The 20 most-watched TED Talks to date


From education to brain function to inspiring messages to techno-possibilities, this list represents quite a breadth of topics.

  1. Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity (2006): 13,409,417 views
  2. Jill Bolte Taylor‘s stroke of insight (2008): 10,409,851
  3. Pranav Mistry on the thrilling potential of SixthSense (2009): 9,223,263
  4. David Gallo‘s underwater astonishments (2007): 7,879,541
  5. Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense (2009): 7,467,580
  6. Tony Robbins asks Why we do what we do (2006): 6,879,488
  7. Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action (2010): 6,050,294
  8. Steve Jobs on how to live before you die (2005): 5,444,022
  9. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen (2006): 4,966,643
  10. Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability (2010): 4,763,038
  11. Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation (2009): 4,706,241
  12. Arthur Benjamin does mathemagic (2005): 4,658,425
  13. Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your genius (2009): 4,538,037
  14. Dan Gilbert asks: Why are we happy? (2004): 4,269,082
  15. Stephen Hawking asks big questions about the universe (2008): 4,153,105
  16. Jeff Han demos his breakthrough multi-touchscreen (2006): 3,891,251
  17. Johnny Lee shows Wii Remote hacks for educators (2008): 3,869,417
  18. Keith Barry does brain magic (2004): 3,847,893
  19. Mary Roach 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm (2009): 3,810,630
  20. Vijay Kumar demos robots that fly like birds (2012): 3,535,340



Wikipedia May Undergo Blackout To Protest SOPA [news]

If you go to Wikipedia in the next couple of days and don’t see anything, there probably isn’t anything wrong with your Internet connection. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is considering blanking out all  Wikipedia pages in protest of SOPA, a bill that countless Internet-based content providers and freedom of information advocates are particularly wary of. Wales pitched the idea to the Wikipedia community and feels that a blackout could send an extremely powerful message to law-makers. – via |

Carrier IQ: Verizon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, AT&T And Others Speak Out On Phone ‘Tracking’ Controversy

Mobile software company Carrier IQ has responded to the massive outcry following researcher Trevor Eckhart’s damning video that exposes a CIQ app embedded deep into the operating software on many smartphones. According to Eckhart, the software shown in the video logs text messages, dialed calls, URL searches and more — all without the user’s knowledge.

While some believe that CIQ’s software may violate users’ rights to privacy, the company disagrees.

In a statement emailed to The Huffington Post, CIQ asserts that its software, which is not easily removed by the average user, is merely a diagnostic tool used by its mobile operator customers to assess and improve the quality of a network’s services.

“Carrier IQ acts as an agent for the Operators,” the company said in its statement.

“We measure and summarize performance of the device to assist Operators in delivering better service,” the statement also read. “[O]ur software does not record, store or transmit the contents of SMS messages, email, photographs, audio or video.”

CIQ said that its services are used to address problems with call quality and device battery life.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Carrier IQ CEO Larry Lenhart said that operators — not Carrier IQ — decide what data to collect from users. “They make that decision based on their privacy standards and their agreement with their users, and we implement it,” Lenhart said.

The emailed statement from CIQ goes on to state that users’ data is transmitted only to the mobile operators who use the company’s services. “Carrier IQ does not sell personal subscriber information to 3rd parties,” the company said.

CIQ admitted that, while it transmits data to mobile operators via encrypted channels, the ultimate security of that data rests in the hands of the operators.

On Thursday, Senator Al Franken said that Carrier IQ’s software may prompt Congress to consider new legislation regarding the protection of consumers’ personal information. Franken, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, wrote the following in a letter to CIQ: “The revelation that the locations and other sensitive data of millions of Americans are being secretly recorded and possibly transmitted is deeply troubling.”


Syrian authorities ban the use of iPhones [politics – technology]

Syrian authorities have banned the use of iPhones in the country, restricting the use of the device by activists to document government violence, Lebanese website Al Nashara reports.

Activists within the country are now being served with notices from the Customs Department of the Syrian Finance Ministry, stating that iPhones are now banned. The notice reads: “The authorities warn anyone against using the iphone in Syria.”

Protests in Syria began on 26 January following unrest across the Middle East region. Protesters are calling for political reforms and the reinstatement of civil rights. Syrian forces targeted areas that are openly against the government despite criticism and calls from neighbouring countries to bring an end to the violence.

The government has barred most foreign media from the country since protests began with more than 4,000 people killed in that time. It appears that authorities believe the iPhone assists protesters in capturing violent clashes and uploading it to video-sharing websites.

One Syrian activist believes that any person caught using an iPhone will be treated as a spy:

“It is enough for any tourist or guest visiting Syria to own an iPhone to be a spy suspect.”

It is not known if other smartphones will be impacted in the crackdown but the iPhone is perhaps the most well-known smartphone and its use looks to have been curbed as a result.

BlackBerry 9980 – a fancy ugly phone [stupid designs]

U G L Y      M O B I L E      P H O N E S 

What you’re looking at is the BlackBerry Bold 9980 [left] which is due to launch in Dubai next week – a collaboration between RIM (obviously) and Porsche Design.

Effectively it’s a posh Bold 9900 and comes with the same 1.2GHz processor, BlackBerry OS 7, 5-megapixel camera etc as expected. There’s always the chance it will have some form of souped-up OS 7 but we doubt that as it’s a lot of fuss to make for just one phone. Buyers will probably get a nice Porsche-themed wallpaper or ringtone thrown in, though.

We can’t tell you when it’s going to be released but we should have more info after the October 27 official unveiling. Good idea to hold it somewhere like Dubai where there’s obviously a bit of wealth rolling around, even in these austerity-flavoured days.

source – GSMARENA 

Steve Jobs: Android is a stolen product [say what]


Steve Jobs was the kind of man who did things his way. He had a lot of pride in his company’s products and his character was typically a serious one… the type of guy who can hold a grudge.

Even so, his true hatred for Android—now surfacing post-humously—will shock many.

It would of course be expected that Apple isn’t exactly on hugging terms with Google after the latter launched Android post-iOS. But now, as details from Walter Issacon’s forthcoming authorized biography of Steve emerge, it becomes clear that Steve had a burning passion for the competitor—or, in his eyes, thief.

The emotional quote that the Associated Press obtained really makes one think:

I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.

Apple shows no signs of letting up on Android lawsuits and actually has double the cash in its bank now. Whether or not Android can actually be “destroyed” remains to be seen but I certainly would surrender if it got to the point of thermonuclear warfare.

The book is called Steve Jobs: A Biography and launches this Monday. It was originally called iSteve: The Book of Jobs but that working title was not deemed very Apple-like.

Steve officially authorized this biography—a first for the legend—but never got a chance to read it.

sources, Associated Press

Local News – UAE loses a quarter of its millionaires in just one year

Country’s millionaire count has fallen by almost 25,000 in three years

The number of UAE’s high net worth individuals (those with $1 million or more in financial assets) declined by 24.8 per cent to 41,324 in 2011 from 54,971 in 2010, according to just released second annual Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI).

The CSRI report reckons it will take the country another five years to gain back the same number of millionaires that it lost last year, and expects the number of UAE millionaires to reach 54,000 in 2016.

According to the earlier World Wealth Report, released in June by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini, the population of UAE millionaires was more than 66,000 in 2008, taking the total tally of UAE individuals who’ve lost their ‘millionaire’ status to almost 25,000 in three years since the onset of the global economic slowdown.

The CSRI today released its second annual Global Wealth Report, which finds that Asia Pacific emerges as the key contributor of global wealth growth, accounting for 36 per cent of all global wealth creation since 2000, and 54 per cent since January 2010.

Total global wealth has increased 14 per cent from $203 trillion in January 2010 to $231 trillion in June 2011. Emerging markets remain the main wealth growth engine, with the fastest growth seen in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

In the next five years, global wealth is expected to rise by 50 per cent to $345 trillion and wealth per adult to increase 40 per cent to reach $70,700, led by growth in emerging markets. The report finds that emerging markets have considerable scope to increase personal wealth given their much lower ratio of net financial assets to income and a much lower debt-income ratio than found in mature economies. Ageing is also expected to increase the demand for financial assets relative to real assets like housing.

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Qatar recorded the highest average wealth per adult of $146,623 in 2011, a rise of 456 per cent from 2000 while Kuwait followed closely with $134,592, rising 156 per cent from 2000.

The UAE was placed third in the region with $115,774, up 104 per cent since 2000. Among the largest economies in the region, Saudi Arabia’s average wealth per adult rose 56 per cent from 2000 to reach $35,959 while Egypt’s wealth per adult climbed 47 per cent to touch $10,421.

While the average wealth per adult of many MENA countries saw substantial growth in 2011 compared to the past year, Egypt was one of the countries for which growth remained stagnant. However, in terms of total wealth, Egypt, with an estimated $0.5 trillion, ranked just behind Saudi Arabia with $0.6 trillion.

The report reconfirms that “these are times of unprecedented economic change, and a radical reconfiguration of the world’s economic order is taking shape. Emerging markets are important drivers of the global recovery and remain the key growth engines of global wealth,” said Credit Suisse’s Asia Pacific CEO Osama Abbasi.

“Credit Suisse believes this fast emerging wealth will drive new trends in consumption and investment in Asia, underpinning Credit Suisse’s proprietary thematic research initiatives on Global Megatrends of Demographics and Multipolar World. The much higher debt per adult level in Europe versus Asia, together with the much higher wealth growth rate in Asia versus Europe, suggests there may be scope for significant mutual collaboration to help mitigate the euro debt crisis,” added Giles Keating, Global Head of Research for Private Banking and Asset Management, Credit Suisse and a member of the Credit Suisse Research Institute Operating Committee.

The Credit Suisse report claims to analyse the wealth distribution of all the 4.5 billion adults in the world in more than 200 countries, using a rigorous and independent research approach.

Going forward, the US is expected to remain the largest wealth generator in the world with total household wealth of $82 trillion by 2016. China is expected to replace Japan as the second wealthiest country, with total household wealth increasing by $18 trillion to reach $39 trillion in 2016, compared to $31 trillion for Japan.

They will be followed by France and Germany both with $20 trillion. The middle segment of the wealth pyramid with wealth between $10,000 and $100,000 per adult, while accounting for 24 per cent of adults in 2011, is expected to rise to 31 per cent in 2016. “We also expect an increase in the proportion of adults with wealth above $100,000 from 8.8 per cent in 2011 to 10.9 per cent in 2016,” the report adds.

Over the next five years, wealth of emerging economies is expected to leapfrog the developed world, due to their more promising growth prospects. Wealth in China and Africa is projected to rise by over 90 per cent to $39 trillion and $5.8 trillion in 2016 respectively, while wealth in India and Brazil are forecast to more than double by 2016 to $8.9 trillion and $9.2 trillion.

The report compares the projected increase in wealth in the fastest growing emerging economies in the next five years, against the growth of wealth in the US over the course of the 20th century, forecasting the dramatic leapfrogging of emerging economies.

Total wealth in China is currently $20 trillion, equivalent to that of the US in 1968. In the next five years, it is projected to reach $39 trillion, a level that the US achieved in 22 years between 1968 and 1990. At $4.1 trillion, India’s total wealth in 2011 is comparable to the US in 1916. However, it is projected to reach $8.9 trillion in the next five years, equivalent to what US achieved in 30 years between 1916 and 1946. Similarly, Brazil’s total wealth is expected to grow from $4.5 trillion in 2011 to $9.2 trillion by 2016, equivalent to level of wealth gained in the US over 23 years from 1925 to 1948.

The report also projects the number of global millionaires to rise by 17 million to reach a total of 47 million by 2016, emerging economies are expected to catch up with developed nations with significant increase in the number of millionaires.