April, 2008

TED Talk: Deborah Gordon

How do ants know what to do?

TED Talks: Jonathan Harris

The web’s secret stories

TED Talks: Majora Carter

Greening the ghetto

TED Talks: Tod Machover & Dan Ellsey

Releasing the music in your head

TED Talk: Bjorn Lomborg

Setting global priorities

Charity + Prediction Markets

A new prediction market site with a twist: your profits in the market get donated to the charity of your choice.

I was concerned that it may look noble but that they might be profiting from the bid/ask spread, so I wrote and asked them.  Here is their response:

No fees, except the 5% on top of any funds put into your account. That fee does little more than cover the credit card processing charge. For example, if you want to put $5 into your account, you will be charged $5.25, and you will have $5 in your account to trade with. After a while, maybe you’ll have grown your account to $50, all of which you can ask us to give away to the charity of your choice. No fees on donations. Another way of saying it is that 100% of the funds that are in trading accounts will eventually be given away to charities chosen by the winners.

Very cool, I hope …

TED Talk: Aubrey de Grey

Avoiding aging

TED Talk: Jeff Hawkins

How brain science will change computing

Open Letter to Gotham Prize

The Gotham Prize is a laudable new effort to provide incentive for new approaches to cancer.  In response to their recent announcement of their first awards, I have sent them the following open letter.  If you would like to express your own opinion on the matter, I encourage you to provide your feedback to them directly from their contact page.

TED Talks: Wade Davis

Endangered cultures

Cancer Research Surprises

Many people would admit to not understanding cancer well, but fewer people would admit to not understanding evolution well.  Here are some challenges to our understanding of both.

Starvation may help cancer treatment. “As little as 48 hours of starvation afforded mice injected with brain cancer cells the ability to endure and benefit from extremely high doses of chemotherapy that non-starved mice could not survive.”

TED Talks: Al Gore

New thinking on climate crisis

Notes from TED

Here are some notes that I took at TED 2008.  I have a bunch more on each of the speakers individually which I may post as time permits.  Let me know if you want me to expand any of the notes below into a full post.

TED Talks: Iqbal Quadir

Mobile phones fight poverty

TED Talks: Ken Robinson

Schools kill creativity

TED Talk: Dan Gilbert

What makes us happy

TED Talk: Amy Smith

Simple lifesaving design

World's Best Powerpoint Presentations

Some people would say “Best” and “Powerpoint Presentation” are oxymoronic in combination.  But I disagree.  Powerpoint and its digital slideshow ilk (e.g. Keynote) are a relatively new medium, and it is the job of the slideshow creator and the presenter to make the presentation kick ass.  Al Gore proved this point with his slideshow that was so compelling that it was turned into an Oscar-winning movie.  One could argue that his was more about the presenter than the slideshow, but there are examples of amazing stand-alone slideshows, like this one:

TED Talk: Hans Rosling

Two for one special…

Debunking myths about the “third world”

TED Talk: Chris Abani

For those of you who are enjoying these talks and want to check out more than one of my favorites per day, you can cut to the chase on my TED profile favorites page.  You will have to register there, but it’s free to do so.

Stories of Africa

TED Talk: Barry Schwartz

The Paradox of Choice