Wheel tracks mark Curiosity’s path over a Martian dune. 

Photo courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Author Stephen Petranek makes the case that humans will live on Mars in the not-too-distant future. He explains how and when this might happen — and what risks those who head there first might face.

The reasons why women and people of color are not pursuing computer science jobs are complicated. Robin Hauser Reynolds, director of a documentary looking at the gender gap, shares four reasons women don’t seem to flourish in the tech world — and proposes some solutions.

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It’s still early days for virtual reality, but filmmaker Chris Milk is bullish about the possibilities. Here, the man who melted the Internet with projects for Arcade Fire and Johnny Cash mulls the possibilities of the medium he’s betting on in a big way.

ideas.ted.com

Human beings have made enormous changes to Earth, reshaping it, developing it and generally altering it so much that in many cases its pre-human condition has become unrecognizable. In this far-ranging conversation, ecologist Erle Ellis and landscape architect Bradley Cantrell discuss what this means for ecology and architecture … and how we might think about protecting our planet.

Dame Steve Shirley | ideas.ted.com

Dame Stephanie Shirley founded a women-only computing company in 1962, determined to do her work on her terms, and to hell with the glass ceiling. In this video, introduced by US CTO Megan Smith, admire the feisty spirit who upended tech world sexism by refusing to accept it.

5 ways to keep your data safe right now | ideas.ted.com

There isn’t much that we can do to stop hackers from stealing the data we entrust to companies. However, there are some easy things we can all do to significantly reduce the harm from such breaches. TED Fellow Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU, explains.

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Figuring out how to walk from A to B is easy in the age of online mapping tools. Just plug in two addresses and off you go. But sometimes getting to a place as quickly as possible isn’t the priority. Take a look at a project in which researchers tried to figure out a city’s “happy” routes.