How to Ninja Proof a House

ninjahomeinvasionFrom the good people who brought you “How to zombie-proof a house” comes the latest in sensible real-estate planning. This time round, it is how you go about protecting your home from ninja intrusion. Using a full-page infographic with multiple panels, which you can check out here, all the countermeasures you will need to know are listed.

Combining ancient know-how with modern technology, these counter-measures include:

  • Squeaky floors
  • Security cameras
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Maze-like hallways
  • Powerful ventilation
  • High-tech locks
  • Facial recognition software
  • Smart floors
  • Gravel Yards
  • Steel walls and ceilings
  • Tall and curved outer walls

ninja.jpgWhat impresses me about all of this, aside from the time and thought dedicated to it, is how well it merges knowledge from feudal Japan with modern home defense systems. For example, feudal barons who feared assassination during Japan’s Sengoku (or “Warring States”) Period would have rooms in their fortress built with long wooden panels that would ensure they would squeak when stepped on. These were often combined with trap doors to ensure that anyone skilled enough to slip inside would find themselves in a jam quickly!

Gravel yards placed at intervals throughout their estates and round, vertical walls were also popular tricks to ensure easier detection and to give ninjas a harder time of getting inside. And of course, narrow, winding hallways also ensured that a single or group of infiltrators would have a harder time finding their way and could be ambushed when they came around a corner.

Cyber Ninja Artart, alphacoders.com
Cyber Ninja Artart, alphacoders.com

Combining all this with the latest in alarm systems, biometric locks, facial recognitions software, security cameras, environmental controls and fire sprinklers, you’ve got a pretty handy arsenal with which to fight off skilled assassins and masters of stealth. And  let’s face it, modern ninjas have no doubt updated their repertoire to take advantage of the latest in tech as well, which would most likely include night vision, thermal imaging, flashbangs, airgun grappling hooks, and possibly even knock-out gas.

Were ninjas to become a credible threat to our safety and well-being, this is undoubtedly the kind of database we would want to consult. And as we all know, ninjas are cool! When zombies go the way of vampires and witches, aka. become somewhat of a tired cliche, I’m sure these guys will be in line to become the next big craze!

Ninja Games

Envisioning The Future of Finance

BrightFutureA few times now, the website known as Envisioning Technology has snared me with their predictive posters. First there was their “Emerging Technologies” infographic for the year of 2012. That was followed shortly thereafter by “The future of health” and “The future of education“. They even took a look at popular dystopian and apocalyptic scenarios and asked the question “Should I be afraid“?

And now, in their latest infographic, they’ve tackled the future of finance. Looking at the financial industry as a whole, they attempt to gauge its readiness to technological change. While looking at trends that are likely to influence the very notion of value in the coming decades, they ask the question “are [organizations] paying enough attention to the imminent changes that will define the future of society or if they are running the risk of letting accelerating change vanquish existing business models?”

And as usual, the information is presented in an interconnected, multi-layered fashion. Dividing all aspects of the financial sector into the categories of Data, Automation, Security, Disintermediation (i.e. removing the “middle men”), Crowds (crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding), Mobile technology, Currencies, and Reputation, potential technologies are then listed based on whether or not they are under development, likely to be in development in the near future, or are currently being overlooked.

Take a gander and see what you think. As usual, its packed full of interesting concepts, speculative reasoning, and a ton of statistical data. And be sure to check out the website in case you have yet to see their other infographics.

Source: Envisioning Technology

The Future Of Education

Hi all, and welcome to the third and final installment in the “Envisioning Technology” series. Today, it’s the “Future of Education Technology” that’s up for all to see. Much like their speculative work on Future Tech and the Future of Medicine, they present us here with an infographic that shows the interrelated fields of educational technology and how growth in one will inevitable lead to change in others.

On the one hand, we see a gradual transition from the Classroom (i.e. traditional educational environment) to the Studio environment, where a peer and group dynamic becomes the focus, rather than classic teacher-student transmission. In the final environment, learning becomes Virtual, divorced from any specific geographical context – i.e. it happens wherever you are, not just in a classroom or academic institution.

Also, through an incorporation of various education and education-related technologies, six steps are discerned within this process. As usual the entire process is traced from the present day to 2040, with many of the necessary technologies already in existence or in the process of development.

As a teacher, I was rather fascinated to see this, as it illustrates much of what was being espoused when I was still in teacher’s college. Back then, the concept of the post-modernist classroom was all the rage, even though there were many who insisted that this movement had passed.

Intrinsic to the concept was the deconstructing the traditional learning paradigm and even the classroom environment. Openness was the new rule, individuation the new philosophy and building on a student’s existing knowledge and experience, rather than simply handing them the curriculum and evaluated their assimilation thereof.

Naturally, many of us felt the same about all the concepts and ideas that were being thrown at us, in that they seemed highly idiosyncratic and theoretical. Missing from just about all the articles, studies and lectures we heard on the subject was mention of how this was to be done. Lectures on applied technology and new methods, on the other hand, seemed much more effective. Whereas the theory seemed to be commenting on trends that were happening, or still needed to happen, these lectures seemed to be showing us how.

Kind of makes you think… and in a way, I’m reminded of what men like George Orwell said. In 1984 (Goldstein’s Manifesto, to be specific), he claimed that the advent of modern industry and education had removed the basis of class distinction and elitism. By the 20th century, when totalitarian philosophies emerged, humanity was closer to the state of true equality that Marx predicted than ever before. Granted, that road has been fraught with bumps and attempts at subversion, but the general trend seems pretty clear.

Perhaps we’re seeing something of the same thing here with the emergence of IT and what people like Foucault, Derrida and Habermas predicted. The breakdown of singular standards, the opening of discourse, the plurality of perspective and opinions. Perhaps they weren’t just speaking off the cuff or stuck in an esoteric bubble. Maybe they were just picking up on trends which were yet to come to true fruition.

Makes me think, at any rate. But then again, that’s the point isn’t it?

Envisioning The Future of Health Technology

My thanks, yet again, to Futurist Foresight for providing the link to this fascinating infographic, which is the work of the good people at Envisioning Technology. People may remember this website from their work on “Envisioning Emerging Technology”, an infographic from a previous article which addressed the likelihood of interrelated technological developments in the coming decades. As a trend forecasting studio, compiling information and predictions into reports and tables in pretty much what these guys do. What a cool job!

In any case, here we have a table representing the future of health technology, as predicted by ET. Diving their findings into the fields of Augmentation, Biogerontology, Diagnostics, Telemedicine, Treatments, and Regeneration respectively, they attempt to show how small advancement in the near future will branch outwards to more radical ones in the not-too-distant future. The rough dates correspond to their previous graphic, starting with modern day research and culminating in 2040.

And of course, the infographic also shows how developments in all these fields over time will be interrelated, corresponding to different sub fields and becoming part of the ever-expanding field of advanced medicine. These sub fields include:

  • 3D Printing
  • Big Data
  • Cryonics
  • Life Extension
  • mHealth (health services supported by mobile devices)
  • Remote Virtual Presence
  • Neuroprosthetics
  • Sensors
  • Sensory Augmentation
  • Synthetic and Artificial Organs

Some inventions that are predicted include the Tricorder, 3D printed organs, artificial limbs, artificial eyes, cryogenic freezing, gene therapy, AI therapists, robotic nurses, robot surgery, implanted sensors, and exoskeletons. Wow, tricorders, really? In truth, I am often alarmed at what will be possible in the near future, but knowing that advancements are around the corner that could make life a lot healthier and happier for so many people gives me hope. Until next time!

The Reboot Grid

Well, here is something that puts a lot of my griping into perspective! Recently, during one my usual visits to Blastr, I came upon this helpful infographic that really captures our collective sense of angst with this whole reboot trend. Anybody who actually follows this site knows that this is a subject which I am pretty passionate about (translation: won’t shut up about!)

I was most pleased to see this because, not only did it make me laugh, it let me know that this trend is occupying the attention of people who work for websites far more respectable than mine! And as you can see, they aren’t too crazy about the nature of recent reboots either. Whereas there are plenty of good reasons to do one, and plenty of worthy candidates, it does seem like Hollywood is still letting the lowest common denominator inform their decision making.

Click to enlarge, then enjoy a good laugh at Hollywood’s expense. I did 😉