April 2, 2006
The Singularity may bring major information overload. Is this a cure — or a cause?
Source: Yorkshire Evening Post — April 29, 2010 | Duncan Seaman
“I don’t think it was a conscious decision to change any of our sounds, more that we have progressed as a band,” explains bass player Walter Gervers of Foals’ new album Total Life Forever. “Our tastes have changed. What we were trying to create was a record with more space and more freedom than the first time.”
The album’s title track was inspired by Raymond Kurzweil, the… read more
Those University of Utah engineers who built wireless networks that see through walls are now taking it a step further: detecting if surgery patients, adults with sleep apnea, and babies at risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have stopped breathing.
This thing freaks me out a bit. Think what Homeland Security could do with it. The idea of being surrounded by tiny microwave ovens… read more
Source: BookReporter — May 2005 | Curtis Edmonds
Joel Garreau’s provocative new book, Radical Evolution, is divided into different scenarios. One that he calls “Heaven” is largely the vision of Ray Kurzweil, one of the founders of modern assistive technology.
Kurzweil imagines a future where the positive aspects of the new technology are available freely to everyone, allowing each of us to customize our own selves to the point where immortality — or complete spiritual freedom… read more
This review was originally published in Wired, “Peer Review,” in October 2002.
As one of the world’s leading roboticists, Rodney Brooks (Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Chairman of the successful iRobot Corporation) is also the consummate teacher.
He has a penchant for clear explanation and in his latest book, Flesh and Machines, How Robots Will Change Us, Brooks lucidly explores a wide range of themes related to his life with robots.
These range from personal anecdotes (e.g., his first encounter with another legendary robot builder, Hans Moravec, who was then living in his Stanford laboratory and musing about exotic topics ranging from sky hooks to tree-like robots), historical vignettes (e.g., Marvin Minsky’s unsuccessful attempt to solve the computer “vision” problem in a single Summer in 1966), algorithmic insights (e.g., how his Genghis robot achieved “animal-like behavior” from a few dozen simple programs operating in parallel), philosophical musings (e.g., what is the true nature of consciousness, “apart from our own personal experience of what it is like to be us?”), and ethical dilemmas (e.g., when will we need to stop treating robots like slaves).
The book ranges far and wide, but maintains a unity around the author’s passion for creating what he calls “situated creatures,” which we can eventually regard as our teachers and companions.… read more
NASA has announced it will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C. at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”
- Mary Voytek, Director, Astrobiology Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
- Felisa Wolfe-Simon, NASA Astrobiology Research Fellow, U.S. Geological… read more
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
Keep the holiday bulge off by exercising, controlling cravings, and paying attention to weight and eating [J Consult Clin Psychol].
Eat right to keep weight off and live longer. You can lower risk your risk of an early death from chronic disease by making healthier food choices more frequently. Eat more frequent amounts of low-fat dairy products, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and fish;… read more
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
Source: The Onion — June 3, 2008
The Onion | “World of World of Warcraft’s” amazing level of detail makes players feel like they are actually in a cramped, dark apartment playing “World of Warcraft.”
The Onion News Network
Source: New York Times — Oct 23, 2005
Randall argues that without any experimental feedback, string theorists may never reach their goal. She prefers a different strategy, called model building. Rather than seeking to create an all-encompassing theory, she develops models — mini-theories that… read more