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Some extreme links to make sense of a changing world

Once upon a time there were few outlets for information. The world was explained to us by a handful of journalists who mostly got the inspiration from each other (shall we say copy?). We had a limited menu of views of the world, a leftist, a liberal and a right-wing. The world was easy to understand, we knew what was happening, since the important stuff was selected for us. Life was simple, few neurons were involved in making sense of the world. Yes that's a cartoon view but not far from how information was produced and consumed.

Models, prediction, statistics, the Internet and the human brain

This new service from Google is useful when you have to write in English, or any other language.

The best way to understand it is to use it. It is not a spell checker, it is a prediction engine. Play with it, and you'll realize how helpful it can be.

Open source router software

I installed dd-wrt on my WRT610n. I am pretty impressed! I basically have a server connected to the Internet that I can access from anywhere in the world. I can do ftp, VPN, start and stop PCs on my home network. All besides being a wireless/wired router of course.

It is amazing how many things I can think about, like having a virtual distributed file system on the Net, for example, cool!

How technology is changing education; does anyone have an idea?

The debate about how technology is changing education is gaining strength.

I just spent a few weeks in NYC and now I am back to Milan. NYC was a part-time vacation, let's call it this way. It was mostly about education, so I had some discussions about it too.

Homegrown neurophysiology. 500USD and you also get an iPhone ap!

Do you want to record the neuro-system activity of the invertebrates at home? Then BackYards brains might have an inexpensive solution for you!

Remote tele-presence robot, in the 5000USD range

Interesting product, based on Freescale ARM  processor and Linux. You can control it with a mouse. These things will become very common in the near future, and will need some intelligence too!

Is the Internet making us more intelligent or more stupid?

Steven Pinker argues that the Internet is actually making us more intelligent. We are just scared of the future, as we have always been in the past, when technology tranforms our lifes:


Biological Braitemberg vehicles: these flies smell light!

Apparently scientists have achieved controlling the sensory input of a fly so that it responds to a specific stimulus. It reminds me of Valentino Braitemberg vehicles, except those were simple mechanical objects without any inter-neurons, yet they exhibited very complex behavior.

The consequences of globalization foreseen 16 years ago

Back in 1994, Sir James Goldsmith had a clear vision of the implications of globalization on advanced economies. Now, 16 years later, his predictions have been confirmed: the middle class in the advanced economies has seen a constant lowering of its living standards, and without change in direction, it will continue to get worse.


The Internet as an operating system. What is there already and what needs to be built.

Good post about the Internet as an operating system and interesting comparison with the PC era world. 

Understanding the world, what you don't know and what you should know.

When you are trying to understand how something works, it helps to have a clear idea of what that something is, what others in related fields know about it and what it is not known yet.

It helps you being efficient in how you use your time. This post is worth reading.

It's a culture. Call it the algorithmic culture. To get it, you need to be part of it ...

I promise this will be today's last post, otherwise I will not be able to read an interesting paper I received from one of the participants at the AGI conference in Lugano. But I felt compelled to write one more post, because it follows perfectly from the previous two.

This article published on Edge is good food for thought; it is from David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale.

Stupid in America. Is this the reason why kids are dropping out of school? Watch this ABC documentary.

Dropping out of school was the topic of the previous post. One of the reasons dropout is high could be the low quality of education one gets at school. To get an idea of how low the quality can be, just watch this documentary from ABC:


The Dropout Economy: I see the signs on the wall. It is happening, and technology drives the change.

Interesting article about the evolution of society. It might seem very far fetched and very improbable; personally I see how this is developing and why. And of course, technology has a big role in this:

Excuse me, when you wanted to tell me about the four dimensions.

If you want to relax and learn something about Physics, I suggest you watch these lectures by Richard Feynman. They were filmed in 1964, the year before Feynman was awarded the Nobel Prize. If you ever thought about the relationship between Physics and Mathematics, that is the place to start.


I am in Lugano at the third conference on artificial general intelligence

First time it took only 1 hour by train to get to a conference in a different country ;-)

Some presentations are interesting. The conference venue is very good, free WI-FI and fast, power plugs on each chair ...


E tu, Apple? Patents as nuclear weapons; how to use them as a deterrent to slow down competition.

E tu, Apple?

Apple has finally decided to use patents to slow down the competition, represented by Android in the current form. The interesting spin to the news is that Apple is not suing Google, which develops Android, but is suing HTC, a handset manufacturer and one of the main adopters of Android.

From geeks to the masses, from culture to economics and politics. Internet is changing everything.

Internet and technology in general are changing just about everything we can think of. What gets hit first by this transformation?

This article about politics is one of the first of its kind that I have read so far. It describes a pretty simple idea to change US politics by abolishing the Senate and replacing it with a Reddit style platform that would allow all citizens to vote on propositions.

Patent for what? It seems that this Facebook patent covers what we were already doing in 2001/02

I did not have time to go through the details, except reading the Slashdot story, but this patent, the way it is described in the abstract, covers what Splinder (the largest Italian blogging and community platform) was already doing in 2001/02; and BTW, Splinder was part of a US company based in NY (Tipic Inc. of which I was the co-founder and CEO).

A sad tale, by Charles Munger (Warren Buffett partner)

This story can be applied to other economies in the world. Unless we dispose of the zombie institutions that are blocking the restructuring of our economies and societies, it will be very hard to come out of the mess we are in.

Also this article, about the widening income disparity, confirms what everybody knows.



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by Dr. Radut