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  (High Tech Developments)

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Current Topic: High Tech Developments

The Big Log Off
Topic: High Tech Developments 4:17 pm EST, Feb 13, 2008

“This really strikes out into a new area,” he said, sounding chirpier. “People could prepare to leave behind a lot of their records in a My-Space format, prepaid perhaps, so they could stay online forever and others could go back and see what they were all about . . . It’s probably a good business opportunity.” I ought to hang up now and get myself a lawyer, I thought. But Steve was probably emailing his Apple geeks as we spoke, and he’d be taking advance orders for iDead by sundown.

Didn't Virgil propose this?

Also, LOL iDead.

The Big Log Off

Where Are the Software Engineers of Tomorrow?
Topic: High Tech Developments 12:33 pm EST, Jan 23, 2008

It is our view that Computer Science (CS) education is neglecting basic skills, in particular in the areas of programming and formal methods. We consider that the general adoption of Java as a first programming language is in part responsible for this decline. We examine briefly the set of programming skills that should be part of every software professional’s repertoire.

Moderately interesting. I agree about Java, certainly... it's effectively useless as a pedagogical tool.

Where Are the Software Engineers of Tomorrow?

Fried chips: Cosmic rays put new-generation microcircuits to the test
Topic: High Tech Developments 7:01 pm EST, Jan  8, 2007

On May 18 2003, officials overseeing an election in Schaerbeek, a suburb of Brussels, got a shock. An electronic vote-counting machine declared that 4,096 more people had cast their vote than the ballot slips testified. The machine had been thoroughly tested and deemed perfect. So what went wrong?

The answer was, literally, a strike from the heavens.

Technicians pointed the finger of blame at cosmic rays -- particles that zip across the cosmos at huge speed and, while rightly ignored by humans as a health concern, can wreak havoc with highly sensitive microelectronic circuits.

Worse engineering excuse *EVER*.

[Hah. Bad excuse, but actually a legitimate arm of research.

Kobi was working on just this subject -- the effects of particle collisions with microcircuitry -- for his masters degree at Vandy.

I very much doubt that's why that machine broke, however. Color me skeptical. -k]

Fried chips: Cosmic rays put new-generation microcircuits to the test

The Slacker Gene?
Topic: High Tech Developments 4:17 pm EDT, Aug 13, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Procrastinating monkeys were turned into workaholics using a gene treatment to block a key brain compound, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

Blocking cells from receiving dopamine made the monkeys work harder at a task -- and they were better at it, too, the U.S. government researchers found.

Dr. Barry Richmond and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health used a new genetic technique to block the D2 gene.

"The gene makes a receptor for a key brain messenger chemical, dopamine," Richmond said in a statement. Dopamine is a message carrying chemical associated with rewards, movement and a variety of other important functions.

"The gene knockdown triggered a remarkable transformation in the simian work ethic. Like many of us, monkeys normally slack off initially in working toward a distant goal," he added.

[ But what about the super smart rats, huh?!? When is NIMH gonna come clean about that Secret!? -k]

The Slacker Gene?

Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community
Topic: High Tech Developments 11:11 am EDT, Jun 30, 2004

The emergence of nanotechnology as a major science and technology research topic has sparked substantial interest by the intelligence community. In particular the community is interested both in the potential for nanotechnology to assist intelligence operations and threats it could create.

To explore these questions, the Intelligence Technology Innovation Center asked the National Research Council to conduct a number of activities to illustrate the potential for nanotechnology to address key intelligence community needs.

This report presents a summary of a workshop held to explore how nanotechnology might enable advances in sensing and locating technology. It includes an overview of security technologies, and discussions of systems, natural chemical/biological tags, passive chemical/biological tags, and radio/radar/optical tags.

Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community

Creating a New Picture of War, Pixel by Pixel
Topic: High Tech Developments 12:06 pm EDT, May 18, 2004

Robert Wright, author of Nonzero, writes in the LA Times.

The revolution of grass-roots digital empowerment will change the nature of war and the place of war in American foreign policy.

Some people who see the Abu Ghraib scandal as technologically driven are suggesting technological reforms. At one level, Rumsfeld grasps the power of digital technology. It was because our troops were digitally empowered that we needed so few of them.

But this cuts both ways. Once you figure technology into both sides of the ledger, war looks different.

[ I continue to like Wright's way of thinking... he gives depth and structure to concepts I merely felt intuitively or thought about at a low level. I can't read this entire article because it's a reg-only site and google can't get me a cached version, but from the excerpt alone, I feel confident in agreeing with it, at least in sum.

I think we'll see a soft revolution in the way people engage government and politics. Multi-tiered topical forums will grow in relevance, and the populace will convey it's wishes in vast electronic versions of congress or parliament. Representation can become more direct.

Of course, all this assumes the infrastructure can be built in a fault-tolerant way... one which minimizes the ability of any one group or faction to take over the network surrepeticiously.

Still, I think it can come, assuming we don't run out of energy first. -k]

Creating a New Picture of War, Pixel by Pixel

RFID Journal - Automotive RFID Gets Rolling
Topic: High Tech Developments 5:06 pm EDT, Apr 13, 2004

] With government funding and access to a large swath of
] radio spectrum, four RFID developers are starting work on
] a new generation of RFID products aimed at bringing
] greater safety and new wireless applications to U.S.
] roads.

[ Domino motherfuckers! I've been predicting this one for a while now... lots of potential, both good and ill, with this kinda tech. We're truly not too far from car-to-car comms, automated crash avoidance, network blackbox reporting, emergency services overrides/lockdowns, etc. Gonna be very interesting to watch how this evolves. -k]

RFID Journal - Automotive RFID Gets Rolling | Chaotic computing
Topic: High Tech Developments 4:47 pm EDT, Apr  5, 2004

] Speaking at the American Physical Society's annual March
] conference, William Ditto of the University of Florida
] told of his efforts to create a "chaotic
] computer".

[ Sounds neat. Light on details, but intriguing... -k] | Chaotic computing

IEI's World Brain Project
Topic: High Tech Developments 9:50 am EST, Jan 30, 2004

] IEI is busily transforming all of its advanced neural
] network paradigms into TCP/IP based systems. The overall
] intent is to convert many, if not all, of the TCP/IP
] nodes on the Internet into functioning neurons. The
] resulting freethinking entity will be capable of
] introspecting upon all human-originated content residing
] on the Internet and World Wide Web, and from that
] knowledge store creating new ideas and strategies that
] will inevitably transform our thinking and our planet. As
] this World Brain accumulates new knowledge, it will begin
] to create a "SuperNet" above the Internet, vastly
] overshadowing the present content stored there.
] This coming World Brain will not be accessed via search
] engines. We will simply ask it to introspect on the
] information we, as humans, seek.

Imagination Engines, Inc. (Stephen Thaler) is not shy about
proclaiming the potential of this technology.

IEI's World Brain Project

EE Times - Lie-detector glasses offer peek at future of security
Topic: High Tech Developments 4:49 pm EST, Jan 20, 2004

] Nemesysco's patented Poly-Layered Voice Analysis measures
] 18 parameters of speech in real-time for interrogators at
] police, military and secret-services agencies.
] ...
] V Entertainment is leveraging the concept to let
] consumers in on the truth telling, eyeing such
] applications as a lie detector that could be used while
] watching, say, the 2004 presidential debates on TV.

wow. I see claims of anywhere from 70 to 90% accuracy, though i am, of course, skeptical. however, lets assume they work great... what are the implications? This sort of thing definitely sets off my don't-trust-technology-too-much alarm... how long 'til the reading given by a cop's sunglasses is enough to convict you?

Would you buy one? Wear it around the office to see if your co-worker *really* had some work to finish or if she just didn't want to go to lunch with you? Or if your boss is stringing you along on that promise of a raise?

EE Times - Lie-detector glasses offer peek at future of security

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