Category Archives: Miscellaneous

AI and the Die Progress Unit (or why the future is getting exponentially cooler)

How does the Law of Accelerating Returns apply to technology? This is a great article that delves into the hockey stick graph of future tech. It’s long, but well worth the read.

Here we are, standing in the present, with our linear experience of time and history. We can’t see the future upswing in progress, but we’re standing on the precipice of accelerating change.

Exactly how close are we to an unrecognizable future?

Well, the Internet of Things brings with it a promise of sensors and devices that can evolve virtually every part of our lives, from our homes to healthcare. Pair that with the promises of augmented reality, virtual reality, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, and the future starts to become unrecognizable to the world we live in today.

But we’re still standing right in front of the precipice. We’re waiting for the Internet of Things to catch on. We’re mastering an increasing number of Artificial Narrow Intelligences, but have yet to make the leap to artificial general intelligence.

To quote the article,

To be human-level intelligent, a computer would have to understand things like the difference between subtle facial expressions, the distinction between being pleased, relieved, content, satisfied, and glad, and why Braveheart was great but The Patriot was terrible.

One things for sure, great technological change is happening. Perhaps exponential change isn’t that far away.

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Twitter is tracking the apps on your phone

Just as an FYI, in case you didn’t already know this…

Gigaom

In its latest effort to improve its ad targeting, Twitter will start collecting information on what mobile apps its users have downloaded.

If you’re in the Pandora camp instead of the Spotify camp, Twitter will know. Harbor a penchant for celebrity gossip with both the TMZ and Perez Hilton app in your arsenal? Twitter will know. If you’re on a diet and you’re tracking your calories with an app, Twitter will know.

The company says it’s using the information to benefit you, by improving its recommendation engines on other Twitter accounts you should follow. As mentioned in the Twitter Analyst Call, an “instant timeline” for new users is also on its way. Information on what apps a person has downloaded could help Twitter build that.

The second purpose, one not mentioned by Twitter in its blog post, is the holy grail of free consumer web companies: Ad targeting. Twitter needs as much information…

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Feet-On With Boosted Boards’ New Faster And Cheaper Electric Skateboards

!!!!!!!!
This looks SO cool. Love this video, love this skateboard idea. Our inner 11-year-olds are doing backflips of glee.
*file under: tax return, lottery win*

TechCrunch

[tc_5min code=”518500555″]

If you want to ride a magic carpet, the Boosted Board is the closest you’ll get until they make that hoverboard run on asphalt. And now there’s an even more powerful model for climbing epic hills or hitting 22mph, and a stripped down model for casual boarders on a budget.

Y Combinator-incubated Boosted Boards launched it Kickstarter back in November 2012 and finally shipped its one electric skateboard with wireless remote in Spring 2014. Since then the company’s CEO Sanjay Dastoor tells me Boosted’s sold “thousands of boards”, even at its previous $2000 price point. Now it’s offering a few different models, all for much cheaper.

boosted-electric-board-vehicle-bridge

I went down the startup’s headquarters and factory in Mountain View to try out the new boards. You can check out the “feet-on” video above. I’ve ridden longboards for 10 years and have been Boosting since March, so here’s my take on the three…

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HTML for Babies

This is so cool, the kind of thing where you can’t believe you didn’t think of it first:

http://codebabies.com/product/html-for-babies

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NYC to Host World Cup for Problem-Solving Startups This Month

“We’re not looking for the next Angry Birds or Yo,” Ms. Harris said. “We’re looking for the next solution to traffic gridlock, a pathbreaking health care app or the next breakthrough in testing water for unsafe chemicals.”
This looks like an amazing competition.

Betabeat

Capture Who will triumph? (Screengrab: YouTube)

From standing out on Kicktarter to vying for VC, startups have to work so hard to get noticed that you could call the whole tech industry a competition.

On November 20, NYC will host a literal startup competition — Challenge Cup 2015, wherein startups focused on solving some of the world’s biggest challenges in education, energy and health care will compete for prizes and meet with mentors, partners and investors.

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Tim Armstrong Doesn’t Say The Wrong Thing About Women In The Workplace

I will no longer think snarky dial-up-tone type thoughts when I see an AOL email address appear in my inbox (not often, but still happens).

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Fara Warner is editorial director of Aol Tech and This Built America.

In the past few weeks and months, conversations about women in our industry have run the gamut from companies such as Apple and Facebook willing to pay to freeze women’s eggs so they can put off having children and Satya Nadella’s karmic misstep to the data-rich, but solution-poor disclosure of just how few women are at the top of tech.

But Tim Armstrong showed other tech CEOs how to speak with respect and admiration about women in the workplace during his comments onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt London. The comments came after Josh asked him about his own missteps when he talked about women and how “distressed babies” had been at the heart of a reason to make changes in Aol’s employee benefits. Not a proud moment for any CEO.

This time around, he spoke about women…

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Data, Data, Data

As I scroll down my feed, this is the word I see jumping out at me today: DATA. Data, data, data.

We talk about data a lot. Data is the new currency and is driving innovation. Check out this conversation that offers some ideas into how to navigate privacy, security and potential regulation as IoT emerges, while still maintaining innovation.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/what-if-companies-dont-own-all-that-data-theyre-collecting/

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Drone developers get big open source boost from Linux Foundation, vendors like 3D Robotics and Box

The name of the game lately is consolidation, mainly consolidation of assets to make things more accessible to all.

Gigaom

Drones are a hot topic right now, attracting not just big names like Amazon and Google, but thousands of independent developers who want to use aerial technology for fields like conservation, commerce, search and rescue, and scientific research.

On Monday, those developers got a big piece of good news: the Linux Foundation and ten companies announced the “Dronecode Project,” which will offer a huge repository of open source code for people to build aerial operating systems, navigation tools and other features for unmanned aircraft.

While Linux code is already part of many drone-related projects, the new initiative consolidates many of these assets under one roof, providing a common platform as well as communications and governance tools. And, of course, the code will be available to anyone who wants to use it.

The Dronecode Project will be overseen by the Linux Foundation, but it is also receiving some high-profile industry support, including from Chris Anderson, the former Wired

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Finnish Prime Minister Can’t Stop Blaming Apple For Finland’s Economic Woes

Apple-hate on a whole different level.
Also, it’s always interesting to pull the curtain back and view the workings of licensing deals and the like, behind it.

TechCrunch

When in doubt, blame someone else. Alexander Stubb, the Finnish prime minister, said today that Apple was responsible for bringing down two of Finland’s biggest economic exports — Nokia and paper. “The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” he said earlier today in an interview with CNBC.

It’s not the first time that he’s set up Apple as the shorthand scapegoat for the country’s problems — Stubb made similar, pithy comments back in July when he said that “Steve Jobs took our jobs.”

The comments come at a time when Finland has been downgraded by ratings agency S&P. It’s now at AA+ from AAA. The big question now for Stubb and the industries impacted is how to demonstrate to investors and lenders that its businesses are not stagnating.

Inaccurate swipes harkening back to past events really screams strong leadership to me.

Ironically, it…

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