Sean Parker on Future Tech Trends

Parker, the creator of Napster and a key player in the rise of Facebook, is, as usual, thinking big. He worries about a warring tech industry and envisions how social media can transform politics.

What's the Latest Development?


At the Techonomy conference in Tuscon, Arizona, this week, Parker spoke on a wide range of topics united by a common theme: Web technology. So ubiquitous and influential are modern communication media that Parker believes they have the power to solve major political problems, like the undue influence of money in our democracy. He also concedes social media abed some problems, such as terrorism, by allowing anonymous interaction across wide distances.

What's the Big Idea?

Parker is equally concerned about the future of the online tech industry. He fears that big alliances are becoming more common and more confused, a situation he compares to Europe pre-World War One: "It's hard to know who's at war with whom. You'll see Facebook align with Spotify. Google will pretend to be Switzerland and secretly do deals with everyone on the side, Microsoft will align more with Facebook, and Apple will stay on its own trying to build the Death Star."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

5 of the worst inventions in modern history

Be glad your name isn't attached to any of these bad ideas.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Some inventions can be celebrated during their time, but are proven to be devastating in the long run.
  • The inventions doesn't have to be physical. Complex mathematical creations that create money for Wall Street can do as much damage, in theory, as a gas that destroys the ozone layer.
  • Inventors can even see their creations be used for purposes far different than they had intended.
Keep reading Show less

This 5-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years before it emerges

The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.

Mikhail Kalinin via Wikipedia
Mind & Brain
  • The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
  • Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
  • The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Keep reading Show less

Amazon chooses New York and Virginia for its HQ2

The new offices will be built in New York's Long Island City and Viriginia's Arlington.

(Photo: INA FASSBENDER/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Amazon will receive more than $2 billion in incentives from the two states.
  • The company plans to create a total of 50,000 jobs at an average wage of $150,000.
  • The announcement has caused controversy, raising concerns about rising rent prices and potentially lost resources in communities surrounding the upcoming developments.
Keep reading Show less