Technology That Outthinks Us: A Partner or a Master?

August 26, 2008

In Vernor Vinge’s version of Southern California in 2025, there is a school named Fairmont High with the motto, “Trying hard not to become obsolete.” It may not sound inspiring, but to the many fans of Dr. Vinge, this is a most ambitious — and perhaps unattainable — goal for any member of our species.

Dr. Vinge is a mathematician and computer scientist in San Diego whose science fiction has won five Hugo Awards and earned good reviews even from engineers analyzing its technical plausibility. He can write space operas with the best of them, but he also suspects that intergalactic sagas could become as obsolete as their human heroes.

The problem is a concept described in Dr. Vinge’s seminal essay in 1993, “The Coming Technological Singularity,” which predicted that computers would be so powerful by 2030 that a new form of superintellligence would emerge. Dr. Vinge compared that point in history to the singularity at the edge of a black hole: a boundary beyond which the old rules no longer applied, because post-human intelligence and technology would be as unknowable to us as our civilization is to a goldfish.

Site – http://www.nytimes.com

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Top 9 Unique Structures by 2010

February 15, 2008

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The phenomenal Chicago spire (pictured above), when completed in 2010, will be the world’s tallest residential building and the tallest building of any kind in the western world. seemingly modeled on the image of a giant drill poking through the ground, the 609m structure will dominate the Chicago skyline.  Obviously, construction technologies are advancing extremely quickly. couple that with multi-billionaires / deep-pocketed companies trying to outdo each other in the quest for the next standout design and you have a near-future filled with mile-high skyscrapers and buildings that no longer look like buildings. Below are 9 strange and unique structures which have either been approved or are in the final stages of approval. some have already been partially constructed. Welcome to the future landscape.

Site – http://deputy-dog.com


Congressman to Comcast: Stop interfering with BitTorrent

October 25, 2007

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While a class action lawsuit is definitely one way to get Comcast to behave, another perhaps more productive way to do so is to have politicians step in and regulate. On Tuesday, I discussed the issue of Comcast’s anti-BitTorrent “network management” with Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., who is a strong supporter of consumer rights and has led the battle to undo the damage caused by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. He was named Politician of the Year for 2006 by Library Journal, largely due to his efforts to protect the fair-use doctrine and expand Internet technologies to rural areas. “Comcast has made a major mistake in attempting to hinder peer-to-peer file sharing as an aspect of its network management,” Boucher said. “The inability of customers to (share files) significantly diminishes their ability to utilize the Internet for one of its most important applications, which is user-to-user content.” He also noted that “file sharing is already being used for a wide variety of perfectly lawful and appropriate applications.”

Site – http://www.news.com


Did You Know?

September 20, 2007

The world is changing in an exponential rate. The world 20 years ago was vastly different from today. In 1987 could anyone have predicted the communication structures that we now take for granted? What will the world be like in 20 more years? It will be even more different than the last 20.


The Future of the Workplace: No Office, Headquarters in Cyberspace

August 29, 2007

Imagine a work world with no commute, no corporate headquarters and perhaps not even an office in the physical world at all. For Bob Flavin, a computer scientist at IBM; Janet Hoffman, an executive at a management consulting firm; and Joseph Jaffe, a marketing entrepreneur, the future is already here. Like 42 percent of IBM’s 350,000 employees, Flavin rarely comes in to an IBM office. “We don’t care where and how you get your work done,” said Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM’s global health care and life sciences business. “We care that you get your work done.” IBM says it saves $100 million a year in real estate costs because it doesn’t need the offices.

Site – http://abcnews.go.com


Just Imagine: 2020

August 16, 2007

What will life be like in 2020? Guided by some of the world’s leading visionaries, Just Imagine takes a look at the possibilities of tomorrow.

Site – http://www.cnn.com


Second Earth

July 20, 2007

The World Wide Web will soon be absorbed into the World Wide Sim: an environment combining elements of Second Life and Google Earth. MIT’s Technology Review has published an interesting article called “Second Earth” by Wade Roush. This is a lengthy article, but is a worthy read if you are interested in the developing trends on virtual globes – like Google Earth, World Wind, and Virtual Earth – and social virtual worlds like Second Life, There, and World of Warcraft. Not surprisingly, most people in the industry believe the Internet is evolving towards increasing 3D interfaces and that real virtual globes like Google Earth with soon be linked up with fantasy virtual worlds like Second Life.

Site – http://www.treehugger.com