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How Star Trek will finally come true

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Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

QWA-category-30years

The technology advances of the last 30 years were great. But they’re just the start. What’s most exciting is still to come, says Nilofer Merchant.

In the next 30 years, the full Star Trek story will actually come true.

Already, we’ve seen many of the show’s far-fetched ideas come to fruition. Everyone now carries a communicator, aka the smart phone. We have medical devices that test for diseases with light, not by drawing blood (like new tests for anemia by TED Fellow Myshkin Ingawale). Anyone who heard the order, “Set phasers to stun,” given by the Enterprise crew, will appreciate tasers delivered by drones, as recently happened at South by Southwest. The universal translator is real. Bionic eyes like those of Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge now allow blind people to see. Cisco regularly advertises “telepresence.” Even tribbles — those small furry soft creatures that could relate to your emotions —…

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Yemen is Even More Dangerous Than We Think

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Originally posted on Political Violence @ a Glance:

By Barbara F. Walter and Kenneth M. Pollack

A man displaced by the war between Houthis and the former Yemeni government walks with his camel in northwest Yemen. By IRIN. A man displaced by the war between Houthi forces and the former Yemeni government walks with his camel in northwest Yemen. By IRIN.

People think Yemen is dangerous to United States because of terrorists and civil war. They are wrong. Yemen is dangerous because it could potentially destabilize Saudi Arabia.

That’s a provocative statement but also accurate. By itself, Yemen is far less important to the United States than most countries in the Middle East. True, a lengthy civil war could eventually bring the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda or the Iranian allied Houthi to power. True, a civil war could fragment the country, creating a lengthy period of chaos and instability, allowing even more extremists to thrive. But the fact remains: Yemen will never be of great strategic importance to the United States because it is weak and poor and…

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