Episode 3.09 The Future of the Web with Sean White

In thirty years the Web has grown into the foundation of civilisation – but can we make the Web more useful, more private – and more human? That’s a question that Sean White, Chief Research & Development Officer at browser-maker Mozilla continually considers. The answer is evolving.

Some of the answer lies with new Web technologies, like Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid project. And plenty of the answer lies within ourselves, as our use of the Web evolves.

Episode 3.08 The History of the Future with Blake Harris

Virtual Reality roared back to life this decade due to the efforts of  visionary teenager Palmer Luckey. Luckey built Oculus, sold to Facebook for $3 billion – then got fired.

Blake Harris’ wonderful book The History of The Future: Oculus, Facebook and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality served as the foundation for this episode – a true life story of triumph and tragedy. It’s a rip roaring good read.  Grab a copy here.

Episode 3.06 Liminal Dreaming with Jennifer Dumpert

Humanity’s newest (and oldest) frontier lies at the boundary between waking & sleep – hypnagogia and hypnopompia – at the edges of consciousness, within ‘liminal’ dreams.

Jennifer Dumpert has written a book on liminal dreaming – read more about it (and buy a copy!) here.

Episode 3.05 Brave New Wars with John Robb

Social media has been weaponised and is now used against nations as a tool of war – invisible, subtle, and dangerously destabilising. John Robb has spent over a decade studying how these new networks represent the new powers – and the new engines of war.

Some of John’s best writing goes to his Patreon supporters

John writes the amazing Global Guerrillas blog – you should check it out.

John’s book Brave New War is quite good, too.

Mark and John, December 2018. (photo credit: Dan Lynch)

THE NEXT BILLION CARS Episode 4: The Next Billion Kilometers

Transformations in autonomy & electrification give automobile designers a new palette of possibilities – does our experience of driving change?

Drew Smith talks to BMW design legend Chris Bangle about what it took to design the REDSPACE urban car for the Chinese market. And here’s a video where he’s talking at the Art Center College for Design in Pasadena (Chris’s alma mater, and the school that graduates most of the world’s top car designers):

Mark and Sally sat down at the North American International Auto Show for a long interview with recently-retired Ford design legend Elizabeth Baron, about what it took to combine the real and virtual design processes into a seamless whole.

Elizabeth Baron, in the podcast suite at the Detroit Foundation Hotel, January 2019

Finally, Sally learns about the design possibilities created by autonomous vehicles from Luciano Nakamura, one of the founders of Australian startup AEV Robotics.

AEV Robotics rethinks design around urban use cases…

Episode 3.01 GETTING SINGULAR with Vernor Vinge

Over a billion seconds ago, sci-fi legend Vernor Vinge conceived of a “Technological Singularity”, when our machines outthink us. Should we worry?

Be sure to read Vernor’s 1993 paper, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era” – it’s linked here.

Episode 2.09 Quantum Questions

In our world, you flip a coin and it comes up either heads or tails. But in the spooky quantum world – that’s everything from a single atom all the way up to a small virus – that coin can come up both heads _and_ tails, depending on how you read it. So which is it? Heads? Tails? Both? Neither?

Resonant Doubler
One of the experimental setups used to read qbits

Welcome to the strange world of quantum computing where this both-true-and-false ‘superposition’ allows quantum computers to vastly outperform their ‘classical’ peers (such as the one in your smartphone).

entangled qbits
A string of ‘entangled’ qbits

At least, that’s the theory.

Quantum computers are so unstable they tend to self-destruct before we can get them to run a program!

Claire Edmunds

Researchers Claire Edmunds and Virginia Frey from the University of Sydney’s Quantum Control Laboratory join us to explore this new quantum frontier: The deeper you go, the weirder it gets over the next billion seconds.

Or listen on iTunes

If quantum computing fascinates you as much as it fascinates me, you may find these resources interesting:

IBM scientists explains quantum computing at 5 different levels (video good for beginners to experts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWJCfOvochA

IBM Institute for Business Value Report on Quantum Cybersecurity – what happens after quantum computing breaks all the encryption we use on the Web to keep our information secure and private?

https://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/quantumsecurity/

Here’s a tutorial – in the very easy to learn Python programming language – that allows you to generate random numbers using a quantum computer.

http://dataespresso.com/en/2018/07/22/Tutorial-Generating-random-numbers-with-a-quantum-computer-Python/

And since you’re going to need a quantum computer to run this program, here’s the IBM Q Quantum Experience (5 qubit device available publicly on the cloud) – a REAL quantum computer you can run your own experiments on!

https://quantumexperience.ng.bluemix.net/qx/experience

Episode 2.03: The Future is Local with Jess Scully

For two and a half thousand years, cities and politicians have grown together. The city gives politicians a platform, a stage – and a demanding public. Always economic powerhouses, our cities also hold the key to an urban future where city-states like Singapore rise in prominence.

We talk to Sydney City Councillor Jess Scully about how best to grow a ‘world city’ like Sydney over the next billion seconds – and what it means to have a political career in a time when every citizen has social media to amplify their voice, their beliefs – and their anger.

The future is here – and it’s local. In this clip, Jess talks about the importance of Sydney to Australia’s economy:

In our interview, Jess mentions the DECODE Project – designed to give people rights over the data collected about them. Read about DECODE here.

The City of Sydney wants to increase the housing supply – and this article explains why that’s more difficult than it might appear. 

Listen on iTunes

Listen at PodcastOne.com.au

Episode 2.02: Power Tools with Ramez Naam

Solar power cost $100 per kilowatt hour when energy futurist Ramez Naam entered the world. Last year, the UAE signed a 20-year contract for solar power at a four thousandth the cost. For Ramez Naam it’s no longer a question of if renewables, it’s a matter of when: the data proves it. Energy has been mixed with politics from the beginning – so over the next billion seconds, how do we talk ourselves out of our coal culture and into a sustainable future? Ramez Naam makes a convincing case for a future where we profit from the sun.

Here’s an excerpt:

 

There are some amazing things happening in the renewable energy space, as shown in this chart about a typical week of energy generation in South Australia:

Ramez gives a lot of talks about energy futures, here’s a recent one given in South Africa – a nation with some energy problems…

Ramez has also written a series of blog posts on the energy future – the first is linked here

Finally, here’s that infamous photo of Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, on the day they passed a lump of coal around in Parliament:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on PodcastOne