Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted by redsatellite on February 3, 2009

This often repeated line is repeated for a REASON. Today, humans can’t get enough of computers and technology. It is entrenched in every part of our lives. From the time we wake up, until the time we go to bed. Whether it be….at home, on your job, or running errands….we’re busy using ATMs, Online Bill Pay, eFiling Taxes, Internet Shopping, self-help lines, pre-paid Gift Cards, automobile systems, you name it, we’re using computers.

But what if- one day soon– they exceed our ability to control them?

Google and Nasa are throwing their weight behind a new school for futurists in Silicon Valley to prepare scientists for an era when machines become cleverer than people.

The new institution, known as “Singularity University”, is to be headed by Ray Kurzweil, whose predictions about the exponential pace of technological change have made him a controversial figure in technology circles.

Google and Nasa’s backing demonstrates the growing mainstream acceptance of Mr Kurzweil’s views, which include a claim that before the middle of this century artificial intelligence will outstrip human beings, ushering in a new era of civilisation.

Remember Blade Runner? I, Robot? Or The Terminator movies? Not exactly a rosy picture. The same can be said for our newfound ability to clone. Last week, a couple paid $155,000 to clone their Labrador Retriever. Cloning? Computers More Clever Than Humans?

Think about it.

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Posted in Computers, Culture, Intelligence, Morality, Science | 2 Comments »

Joe Cool

Posted by redsatellite on July 29, 2008

I mean…Cuil!

A brand new bouncing baby Search Engine was born yesterday. Yes. To 3 former Google employees now living in Menlo Park, California.

This isn’t just any David and Goliath story, however — the Menlo Park, Calif., startup is led in part by three former Google employees who claim theirs is a richer, more efficient experience.

Cuil (pronounced “cool”) Inc. says it is “pioneering a new approach to search,” one that begins with indexing 120 billion Web pages — three times more than Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, according to Cuil (though Google still claims to have the most comprehensive index of any search engine). It entails a completely different method of organization, relying on an analysis of the Web site’s content to determine its relevance.

This is in contrast to Google’s method, which ranks results based on analyzing links and traffic to a given site (something Cuil’s Web site refers to as “superficial popularity metrics”).

Superficial popularity metrics?

Nice SMACKDOWN! I’ve already loaded them onto my favorites list. The site looks- very cuil.

Posted in Computers, Culture, Weblogs | Leave a Comment »

The Grid

Posted by redsatellite on April 8, 2008

The need for speed.

That’s what it ALL comes down to. When I sit down to my computer, I HAVE TO HAVE speed. Otherwise, I get irritable. I get DYSPEPTIC. Surly. Peevish. Yes friends dare I say- irascible. Well hold on to your megabytes, this just in, help is on the way!

The internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said. 

And I thought my DSL connection was sweet. Ha!

The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their “red button” day – the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates. Cern, based near Geneva, started the grid computing project seven years ago when researchers realised the LHC would generate annual data equivalent to 56m CDs – enough to make a stack 40 miles high.

 

Technology is on the move like never before.

Posted in Computers, Science | Leave a Comment »

And the Cost is…

Posted by Mark on February 25, 2008

Free!  A look at how the psychology of Abundance is changing the web, and our lives, forever.

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Posted in Computers | Leave a Comment »

MakeUseOf.com: Cool Websites, Software and Internet Tips

Posted by Mark on November 9, 2007

MakeUseOf.com has to be one of the best download sites on the web. Worth checking out, worth keeping handy.

Posted in Computers, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Censoring the Comcast Way

Posted by Mark on October 19, 2007

Assuming this post isn’t blocked by my ISP, I’m hoping LJiCers are as disturbed by Comcast blocking Internet traffic as I am. I don’t mind Comcast blocking some file sharing programs. I just want to be told that your doing it.

I’ve used BitTorrent at times. And, because I have Comcast, I’ve wondered why BitTorrent was so slow. Now I know. Wish I had known before. At least then I could have worked around it to get my illegal software. 🙂 Just joking. Really….I’ll be right back. I hear a knock at the door…Wha? No! It was a joke! Stop that! Don’t erase my hard dri…

Posted in Computers, Weblogs | Leave a Comment »

Finally, Some Competition for Google

Posted by Mark on March 15, 2006

I’m currently reading The Search, by John Batelle. (You can find it at Liberty Recommends in the right sidebar.) It’s not just a history of the rise of Google and other search engines, but a look at how internet Searching has changed our culture over the past ten years. Great book so far, but reading a book on the history of the internet is like reading ancient history. It’s filled with outdated words like GoTo, WebCrawler, and even Gopher. Yet, I used all of those at one time or another. After all, it was only ten to 15 years ago.

One of the key figures in the history of Search is Bill Gross, founder of GoTo/Overture, IdeaLabs, Magellan and a dozen other startups. His current startup is Snap.com. Having tried it for just a few minutes, I’m already hooked. It’s now a part of my home tabs in Firefox. The snap News feature is far superior to GoogleNews, and the WebSearch feature seems to bring back far more relevant links than Google, at least so far. Check it out for yourself, and let me know what you think.

Posted in Computers, Weblogs | Leave a Comment »