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.
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 In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete.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 […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]