Box of Amazing: Amazon schools, telepathic drone swarms, soft skills for teenagers and the interactive gym mirror   
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Box of Amazing is a weekly digest curated by Rahim covering emerging technology, trends and extraordinary articles, hand picked to broaden your mind and challenge your thinking.

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Welcome

This week was all about Apple's new phone lineup which gives a broad spectrum on how the franchise hopes to capture space in a mature market. Ultimately it didn't feel like there was a new feature that pushed us into the world of AI/AR, although the top end devices may be ready to do so. In other news, we heard how Disney's Netflix rival will actually work,  how Amazon is stuffing its search results pages with ads, and Elon Musk announced the Eco Brick.  If anyone can recommend an email solution to replace Google Inbox, I need to know. Now that it's shutting down, I realise how dependant I have become on it. 

Self-promo alert!: We all know that soft skills are important, and critically so in many cases. The latest project from EtonX takes that very concept and creates courses for teenagers (14-20), and delivered live from specialist tutors in our bespoke virtual classroom (a personal labour of love!) with students around the world. There are courses in communication, writing skills, assertiveness, critical thinking and more. I'm proud of what we have achieved and if you know anyone from a school/university who might be interested in this for their students, please send them my way. Equally, for any parents (ex UK) who want to try this out with their own child you can for free and then use the discount code BOALAUNCH30 to get 30% off if you sign up this month. (Feel free to share with anyone and everyone!) Find out more at EtonX.com and check out the video below. End of promo Alert!   
EtonX offers live online courses for students aged 14 to 20 in important life skills, such as public speaking communication and assertiveness (use BOALAUNCH30 for 30% discount this month at etonx.com)

What's Amazing?
Amazon Schools - Jeff Bezos is in the early stages of setting up schools. "The Academies Fund will be in charge of launching and operating a network of schools entirely on its own. Bezos says they’ll be “high-quality” Montessori-inspired schools that offer “full scholarship,” seemingly to all students. Bezos says he wants to directly control the schools’ operation so that they can be run like Amazon and adopt Amazon’s principles. “Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession,” he writes. “The child will be the customer.” " Of course, this is more a philanthropic venture than a commercial one and atypical of rich wanting to give back. What will be interesting is how akin to the Amazon model this becomes. Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post seems to have not changed much. Link
Telepathic Drone Swarms: It's not new news that it's possible to control objects with our brains, but research has taken this to another level. "A person with a brain chip can now pilot a swarm of drones — or even advanced fighter jets, thanks to research funded by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. The work builds on research from 2015, which allowed a paralyzed woman to steer a virtual F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with only a small, surgically-implantable microchip. On Thursday, agency officials announced that they had scaled up the technology to allow a user to steer multiple jets at once. “As of today, signals from the brain can be used to command and control … not just one aircraft but three simultaneous types of aircraft,” said Justin Sanchez, who directs DARPA’s biological technology office, at the Agency’s 60th-anniversary event in Maryland. More importantly, DARPA was able to improve the interaction between pilot and the simulated jet to allow the operator, a paralyzed man named Nathan, to not just send but receive signals from the craft. If this is X-Men, I'm sure we will find a Wolverine at some point.   Link
Interactive Gym Mirror: Your gym has now magically transformed into a mirror in your home, if you have a spare $1500 handy. "Mirror, at first glance, the device looks like a sleek,  no frills reflective surface you might hang up to checkout your leggings-sports bra combo before heading off to spin class. Switch the device on however, and you’ll come face-to-face with a trainer who can lead you through a full class of cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, barre, boxing, and stretch—all of which you can tailor by time and skill-level to your personal fitness goals." Mirror uses your personal fitness profile and your biometric data to optimize every workout for maximum results. Receive real-time instruction from best-in-class instructors, work out with friends and track your progress. Is this the future of fitness?  Link
Amazing News Nuggets
What's amazing?

"I’d like for us to return to optimism. It’s not enough to tell everyone: “Just choose to be optimistic.” Instead, I’m suggesting that we can nurture optimism by developing a greater appreciation for industry and by reaching for higher economic growth. Pushing forward the technological frontier should not simply be someone else’s problem. Instead, the question of how to do so should preoccupy many more of us."

Source: How Technology Grows (a Restatement of Definite Optimism)

"For me, the most interesting part of blockchain technology is that you can provide much richer and more advanced protocols. They have the best features of Web One in that they’re governed in a decentralized way, and in a way that the rules are fixed and people can build on them and invest in them and know that the rules won’t change. But they have more advanced functionality than protocols of the Web One era."

Source: Why Big Time VC Chris Dixon Is Betting on A Decentralized Internet
 
Amazing Links Worth Your Attention
Below is a selection of recommended reading that you can get by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
Tech Links
Contrary to current fears, AI will create jobs and grow GDP Link

Atrium raises $65M to replace lawyers with machine learning and AI Link

In a posh Bangkok neighbourhood, residents trade energy with blockchain Link

'A new bladder made from my cells gave me my life back' Link

The Safe, Boring, and Extremely Cheap Drug That Could Cure Aging Link
Amazing Life Links
Why Everyone Should Watch Less News Link

“Act more like an
extravert” intervention has “wholly positive” benefits for many, but there are drawbacks for introverts Link

How to stay fit forever: 25 tips to keep moving when life gets in the way Link

Eating Habits Are Changing Faster than Fast Food Can Keep Up Link

Jeff Bezos explains why he thinks getting 8 hours of sleep is key to making important decisions in the workplace Link
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Box of Amazing is a project that I started to share my thoughts with like minded individuals who are interested in the future world that we are fast approaching. The numbers of subscribers are growing quickly from all parts of the world. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, competitors, pets, potential love interests and others who are interested in learning about emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. 

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