Trotting the globe for thoughts, ideas, discussions, the next big thing and often uncovering the bizarre is the discourse of a day in the world of the Urban Rajah. These snippets have been collected to connect you with food for thought.
Once your "smart" appliances can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out -- so they outfitted Hill's apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often the devices contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising -- and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices is telling companies about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits -- and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you. (This talk contains mature language.)
Rebeca Hwang has spent a lifetime juggling identities -- Korean heritage, Argentinian upbringing, education in the United States -- and for a long time she had difficulty finding a place in the world to call home. Yet along with these challenges came a pivotal realization: that a diverse background is a distinct advantage in today's globalized world. In this personal talk, Hwang reveals the endless benefits of embracing our complex identities -- and shares her hopes for creating a world where identities aren't used to alienate but to bring people together instead.
What if you could search the surface of the Earth the same way you search the internet? Will Marshall and his team at Planet use the world's largest fleet of satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Now they're moving on to a new project: using AI to index all the objects on the planet over time -- which could make ships, trees, houses and everything else on Earth searchable, the same way you search Google. He shares a vision for how this database can become a living record of the immense physical changes happening across the globe. "You can't fix what you can't see," Marshall says. "We want to give people the tools to see change and take action."
Legendary architect Renzo Piano -- the mind behind such indelible buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City -- takes us on a stunning tour through his life's work. With the aid of gorgeous imagery, Piano makes an eloquent case for architecture as the answer to our dreams, aspirations and desire for beauty. "Universal beauty is one of the few things that can change the world," he says. "This beauty will save the world. One person at a time, but it will do it."