sunday mutants

Just making notes in the margin as the world changes beyond recognition….

Roboearth

At its core, RoboEarth is a World Wide Web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment. Bringing a new meaning to the phrase “experience is the best teacher”, the goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behaviour, and ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction.

Stewart Brand on “de-extinction”

Death is still forever, but extinction may not be. A dead body can’t be reanimated once it begins to rot, but the essence of a species — its genome — survives rot for centuries, even thousands of years. That DNA knows how to make living animals, once we figure out how to invite it to do so. At the leading edges of synthetic biology the invitation is now being crafted. For some extinct species, regenesis is becoming plausible.

The speed of censorship on China’s version of Twitter

Censorship on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, is near real-time and relies on a workforce of over 4,000 censors who stop work during the evening news, according the first detailed analysis of censorship patterns.

China’s obsession with the Soviet Union

Basically the CCP trying to avoid the mistakes that led to the fall.

The CIA and big data

On Wednesday, the CIA’s chief technology officer detailed the Agency’s vision for collecting and analysing all of the information people put on the Internet.

The wide-ranging presentation at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference in New York City came two days after it was reported the spy agency is on the verge of signing a cloud computing contract with Amazon — worth up to $600 million over 10 years — that involves Amazon Web Services helping the CIA build a “private cloud” filled with technologies like big data.

After laying out what the CIA does — i.e. collect intelligence, conduct analysis, perform covert action — CIA CTO Ira “Gus” Hunt detailed just how the agency plans to acquire, store, and analyse digital data on a massive scale.

You’re already a walking sensor platform,” Hunt said, referring to all of the information captured by smartphones. ”You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off. You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should.”

In fact Hunt noted that based on the sensors in a smartphone, someone can be identified (with 100 per cent accuracy) by the way they walk — implying that someone could be identified even when carrying someone else’s phone.

Why Americans are the Weirdest People in the World – or how cultural differences mean we really don’t know much about human psychology which is based primarily on Westerners/Americans. This article is really worth reading, and ties into Wade Davis etc stuff about culture and language.

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