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What do gearboxes have to do with ocean energy? A lot.

When we admire great machines, we too often overlook the contribution of the gears. These hardy wheels are unsung heroes of machinery — so undervalued by popular imagination that they inspired the woeful saying: “I’m just a cog in the machine”. But a well-designed gear system can make a huge difference. Take the recent advance in wave energy … Continue reading “What do gearboxes have to do with ocean energy? A lot.”

A night out could spoil your privacy, unless you pay cash

A night at the pub could backfire in more ways than you think. Besides waking up with a hangover, you may also have provided the government or insurance companies with data they can use in ways you might not like. That’s because, as KTH’s expert on web privacy, Professor Gerald Q. “Chip” Maguire explains, you give … Continue reading “A night out could spoil your privacy, unless you pay cash”

Frugal and flexible — innovation with limited means

The Indians call it “jugaad”. “It’s the art of overcoming harsh restrains by producing a good enough solution with limited resources,” says Jaideep Prabhu, professor of Marketing and the Jawaharial Nehru Professor of Indian Business at Judge Business School, Cambridge University. Addressing the OpenLab opening event this afternoon, Prabhu explained how working with limited means … Continue reading “Frugal and flexible — innovation with limited means”

Where do false memories come from?

There’s speculation that NBC anchor Brian Williams’ account of riding in a helicopter under enemy fire was based on false memories. It’s a plausible explanation, with plenty of precedent. The impact of false memories can be devastating, as Williams’ story demonstrates. But there have been worse instances. Some believe that false memory could account for the bizarre … Continue reading “Where do false memories come from?”

Getting out of the silos

“When you distribute the burden, everyone becomes more creative, and more open,”says Uli Weinberg, the director of the School of Design Thinking at Hasso-Plattner-Institute, who just made a solid case for interdisciplinary teamwork here at OpenLab. As individuals, we’re limited to what we can accomplish in problem-solving, he says. Programs like D-School at HPI are aiming … Continue reading “Getting out of the silos”