Tag Archives | Computers

Can AI-Powered Games Create Super-Intelligent Humans?

EinsteinA technology CEO sees game artificial intelligence as the key to a revolution in education, predicting a synergy where games create smarter humans who then create smarter games.

Citing lessons drawn from Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, Alex Peake, founder of Primer Labs, sees the possibility of a self-fueling feedback loop which creates “a Moore’s law for artificial intelligence,” with accelerating returns ultimately generating the best possible education outcomes.

“What the computer taught me was that there was real muggle magic …” writes Peake. And he reaches a startling conclusion.

“Once we begin relying on AI mentors for our children and we get those mentors increasing in sophistication at an exponential rate, we’re dipping our toe into symbiosis between humans and the AI that shape them.

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How To Destroy Your Laptop In A Pinch

1Attention cyber criminals, subversives, and ne’er-do-wells: place this handy sticker in the correct spot on your computer, just in case. Via DesignTaxi:

Your laptop, with all its sensitive data and/or ill-gotten gains, is about to be confiscated by the authorities, who are banging on the door. There’s no time to reformat it—you’ve got to destroy it, fast. This sticker will help you do just that, provided you’ve a drill by your side. (And which self-respecting cyber criminal wouldn’t?)

Meant to be placed directly above your laptop’s hard disk, the sticker sports a crosshair with which you can accurately destroy any digital evidence the cops are after.

Randy Sarafan, who created the stickers, advises to “research the build of your laptop and locate the position of your hard drive…The hard drive should look like a rectangular box with a centered circle somewhere upon it,” he said.

Stick the sticker’s drill guide slightly off center of the hard drive (see first image below) so that you’ll drill the platters instead of the motor.

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Social Networking Surpasses Porn As Top Internet Activity

s1.reutersmedia.net“My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don’t have time to look at adult sites.”

Reuters claims that social media has overtaken porn as the primary reason for having an internet connection. (My advice: If you want to make a fortune, figure out a good way of combining the two.)

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, an Internet tracking company, has analyzed information for over 10 million web users to conclude that one of the major shifts in Internet use in the past decade had been the fall off in interest in pornography or adult entertainment sites.

He said surfing for porn had dropped to about 10 percent of searches from 20 percent a decade ago, and the hottest Internet searches now are for social networking sites.

“As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased,” said Tancer, indicated that the 18-24 year old age group particularly was searching less for porn.

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Pentagon To Consider Cyberattacks As Act Of War

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ryan Allshouse uses the intrusion detection system to monitor unclassified network activity from the automated data processing workspace aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). IDS is part of the integrated shipboard network system and serves as an important computer network defense enabler protecting the unclassified shipboard network from cyber attack.

David E. Sanger and Elisabeth Bumiller write in the New York Times reports:

The Pentagon, trying to create a formal strategy to deter cyberattacks on the United States, plans to issue a new strategy soon declaring that a computer attack from a foreign nation can be considered an act of war that may result in a military response.

Several administration officials, in comments over the past two years, have suggested publicly that any American president could consider a variety of responses — economic sanctions, retaliatory cyberattacks or a military strike — if critical American computer systems were ever attacked.

The new military strategy, which emerged from several years of debate modeled on the 1950s effort in Washington to come up with a plan for deterring nuclear attacks, makes explicit that a cyberattack could be considered equivalent to a more traditional act of war. The Pentagon is declaring that any computer attack that threatens widespread civilian casualties — for example, by cutting off power supplies or bringing down hospitals and emergency-responder networks — could be treated as an act of aggression.

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The Gadgets We Never Heard Of

Did you know that the iPod is basically a ripoff of a German transistor radio from the 1950s? Via the Atlantic, selections from Bill Buxton’s collection of little-known gadgets (such as early touchscreen devices, the first robotic chess game, and a “mindblowing Casio watch from 1984″) which sadly are in the secret dustbin of history:

055446_braunipod

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Facebook And Google Team Up To Oppose Privacy Legislation

largeThere may be bad blood after last week’s revelation that Facebook has been trying secretly to inject smear stories about Google into the media, but the two internet giants can join together on the most important issues, writes the Atlantic Wire:

Facebook, Google, Twitter, Skype and others cosigned a letter “strongly opposing” a bill introduced by California State Senator Ellen Corbett that would force sites to explain privacy settings in “plain language.”

Her recently introduced Social Networking Privacy Act (SB 242) would require a notice before users hand over their personal information to a site. In Sen. Corbett’s own words, “You shouldn’t have to sign in and give up your personal information before you get to the part where you say, ‘Please don’t share my personal information.” The bill would also grant parents the right to request photos or text be removed from any of their children’s social networking pages within 48 hours.

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Ownership of TV Sets Falls in the United States For First Time in 20 Years

LCD TVGood news? Brian Stelter writes in the New York Times:

For the first time in 20 years, the number of homes in the United States with television sets has dropped.

The Nielsen Company, which takes TV set ownership into account when it produces ratings, will tell television networks and advertisers on Tuesday that 96.7 percent of American households now own sets, down from 98.9 percent previously.

There are two reasons for the decline, according to Nielsen. One is poverty: some low-income households no longer own TV sets, most likely because they cannot afford new digital sets and antennas.

The other is technological wizardry: young people who have grown up with laptops in their hands instead of remote controls are opting not to buy TV sets when they graduate from college or enter the work force, at least not at first. Instead, they are subsisting on a diet of television shows and movies from the Internet.

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Technology Addiction Taking Its Toll

Windows Phone 7 mockupAfter getting a smart phone last year, I too feel the effects of technology addiction. It snuck up on me. I now feel like I spend a large portion of my day moving from one of three screens: my television, laptop, and cellphone. I find myself checking my collection of news sites and blogs, as well as my social networks quite often throughout the day. I’d say at least once an hour, if not more. While it has opened up many doors to knowledge and communication it also makes me wonder what exactly the implications of such a lifestyle change will have on my generation’s future mentality and health. Keeping a phone in my pocket right next to my…sensitive areas? We’re the guinea pigs to the virtual future.

Anybody else a little cautious about the 21st Century level of connectedness? Share your views down in the comments. Discovery News reports:

Many young Asians are finding it tough to cope without a gadget in hand.

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Flexible Screen Nears Commercial Release

Photo: RDECOM (CC)

Plastic screens that can be rolled up like a newspaper and not crack may be sold in stores soon, introducing new possibilities for laptops and smartphones. William D’Urso reports in the Arizona Republic:

A plastic screen that rolls up and doesn’t crack when you drop it may sound like science fiction, but the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University is investing millions to liberate electronic devices from the constraints of rigid glass.

And reality could come sooner than you think. The project was initiated by the U.S. Army in cooperation with a number of companies, including Boeing and Hewlett-Packard, to expedite the development of the technology.

“Flexible … black-and-white screens for e-readers are very close to commercialization,” said Nick Colaneri, Flexible Display Center director. Black-and-white screens are less complicated to create, and he estimates flexible screens capable of rolling up and displaying color images are three to five years away.

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