Not all online videos are of cats playing keyboards or compilations of people getting hurt. There’s another side of the web where the intellectuals gather at conferences around the world to present any bit of knowledge that is “worth sharing”. Of course I’m talking about TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conferences where leaders from different industries speak to exclusive TED members and videos of the conferences are later posted on the TED website. I’ve gathered 5 of my favorite TED talks about technology that I thought would be worth sharing.
iOS Developer Mike Matas Creates An Interactive iPad Book
You may not know who Mike Matas is, but you definitely have seen his work. Prior to creating this iPad-only interactive version of Al Gore’s book, “Our Choice”, Matas worked for Apple designing user interfaces and artwork for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X. You know the iPad’s Photo app? Yep, that was Mike who designed it.
In the video above, Matas walks us through the digital book and the many ways of interacting with it to learn. The most impressive interaction? When Mike demonstrates blowing into the iPad’s microphone to spin the digital windmill.
Ralph Langer and Defeating The Stuxnet Virus
Back in late 2010 news and media organizations began reporting about a malware virus called Stuxnet that targeted a very specific layer of computer hardware including a Windows machine and Siemens, a company that makes industrial logic controllers, computers. German security researcher Ralph Langer was one of the first people to begin studying the Stuxnet virus. Due to the complexity of the virus, I think the Stuxnet Wikipedia page does a better job explaining it than I would:
Once installed on a Windows system Stuxnet infects project files belonging to Siemens’ WinCC/PCS 7 SCADA control software (Step 7), and subverts a key communication library of WinCC called s7otbxdx.dll. Doing so intercepts communications between the WinCC software running under Windows and the target Siemens PLC devices that the software is able to configure and program when the two are connected via a data cable. In this way, the malware is able to install itself on PLC devices unnoticed, and subsequently to mask its presence from WinCC if the control software attempts to read an infected block of memory from the PLC system
Margaret Gould Stewart Shows How YouTube Detects Copyrighted Material
This is something I’ve always wondered about: how does YouTube detect and prevent copyrighted media from being upload without copyright holder permission? Margaret Gould Stewart, YouTube’s head of User Experience, doesn’t go into great detail about how the company detects unauthorized material, but she does simply explain the process of how an uploaded video is checked against a reference database containing information about every copyright claim (or reference file).
“The system compares every moment of one to the other to see if there’s a match. Now this means that we can identify a match even if the copy used is just a portion of the original file, plays it in slow motion and has degraded audio and video quality”
Every minute 20 hours of video is uploaded and checked against copyright claims. Talk about a hardworking database.
Twitter CoFounder Evan Williams on Twitter
Twitter CoFounder, Evan Williams, talks about the beginning of Twitter and it’s usage statistics. It’s a fairly old video dating back to February of 2009, but it’s interesting to see how Twitter’s intended use has changed to a global information source. While Williams goes on to talk about Twitter being used during world events such as the 2007 San Diego fires, today we still see Twitter being used a communication tool for events like the Japanese earthquake in March of this year.
Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin Visualize Google
This video is the oldest of the bunch dating back to 2004, but it shows an interesting insight about Google from query statistics to innovation and project management. My favorite part is the query visualization Sergey displays around the 4:00 minute mark.
What’s your favorite TED talk? Let us know in the comments below!