February 05, 2016

One generation reads the paper, another reads tablets. Credit: Matthew G / Flickr Creative Commons

Innovation doesn’t always mean something new. This week, we’re looking at how old systems can surprise us in new ways. 

TV has been around for decades, and, according to author Michael Wolff, it's not going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. As more and more programs become available online, the industry is starting to adapt. 

And now for a blast from the past, from our Dip Into History series. Eugene Polley believed that his invention was “the greatest thing since the wheel.” His device? The Flash-Matic, the ancestor of what we now think of as the remote control. 

The best algorithm has existed for more than a million years. Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, has discovered that children use the same kinds of problem-solving techniques as our most powerful machines: “There’s no program in the world that’s even in the same ballpark as every two-year-old, in terms of being able to learn.” 

Inspired to take notes on the great segments we've aired so far? Well, put away that keyboard. (But keep that laptop out and linked to Soundcloud.) Pam Mueller, a psychology graduate student at Princeton University, has found that longhand is the key to academic success.

Crime may be getting smarter, but it's still using some old tricks. Cyber criminals have created systems that look a little familiar: they form companies with infrastructure - including tech support, HR, and CFOs who specialize in laundering money. We speak with Marc Goodman, FBI’s former Futurist-in–Residence, about the evolving world of organized crime. 

Margaret Ann Neale, Sci and Tech, Pam Mueller, Marc Goodman, Kentaro Toyama

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