Showing posts with label Computers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computers. Show all posts

July 18, 2019

Retro Cool Digital Watch

Wow, I love this retro digital Computron watch from Bulova. 

I remember when the first digital LED watches with the red numbers like this first came out in the 1970s. 

They were quite expensive then!

Part of the computer revolution. LOL

I remember my uncle had something like this and I thought how cool it was--no moving hands to read.

Also, has a little of that sci-fi Battlestar Galactica red (moving) light effect from the cybernetic enemy, Cylon visors. 

What's old is what's new.  ;-)
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June 24, 2019

The Goal is Automagically

Wow, I couldn't believe that this is a real word.

Automagically.

I thought my colleague was using it as a gag. 

But when I asked Dr. Google, there it was. 

Automagically - Automatically + Magical

It refers to the use of computer automation and how when well-implemented it seems almost like the process is magical, ingenious, and oh, so easy. 

So this is the goal for us that all our processes and efforts should be poof--automagically done and  there it is! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 2, 2018

Computer Sentiment 1984

So I found this book in an IT colleague's office. 

It's called: "The Unofficial I Hate Computer Book".

It was written in 1984, and like the George Orwell's book by that name, it is a dystopian view of technology. 

The back cover says:
Computer haters of the world unite: It's time to recognize and avenge the wonderful advances we've made thanks to computers--excessive eyestrain and headaches, irritating beeping noises, a one-ton printout where once there was a six-page report, a "simple" programming language you can't understand without five handbooks, a dictionary, and a math degree.
The book goes on with illustration after illustration of unadulterated computer hate and associated violence. 

- Dogs dumping on it (see cover)
- Contests to smash it with a hammer
- Hara-kiri (suicide with a knife) into it
- Skeet shooting computers that are flung into the air
- Shotput with a computer
- Tanks rolling over them
- Sinking it in water with a heavy anvil
- Boxer practicing his punches on it
- Setting it ablaze with gasoline
- And on and on, page after hate-filled page.

So in the last 34-years, have we solved all the annoyances and complexity with computers and automation?  

Do the benefits of technology outway the costs and risks across-the-board?

How do security and privacy play in the equation? 

I wonder what the authors and readers back then would think of computers, tablets, smartphones and the Internet and apps nowadays--especially where we can't live without them at all.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 24, 2016

Computer Luminaries


I wanted to share these photo that I took at Micro Center, a computer and electronics store, outside Washington DC. 

On the wall are these pretty awesome photos of many of the founders and inventors behind modern-day computing. 

1) Doug Englebart - the GUI and Mouse

2) Dennis Ritchie - C and Unix

3-4) Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston - Visicalc and Spreadsheets

5-6) Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard - HP 

7) Gordon Moore - Intel

8) Grace Hopper - First compiler that led to development of COBOL

9-10) Robert Khan and Vinton Cerf - TCP/IP

11) Steve Wozniak - Apple I and II

Of course, the following deserve a place of the wall of fame as well:

12) Steve Jobs - Apple

13) Bill Gates - Microsoft

14-15) Larry Paige and Sergey Brin - Google

16) Jeff Bezos - Amazon 

17) Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook

On one hand, these are people like you and I, who live, feel joy and pain, and one day die. In the end, we're all just flesh and blood, plus a soul that is our moral compass. 

But on the other hand, G-d has given some people special gifts to pass to mankind, like a master painter, musician, inventor, or holy person, whose worldly works are as near to G-dly as perhaps we can get outside of Heaven itself.

G-d must have a plan for us as he sends us these people--or more like angels--to guide our development and our destiny. 

Whatever G-d wants from us, we're definitely on a course to get there and that is comforting and a ray of hope for all of us. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 13, 2015

tURNING yOUR dEVICE aGAINST yOU!

So interesting article in BBC about the Samsung's "Listening TV."

This TV has voice activated controls and they don't just take commands, but...


"If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party."


So aside from hackers (and spies) being able to turn your phone and computer mics, cameras, and GPS location data on and off to surveil and eavesdrop on you, now the dumb television set can listen in as well. 


You can be heard, seen, and found...whether you know it or not. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal with eyes and ears from here and here with attribution to Firas and Simon James)

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November 5, 2014

Luv Technology, Always

No reason for Sir/Madam technology here to feel down in the dumps.

Yes, we love you technology.

And not just sometimes, but always! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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September 29, 2014

Talk To The Hand

So you know the saying "Talk to the hand, because the face ain't home..."?

Well IPSoft has an artificial intelligence agent called Amelia that handles service requests. 

Instead of talking to a human customer service rep, you get to talk to a computer. 

The question is whether Amelia is like talking to a hand or is someone really home when using IA to adroitly address your service issues?

Now apparently, according to the Wall Street Journal, this computer is pretty smart and can ingest every single manual and prior service request and learn how to answer a myriad of questions from people. 

On one hand, maybe you'll get better technical knowledge and more consistent responses by talking to a computerized service representative.

But on the other hand, if the interactive voice response systems with the dead end menus of call options, endless maze of "If you want to reach X, press Y now" along with all the disconnects after being on for 10 minutes already are any indication of what this, I am leery to say the least. 

The Telegraph does says that Amelia can service customers in 20 languages and after 2 months, can resolve 64% of "the most common queries" independently, so this is hopeful and maybe even inspiring of what is to come. 

These days, based on how much time we spend online in the virtual world, I think most people would actually prefer to talk to a knowledgeable computer than a smart alec human who doesn't want to be handling annoying customer calls all day, anyway. 

The key to whether Amelia and her computerized brothers and sisters of the future will be successful is not only how quickly they can find the correct answer to a problem, but also how well they can understand and address new issues that haven't necessarily come up the same way before, and how they handle the emotions of the customer on the line who wishes they didn't have the problem needing this call to begin with. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Vernon Chen)
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April 3, 2014

Liking My New Computer Tie


Funny..."Load Your Preferences." ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 14, 2013

Technology Heals

My wife took this photo today at The Drupal for Government Conference at NIH.

The man in the photo was not only participating in the conference, but also taking notes on his Apple Macbook Air. 

It is incredible how technology is helping us do our jobs and be ever more productive.

This is the vision of technology taking us beyond the natural limits we all have and face. 

I remember a few years ago when I was in the hospital for something and feeling bad about myself, and my wife brought me a laptop and said "Write!"--it was liberating and I believe helped me heal and recuperate.

I wonder if hospitals in the future will regularly provide computers and access to patients to not only keep them connected with their loved ones, but also let them have more options for entertainment, creativity, and even productivity, to the extent they can, while getting well.

Kudos to this gentleman--he is truly a role model and inspiration for us all. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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June 29, 2013

Back To The Computer Stone Age

According to Charles Kenny in Bloomberg BusinessWeek (20 June 2013), the Internet is quite a big disappointment--because it "failed to generate much in the way of economic growth."

While on one hand, the author seems to see the impact that the Internet has had--"it sparks uprisings, makes shopping easier, help people find their soul mates, and enables government to collect troves of useful data on potential terrorists;" on the other hand, he pooh-poohs all this and says it hasn't generated prosperity. 


And in a sense, don't the facts seem to support Kenny: GDP is still in the 2-3% range, labor productivity growth is even lower, and unemployment is still elevated at over 7%?


The problem is that the author is making false correlations between our economic conditions and the rise of the Internet, which already Jack Welch pronounced in 2000 as "the single most important event in the U.S. economy since the industrial revolution." 


Kenny seems to think that not only aren't there that many economic benefits to the Internet, but whatever there is we basically squander by becoming Facebook and Youtube junkies.


It's a shame that Bloomberg BusinessWeek decided to publish such a ridiculous article as its "Opening Remarks," blaming the failure of the Internet for economic challenges that have been brewing for decades--with high-levels of debt, low levels of savings, hefty entitlement programs based on empty national trust funds, the global outsourcing of our manufacturing base, elevated political polarization in Washington, and various economic jolts based on runaway technology, real estate, and commodity bubbles.


It's concerning that the author, someone with a masters in International Economics, wouldn't address, let alone mention, any of these other critical factors affecting our national economy--just the Internet! 


Kenny adds insult to injury in his diatribe, when he says that the Internet's "biggest impact" is the delivery of "a form of entertainment more addictive than watching reruns of Friends."


Maybe that's the biggest impact for him, but I think most of us could no longer live seriously without the Internet--whether in how we keep in touch, share, collaborate, inform, innovate, compute, buy and sell, and even entertain (yes, were entitled to some downtime as well). 


Maybe some would like to forget all the benefits of technology and send us back to the Stone Age before computing, but I have a feeling that not only would our economy be a lot worse than it is now, but so would we. :-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)



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May 8, 2013

Fun, The Good 'ol Fashion Way

This was a funny picture today on the street in downtown D.C. 

This guy was getting a cheap ride down the thoroughfare in a bin. 

She was pushing and he had his arm raised as the winner of the big race. 

It reminded me of when we were kids and used to ride go-karts down the hill--and only after we picked up some speed did we realize that the breaks didn't work that good.

Oh well, a little flip and some chuckles and no worse for the wear. 

Those were the days, young and carefree--nothing to worry about except whose house we were going over to, next, to wreck some havoc. 

I remember, one day we were having a huge wet paper towel fight and one kid ran into the garage to escape the barrage, I gave chase and unwittingly pushed against the glass in the door to follow and oops my hand went right through.

Not a pretty sight, but I thank G-d lived to tell my kids about it, and now they got one up on me when they do something a little out of bounds and fun--actually they are a lot better than I was at that age. 

And it wasn't that I was a bad kid, I was actually one the good ones--or so I was told--but before we all had computers, the Internet, social media, and smartphones, we had each other. 

It wasn't the technology that drove us, but rather the evolving web of interactions (today my new best friend is...), the challenges we made up (let's bike up to Tarrytown in 100+ degree heat), the fun we found ourselves in (from the board game Risk to early gaming on the Atari, or just cleaning out a friends garage for a few bucks)--times were simpler, more innocent, and in a way better.

When we went home at night from work or for the weekend, our time was our own--were weren't glued to email and always on call. 

When we attended an event, we didn't check our Facebook and Twitter, but paid attention to the company we were in. 

When we ate dinner together, maybe the one rabbit-ear TV was going in the background with one of the 3 networks stations, but everyone wasn't being pulled away for gaming, blogging, or some Internet shopping. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my technology as much or maybe more than the next guy, but I also miss just being me in the physical world with my family and gang of friends, and not just so much TheTotalCIO in the office and in cyberspace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 28, 2012

The Materiality of Super Strength Graphene

Scientific researchers in Britain, Norway and the U.S. are bringing us a major breakthrough in material science—by developing a “super strength” substance called graphene.

According to the Guardian (26 December 2012), graphene has “unmatched electrical and physical properties.” It’s made of an “atom-thick sheet of carbon molecules, arranged in a honeycomb lattice,” and promises to revolutionize telecommunications, electronics, energy industries, not to mention the untold applications for the military.

- Conductivity:  Transmits electricity a million times better than copper
- Strength: The strongest material known to humankind, 200 times that of steel (Sciencebuzz)
- Transparency & Flexibility:  So thin that light comes through it; more stretchable than any known conductor of electricity

Just a few of the amazing uses graphene will make possible (some of these from MarketOracle):

- Home windows that are also solar panels—clear off that roof and yard
- TV in your windows and mirrors—think you have information overload now?
- Thinner, lighter, and wrappable LED touch screens around your wrists—everyone can have Dick Tracy style
- Medical implants and organ replacements that can “last disease-free for a hundred years”—giving you that much more time to be a helicopter parent
- Vastly more powerful voice, video and data and palm-size computers—giving the average person the “power of 10,000 mainframes”
- Both larger and lighter satellites and space vehicles—imagine a skyscraper-size vehicle weighing less than your “patio barbecue grill”!
- Tougher and faster tanks and armored personnel carriers with the plus of an invisibility cloak—even “Harry Potter” would be jealous

The potential is truly amazing, so whomever thinks that the best technology is behind us, better think again. Better yet, soon they’ll be able to get a graphene brain implant to help them realize what they’ve been missing. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to University of Maryland)

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December 25, 2012

A Trip To The Science Museum


We went to the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science—it was quite impressive.

Outside, where you enter, there is a huge clock -tower contraption with overhead slides and rolling balls, and water turning wheels on the side—it’s a “what is it” (exactly) moment and you know you're there. 

We hit the space exhibits first—I entered a simulator for a jet fighter cockpit, managed to take off with relative ease, but soon crashed, flipping it upside down—oops a little too much thrust.

The NASA exhibits were cool such as the MARS rover and colony mockups. And the Styrofoam wings that you can put on in a wind chamber and see how aerodynamically you are (or are not) was fun. 

Next up was the medical exhibits—we put together a puzzle of full body x-rays (“the shin bones connected to the...”), maneuvered a Da Vinci surgical robot arms, and zapped tumor cells with a mock laser.  

Oddly placed but interesting was the Gecko exhibit—with different colorful species hanging upside down and sideways with their suction cup feet. Couldn’t help thinking, which of them had been selling car insurance on those always-on Geico commercials or maybe this is the place they send them when they don’t perform on cue? 

Going through the exhibit on levers and pulleys, I used between 1-6 pulleys to lift a large stack of cinderblocks—and for the fewer pulleys, I thought good thing I had some Wheaties in the morning for breakfast, so I wouldn’t be embarrassed pulling on the ropes. 

The minerals, gems, fossils, corals, and dinosaur displays were somewhat meager, but were nicely laid out and a decent representation to get the idea.  

There was also an IMAX theatre with a 3-D movie and those crazy glasses you have to wear to watch these—but the cartoon playing wasn’t the action and adventure I was looking for. 

One of the exhibits’ I enjoyed the most was the fish—of all types—some favorites were a huge purple-like lobster, the playful otters, the bobbing water turtles and many others.

We also stood inside a mammoth replica of a shark and took turns hanging out of its mouth—and feeling what it was like to be Jonah and the whale.

There was also a weather news station, where you get to playact newscaster, and we used the TV cameras and tele-prompters to give updates of everything from hail storms to wild fires—now, I know how they always seem to know just what to say and when--so perfectly. 

Another cool display had to do with sustainability and the environment—with a robot sitting in the middle of piles of trash and recyclables—not sure why he was there though—was he trying to decide what to recycle and reuse?

I don’t believe that I saw anything significant on alternative energy or on general computers and the Internet—and if there wasn’t anything particualr on these, I would definitely like to see them added.

Overall, good job Ft. Lauderdale—worth the trip—and thank you for spreading a love of science with all. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 25, 2012

Amazing 60's VW Van

Driving toward Rockville, I saw this incredible 60's VW van with all the flaming rainbow designs for peace, love, and rock & roll. 

It was parked on top of this bright orange and blue garage--not sure how it got up there. 

I asked my wife to quickly snap a photo as we went by, and she was successful. 

While I wasn't even born yet, when this van would've been all the rage, I can still feel reminiscent for the times--when things seemed so much simpler and in a way, purer. 

In my mind, it was a time when people rallied around democracy, freedom, human rights, peace and diversity.

While they didn't know from personal computers, smartphones, and the Internet, people were full of hopes and dreams--perhaps that what ushered in all the great technology that soon followed. 

(Source photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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February 12, 2012

Reprogramming Your Inner Software


The importance of positive life energy (or Ch'i) is something that both the Asian culture teaches and which the self-healing industry has picked up on. 

I remember when my cousin had a brain tumor, and people used to tell him to envision himself healthy and cancer free; he fought for a decade of survival before the tumor eventually took his life. 

His mother too died from cancer at a young age, hers was leukemia and she didn't have a fighting chance. 

While surrounding yourself with positive people and energy helps us to stay focused, positive, and strong, it, in and of itself, is not a cure-all.

Many extreme athletes and hyper-achieving professionals are often told or tell themselves to envision actually performing unbelievable feats--they do this until they can literally see it happening in their "mind's eye"--this then supposedly helps them to ultimately perform accordingly. 

On Sunday mornings, Joel Osteen's popular message is the same idea--you are not what others say you are or criticize you to be, rather "you are what G-d says you are." 

Today, Osteen compared us to computers, where often our external hardware is functioning okay, but our internal software is messed up and needs reprogramming. Osteen said you need to hit the delete key--delete those who say that you cannot or will not succeed, and instead fill yourself with faith that you can become what the almighty has designated you to be. One story, Osteen told, was about the father who always told his kid that he was a good-for-nothing, and even on his deathbed, he said, "your brother is a nothing, and you are and always will be a nothing too."

These words hurt and can haunt people all their lives; the words echo in people's heads and souls and prevent them from fulfilling their life missions, unless they "hit the delete key" and refocus themselves on the positive message that they are a child of the G-d most high who has breathed life into them, not for nothing, but to achieve their destiny. 

I remember hearing a crummy boss at work yell at a subordinate in front of the rest of the office and tell them "you are not half what you think you are." Similarly, at school, children are notorious for tearing at other kids for being too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too dumb, and too smart. 

At work, at school, and at home, people can be vicious in bringing others down and the impact of these negative messages on people's lives is crushing. 

So surround yourself with positive people and positive energy--people who tell you that you can do it and are genuinely rooting for you to succeed, not in a fanciful way, but in a sincere and loving way; these are your biggest allies in life. 

Groucho Marx joked that "behind every successful man is a woman, and behind her is his wife."  Seriously though, behind every successful person are all those who love, believe, and support them to be able to achieve what they do or as the poet John Donne wrote, "no man is an Island entire unto itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."

In the movie Saints and Soldiers, a group of American and a British soldiers in World War II are on a trek to reach allied forces with vital information to save them from German attack--in one scene the British airman get the others to tell him their personal life secrets, and then when they turn around and ask him what his story is, he says "I'm not going to tell you that, I barely know you."

While it's sort of humorous, in life a lot of people are unfortunately that way--they take from you, but then do not give back. For example, at work, the worst bosses may "use you and spit you out" and when you say oh, I'm been loyal to you for X years, the response is cold and muted, like I the British soldier that after taking in their personal stories, responds that he barely knows them.

In families too, this happens when for example, parents sacrifice to give their children "everything", but later in life, the children don't even have the inclination to call or visit or "give them the time of day."

This is like one of favorite songs by Harry Chapin called "Cats In The Cradle," in this case though the father was always too busy for the son and then later in life the son had no time for his dad--"and as I got off the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me." 

We can rise above the selfishness, the coldness, and the negative attitudes, and we can be giving to others in our lives--the words we speak and the actions we show have lasting impact.  

Rather than being the target of someone's "delete" button in their life, wouldn't it be nice to be cherished for their "save" button--and help them to achieve in life what they came here for to begin with.

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October 8, 2011

Thank You Steve Jobs


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April 6, 2011

Ads Here, There, Everywhere


This is wild--Adzookie, a mobile advertising company that puts location-based ads out on cell phones, is doing some unbelievable advertising of its own...

They are offering to paint people's houses and even pay their mortgages every month that you let them have their brightly colored billboard painted onto the side of your house.

In less than a day, they got applications from 1000 homeowners (and even one church)!

Is this a sign of the tough economic times or what?

A number of important lessons here:

1) In case we already didn't learn from Google, advertising is really big business--my G-d, this company will pay your mortgage for you just to advertise on your house. (okay it is a big advertisement and all...)

2) Advertising going online, is old news; the new news is that it's going mobile, big time. Folks, the ads are following us. Wherever we go, the ads will be there. From print to TV to billboards on the side of the road and at bus stops, to the Internet and to our smartphones--there is no escape!

3) People will do almost anything for money (this is an old lesson revisited)--even make their "home sweet homes" into the laughing stock of the neighborhood--or do some people actually think this looks cool?

4) Technology is an enabler to make our lives more convenient (news, shopping, etc.) and a richer experience, but it also lets those obtrusive advertisements pop up or crawl across the computer screen when/where NOT desired. As technology is part of virtually every facet of our lives, the potential for advertising here, there, and everywhere can really go overboard. Perhaps, the time is ripe for additional privacy settings on our computers/phones, so that we could block ads (when we want to) and have the equivalent of a "do not call list" for those pesky ads that just never seem to give up--like the Energizer Bunny--"they just keep going and going and going."

When it comes to technology (and the rest of our environment), I believe that we have to be able to control the flow--whether it's information or advertising.

Even too much of a good thing, can be a real eye sore.

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April 2, 2011

The Cost of Underestimating Technology


While research is important and I respect the people who devote themselves to doing this, sometimes they risk being disconnected from reality and the consequences associated with it.

From the Wall Street Journal, 2 April 2011--two economists calculated that "$1,700 is the benefit the average American derives from personal computers each year."

They call this the "benefit we get from computers above and beyond what we pay for them."

To me, this figure seems inconsistent with common sense and the realities on the ground.

In an information age, where we are connected virtually 24 x 7 and can download hundreds of thousands of apps for free, endlessly surf the internet, shop and bank online, get much of our entertainment, news, and gaming on the the web, and communicate around the globe by voice, video, and text for the cost on a monthly high speed connection, I say hogwash.

Moreover, we need to factor in that most of us are now information workers (about 20%) or depend on technology in performing our jobs everyday and earning our living.

Just yesterday in fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that more people work for the government (22.5 million--forget the private sector information workers for the moment) than in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining, and utilities combined!

Additionally, at work, we are using computers more and more not only for transaction processing, but also for content management, business intelligence, collaboration, mobility (and robotics and artificial intelligence is coming up fast).

Finally, technology enables breakthroughs--in medicine, energy, environment, education, materials sciences, and more--the impact of technology to us is not just now, but in the potential it brings us for further innovations down the road.

So is the benefit that you get from computers less than $5 day?

I know for me that's the understatement of a lifetime.

Apparently by some, technology continues to be misunderstood, be undervalued and therefore potentially risks being underinvested in, which harms our nations competitiveness and our collective future.

As much respect as I have for economics, it doesn't take an economist to think with common business sense.

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March 14, 2011

Watson Can Swim

With IBM's Watson beating the pants off Jennings and Rutter in Jeopardy, a lot of people want to know can computers can really think?

Both sides of this debate have shown up in the last few weeks in some fascinating editorials in the Wall Street Journal.

On one hand, on 23 February 2011, John Searle of the University of California, Berkeley wrote that "IBM invented an ingenious program--not a computer that can think." According to Searle, Watson (or any computer for that matter) is not thinking but is simulating thinking.

In his most passionate expression, Searle exclaims: "Watson did not understand the questions, nor its answers, not that some of its answers were right and some wrong, not that it was playing a game, nor that it won--because it doesn't understand anything."

Today, on 14 March 2011 on the other hand, Stephen Baker, author of "Final Jeopardy--Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything" took the opposing view and stated: "Watson is an early sighting of a highly disruptive force...one that can handle [information] jobs held by people."

To the question of whether machine thinking is "real" thinking? Baker quotes David Ferrucci, IBM's chief scientist who when asked if Watson can think, responded "Can a submarine swim?"

The analogy is a very good one.

Just because a submarine doesn't swim like a fish or a person, doesn't mean it can't swim. In fact and in a sense, for the very reason that it doesn't swim exactly like a fish or person, it actually can swim better.

So too with computers, just because they don't "think" like humans doesn't mean they don't think. They just think differently and again in sense, maybe for the very same reason, in certain ways they can think better.

How can a computer sometimes think better than a person? Well here are just some possible examples (non-exhaustive):

- Computers can evaluate options purely based on facts (and not get "bogged down" in emotions, conflict, ego, and so forth like human beings).

- Computers can add processing power and storage at the push of button, like in cloud computing (people have the gray matter between their ears that G-d gave them, period).

- Computers do not tire by a problem--they will literally mechanically keep attacking it until solved (like cracking a password).

- Computers can be upgraded over time with new hardware, software, and operating systems (unlike people who age and pass).
At the same time, it is important to note that people still trump computers in a number of facets:

- We can evaluate things based on our conscience and think in terms of good and evil, and faith in a higher power (a topic of a prior blog).

- We can care for one another--especially children and the needy--in a altruistic way that is not based on information or facts, but on love.

- We can work together like ants in a colony or bees in a hive or crowdsourcing on- or off-line to get large jobs done with diversity and empowerment.

- We are motivated to better ourselves and our world--to advance ourselves, families, and society through continuous improvement.
Perhaps, like the submarine and the fish, both of which can "swim" in their own ways, so too both computers and people can "think"--each in their own capacity. Together, computers and people can augment the other--being stronger and more effective in carrying out the great tasks and challenges that confront us and await.

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March 6, 2011

Meet ATLAS




This is amazing (watch the whole thing)!

Meet the latest and greatest military humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics--Atlas (aka PETMAN).

(Boston Dynamics is the same company that makes BigDog, the 4 legged, ground transport robot, that looks like a mule--called the Legged Squad Support System, LS3)

Watch the movement of the Atlas robot--it is JUST like a person: heel to toe walking.

See what happens when you push it--Atlas reacts/recovers like a human would.

The built up version has hands that help it balance and squeeze through tight spaces.

BusinessWeek (March 7-13, 2011) explains that this robot will be used initially for surveillance and emergency rescue missions.
I'm thinking Atlas should be pronounced like "at last" to recognize the amazing leap forward in robotics.

This is great stuff--and it demonstrates our growing understanding of not only computers and robotics, but also of the physical and behavioral sciences.

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