(CNN) – There's both poetry and promise in the humble balloon.
It delivered escape and adventure in Pixar's "Up," friendship to a small boy in the classic short film "The Red Balloon," and - delving into real-world history now - military messages for Chinese strategist Zhuge Liang back in 220 AD.
Now Google plans to use a network of high-flying balloons to deliver low-cost Internet access to remote and under-served places around the world. It's called Project Loon, the latest initiative from the tech giant's innovation lab, Google[x]. FULL POST
Recently on News Stream, I had the opportunity to talk to Shweta Katti, an incredible young woman who - after being born and raised in a Mumbai brothel - is on her way to attend university in the United States.
Katti is whip-smart and generous. And I deeply respect the shout-out she gives to the women who raised and inspired her:
"My mom is my inspiration, and she's the one who encouraged me and who said, 'You're going to do better, you are amazing,'" Katti says.
"And of course the sex workers whom I was surrounded by, because my mom used to go to factory at like 9 in the morning and she used to come back at 7. I used to spend most of my time with them... Because of my mom and because of them, I'm here."
I said it on air and I'll say it again here: Shweta Katti - you rock!
The rally to support NSA leaker Edward Snowden is scheduled for this weekend in Hong Kong.
And Hong Kong legislator Albert Ho will be there. On News Stream, he tells me why the Snowden case matters to the people of Hong Kong:
"Our right to privacy may have been systematically violated by the NSA. We are entitled to seek the truth."
The rally is set for Saturday, June 15 at 3pm in Hong Kong. Organizers plan to march to the U.S. Consulate.
More than 200 million women who don’t want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives.
It's a stunning fact that has prompted Melinda Gates to action.
At the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, I caught up with the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to get modern contraceptives to another 120 million women by year 2020.
Gates tells me that reframing the birth control debate is key. She says, "What we have to do is put the women and the girl at the center of this."
3D printers have been around for a while, used in industry for rapid prototyping.
But the promise and peril of 3D printing really came to the fore this week, after that shocking announcement from the Texas-based "Defense Distributed" which claimed it has successfully fired the world's first gun made by a 3D printer.
Thanks to cheaper 3D printer models, the technology is available to anyone with around a thousand dollars to spare.
Here's how it works. Instead of using ink like regular inkjet printers, 3D printers use materials like plastic. They take a digital image that you can create using modeling software on a computer, and then print it out building up layer upon layer of material to create complex solid objects.
Toys, car parts, even mini human organs have been 3D printed by manufacturers and scientists who've been using the technique for decades.
How far can the technology go? What will 3D printers be able to do for us 10 years from now? And is it an advance that needs to be regulated today?
In the video clip above, News Stream contributor Nicholas Thompson of the NewYorker.com weighs in on the 3D printing debate.