Technology is making it possible for Americans to age in place

Mel Washburn is a former firefighter, professor and litigation attorney. Whether fighting fires in a building, a classroom, or the courtroom, he realized once he retired that 90% of his social life had revolved around work.

Washburn, 77, knew he needed to find a way to build a social network in retirement. Washburn also knew that he and his wife, Pam, 75, wanted to continue living independently in their own home.

He quickly learned that technology could play a vital role in accomplishing both goals.

Early members of The Village Chicago, a membership-based organization whose purpose is to connect and improve the quality of life of Chicagoans over 50, the Washburns now socialize through both in-person and Zoom events. And they rely on technology to maintain a safe environment at home.

The Washburns are part of a growing demographic. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050 more than 2

Experts War US Is Falling Behind China in Key Technologies

At a gathering of current and former US officials and private-sector executives Friday in Washington, concern was rampant that the United States has fallen behind China in the development of several key technologies, and that it faces an uncertain future in which other countries could challenge its historic dominance in the development of cutting-edge communications and computing technology.

The gathering was convened by the Special Competitive Studies Project, an effort spearheaded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the stated purpose of which is “to ensure that America is positioned and organized to win the techno-economic competition between now and 2030, the critical window for shaping the future.”

Among, the prevailing sentiment was that the nation’s ability to actually win that competition was under threat.

Dire predictions

A few days before the summit, the SCSP issued a report predicting what would happen if China became the global technological leader.

“Understanding the

Alexa, Should My Company Invest in Voice Technology?

According to a 2021 report, nearly half of US internet users own a smart speaker. Smart speakers, like the market-leading Amazon Echo and Google Nest, allow consumers to use natural language to do anything from placing an online order to searching for a recipe, all with just a simple, “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Alexa .” But beyond the functionalities provided directly by the manufacturer, these speakers also serve as a platform on which customers can connect with any third-party business that offers an app (known as a Skill on the Echo and an Action on the Nest) on that system . For example, customers can ask the Chipotle Skill, “Hey Alexa, reorder my most recent Chipotle order;” they can tell the Whirlpool Skill, “Hey Alexa, start the laundry cycle;” and they can ask CNN Action, “Hey Google, what’s my flash briefing?”

Conventional wisdom suggests that building out these sorts

Air conditioner tech is outdated. These are AC options for a hotter future.

Last week, Californians got a reminder of one of the most vexing paradoxes of global warming. With temperatures well over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in some regions on Tuesday night, hundreds of thousands of the state’s residents received beeping text alerts to notify them that the power grid, straining under the weight of millions of air-conditioning units, was about to collapse. Save power now, the text warnedor face rolling blackouts.

Consumers conserved, and the state’s electricity grid made it out of a record-breaking hot day relatively unscathed. Still, as temperatures rise worldwide, more people are going to need to install air conditioners. But as currently sold, AC units can actually make global warming worse: On hot days, they suck tons of electricity from the grid, and their chemical refrigerants can accelerate global warming.

This is why researchers and start-ups are hoping to create new, cutting-edge AC units. AC technology has

The US Open replaces human line judges with optical technology : NPR

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury return a shot against Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof during their Men’s Doubles Final match on Friday at the US Open.

Al Bello/Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Al Bello/Getty Images

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury return a shot against Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof during their Men’s Doubles Final match on Friday at the US Open.

Al Bello/Getty Images

At the 2022 US Open tennis tournament, which wraps up this weekend in Flushing Meadows, NY, technology has won: game, set, match.

Human line judges at the tournament have been entirely replaced by optical technology to determine whether balls are ruled in or out. Immediately after impact, a recorded voice shouts out the call: “FAULT!” for a wayward serve; “OUT!” for a ball that lands long or wide in a rally.

Gone are player challenges to questionable calls. No more furious players swing venom at