New Civilization News - Category: Technology    
 Back from the Big Apple2 comments
picture 24 May 2003 @ 23:14, by ming. Technology
Back from New York. Got some good work done with Britt Blaser on xpertweb, working through the steps of a functioning prototype. The picture there is from last night. Hanging out with Britt and Doc Searls, having a splendid time talking about geeky stuff and playing with computers. Doc mentions it here. He is in town to check out the state of publically available WiFi in New York. Which is pretty damned great. Wireless access in a number of parks, from many businesses who want to make customers feel at home, and from many individuals who've just left their networks open.

If you somehow don't know who Doc Searls is, he's co-author of Cluetrain Manifesto, senior editor of Linux Journal, and general Über-Blogger. I'm impressed by the effortlessness of his blogging approach. He just sort of wam-bam zips in and posts a few sentences, using an outliner for the content of the day, while he's on the phone and answering e-mail and having a conversation, all at the same time. I'm not sure I would be able to do it like that, but I can certainly see the point. Answer your e-mail in public, as he describes it. I personally tend to need to switch into some kind of Inspired Quest mode before it flows for me. But, hey, maybe his routine day every day IS an Inspired Quest, I don't know.  More >

picture13 May 2003 @ 14:08, by spectragon. Technology
Several years ago, projections based on then current computing industry growth rate indicated that computers would soon approach the eight terabyte (8 trillion byte) storage capacity of the human brain. There are now computers that possess this capacity but at that time, it got me to consider what attribute might enable man’s creation to qualify as sentient. Having been raised Catholic, the concept of free will came to mind as the quality in which we were ” created in the image and likeness of our creator”. So I started with a flow chart of free will, in attempt to understand the underlying algorithm. The backbone of that flow chart looked something like this:
[Diagram was aparently not formated in way that could be viewed as an embeded image.]

Next I had to develop a fractal pattern generating equation that would enable the unit cell of this flow chart to dynamically self propagate. The result was a model that, when initial values were assigned to the variables, exhibited the potential to develop the diversity of wills displayed in the general populace.

A colleague commented that computers would not be on par with man until they possessed the capacity to experience pleasure. Desire for pleasure is, after all, the engine that drives free will.

A response to this line of reasoning might be that computers will never rise to the stature of man because we are more than mechanisms, we are spiritual entities. I acknowledge the spiritual perspective to existence. The documentation of near death experiences, remote viewing etc. provide irrefutable evidence that the mind of an individual continues to function when the brain waves have “flat-lined”, however the brain, itself is none the less the organic computer whose soft ware provides the model of reality presented during our normal daily experience. That being the case, if man were to construct the appropriate architecture would a spiritual entity in the market for that sort of real estate take up residence?  More >

 Simple, explicit and redundant10 comments
8 May 2003 @ 23:59, by ming. Technology
My printer suddenly started to print, and spat out a page that contained only this:

# Keep this simple, explicit, and redundant
I hadn't asked it to print anything. Has never happened before. Well, it is a network connected printer, with its own IP, so I suppose somebody could have initiated it from elsewhere. Except for that it has a password.

A quick search in Google showed me that this is part of the standard content of, one of sendmail's configuration files. Could be from one of my servers, but it would still be a mystery how it ended up on my printer.

Or maybe it is just good advice from the ethers. Keep it simple, explicit, and redundant. I'll try to remember.  More >

 Emerging Technology conference2 comments
24 Apr 2003 @ 22:50, by ming. Technology
Many people I know are at O'Reilly's Emerging Technology conference in Santa Clara right now. Or rather, pretty much ALL the a-list tech bloggers are there. And I feel a bit left out, as they're talking about many things I'm into. But I just can't defend spending a couple of thousand dollars going to a conference for three days, even if I could squeeze it out of my budget. I'm sorry, I only make 100K per year. Well, last year, when my economy was looking better, I did set myself the target of going to a conference or so per month. And each time that would usually end up costing close to 1000 dollars total, including air plane tickets, hotels, etc. The typical conference I go to would, if it wasn't free, be $2-300. I just can't even wrap my mind around paying even $995 (the early bird, several months in advance price), let alone $1600, just for the conference itself. For sitting on a chair and listening to some people talk, and for the opportunity of meeting some people in the hallway. Oh, great talks and great people that I would like to hang out with, but it somehow doesn't add up. Of course my great visionary tech acquaintances mostly aren't paying for being there, because they're the speakers, or they're journalists. I suppose it is geared towards corporate folks who come to hear what these guys have to say. Anyway, other people seem to have something to say on the money thing too: here, here and here  More >

 End of the Fossil-Fuel Era
picture28 Sep 2002 @ 21:44, by kay. Technology
Today the world gets a glimpse of the future. General Motors' revolutionary Hy-wire car makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show. GM's automobile runs on hydrogen, the most basic and lightest element in the universe. When burned, hydrogen emits only pure water and heat.

For photos of this nifty little car:
[link]  More >

 Virtual Keyboard0 comments
picture20 Mar 2002 @ 15:28, by ming. Technology
AP: A full-size fully functional virtual keyboard that can be projected and touched on any surface is shown by Siemens Procurement Logistics Services at the CeBIT fair in Hanover, northern Germany, on Monday, March 18, 2002. The virtual interface from Developer VKB Inc. from Jerusalem in Israel can be integrated in mobile phones, laptops, tablet PCs, or clean, sterile and medical environments and could be a revolution for the data entry of any mini computer. The mini projector that detects user interaction with the surface also simulates a mousepad. The biggest computer fair of the world is open for public until Wednesday, March 20, 2002.  More >

 Fault-tolerant technology9 comments
9 Oct 2001 @ 20:21, by ming. Technology
Seems to me that a lot of potential problems in the world are there because of technology and systems that only work when everything is going well, and that aren't prepared for things going wrong, or for deliberate misuse. Un-collapsible buildings and un-highjackable planes are certainly technologically possible. But it is generally not how we design things. Too many of our technological constructions have single points of failure. Knock out a few key pieces, and the whole thing tumbles down. Blow up a few supporting pillars and a building falls down. Cut the right cable and millions of people have no TV or electricity. Pull out the plug out of your own computer and, no matter how many millions of transistors it has, they all stop working.  More >

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