“Remember Watson, IBM’s Jeopardy champion? A couple years ago, Watson beat the top two human champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter at a game where even interpreting the cue is complex with language nuances. (Not to mention finding answers at lightning speed on any subject matter.) Yet after the initial excitement, most people – except for a notable few – forgot about Watson. But we need to pay attention, and now. Because Watson heralds the emergence of ‘thinking machines’ capable of knowledge creation that will trump today’s knowledge retrieval machines. This could be the beginning of a serious challenge to Google, whose most ambitious initiatives — from wearables to cars to aging — are funded through its thriving advertising business.”
October 6, 2013
September 21, 2013
Been doing a lot of Illustrator work lately and I’m really enjoying learning the program. It makes even artistically-challenged people like me able to make nice illustrations, and it’s almost required to use many of the machines at TechShop. To that end, here are
September 14, 2013
“If an Android device (phone or tablet) has ever logged on to a particular Wi-Fi network, then Google probably knows the Wi-Fi password. Considering how many Android devices there are, it is likely that Google can access most Wi-Fi passwords worldwide. And isn’t it now, at this point, negligence to allow Android devices access to any business wi-fi network?”
June 4, 2013
How to Choose the Best Mechanical Keyboard (and Why You’d Want To): “There’s really no substitute for that solid, clicking sensation under your fingers as you type, and the satisfying sound each key makes when you press it.”
I have an old Apple Extended keyboard and just keep repurposing it every time I get a new computer. It’s great!
May 26, 2013
May 14, 2013
D-Wave quantum computer matches the tenth ranked supercomputer for speed: “How did the D-Wave computer do on the tests? On the largest problem sizes tested, the V5 chip found optimal solutions in less than half a second, while the best classical software solver required 30 minutes to find those same solutions. This makes the D-Wave computer over 3,600 times faster than the classical computer in these tests. This puts the effective speed of the D-Wave quantum computer on this class of problems at roughly the same as the tenth ranked supercomputer in the world as per the November 2012 Top500 list – the IBM/DARPS Trial Subset, with 63,360 64-bit cores that produce a maximum floating point performance of 1.5 petaFlops. The comparison shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but suggests that the 439 qubits of the D-Wave computer can solve such problems as quickly as do huge massively parallel supercomputers.”
May 12, 2013
Commercial quantum computer leaves PC in the dust – physics-math – 10 May 2013 – New Scientist: “McGeoch and her colleague Cong Wang of Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, ran the problem on a D-Wave Two computer, which has 439 qubits formed from superconducting niobium loops. They also tried to solve the problem using three leading algorithms running on a high-end desktop computer. The D-Wave machine turned out to be around 3600 times faster than the best conventional algorithm.”
March 4, 2013
January 21, 2013
One thing that separates the great innovators from everyone else is that they seem to know a lot about a wide variety of topics. They are expert generalists. Their wide knowledge base supports their creativity.
As it turns out, there are two personality traits that are key for expert generalists: Openness to Experience and Need for Cognition.
Openness to Experience is one of the Big Five personality characteristics identified by psychologists. The Big Five are the characteristics that reflect the biggest differences between people in the way they act. Openness to Experience is the degree to which a person is willing to consider new ideas and opportunities. Some people enjoy the prospect of doing something new and thinking about new things. Other people prefer to stick with familiar ideas and activities.
As you might expect, high levels of Openness to Experience can sometimes be related to creativity. After all, being creative requires doing something that has not been done before. If you are not willing to do something new, then it’s hard to be creative.
Related: and oldie but a goodie.
October 3, 2012
I see some serious potential with this software. Like, serious potential. Wonder how much it’ll set me back?
Great Jumping Jehoshaphat. It’s free! I’ll be unavailable for a few…. weeks.
Couple this with a ShopBot and some fiberglass skills and… can you imagine the potential?
August 8, 2012
An Unexpected Ass Kicking | Blog Of Impossible Things: “I’ve always believed that nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do. Most people think the opposite – that all things are withheld from them which they have conceived to do and they end up doing nothing.’
‘Wait’, I said, pausing at his last sentence ’What was that quote again?’
‘Nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do.’
That’s good, who said that?
God said it and there were only two people who believed it, you know who?
God and me, so I went out and did it.”
Read the whole thing. H/T Ross Richie for the link.
May 1, 2012
April 27, 2012
I got into a (polite) disagreement on FB a few weeks ago about security and privacy versus the unspoken agreement that we all have to allow ourselves to be tracked as part of the social contract we make in exchange for a mostly free internet. I’m not convinced of this position at all— if you broadcast a tv or radio signal for free there’s nothing – no legal or moral argument– that prevents me from just listening to the content. That’s why God and Sony created a MUTE button after all. The person I was talking to about this didn’t see the connection but the fact that she does marketing for a living and thus depends on mailing lists and selective targeting to make their job more effective somewhat diminishes the argument in my mind.
Regardless, whenever I get on a completely unprotected (i.e. un adblocked, un-Do-Not-Tracked) machine I’m always appalled at all the flashy movement that’s taking place on the edges of the screen. Is this what everyone else puts up with every day? Seriously? It’s incredibly distracting and borderline anxiety-producing to have virtual sidewalk-hawkers constantly throwing stuff in your face trying to get you to punch the monkey or chase the mute button. Our surfing experience at home is fast, anonymous, quiet, and very non-distracting.
I think you’ll be amazed at how much better a “quiet” internet can be.
Not too crazy about this news. SketchUp is my tool of choice for 3D woodworking and prop design. I only hope they keep developing it. Love the “free” part, but if it’s part of a business (and not a Google side-project) I don’t know if that’ll continue. I’m definitely not against a for-pay version in the future (businesses have to pay their people after all) but the pre-Google version- which I almost bought- was $700! Hope we don’t go back to that.
April 2, 2012
Just booted Godaddy as my registrar. Take that, you SOPA supporting dunderheads!
From now on it’s Hover.com.
March 29, 2012
February 21, 2012
I’m installing this on all my computers today.
*UPDATE* I just installed it and rebooted Firefox. In just the boot process, DNT+ prevented my info from being shared with 41 different requesters. Pretty cool.
There’s an opt-in “gentlemen’s agreement” idea floating around out there in different browsers. It’s basically a box that you check that says I don’t want to be tracked. It was championed by browser companies and the like as a way to pacify people who want to keep their business private. Here’s the thing: it’s not mandatory, nor does it actively prevent companies from tracking you- it just expresses your preference. Companies are free to ignore that little box and go right on tracking you.
But now that DoNotTrack+ has moved the enforcement mechanism into consumers’ hands, some companies are starting to cry foul. Makes their previous agreement to honor that little voluntary box seem a bit suspicious, doesn’t it?
I, for one, am happy that the option is there. Kind of like opting out of junk mail.
December 18, 2011
My idea for GPS and terrain intelligent cruise control, which I blogged about a year or so ago, is in development. Sweet! I knew that this one was only a matter of time. It’s good to know that I can have an occasional good idea- seems like everywhere you go somebody has thought of something already.
Hmm… wonder if I can call Volkswagen for a credit?
December 15, 2011
303 is my favorite