Consider the (likely tens of gigabytes of) software in your computer. What sorts of knowledge does that software embody? What things does it “know” so you don’t have to? A lot of details about hardware management, at a minimum: how to interact with thousands of different devices, the details of interfaces and protocols, the often complex algorithms necessary to make the best use of large but limited resources. Continuer la lecture de « The Ignorant Computer »
A report from the International Organization for Migration says that between 200 and 700 million people could be displaced from their homes by environmental change by mid-century, the largest migration in history.
The project, which has already been implemented in some districts of the United States, attempts to reduce the cost of textbooks to the state, which last year amounted to $350 million.
The trade show focuses on direct-to-consumer genomic applications like genetic sequencing and the identification of possible genetic risk factors, as well as customer education. Most experts agree that with current technology the results of most of these analysis are of limited medical utility.
The party, which aims at reforming copyright and patent laws, and to strengthen online privacy regulations, obtained 7.1% of the votes in Sweden.
The system, still in early prototyping, applies organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) over a matrix of semiconductor photodetectors, allowing the surface to be used to both display and register images.
This story is the continuation of Direct Marketing.)
“How did you know we were coming?”
“I used Facebook to hack your computers.”
We looked at each other. What she said made no sense. Facebook was a social network, not a hacking tool.
The girl made an exasperated face. “Listen. What is the most powerful computer system online?”
“Google,” I said. “They are running who knows how many servers.”
“Facebook is running two hundred million human brains. That’s way more computing power.”
“Uh? Facebook is not a computer!”
“Yeah, right. Do you think chips know they are inside a computer? What do you believe is happening when you play games and chat? You are running subroutines for Facebook’s distributed processing system.” She smiled cheerfully. “You didn’t really think that a social network without a revenue stream could be worth ten billion dollars or more, did you? It’s the world’s biggest hypercomputer. Shifting around buying patterns and hacking into people’s laptops is the least it can do. And it’s not what it was built for.”
“What do you mean? What is Facebook for?”
She put a finger over her lips and passed me a piece of paper. There were a hundred and forty letters written on it, and I didn’t want to believe what they said.
Wind is one of the oldest sources of technologically usable energy, from its traditional role powering aquatic vehicles — application in which it was unsurpassed for thousands of years — to the first mechanical devices in widespread use not powered by a biological source. But there is more than historical interest in wind as a source of energy. As all energy sources except nuclear ones, it’s ultimately a form of solar energy, but it’s one in which energy is collected at a geographical scale. Continuer la lecture de « Powerful Winds »
The key of investment is the management of risk, both upside and downside, and one of the things that made clear by the last market meltdown is that the tools we have developed to characterize, trade, and manage risk didn’t work as well as we thought — or at least as we said — they would. This doesn’t mean we won’t eventually develop and use new ones, as they are a cornerstone component of any complex economy. Hopefully, but perhaps not likely, with better organizational and conceptual foundations for them. Continuer la lecture de « Fear the Known »
Russia’s workforce was diminishing. China had an urgent need for oil.
Family size limits were lifted where needed, and both governments agreed on a satisfactory exchange rate.