainly like it’s really come back. It’s like a beast, seemingly with no end in sight. So I think it will continue to be a trend, definitely. And it certainly works well for plot device. I&T Today: It’s definitely a doubleedged sword. And speaking of that, looking back at your history with acting, there’s a lot of classic theatre experience, like your work in the Tennessee Williams play. Of course, you also play in a lot of big budget films that employ CGI, and I know some actors have talked about struggling with that relationship in the past. You’ll see clips of them in front of blue screens and they’re trying to imagine what’s in front of them. How would you describe your relationship between your art and the new technologies that help facilitate it? SJ: Acting in any kind of a CGI environment doesn't really change the process of acting so much. I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s much different than any other kind of contemporary theatre piece. It

depends on how something is staged. I mean, I remember seeing a production of Our Town not that long ago, and the stage was almost completely bare, just chairs, and that was it. And the whole cast was just in that kind of zone. They were experiencing, probably, a similar thing to how any other actor does in a CGI environment. I don’t think it’s that different. You’re making a kind of unbelievable experience seem believable, I guess And, when you’re really in it and you’re emoting and you’re experiencing the character’s emotional journey, it doesn’t really matter what's in front of you, I guess. You’d be surprised at how you can kind of surprise yourself. And I think, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to suspend disbelief much more easily for some reason. I think, because I’m maybe less self-conscious as an actor, and so I can go far in an environment where in the past I would have felt self-conscious and a little weird. But it doesn’t seem to have so much of a difference, I don't think. I&T Today: I’ve actually never thought of it that way. That Our Town production is a good example. It’s true that you don’t have that many resources really on the stage either. SJ: I mean, you can sometimes. But sometimes you don’t. I remember in that production at the end of the show when they’re cooking the bacon, and all of a sudden they introduce the element of, like, real bacon cooking. And because you smell it, it was so mystical. It was really an amazing experience. It was really a success because I think there was this journey with the characters and kind of just letting their imagination free and trusting the actors to take them where they wanted to go. So when this real element was added, it was pretty powerful. I&T Today: That’s awesome. Well, I know we were talking about this earlier, but from your perspective, do you feel like all this technology in general is making us more connected or less?

[ Continues on Page 78 ]

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JOSH BROLIN

TALKS FIREFIGHTING, MARVEL SUPER HEROES, AND THE GOONIES By John Gaudiosi

Josh Brolin has been a Hollywood staple since his big screen debut in The Goonies. While that film’s long-awaited sequel is stalled in the pipeline, Brolin is keeping busy. The actor plays real-life elite firefighter Eric Marsh in the September 2017 release Granite Mountain, which tells the story of the Yarnell Hill wildfire tragedy in Prescott, Arizona that claimed the lives of 19 crew members. He’s also returning to the role of Matt Graver in another story based on true events, Soldado, the sequel to the 2015 film Sicario that focuses on the drug war on the U.S.Mexico border. And he’s reteaming with directors Joel and Ethan Coen for the 2017 release Suburbicon, a 1950s dark comedy that focuses on a home invasion gone wrong. Having played everyone from President George W. Bush (W.) to real-life Hollywood “fixer” Eddie Mannix (Hail, Caesar!), Brolin is reprising his role as Thanos in the 2018 Marvel superhero movie, Avengers: Infinity War. The actor discusses his own experience as a firefighter, why he’s given into geek culture, and even offers his two cents on The Goonies 2 in this interview.

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Innovation & Tech Today: Can you talk about your connection with firefighters? Josh Brolin: I’m doing a role right now where I like the character [Eric Marsh]. I don’t love him, but I like him. But I love what the movie represents. It’s about the Yarnell Hill fire tragedy. I have a real personal relationship with the firefighting industry and profession. I was a volunteer firefighter back when I was doing The Young Riders when I was 20, 21, 22. I didn’t tell them because it was totally wrong that I was actually fighting structural fires when I was working on a series. I shouldn’t have been doing it, obviously, but I did it because I felt like it, and I really appreciated my time with those guys. The camaraderie was something that I never experienced before, and it had a massive impact on me. So when this movie [Granite Mountain] came along I didn’t particularly love the script, but I loved the story and I loved that community. So we brought some writers in and we changed it up and I feel really, really good about it now. It’s something that’s very personal to me. I&T Today: What’s it like for you to officially be part of the Marvel Universe as Thanos? JB: I love it, man, because I think five years ago I would have shied away from it more. But there’s something about maturing,


there’s something about embracing this thing that I do, which is always trying to play down being in the movie industry or whatever. There was always an embarrassment to it. Like an embarrassment of riches, even though there was no money…I’ve gotten to a place where I really enjoy not necessarily what I do, but I love the art of storytelling, which is a very interesting art and skill set. And there’s something very elusive and magical about it. It can really fall on its face or it can be an incredible experience, and I embrace that more than I ever have. And in any medium, whether it be theater, or movies, or a short film by a kid or whatever. These Marvel guys have done this amazing thing of getting really into the storytelling. Mark Ruffalo is a buddy of mine and I saw [ Jeremy] Renner after he did The Hurt Locker and really hit it – even though he had been around for a long time. And these really great directors like Louis D’Esposito and Kevin Feige are getting all these incredible actors to do these Marvel movies and that’s so smart. And these are real geeks, man. These guys are going out in Palm Springs and renting a house and doing barbecues and just talking about what Thanos may do next. It’s really cool. I’m totally embracing the nerd factor. I’m really like that myself and in everything else. I&T Today: Well, nerds are cool now, right? JB: Apparently. That’s the thing. I must be a nerd now, or [I’ve] embraced it because I don’t care. I’m just in this place where I don’t care how I’m defined. It just doesn’t matter to me anymore. I just love people who are [passionate], do you know what I mean? I&T Today: Speaking of nerds, there’s a huge fan base that’s still waiting for Goonies to return. JB: I remember him [Richard Donner] saying it would focus on the kids of these Goonies. Well, of course it would. That’s just kind of obvious, but what would the parents be doing? The more I think about it, the funnier it seems to me. I don’t think there’s any reason to do it because why do you want to taint the original? We’ve already done it with so many movies and tainted the original movie with something that’s not even close to being as good or as iconic. But it sure is fun talking about it, isn’t it? WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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GAMING WRAP-UP:

BEST GAMES OF 2016 Battlefield 1 (Electronic Arts/DICE, PC, PS4, Xbox One) – After exploring World War II and modern warfare across many sequels, developer DICE has gone back to the beginning with this World War I shooter. The studio has proven its ability to create giant virtual battlefields over the past 14 games. For this 15th installment (don't let the name fool you) in the bestselling franchise, up to 64 players can fight using vintage weapons, tanks, and planes. The First World War introduces brand new vehicles and combat opportunities, all of which are highlighted through a six-part campaign mode that has an interesting story and serves as a great tutorial for the multiplayer experience. In a way, by stepping back in time, DICE has moved forward in gameplay innovation. And there’s no other game like Battlefield 1 out there.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Activision/Infinity Ward, PC, PS4, Xbox One) – Activision has three separate studios developing new Call of Duty games across three unique storylines. Developer Infinity Ward is taking the action to outer space with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The game’s campaign mode introduces the evil Settlement Defense Front, a corporation led by Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington, which has turned to outer space in search of resources while blockading Earthbound production. Players step into the boots of Nick Reyes and get to fight both on the ground and in outer space in massive dogfights straight out of Star Wars. In addition to one of the more memorable storylines, this game also offers an addictive 1980sset zombies cooperative multiplayer mode that takes place in a Spaceland theme park. And, of course, there’s traditional team-based multiplayer combat, which doesn’t focus on the spaceships.

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By John Gaudiosi Although the video game industry has done a great job of spreading cheer year-round with big new game releases, the holidays remain the best time of year for gamers. This year is especially noteworthy, with the launch of two new 4K gaming consoles (Microsoft Xbox One S and Sony PlayStation 4 Pro), the first console virtual reality platform (PlayStation VR), and a cool new retro plug-in (NES Classic Edition). But at the end of the day, it’s the games that matter. And below are five games you simply can’t go wrong buying.


Forza Horizon 3 (Microsoft/Playground Games, PC, Xbox One) – Buckle up and get ready for an open road thrill ride across Australia. Microsoft’s Forza racing brand is so big that it encompasses two games. While Forza 6 is all about realistic simulation driving excitement, Forza Horizon 3 focuses on just having fun while exploring new locales. In this case, that includes real-life places like Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Yarra Valley, and, of course, the Outback. You can race solo or hook up with three friends (across Xbox One and Windows 10 PC through cross-platform play) to take in the campaign mode. There are over 350 vehicles to find in barns or buy in auctions, including the Lamborghini Centenario, the Dodge Viper ACR and the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor race truck (part of a continuing partnership between Ford and Microsoft). Everything is customizable, from the vehicles to your in-game avatar.

Steep (Ubisoft/Ubisoft Annecy, PC, Xbox One, PS4) – It’s been a while since gamers could hit the virtual slopes. Ubisoft, which previously worked with Shaun White on a series of snowboarding games, has taken a different approach with this open world extreme sports game. Set in the Alps, players can ski, snowboard, paraglide, or fly with a wingsuit, taking in the action in either a first-person or third-person perspective. The game’s been designed as an open online world, which means those slopes and mountain skies are populated with real players – and you can have real crashes. Of course, any extreme sports game is built upon a trick system, and there are plenty of amazing feats to capture with the in-game GoPro cameras. This game’s been crafted for different play styles. Two of those play styles focus on tricks, with the Bone Collector offering rewards for outlandish stunts and crashes and the Freestyler focusing on the precision and accuracy of tricks. There’s also an Explorer style with rewards for unlocking new areas to shred and the Freerider style, which combines everything into one epic experience.

Civilization VI (2K/Firaxis, PC) – For a quarter century, developer Sid Meier has been sharing his love of history through addictive turn-based strategy video games. While the PC remains the focal point for this franchise, it has expanded to mobile and tablet devices in recent years to help broaden its audience. In a Christmas season flooded with violent first-person shooters, Civilization allows players to establish cities and build an empire by raising armies, developing science, growing culture, and fostering diplomacy through government, trade, and even religion. Players can build out a variety of civilizations across time, including England, America, Brazil, Arabia, the Aztecs, and Egypt. This is a thinking man’s franchise, and definitely the best game to date from Meier’s team, from its amazing visuals to its more engaging and robust gameplay experience. WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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By John Gaudiosi

Sony and Microsoft are changing with the times. With the steep drop in pricing of Ultra HD (or 4K) TVs, early adopters are upgrading from their HD TVs in droves. And the first thing anyone who’s upgraded is looking for is 4K content. While every Hollywood movie is automatically available in 4K (either on an Ultra HD Blu-ray or via streaming), traditional TV networks have been slower to adapt. So that leaves video games as a key asset both for those who have already upgraded to 4K, and as an incentive for those on the fence to know they’ll have something to show off on their brand new TV. The leading game console, the new PlayStation 4 Pro, is getting a mid-life upgrade, and has been designed for 4K gaming. The $400 console comes with extra horsepower under the

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hood, as Sony has more than doubled the GPU (graphics processing unit) power of the standard PS4. The original PS4 is still being sold as a $300 gaming device for HDTVs. This means all games will receive a visual upgrade when played on a 4K TV, and specific games are being designed to really take advantage of all that extra processing power. Even 1080p HDTV owners will see a boost in frame rate and gameplay, although the real eye candy occurs on 4K TVs with HDR. There’s also another upgrade that both the PS4 Pro and the original PS4 are offering – HDR (high dynamic range). A free firmware upgrade has turned every Sony current generation machine into a device that more accurately brings the contrast, brightness, and colors to life in games – as long as you have a 4K

TV with HDR support (most 4K TVs do support HDR). This means that you can still get a visual upgrade without buying a PS4 Pro, but the PS4 Pro really raises the bar in bringing console game worlds like Rise of the Tomb Raider, FIFA 17, and Horizon: Zero Dawn closer to the experience PC gamers have enjoyed for the past year (on 4K monitors). John Koller, vice president of marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment, said higher graphical fidelity has always been a baseline requirement for many gamers, and there is an expectation that the gaming industry will supply the most advanced level of graphics with current consoles. “The interesting trend over the past 12-18 months has been the sheer growth of 4K TVs,” Koller said. “As costs have decreased and


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consumer demand has increased, more graphically rich content is launching to take advantage of the technology.”

Shawn Layden said over 90% of PS4 owners stream all entertainment content, rather than use Blu-ray discs.

Koller said the PS4 Pro is designed as a 4K entertainment and gaming system that will provide incredibly rich graphical experiences unmatched in the current console space — heightening the experiences for both 4K TV and 1080p HD TV owners.

Microsoft’s Xbox One S ($300) takes a different approach with 4K content. The new console is essentially an Xbox One with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and HDR support. It doesn’t come with additional power inside the box. But those looking for an Ultra HD Blu-ray player will find a bargain in the Xbox One S, given that stand-alone players can cost $300.

The PS4 Pro also opens the door for Netflix and YouTube content in 4K, but the console sticks with the original Blu-ray disc and not the new Ultra HD Blu-ray that Hollywood has been releasing new movies like Ghostbusters, Warcraft, and The Magnificent Seven on. Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Chairman

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I’ve gone hands-on with both the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro. I have both consoles connected to Samsung’s flagship $3,000 65-inch curved screen 4K HDR TV. When watching sports like college football and the NFL, you can see the

divots on the grass of Lambeau Field. When watching 4K programming like the NBC Summer Olympics from Rio 16, it’s like looking through a window at the swimming pools’ blue (and sometimes green) water. The exciting thing about 4K gaming is that it's just the beginning. Just as games made the leap from SD to HD and never looked back, they’re now entering 4K. And developers are being incentivized to take advantage of 4K on consoles by Sony (and soon, Microsoft). The fact that many games are also being developed for Windows 10 makes it easier for studios to shoot high for visuals and then translate that to the 4K gaming consoles, while offering a scaleddown experience for those who don’t yet want to make the investment in 4K.


Experiencing Virtual Reality using the smartphones you already own and love—and have already paid for—offers a way into the VR gaming world that doesn’t involve clunky, pricey, standalone headsets. Mobile VR platforms not only provide better value, but also take the user into a new world anytime, anywhere. Mattel has emerged as one of the leaders in mobile VR by rebooting its classic View-Master for today’s smartphones. The wireless, easy-to-set-up headset works with most iOS and Android phones to bring users into an immersive virtual world. They can dive underwater to swim with penguins, encounter massive dinosaurs in their natural habitats, or even fly the legendary Batwing to help Batman save Gotham from The Joker. The VR Experiences can be downloaded digitally as apps or purchased as physical packs. The headset has also been named the best viewer for Google Cardboard apps, which means users can access hundreds of Experiences on the Cardboard platform. The new View-Master Deluxe Viewer has been streamlined to make it more ergonomic and to anchor smartphones more securely than its previous VR headset. An expanded field of view and a focus wheel that allows users to bring images into focus provide enhanced optics, and headphone compatibility brings players even deeper into their virtual world. At $40 for the Deluxe viewer and $9.99-$12.99 for its Experience Packs, View-Master Virtual Reality is a great, simple way to enter the mobile VR space - and all without the $1000 price tag.

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Art &

Instagram’s Queen of Art By Peter Gietl

Christine McConnell is an artist who is so talented and original, she transcends any simple definition. She is as adept with paint and photography as she is with baking and decorating; and these mediums usually end up colliding in spectacular ways. Humor and horror sublimely coexist in her work, as incredible (and it should be noted edible) cakes intersect with gothic themes, classic movies, retro style, and gorgeous photography. She has also become well known for embracing outlets like Reddit and Instagram to showcase her work. We caught up with her to discuss how technology and art interact and why she’s excited for the future. Her new cookbook Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad! is on sale now and you can follow her on Instagram @christinehmcconnell.

Can you tell us a little more about your background as an artist? I started fiddling around with photography when I was 19. Everything just slowly built, I didn’t go to school for any of this. Somehow I started doing artistic projects like decorating and baking, and I would always photograph it. And I got more and more inspired by movies I was watching, so I started telling a story with the art and photography merging.

Which mediums do you primarily work in? I get kind of bored doing the same thing, so I’m always toying with new and different things. I like baking, painting decorating. There isn’t one that I prefer over any other although photography is the coolest just because you can manipulate a lot.

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Your art seems to have retro stylistic elements, but you have utilized very 21st-century outlets like Instagram and Reddit to find an audience. How do you see that working together? Everything I do, I do because I’m genuinely excited and like doing it, and having mediums to share that stuff is what makes me as well known as I currently am. A friend of mine bothered me to start an Instagram account, and in my mind, I saw it as just another young person technology. Finally I made an account and it’s really been a catalyst for people seeing my work and being able to easily share it.


Why are you a huge fan of Reddit? Reddit is my #1 favorite website; my brother convinced me to start putting my work on there. The funny thing about Reddit: it is no holds barred when it comes to what people are going to say to you. So if you don’t have a thick skin it can be a super scary place. I feel like that level of criticism actually helps me as an artist because people are brutally honest. It kind of feels like hanging out with a really funny older brother.

How do you see technology and art intersecting? I think it works so well together. Any kind of technological advancement makes what you do as an artist better. I just spent two days learning Adobe After Affects. After watching like 90 YouTube videos I was able to create a cool, moving image. It’s the coolest thing ever is what my opinion is, and whenever people say ‘technology is killing this or that’, they’re being ridiculous.

Are you excited for the future of technology? Totally. The thing I’m saddest about is that I don’t get to see how crazy it’s going to get. Because I’m telling you we’ve only just begun creating these incredible devices. In 2000 years it’s going to be amazing. I feel like artificial intelligence is realistically possible… at some point I think they’re going to figure that out.

How do you create those stunning cakes? I draft up an idea first and then I create complementary flavors, and I’ll bake the main components. Everything has to be kept insanely cold; otherwise it would fall apart.

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actively talking and then suddenly disconnect without any warning – you usually figure out that they were busted within 20 minutes to a few hours of the raid. Depending on your relationship with the individual, the arrest can range from hilarious to terrifying. The one feeling I’ve always experienced in these types of situations is a certain sense of connectedness shared between the internet and the real world that I don’t usually acknowledge. There’s no better way to understand that everything you do online is still part of the same physical world than having the realization that someone you knew was just taken into federal custody for doing something stupid on the internet. One of the most memorable arrests for me was that of Ryan Cleary.1 Ryan was about 20 and was also a pretty huge deal in “the scene” at the time. I knew Ryan somewhat well and liked him a lot, mostly because of his love for eagerly destroying anything or anyone on the internet that he saw fit. In real life, Ryan was extremely autistic; he apparently rarely left his bedroom in his mom’s basement, which may explain the online aggression to some degree. Nonetheless, Ryan’s attacks against the MPAA, the U.K.’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, and the British Phonographic Industry, among others, were instrumental to the success of Anonymous’ Operation Payback. I was on his network when he was arrested in June of 2011, which caused a good deal of panic – mostly a fear that the governments of the Western worlds were finally closing in on these pesky hacker groups (and they were).

FINAL DAYS Following the arrests of most LulzSec, AnonOps, and other major Anonymous members and cohorts in 20112012, Anonymous as a whole began dying out. The skilled hackers were gone, and nobody wanted to fill their places for fear of another federal crackdown. There are still active Anonymous groups, and AnonOps is being run once again (by whom I have no idea), but it seems unlikely that Anonymous will ever attain the same infamous status they had during the Payback/LulzSec era. People might also just be giving up on the idea that any web-based group could trigger a social revolution, since, realistically, not much came of Anonymous’ efforts. It did show that we live in a society in which thousands of misguided young people are willing to dedicate their lives to a hacker group they thought they’d find some kind of fulfillment in, and that there are people just as willing to manipulate this group to their advantage. That’s the real story. Anonymous was not some mythical group of vigilantes righting the world’s wrongs. Just some lonely kids looking for a real connection in a digital world. 1Ed. Note: Ryan Cleary was arrested on child pornography charges in 2011. He was convicted, and later released in 2013.

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CYBER SCARLETT [ Continued from Page 66 ]

[ Continued from Page 40]

THE TRUE FACES OF ANONYMOUS. THE TWO FACES OF ANONYMOUS.

SJ: I think it’s both, you know, I mean I talk to people that use…I don’t have any social media, and I don’t really know how to use it so I’m probably, well, I guess I have a different perspective because of that, but I look at people like my mom, who’s on Facebook or whatever, and she has had enormous success finding people she probably really never thought she’d ever see again, and kind of reconnecting with them. And you know, that element of it is awesome. Personally, if I haven’t known somebody up until this point, my argument is I don’t want to hear from you [laughs]. I mean, I’m curious, but not that curious. I guess I keep my close friends pretty close, and I don’t know if that’s it. But for some people, it’s awesome. You know, it truly gives them pools to reach out to…people that share their life with relatives across the country or people in the armed forces. FaceTime. I mean, how many marriages has that saved? In other ways, the idea of being able to be whoever you want to be and never really having to fail exactly or showing whatever parts of your life that you want everybody to see. The facade of an existence you can have, create for yourself online, is… I think it’s strange. That element of it is very dark to me. We’re disconnected from each other because they’re disconnected from themselves. And the reality is the life that they’re living, that they can be living, can be unhealthy and have many negative effects on general relationships.

I&T Today: It’s liberating but there is a kind of a constant escapism there that can be problematic for a lot of people. SJ: Yeah, I think escapism is definitely important. Hell, I’m in the industry that is, I think, the most successful at it and thank God for it. I love to be entertained, and to – gosh, it’s great to step into a dark theatre and get away for a couple of hours. But you have to actually be proactive and go to a theatre and buy a ticket and sit down and shut off. And the fact that you have a device and you’re both dealing with real life and fake life at the same time. And sometimes you can be having a really visceral conversation with somebody on your device and simultaneously living this other life that feels just as real. It’s strange. It’s a lot for the future generations to navigate, and I wonder what will happen. I&T Today: I’d hate to finish up what has been an intriguing discussion of technology and film with a softball question, but it wouldn’t be an interview without one. So what’s your favorite movie robot of all time? SJ: [laughs] My favorite movie robot of all time? I would probably have to say the Terminator, I guess. I&T Today: That’s an excellent choice. SJ: Yeah, [laughs] gotta go with the Terminator. Yeah, I mean, I don’t even think it’s a contest.


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The Lighter Side

A Grand Statement By Rob Mills

To mark my 30th trip around the sun, I resolved to once and for all quit tobacco. Also: hunt down my credit score, own simultaneous pairs of brown shoes, and socialize. My employment status (freelancing from my living room) and lifestyle (no comment) suit my disposition – remote. Many of my childhood hours were spent alone, and as an adult I want neither the commute nor the contrived cordiality of corporate careering. Work-life balance? My apartment’s amenities feature books, Rosetta Stone, and a chin-up bar. I just watched Donnie Darko, then had a banana, and did laundry. Made perfect sense to me. Sure. I’m profoundly lonely. So I called around and recently reconnected (drank) with an old buddy. Enjoyed some good laughs. As is the new normal, when his girlfriend came up in conversation, the next thing to do was to take out the phone and show her off. Battery waning, he asked if he could use my phone. No sweat. I drew my Samsung Gusto flip phone out of my pocket.

I may have smirked at him. I don’t remember. He called me a tool, to which I cocked my head. “You’re just doing it,” he explained (“it” meaning owning a flip phone, I guess), “to make a statement, and it’s boring.” “What statement?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he said, "but you’re the writer. I’m sure it’s grand.” My Irish-Catholic parents had tried to raise me as they’d been raised (in the 1950s). They regulated and/or prohibited video games, music, television. The blockade on computers wasn’t lifted until 2004. Theirs, like many other old-fashioned parenting strategies, spawned an individual at once both impeccable and bizarre — I learned my letters, stayed fit, and appreciated interpersonal communication. But I was AWOL from AOL, MySpace, and Gen-Y in general. In my senior year of prep school in Danvers, MA, I could count on one hand everyone I knew, including myself, without a phone. Friends by that point had long been addressing me as John Proctor, Arthur Miller’s pious protagonist in The Crucible whose real-life counterpart was hanged for witchcraft one town over in 1692.

Rob Mills has made around $1,150 working as a writer in Boston.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

Then, for my 18th birthday, my parents graced me with my very first cell phone. And, less than a month later, I was adjusting the settings on my very first girlfriend. I was like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber discovering the moon landing. So now I’m a millennial who, for the most part, doesn’t know Periscope from Pinstagram. Good, right? Except I’m more akin to my 90 year-old grandmother than to my sister born five years after me. In preserving that old-school sociability so many experts believe social media has taken from us, I’d forsaken something else: society. Like the Giant Panda, rather than evolve, I’d prefer to eat bamboo alone and starve. I think that’s what’s going on here. Beyond the range of my comfort zone’s router, there awaits a hell of other people, and unsecured networks. Well, that’s the last time I reconnect with old friends for a while. In the meantime, got a couple OKCupid dates in the pipeline. Don’t much care for the PC interface, but the app is just so impersonal, and I don’t meet many women at work.


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contents

WINTER 2016

44 Cover Story: Kevin Hart Ventures into Tech by James Dern

4 Business Innovations VR for Non-Gamers by Liam Kivirist 6 The History of CES 8 Innovation in the USA 10 Top 50 Most Innovative Products: Business

12 Health Tech CRISPR, The Science of Gene Editing 14 Apps for Keeping Your Resolution 16 Traveling Off the Grid 18 Top 50 Most Innovative Products: Health in Partnership with the USA Science & Engineering Festival 22 STEM Today Produced 

Exploring the Power of CERN by Ashlyn Stewart and Peter Gietl 28 Derek Muller and YouTube Education

34 Sustainability Today

Produced in Partnership with Sustainable Brands

Justin Wren, An Unlikely Champion by Peter Gietl 38 Bill McKibben’s War for the World 40 The 49ers Go Green

42 Gaming & Entertainment with Section Editor John Gaudiosi

Cutting the Cord 48 Resident Evil’s Finale 49 Top 50 Most Innovative Products: Gaming

22 Exploring The Power of CERN

50 Home Automation IoT (In)Security by Andrew Janson

56 Tech Zone: Louisville 62 J  obs of the Future, Jobs of Today presented by DeVry Bootcamp 66 T  op 50 Most Innovative Products (cont’d) 2

INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


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Businesspowered Innovations by

VR for Non-Gamers A Reality of Profit

By Liam Kivirist

A New Frontier in Business Over the last few years, consumer virtual reality (VR) has exploded. Of course, much of what fueled VR’s rise must be credited to the hardcore gamers seeking entertainment on the cutting edge of the industry. Historically, consumers seeking entertainment outside of the norm have fueled many emerging technologies. Now, however, companies beyond the realms of movies, music, and gaming are rapidly developing software to harness the power of VR. VR has the potential to cause a massive shift in the business landscape. And with new applications that range from helping medical patients with paranoia to allowing employees to walk into the lobby of a building before it even exists, it seems that we’ve only scratched the surface of VR’s use in the business world.

Touring Before Construction “I’ve always been alarmed by how often clients who have invested millions of dollars in a new building are surprised when they visit a construction site the first time,” explains Jon Brouchoud, both an architect and the founder and owner of Arch Virtual. Brouchoud’s company develops VR experiences for businesses to help their clients visualize architecture projects before construction. “They didn’t realize how high the ceiling would be, or how small their office would be. It’s impossible for most people to look at a static illustration or blueprints and truly understand what the building will actually look like,” Brouchoud, whose clients include U.S. Bank, ExxonMobil, and the Sacramento Kings, explains. “In fact, many times we’re told by a client that our VR model is inaccurate, only to find that they were completely misreading the blueprints and the VR model helped them

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


thorough understanding of each problem.”

fears

VR can also be used to help treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a major struggle for many veterans returning home. According to research from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, as many as 18% of veterans from Iraq are expected to develop PTSD after their return. But researcher Skip Rizzo, a psychologist at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, is working to combat PTSD with the immersive capabilities of VR and new methods of exposure therapy. According to research captured in Rizzo’s 2010 study, 16 out of the 20 veterans suffering from PTSD who participated in his research experienced a reduction in symptoms.

Virtual Real Estate “The real estate market is ripe for virtual reality technology,” observes Gordon Meyer, Director of Marketing at YouVisit. With one of the largest VR video and photo production teams in the world, YouVisit owns and produces content for its own online VR video platform used by Carnival Cruises and Harvard University. YouVisit now plays host to a diverse catalog of immersive VR real estate videos, photos, and tours that allow a homebuyer to experience a potential home before ever setting foot in it. understand what the building would actually look like.”

Transformational Medical Treatment Another intriguing example of VR outside the realm of gaming is cognitive therapy, the method of having patients with certain phobias gradually expose themselves to the fear and then be challenged to overcome them. By combining VR with cognitive therapy, this new approach has been shown to be effective at helping patients confront and learn to deal with their fears. “We first used virtual reality to assess paranoia,” says Daniel Freeman, professor of clinical psychology and a researcher with the National Institute of Health Research. “Paranoia is when people have unfounded

about others being hostile. The premise was that VR could be used to present feared situations and that patients could relearn that they are safe.” His premise turned out to be spot on. “We certainly detected paranoia in VR, and showed that it was most likely to occur in those who have such thinking in their day-to-day lives,” explains Freeman who, with a colleague, started his research on paranoia in VR about fifteen years ago. “Over the next decade we used VR to understand the causes of paranoia. During this time, we also began to use VR in the treatment of paranoia. VR has the potential to be transformational in the treatment of mental health problems, but it is important that the content is developed based upon a

“While images and videos can help real estate agents market a property, they won’t give prospective buyers the full experience,” notes Meyer. “This flat content glosses over the details that matter most to home buyers. With its ability to completely immerse viewers in a specific property, virtual reality enables buyers to get a full 360-degree view before they even step foot in the door.” “Overall, having virtual reality experiences for a property makes for happier, more informed home buyers,” says Meyer. “In the end, this allows them to virtually visit more homes and apartments – only committing to traveling to the ones that are at the top of their list.” Liam Kivirist is a Senior Writer for Innovation and Tech Today and Founder of TechSocket.net. WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

5


Businesspowered Innovations by

CES

Since its advent in New York City back in 1967, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has served as a compass needle to direct attendees and the press toward the next big trends in tech (as you can see in the timeline below). And, with connected car technology and even autonomous robot butlers in the works (ask Mark Zuckerberg), looking to the future has never been more exciting. Here are just a few highlights of the numerous innovations CES has showcased over the years that have taken the public, and popular culture, by storm.

A HISTORY AND A FUTURE

Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) Laserdisc Player

CES Debuts

Satellite Radio

1967

1974 1970

1996

2000

1981

1998

High Definition Television Videocassette Recorder (VCR) Camcorder & Compact Disc Player

THE PRICE OF TECH: THEN vs NOW VCRs

Camcorders

HDTVs (55")

Blu-Ray Players

ORIGINAL COST:

ORIGINAL COST:

ORIGINAL COST:

$1,500

$8,000

ORIGINAL COST:

$1,280 2016 DOLLARS:

2016 DOLLARS:

2016 DOLLARS:

$7,974.56

$3,988.93

$11,864.00

TODAY’S COST:

TODAY’S COST:

TODAY’S COST:

A dollar? Want ours?

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

$200

$300

$1,000 2016 DOLLARS:

$1,313.74 TODAY’S COST:

$50

Inflation & 2016 Dollars calculated via www.usinflationcalculator.com


3D HDTV

Ultra HDTV, Flexible OLED, Driverless Car Technology

Microsoft Xbox & Plasma TV

2001

2009 2003

2015

2013 2010

4K UHD, Virtual Reality, Unmanned Systems

2014

Tablets, Netbooks and Android Devices

3D Printers, Sensor Technology, Curved UHD, Wearable Technologies

Blu-ray DVD & HDTV DVR

Looking at the milestones above, we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but wonder what will debut next. Whatever is released will no doubt make waves of some kind, as the last event recorded over 150,000 attendees, along with 6,000 members of the media (including us). CES 2017 will be held during Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas. You can visit www.innotechtoday.com for full coverage of the event. Innovation & Tech Today is an official media partner of CES WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

7


Businesspowered Innovations by

Being American and Buying American By Anthony Elio It’s hard not to associate a sense of nationalism and pride with the American business spirit. “Buy American” is a resounding imperative in the consumer market. After all, 80% of Americans claim that they would prefer to purchase American-made products over their foreign-made competition. But what are the positives of buying American-made products? Well, for many people, it comes down to job creation. According to the Alliance For American Manufacturing, 200,000 jobs would be created if every American would spend just $64 a year on products made in this country. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, there are a few inherent issues. While many companies may use their U.S. manufacturing as a selling point, there are still others that will falsely claim their products are made here, despite being against government standards. While the Federal Trade Commision is against labeling any product that isn’t honest about its origins, they don’t monitor every single item that’s manufactured. While some companies will falsely use the “Made In America” label, others have found ways around it. Tech giant Apple circumvents the issue altogether by claiming their products are “designed by Apple in California.” However, the actual construction of those products mostly occurs in China. People no doubt love products that are built in this country. And more than half say they’d be willing to pay more for products created in the U.S. So what happened to the five million manufacturing jobs that have disappeared since the millennium? While some of the job loss is due to the

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

outsourcing of work to other countries, the impact of technology on different occupations cannot be ignored. In fact, a report by Forrester claims that 16% of U.S. jobs will be replaced by technology by the year 2025.

Products Made in the USA Luraco Massage Chairs

Strangely enough, while technology is replacing those jobs, it is also the reason for many occupations. For the last 20 years, the manufacturing of technology such as computers and electronics is responsible for nearly 50% of the development of U.S. manufacturing work. Additionally, while Forrester predicts the loss of that work, we will also get 9% of those jobs back, as these machines will create work of their own; they will still require human employees to monitor them and manage data.

Mac Pro

While technology definitely complicates the future of many jobs (especially when it comes to manufacturing) there will still be a desire to keep as much manufacturing in the U.S. as possible. After all, even though technology can technically take many jobs away, it can also provide many new ones. Even though not everything will be made by human hands in the future, those robotic manufacturers will create jobs of their own. This means that buying products made in this country would still support the national workforce. Although not everyone is totally honest about their manufacturing origins, there are still ways to make sure what you buy was made in this country. Checking for a country of origin marking is a definite way to see whether the product you’re looking at is, in fact, imported. Because all products coming in from other countries require such identification, you should be able to immediately tell if you’re buying American or not.

Duraflame Logs

Pyrex Glassware

Intel Chips


Cameras Are Ditching the Mirror Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILCs) are probably new to you unless you’re more familiar with the art of photography than the average Joe. This year marks the eighth anniversary of the first mirrorless camera, and in those eight years they have a come far enough to be viable alternatives to standard DSLRs, offering similar image quality and comparable prices at all levels.

that directs the image into the viewfinder. In MILCs, that mirror is not there, and the optical viewfinder is replaced with a digital one.

In DSLRs, there’s a mirror in front of the sensor

A great example of a new mirrorless camera is

MILCs can actually offer some benefits over traditional DSLRs. For one, a MILC can be smaller than a DSLR because it doesn’t need the extra space for the mirror. Secondly, because MILCs use only one sensor, they can have more accurate and more consistent autofocusing.

FUJIFILM’s GFX 50S, set to be released in early 2017. This camera will have an astonishing 51.4MP sensor, which attests to its quality. The GFX 50S will also be lighter and more compact than similar mirrored models, and, while the digital viewfinder may be seen as a small disadvantage to some (primarily because of the lag that often accompanies them), FUJIFILM is using it advantageously by making it possible to remove and refit the viewfinder at any angle using an optional accessory.


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C1M1 Dual Path Communicator – Built for quick contact, the C1M1

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Wurf Board – Helping you improve your posture and blood flow while you work, the Wurf Board is the perfect exercise mat for users of standing desks. The design of the Wurf Board allows you to burn up to 32% more calories while increasing your personal focus throughout the workday. $269

Portal – This next generation consumer Wi-Fi router system offers superior speed, reliability, and complete coverage in the most congested environments, such as apartments and dorms. $200

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Handpresso Wild Hybrid – While portability and drinking espresso don’t always go hand in hand, the Handpresso Wild Hybrid allows you to get your caffeine fix anywhere you go. $130


TECHNOWOOD. A durable, sturdy and attractive cosmetic wood alternative that won’t degrade even in harsh outdoor conditions. Years of intensive R&D efforts, coupled with technological advancements within the industry, have allowed TECHNOWOOD to become a reality. We combine aluminum with GRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyester) to form a robust structural frame. We then apply a natural wood coating to provide the appearance of natural wood. The result is a product that has the refined warm look of wood yet the durable characteristics of aluminum. TECHNOWOOD affords architects more flexibility and creativity in their designs. Once impractical applications of cosmetic wood—particularly in outdoor conditions where the sun, heat, cold and humidity punish allwood materials—are now all within the realm of possibility.

Advantages. Las Ventajas Very low expansion coefficient. La coeficiencia de dilatación es muy baja.

Corrosion resistant. Resistente a la corrosión.

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Light compared to lot of material. Es mas ligera a comparación de otras materiales

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A2 non flammable class. clase A2 a prueba de agua

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Health Tech

The Ethics of CRISPR and Genetic Manipulation By Andrew Janson In the not-so-distant future, humanity is still imperfect. But there is one thing we’ve gotten down pat: the ability to ensure that babies are always born with the best traits possible. You no longer need braces to achieve a bright, even smile, and life-threatening illnesses that keep us down now have all but disappeared. If this sounds familiar, then you may be a fan of the 1997 film Gattaca, an imagining of a eugenicsdriven society and the “genetic discrimination” that might follow. The widespread institution of more human rights (and subsequent abandon of eugenics practices) following World War II has made it highly unlikely that Gattaca will ever be a reflection of our society in real life, but that isn’t to say the ability isn’t there. As far back as 1987, researchers have understood that potentially, with the right tools, our DNA – and thus, our genome – could actually be altered. A quick refresher: DNA is a molecule containing the genetic information that encodes certain functions or features (like hair or eye color). These traits are stored in specific regions of DNA strands called genes, and it’s these genes that could potentially give us the godlike ability to alter a person’s features. This is what was initially discovered back in 1987. At roughly the same time that year, researchers in Spain, Japan, and the Netherlands stumbled upon a repeating segment of DNA in

certain bacteria that would later become known as “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” or CRISPRs for short. These clustered parts of DNA are basically just repeating sequences of the bases that make up DNA, followed and preceded by spacer DNA – that is, DNA that doesn’t encode for anything. What research has eventually discovered is that these CRISPR regions are essentially a part of a microbe’s defense mechanism, a “dictionary” of virus DNA that allows the microbe to quickly recognize its enemies based on previous encounters. Additionally, the microbes have other enzymes, called CRISPR associated proteins (Cas), that work alongside the CRISPR regions. If we’re thinking of the CRISPR regions as the strategy, then the Cas enzymes are the execution of that strategy on the battlefield. RNA molecules (which encode the genes in DNA) receive copies of the virus DNA from the CRISPR dictionary, and then drift through the cell with the Cas enzymes. If they encounter a virus, the RNA attaches to it, and the Cas enzymes are able to cut it in half, halting any replication. “Good for the microbes,” you might say. “But how exactly does this relate to Gattaca?” Well, think about how this ability to find and then trim certain regions of DNA might be used. We could potentially engineer certain enzymes to Crystal structure of a CRISPR-associated protein from Thermus thermophilus

12

INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

find a certain gene – the gene that causes baldness, for example – and then cut it out of the DNA strand, creating a person who would likely never have to worry about losing his hair. This level of manipulation is still very far from reality due in large part to the complexity concerning which genes express which traits. But as the techniques and our understanding of the process mature, it isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility that we could eventually end up with an entire generation of intelligent, athletic, and attractive super-humans. Just recently a team of Swedish scientists, led by developmental biologist Fredrik Lanner, successfully edited the genome of a viable twoday-old human embryo (donated by the IVF clinic in Sweden) for the first time. Lanner is primarily interested in learning how embryos develop and how that knowledge might help our treatment of diseases. “If we can understand how these early cells are regulated in the actual embryo,” he told NPR, “this knowledge will help us in the future to treat patients with diabetes, or Parkinson’s, or different types of blindness and other diseases.” Besides the complexity of the science, the CRISPR system is also wildly inaccurate. But, even if it wasn’t, and we could use it to cure disease or ensure certain positive traits, several new dilemmas arise. First, just because we can

CRISPR associated protein Cas2


make these changes, should we? Second, what issues might we encounter concerning the future rights of people whose genes were edited? And third, is there any possibility that these “designer babies” would be treated differently in society? In researching this article, I had the opportunity to speak with University of Oxford Professor of Practical Ethics Julian Savulescu, and Chris Gyngell, Marie Curie Research Fellow, about some of these concerns. According to them, the answer to the first question is yes – at least as long as the use is solely in pursuit of eventually being able to correct and prevent genetic disorders (like diabetes, heart disease, or schizophrenia, to name a few). “Nature is not fair or equal,” they wrote in our correspondence. “Gene editing offers the opportunity to correct natural inequality. Where this improves people's lives, increases their wellbeing, we should do it…We should correct the social determinants of "ill-being" but we should also, in principle, address the biological contribution.” This kind of sentiment is common amongst researchers looking into the ethics surrounding gene editing. In an article in Nature, Edward Lanphier, president and CEO of Sangamo BioSciences and chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, and his colleagues agreed that despite certain risks for future generations of

gene edited humans, the benefits from using CRISPR to preemptively treat certain diseases would be plentiful.

from being unable to distinguish from these IVF

But that still doesn’t account for the individual and societal repercussions that could affect individuals with edited genes. While Professor Savulescu and Gyngell stated that there is no issue of consent for the budding embryo (likening it to performing necessary heart surgery on an infant), they did hold that the consent of the parents is still important. However, we should aim to strike a balance between what the parents want and the well-being of the embryo and the person they will become. This balance would hopefully combat the “instrumentalizating of the child for the parents' own interests or desires,” as Savulescu and Gyngell put it.

normal, and Savulescu and Gyngell contend that

But what about the future life of that child? Would there actually be some stratification on the basis that certain people have perfected genes? Savulescu and Gyngell think not. “It is impossible to predict how this technology (or any other novel technology) will affect society in the long term,” they told me. “But it seems to us very unlikely to lead to these kinds of social problems.” They made a comparison to children who are being born now from in vitro fertilizations, pointing out that as a society we could have chosen to single out those children as “test tube babies.” But their point is that we haven’t, and part of that stems

harm children.”

babies and babies that were naturally conceived. In addition to being undetectable, it’s seen as gene editing will become so widespread and intermeshed in our society that we would see it as nothing more than a kind of medical intervention. For them, the most pressing problems concern policy rather than ethics, emphasizing the importance of effective regulation to ensure that these technologies are used in morally acceptable ways. “Many jurisdictions around the world lack regulations covering reproductive technologies,” they said. “Fertility clinics [could] be set up that offer customised gene edits that are not safe and There’s no doubt that the CRISPR/Cas system could have significant positive impact on human life, especially when it comes to treating diseases that would traditionally be incurable. In fact, it’s likely that the benefits would far outweigh any potential moral and ethical ramifications. “We should absolutely continue with the research,” Savulescu and Gyngell concluded. “Reproductive applications are a long way off, but we should be excited about any technology which offers us the chance of reducing suffering and disease.” WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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Health Tech

Best Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

By Anthony Elio

Resolutions are not easy to keep. At this point, in fact, dropping them is so expected that it’s a cliché. While going vegetarian may seem easy on December 31, that loaded bacon breakfast burrito will look pretty good come New Year’s morning. However, there are some fantastic apps out there to help you stick to the plan. These are some of the best ones we’ve found. DUOLINGO Everyone wants to start the year with an open mind. What better way to embrace some new knowledge this year than to learn an entirely new language? Presenting everything in an approachable and visual manner, Duolingo allows you to begin learning new languages one day at a time. While you stay on a schedule with the app, you can also control how much time you’d like to spend. With the ability to choose everything from Casual (five minutes a day) to Insane (20 minutes a day), Duolingo allows you to take simple courses to get you ready for that big trip to Italy. And, speaking of…

TRIPIT TRAVEL ORGANIZER No matter where your dream vacation is, everyone needs to get away and recharge their batteries. If you spent most of the year taking staycations, the TripIt app is the perfect way to chase away your stir-craziness. TripIt allows you to keep your whole travel itinerary in one convenient place. All you need to do is add your destination, planned dates, and a description. From there, you can organize everything from flight info to lodging and fun activities. The app can also be used for business trips, but, let’s be honest, it’s more fun to think of the vacation aspects.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

GOODBUDGET While most resolutions will involve eating right or exercising, spending less has also become a popular New Year’s promise. If you’re looking to spend 2017 with a heavier wallet, you may want to consider enforcing your resolution with a budgeting app like Goodbudget. The application combines two things you would never think go together, simplicity and budgeting. Allowing you to utilize different “envelopes” that represent costs, such as groceries and rent, Goodbudget is a one-stop shop for planning your financial year. And, to help you even further with that resolution, the app is totally free.

WORKOUT TRAINER A fitness tracking app such as Skimble Inc’s Workout Trainer is a great way to help keep those running shoes in use. After providing some basic information, such as fitness goals and current habits, Workout Trainer makes the experience totally your own. You choose how frequently you want to work out and which workouts you’d like to do. From there, the app reminds you when to exercise and provides you with various routines and workout statistics. What’s particularly impressive about the Workout Trainer app is the sheer number of categories available. With yoga, cardio, and even rock climbing routines, this app will help you work off those Halloween/Thanksgiving/ Christmas goodies.


U.S. OLYMPIC NATIONAL MEDICAL CENTER


Health Tech

On the Road, By Michele Bigler

When it comes to technology, I’m a late bloomer. In spite of the fact that I grew up alongside the technological revolution, I spent a significant amount of time in the suburban Kansas woods after school while other kids were running home to chat on AOL or MSN. Later on, I silently boycotted Facebook until I finally decided to hush everyone’s persistent nagging to join. I am fascinated by our ability to access massive amounts of information at the touch of a fingertip or share a glass of wine with a friend halfway around the world. I am also frightened by it. This fear stems from the fact that, as our communication and connectivity reaches its peak, we seem to be growing farther apart. We’re all too familiar with the image of couples, families, and friends out to dinner staring at their phones. It has become the norm; we have grown accustomed to constant communication and the very apps that have been designed to connect us are increasingly encouraging isolation. I recently embarked on an unplugged journey around the world. This trip of self-discovery quickly progressed into a pursuit of conscious

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

detachment from technology. I rented out my place, threw some essentials in a backpack, and decided to leave my phone at home. This was, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made.

Disconnecting in modern times proves to be quite the challenging task, especially when on the road. There’s the whole question of booking flights, finding accommodation, itineraries, visas, so on and so forth. I opted to shy away from completely going rogue and bought a keyboard for my iPad, taking it along with the lofty aspiration of writing a novel (and reading a dozen others). Before my departure, I informed my loved ones that I would be unreachable and promised a postcard here and there. With that, I secured freedom from purposeless chit-chat and recorded a message on my voicemail officially declaring myself “off the grid.” The trip around the world commenced with a quick introduction to India via the Golden Triangle and then proceeded to an ashram in the holy city of Rishikesh. Although Wi-Fi was readily available in most locations, I had chosen the

alternative route and refrained from using my iPad during the month stay. I had signed up to delve into the tradition of yoga and that involved cleansing my body of toxins, both physically and mentally. While some of my fellow travelers remained connected and frequently frustrated by the power outages and feeble internet connection, others embraced the liberty of detachment. When you aren’t busy scrolling through news feeds or silly cat videos (which are always fun, don’t get me wrong), you realize that you can engage in conversation with the shopkeeper, speak to the table next to you, or maybe find yourself with a silly smile painted on your face singing Beatles songs with a group of strangers at 3AM – at least I did. By going off the grid I discovered that the world becomes more tangible as face-to-face interaction replaces a screen. The release from a rectangular device sharpened my awareness and led to eating fresh cookies bought on the street with Lalta, a little boy who walked miles from his village every day to sell flowers on the river bank. Lalta’s heart melted mine as we talked about life


Off the Grid

and I drew maps of the world for him. We would set a time and he would meet me there every afternoon with a bowl of flowers as a present. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much, but he still insisted on gifting the flowers. He loved to swim and we would jump in the Ganga River to cool off. The month passed by in the blink of an eye. As time dissolved, I was infinitely transformed. I found myself listening to others instead of simply waiting to respond or escape. My eyes began to notice details: leaves blowing in the breeze, families frolicking in the river, and people helping each other. I began to perceive features unnoticed by the distracted eye, and I truly appreciated the blend of hues in the sunsets instead of enhancing them with Instagram. If technology allows us to travel through space and time, disconnecting permits us to fully participate in the moment.

The experience led to a temporary rejection of social media. I found myself with the familiar desire to abstain from plugging back in and exiting my newfound bubble of serenity. I was well aware of the tsunami of messages and headlines that would flood my state of clarity. Nonetheless, I

wanted to stay in touch with the people who had filled my soul during that month. A part of me missed my family, and I knew I had to make a conscious effort to find an equilibrium between both worlds. So I left for the ghost town of Goa during the summer monsoon and gradually reconnected to the cyber world. The impact was shocking to say the least. After a few days, I became more aware of my own gradual dependency on the devices I had

lived so well without. Eventually, I began to see it with a begrudging acceptance. The fact that I was able to maintain contact with those who had embarked on that journey with me, write about it, and share it with my friends, all while continuing my personal training via e-books, online forums, and communities, was enriching. Perhaps while sharing that glass of wine with someone halfway around the world, we can find something to toast after all. WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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The economy would seem to agree. According to Thompson Research Group, healthy office furniture represents the fastest growing sub-sector of the $10 billion office furniture industry. They also predict that within the next five years, worker and employer demand could grow the segment to one-third of the entire office furniture industry. The next step in what’s to come will be seen this January in Las Vegas, where Schenk and LifeSpan will be unveiling their latest developments, including brand new bike desks. “We’re driven to allow our consumers to embrace healthy, fundamentally-human motion.” he says, “And to do so seamlessly in highly-efficient, professional environments. We’re making substantial leaps forward for the working experience. Come join the movement.” ■

It really has been amazing. It’s a game changer. Salesforce, CEO Marc Benioff

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SMASHING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICS CERN looks to shed light on mass, dark matter, and other dimensions By Ashlyn Stewart & Peter Gietl

Buried nearly 570 feet beneath the ground and stretching over 17 miles on the idyllic French-Swiss border, lies the largest, most powerful machine that humanity has ever produced. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator of unparalleled size and scope that seeks to shed light on some of the greatest mysteries of the universe. By firing protons at nearly the speed of light and crashing them into each other, discoveries relating to the nature of the Big Bang, dark matter, and even parallel universes have begun to emerge. Renowned for its discovery of the Higgs boson particle, the LHC and the scientists who run it are on the forefront of physics in the modern era. The Large Hadron Collider was built by the European Organization of Nuclear Research or in French Conseil EuropĂŠen pour la Recherche NuclĂŠaire (CERN), and is a collaboration

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

between over 10,000 engineers and scientists from over 100 different countries. With a reported cost of over $13.5 billion, it is one of the most expensive scientific endeavors in human history, and the scale of the project is sometimes difficult to even comprehend. Thousands of the brightest minds undertook a project to expand our knowledge of our universe, and the results of the project are only recently being understood. This super collider, the largest machine in the world, contains over 9,500 super-magnets that are over 100,000 times stronger than the gravitational pull of Earth, while seven massive detectors, some over 45 feet high and weighing 28,000 lbs., record data from the experiments. This data encompasses thousands of terabytes and has to be sorted by over 170 supercomputer facilities around the world. The experiments smashing lead ions together have


produced temperatures over 100,000 times hotter than the center of the sun. A project of this magnitude will always elicit skepticism and even downright weird theories. That the collider would cause a black hole that could destroy the planet or open a portal to hell are rumors that abound in the less factually rigorous places of the internet. The reality, while not as thrilling, is infinitely more interesting. Innovation & Tech Today recently conducted an onsite tour of the University of Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supercomputers that process CERN data with two of the scientists who work with the LHC in Switzerland. Kevin Stenson, professor of physics, and John Cumalat, professor and physics department chair, were kind enough to sit down for an extended interview in order to help us understand what has come of firing protons across this scientific marvel at exceptionally high energies for over a decade.

HOME OF THE HIGGS CERN made a splash in headlines around the world in 2012 when its scientists finally proved the existence of the elusive Higgs particle. It was discovered simultaneously by two competing teams at CERN: CMS and ATLAS (Stenson and Cumalat are members of the CMS faction). About 3,000 people participated in each experiment, with U.S. researchers comprising about a third of CMS and a quarter of ATLAS. For those of us who are not physicists, it can be hard to comprehend a particle that is so fundamental to our universe. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the Higgs, and the LHC is the only place on Earth that has the capability to measure it. A collection of Higgs particles forms a field that affects all of mass that passes through it in different ways. Some particles drag through the field, and that deceleration increases its mass; other particles shoot right through it, remaining lightweight. One

analogy from Brian Greene, a professor of Theoretical Physics at Columbia, is to think of a ping pong ball submerged in water. If you push on that ping-pong ball, it will feel much more massive than it does if you were to push on it outside of the water. Its interaction with the watery environment, which creates the resistance, has the effect of granting the ping-pong ball mass. The same thing happens with particles submerged in the Higgs field. In short, the Higgs particle explains why different particles have different amounts of mass. In order to produce a Higgs particle in the LHC, protons are sped up to nearly the speed of light, and then smashed together. The resulting explosion creates mass that can then be measured by LHC sensors. Once in every few billion times this experiment is done (at the rate of tens of millions of collisions per second), a Higgs is created. After trillions of iterations of the experiment, the collection of Higgs is great enough

WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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to be statistically significant on a graph. After enough of those graphs, and a fifty-year hunt, the CERN scientists had proven the particle’s existence. The men who initially proposed the particle, François Englert and Peter Higgs, were jointly awarded the Nobel prize in physics in 2013 once their theoretical discovery was finally confirmed by the ATLAS and CMS experiments. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HIGGS For 40 years, physicists have used one theory, known as the Standard Model, which explains

how particles interact with each other in the universe. Basically, it shows how the world around us exists. But there are some phenomena, like dark matter, that the theory does not account for. He said, “It’s a blessing in the sense that we think we really have a good understanding of how the fundamental physics works, and that’s encompassed in the Standard Model, which has been around more-or-less since the early ‘70s...It’s a curse because we...got the theory 40 years ago and all we’ve been doing is proving that it’s right. What we really want to do is prove that it’s wrong.”

The Higgs particle was the last piece needed to complete the Standard Model, which means physicists are now able to go on to their next task of challenging the Standard Model – expanding the theory to include phenomena it can’t explain, including dark matter, dark energy, and the mystery of why we have matter and not antimatter in the universe. Stenson explained that “the Standard Model is an effective theory at low energy, but maybe at higher energy it breaks down. Much like Newton’s theory of gravity worked just fine for understanding how planets orbit and how apples fall from trees, but Einstein’s general theory of relativity moved beyond that theory of gravitation to understand cases where there exists extreme gravity. “We have the Standard Model, which seems to work fine so far, but we’re hoping that if we go to higher and higher energies maybe we’ll produce particles that don’t exist in the Standard Model.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


That would be a great thing,” Stenson said. Higgs resonated in the world outside of CERN as well, in part thanks to a popular science book by Leon Lederman, according to Cumalat. Lederman, a recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics, wrote a book about the quest to find the Higgs called The God Particle. “The interesting part of that story is initially he [Lederman] went to his editor and wanted to call it the ‘Goddamn Particle’ because they couldn’t find it. And they said, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ And so it’s called the God particle,” Cumalat laughs. WHAT’S NEXT FOR CERN: THE SEARCH FOR WIMPS AND PARALLEL UNIVERSES The Higgs might have completed the Standard Model, but that doesn’t mean the work at CERN is over. Now, the ATLAS and CMS experiments are working on Stenson’s aforementioned goal of expanding the Standard Model to explain highenergy phenomena. Part of the quest is to understand dark matter. Stenson says, “there’s a lot of evidence from

cosmology that dark matter exists,” but that physicists know very little about it. “The only thing we know about it is that it interacts gravitationally…[and] it doesn’t have an electric charge,” he said. “It’s not made up of the normal things stars and planets are made up of.” The cutting-edge machinery at CERN allows the scientists to see and measure WIMPs (weakly interacting mass particles theorized to be actual dark matter) by smashing particles together and seeing what matter is missing after the collision. “You add up all the energy in the event and you say, ‘There’s a big hole going this direction. That could be a WIMP,’” Stenson said. Of course, it’s never truly that easy; the missing matter could actually be commonplace neutrinos escaping, or it could only appear to be missing due to a technical issue with the incredibly sensitive equipment. As scientists are learning more about the Higgs and the Standard Model, they are also trying to destroy existing paradigms of physics, to understand how time and space unfold. There has

been a lot of coverage recently of how the Higgs may shed light on parallel universes and the multiverse theory, whereby there are an infinite number of universes. It should be noted that the LHC has not found any evidence as of yet for these theories. However, the fact that they are actively looking for them (and that, if they will be discovered, it will happen at the facility) only adds to the mind warping nature of this work. CONCLUSION Even though the Higgs particle seems too small to truly understand, and the LHC too massive to fathom, Stenson and Cumalat stress that physics is about solving the mysteries in the world around us. “I think all physicists in some sense are reductionists. We’re trying to understand the most fundamental aspects of how the universe works,” Stenson said. The LHC is not simply a team of scientists using flashy equipment to chase after one particle; it’s humanity’s most comprehensive attempt at trying to understand the nature of our universe.

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COMBINING PLAYFULNESS WITH MINDFULNESS If there’s one common theme with childhood, it’s a love of toys and playtime. However, playtime isn’t just taking a break when you’re a child. It’s a way of life. But toys and games can be more than just mindless fun. They can also provide an opportunity to gain important skills at a crucial stage of development. In an attempt to offer more than just the standard children’s toys, one company, ThinkFun, has created a way for kids to combine fun and mindfulness into one activity. A great example of this combination is Brick By Brick, the company’s game that seems simple to the naked eye. The main components of the game are five puzzle pieces and sixty cards. However, the challenge comes from matching the five

differently shaped pieces to mirror the image on the card. Beyond puzzle solving, ThinkFun also offers games involving deductive reasoning. This is best seen with games such as Chocolate Fix, where children must analyze clues to see where they should place the candyshaped toy pieces. Placing the plastic sweets in the right spots will help improve a child’s analytical mind, especially as the complexity increases. In addition to enhancing these skills in an approachable way, the company also plans to use their unique style to teach kids the basics of computer coding. In the world of grown-ups, work and play are so often kept separated. However, being able to combine the two for developing minds is a truly innovative concept. With many puzzles to solve and clues to evaluate, the toy room and the classroom are closer than ever.

A CODING TOY MADE OUT OF WOOD? Toys that help children learn have been around for years. And, as the technology of the average plaything advances, so do the skills children can learn. With the increased popularity of tablet use during playtime, though, many parents fear that their children will experience too much screen time. Enter Cubetto, a wooden robot created to teach children the basics of computer coding. Designed to be used by children as young as three, Cubetto is a completely screen-free way of teaching coding in a fun and interesting way. Playing with this toy is simple. Using a wooden board and different colored “coding” blocks, children can piece together different directions to control Cubetto, allowing them

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

to create their own mini program. For parents wanting to teach their kids basic computer literacy without becoming addicted to tablets and smartphones, Cubetto plays the dual roles of an innovative toy and learning tool. Additionally, its simple design and endearing appearance make it easily accessible to younger children. Created by Primo Toys and backed on Kickstarter, Cubetto is an educational tool that provides plenty of possibilities, especially with additional maps and special challenges. These maps can even turn Cubetto into a mini artist, allowing children to draw by programming the robot’s movements. Considering it’s now used by over 20,000 educators, this new toy has helped to spread knowledge in a fun, simple way.


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Will YouTube Videos Replace Teachers? By Paul French

In Good Will Hunting, there’s a scene where our eponymous working class character confronts a Harvard snob with the hard truth of his pricey education: “You dropped 150 grand on an education you could’ve gotten for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.” The populist notes of the film ring out. There’s a swell of rebellious energy, one that enshrines a few big old American ideals – namely, that knowledge is democratic and that the best thinkers are self-made. And it’s true that, at least in American society, many of the tools of education are free and at our disposal. Right now, in the age of YouTube, we are better equipped than ever to be autodidacts. Want to sit in on a lecture at Harvard? Yale? Done. They’re online. Hundreds of thousands of papers, books, videos, and the means to interpret them can all be found there as well. However, the fact remains: despite the cornucopia of knowledge residing in the media, we aren’t all self-taught genius Will Huntings. In fact, the state of education in this country remains shaky. But why? YouTube star and science educator Derek Muller

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It takes more willpower

or self-control than most people have,” says YouTube star and science educator Derek Muller. “Maybe one out of 100,000 can do it, but it’s not going to change, really, what’s happening in the education system. As we’ve seen, it really hasn’t changed, despite MIT OpenCourseWare, all of this free great education being online. It hasn’t changed the game. And I think we need to look at this with open eyes and say, ‘Why hasn’t it?’”

However, in another experiment, Muller had participants watch a video that was a little more puzzling. Rather than just giving the viewer information about physics, it asked them questions. It sparked a dialogue. The effects of this video were inverted. Participants felt less confident that they knew about the subject, but scored significantly higher on their post-video test, meaning that, through their confusion, through being challenged by an idea, they learned something.

These results, along with others from Muller’s study, help explain why we’re not all professors in the age of free online video courses. As Muller says, “Access to information is not the problem. We had that problem 500 years ago, but it hasn’t been a problem for the last 20, or last 30 years. In the same way, there are fat people out there. There are gyms out there. And there are fat people with gym memberships. The point is that the limiting factor preventing people from not learning is not access to information.”

It’s a question that’s captivated Muller since before he finished his PhD in science education at the University of Sydney. In his thesis, Muller reveals that the pool of research on the effectiveness of multimedia approaches in education (e.g., using videos, interactive websites, graphics, etc.) is pretty shallow. For instance, over the last hundred years, many teachers, students, and businesses have operated under the assumption that a lesson that incorporates different media will always work better than one that doesn’t – that teaching someone a concept through a fun video is infinitely better than teaching someone through a dry lecture. In fact, Thomas Edison predicted that learning through film would replace traditional textbook methods as early as the 1930s. What Muller discovered during his research, though, was that despite decades of believing that multimedia improved education, there wasn’t much actual data to support that conclusion. As Muller says, intuitively the idea that media-enhanced learning would be better makes sense, but then again intuition isn’t the basis for scientific thinking. While preparing his thesis, Muller concocted an experiment to measure just how much people could learn by watching a video about science. In one instance, participants watched a highly accessible, fun video that explained a bit of Newtonian physics. After the video, they reported feeling confident that they understood the concept a lot better than before watching. However, in spite of this confidence, participants’ post-video scores did not differ significantly from their pre-video scores. In other words, they felt smarter because they watched a video about science, but when it came down to it, they were really right back where they started.

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With nearly 4 million subscribers on YouTube, Muller has successfully spread his wealth of knowledge to the masses.


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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY PRESENTS

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isn’t this sensationalism part of the problem when it comes to media-based science education? “It might seem paradoxical,” I tell him, “that, here you are, one of the biggest YouTube science video producers out there, and you’re also somewhat of a skeptic of video education, an advocate of many traditional methods.” “I think it comes down to objective,” Muller replies. “If your objective is to replace teachers to change the school system and all that, overthrow it using steady online curriculum made of videos, it’s just, I think, woefully ineffective.” “Teachers play a fundamental role in education,” he maintains. “You have to know them on a personal basis. You have to be accountable to them. You have to work with them, be inspired by them, get their mentorship. You have to feel like someone cares about you, instead of just slogging away by yourself.”

Through Veritasium, Derek Muller presents approachable visual representations of complex scientific phenomena such as gyroscopic precession.

So, uniquely armed with an understanding of just how video can be used to transmit knowledge, Muller set out on a quest to popularize physics on the internet, with great success. As this is written, Muller’s two Veritasium (a play on veritas, the Latin word for truth) channels have a combined subscriber count of four million. Muller’s videos have many of the trademarks of shareable online content. They’re highenergy, positive, well-produced, and funny. But what separates them from much of the other online content out there is their use of Muller’s research on science video education. That is, instead of hand feeding viewers information about science, Muller’s videos are more contemplative. They make use of a lot of classic, Socratic techniques. In fact, they often begin with a question, like “Why do the most

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venomous species live in the warmest climates on earth?” or “Why are there sometimes spikes on my ice cubes after I freeze them?”

Still, because of his prior research, Muller can claim that video (when used intelligently) can make a difference as a teaching tool: “If you want little nuggets of inspiration, and the spreading of ideas that people have never thought about, then it can serve that purpose very well. I think as long as you’re clear about what your purpose is and that you’re using the attributes of the medium to achieve that.”

Standing before a packed auditorium at this year’s annual NSTA STEM Forum & Expo, Muller was able to get the attention of the entire audience with a fairly humble prop. “What’s going to happen when I drop this?” he asked, holding a slinky out at arm’s length. “Will it all fall at once? Will the top fall before the bottom? Perhaps the bottom will fall before the top? Or maybe the bottom will rise up to the top first?”

Looking through the comments sections (normally a bad idea on YouTube) of several Veritasium videos, what I find more frequently than anything else are questions: “But what if this happens?” “What if you do this next?” Viewers seem genuinely curious, perhaps because they’re genuinely confronted by the new ideas. In this way, Muller’s methods take us back to the root of scientific thinking – the challenge of not knowing – that began for so many of us in the backseat of a car as we asked our parents, “Why?…Why?…Why?”

It’s an experiment featured in several of Veritasium’s viral videos. In one of these (and in true YouTuber fashion), Muller ups the ante by dropping a giant slinky out of the window of a skyscraper (I won’t reveal what happens). It makes for a fantastic effect. But, as discussed,

You can find Derek Muller’s YouTube channel by searching “Veritasium.” Muller is also slated to appear as a correspondent in the new Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World. Our full interview with Muller is available at www.innotechtoday.com


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An Unlikely Champion By Peter Gietl If there is one thing that Americans love, it is a comeback story. Winning can be boring, but winning after failing elicits something very primal in our nature. But life isn’t a Rocky movie; usually the demons of addiction and depression end up destroying a person. There rarely is a made-for-TV ending, the musical montage with the smiling protagonist. Rather, it’s just the simple tragedy of an unfulfilled life. But every once in awhile there is a second chance, and not just the opportunity to win another fight.

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Justin Wren has an imposing presence. At 6ʹ3" and 250 lbs, with long blonde hair and a blonde beard, he looks how you might imagine a Viking. There’s also an unmistakable athleticism to his gait that belongs to a man who’s used to fighting other people for a living. However, the warm smile and an easy demeanor instantly make you feel at ease. I sat down with him and his lovely wife Emily at a restaurant in Denver to learn about how a professional fighter ended up helping the Pygmy population in the Congo. Wren was an all-American champion in wrestling, and later started entering local fights to stay in shape while attending college. This launched a relatively successful MMA career.


His professional record was 10-1 before being picked to be on The Ultimate Fighter, a reality TV show chronicling up and coming fighters in the UFC. Despite this success, the horrors of addiction began to take over Wren’s life. Precipitated by painkillers, the addiction began to manifest in a lot of dark ways. For many elite athletes, what begins with taking highly addictive prescription painkillers, like oxycodone for injuries, spirals into a vicious addiction to alcohol and drugs. “I was a drug addict…I was diagnosed with clinical depression and my life just sucked for a long time even though on the outside things were going great. In that time, I had become a national champion in wrestling a couple times and started fighting professionally, and the drug addiction and depression just got worse every time after I would fight,” Wren tells me. He continued to win fights, but slowly began to reach rock bottom. Hitchhiking through Colorado and staying in drug dens, battling thoughts of suicide, he was as lost as a person can be. Usually this is where a story ends, one more statistic in a country of addicts. But Wren found religion, and it ended up helping him find a purpose to get sober. He’s not a missionary; his faith is actually rather private, but you can tell it definitely gives him strength.

“And so my life really changed … I could skate over it, but, God help me, I started wanting to do something bigger with my life.” So, Wren started volunteering, seeking an outlet to be able to help people and find a purpose after fighting. Wren came across the story of the Pygmy population in the Congo. They are very small people – the average male is only 4ʹ9" tall – who live in remote areas of the jungles. They face horrific treatment by the tribes that surround them, and are enslaved by the neighboring Bantu tribes in a tradition that goes back generations. He decided he had to go visit these people and see if there was a way he could help. What Wren saw would change his life forever. He saw an enslaved population that had no options. He described seeing women carrying 120-pound bags of coal for an entire day, only to

be paid with a scrap of goat meat. He also saw children dying of preventable diseases caused by a lack of clean water. “I even heard they were being cannibalized by the rebel groups around them, thinking they would become invincible in war if they could consume Pygmy flesh because they were looked at as half man, half animal. Lots of superstition and different stuff like that. That’s been confirmed by the United Nations. I’ve met people that have watched family members be cannibalized.” Wren decided that he had to stay and help these people even though it was humanity at its worst. “I went there, met them, fell in love with them, and just felt like I wouldn’t ever be able to go back to my fighting career…It was a better fight. Instead of fighting against a person, I got to fight for people and I loved that because they accepted me into their tribe and village.” Wren decided to start Fight for the Forgotten, an organization dedicated to emancipating the Pygmy population and building clean water infrastructure in these areas. It was difficult to start an organization like this from the ground up. However, he had the advantage of actually living and working with these people for an extended period of time, which gave him a level of insight that many NGOs never experience. This wasn’t some photo op; he actually lived with these people, sleeping on the ground of the twig huts in the jungle and eating their food. WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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There is a dirty secret to a lot of charity work in the Third World, that often well-meaning people and organizations fail to listen to those they are trying to help. They build wells with no plan to maintain them, or try to plan programs that may make sense from a boardroom in LA but that simply don’t work on the ground. By becoming a part of the community, this former fighter was able to recognize what was needed, and how to accomplish it. Wren tells me that he was able to avoid one of the biggest problems with freeing people from slavery: that by purchasing individuals’ freedom you unintentionally end up creating a slave market. Wren was able to avoid this by working with both the Pygmies and the other tribes to create a sustainable solution that wouldn’t just have the Pygmies fall back into slavery. Produced in partnership with

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He explained it to me this way: “We bought back land for a fair price and gave it to the Pygmies. They benefit for having land for the first time, and the masters get the money. Then they both get clean water.”

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The water became one of the key instruments that allowed for emancipation because the other tribes also lacked clean drinking water. By setting up a sustainable source of clean water, the tribes losing their slaves gained a vested interest in negotiating a deal not to enslave their neighbors again. “I’ve seen some of the children pass because of dirty water, and it's the toughest thing I’ve ever been through…And so to be able to come into a community and say both sides are going to have clean water, that means it's going to save lives; it means their kids are going to live.” As his organization expanded, he realized that he needed to involve partners with the experience to grow what he had created. He came across the organization Water4, which specializes in building long lasting wells in Africa. “I emailed every single one of their employees on the website and said, ‘I’m coming up. I’m going to knock on your door. Please train me.’” By partnering with organizations like Water4, Wren built Fight for the Forgotten into a

lean, successful organization. Wren has already established 50 water wells and purchased 3,000 acres on which large numbers of Pygmies now live. Justin Wren has now returned to the ring to bring awareness to a group of people halfway around the world. He’s won his first two fights, but the reality is he’s already a champion. He defeated drugs and alcohol and, in the process of finding himself, he found a voiceless group of people who needed a hero. He beams with pride when he tells me they call him “Efeosa Mangboa,” “the big Pygmy.” He gives all the credit to others with an innate humility. But this is a man who has freed thousands from the horrors of slavery, found faith, and met the love of his life, Emily. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better ending. To get involved with Justin’s cause, please go to www.water4.org/fightfortheforgotten and donate. You can also purchase his book Fight for the Forgotten wherever books are sold. Jasco is also donating 50% of the profits from its Eco Survivor product line to Justin's charity.


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By Paul French

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Perhaps one of the most influential thinkers in the sustainability movement, Bill McKibben has a knack for converting ideology into action. After his seminal book The End of Nature was published in 1989 (appearing in 24 languages to date), McKibben became the figurehead for a panoply of high-profile green missions – with 350.org and its rallies against the Keystone Pipeline being among the most notable. Now that “sustainable” and “green” are mainstream fare – hashtagged and branded endlessly in both the corporate and consumer spheres – it would seem that the movements that bred these buzzwords could cry victory. However, as McKibben notes, we may be worse off than ever. The precipice of climate change, McKibben argued recently in The New Yorker, spells more despair than Nazi Germany did in the late 1930s. Why, then, is it not treated equally as a threat? In this brief exclusive with I&T Today, McKibben elaborates on this war for the world – one that sees us as stewards, not conquerors. Innovation & Tech Today: To the uninitiated, your recent analogy that compares climate change to WWII might seem hyperbolic. How would you respond to this reaction? Bill McKibben: Well, we’ve lost half the ice in the Arctic; and huge swaths of the planet’s coral; the world's oceans are 30% more acidic; and July and August were the hottest months in the history of human civilization, triggering massive fires and floods. So, we’re losing lives and surrendering land. It feels a little like war to me.

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I&T Today: During your decades of work, you’ve collaborated with environmentalists from all over. Do you find that there are certain traits that define the profile of a typical environmentalist? BK: They’re worried about something more than themselves – usually about the future; kids, including their own; other species; the most vulnerable… I&T Today: I’m thinking of the recent pipeline battle at Standing Rock. What, in your opinion, is an environmentalist’s best defense against cynicism? BK: When we fight we often win. That’s the story of the Dakota Pipeline, where Native Americans have shown incredible leadership. It’s the story of Keystone, and of Arctic drilling, and of a dozen other great fights. Big Oil looks invincible, but they’re not. If we have a movement that's large and tough enough, we can change the zeitgeist. I&T Today: What piece of sustainable technology excites you the most? What’s the most promising thing you see on the horizon? BK: The cheap solar panel. That it’s become a commodity item is the most important fact in the battle for the future. I&T Today: Do you have any guilty environmentally-unfriendly pleasures? BK: Well, my main vice in the world is cross-country skiing, and last winter I ended up doing a good bit of it on man-made snow.


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The 49ers Tackle Sustainability By Cyndy Hernandez-Martinez It’s not every day an NFL organization takes on the daunting task of creating a sustainable stadium. Actually, it’s so uncommon that the San Francisco 49ers are the first NFL organization to be awarded two LEED Gold certifications, two years in a row, for their superb work. Levi’s Stadium, one of the first stadiums built with sustainability in mind, was awarded for its improved environmental and human health impact. Instead of boasting about their new stadium, the 49ers have extended a hand of solidarity to other football organizations, in an attempt to share their vision of a clean, sustainable future. Originally, the 49ers’ home was Candlestick Park, which was not built with sustainability in mind. Even so, the 49ers worked around the park’s architectural and building aspects that were not so environmentally friendly. For example, they started a recycling program in the original stadium to reduce waste during games. As you can imagine, waste management is an issue all sports venues deal with, and with the move from Candlestick Park to

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Levi’s Stadium, the 49ers had an opportunity to build a sustainability program from the ground up. Levi’s Stadium has gone as far as growing its own rooftop farm and creating organic dishes for its customers. In the end, according to Jim Mercurio, 49ers vice president, “We were able to design sustainability into our building and operational plans…Not only are we able to divert 63% of our waste to recycling or composting facilities, we also partner with organizations to help our unused prepared food [to be] donated to help people in need.” Unlike sustainability programs where there may be some hesitation or misunderstanding in prioritizing environmental stability, the 49ers did not initially have to skirt around the issue. Those who wanted to participate in the Levi’s Stadium project were committed and understood the importance of being an environmentally friendly stadium. In doing so, the stadium has been able to improve other areas of sustainability outside of waste management. The

efficient use of electricity and water has also been a huge focus, with solar panels installed for green energy use, and water fixtures updated to reduce consumption by 4%, according to Mercurio. Even the air quality has been improved, with state-of-the-art air filters working hard to remove air pollutants. Further, a rooftop farm has been growing at Levi’s Stadium, with over 150 pounds of produce being organically grown and distributed for use in the stadium kitchens. Mercurio says that the organization was initially inspired by the state of California being the national leader in sustainability. Influenced by the state's’ innovations in sustainability, Mercurio said, “Levi’s Stadium has set out to be a conservation leader among sports facilities through the use of clean energy, recycled water, reclaimed wood, sustainable maintenance, and whatever else we can do. We want to show other facilities around the world that it’s worthwhile to be environmentally responsible and that it’s not always cost-prohibitive to do so.”


The winter season is ripe with feasts and celebrations of plenty – from Thanksgiving to Christmas and Hanukah. Indeed, many of America’s winter holiday diet traditions can be traced back to the European Pagans and their practices of the Yule, a time of rest and feasting during the hoary winter solstice. However, in American culture, the theme of abundance is no longer something relegated to the holiday season. With surpluses at an unprecedented high (with 40% of the country’s food wasted annually), it has become an everyday fixture – a cliché with disturbing consequences, as more and more Americans suffer from health problems caused by overeating. In 1975, the USDA reports, the average American consumed 1,999 calories a day. In 2015, that figure rose by to 2,481 calories a day (the recommended calories for men and women are 2,500 and 2,000 respectively). Furthermore, according to the USDA, the U.S. food supply has grown at such a rate that the nation would be able to supply each of its citizens with as much as 4,000 calories a day. That’s with the massive population growth the U.S. has experienced since the disco era: an additional 106 million people.

A Land of Too Much Plenty


By Cyndy Hernandez-Martinez & Anthony Elio

Watching a TV show in 1966 meant you were likely gathered around a television in your family room. Watching a TV show in 2016 could mean you’re streaming on your laptop at a coffee shop, bingewatching on your phone while riding the bus, or picking up your Xbox controller as you launch Netflix. Clearly, 50 years and rapidly growing technology have changed the timehonored tradition of enjoying television programs. Alternative forms of television streaming have moved younger generations away from cable subscriptions and towards broadband subscriptions. The dawn of on-demand streaming content has more than shaken up the world of à la carte television. After all, who wants to channel surf for half an hour to find what you want when an entire series is just a few clicks away? Further, nobody wants to wait an entire week to catch up on an engaging series when you can make a weekend out of it. Last quarter alone, 298,000 cable subscribers ended their service. This is hardly a new trend, as the past few years

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TV IS DEAD. LONG LIVE TV! have seen decreasing numbers of cable users. Cord cutters, however, are still surprisingly in the minority. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why cord cutting isn’t more widespread. Choosing to unsubscribe from cable has been complicated by not only the age of viewership, but also by the viewership’s income, household population, and access to alternative forms of entertainment. As you would expect, the vast majority of cord cutters are millennials. Among television consumers between the ages of 14 and 25, the bulk of TV viewing is done on a computer. Even smartphones are keeping millennials away from cable television, with people between the ages of 18 and 24 spending nearly 40 hours a week on their phones. Addtionally, in 2016, The New York Times reported that those watching television are also multitasking. 84% of the studied population admitted to participating in other activities while watching TV. Featuring their own original content, complete television series, and critically

acclaimed movies, Netflix is the touchstone of cable television alternatives. Meanwhile, services such as Hulu and Amazon Prime attempt to mimic the streaming giant. However, Hulu bears more resemblance to cable television, with ads and recently aired episodes. So what’s the benefit of keeping cable? One main argument would be live sports viewing, something online sources are still catching up with. However, even sports are making their way online, with services such as PlayStation Vue providing a substitute for classic sports bundles. Even social media sites such as Twitter are giving users this option, with Thursday Night Football now streamed on the site. It will be interesting to see how traditional television continues to change over time. It may be too early to conclude that cable television will cease to exist. We like to lament that video killed the radio star, but old media continues to soldier on. Considering that 93% of the population continues to listen to AM/FM radio, cable television might not become extinct as soon as we think.


Whether you watch The Walking Dead, Monday Night Football, or reruns of MASH, you need entertainment in your life. And, while it’s still popular with many sports fans, traditional cable TV can be expensive, leading many people to “cut the cord” and opt for all-online entertainment. This presents an important decision: cut the cord or keep using traditional media? Use our informational flow chart to get the answer.

START NO

Are you under the age of 21?

YES I find television insulting to my intelligence

YES

Cable (n): The way your parents watched TV with commercials. Commercials (n): Advertisements that you can’t skip.

NO

Do you brag about not watching TV? Are you one of those people?

Have you ever seen Walker, Texas Ranger? Television is amazing!

So you don’t watch “TV” but you just watched 13 episodes of House Of Cards yesterday on your laptop, right?

Who is Michael Jordan?

The lead actor from the 1996 intergalactic classic Space Jam?

YES

Michael Jordan was a guard who played for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards with 32,292 career points.

NO So you aspire to Netflix and chill? Thank you for your honesty. Enjoy your artisanal cheese and unicycle.

Cut The Cord You’re part of the 20.4% of people who can go without cable.

Source: http://fortune.com/2016/04/05/household-cable-cord-cutters/

Have you not seen your family for entire weekends in the fall?

Save the Cord - You can keep watching sports without increasing the $5.1 billion revenues of Hulu and Netflix. WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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KEVIN HART ANSWERS THE QUESTION:

WHAT NOW?

THE COMEDY AND FILM STAR REVEALS HIS PLANS TO BECOME A LEADER IN THE TECH WORLD WITH MUZIK.

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W

hile the title of “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” has been thrown around quite a bit, there’s a good case for comedian/actor/producer, and all-around Renaissance man Kevin Hart. Hart, whose stand up comedy career began not too long after his high school graduation, has definitely worked his way up in the world of comedy, and beyond. Case in point, even while juggling several film and comedy projects at once (not to mention his work for the emerging headphone company Muzik), when asked for an interview, Hart was swift to jump on board to share his insights on business, comedy, and his newfound interest in tech. “I’m very humbled and appreciative of what I have been able to accomplish thus far in my career, but I’m also not a person to sit back and be content with what I have. At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, I want the last name Hart to be something my kids will be proud of,” he told us during our interview.

THE ROAD TO SUCCESS As an entertainer and businessman, Hart is definitely no stranger to the entrepreneurial ladder. Before the breakout 2009 release of I’m a Grown Little Man, he spent much of his early career in smaller clubs perfecting his art. During this time, it may have been difficult to see Hart becoming a household name, especially considering he performed as “Lil' Kev The Bastard,” before embracing the more honest persona he’s known for today. With those club shows well in the rearview mirror, Hart will typically play arenas with tens of thousands of people on any given night. In fact, his recent What Now? tour saw him playing such gigantic venues as the New Orleans Superdome, L.A.’s Staples Center, and New York’s Barclays Center – spaces that will rarely host a stand up comedy act. And Hart may be even more recognizable from his roles on the big screen. His film career, which began in earnest with 2002’s Paper Soldiers, has grown into one of back-to-back hits, including the Ride Along franchise and 2015’s Get Hard. However, his most ambitious work may be his cinematic stand up feature What Now?, which showcases a performance at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. While this is unique on its own (it’s the first time a stand up comedian has performed in an NFL stadium), What Now? mixes action, comedy, and standup into one package, with a WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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Bond-esque opening featuring Halle Berry, among other stars. “As my career continues to grow, I feel that each special I do should reflect that same growth. I always try to break ground and do things that no other stand up comedian has done,” Hart said.

to live performances, is responsible for 2013’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, the Kevin Hart Presents standup series, and his recent What Now? tour, listed by Billboard as the highest grossing comedy tour of all time.

And, if you didn’t think dominating the worlds of film and comedy were enough, Hart created his own entertainment company, HartBeat Productions. The company, which produces everything from films and television

In early 2016, Hart playfully announced that he was going to make himself a triple-threat by adding “tech god” to his résumé, as he heralded his partnership with Muzik, a company that creates sophisticated smart headphones.

HART & TECH

Hart trumpeted the collaboration with an endorsement on Facebook, claiming that it has taken him “a long time to find the right tech product to back…because I didn’t want to partner with something or someone that didn’t have the ability to be cutting edge and shake up the world.” “Once I sat with Jason [Hardi, CEO of Muzik] and got to hear his plans to create the first smart headphone and was able to see his vision for other products to come, it was a nobrainer that this would be my first venture into the tech world,” Hart informed us. Considering the quality of projects Muzik Connect has developed so far, it appears Hart has once again made a wise call. As it stands, Muzik is poised to be much more than a basic headphone company. For example, their smart and connected headphones, the Muzik One, are the very first of their kind. As part of his efforts to represent the company, Hart said he plans on attending CES 2017 in Vegas: “I’m excited for the event as a whole. The fact that I’m actually a part of it and have a product that’s been getting great reviews makes it that much better,” Hart said.

FITNESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA As if he didn’t work hard enough, Hart has also become well known for his firm

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[ Continues on Page 74 ]


gaming+Entertainment

RETURNING TO RACCOON CITY

FOR RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER

By John Gaudiosi While Capcom continues to crank out new Resident Evil video games (Resident Evil 7 launches on PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, Xbox One, and PC on Jan. 24, 2017), Sony Pictures is concluding its hexalogy of Resident Evil movies with the Jan. 27 release of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The franchise, which stars Milla Jovovich as Alice and Ali Larter as Claire Redfield, has earned over $915 million at the box office (and should top $1 billion when the final film is tallied into the equation). While the movies are set within the universe of the bestselling survival horror games, director Paul W.S. Anderson, who’s written every film, has crafted original storylines and introduced new characters that interact with more iconic ones from the franchise. “The very first game was set in a mansion in the woods outside of Raccoon City that had this lab which we called “the Hive” underneath it,

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infested with the worst kind of creatures, horrors, and terrors,” Anderson said. “So we’re returning to that. We’re bringing characters both from the video game franchise (with Claire Redfield), and from the film franchise (with Alice). So it’s like the greatest hits, both of the video game franchise and the film franchise.” As each movie has earned more money at the box office, Anderson has had larger budgets to work with to bring more computer-generated creatures to life. “I definitely feel like the monsters are crazier than we’ve ever seen,” star Jovovich said. The Resident Evil movies have succeeded in connecting with both the gaming audience that continues to buy every new video game, as well as action and horror movie fans around the globe. Jovovich’s co-star Larter learned firsthand how popular Claire Redfield was when she starred in her first Resident Evil movie in 2007.

“I don’t think I realized from the beginning the level of loyalty people felt for her and how much they loved her,” Larter said. “But I did know when they came in and brought the red vest and then the red jacket and the red hair...people want her to look like the games. It’s been really fun to play her and people have been so supportive of me over the years…I feel lucky to be a part of this, and sad that it’s come to an end.” Jovovich promises that this is the end of the road for Alice. Of course, given Sony’s penchant for sequels, it’s possible this franchise could continue with different characters. But the core of this franchise’s success has been the one-two punch of real-life husband and wife Anderson and Jovovich, who have brought these films to life as a labor of love. Having met on the original film, they are now are the proud parents of two children – and six movies.


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Microsoft HoloLens – A visual device for both work and fun, the Microsoft HoloLens combines creativity and innovation to utilize “mixed reality.” Unlike virtual reality, the mixed reality of the Microsoft HoloLens combines the world around you with holograms. $3,000

Modulus Media Systems – Premiering at CEDIA 2016, the Modulus is perfect for anyone tired of complicated media setups. The device gives you one main hub to stream music and video content, play DVDs and Blu-Rays, and even upload personal media. $2,899 Nintendo NES Classic Edition – Featuring 30 classic titles from Nintendo’s first home console, the NES Classic Edition is the perfect way to tap into your gaming nostalgia. The compact console features iconic games such as Super Mario Bros. and Final Fantasy. $60 WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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IoT (In)Security sponsored by

By Andrew Janson

Privacy is an increasingly rare commodity, and there is perhaps no better example of that than Insecam.org. There, anyone with an internet connection can view thousands of unsecured video cameras across the globe. Keep in mind that not all cameras are vulnerable; the cameras viewable on Insecam.org are only those without password protection. The key here is to recognize that as we let more and more technology into our lives – especially technology that purports to make our lives easier or safer by being connected to everything – we are also taking the risk that our lives and information may be compromised. It’s no secret that since the smartphone boom of the late ‘00s, the world has become increasingly connected. Our cars seamlessly integrate with our phones, and our phones seamlessly integrate with everything; even our refrigerators can have Wi-Fi connectivity and access to Pandora. All of this comes together to give us the Internet of Things (IoT), a collection of everyday objects that communicate and connect with each other to (supposedly) make our lives easier. And, for the most part, that’s exactly what they do. However, because the IoT is still very much in its formative years, there are undoubtedly unforeseen problems that will only come to light after they’ve been discovered and exploited by the less scrupulous among us. In this case, those problems involve the security of these connected devices and the infrastructure they work to enhance. One of the ultimate goals of the IoT is to usher in a digital era of total wireless-ness, and it’s not difficult to see why. Setting up a dedicated desktop computer tower already

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requires way more cables than anyone wants to deal with, and this extends beyond the cords from the power supply, or the cables that connect our monitors to the device itself. When the time comes to turn on our computer for its maiden boot sequence, it’s nice to be able to plug in a tiny, wireless receiver for our mouse and have instant control over the cursor. Unfortunately, though, that wireless convenience comes with a price. Very recently, a large number of computer mice brands and models were affected by the aptly named “MouseJack” exploit, a firmware vulnerability that allowed attackers to inject keyboard input through the mouse receiver, from up to 100m away. When the mice and keyboard manufacturers were creating the firmware and software for their mice and keyboards, there was no distinction added between what the computer sees as mouse input or keyboard input. Given that there are several mouse/ keyboard combos that use the same receiver to save USB port usage, that line of thinking makes sense, and also perfectly demonstrates the issues with IoT as it is today. “This was curious because these devices are so ubiquitous, and they’re not normally thought of in the IoT realm,” said Balint Seeber, Director of Vulnerability Research at Bastille, a corporate IoT security firm based out of Atlanta. “It’s just

this unusual attack vector, because it seems so innocuous; you’re just using your wireless mouse.” But, he explained, if an attacker has access to the wireless receiver, they could use the command line to execute a script and download malware or otherwise steal data. “We’ve not seen reports of it being used in the wild to perpetrate a real attack,” Seeber said, “but it is nevertheless surprising that these sorts of subtle bugs exist in such a popular product.” If something so common as a computer mouse has such vulnerability, what other devices are there – perhaps newer additions to the IoT realm – that have their own vulnerabilities? As we’ve just seen, one thing to remember is that membership to the Internet of Things is not limited to devices with screens. TechTarget’s IoT Agenda defines the term to include anything that is “provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-tocomputer interaction.” This includes pretty much anything that collects and transmits data largely by itself (including medical monitoring devices or other implantable sensors), or something that claims membership to the growing number of wireless devices (like some computer mice). The iKettle, for instance, is a smart kettle that allows you to start a boil remotely through an app. Supposedly that takes some of the hassle out of making tea. But, because it wasn’t secured, hackers could use a rogue wireless access point with a strong signal (basically a malicious Wi-Fi hub) to trick the kettle into connecting to it instead of the normal Wi-Fi


router. From there, the hacker could access the homeowner’s network login information, which the kettle had stored in plain text. In other words, the iKettle didn’t encrypt any of the important information to which it had access. From there, the hacker could view and access the home Wi-Fi network, where he could perform any number of different hacks on the devices on the network. Similarly, at a hacking conference in 2015, a smart refrigerator was proven to have a vulnerability making its user’s data insecure. By executing a man-in-the-middle attack (which is exactly what it sounds like), a hacker could access the Gmail account information stored in the fridge (which was used to display the calendar on the screen built into the door). And then there was Hello Barbie, a doll that boasted the ability to hold “real” two-way conversations with kids using cloud servers running speech interpretation technology. The system worked by recording a child’s phrase or question and sending the recording to the servers, which would then send a response back that the doll could “say” to the child.

“My understanding was that it turned out to actually be fairly secure,” Director Balint Seeber said. “It wasn’t like there were any gaping holes, like you could program it to spy on the kids that were using it the whole time or anything scary like that…[but] it is kind of concerning in a way that the manufacturers are prioritizing novelty over security.” What happens when that same prioritization of novelty over security occurs in much more important devices? Last year Wired ran a piece about a hacker’s ability to use a flaw in Chrysler’s Uconnect service to remotely control a full-sized car from anywhere, even with someone at the wheel. Shortly after that, a paper was published by a small group of researchers from the University of Southern Alabama detailing their successful denial-of-service (DoS) attack, which is essentially a flood of requests to a server all at once, usually making it crash. In this case, these researchers were able to execute a DoS attack on a pacemaker, effectively “killing” its user: a highly-realistic medical training mannequin.

was one of the primary reasons for investing in smart home technology. As things are now, smart homes merely have the potential to be infiltrated; the likelihood of somebody trying to gain access to your home is fairly low due to a number of factors. First of all, the kinds of smart homes most susceptible to attack are still fairly uncommon. Second, if you actually look at available data, you’ll find that

While this kind of James Bond-esque hack may never actually be used to take out an aging world leader, the dangers of insecure devices are undoubtedly much larger if the devices in question are responsible for keeping someone alive. Our homes, the places that we feel the safest, are also vulnerable. According to iControl’s 2015 State of the Smart Home Report, a typical family may have “more than 500 smart devices” in the home by 2022, and 50% of the 1,600 consumers in their survey reported the intent to buy at least one smart device in the coming year. Further, 90% of those 800 consumers said that security

“It wasn’t like there were any gaping holes, like you could program it to spy on the kids that were using it the whole time or anything scary like that…[but] it is kind of concerning in a way that the manufacturers are prioritizing novelty over security.” WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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there really aren’t any cases to be found wherein a smart home was actually infiltrated via a smart home device or system. At best, you may be able to find information from several years ago (practically an eternity in internet time) about unauthenticated devices being accessed over the web (like the aforementioned Insecam.org). Could it be that even though smart home hacking is realistically unlikely, the potential for compromise has been overblown? Daniel Wong, a spokesperson with the consumer home-security company Home8 Systems, believes this is the case.

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“We haven’t heard [of] any type of hacking into a smart home,” he said. “But, you know, you’ve got to expect it. As things get connected…someone’s going to expect some kind of malware.” He explained that he suspects another reason smart home hacks aren’t more common is because the data that could be intercepted is practically worthless to anyone that comes across it. “I don’t know that the data going through someone’s home is that significant,” he said with a laugh. “It’s not a social security number; it’s turning your lights on and off.” Nonetheless, he emphasized the necessity of good security, regardless of what you’re protecting: “Any time you deal with IoT and open yourself to the internet, you have to have some form of security, whether it be a physical layer or a software layer.” So, where does that leave us? Hacks on IoT devices or smart homes are absolutely possible, but that doesn’t mean they will happen. Ego aside, there probably aren’t that many people that want to mess with our lives through our connected devices. It also goes without saying that our interaction with the IoT is still in its early stages. Though the IoT’s truly explosive growth began around 2009 (when there were more connected devices than people for the first time), companies have only just recently begun to look into exactly how they can best realize its potential. Perhaps, as the IoT and home automation mature, so will their ability to improve our lives while also being safe.


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There’s a lot of anxiety when it comes to leaving the house. Whether you’re worried about leaving the lights on or forgetting to adjust the thermostat, there’s always something that keeps us stressed when we’re not at home. However, keeping the home secure is generally the top priority. Luckily, the GE Z-Wave Plus Hinge Pin Smart Door Sensor will help ease your worries. With its convenient size and exceptional versatility, the motion sensor fits easily on your door hinge in order to allow for seamless integration. No drilling, sticky tape, wires, or an unsightly block on your door. It’s discreet and can easily match your door hinge or trim colors. Utilizing Z-Wave technology, the GE Smart Door Sensor allows you to have much more control over your home. This means having your lights automatically turn on as you walk through the door, monitoring when doors open, and getting alerts on your phone to notify you of any unexpected activity. And, with the ability to control your smart thermostat, you can ease every dad’s greatest concern: someone changing the temperature of the house. So the next time you plan that much-needed week long vacation, fear not when it comes to leaving your home unprotected or wasting energy. The GE Smart Door Sensor has you covered.

Why are the Lock & Key Stuck in the Past? By Robbie Cabral, CEO and Founder of BenjiLock

After I finished a hard workout at the gym, I headed to the locker room and into the sauna. I was flabbergasted by what I saw. There were two men, with what looked to be tools the size of the Jaws of Life, trying to pry and cut a lock off a locker. This was a serious mission, with the owner of the belongings standing by nervously. If only he had both the safety of biometrics and a key for his lock, Operation Gym Locker could have been aborted. If one is storing personal belongings with a lock, it needs to be reliable, so that the owner has the peace of mind, knowing his or her belongings are safe and secure. With everyone on the go these days, locks are a necessity in every lifestyle, whether it’s locking up precious tools and machinery in a shed or a beloved bicycle outside of a school. What people don’t need is extra stress and headaches due to the old technology that has literally failed. It is time for a lock with a new hybrid technology that provides practical protection with the use of our fingertips. Out with the old and in with the new.

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TECH ZONE

Louisville’s Heart of Gold There is a belief that technology can separate us from our neighbors, making us more focused on ourselves. The reality is that technology, like many other things, can accentuate characteristics of human nature, from selfishness to compassion. Louisville, KY believes it can activate technology for the good by providing an environment that merges the public and private sectors to find innovative and often technologically driven solutions to create a more compassionate city. The city of Louisville, KY has embraced the concept of being a compassionate city by reimagining what it can do to improve the lives of its citizens and has taken on the daunting task of providing community services, such as snow shoveling, mentorships, and even free yoga lessons. According to the city's mayor, Greg Fischer, “Being a compassionate city is both the right thing and the necessary thing to do to ensure that we take care of all of our citizens... There’s a role for all of us in making sure no one is left behind or goes wanting.” One method of bringing compassion to the community is the teaching and application of soft skills, such as team building and the expression of empathy. Kids in the Louisville school system participate in a plethora of calming activities, from stretching and breathing exercises to acknowledging and moving past negative emotions. By calming down and relaxing, students have been able to refocus on their studies and better their grades. This is one of many examples of a city willing to think outside of the box to find solutions to improve the quality of life of its residents. Outside of aiding its local schools, Louisville has additional projects planned for the future. In order to reach its ambitious goals, the city of Louisville created the Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville. The partnership hopes to establish contacts with local and international organizations in order to support and fund the citywide project. There has been a positive response to this compassionate goal, with over 144,00 volunteers participating in 2014. Louisville was also named the Model Compassionate City in 2014. We’ve highlighted several companies based in Louisville that embody this commitment to compassion and innovation by helping people to pursue their goals and live better lives.

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Louisville’s Heart of Gold ZirMed The field of medicine is complex, especially when it comes to management. Regulations and procedures can make the process of managing patients and staff a hassle even when it should be easy. This is where ZirMed comes in. Headquartered in Louisville, ZirMed prides itself on being a one-stop-shop of sorts for management solutions in medical fields. Need a more efficient and secure way to manage patient payments? ZirMed has a cloud-based platform for that. Need a way to make sure that the integrity of all payments is sound? ZirMed has things covered there too. In addition to providing platforms and networks, ZirMed also uses its proprietary software to analyze users’ systems, displaying the “hard-to-find revenue” and automatically figuring out better ways the system can be run.

Capture (Higher Ed) “Imagine a world,” Capture says, “where you know every time a prospective student is visiting your web site. You know when they’re visiting, what they’re looking at, and you can communicate with them at that precise time.” Louisville-based Capture has come up with a suite of different techniques that allow colleges and universities to better target and recruit prospective students. Capture’s Behavioral Engagement (CBE) is a web-based dashboard that lets universities monitor traffic to their website, offering targeted marketing to those who appear most engaged. Perhaps most interestingly, Capture offers a predictive engine that utilizes machine learning to “accurately predict not only who will apply, but who will enroll.” Capture is another great example of a Louisville-based start-up set to change an industry with new tech.

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TECH ZONE

Louisville’s Heart of Gold Data Strategy Phishing continues to be the main tactic used by hackers to manipulate, steal, or access secure computer data. By sending seemingly innocent emails to a large number of recipients, hackers wait for these emails to be opened and their contents downloaded, successfully infecting the system with anything from ransomware to computer viruses. The main victims, according to Mimecast's Dan Sloshberg, are small and large businesses. These businesses share a plethora of electronic information across their systems, providing the perfect opportunity for hackers to strike. As such, worried business owners are looking into cybersecurity methods that could protect against phishing. According to a survey conducted by Verizon Insight Labs earlier this year, 30% of the phishing emails the company received were opened by unsuspecting victims. These hackers are getting smarter everyday. However, even with hackers improving their attacks, cybersecurity tactics are improving as well. Outside of providing antivirus protection for when a hacker attacks, some cybersecurity programs are halting

malicious links from being downloaded, even if the user has already clicked the link. This means that even if an unsuspecting nurse opens a malicious email using her work computer, cybersecurity programs on the system would immediately stop the attack and protect the system from being locked down due to ransomware. This saves companies from paying malicious individuals to remove the ransomware, which in some cases, is not removed even after payment has been received. For business owners who wish to look into additional cybersecurity, companies such as Data Strategy provide services that protect against viruses, malware, and other forms of cyber attacks. By having an additional layer of endpoint security, business owners can stay one step ahead of hackers and keep their data safe. The company’s Security Specialist, Rebecca Harvey, describes it this way: “Security has to be viewed as an immune system for the organization, one that leverages next generation analytics to learn and grow along with tribal knowledge of known risks and threats.”

GE FirstBuild Kickstarter and Indiegogo changed the paradigm, allowing anyone with a good idea to obtain the capital necessary to make their vision a reality without requiring venture capital support. Similarly, The LEGO Group introduced their Ideas program to help creative minds turn their own creations into official LEGO products. The GE Appliances-backed FirstBuild is a marriage of those two ideas, utilizing a co-creative method to bridge the gap between FirstBuild’s access to engineering and design talent and consumer interests. FirstBuild, also based in Louisville, describes its process in three steps: first, “co-create” to bring ideas to life. Second, bring the products to life by producing them on a small scale (at least at first). And then, third, introduce the products to the world. FirstBuild’s primary reason for this line of production is consumer involvement from the very beginning, helping them to “quickly deliver a better product.”

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Forest Giant As self-proclaimed lovers of Louisville, the folks over at Forest Giant are inspired to be a design and development company unlike any other. Partnership, collaboration, transparency, and adaptability are all some of the core principles that set Forest Giant apart. Their robust portfolio contains a variety of design and development projects – among them several iOS apps, including their original game “Mesa,” their slide-sharing app 5Slides, and their everyday-thing tracking app, Quantified. Forest Giant has also worked with the community in Louisville to promote culture and opportunity, first through “an infographic site featuring 50 reasons why Greater Louisville is the perfect place for businesses and talent to thrive,” and then later through a joint effort with City Collaborative on their ReSurfaced project. There, Forest Giant contributed to the design of materials and the community space surrounding the event, which City Collaborative describes as a “community activation space that fosters civic engagement and entrepreneurialism.” Forest Giant is more than just an innovative start-up; it’s a team of motivated and passionate people looking to prove that great things can come out of Louisville.

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Patrols, Pizzas, and Paparazzi How Drones Are Changing the Workforce By Anthony Elio and Cyndy Hernandez-Martinez

There seems to be a common opinion that the dawn of drones means that many jobs are in jeopardy. Fearing a dystopian, jobless future, we have gained a bit of cynicism when it comes to our future-flying-robot-coworkers. However, is this warranted? Drones have already shaken up the job market. In fact, according to Business Insider, drones could someday replace $127 billion worth of labor in the United States. Most of this work is in agriculture, transportation, and infrastructure. While this does seem like quite a lot of work to be replaced by automation, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all those employees will simply be left out of a job. With all these drones in the workplace, there will be a need for management, repair, and, of course, manufacturing. A study by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International claims that more than 100,000 drone-related jobs will be created by the year 2025. In addition to creating jobs, drones will replace many undesirable and dangerous jobs previously done by humans. Take for example forestry, in which human workers need to take on the physically exhausting task of lifting tree bags and planting saplings. This is not only a demanding occupation but a dangerous one, with a fatality rate over 20 times higher than the U.S. average. By utilizing drones, however, we could not only get rid of a challenging and unwanted job, but also potentially save lives. There’s no doubt that drones will change the job market. Let’s take a look at some of the largest industries that will be affected by the integration of drones in the workplace.

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DEFEND FROM ABOVE Drones, in one form or another, have been used in the military since the early 1900s and were originally used as practice targets for troops. However, as technology advanced, drones were innovated to take on a plethora of tasks, including spying with live audio and video feeds, being armed and used to attack and defend against other drones, surveying and 3D mapping landscapes, and even acting as surveillance in dangerous areas. In this way, drones have opened up additional positions in military employment, from video surveillance to cyber security against drone hackers. The most popular use for drones is spying and surveillance. The U.S. military utilizes

U.S. Navy Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat drones during the “Operation Crossroads” atomic tests at the Bikini Atoll in July 1946. The Hellcats were flown through the cloud formation to test radioactivity. The different colored tails indicated different radio guidance frequencies


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drones to fly over foreign countries and keep an eye on dangerous targets. Men and women are trained not only to fly the drone, but also to assess the live feed being shown to them. Further, there are individuals trained to monitor the drone's information and ensure that it has not been compromised via hacking. In 2009, a U.S. military drone was taken over utilizing free Russian software. While the information that was revealed did not pose an immediate threat to national security, the U.S. military quickly corrected and updated their drone software.

PIZZA AND PACKAGE DELIVERY While it still seems pretty unbelievable, drone deliveries are the future. The company best known for this is Amazon. With their Amazon Prime Air project, the company hopes to be able to deliver packages in up to 30 minutes by drone, making 2-day shipping seem like an eternity. Google is also in the process of creating their own competing version with Project Wing. In addition to basic packages, food delivery

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by drones will also be available to consumers. The popular fast food chain Dominoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has developed a drone specifically for delivering pizzas. Grocery store trips may also become obsolete due to scheduled grocery deliveries by drone. Not to be left behind, Amazon will soon be offering food as well, with deliveries of fresh meat. However, we may still be years away from seeing pizzas and packages flying through the air. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s currently no rollout date planned for Prime Air, as the project is still in development. Additionally, there is no shortage of red tape as the company is still working out legislation when it comes to flying. Regardless, drones are the future. And that future will definitely make an impact on the 444,000 UPS jobs, either by totally replacing them or moving them into drone management.

GET THE PERFECT SHOT Mesmerizing views of European castles and beautiful panoramic shots of New Zealand fields can be provided to you by drones. Due to their efficiency, affordability, and portability,

drones are now being used in the entertainment industry to bring consumers beautiful film shots, 360-degree news views, and opportunities to interact with the world around them. Photographers especially are using drones to capture high-quality news, celebrity, and family shots. As a result, employment has grown for individuals who know how to use, navigate, and understand drones and their software. Quadcopters are the most popular drones used to capture these shots. Drones provide distance and elevation that normal cameras and their users cannot easily achieve. Due to their ability to fly overhead, images of big cities, such as Chicago, can be easily captured. News outlets, aware of this opportunity, have also used drones to create a 360 degree news environment for their viewers. With a swipe of their fingers, viewers can look around a prerecorded environment provided to them by a drone. This method is even being utilized by large entertainment companies like Warner Brothers to bring the fictional world of Harry Potter to life.


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SparkFun ESP32 Thing – This board is a WiFi-compatible and BLE supported microcontroller with the power and versatility to be the best solution for any IoT project. $16

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PRODUCTS 2016Sound Bar – Featuring a thin design for Focal OF Dimension easy installation, the Focal Dimension Soundbar is the perfect audio addition to your home media setup. In addition to advanced mono bloc chassis to eliminate vibration noises, you can also stream content directly from your smartphone. $1,000

Liebherr HWg 1803 Wine Cabinets – Built to save energy while maintaining an elegant appearance, this Liebherr wine cabinet is easy to use, utilizing TipOpen technology to fit perfectly with any hands-free kitchen. $2,679

HTC Vive – The HTC Vive is a great example of what virtual reality has to offer. Allowing for realistic gaming and creative activities, the Vive allows you to do everything from create 3D art to explore Mars. $799

Muzik One – These headphones go far beyond just being headphones. Customizable hotkeys, touch gestures, voice control, and a variety other utility features make these some of the most advanced headphones on the market. $299

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System 76 Oryx Pro – Whether you use it at home or on the go, the Oryx Pro laptop features an impressively thin, lightweight design. With the ability to customize size, operating system, and memory, the Oryx Pro allows you to create your perfect laptop.

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The Echobox Explorer and the Finder X1 combine to create a superior listening experience. The Explorer expertly converts audio from Digital to Analog for the discerning audiophile. Explorer $600; Finder X1 $200

PRODUCTS OF 2016

Instax SHARE SP-2 from FUJIFILM – Getting physical photos is simpler than ever thanks to this nifty device. Featuring the ability to print photos directly from your smartphone, as well as your Instagram and Facebook accounts, the Instax SP-2 helps you create a physical photo album with ease. $200 GE Z-Wave Plus Portable Smart Motion Sensor – Keeping convenience and home safety in mind, the GE Portable Smart Motion Sensor discreetly sits anywhere or mounts to the wall to send alerts or activate lights as you enter or exit a room, reducing energy costs. Find it on Amazon or EZzwave.com. $50

WooHoo – This innovative smart home hub – complete with a 360 degree HD camera, facial recognition, and voice control – adds a new element of security and personalization that we have yet to see in this rapidly expanding market. WooHoo will officially launch Jan 5 at CES 2017. $49 WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 – Audio

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50 50

Technica has done it again with these headphones. The soft earbuds and headband make them comfortable, while their flexible design makes them durable. Most importantly, they're engineered to produce rich, high-resolution audio. $190

THE TOP

MOST INNOVATIVE

PRODUCTS OF 2016

RIVA WAND Series – Showcased at CEDIA 2016, the RIVA WAND smart system is an inventive take on the future of home audio. With over 16 hours of playing time, the WAND series speakers, such as the ARENA and FESTIVAL, are perfect for providing audio to the entire home, indoors and out. $249 (ARENA)

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

MOSTExpand Furniture’s Box Coffee to Dining Table

– INNOVATIVE to save space in your dining room? This coffee table expands PRODUCTSTrying out into a dining table to accommodate dinner guests or large

OF 2016

projects. When you're done, the table can be pushed back together into a smaller coffee table. $1,895

Ninja Coffee Bar – Makes everything from a classic mug of joe to a delicious cup of espresso. The Ninja Coffee Bar is also easy to use and clean, while offering a lot of flexibility in drink choice. $180

Hairmax Laserband 41 – This laser hair growth device has been shown in clinical trials and peer reviewed journals to increase hair density. $450


COME VISIT US AT CES BOOTH # 16029 CENTRAL HALL

DISCOVER MOUNTABLE SHOCKPROOF SPEAKERS &

PLAY ROUGH. YOUR LIFE. OUR SOUND.

The Super Life Jacket is the flagship product in the Everything-Proof line of speakers. With 50 hours of battery life, plus dual onboard Power Banks for remotely charging two portable devices at the same time, and an Aux-In port, the Super Life Jacket is the ultimate rugged music companion for wherever your life leads. © 2016 AL INFINITY, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ALTEC LANSING, HORN DESIGN AND RELATED LOGOS ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF AL INFINITY.


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50 50 THE TOP

MOST

Halo – When it comes to smart

MOST INNOVATIVE

PRODUCTS OF 2016

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technology, safety should be priority number one. After being featured in a popular Indiegogo campaign, Halo Smart Labs’ smart smoke detector looks to revolutionize the way we protect our belongings. Prices vary

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

OF 2016

50 50 THE TOP

MOST INNOVATIVE

MOST

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

OF 2016

PRODUCTS OF 2016 comes equipped with as many tiny implements as a Swiss Army

LiftMaster 8550W – The LiftMaster

Nuggy – Considered the smoker’s multi-tool, the Nuggy

8550W utilizes Wi-Fi enabled communication to allow for smartphone control and alerts whenever your door is opened or closed. Additionally, a time sensitive auto-close allows you to stop worrying about leaving the garage door open. Prices vary

knife. In addition to helping with the usual outdoor needs, the tools assist in cleaning pipes and other pieces, as well as packing hand-rolled cigarettes. $30

Google Pixel – The much-hyped phone by the tech giant, Google’s Pixel has the extremely useful Google Assistant feature built into the device. It’s also one of the greatest smartphones for photography, featuring a high quality camera and unlimited storage.

bObsweep PetHair Plus – With improved functionality over the previous edition, the bObsweep PetHair Plus utilizes sensors to avoid anything in its way, allowing it to rid your home of pet hair without interruption. Additionally, the improved FullCommand Remote allows for complete control over the robotic vacuum. $899

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

$649


The Super Life Jacket This Bluetooth speaker by Altec Lansing is packed with features, including waterproof, sandproof, shockproof, and snowproof construction. It’s floatable and submersible, with 50 hours of battery life. It also features dual onboard Power Banks for charging mobile devices on the road. $299

Apache Fan by Hunter – With state-of-the-art technology and a totally unique appearance, the Apache is a handsome industrial fan fit for any home. The twisting curvature of the propeller-like blades combine well with the exposed hardware and exceptional finish. $400

THE TOP

50 MOST INNOVATIVE

PRODUCTS OF 2016

THE TOP

50 MOST INNOVATIVE

PRODUCTS OF 2016

The Open Air Litter-Robot replaces a traditional litter box by self-cleaning after each use, removing odor and accommodating cats of all sizes. $450

Yale Lock – The Yale Real Living Look Door Viewer allows homeowners to see and speak to visitors from anywhere using the free Yale Look app. $110 The Orbbec Persee smart camera responds to people and their environments with unprecedented accuracy to create engaging experiences for customers and improve businesses’ internal processes. $450

WINTER 2016 | INNOVATION & TECH TODAY

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Events

Missing your technology fix between issues of Innovation & Tech Today? We don’t blame you. Luckily, it’s not hard to find a gathering of innovative people in a city near you. Have an event you’d like us to include? Contact submit@innotechtoday.com

JANUARY 5-8

FEBRUARY

8-22

17-19

22-25

Digital Book World New York, NY

23-24

NamesCon, Las Vegas, NV

IoT Tech Expo Global, London, UK

Los Angeles Tech Security Conference, Los Angeles, CA

21-22

Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society Show, Orlando, FL

Startup Grind Global Conference Redwood, CA

19-22

May 22

Dent Conference, Sun Valley, ID

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APRIL

7-8

13

Wearable Tech Show 2017, London, UK

SXSW, Austin, TX

23

The Luxury Tech Show, New York, NY

DeveloperWeek San Francisco CA

19-23

MARCH 10-19

11-16

2

North American International Auto Show, Detroit, MI

CES, Las Vegas, NV

Check out these events with a local presence around the country: // 1 Million Cups // TEDx // Maker Faires

23

Techweek Miami, Miami, FL

Small Business Expo, Boston, MA

24-28

TED2017, Vancouver, BC

17-20

Sharepoint Fest, Washington, D.C.

27-29

Digifest, Toronto, ON

It’s never to early to start planning your spring. SB’17 Detroit will continue the global dialog about how together, through our vision for the aspirational lifestyle of the future, we can collectively Redefine the Good Life. Watch for Innovation & Tech Today’s preview of SB’17 Detroit in our spring issue. INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


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commitment to staying fit, even partnering with Nike to detail his workout strategies. His intense routines were recently recorded in a video on the company’s YouTube channel, showcasing that he hits the gym with the same intensity as he hits the stage.

earnestly represent themselves online, Hart’s social media is definitely an extension of himself. As Hart says, “What you see is what you get.” In the often superficial world of social media, this is a refreshing notion.

both together on the same project it creates a great energy on set. To see how humble he is with the success that he has had is something you don’t normally see in today's world,” Hart said.

THE FUTURE

And Hart definitely doesn’t try to hide the fact that he keeps himself in shape. His social media accounts are full of hashtags such as #FitFamily and #HealthIsWealth, along with images of him exercising. Speaking of social media, Hart is certainly no stranger to the web. With 31 million followers on Twitter alone, Hart knows exactly how to keep his fans up to date on everything he’s doing.

For Hart, slowing down is simply not an option. Even though 2016 held a myriad of projects (from big films like The Secret Life of Pets and Central Intelligence to smaller projects like The Road Trip), 2017 will by no means be a year off for the comedy superstar.

Additionally, a new entry has been announced for the popular Ride Along series, where Hart has a starring role alongside Ice Cube. And Comedy Central has recently renewed yet another HartBeat Productions project, Kevin Hart Presents: Hart Of The City.

“Social media is everything to me,” Hart revealed, speaking to Oprah, “…being able to talk back and forth with your fans goes a long way.” And, while many people may not

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016

One of his upcoming projects, to the delight of ‘90s nostalgia addicts, will be a reboot of 1995’s Jumanji, with Hart teaming up again with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “I think me and Dwayne have such great chemistry because we are both two people who consistently push ourselves to be better. So when you combine us

Hart’s work ethic and versatility have definitely paid off. According to Forbes, he currently ranks as the #1 highest-paid comedian for 2016, beating huge names such as Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, and even Jerry Seinfeld. With no sign of letting up, look for this 5' 4" comedian to continue to be a giant in the world of entertainment.


coming next issue

Spring 2017 Sustainability and the Connected Car Sustainability

Unlike a lot of other topics, sustainability seems to grow more and more relevant each year. With access to some of the most important green thought leaders in the world, I&T Today brings you the insight you need to stay up-to-date on how new tech can work to save the world.

Connected Car

If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been paying any attention to the news, you know that 2016 was the year the driverless car debate went mainstream. With the technology to make this feasible already in use, look for I&T Today to provide incisive articles on what this means for the future of transportation.

Tech Zone: Detroit

The city known for automotive muscle is making some big strides toward reinvention. In our next issue, we take a look at how America's car capital is reshaping itself to become an economic contender in the race for new tech jobs.

Outdoor & Adventure Tech

One of the perks of working for I&T Today is watching all the new gear come through the door on a daily basis. One of the perks of reading I&T Today is learning which products are best for you and your next adventure. And, as always, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be interviewing top-level athletes to get their perspective.

Gaming & Entertainment

Editor John Gaudiosi heads up a section devoted to capturing what's trending in the gaming and entertainment worlds. Look for interviews with A-level actors and stories about the tech behind film, television, and games.

Look for these stories, along with coverage of drones, 3D printers, medical innovations, art & tech, VR, and much, much more in the Spring 2017 issue of Innovation & Tech Today.

On newsstands and all digital readers March 2017.

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INNOVATION & TECH TODAY | WINTER 2016


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Innovation & Tech Today Winter 2016  

With two beautiful covers featuring two of the world’s biggest celebrities, Innovation & Tech Today’s Winter Issue is poised to be the must-...

Innovation & Tech Today Winter 2016  

With two beautiful covers featuring two of the world’s biggest celebrities, Innovation & Tech Today’s Winter Issue is poised to be the must-...