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Blog Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Whole Earth Comes Into Focus

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 7th, 02007

 Our own Stewart Brand has an essay in the current issue of Nature (subscription required) on integrating two disparate disciplines in order to solve our worlds largest problems.

To understand how our planet uses energy, we must integrate genetic data from microbial studies with satellite views of our planet.
Two vastly different but complementary projects. . .   Read More

The next (last) 100 Years

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 3rd, 02007

I was recently reminded of this great prediction article by John Watkins published in the 01900 Ladies Home Journal.

Particularly interesting for how much it gets right and wrong, sometimes in the same prediction. Some examples of the 29 predictions:

There will be air-ships, but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and. . .   Read More

the small-but-growing virtual here

by Stephanie Gerson on November 23rd, 02007

Alexa.com allows users to compare traffic to different websites through time according to reach, rank, and page views and using various levels of magnification. It’s fascinating to compare not only the quantity of traffic, but the shape of growth curves. For example, although Facebook is still slightly behind MySpace in terms reach (though it appears…  Read More

Predictions & Prescriptions

by Austin Brown on November 21st, 02007

Good Magazine ran an interview recently with a man they call The New Nostradamus. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses a mathematical model that is based entirely on game theory to predict the outcomes of political conflicts. He takes a very literal interpretation of the phrase “political science” and focuses his analysis strictly on issues of. . .   Read More

LongPen makes short work of distance

by Stuart Candy on November 20th, 02007

Author Margaret Atwood, perhaps best known for the near-future fable The Handmaid’s Tale, has invented a device called LongPen which allows writers to sign their works at a distance, replicating their hand movements. Says Atwood: It is the world’s first long-distance, real-time signing and handwriting device. … In other words, the LongPen is not an…  Read More

Binary Timepiece

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on November 15th, 02007

This years winner of the National Watch and Clock Collectors People’s Choice award is a clock made of wood that uses a binary movement by David Holmes. It is a very cool design and a totally different take on the use of binary systems in a clock than Danny Hillis’.  You can see a. . .   Read More

Robo-scribe, the future of “hand made”

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on November 14th, 02007

  The German art group Robotlab has re-purposed an industrial robot to “hand” write a Martin Luther bible.  While in this instance there is not much feeling in the characters, one could easily imagine an algorithm that randomly introduces small errors to make it feel more hand made.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able…  Read More

On the 8th day, Venter creates life

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 19th, 02007

Genes of micro-organisms are being modified to create something new
 
The BBC reports on our upcoming seminar speaker Craig Venter’s recent advances in creating life. Attendees of Juan Enriquez’ illuminating talk “Mapping Life” also heard about this research and Venter’s success in “jump starting” life by injecting DNA from one cell. . .   Read More

Juan Enriquez “Mapping Life”

by Stewart Brand on October 13th, 02007

Mapping Life

“All life is imperfectly transmitted code,” Enriquez began, “and it is promiscuous.” Thus discoveries like the one last month of an entire bacterial genome inside the DNA of a fruitfly is exploding the old tree-of-life models of evolution. The emerging map replaces gene lineages with gene webs.

“There is a whole. . .   Read More

Y10k Compliance

by Kevin Kelly on October 12th, 02007

Cool Tools Reader Michael Hohl figured out this wonderful way to make your computer Y10K compliant. That is, how to set your computer so that it displays the 5-digit date it will need when we reach the years after 9999: that is 10000 and beyond. In anticipation of that time, you can set this. . .   Read More