This is an interesting talk on the internet of things, and the role of network-aware objects in society at large. These two slides stood out for me:
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<a href="/2013/05/02/cities/slide-7-728.jpg"><img src="/2013/05/02/cities/slide-7-728.320.png"></a>
This kind of ties in with something that Warren Ellis pointed out...
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Cities are very slow time machines; they let us live longer, see more... They make our environment more hospitable, provide emergency services. As technology progresses, those services may be more autonomous and less centralized.