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Reflections on Avatar by Ray Kurzweil

March 7, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

3D information visualization displays and interactive multi-touch screens as featured in this scene from Avatar already exist and are in use today.

I recently watched James Cameron’s Avatar in 3D. It was an enjoyable experience in some ways, but overall I left dismayed on a number of levels.

It was enjoyable to watch the lush three-dimensional animation and motion capture controlled graphics. I’m not sure that 3D will take over – as many now expect – until we get rid of the glasses (and there are emerging technologies to do that… read more

How computers are helping solve information overload by learning to ‘understand’ text

February 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

understandingtext

With tremendous volumes of information appearing online every day in social networks, websites, and blogs (mea culpa), the need to train computers to understand human language is now becoming critical, said Chris Manning, Stanford University associate professor of computer science and linguistics, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in San Diego on Feb. 19.

“The problem of the age is information overload.… read more

comic | Science Montage

February 23, 2010

© xkcd webcomics

Source: xkcd webcomics

comic | Devotion to duty

February 23, 2010

© xkcd webcomics

Source: xkcd webcomics

Surrogates vs. avatars

February 18, 2010 by L. Stephen Coles

mannequin

“Surrogates” scenario: FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves—fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles—enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

HUMOR | Found: Hawking’s initials written into the universe

February 8, 2010

dn18489-1_300

Source: New Scientist Space — February 7, 2010

The Wilkinson Anisotropy Microwave Probe (WMAP) team points out that if something as unlikely as Hawking’s initials can be found in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) data, the chances of finding other apparently improbable patterns may also be quite high, and asks readers to mark the shapes they find in the CMB image.

“If you think you can see your initials, the face of Jesus or a unicorn,… read more

book review | Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society

January 28, 2010

Author: William Halal
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN-10: 0230019544
ISBN-13: 9780230019546
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages

Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Societybrilliantly deals with the co-evolution of technology, business and society. It is a concise but complete “history of the future,” covering most scientific and technological fields, with specific scenarios until 2050 and with general ideas for the future of humanity.… read more

COMIC | Researcher Translation

January 23, 2010

Researcher Translation

Source: xkcd webcomics

COMIC | Spam filter

January 21, 2010

spam filter

Source: Dilbert — January 22, 2010

COMIC | Extrapolating

January 21, 2010

Source: xkcd webcomics

COMIC | New pet

January 21, 2010

© xkcd

Source: xkcd webcomics

Medieval tech support

January 21, 2010

medieval-tech-support

Source: "Øystein og jeg" on Norwegian Broadcasting — 2001

From the show “Øystein og jeg” on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.

COMIC | Protesting Against New Technology: The Early Days

January 21, 2010

Protesting Against Technology

Source: INKCINCT — June 4, 2007

book review | The Hidden Brain

January 18, 2010

hidden brain

Source: The New York Times — January 14, 2010 | Susan Pinker

In The Hidden Brain, writer Shankar Vedantam explores the unconscious mind, focusing on covert influences on human behavior. Invisible forces that control our behavior have inspired our best story­tellers, from Euripides to Steven Spielberg. Whether we’re yanked around by jealous gods, Oedipal urges or poltergeists, the idea that we feel powerless to direct our own actions has… read more

book review | The Department of Mad Scientists

January 14, 2010

The Department of Mad Scientists

Source: The New York Times — December 24, 2009 | William Saletan

“The Body Electric” | Two years ago, in his book Rocketeers, Michael Belfiore celebrated the pioneers of the budding private space industry. Now he has returned to explore a frontier closer to home. The heroes of his new book, The Department of Mad Scientists, work for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, a secretive arm of… read more

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