Roundup for July 3, 2015

Belated roundup today — but I seem to have found my theme: The End.

The Economist on big data and the end of insurance as we know it.

Don Draper is Dead, or Michael Wolff on the end of advertizing

And in a blast from the past, the MIT Tech Review on The End of Drudgery, a Depression-era take on the power of automation that’s startlingly reminiscent of many a 2015 op-ed.

In more future-facing news:

If 9 Year Old Boys Were Neurosurgeons: A proposal for tiny tiny robot guns that swim through your bloodstream and shoot medicine into tissue (h/t Evan Ackerman)

And, as it’s a holiday weekend: You know how lots of small cities and towns out there make the police department’s payroll by setting up speed traps and whacking everybody with out-of-state plates? Self-driving cars that never speed will put the kibosh on that, a new Brookings paper from Kevin C. Desouza and David Swindell points out. The pair of Arizona State profs also look at the impact of future tech like drones, AI and peer-to-peer platforms on state and local governments.

The DARPA Robotics challenge is still making waves — or at least generating backsplash, with PopSci’s Eric Sofge offering a stinging critique of the simplified task set demanded of the bots.


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