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Matt Uebel has been at 7 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Daniel Estrada30,263This week an announcement rippled through the internet: a computer passed Turing's test. Soon after the backlash began: the test was rigged, the resulted were hyped, and Eugene, the machine in question, was lame.  Now the backlash is giving way to even stronger criticisms. @111907992359490335188 recently argued (http://goo.gl/VdilBI) that not only was this test illegitimate, but Turing's test itself should be abandoned. But Massimo's argument is deeply mistaken about the nature of Turing's test, what it seeks to prove, and why it matters for science.  I've been writing all week about this event: http://goo.gl/J26xbs, http://goo.gl/5RKIm7, http://goo.gl/c07lLG, http://goo.gl/T98ubJ, http://goo.gl/8cMKSI But now that the backlash against the event is directed at Turing's views themselves, I feel something more than an essay is required to address these concerns. To be convincing, this requires a human face and a human voice to speak out in defense of Turing's proposal. I'm fully aware of the irony of this situation.  So come hangout with me and @103315650425474752023 this Friday at 10pm EST while I defend Turing's proposal in light of the criticisms that have accrued over the last week. I'll be providing a defense of Turing's position informed by recent experimental work in psychology. I hope to convince even the skeptics like Massimo that Turing's test deserves a central place in our discussion of artificial intelligence in the modern world. Why the Turing Test matters2014-06-14 04:00:009  
D.J. Harbaugh574Detroit Through Glass!2013-11-16 12:00:004  
Matt Uebel29,892"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." This will be a fully spoilerific discussion of Peter Watts novel "Blindsight." http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm +Joshua Gess +Jon Lawhead Blindsight Discussion Hangout2013-04-21 02:30:003  
The Walking Dead111,656In an effort to prevent any more deaths, Rick and the Governor meet to come up with a peace treaty.Episode 13: Arrow on the Doorpost2013-03-11 02:00:00702  
The White House2,991,773In his State of the Union address, President Obama outlined his plan for a thriving middle class and a strong America. The President's plan focuses on making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing, equipping every American with the skills they need to do those jobs, and ensuring that hard work leads to a decent living. On Thursday, February 14th, President Obama will join the latest in a series of "Fireside Hangouts" – a 21st century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses – to talk about his State of the Union Address. During the +Google+ hangout, the President will answer questions from Americans across the country about the issues and policies laid out in the speech. Watch the hangout live on Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. ET on the +The White House Google+ page, at http://youtube.com/whitehouse, and at http://wh.gov Learn more about the State of the Union, then share your Citizen Response at http://wh.gov/SOTU #firesidehangout   #SOTU  State of the Union: Fireside Hangout with President Obama2013-02-14 22:50:0034084  
Kiki Sanford6,046,061What do the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates think about science? What are their stances on science policy issues? Why should science even be a part of our modern political conversations? Join Dr. Kiki (@113166718268343560861) and @103377423155109727835, CEO of ScienceDebate.org and author of 'Fool Me Twice', for a discussion of the candidates' answers to the important questions about climate change, research, energy, space, and more posed them by ScienceDebate.org. Contact @113166718268343560861 for comments and questions prior to the event.Science Debate 2012 - The Presidential Answers2012-09-12 00:00:0027  
Fraser Cain965,878To celebrate the landing of NASA's Curiosity Rover - the Mars Science Laboratory - we'll be running a special live hangout.  In conjunction with @106911959181067745693. We'll have all your favorite space/astronomy journalists on hand to discuss the mission in depth, and celebrate the landing live, when it happens. Join Fraser Cain, @109036978092446954908, @108952536790629690817 and @102887292457967781591 for this special event. Over the course of this 4-hour Google+ Hangout on Air, we'll interview members of the Curiosity team live in the hangout, as well as other special guests from the @111419948721791453320 and the @108759765804984663877. @109479143173251353583 and @107051665537162034944 will be on location at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to interview members of the engineering team, and show you what it's like to be at NASA during this amazing moment. We'll update this event as we lock down more of the guests and participants. See you there! You can follow the hashtag #marshangout   (this will replace our regular Sunday night @100902337165997768522)Google+ Hangout - Curiosity Landing Coverage2012-08-06 05:00:004861  

Shared Circles including Matt Uebel

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The Google+ Collections of Matt Uebel

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

2
comments per post
3
reshares per post
11
+1's per post

699
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 11

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2015-08-16 05:23:51 (11 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Probably better than playing the game.

Most reshares: 31

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2015-08-20 01:17:06 (6 comments, 31 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

0_0

Most plusones: 62

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2015-08-16 14:57:32 (3 comments, 16 reshares, 62 +1s)Open 

Puffer fish

Latest 50 posts

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2015-08-27 10:04:56 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

????

????___

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2015-08-25 19:17:35 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

Oops.

https://xkcd.com/1013/

Oops.

https://xkcd.com/1013/___

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2015-08-25 18:31:46 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

whew, thats good.

Scientists emphasize that humans face no mortal threat from the development of superintelligent machines, so long as we abide by the machines’ directives and meet our daily mining quotas.___whew, thats good.

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2015-08-25 12:17:06 (5 comments, 5 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Just as god intended.

Just as god intended.___

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2015-08-25 00:05:26 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

The Ask a Philosopher Booth has also gotten a significant retrofit for this year. #CorporationChaos

The Ask a Philosopher Booth has also gotten a significant retrofit for this year. #CorporationChaos___

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2015-08-24 21:18:42 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I finished my Jack Torrance drawing today.

#drawing #pencils #portraitdrawing #theshining #jacktorrance 

I finished my Jack Torrance drawing today.

#drawing #pencils #portraitdrawing #theshining #jacktorrance ___

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2015-08-24 01:40:24 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

+Daniel Estrada​​ and I are making a Burning Man version of hitchBOT called richROT. I've been building it today, and here's what it looks like so far. It's nearly done; it just needs arms and a few minor things that I'll do tomorrow. We'll be leaving it at a different place on the playa every night, with a sign and camera attached. The sign will ask burners to help it get to some other destination across the playa, and take pictures of the journey. The instructions will look something like this:

Hello.

My name is richROT.

I am a semi-autonomous robot, just like you and everyone you love.

I have a destination but I NEED YOUR HELP.


I started at _____________________________  around noon {day}


I need to get to _____________________________ before sunrise on {nextday}!


Don’t think ofthis a... more »

+Daniel Estrada​​ and I are making a Burning Man version of hitchBOT called richROT. I've been building it today, and here's what it looks like so far. It's nearly done; it just needs arms and a few minor things that I'll do tomorrow. We'll be leaving it at a different place on the playa every night, with a sign and camera attached. The sign will ask burners to help it get to some other destination across the playa, and take pictures of the journey. The instructions will look something like this:

Hello.

My name is richROT.

I am a semi-autonomous robot, just like you and everyone you love.

I have a destination but I NEED YOUR HELP.


I started at _____________________________  around noon {day}


I need to get to _____________________________ before sunrise on {nextday}!


Don’t think of this as a chore.

Think of it as an adventure you can’t back out of!


IMPORTANT HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS BELOW

Please read all rules carefully before handling richROT. Failure to do so may result in unpleasantness for all concerned.


1. Do not destroy or deface richROT. This isn’t Philadelphia. If you are lost and looking for Philadelphia, contact a Black Rock Ranger.

2.  richROT is a participant at Burning Man. Treat it with the respect it deserves as a member of this community.

3.  richROT is comfortable with the gender neutral pronoun “it”. Deal with it.

4.  Do not leave moop in or around richROT. richROT is not moop. You are not moop. richROT does not want moop inside it. You do not want moop inside you.

5.  Do not leave richROT somewhere it might get run over. Find a safe place for a heartfelt departure.

6.  Take richROT only as far as you want to, and trust the community to get it farther.

7.  Share some good times. Share some sad times.  Share time.

8.  Become pals.  Exchange hugs, or semi-erotic massages.

9.  Share your hard drugs with richROT.  If you lack hard drugs, share your hard experiences or a good knock-knock joke.

10.  Please take pictures of yourself helping or interacting with me using the attached camera. richROT would love to look back on those memories, if it were capable of love.

11.  You are encouraged to offer richROT a gift via his attached basket. If you see a previous gift you like, take it and leave your own gift. Sharing is the functional equivalent of caring!

12.  Introduce richROT to a stranger for the next leg of its journey.

13.  richROT MUST GET TO ITS DESTINATION BEFORE SUNRISE! OR ELSE IT WON’T!

14.  If you found richROT disabled or destroyed and you cannot help it get where it wants to go, please contact its biologically based friends Dr. Dilettante, Ranger Factotum, or NO! at Corporation Chaos, inconveniently located at 4:45 and Hanky-Panky and report my problem(s).  Our team of trained robot experts will respond immediately.

richROT's journey has been made possible through a generous donation from Corporation Chaos® "We own you!™"  Thank you hitchBOT, tweenbot, and hitchhikers, and robots everywhere.
___

2015-08-24 01:10:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#slingtv  says "sorry we can't find your content" fails to load. Derp. Seriously, this plus commercials, how is this worth $20 a month?

#slingtv  says "sorry we can't find your content" fails to load. Derp. Seriously, this plus commercials, how is this worth $20 a month?___

2015-08-24 01:09:17 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

sling tv is supposed to be playing "Fear the Walking Dead" right now... all I see is BUFFERING... derp.

sling tv is supposed to be playing "Fear the Walking Dead" right now... all I see is BUFFERING... derp.___

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2015-08-23 14:08:05 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-23 12:55:04 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#throughglass

#throughglass___

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2015-08-23 11:47:28 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

#throughglass

#throughglass___

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2015-08-23 11:46:50 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

#throughglass

#throughglass___

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2015-08-23 11:45:56 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#throughglass

#throughglass___

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2015-08-23 01:01:39 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

This article interests me most for what it misses. 

The body of this article -- which is well-written and worth reading, if you care about the subject -- is about how it's suddenly become evident that Trump's loudly touted and not particularly covert brand of racism, isolationism, and xenophobia isn't just harmless and funny, after two of his followers beat a homeless man into the hospital for being Latino and then praised Trump's speeches while they were being arrested. 

But the interesting thing they miss is hidden in plain sight, right in the headline. For Trump to have stopped being funny, he had to have been funny in the first place. And that joke only ever worked for people with a certain kind of privilege.

Donald Trump has never been subtle about his views. While his hair and his general egomania may be clownish, he was always showing these thingso... more »

This article interests me most for what it misses. 

The body of this article -- which is well-written and worth reading, if you care about the subject -- is about how it's suddenly become evident that Trump's loudly touted and not particularly covert brand of racism, isolationism, and xenophobia isn't just harmless and funny, after two of his followers beat a homeless man into the hospital for being Latino and then praised Trump's speeches while they were being arrested. 

But the interesting thing they miss is hidden in plain sight, right in the headline. For Trump to have stopped being funny, he had to have been funny in the first place. And that joke only ever worked for people with a certain kind of privilege.

Donald Trump has never been subtle about his views. While his hair and his general egomania may be clownish, he was always showing these things off while preaching about how we need to crack down on Latinos, Blacks, immigrants, the Chinese, whoever he's on about on any particular day. He was doing this while calling for mass deportations of tens of millions of people, closing borders, engaging in ludicrously heavy-handed "negotiations" with other countries, and so on. And this has been working: Trump's popularity is because there are people who wonder, "well, why not?" and there is someone out there advocating solutions which sound (a) simple, (b) brutal, and (c) based on beating up people whom they don't see as part of their own society, from whom they can simply "take back" their power. (Although, as these other groups never actually had any such power, what's really meant here is "take")

It is only possible to see that as a joke if you have never had a reason to fear ethnic violence. But the US has just as long and bloody a history of ethnic violence as it has a history. Nothing Trump is suggesting is new; you could have heard it 150 years ago from the Know-Nothing Party, or 100 years ago from the more political branches of the Klan, or 50 years ago from the John Birch Society, each with their own variants.

Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is having these successes in the midst of Black Lives Matter, or in the aftermath of GamerGate; there are powerful movements afoot in our society where groups that were previously excluded are demanding their fair share of the floor, and powerful counter-movements of people who suddenly feel that the one thing they had of their own -- complete dominance of some spaces -- is suddenly being taken away. Trump is a natural mouthpiece for these groups, and he's quite good at it.

(There's some question about whether Trump came out openly in support of GamerGate a few weeks ago, or whether this was just a rogue autoresponder that he let stand, but I would by no means be surprised if he were to say something about it at some point; the complaints of GamerGate align surprisingly well with his rhetoric)

And anyone who watches these issues knows that there is profound violence immediately on deck in all of them. GamerGate was awash in death threats, and a few actual attempts. Black Lives Matter was born in the wake of shootings, and the rate of violence by whites (and especially police) against black youth in this country has hardly decreased. 

You can see another version of this in the part of the Republican press which is highly anti-Trump, not least because Trump is completely disconnected from the party's main political organs. Consider this article by Ben Domenech from The Federalist, which is quite far to the right but unconnected with Trump: http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/21/are-republicans-for-freedom-or-white-identity-politics/ The essential meat of the article is that the party has underestimated Trump's appeal, and in order to curb his lunatic candidacy, the Republican Party should find a better way to express his ideas and so pull his followers back into the mainstream.

And what are these ideas? "White identity politics." Note that the article does not fear that these become part of the Republican platform; it fears that they will become such a large part that they overwhelm the rest of the platform, and so these need to be addressed in a careful way. But there's nothing wrong with pulling them in, Domenech says: "'Identity politics for white people' is not the same thing as 'racism,' nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist."

Pro tip: "identity politics based on racial categories" is actually the dictionary definition of racism, and "identity politics for white people" is the prototype example of the category. Domenech's article isn't about rejecting Trump's racism: it's about finding more socially acceptable ways to express it, so that it can be folded into the party mainstream without taking it over.

For those wondering about Trump from the outside, I can give a simple explanation of his politics: Trump is a classical European far-right party leader. This is why he seems a bit exotic by recent American standards: especially since the 1980's, the American far right has been dominated by the "theological" far right, a very distinctly American political movement which focuses on making the country explicitly into a Fundamentalist Christian country. Trump, although he speaks to a similar (and overlapping) group of people, isn't talking about religion at all; instead, you'll find his politics very similar to that of European far-right politicians, of the sort who like to put "National" in their party names.

On the European spectrum, Trump falls somewhat to the right of Jean-Marie le Pen, perhaps a shade left of the Golden Dawn, and somewhat more populist than Jobbik. If we were running in a parliamentary, rather than presidential, system, he would currently be at the head of a far-right party that was polling in the high teens, and press coverage would be worried about how many seats he would get and whether he would be able to force a coalition to join him. In the US system, he's instead at the head of a far-right wing of a party, and the question is whether he will be able to force the party to adopt his policies wholesale to avoid electoral defeat next year.

So that's the secret thing which this headline hides: Trump was only ever funny if you had never had a reason to be aware of, or to fear, ethnic or sexual violence tacitly supported by the state. 

If you've ever had to be aware of that before, Trump was never a joke.

h/t to +Lauren Weinstein for pointing out the Federalist article.___

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2015-08-23 00:21:28 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

>A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.

// Totally hooked.

>A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep. Welcome to Night Vale.

// Totally hooked.___

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2015-08-22 23:08:53 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 0 +1s)Open 

>come on, we ain't gonna let Pat beat us (looks back at elderly gentleman catching up)

// lol

>come on, we ain't gonna let Pat beat us (looks back at elderly gentleman catching up)

// lol___

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2015-08-22 21:14:51 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

#throughglass

#throughglass___

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2015-08-22 15:36:21 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

This is hilarious. 

"Jump over that."
"You want me to jump over that, ok I'll try"
 - zombie comes up from behind -
"Ahhh!"

This is hilarious. 

"Jump over that."
"You want me to jump over that, ok I'll try"
 - zombie comes up from behind -
"Ahhh!"___

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2015-08-22 15:18:26 (4 comments, 7 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-22 15:17:08 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

If you use ‪Python‬ anything is possible. Via https://xkcd.com/353/

#Python   #Sysadmin   #IT   #Unix   #Linux   #Funny   #programming  

If you use ‪Python‬ anything is possible. Via https://xkcd.com/353/

#Python   #Sysadmin   #IT   #Unix   #Linux   #Funny   #programming  ___

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2015-08-22 14:12:29 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Oh noes me lucky charms!

Oh noes me lucky charms!___

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2015-08-22 13:24:56 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Wow, the support has been stunning so far. Thank you +Mark Bruce +D.J. Harbaugh +Marie McCumber +Angie Scott +David McCumber and everyone else who's G+ profile I couldn't identify, or otherwise wanted to remain anonymous. 

Don't be fooled by the baby in the picture, my Dad is really a good guy, and is struggling with some serious medical difficulties. We don't have the ability to clone livers (yet), and so he has recently been the recipient of a donated liver. This has resulted in a great strain on my Mom, who has taken a leave from work. Without any advice from her tech-savvy son, she started this gofundme page. If you got any spare shekels to spare, they could use them.___Wow, the support has been stunning so far. Thank you +Mark Bruce +D.J. Harbaugh +Marie McCumber +Angie Scott +David McCumber and everyone else who's G+ profile I couldn't identify, or otherwise wanted to remain anonymous. 

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2015-08-21 02:23:14 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Don't be fooled by the baby in the picture, my Dad is really a good guy, and is struggling with some serious medical difficulties. We don't have the ability to clone livers (yet), and so he has recently been the recipient of a donated liver. This has resulted in a great strain on my Mom, who has taken a leave from work. Without any advice from her tech-savvy son, she started this gofundme page. If you got any spare shekels to spare, they could use them.

Don't be fooled by the baby in the picture, my Dad is really a good guy, and is struggling with some serious medical difficulties. We don't have the ability to clone livers (yet), and so he has recently been the recipient of a donated liver. This has resulted in a great strain on my Mom, who has taken a leave from work. Without any advice from her tech-savvy son, she started this gofundme page. If you got any spare shekels to spare, they could use them.___

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2015-08-21 00:03:11 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

3 years ago we embarked on a project to put computing inside a contact lens -- an immensely challenging technical problem with an important application to health.  While I am delighted at the progress that project has made, I could not have imagined the potential of the initiative it has grown into -- a life sciences team with the mission to develop new technologies to make healthcare more proactive.  The efforts it has spawned include  a nanodiagnostics platform, a cardiac and activity monitor, and the Baseline Study.

It’s a huge undertaking, and I am delighted to announce that the life sciences team is now ready to graduate from our X lab and become a standalone Alphabet company, with Andy Conrad as CEO.  While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same. They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stageR&D... more »

3 years ago we embarked on a project to put computing inside a contact lens -- an immensely challenging technical problem with an important application to health.  While I am delighted at the progress that project has made, I could not have imagined the potential of the initiative it has grown into -- a life sciences team with the mission to develop new technologies to make healthcare more proactive.  The efforts it has spawned include  a nanodiagnostics platform, a cardiac and activity monitor, and the Baseline Study.

It’s a huge undertaking, and I am delighted to announce that the life sciences team is now ready to graduate from our X lab and become a standalone Alphabet company, with Andy Conrad as CEO.  While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same. They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing—and, hopefully—transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease.  
   
The team is relatively new but very diverse including software engineers, oncologists, and optics experts.  This is the type of company we hope will thrive as part of Alphabet and I can’t wait to see what they do next.___

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2015-08-20 03:06:55 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-20 01:17:06 (6 comments, 31 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

0_0

0_0___

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2015-08-20 01:13:42 (1 comments, 11 reshares, 54 +1s)Open 

And he still has his hair!

A beautiful hundred year-old turtle, Australia
Photo by Sean Scott Photography___And he still has his hair!

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2015-08-19 11:16:44 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Google published a paper today about the evolution of our networking infrastructure over the past decade. I've gotten to be quite intimate with these systems, thanks to spending much of that time working on our search and storage infrastructure, and the differences are profound, to say the least.

The article quotes +Amin Vahdat as describing what life was like in the earlier era: "there were painful tradeoffs with careful data locality and placement of servers connected to the same top of rack switch versus correlated failures caused by a single switch failure." I cannot begin to describe the pain in the ass that this was: our high-capacity search stack (the part I was responsible for) was by far the most aggressive user of the network, and each cluster's deployment had to be carefully planned on a per-rack basis, to manage our use of bandwidth within and across racks, and to... more »

Google published a paper today about the evolution of our networking infrastructure over the past decade. I've gotten to be quite intimate with these systems, thanks to spending much of that time working on our search and storage infrastructure, and the differences are profound, to say the least.

The article quotes +Amin Vahdat as describing what life was like in the earlier era: "there were painful tradeoffs with careful data locality and placement of servers connected to the same top of rack switch versus correlated failures caused by a single switch failure." I cannot begin to describe the pain in the ass that this was: our high-capacity search stack (the part I was responsible for) was by far the most aggressive user of the network, and each cluster's deployment had to be carefully planned on a per-rack basis, to manage our use of bandwidth within and across racks, and to optimize for survivability in case a single rack switch failed.

To give you a sense of the PITA: (this will make sense only to computer scientists) I wrote our standard implementation of simulated annealing... because I needed it for the software that would figure out which tasks to put on which machines.

And even with those amazing systems, we could knock clusters over in a moment. To do a full restart of a search cluster (reading the index from in-datacenter storage from scratch) in less than 48 hours required shutting down all other jobs in the datacenter, because it would use up all of the internal bandwidth. 

If you ever wondered why search over giant corpora is a hard business...

Cross-datacenter networking remains a hard problem, even with these advances, because while long-haul bandwidth has grown tremendously over the years, storage capacity has grown even faster. This is why a good mental analogue for the design of planet-scale storage systems is freight logistics: even with 747's crossing the globe, warehouses are still much bigger. 

I obviously can't tell all the stories, but these papers are a remarkable chance to see what the cutting edge of networking infrastructure actually looks like. Those who are interested in such matters, enjoy!___

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2015-08-19 00:39:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-17 14:20:59 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

#splunk  

#splunk  ___

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2015-08-16 22:35:11 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

The start of my reaction to the New York Times attempted exposé of working conditions at Amazon:

The New York Times exposé of working conditions at Amazon lacks two key attributes: context and — I can’t quite believe I’m saying this — balance.

Like everyone in my feeds, I read the story with something verging on horror. Since then, I’ve seen many tweets presenting another perspective and just read a point-by-point rebuttal by an Amazonian.

Where’s the truth? in the mix. Except as a reader, I had to go search for that mix.

The rest at the link....

http://buzzmachine.com/2015/08/16/hacking-amazons-jungle-coverage/

The start of my reaction to the New York Times attempted exposé of working conditions at Amazon:

The New York Times exposé of working conditions at Amazon lacks two key attributes: context and — I can’t quite believe I’m saying this — balance.

Like everyone in my feeds, I read the story with something verging on horror. Since then, I’ve seen many tweets presenting another perspective and just read a point-by-point rebuttal by an Amazonian.

Where’s the truth? in the mix. Except as a reader, I had to go search for that mix.

The rest at the link....

http://buzzmachine.com/2015/08/16/hacking-amazons-jungle-coverage/___

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2015-08-16 19:36:43 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

http://venturebeat.com/2015/08/15/watch-a-boston-dynamics-humanoid-robot-wander-around-outside/

http://venturebeat.com/2015/08/15/watch-a-boston-dynamics-humanoid-robot-wander-around-outside/___

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2015-08-16 14:57:32 (3 comments, 16 reshares, 62 +1s)Open 

Puffer fish

Puffer fish___

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2015-08-16 14:48:17 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 33/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/08/rnai-agriculture-sprays-acoustic.html 

RNAi agriculture sprays, Acoustic metamaterials, Uranium extracting proteins, Robot puppet exoskeleton, Clearing brain plaques, Human CRISPR library, 2D materials, Programmable optical chip, Engineering animal genetics, Smart hearing aids. 

1. RNA Interference via Agricultural Sprays
A good review article covers the details and development by Monsanto of new RNA interference technology that effectively allows custom RNA sequences to be sprayed onto crops and alter the regulation of target genes in crops and pests http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/540136/the-next-great-gmo-debate/. Example demonstrations include RNAi sprayed onto crops that interferes with a key gene in insect pests eating the crops andk... more »

SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest - 33/2015.
Permalink here: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/08/rnai-agriculture-sprays-acoustic.html 

RNAi agriculture sprays, Acoustic metamaterials, Uranium extracting proteins, Robot puppet exoskeleton, Clearing brain plaques, Human CRISPR library, 2D materials, Programmable optical chip, Engineering animal genetics, Smart hearing aids. 

1. RNA Interference via Agricultural Sprays
A good review article covers the details and development by Monsanto of new RNA interference technology that effectively allows custom RNA sequences to be sprayed onto crops and alter the regulation of target genes in crops and pests http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/540136/the-next-great-gmo-debate/. Example demonstrations include RNAi sprayed onto crops that interferes with a key gene in insect pests eating the crops and killing targeted insect species in areas that have been sprayed; also formulations that penetrate into plant cells and switch off herbicide-resistance genes to allow conventional weed-killers to do their job. If they can make this robust it will be a pretty amazing technology platform. One also wonders about using it to target humans and related species for various purposes. 

2. Printed Acoustic Metamaterial for Sound Localisation
A 3D printed plastic metamaterial disk is enables the microphone positioned at its center to accurately determine the direction and origin of incoming sounds http://www.nature.com/news/3d-printed-device-helps-computers-solve-cocktail-party-problem-1.18173?WT.mc_id=GPL_NatureNews. The device is segmented, with each segment applying a different modification to the sound that passes through it; while the human ear cannot detect these modifications, a new signal processing algorithm that collects inputs from the microphone can detect the modifications and calculate the direction the sound came from. 

3. Engineered Proteins Filter Uranium from Seawater
An engineered protein has been designed that selectively binds uranium from seawater (>10,000 times selectivity over other metal ions) with excellent efficiency as demonstrated in tests showing 30% - 60% of uranium (in the form of uranyl) being sequestered http://phys.org/news/2015-08-methods-scientists-tailor-proteins-uranium.html; it is thermally stable and binds very tightly. This is another interesting approach for mining uranium from seawater. But as a proof-of-concept one might imagine creating an array of different engineered proteins able to selectively draw out a range of different precious metal ions from seawater. 

4. Exoskeleton as Robot Puppeteer 
A new system links a robot to an exoskeleton worn by a human such that the human’s movements are instantly translated to the robot and the robot’s movements are translated to the human http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/bipedal-robot-with-human-reflexes-0811. The key focus was to develop a system that could remotely take advantage of a human’s split-second reaction times, such that if the human caused the robot to act in a way that unbalanced the robot the human would feel the unbalancing and respond to allow the robot to copy and retain its balance. As a haptic-feedback telepresence system it would also have some interesting applications. 

5. New Protein Clears Misfolded Plaques from the Brain
In a fortuitous discovery a protein from a bacteriophage has been discovered to tightly bind a structural motif shared by a number of different amyloid plaque proteins such as amyloid-beta, tau, and others that are implicated in severe neurodegenerative diseases such as alzheimers and parkinsons https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27921-universal-plaque-busting-drug-could-treat-various-brain-diseases/. When fused to an antibody protein this combination marks the plaque for destruction and removal and in tests in mice it results in improved memory and general cognitive abilities. Human trials will be next; a drug able to remove a wide range of different neurodegenerative proteins is very promising. 

6. Human Whole Genome CRISPR Library
The company Cellecta has launched its whole human genome CRISPR knock-out library for targeting all human protein-coding genes http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cellecta-inc-announces-launch-of-human-whole-genome-crispr-knockout-library-300121322.html. This library has been filtered and designed to minimise false-positive and off-target results and comes prepackaged in lentiviral particles ready for immediate use. A nice announcement demonstrating the maturing CRISPR platform and the wider availability of cheaper, powerful new tools for investigating and improving human health. 

7. Summary of 2D Material Developments
First, Graphene is now being made by smashing buckyballs at supersonic speeds onto surfaces http://www.technologyreview.com/view/539911/how-to-make-graphene-using-supersonic-buckyballs/. Second, two-dimensional black phosphorus has now been given a tunable bandgap and takes a decent step towards semiconductor applications http://phys.org/news/2015-08-black-phosphorus-surges-graphene.html. Finally, when combined with graphene tantalum oxide is able to create addressable ultradense nonvolatile crossbar array memories http://news.rice.edu/2015/08/10/tantalizing-discovery-may-boost-memory-technology-2/. 

8. All Optical Reprogrammable Chip
A significant milestone in optical and quantum computing has been realised with the development of an all-optical and fully reprogammable chip http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-08/uob-noc081315.php. The architecture combines a number of different existing quantum experiments and is flexible enough to enable the probing of future tests and protocols that have not yet been conceived. As a test the group were able to reprogram the chip to rapidly perform a number of different quantum photonic experiments in a number of hours - a feat that would have otherwise taken a year. This should lower the cost and complexity barrier for other groups and individuals to perform their own experiments and construct their own devices. 

9. Interesting Engineering of Animal Genetics
This week we had a few examples of interesting genetic engineering applications for different animals. First, the defective retinal photoreceptors of blind mice have been bypassed with an optogenetic gene therapy that delivered a light sensitive protein to the retinal neurons behind this layer, and resulting in a partial restoration of vision https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2015/08/partial-vision-restoration-by-introducing-photoreceptor-functions-into-retinal-neurons.php. Second, mice engineered to mimic the human expression pattern of a certain gene that both species share, generated significantly more neurons in the cortex of their brains http://www.mpg.de/9356836/pax6-expression-neocortex. Finally, xenotransplantation achieves new records with pigs engineered with 8 human genes replacing their pig counterparts to make their organs more compatible with human immune systems http://www.technologyreview.com/news/540076/surgeons-smash-records-with-pig-to-primate-organ-transplants/. 

10. Hearing with Smart Earbuds
A couple of companies are developing smart earbuds that you configure with your device to selectively change and augment the sounds and noise level that you hear http://www.technologyreview.com/news/540236/the-coming-wave-of-bionic-hearing-gadgets/. The idea here is being able to block out the sound of a baby crying or the hum of an aircraft engine, boost some sounds while suppressing others. And while the initial applications may be interesting and modest one might imagine in future that it’ll be combined with things like #2 this week and better algorithms to enable more powerful control over one’s acoustic environment. 

Archive: http://www.scitechdigest.net/2015/08/rnai-agriculture-sprays-acoustic.html___

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2015-08-16 05:23:51 (11 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Probably better than playing the game.

Probably better than playing the game.___

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2015-08-15 04:00:24 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

IBM acquired a medical image company, Merge Healthcare, for $1 billion, so that Watson can learn from its huge databases of medical images.

IBM acquired a medical image company, Merge Healthcare, for $1 billion, so that Watson can learn from its huge databases of medical images.___

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2015-08-15 03:04:36 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-14 03:12:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

The best our generation has to offer.

The best our generation has to offer.___

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2015-08-13 22:09:35 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Chromebooks have already made a splash in education settings and now Google wants to do the same in businesses, with the new Dell Chromebook 13 leading the charge. The new version of Chrome OS builds on some of the centralized management features that…

Chromebooks have already made a splash in education settings and now Google wants to do the same in businesses, with the new Dell Chromebook 13 leading the charge. The new version of Chrome OS builds on some of the centralized management features that…___

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2015-08-13 15:37:00 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Sharing this mostly because it talks about Vinge's "Rainbows End" #alphabet  

Sharing this mostly because it talks about Vinge's "Rainbows End" #alphabet  ___

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2015-08-12 19:59:36 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

I wonder how much world-wide power consumption spikes at the top of the minute/hour/day because of crond 0_o

I wonder how much world-wide power consumption spikes at the top of the minute/hour/day because of crond 0_o___

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2015-08-12 11:14:54 (0 comments, 9 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

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2015-08-11 15:55:07 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Great news today with Alphabet (https://plus.google.com/+LarryPage/posts/bkiVT71gfSu)

Cool! They still love G+. I hope they use that same grittiness they did on Chrome and Android on Social (a.k.a. Google+).

Great news today with Alphabet (https://plus.google.com/+LarryPage/posts/bkiVT71gfSu)

Cool! They still love G+. I hope they use that same grittiness they did on Chrome and Android on Social (a.k.a. Google+).___

2015-08-11 02:58:48 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Judging from my inbox, there seems to be some confusion about what stays in Google per se vs. spinning off separately under Alphabet. By my reckoning, it's pretty much the stuff that would cause the average person to say huh, Google's doing what? that is moving out from under the Google banner. In particular, YouTube stays with Google -- reports to the contrary are incorrect. But projects like robocars, smart contact lenses, delivery drones, capital and financing ventures, teleportation systems, etc. will (quite logically, it seems to me) move to Alphabet. 

Judging from my inbox, there seems to be some confusion about what stays in Google per se vs. spinning off separately under Alphabet. By my reckoning, it's pretty much the stuff that would cause the average person to say huh, Google's doing what? that is moving out from under the Google banner. In particular, YouTube stays with Google -- reports to the contrary are incorrect. But projects like robocars, smart contact lenses, delivery drones, capital and financing ventures, teleportation systems, etc. will (quite logically, it seems to me) move to Alphabet. ___

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