Tag Archives | Technology

The Scent of a Cabbie

Bluury Streets of SF

Tuesday

5:05am:
The sun’s been coming up early. (Ok. And I’ve been “sleeping in.”) Regardless, I do feel the unrelenting compulsion to race in to work, to beat its rise, like a vampire trying to make his casket before turning to ash. Hopefully, mine will be full of coffee grounds. I need a buzz.

5:30am:
I’m finished greasing Tony’s palms back in the Citizen’s Cab office, and I head out to the lot.

Aside: Yeah, I chanced a $5 bribe on Tony for an airport this morning. I don’t actually expect to see one come my way from dispatch. But I gotta check-in now and then, if only to keep Tony on his toes.

5:31am:
I’m in new ‘ol 137 and I’m immediately overcome with a strong wave of fruity… Well, just strong, fruity. I look around hard, but I cannot find the offending Christmas Tree air freshener, however hard I try.

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Are AI-Doomsayers like Skeptical Theists? A Precis of the Argument

the-end-is-near

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions

Some of you may have noticed my recently-published paper on existential risk and artificial intelligence. The paper offers a somewhat critical perspective on the recent trend for AI-doomsaying among people like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Of course, it doesn’t focus on their opinions; rather, it focuses on the work of the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who has written the most impressive analysis to date of the potential risks posed by superintelligent machines.

I want to try and summarise the main points of that paper in this blog post. This summary comes with the usual caveat that the full version contains more detail and nuance. If you want that detail and nuance, you should read that paper. That said, writing this summary after the paper was published does give me the opportunity to reflect on its details and offer some modifications to the argument in light of feedback/criticisms.… Read the rest

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Mysterious Anti-electron Clouds Inside Thunderstorm

Daniel Mösch (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Daniel Mösch (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Fosters.com:

DURHAM — A terrifying few moments flying into the top of an active thunderstorm in a research aircraft has led to an unexpected discovery that could help explain the longstanding mystery of how lightning gets initiated inside a thunderstorm.

University of New Hampshire physicist Joseph Dwyer and lightning science colleagues from the University of California at Santa Cruz and Florida Tech describe the turbulent encounter and discovery in a paper to be published in the Journal of Plasma Physics.

In August 2009, Dwyer and colleagues were aboard a National Center for Atmospheric Research Gulfstream V when it inadvertently flew into the extremely violent thunderstorm—and, it turned out, through a large cloud of positrons, the antimatter opposite of electrons, that should not have been there.

To encounter a cloud of positrons without other associated physical phenomena such as energetic gamma-ray emissions was completely unexpected, thoroughly perplexing and contrary to currently understood physics.

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Patents for technology to read people’s minds hugely increasing

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via The Independent:

Companies are taking out a huge amount of patents related to reading brainwaves, according to analysis, with a range of different applications.

Fewer than 400 neuro-technology related patents were filed between 2000-2009. But in 2010 alone that reached 800, and last year 1,600 were filed, according to research company SharpBrains.

The patents are for a range of uses, not just for the healthcare technology that might be expected. The company with the most patents is market research firm Nielsen, which has 100. Microsoft also has 89 related patents.

Other uses of the technology that have been patented include devices that can change the thoughts of feelings of those that they are used on.

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GABRIEL MELLAN: A Retroreflective

GABRIEL MELLAN: A RETROREFLECTIVE

Reflective art in the dark made for the flash of a camera phone and a third-eye-LED.

Thursday May 7, 2015
6 – 9 pm
33 Washington st
Brooklyn NY 11201

Rabbithole Projects is proud to present
in conjunction with DUMBO First Thursday Gallery Walk

The experience:

Contrasting the traditional gallery viewing experience, the lights will be off, use the flash on your smartphone to photograph the work. A third LED eye will be provided for you to illuminate the art and navigate the space. This exhibition is kid friendly, assuming they are a bit adventurous and can handle a cameraphone. Selfies and flash photography are encouraged.

ptg

How it works:

The auto exposure and autofocus feature on smartphones work to make these pieces visible. The autofocus involves a short burst of light to help the camera focus in the dark. When the light to help focus the camera hits the retroreflective surfaces and is bounced back, the camera reads the environment to have more light than there is.

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