Trending December 2023 # The Future Of Social Networking Workshop (By W3C) # Suggested January 2024 # Top 16 Popular

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I am often asked what the future of social media is. And always my answer is “No idea“. I am not very good at making predictions… unlike those smart people who shared their work at W3C workshop on the future of social networking (kudos for the find to PageOneResults via WebmasterForums).

The workshop lists a lot of really insightful articles that definitely deserve attention. The goal of the project is to bring together “the world experts on social networking design, management and operation”. Topic discussed include:

Appropriate architecture for social networks (including privacy and trust issues);

Adapted user experiences (with focus on mobility and accessibility);

Context and communities: “how social networks can be enriched by more context-aware devices and applications”.

Here are just a few papers listed:

The Future of Social Networking:

Eventually, Myspace and Facebook, no matter what fancy features they may add, will seem as archaic as Compuserve and Prodigy do now. The acceptance of a distributed social networking model is, as the internet has shown, an inevitability. All proprietary walled gardens have given way to distributed models, and social networking is the next frontier. And just like open, distributed protocols before it, social networking requires an open API in order to function properly. Since many walled gardens are based on amassing as many users as possible, in order to maximize ad revenue, adopting a distributed model goes against their business plan. Therefore, it’s up to the open source community to come up with a real distributed social networking solution.

Leveraging Web 2.0 Communities in Professional Organisations (pdf);

Leveraging Social data with Semantics:

…we can extend the representation of social links thanks to the semantic relationships found in the vocabularies shared by the members of the social networks. These “enriched” representations of social networks, combined with a similar enrichment of the semantics of the meta-data attached to the shared resources, will allow the elaboration of “shared knowledge graphs”.

Privacy and Social Network Sites: Follow the Money! (pdf) – also, check out the references in the bottom;

Mobile Social Networking: Two Great Tastes:

Mobile social networking involves more than simply replicating existing PC browser-based social networking interfaces in a mobile environment… Integrating person-to-person calling devices into a socially-networked Web is not the same thing as displaying the socially-networked Web on a mobile phone.

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Plane Rides Of The Future Could Be Fueled By Table Scraps

Commercial aviation alone contributes around three percent of total global carbon emissions. But the industry is actively looking for green solutions in the form of sustainable jet fuel, and in one case, that fuel may have had a previous life as your household food scraps.

In a study released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado and other institutions details a method of converting food waste into sustainable jet fuel that can be used in existing engines.

Biomass, such as manure and food waste, can be converted into biofuels, which are renewable liquid fuels made from organic matter. Ethanol and biodiesel are two common types of renewable biofuel, but making sustainable aviation fuel is a more complicated process—it’s got to be so similar to the petroleum-based jet fuel we use today so it can “drop-in” existing engines and aircraft. Reimagining the airplane engine to run on different types of fuel will take time, so the goal is to design a fuel that can be used now.

The researchers were able to use volatile fatty acids from fermenting old food waste and convert it to simple paraffin molecules that can be used in fuel and really aren’t all that different chemically from traditional fossil fuels. Other sustainable aviation fuels have been made from biomass, specifically oil, fat, and grease from vegetables and animals, but using our ever-mounting pile of food waste to fuel flight broadens those possibilities.

Derek Vardon, a senior research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and study author, and Nabila Huq, a postdoctoral researcher at NREL and the lead author of the study say that their fuel worked at the 90 percent conventional petroleum jet fuel, 10 percent alternative jet fuel blend that is required from the industry currently. They also showed they could push it to a 70/30 blend, but more time and testing are required to allow that ratio in the real world.

Vardon says major companies are eager to get involved in sustainable aviation fuel because some sustainable solutions, such as battery-operated commercial planes, just aren’t possible yet with current battery technology. A battery-powered plane would be too heavy to fly long distances—so fuel that works in the same way as the fuel we have is a simpler way to trade out emissions-heavy fossil fuels.

“There’s been an explosion in the last year of companies looking to use sustainable aviation fuel, like, Microsoft, Amazon, FedEx,” he says.

Vardon says that because the wet waste used in the process would normally go to a landfill and break down to release greenhouse gases, the process of making and using sustainable aviation fuel could actually have a negative carbon footprint when scaled up.

“To do that and to meet the requirements for a sustainable aviation fuel is actually not trivial,” he says. He compares being able to make sustainable jet fuel as hitting a “bullseye” on a dartboard because of tight regulations for safety and performance.

Not only do these sustainable fuels put the industry on a path toward net-zero emissions, but they also produce fewer sooty aerosols when burning. Soot particles provide the nucleus for clouds known as contrails to form from plane exhaust, which then serves as a “blanket” and trap heat in the atmosphere.

To get this product into the market in the near term, Huq says they tried to “match the specifications of existing conventional jet fuel without trying anything too fancy as far as modifications.”

Commercial airlines are on board to find an affordable and sustainable solution to the carbon-intensive process of air travel. Airlines are looking to hit aggressive sustainability goals by 2050, including decreasing net carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent. “We’re excited to partner with NREL as we continue our journey to make commercially-viable SAF [sustainable aviation fuel] a reality and a part of Southwest’s future,” Michael AuBuchon, Southwest’s senior director of fuel supply chain management, said in a statement.

A major question as we go forward in this type of research is if it is possible to run an airplane engine on fully renewable fuel. Rolls Royce recently did a demonstration on one of their company’s engines at 100 percent sustainable airline fuel and it worked. “This [fuel] is not crazy and we can solve these problems,” Vardon says.

Computational Design Workshop By Ratedu In 4 Cities In India

rat[LAB]EDU – Winter School 2023-19

Organized By: Sushant Verma

// Winter School 2023-19 :: Parametric Skyscrapers

The 5 day intensive workshop (3 days of studio sessions + 2 day online sessions) for design students & professionals will delve into computational & parametric methods (using Rhino3D & Grasshopper3D) to create systemic design models for architectural design of skyscraper. Advanced Design Tools such as Environmental Analysis and Structural Analysis for skyscraper will also be integrated in the studio, along with presentation and documentation for competition submission.

WS18-19 will run across 4 cities and investigate the agenda of Parametric Skyscapers for participants to experience a hands-on experience of correctly using the digital tools through computation and parametric methods.

Studio is designed as a 3-day event in all cities (+2 Online Sessions for each batch)  comprising of technical tutorials, teaching sessions, design critics, design documentation methods, presentations, submission panel preparations and design exercises culminating in a critical discussion about computational design and its future potentials, pertaining to high-rise developments.

The 3-day studio / workshop shall focus on inculcating the following aspects as a part of syllabus:

Parametric & Computational Design Methods

Skyscraper Design Tool-set

Environmental Analysis

Façade and Building Skin Design

Structural Analysis (if required)

Documentation and Presentation (for competition submission)

Best 3 projects (cumulative from all cities) will work with rat[LAB] Studio (Delhi) to submit the finalized project for eVolo Skyscraper 2023 (and other similar international competitions, where the scheme fits appropriately).

The selection will be based on final works developed in guidance of Studio Head – Ar. Sushant Verma from rat[LAB] Studio.

Teaching Methodology

Studio is structured to teach participants the use of computational techniques through Grasshopper® (Generative modeling plug-in for Rhino®) and ways to integrate it with architectural & structural systems for skyscraper design leading to international competition submissions.

No previous knowledge of Grasshopper & Rhinoceros is required for these workshops as basic technical knowledge will be provided on Day 1.

Pre-designed customizable tools will be provided by rat[LAB]EDU on Day 2 for design explorations & experimentation, pertaining to applications for high-rise buildings.

The workshop is curated in the form of a design studio with collective learning than mere software sessions. Software form a part of the tool-set that is inculcated in the 3-day studio sessions.

 Technical Sessions

Technical sessions will be provided to give an insight to computation, algorithms and parametric design methodologies to students & professionals. The idea of designing parametrically and use of computational methodologies is new to Indian context and has great potentials across various design disciplines. Digital experimentation using computational techniques (primarily Rhino3D + Grasshopper) will initiate the discourse, followed by technical sessions, theoretical discussions and presentations.


*Mumbai workshop has been shifted and clubbed with Pune workshop.

PUNE:  7th, 8th, 9th Jan 2023 (Monday to Wednesday)

Dr D Y Patil College Of Architecture (Akurdi)

Dr. D. Y. Patil Educational Complex,

Ravet Village Road, Sector 29,

Nigadi Pradhikaran, Akurdi, Pune,

Maharashtra 411044

NEW DELHI: 18th, 19th, 20th Jan 2023 (Friday to Sunday)

Sushant School of Art & Architecture

Ansal University

Sector 55, Golf Course Road,

Gurugram, Haryana 122003

CHENNAI: 23rd, 24th, 25th Jan 2023 (Wednesday to Friday)

RVS School of Change

9th Floor, Sapna Trade Centre

135, Poonamallee High Road,

Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600084

BENGALURU: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Feb 2023 (Friday to Sunday)

KS School of Architecture

No. 15, Off Kanakapura Road,

Near Vajarahalli, Mallasandra,

Karnataka 560109

*Since multiple organizations form a part of Winter School programme (venue partners, media partners, collaborating studio, etc.), there is always a slight possibility in change of dates and venue.

Tutors & Speakers

Sushant Verma – Studio Director (rat[LAB]Studio) (

Each city may have an additional co-tutor

Eminent experts from architectural design with knowledge in high-rise buildings will be invited as guest speakers for studio or online sessions.

Software & skills 

Basic 3D modeling skills in any software are preferred (Previous knowledge of Rhino3D is not obligatory).

Participants should bring their own laptop with pre-installed software.

NOTE: Grasshopper does not fully function on Rhino for MAC. A windows-enabled laptop is necessary.

Rhino 5 (90-day evaluation) can be downloaded for free here.

Rhino 6 (90-day evaluation) can be downloaded for free here.

Grasshopper free-version can be downloaded here.

Additional software & plug-ins will be provided in the workshop.

Registration Dates

All Registrations end 4 days prior to workshop start date (Or till seats last)

There are limited seats available.

Participation Fee

Student and recent graduates *- INR 8250 + 18% GST

Professional – Jr. **- INR 9750 + 18% GST

Professional – Sr. ***- INR 13750 + 18% GST

*(Graduated from B.Arch. or similar programme in 2023 or later)

**( Graduated from B.Arch. or similar programme between 2013 to 2023)

***( Graduated from B.Arch. or similar programme in or before 2012)

Valid ID Proof (for grad year) required STRICTLY; Nominal Platform service charges applicable.

Early-bird registration (limited seats only) ending on 20th Nov 2023: 15% Flat Discount

Group Registrations (Groups of 4 – 7) ending on 20th Nov 2023 : 20% Flat Discount

Venue Partners’ students : 25% Discount (as per coupon codes provided to school)



Distribution of research and study material.

Talk/Presentation on high-rise and skyscraper design.

Case study on Computational Design for skyscrapers.

Brainstorming to prepare for 3-day Studio Workshop.


Presentations / Lectures on Parametric Design & Computational Thinking

Introduction to Rhinoceros 3D – GUI & Basic Use

Grasshopper GUI & Basic Functionality

Points, Lines, Surfaces.

Parameters, Inputs, Numbers.

Simple & Referenced Geometry, Locally Defined Geometry, Baking, etc.

Lists & Data Tree Management

Data Manipulation & Visualization

Surface Tessellations


Patterns & Geometric Explorations

Releasing of pre-designed tools (Grasshopper scripts) to all participants

Functionality of tools for Skyscraper Design

Agenda for competition

Design development (in teams or individual)

Discussions on submission panels & output



Group Discussions & Preparation of Panels

3D Visualizations, Diagrams, Drawing Preparations

Presentation Methods

Finalizing A1 Panels (for submissions)


Collaborating with rat[LAB] Studio to finalize entries

Visual Communications & Technical Checks

Competitive Blogging : Networking With The Competition

Blogging, for many is a business, and just like any other business you will have to show some level of appreciation among your peers. Do you have to like them? Absolutely not! Can you benefit by befriending them, Absolutely. Many bloggers looking for their big break, tend to leave this stone unturned, they avoid communication with fellow bloggers, seeing them as the enemy, or worse yet the competition. Many of us have been taught from birth not to socialize with strangers and as we grow older we are taught to find a way to beat the competition, leaving our opportunity, open to prevail above all others.

Like any other business, professional blogging requires strong networking and communication skills. Bloggers are in the business of providing information and at first no one will care to read it. The other bloggers may look at you like a disease as you start out, lets face it, you are no good to them. If you link to their articles they stand to gain nothing as your blog has yet to be established, and your readers have yet to arrive. Befriending two bloggers opens two opportunities you may not have had before. These are two additional ways to expand your Internet empire and that is sometimes all it takes to give you that nudge you need to move ahead.

Knowing how to befriend someone, that cares little of your existence is a thought often pondered by many starting out. Below are four easy steps toward your growth in the blogging community.

4 Steps Towards Gaining Recognition

Comment Frequently. They already know who you are from your previous email, now let them know you mean business. They want to know your serious and here for the long haul. There are so many bloggers that start out strong and then disappear, which has turned many readers and other bloggers alike, away from new guys. Everyone wants to know you will still be here in a year.

Link to Their Articles. Every time you link to an article on another blog you will notify that blogger. Ninety percent of the time they will follow that link back to your site, to see what it is about. This is your true opportunity to shine, if your article is valuable to the community, they may link back to you. A simple link roundup article by a large blogger can significantly increase your day to day traffic and more importantly your number of backlinks.

Never give up! This can be a very cutthroat business because there are so many competitors. Keep strong, keep serious and keep focused, and you will achieve your goals. Don’t get discouraged by the lack of consideration many popular bloggers tend to have, usually they are just busy.

Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing

The Future Of Machine Learning: Automl

Do you ever wonder how companies develop and train machine learning models without experts? Well, the secret is in the field of Automated Machine Learning (AutoML). AutoML simplifies the process of building and tuning machine learning models for organizations to harness the power of these technologies. Figure 1 gives a visual AutoML. In this blog, we’ll explore a look at some of its key benefits and limitations. Get ready to be amazed by the power of AutoML.

Learning Objectives

Understand the basics of AutoML and its methods

Explore the key benefits of using AutoML

Understand the limitations of AutoML

Understand the practical impact of AutoML

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.

Table of Contents

What is AutoML?

Methods of AutoML: A Comprehensive Overview

Effortless ML: The Merits of AutoML

AutoML: A Closer Look at the Drawbacks

AutoML in Practice: How Companies are Automating Machine Learning?


What is AutoML? The Future of Machine Learning

AutoML is a game-changer in the field of machine learning. It is a training of machine learning models to automate the process of selecting and tuning algorithms. This includes everything from data preprocessing to selecting the most suitable model for the given task. AutoML tools handle hyperparameter tuning and model selection tasks, which typically require time and expertise. With AutoML, users without experience in machine learning can train high-performing models with minimal effort. Whether you’re a small business owner, a researcher, or a data scientist, AutoML helps to achieve your goals with less time and effort. Examples of popular AutoML platforms include Google Cloud AutoML, chúng tôi and DataRobot.

AutoML provides explainable AI to improve the interpretability of the model. This allows data scientists to understand how the model makes predictions, which is particularly helpful in healthcare, finance, and autonomous systems. This can be used to identify bias in data and prevent wrong predictions. For example, AutoML can be used in healthcare fo gnosis by analyzing medical images, in finance for fraud detection, in retail for product recommendations, and in transportation for self-driving cars. Figure 2 shows the AutoML process.

ethods: A Comprehensive Overview

AutoML automates the use of machine learning for real-world problems. This includes tasks such as algorithm selection, hyperparameter optimization, and f rent methods are being developed to tackle the various aspects of the problem. Some popular approaches are given below

Neural Architecture Search (NAS):

This method uses a search algorithm to automatically find the best neural network architecture for a given task and dataset.

Bayesian Optimization: This method uses a probabilistic model to guide the search for the best set of hyperparameters for a given model and dataset.

Evolutionary Algorithms: This method uses evolutionary algorithms such as genetic algorithms or particle swarm optimization to search for the best set of model hyperparameters.

Gradient-based methods: This method uses gradient-based optimization techniques like gradient descent, Adam, etc., to optimize the model hyperparameters.

Transfer Learning: This method uses a pre-trained model on a similar task or dataset as a starting point and then fine-tunes it on the target task and dataset.

Ensemble methods: This method combines multiple models to create a more robust and accurate final model.

Multi-modal methods: This method uses multiple data modalities such as image, text, and audio to train models and improve performance.

Meta-learning: This method uses a model to learn how to learn from data, which can improve the efficiency of the model selection process.

One-shot or few-shot learning: This method can learn to recognize new classes from only one or a few examples.

AutoML is broadly classified into a model selection and hyperparameter tuning, as shown in Fig 3. Many differen integrated into existing workflows.

Effortless Machine Learning: The Merits of AutoML in Machine Learning

AutoML simplifies the machine learning process and brings many benefits, some of which are given below:

Time-saving: Automating the process of model selection and hyperparameter tuning can save a significant amount of time for data scientists and machine learning engineers.

Accessibility: AutoML allows users with little or no experience with machine learning to train high-performing models.

Improved performance: AutoML methods can often find better model architectures and hyperparameter settings than manual methods, resulting in improved model performance.

Handling large amounts of data: AutoML can handle large amounts of data and find the best model even with more features.

Scalability: AutoML can scale to large datasets and complex models, making it well-suited to big data and high-performance computing environments.

Versatility: AutoML can be used in various industries and applications, including healthcare, finance, retail, and transportation.

Cost-effective: AutoML can save resources and money in the long run by reducing the need for manual labor and expertise.

Reduced risk of human error: Automating the model selection and hyperparameter tuning process can reduce the risk of human error and improve the reproducibility of results.

Increased Efficiency: AutoML can be integrated with other tools and processes to increase efficiency in the data pipeline.

Handling multiple data modalities: AutoML can handle multiple data modalities such as image, text, and audio to train models and improve performance.

AutoML offers several benefits for data scientists and engineers that save time and resources by automating tedious and time-consuming tasks. This also improves the interpretability of the model by providing explainable AI. These combined benefits make AutoML a valuable tool in many industries and applications.

AutoML: A the Drawbacks

AutoML has become a popular tool for data scientists and analysts. However, it has limitations. There are following limitations are given below

Limited control over the model selection and hyperparameter tuning process: AutoML methods operate based on predefined algorithms and settings, and users may have limited control over the final model.

Limited interpretability of the resulting model: AutoML methods can be opaque, making it difficult to understand how the model makes its predictions.

Higher costs than manually designing and training a model: AutoML tools and infrastructure can be costly to implement and maintain.

Difficulty in incorporating domain-specific knowledge into the model: AutoML relies on data and pre-defined algorithms, which can be less effective when incorporating domain-specific knowledge.

Potential for poor performance on edge cases or unusual data distributions: AutoML methods may not perform well on data that is significantly different from the training data.

Limited support for certain models or tasks: AutoML methods may not be well-suited to all models or tasks.

Dependence on large amounts of labeled data: AutoML methods typically require large amounts of labeled data to train models effectively.

Limited ability to handle data with missing values or errors: AutoML methods may not perform well on data with missing values or errors.

Limited ability to explain the model’s predictions and decisions: AutoML methods can be opaque, making it difficult to understand how the model makes its predictions, which can be an issue for certain applications and industries.

Overfitting: AutoML methods may lead to overfitting on the training data if not properly monitored, which can result in poor performance on new unseen data.

AutoML is a powerful tool for automating the machine-learning process, but it is with its limitations. It is important to consider these limitations in the presence of expert supervision to validate the results.

AutoML in Practice: How Companies are Automating Machine Learning?

A few practical examples of AutoML are given below:

Google’s AutoML Vision allows users to train custom machine-learning models for image recognition using th mage datasets’s AutoML enables data scientists and analysts to automatically train and optimize machine learning models without having to write code

DataRobot provides an AutoML platform that can automatically build, evaluate and deploy machine learning models for a wide range of use cases, including fraud detection, customer churn prediction, and predictive maintenance

Amazon SageMaker is a fully managed service that enables data scientists and developers to quickly and , train, and deploy machine learning models at scale

IBM Watson AutoAI is a platform that automates the process of building, training, and deploying machine learning models and provides interpretability and explainability features that help users understand the models’ decision-making processes

Microsoft Azure ML is a cloud-based platform that provides a wide range of tools and services for building, deploying, and managing machine learning models, including AutoML capabilities.

These are a few examples of how companies leverage AutoML in different industries to automate model building and hyperparameter tuning, allowing data scientists to focus on model selection and evaluation.


AutoML automates the process of building and tuning machine-learning models. This method uses algorithms to search the best model and hyperparameters rather than relying on human expertise. AutoML includes increased efficiency and the ability to handle large amounts of data. It can be useful in the shortage of experienced machine learning practitioners. However, there are also limitations to AutoML. It can be computationally expensive and difficult to interpret the results of the automated search process. Additionally, the practical use of AutoML is limited by the data’s quality and computational resources’ availability. In practice, AutoML is mainly used in an indus prove productivity and model performance in scenarios like image, speech, text, and other forms of data.

Key Takeaways:

Simplify the process of building and training models.

AutoML suffers limitations such as a lack of control over the model selection process, huge data requirements, computationally expensive, and overfitting issues.

Expert supervision is important to validate the results of AutoML to counter available limitations.

The media shown in this article is not owned by Analytics Vidhya and is used at the Author’s discretion.


The Best Of Ces 2012: Popsci’s Products Of The Future

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It’s often tough to find a clean signal in all the noise of CES, but in putting this list together, we realized how excited we are about a lot of the new gear we saw this year. CES 2012 brought us the best TV we’ve ever seen, two killer new cameras, a fridge that can chill beer cans in five minutes, high-speed in-car mobile wireless, awesome new smartphones, and a lot more. Check out our picks for the Products of the Future in the gallery below.

Nokia Lumia 900

Modular Robotics Cubelets

The simplest way to wrap your head around what exactly the Cubelets are is to think of them as robotic Legos. Sold as a six-block starter kit, the Cubelets are pre-programmed 1.5-inch blocks, each with its own action—to move, sense nearby objects, display light, whathaveyou—and the way you stack them determines what your final robot will do. Snapping a battery block on top of a motion-sensing block and a roller block, for instance, will great a ‘bot that automatically moves when the lights go on (or off). Modular Robotics sells add-on blocks with other traits (sound sensitivity, loudspeakers, etc.) and will add a Bluetooth block this year, allowing users to re-program their bricks over a simple Web interface.

Samsung Super OLED TV

OLED televisions are super thin, ultra-contrasty, and have colors that are saturated to the point of near surreality. But other than Sony’s dimunitive XEL-1, which has been on sale since 2008, they’re usually trotted out at CES only as dreamy concept showpieces. Samsung’s 55″ Super OLED, though, marks an important moment in TVs: large-panel OLEDs are now practical to manufacture and sell. No word on price (it will be exorbitant, surely), but Samsung stated plainly that the set would be available for purchase this year. And good thing: after you’ve stood in front of this OLED beauty, it’s hard to look at normal TVs the same way again.

Basis Band

LG’s French Door Refrigerator With Blast Chiller

This fridge wants us to never deal with warm beer ever again, and for that we are eternally thankful. Its special blast chiller compartment can take your beverage of choice from room temperature to a delicious 42º F in no time—5 minutes for a single can, or 8 minutes for two cans or a bottle of wine. A gentle rocking motion exposes the liquids to the cold evenly, without leaving you with a fizzy carbonation bomb upon opening. See a video of the chiller in action here.

MakerBot Replicator

The 3-D printer you build yourself is new and improved for 2012, now sporting a larger building area and twin extruders for printing with two colors (or entirely different materials) simultaneously. Your very own personal assembly line for under $2,000.

MicroVision PicoP Gen2 HD Laser Projector

If there’s one thing we love at PopSci, it’s a pico projector. And, well, we’ve seen a lot of them over the last three years. But MicroVision’s new PicoP Gen2 is sorta the one we’ve been looking for. Not only is it the first pico to display 720p HD video, it’s also the first one we’ve seen that’s small and efficient enough to be built into more things that just standalone projectors–we’re talking projector phones that aren’t bricks and even portable gaming systems that can be standalone mobile entertainment centers.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

Parrot ZIK Headphones

There are always tons of headphones at CES. So why’d we pick out these wireless ones from Parrot, a company known for fun flying drones rather than audio equipment? A few reasons: Designed by Philippe Starck, a well-known industrial designer, the headphones look awesome, all black leather and curved silver metal. The way you use them is really, really cool: they have controls built in, but not in any boring way like an inline remote or (and here we utter a bad-design shudder) some play/pause/forward/back buttons on the outside of the ear cups. Instead, it uses a proximity sensor to figure out when you’re wearing and when you’ve taken the headphones off, and it pauses automatically when you remove them. To change the volume, you gently stroke the ear cups up and down, and to go to the next or previous track, you stroke left and right. (You can see in this picture that our own John Mahoney got pretty into the stroking part of this.) The ZIK has a bunch of other features too: it’s got self-contained noise cancellation (Parrot says the batteries last about five hours with the battery-draining cancellation turned on), Bluetooth to connect, and even NFC, which to my knowledge has never been implanted into a pair of headphones before. And they’re super comfortable. Audio nerds: we only tested them in the midst of a raucous western-themed press event, so we can’t vouch for audio quality in any respectable way. They sounded pretty good but we can’t comfortably say much more than that. They’ll be available sometime this year for an undisclosed (but undoubtedly steep) price.

Sennheiser RS220

Thanks to a new wireless streaming standard, the RS220 home-theater headphones may well be the best-sounding wireless pair you can get. The pair transmit uncompressed audio over the 2.4GHz range—yes, the same as Kleer and other high-end transmission standards—but this new DSSS trick modulates the signal across several clustered frequencies, and the headphones recompose the signal at the other end. The result: better dynamic range and super low-latency, which might not matter as much when listening to music, but makes a world of difference when you need to sync with a TV screen.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

It’s become clear this week that 2012 is the Year of the UltraBook, but in reality there’s not a lot to distinguish one super-trim laptop from another. Unless we’re talking about the IdeaPad Yoga, which in this case we happen to be. The Windows-running clamshell can morph into any of four form factors. From standard laptop clamshell, rotate the keyboard behind the screen (like the cover of a spiral notebook) to enter tablet-style mode with the keyboard deactivated. Or, use the keyboard as a stand in either a sandwich-board-style orientation or a right-angle hinge.

Mobile High-Definition Link

Mobile High-Definition Link, or MHL, wasn’t announced at CES 2012, but it was during CES that we at PopSci really started to get excited about it. It’s a new kind of technology that can be applied to just about any connector, like HDMI, USB, or any kind of proprietary port (including Apple’s iPod/iPhone/iPad port), and it essentially gives those dumb old connectors a whole bunch of new powers. Some of those, like HDMI, for example, can’t deliver power. But an MHL-supporting HDMI port sure can. That’s how we can get things like the Roku Streaming Stick, which is an entire Roku the size of a USB thumb drive that plugs right into your TV’s HDMI port. Other cool features include the ability to control anything plugged into an MHL-enabled HDMI port with your TV’s remote–no need to have several remotes scattered around anymore.

Able Planet Personal Sound Amp PS2500AMP

Unlike the majority of personal hearing aids, Able’s Planet’s Personal Sound Amp tucks almost entirely inside the ear canal—nearly invisibly so. Like a noise-canceling headphone pair, the Amp senses what noise it’s up against—wind, music, the din of a loud room—and automatically tunes itself to cancel out those noises. FI the wearer is still having trouble hearing (ie: if the earbud has yet to re-tune to the room), he can cup his hand over his ear; the change in pressure from that action tells the Amp to re-tune itself.

OnStar & Verizon Wireless Chevy Volt with LTE

The promise of Verizon’s 4G LTE network has long—well, since 2010—been the ability to stream audio and video consistently from anywhere, even if you’re moving. Until now there are have been demos involving telepresence robots and LTE-equipped broadcast cameras, but the new OnStar shows LTE the way a real person would use it: in a car. LTE connectivity allows the system to constantly connect to road-trip-friendly cloud services like Skype and Pandora. Netflix? Maybe not the best idea.

Canon PowerShot G1 X

Continuing the theme of exceptional image quality in ever-smaller packages, the PowerShot G1 X is an entirely new beast for Canon—a camera system within itself. Forgoing a buy-in to an interchangeable lens system to keep costs down, the G1 X offers a fixed 4x zoom feeding light into a brand new CMOS sensor that’s just a hair smaller than those found in most DSLRs.

Corning Gorilla Glass 2

If you have a modern smartphone, chances are you have some Gorilla Glass in your pocket. At CES, Corning announced a new formula for their chemically-strengthened glass that’s 20 percent tougher, which means tablet touchscreens and notebook LCDs can go 20 percent thinner without sacrificing strength and durability. The profusion of slim, MacBook-Air-like ultrabooks this year is no coincidence; Gorilla Glass is one of the enabling technologies pushing our gadgets ever-sleeker.

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