The Space Satellite Revolution Could Turn Earth into a Surveillance Nightmare — from by Becky Ferreira
Laser communication between satellites is revolutionizing our ability to track climate change, manage resources, and respond to natural disasters. But there are downsides to putting Earth under a giant microscope.


And while universal broadband has the potential to open up business and education opportunities to hundreds of thousands of people, it’s the real-time satellite feeds of earth that may have both the most immediate and widespread financial upsides — and the most frightening surveillance implications — for the average person here on earth.

Among the industries most likely to benefit from laser communications between these satellites are agriculture and forestry.

Satellite data can also be used to engage the public in humanitarian efforts. In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, DigitalGlobe launched online crowdsourcing campaigns to map damage and help NGOs respond on the ground. And they’ve been identifying vulnerable communities in South Sudan as the nation suffers through unrest and famine.

In an age of intensifying natural disasters, combining these tactics with live satellite video feeds could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of people.

Should a company, for example, be able to use real-time video feeds to track your physical location, perhaps in order to better target advertising? Should they be able to use facial recognition and sentiment analysis algorithms to assess your reactions to those ads in real time?

While these commercially available images aren’t yet sharp enough to pick up intimate details like faces or phone screens, it’s foreseeable that regulations will be eased to accommodate even sharper images. That trend will continue to prompt privacy concerns, especially if a switch to laser-based satellite communication enables near real-time coverage at high resolutions.

A kaleidoscopic swirl of possible futures confronts us, filled with scenarios where law enforcement officials could rewind satellite footage to identify people at a crime scene, or on a more familial level, parents could remotely watch their kids — or keep tabs on each other — from space. In that world, it’s not hard to imagine privacy becoming even more of a commodity, with wealthy enclaves lobbying to be erased from visual satellite feeds, in a geospatial version of “gated communities.”



From DSC:
The pros and cons of technologies…hmmm…this article nicely captures the pluses and minuses that societies around the globe need to be aware of, struggle with, and discuss with each other. Some exciting things here, but some disturbing things here as well.




10 really hard decisions coming our way — from by Tom Vander Ark

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Things are about to get interesting. You’ve likely heard that Google’s DeepMind recently beat the world’s best Go player. But in far more practical and pervasive ways, artificial intelligence (AI) is creeping into every aspect of life–every screen you view, every search, every purchase, and every customer service contact.

What’s happening? It’s the confluence of several technologies–Moore’s law made storage, computing, and access devices almost free.

This Venn diagram illustrates how deep learning is a subset of AI and how, when combined with big data, can inform enabling technologies in many sectors. For examples, to AI and big data add:

  • Robotics, and you have industry 4.0.
  • Cameras and sensor package, and you have self-driving cars.
  • Sensors and bioinformatic maps, and you have precision medicine.

While there is lots of good news here–diseases will be eradicated and clean energy will be produced–we have a problem: this stuff is moving faster than civic infrastructure can handle. Innovation is outpacing public policy on all fronts. The following are 10 examples of issues coming at us fast that we (in the US in particular) are not ready to deal with.

  1. Unemployment.
  2. Income inequality.
  3. Privacy
  4. Algorithmic bias.
  5. Access.
  6. Machine ethics. 
  7. Weaponization. 
  8. Humanity. 
  9. Genome editing.
  10. Bad AI.


From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I’m big on pulse-checking the pace of technological change — because it has enormous ramifications for societies throughout the globe, as well as for individuals, workforces, corporations, jobs, education, training, higher education and more. Readers of this blog will again hear me say that the pace of change has changed. We’re now on an exponential pace/trajectory (vs. a slow, steady, linear path).

“Innovation is outpacing public policy on all fronts.”

How true this is. Our society doesn’t know how to deal with this new pace of change. How shall we tackle this thorny issue?






Reading for delegates to the World Conference on Online Learning (taking place from 10/16/17 through 10/19/17 in Toronto, Canada)

Readings include:




Also see:

  • Emerging Tech Boosts Online Education Growth Over Next 4 Years — from by Meghan Bogardus Cortez
    A study finds that mobile devices, virtual reality and blending learning programs will spark innovation.
    With millions of students enrolling in at least one online course, it should be no surprise that a recent Technavio study found that the online education market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent until 2021. As enrollment and investment in online education increases, the report claims that the industry owes a lot of this growth to mobile devices and increased desire for blended learning opportunities.






The Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 (11th Annual Survey) has been compiled by Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies from the votes of 2,174 learning professionals worldwide, together with 3 sub-lists

  • Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning (PPL)
  • Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning (WPL)
  • Top 100 Tools for Education (EDU)


Excerpt from the Analysis page (emphasis DSC):

Here is a brief analysis of what’s on the list and what it tells us about the current state of personal learning, workplace learning and education.

Some facts

Some observations on what the Top Tools list tells us personal and professional learning
As in previous years, individuals continue to using a wide variety of:

  • networks, services and platforms for professional networking, communication and collaboration
  • web resources and courses for self-improvement and self-development
  • tools for personal productivity

All of which shows that many individuals have become highly independent, continuous modern professional learners – making their own decisions about what they need to learn and how to do it.





Global Human Capital Report 2017 — from the World Economic Forum

Excerpt from the Conclusion section (emphasis DSC):

Technological change and its impact on labour markets calls for a renewed focus on how the world’s human capital is invested in and leveraged for social well-being and economic prosperity for all. Many of today’s education systems are already disconnected from the skills needed to function in today’s labour markets and the exponential rate of technological and economic change is further increasing the gap between education and labour markets. Furthermore, the premise of current education systems is on developing cognitive skills, yet behavioural and non-cognitive skills that nurture an individual’s capacity to collaborate, innovate, self-direct and problem-solve are increasingly important. Current education systems are also time-compressed in a way that may not be suited to current or future labour markets. They force narrow career and expertise decisions in early youth. The divide between formal education and the labour market needs to be overcome, as learning, R&D, knowledge-sharing, retraining and innovation take place simultaneously throughout the work life cycle, regardless of the job, level or industry.


Insert from DSC…again I ask:

Is is time to back up a major step and practice design thinking on the entire continuum of lifelong learning?”


Education delivery and financing mechanisms have gone through little change over the last decades. In many countries, many youth and children may find their paths constrained depending on the type of education they are able to afford, while others may not have access to even basic literacy and learning. On the other hand, many developed world education systems have made enormous increases in spending—with little explicit return. Early childhood education and teacher quality remain neglected areas in many developed and developing countries, despite their proven impact on learning outcomes. Both areas also suffer from lack of objective, global data.

Generational shifts also necessitate an urgent focus by governments on human capital investments, one that transcends political cycles. Ageing economies will face a historical first, as more and more of their populations cross into the 65 and over age group and their workforces shrink further, necessitating a better integration of youth, female workers, migrants and older workers. Many emerging economies face change of a different kind as a very large cohort of the next generation—one that is more connected and globalized than ever before—enters the workforce with very different aspirations, expectations and worldviews than their predecessors.

The expansion of the digital economy is accelerating the presence of a new kind of productive entity, somewhere between human capital and physical capital—robots and intelligent algorithms. As a result, some experts expect a potential reduction in the use of human labour as part of economic value creation while others expect a restructuring of the work done by people across economies but stable or growing overall levels of employment.19 Yet others have cautioned of the risks to economic productivity of technological reticence at the cost of realizing the raw potential of new technological advancements unfettered.20 While in the immediate term the link between work and livelihoods remains a basic feature of our societies, the uncertainty around the shifts underway poses fundamental questions about the long-term future structure of economies, societies and work. However, for broad-based transition and successful adaptation towards any one of these or other long-term futures, strategic and deep investments in human capital will be even more—not less—important than before.





Google AR and VR: Get a closer look with Street View in Google Earth VR


With Google Earth VR, you can go anywhere in virtual reality. Whether you want to stroll along the canals of Venice, stand at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or soar through the sky faster than a speeding bullet, there’s no shortage of things to do or ways to explore. We love this sense of possibility, so we’re bringing Street View to Earth VR to make it easier for you to see and experience the world.

This update lets you explore Street View imagery from 85 countries right within Earth VR. Just fly down closer to street level, check your controller to see if Street View is available and enter an immersive 360° photo. You’ll find photos from the Street View team and those shared by people all around the world.







The End of Typing: The Next Billion Mobile Users Will Rely on Video and Voice — from by Eric Bellman
Tech companies are rethinking products for the developing world, creating new winners and losers


The internet’s global expansion is entering a new phase, and it looks decidedly unlike the last one.

Instead of typing searches and emails, a wave of newcomers—“the next billion,” the tech industry calls them—is avoiding text, using voice activation and communicating with images.



From DSC:
The above article reminds me that our future learning platforms will be largely driven by our voices. That’s why I put it into my vision of a next generation learning platform.







Purdue U to train 10,000 IT workers for Infosys — from by Sri Ravipati


Purdue University on Thursday signed a five-year agreement with Infosys, an IT outsourcing firm based in India, to provide classes and training to approximately 10,000 American employees.

“The partnership will combine Infosys’ aspiration to grow and train its workforce in the United States with Purdue’s desire to increase educational and real-world opportunities for its students within the rapidly evolving technology industry,” according to a university statement. Notably, out of the 10,000 employees that Infosys plans to hire, approximately 2,000 will be based in Indiana, where the company is opening its first tech and innovation hub in the U.S.



5 reasons iPhone 8 will be an augmented reality game changer — from by Mark Knapp
Augmented Reality (AR) will be everywhere!

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with augmented reality thanks to Pokemon Go sticking Charmanders in our sock drawers and Snapchat letting us spew stars and rainbows from our mouths, but Apple’s iPhone 8 is going to push AR to point of ubiquity. When the iPhone 8 launches, we’ll all be seeing the world differently.

iPhones are everywhere, so AR will be everywhere!

The iPhone 8 will bring with it iOS 11, and with iOS 11 will come Apple’s AR. Since the iPhone 8 is all but guaranteed to be a best-seller and earlier iPhones and iPads will be widely updated to iOS 11, Apple will have a massive AR platform. Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, believes it will be “the largest AR platform in the world,” which will lure AR developers en masse.


Apple AR has huge potential in education.
Apple has been positioning itself in the education world for years, with programs like iTunes U and iBook, as well as efforts to get iPads into classrooms. AR already has major prospects in education, with the ability to make Museum exhibits interactive and to put a visually explorable world in front of users.



Apple could guide you around your city using augmented reality — from by Romain Dillet, with thanks to Woontack Woo for this resource




Startup Simulanis uses augmented and virtual reality to skill professionals — from by Vinay Dwivedi


[India] The widening gap between the skills required by businesses and the know-how of a large number of engineering students got Raman Talwar started on his entrepreneurial journey.

Delhi-based Simulanis harnesses AR and VR technology to help companies across industries— pharmaceuticals, auto, FMCG and manufacturing—train their staff. It continues to work in the engineering education sector and has developed applications that assist students visualise challenging subjects and concepts.

Our products help students and trainees learn difficult concepts easily and interactively through immersive AR-VR and 3-D gamification methods,” says Talwar. Simulanis’ offerings include an AR learning platform, Saral, and a gamified learning platform, Protocol.


Also see:




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