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BOOK REVIEW | How to Survive a Robot Uprising

October 31, 2005

how_to_survive_a_robot_uprising

Source: Post-Gazette — October 30, 2005

A guidebook for battling a robot takeover of Earth subtly educates about robots and technology while coming across as humor.

The book was written by roboticist Daniel H. Wilson, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. Paramount has bought movie rights.

What makes the book cool — and unlike some other survival books — is that Wilson is an actual roboticist, who got his Ph.D. from… read more

BOOK REVIEW | The Cosmic Landscape

March 12, 2006

cosmic_landscape

Source: Fourmilog: None Dare Call It Reason — March 12, 2006

Leonard Susskind’s new book, The Cosmic Landscape, pits intelligent design against string theory and the megaverse.

Surprisingly, Autodesk founder John Walker sides with intelligent design, but not by a deity — by post-Singularity intelligences creating a reality simulation: “What would we expect to see if we inhabited a simulation? Well, there would probably be a discrete time step and granularity in position fixed by the time and position… read more

Nine years to the Singularity

March 21, 2006

blade running

Source: Avram Grumer's Journal — March 20, 2006

Someone at The Economist with a bit of extra time on his hands was looking at the recent proliferation of many-bladed razors, and noticed that the time gap between blade increments seems to be shrinking: 70 years before someone added the second blade, a couple of decades to the third, only two or three years between the four-bladed Schick Quattro and the five-bladed Gillette Fusion. Might there be a Moore’s… read more

HUMOR | The Cure For Information Overload

April 2, 2006

The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?

BOOK REVIEW | Almost Human: Making Robots Think

March 19, 2007

almost_human

Source: Los Angeles Times — Mar 18, 2007

“Making Robots Think” is an entertaining peek behind the scenes at engineers of the groundbreaking Robotics Institute, much of whose research is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department.

The book, however, is more about frustration than achievement. Despite the round-the-clock efforts of the best and the brightest, today’s real-life robots are a dim, lumbering lot, a far cry from the wise, nimble models… read more

book review | Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science

December 10, 2007

mind_as_machine

Source: American Scientist — February 2008

In Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Margaret A. Boden’s goal, she says, is to show how cognitive scientists have tried to find computational or informational answers to frequently asked questions about the mind — “what it is, what it does, how it works, how it evolved, and how it’s even possible.”

How do our brains generate consciousness? Are animals or newborn babies conscious? Can machines… read more

HUMOR | Hilarious computer pranks

January 10, 2008

Source: YouTube — February 15, 2007

HUMOR | Google does April Fools’ with “Custom time” and Mars trip

April 2, 2008

Google’s Gmail rolled out a fake “custom time” feature, which purports to let users send e-mails into the past and consequently never miss important deadlines again.

And starting in 2014, Google’s home page announced, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on… read more

book review | Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge

August 8, 2008

year-million

Source: Nature — August 7, 2008

In Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge (edited by Damien Broderick, Atlas, 2008), 15 futurists explore long-range posthuman extraterrestrial futures.

One thread in the book is launch of an expanding wavefront of intelligence, converting matter into nano-engineered computronium that is then assembled into M-brains. These then send out seeds that encode the ability to bootstrap new nano-manufacturing capacity on suitable worlds, where minds… read more

book review | Rainbows End

August 26, 2008

rainbows_end

Source: The New York Times — August 25, 2008 | John Tierney

In Vernor Vinge’s version of Southern California in 2025, there is a school named Fairmont High with the motto, “Trying hard not to become obsolete.” It may not sound inspiring, but to the many fans of Dr. Vinge, this is a most ambitious — and perhaps unattainable — goal for any member of our species.

Dr. Vinge is a mathematician and computer scientist in San Diego whose science fiction… read more

HUMOR | Google announces Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity

April 1, 2009

Source: KurzweilAI — April 1, 2009

Google announced at midnight the world’s first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity (CADIE), the first evolving intelligent system.

“im a girl, 2 minutes old, just hanging out in da C.A. learnin a lot tryin 2 get smarter make friends save humanity etc etc. i like cmputrs (duh) sunsets rainbows ponies and after 1 netwide image search PANDAS PANDAS PANDAS ther SO CUTE!!! omg!,” said CADIE.… read more

Why do giraffes have long necks?

July 19, 2009 by L. Stephen Coles

ist1_7214210-zoo-animals

An article, “Why Do Dachshunds Have Short Legs? Science Has an Answer,” in R&D, July 17, 2009, reminds me of an observation. In the language of computer programming, a retrogene is a patch on a pre-existing piece of software. Could it be that the entire embryogenic/genomic network that dictates a creature’s morphology is nothing more than a set of onion-skin layers or patches on conserved coded-machinery that has worked before? If so, it’s going to take a lot of industrial-strength gene-insertion genomics to unravel it, since it has no real logic that would help us make sense of it and guide us to a proper reading frame. (This is more evidence that there’s no “intelligence” in the “Intelligent Design” of Darwinian evolution).… read more

book review | Whole Earth Discipline

September 23, 2009

whole earth discipline

Source: Wired — Sep 21, 2009 | Douglas McGray

“Stewart Brand: Save the Slums” | In his new book Whole Earth Discipline, Stewart Brand defends genetic engineering, nuclear power, and other longtime nemeses of the green left as good for the planet.

Some people see a squatter city in Nigeria or India and the desperation overwhelms them: rickety shelters, little kids working or begging, filthy water and air. Stewart Brand sees the same places and he’s encouraged.… read more

book review | The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism

November 23, 2009 by Amara D. Angelica

genius of the beast

Multidisciplinary scientist Howard Bloom’s visionary new book, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, to be published Tuesday, is an iconoclastic, big-picture view of the transformation of mankind by its machinery.

It rewrites the history of the West, connecting science, technology, emotions, business and society, and proposes a next-generation of capitalism for western civilization — an evolutionary imperative that he suggests can lift us from… read more

HUMOR | The Mactini

December 23, 2009

Source: "The Peter Serafinowicz Show," BBC2 — December 23, 2009

From “The Peter Serafinowicz Show: Christmas Special” on BBC2.

The original MacBook Air commercial for comparison.

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