Tech Trends: From the PLATO to Coffee Powered Buses

Technology Trends, 11/21/17

The PLATO is the greatest computer system and network that you’ve never heard of. It was a pre-internet online platform built at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the 1960s:

“Nearly 60 years ago, in the modest college towns of Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, an educational computer system, built with federal funding acquired amid the space race, took its first formative steps toward existence.” –Motherboard

Goldman Sachs and other large banks says the economy is beginning to grow, and we could see 4% growth next year:

“2017 is shaping up to be the first year of the expansion in which growth surprises to the upside,” Goldman analyst Charles Himmelberg said in a note to clients Thursday. “We expect 2018 to deliver more of the same.” –CNBC

When we’re using VR headsets, we always wish it’d be easier to see our hands and what buttons we’re pressing. Well now iNFINITE Production has solved this and released their open source tool into the market.

In the VR space, investments into the entertainment VR industry jumps 79% in 2H 2017

Amazon and the CIA signed a 10 year deal worth up to $600M.

Alibaba is following Amazon’s footsteps by investing $2.8B in China’s top grocery chain.

A Stanford Algorithm can help diagnose Pneumonia better than most radiologists.

London is running experiments using coffee to power its buses.

Is it too early to start using Elf gifs?

In other tech news:

Online e-commerce sales are exploding, including the largest single shopping day ever in China called ‘Singles Day’. In a single day, Singles Day yielded $25B!

Websites and apps are tracking more and more user data using scripts:

“As their name implies, the scripts allow the operators to re-enact individual browsing sessions. Each click, input, and scroll can be recorded and later played back.

A study published last week reported that 482 of the 50,000 most trafficked websites employ such scripts, usually with no clear disclosure. It’s not always easy to detect sites that employ such scripts. The actual number is almost certainly much higher, particularly among sites outside the top 50,000 that were studied.” –ArsTechnica

At what point will consumers start to opt out? We’re not sure, but we doubt too many people care (as long as the data is used to offer them better service).

That’s it for today’s Technology Trends. Stay tuned for tomorrow and subscribe to The Mission’s newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it!

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