Ray "Spiritual Machines" Kurzweil reviews Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science." Kurzweil is one of the most exciting, mind-croggling science writers I've ever read; that Wolfram's book has excited him this much means that it is absolutely the next book I will read.
Well, Wolfram really loves his cellular automata. So much so, that he has immersed himself for over ten years in the subject and produced what can only be regarded as a tour de force on their mathematical properties and potential links to a broad array of other endeavors. In the end notes, which are as extensive as the book itself, Wolfram explains his approach: "There is a common style of understated scientific writing to which I was once a devoted subscriber. But at some point I discovered that more significant results are usually incomprehensible if presented in this style…. And so in writing this book I have chosen to explain straightforwardly the importance I believe my various results have."2 Perhaps Wolfram's successful technology business career may also have had its influence here, as entrepreneurs are rarely shy about articulating the benefits of their discoveries.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]