Eyeglasses, the Cold War and the World Wide Web

When someone says, “I’ll be brief.”, 99 times out of a 100  the opposite is true. The same can be applied when someone states their technology will revolutionize or disrupt a particular market.  It is very rare when someone knows how a new technology will be disruptive in a particular way.  The many cascade effects… Continue reading Eyeglasses, the Cold War and the World Wide Web

From Scribes to Data Scientists

The earliest writing was cuneiform from the Mesopotamian civilizations.  The writing was hard to do (reeds and clay tablets) and difficult to read (at one point over 1,000 symbols).  A specialized class called dubsars, better known by the more generic term scribe, developed over time.  To become a scribe required extensive training.  The scribe maintained… Continue reading From Scribes to Data Scientists

Digital Vitrum Flexile

There is a story (and significant debate on whether it is true) that during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, a man invented flexible glass (vitrum flexile).  He was given an audience with the Emperor and demonstrated the unbreakable qualities of the glass by throwing a drinking vessel to the ground.  The vessel was… Continue reading Digital Vitrum Flexile

Recommending Discretion to Recommender Systems

You have seen recommender systems in action.  Visiting this blog will result in ads that are targeted to your preferences.  If you shop on-line, every item you view and/or purchase will trigger suggestions for other items that you may want to purchase. These are powerful systems utilizing very complex and vast swaths of data to… Continue reading Recommending Discretion to Recommender Systems

Kissing Cousins? There’s an App for That

When technology is invented, the creators cannot possibly foresee how the technology will be used or what needs it will satisfy. In Iceland, where everyone is related in some way, there is an App that allows you to determine if that person you are chatting up at the local is closely related to you.  It can save… Continue reading Kissing Cousins? There’s an App for That

Finding Something by Looking at Nothing

NASA has recently announced they have found evidence of dark matter by, um, not finding it.  After studying over year’s worth of data, positrons — the antimatter partner particles of electrons — that suggest they were created when particles of dark matter collided and annihilated each other. In this time of vast data accumulation, much… Continue reading Finding Something by Looking at Nothing

Recall by Proxy

There are two main ways we access memory: Recognition Recall Recognition requires a simple familiarity decision. Recognition is the association of an event or physical object with one previously experienced. It involves a process of comparison of information with memory. Recall of an item from memory requires a two-stage process; the search and retrieval of… Continue reading Recall by Proxy

The Agnostic Pirates of the Seven Seas

One of the strengths of the English language is one can speak very poorly but still be understood. Another is the ease at which words are created or existing words have their meaning changed. For example, software piracy. Piracy is “robbery on the high seas”. Not too many pirates in history made copies of their… Continue reading The Agnostic Pirates of the Seven Seas