What ideas will shape our lives next?

A Softer Take on Home Security?

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Our concept of home is changing. The way privacy intersects with a sense of comfort, relaxation and safety in our houses is taking on a different shape in a world of Airbnb, media streaming and always-on connectivity.

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Piano Strings Tickled with Electromagnets, Not Hammers

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The piano is a very refined piece of technology. Dr. Andrew McPherson, senior lecturer in digital media at Queen Mary University of London, respects that its hundreds of years of development is architecturally remarkable. 

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Reusing Your Company's Waste

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Businesses regularly dispose of hundreds of items that still have useful lives — that’s why a new online platform is connecting companies to charities and individuals, trying to help clear up what businesses are clearing out.

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From "Agro-intelligent" Uruguay to Grocery Stores Around the World

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In the meat and poultry aisle of a supermarket somewhere in the United States a customer finds a cut of beef she likes: first-quality Uruguayan meat. By scanning the barcode on the label through an app on her smartphone, she is able to track when the cow was born, what the animal ate, even do a virtual tour of the farm it grew up on.

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How One Man Poisoned a City’s Water Supply (and Saved Millions of Children’s Lives in the Process)

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In 1897, a deadly outbreak of typhoid erupted in the town of Maidstone, in Southeast, England. At its peak, 900 people contracted the disease in a two week period; by the end, 143 of them would be dead.

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Why the American Founding Fathers Would Have Hated the Anti-Vaccination Movement

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THE HISTORY OF INNOVATION has an understandable bias toward original inventors, the tinkerers or entrepreneurs or scientists who hit upon an idea that ultimately changes the world. But new technologies need evangelists as much as they need creators; even “ideas worth spreading,” as the TED slogan has it, usually require someone to help that dissemination along.

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Rethinking the Stethoscope for Smoother Heart and Lung Checks

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We’ve all had the experience of gingerly lifting up our shirts and feeling our general practitioner’s ice-cold stethoscope placed on our chest or back. Stethoscopes have changed somewhat since their invention in 1816, but the principle of a tube capturing sound waves in the body remains largely untampered with.

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Steve Johnson: How We Made the "Sound" Episode of How We Got To Now

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The final episode of How We Got To Now was all about sound. We asked host, Steven Johnson for some behind-the-scenes stories and insight.

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San Francisco’s Hackable Sidewalks are Real Conversation Starters

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“I’m obsessed with the idea of the street as a public asset,” Jeff Risom of Gehl Architects told me. Streets amount to roughly 20 to 30 percent of the space in cities and typically 80 percent of their open spaces. To Risom, this means that a third of cities are underutilized. He wants to change this, using San Francisco as a key testbed.

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Arsenic-eating Plants Could Clean Up the World’s Rice Fields

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Plants absorb nutrients from the dirt around their roots, which is why growers—those from farmers to window-gardeners—aim for soil rich in things like nitrogen, phosphorus and manganese. But if that dirt is chock-full of poison, many plants will suck that up too.

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About The Blog

How We Get to Next is our sister site, looking at the amazing ideas and incredible people shaping the future. We’re working with some of the world’s best science, innovation and technology writers, and we’ll be posting a sample of stories from the site on this blog. 

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