The Best Of TED: 15 Unmissable Tech Talks (VIDEOS)
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The annual TED conference celebrates technology, entertainment and design by bringing together some of the most inspiring and revolutionary minds from across the globe.
We're kicking off TED2011, which started Monday, February 28, and lasts through the week, by looking back at the best TED talks on technology from previous years.
Check out our slideshow, featuring Wikileaks's Julian Assange, the Large Hadron Collider, Wii remote hacks, a robot standup comedian, and much more. Vote for the most revolutionary presentation, and upload your favorite TED talks on tech using the participation tool.
Julian Assange, editor-in-chief for whistleblower site Wikileaks, took the stage in July 2010 for a <a href="http://blog.ted.com/2010/07/26/surprise_speake/" target="_hplink">surprise Q&A</a> with TED's Chris Anderson to discuss the aims of the site, how it operates and what it has accomplished.
MIT's Pattie Maes shows off a wearable device called '<a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html" target="_hplink">Sixth Sense</a>,' which lets the user interact with digital information that is overlaid on the physical world.
In 2007, Anthony Atala explained the process and purpose of <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/anthony_atala_growing_organs_engineering_tissue.html" target="_hplink">growing human organs</a> in a lab and introduced TED-goes to the gizmos that make this fascinating innovation possible.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg asks "<a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html" target="_hplink">why we have too few women leaders</a>" and presents three creative solutions.
Blaise Aguera y Arcas
Blaise Aguera y Arcas demoed <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/blaise_aguera_y_arcas_demos_photosynth.html" target="_hplink">Photosynth</a> in 2007, showing audiences how 2D photos can be used to create stunning 3D worlds that users can explore digitally.
Heather Knight was joined onstage in 2010 by a <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/heather_knight_silicon_based_comedy.html" target="_hplink">robot standup comic</a> named Data. The funny 'bot cracked jokes for the audience and adjusted its performance based on feedback from participants.
In February 2006, Jeff Han <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_han_demos_his_breakthrough_touchscreen.html" target="_hplink">exhibited</a> his affordable high-res multi-touch display. The audience was blown away. The following year, Apple released its iPhone handsets, which featured a similarly equipped (though tinier) touch screen.
In 2009, Shai Agassi <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/shai_agassi_on_electric_cars.html" target="_hplink">explained</a> why all-electric cars are a must for cutting global emissions. Agassi is the founder of Better Place, a company working toward breaking the world's oil dependency.
In 2008, Brian Cox spoke about his work on CERN's <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/brian_cox_on_cern_s_supercollider.html" target="_hplink">Large Hadron Collider</a>, which, he informed his audience, "is the largest scientific experiment ever attempted." During his presentation, Cox guided listeners through the project's challenges and goals.
Johnny Lee introduces his audience to <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/johnny_lee_demos_wii_remote_hacks.html" target="_hplink">Wii Remote hacks</a> and shows how to turn the relatively inexpensive controller into a variety of teaching tools, such as a whiteboard, a touch screen and a 3D viewer.
Paralympic athlete Aimee Mullins trots out her 12 pairs of <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html" target="_hplink">prosthetic legs</a> and demonstrates how their various qualities enhance her body.
Carter Emmart takes his audience on a tour of the <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/carter_emmart_demos_a_3d_atlas_of_the_universe.html" target="_hplink">known universe in 3D</a>, a 12-year project that combined the efforts of scientists, artists and computer programmers.
Stephen Hawking's talk at TED2008 presented popular theories that attempt to answer some of humanity's most troublesome questions: "Where did we come from? How did the universe come into being? Are we alone in the universe? Is there alien life out there? What is the future of the human race?"
David Bismark demos a new method of <a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/david_bismark_e_voting_without_fraud.html" target="_hplink">e-voting</a> that prevents fraud and protects the secrecy of votes.
In 2007, tech journalist David Pogue performed a delightful "<a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/david_pogue_on_the_music_wars.html" target="_hplink">TED medley</a>" about the history of music and television on the Internet.