Archive for the 'Science' Category
Just another Ted-talk. This time by Will Wright. The New Statesman describes him in these words :
“Will Wright – a legend among gamers, the nerd’s nerd, undisputed king of the simulation.“
Unless you are 15 years old or younger, you have lived through the dotcom bubble and bust, the birth of Friends Reunited and Craigslist and eBay and Facebook and Twitter, blogging, the browser wars, Google Earth, filesharing controversies, the transformation of the record industry, political campaigning, activism and campaigning, the media, publishing, consumer banking, the pornography industry, travel agencies, dating and retail; and unless you’re a specialist, you’ve probably only been following the most attention-grabbing developments. Here’s one of countless statistics that are liable to induce feelings akin to vertigo: on New Year’s Day 1994 – only yesterday, in other words – there were an estimated 623 websites. In total. On the whole internet. “This isn’t a matter of ego or crowing,” says Steve Crocker, who was present that day at UCLA in 1969, “but there has not been, in the entire history of mankind, anything that has changed so dramatically as computer communications, in terms of the rate of change.”
Gordon Brown issued an unequivocal apology last night on behalf of the government to Alan Turing, the second world war codebreaker who took his own life 55 years ago after being sentenced to chemical castration for being gay.
Describing Turing’s treatment as “horrifying” and “utterly unfair”, Brown said the country owed the brilliant mathematician a huge debt. He was proud, he said, to offer an official apology. “We’re sorry, you deserved so much better,” Brown writes in a statement posted on the No 10 website.
Procrastination is so easy these days. There’s a lot we can do when sitting in front of the computer. Checking Emails. Only one more video on YouTube, checking my subscribed Feeds, the weather, the stocks. Takes only a second.
Seriously, it gets even worse when we try to do all the things at the same time, to save time – while in fact it is actually inefficient, so does this study say.
A few years ago I saw an interface for blind people which consisted out of a camera which was recording the contours of what was in front of it and translated that to an array of little actuators inside a device which the blind person would attach between his eyes. Unfortunately, I forgot about the projects name shortly after.
Today I got to know BrainPort. It’s very similar. Instead of using the area between ones eyes it uses the tongue, which is much more sensitive and differentiating than the skin. It applies a electrotactile stimulation over an array of actuators. The composition of the signal then creates (over the course of a learning process) an “image” of the situation. See the amazing device in action in this demo video.