TED – David MacKay: A reality check on renewables

David MacKay gives a lecture about renewable sources of energy and what their problems are. David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options and explains why we should pursue them anyway.

TED – Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data — including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper “laptop”.
Basically it’s bringing computing to the physical world, the computer (cellphone) hanging around your neck can use anything in front of it as input and output devices – a piece of paper for example.

Best of TED

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talks are usually under 20 minutes, and each of them presents some unique ideas from very diverse fields: physics, economy, biology, technology…
They are extremely entertaining and addictive, so here’s a compilation of some of the best 40 TED talks.

TED – Drew Berry: Animations of Unseeable Biology

In this TED talk, Drew Berry gives some examples of visualizing highly complex biological processes occurring in our bodies. While his first example are the already posted Molecular Visualizations of DNA the second example is a more recent work, that truly describes what a mind-boggling machines our bodies really are. Considering how interesting the subject of this TED talk is, it’s such a pity that it’s so short.

TEDxCaltech – Simon Fölling – Quantum Simulations

Simon Fölling studies quantum many-body systems, such as the ones found in magnetic and semiconducting materials, by using ultracold atomic gases. At TEDxCaltech event, he talks about quantum simulations; field of science connecting material science with quantum nature of reality.

TED – George Dyson: The birth of the computer

Historian George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer — from its 16th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers, containing the first geek jokes I guess.
It’s always fascinating to see those huge old computers the size of my living room.
There is also a mention of Nils All Barricelli, a Norwegian-Italian mathematician, who used the computers to run experiments in symbiogenesis and evolution, who also percieved the code as the living organism capable of evolving.

Garrett Lisi: A beautiful new theory of everything

“For the next 18 minutes I’m going to try to explain the beauty of particle physics without equations”, that is how physicist and surfer Garrett Lisi starts this lecture, and he sure does. He presents a controversial new model that could answer some big questions. His theory gives us a pattern, or layout for sub-atomic particles (similar to the periodic table of elements). DISPROVED: This theory has been disproved in the meantime, although Lisi updated the theory and published new papers. You can read about it on Wikipedia. Thanks to Jeff Milne for pointing that out.

TED – Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

The controversial website WikiLeaks collects and posts highly classified documents and video. Founder Julian Assange, who’s reportedly being sought for questioning by US authorities, talks to TED’s Chris Anderson about how the site operates, what it has accomplished — and what drives him. The interview includes graphic footage of a recent US airstrike in Baghdad.

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