TED Talks: From a Mach-20 Glider to a Hummingbird Drone

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” asks Regina Dugan, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects — a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet — that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail.

TED Talks: Yup, I Built a Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those. When he was 14 he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage to tell his story.

TED Talks: Listening to Shame

Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.

TED Talks: Let’s Transform Energy With Natural Gas

The US consumes 25% of the world’s oil, but as energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens points out, the country has no energy policy to prepare for the inevitable. Is alternative energy our bridge to an oil-free future? After losing $150 million investing in wind energy, Pickens suggests it isn’t, not yet. What might get us there? Natural gas.

TED Talks: The $8 Billion iPod

Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists.

TED Talks: Coding a Better Government

Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments and their neighbors.

TED Talks: All Your Devices Can be Hacked

Could someone hack your pacemaker? At TEDxMidAtlantic, Avi Rubin explains how hackers are compromising cars, smartphones and medical devices, and warns us about the dangers of an increasingly hack-able world.

TED Talks: Robots That Fly… And Cooperate

In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team built flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams, for construction, surveying disasters and far more. We noticed he left out “enslaving the human race”.

TED Talks: The Earth is Full

Have we used up all our resources? Have we filled up all the livable space on Earth? Paul Gilding suggests we have, and the possibility of devastating consequences, in a talk that’s equal parts terrifying and, oddly, hopeful.

Ridley Scott Imagines a TED Talk in 2023

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus lands in June but here’s a clip to tease you in the meantime. Here, Guy Pearce’s character, Peter Weyland, speaks at TED 2023 about his ambition to change the world, ultimately setting up the battle for the human race. It does seem that naming your ship Prometheus destines it for tragedy.

TED Talks: Why Videos Go Viral

Kevin Allocca is YouTube’s trends manager, and he has deep thoughts about silly web video. In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral.