gpe + technology   327

How Technology Grows (a restatement of definite optimism) —Dan Wang “I consider Definite Optimism as Human Capital to be my most creative piece. Unfortunately, it’s oblique and meandering.”
Let’s try to preserve process knowledge. The decline of industrial work makes it harder to accumulate process knowledge. If a state has lost most of its jobs for electrical engineers, civil engineers, or nuclear engineers, then fewer young people will enter into these fields. Technological development slows down, and it turns into a self-reinforcing cycle of decline.

I think we should try to hold on to process knowledge.

Japan’s Ise Grand Shrine is an extraordinary example in that genre. Every 20 years, caretakers completely tear down the shrine and build it anew. The wooden shrine has been rebuilt again and again for 1,200 years. Locals want to make sure that they don’t ever forget the production knowledge that goes into constructing the shrine. There’s a very clear sense that the older generation wants to teach the building techniques to the younger generation: “I will leave these duties to you next time.”

Regularly tearing down and rebuilding a wooden temple might not sound like a great use of time. But I’m not sure if local priorities are entirely screwed up here. These people understand that it’s too difficult to write down every instruction necessary for building even a single wooden structure; imagine how much more difficult it is to create instructions for a machinery part, or a chip. Every so often we discover ancient tools of which we have no idea how to use. These shrine caretakers have decided that preservation of production knowledge is important, and I find that admirable.

Building a vast industrial base and practicing learning-by-doing used to be the American way. Brad DeLong again: “When the technologies of the second industrial revolution arrived, the United States with its cotton and wide market, and its rich natural resources, and its communities of engineering excellence, was able to leap ahead—and in fact greatly surpass Britain in manufacturing productivity pretty much everywhere. So that the 20th century became an American century, rather than a second British century, in large part because of the bets Hamilton had induced the United States to make on not simply following comparative advantage.”
ellul  industry  future  geography  history  futurism  *****  globalization  politics  technology  economics  trends  manufacturing 
7 weeks ago by gpe
Jaron Lanier Interview on What Went Wrong With the Internet
One of the things that I’ve been concerned about is this illusion where you think that you’re in this super-democratic open thing, but actually it’s exactly the opposite; it’s actually creating a super concentration of wealth and power, and disempowering you. This has been particularly cruel politically. Every time there’s some movement, like the Black Lives Matter movement, or maybe now the March for Our Lives movement, or #MeToo, or very classically the Arab Spring, you have this initial period where people feel like they’re on this magic-carpet ride and that social media is letting them broadcast their opinions for very low cost, and that they’re able to reach people and organize faster than ever before. And they’re thinking, Wow, Facebook and Twitter are these wonderful tools of democracy.

But then the algorithms have to maximize value from all the data that’s coming in. So they test use that data. And it just turns out as a matter of course, that the same data that is a positive, constructive process for the people who generated it — Black Lives Matter, or the Arab Spring — can be used to irritate other groups. And unfortunately there’s this asymmetry in human emotions where the negative emotions of fear and hatred and paranoia and resentment come up faster, more cheaply, and they’re harder to dispel than the positive emotions. So what happens is, every time there’s some positive motion in these networks, the negative reaction is actually more powerful. So when you have a Black Lives Matter, the result of that is the empowerment of the worst racists and neo-Nazis in a way that hasn’t been seen in generations. When you have an Arab Spring, the result ultimately is the network empowerment of ISIS and other extremists — bloodthirsty, horrible things, the likes of which haven’t been seen in the Arab world or in Islam for years, if ever.
criticism  technology  virtual.reality  jaron.lanier  silicon.valley  internet  social.media  ****  nymag  algorithms 
8 weeks ago by gpe
Nicole Fenton | Interface Writing: Code for Humans
In his essay We Have Always Coded, Tim Maly says:

“It is no coincidence that many women have compared weaving code to instructing a child. With both kids and computers, you must carefully think through what you want them to do, and then carefully phrase your commands.”

From a high level, these are my goals when I’m writing strings:

Be clear.
Be kind.
Be careful.
Be honest.
Focus on the reader’s needs. Think about the implications of what you’re asking for. Be honest about what you’re doing with the data. That’s extremely important.
software  technology  design  writing  code  ****  essay  coding  interface 
10 weeks ago by gpe
Ind.ie — Ethical Design Manifesto
Technology that respects human effort is functional, convenient, and reliable.

It is thoughtful and accommodating; not arrogant or demanding. It understands that you might be distracted or differently-abled. It respects the limited time you have on this planet.
design  technology  **  accessibility  manifesto  webdesign 
10 weeks ago by gpe
Log off, mute all, carry on
In the 60s, Timothy Leary told everybody to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” I tried to think of an update for today: Log off (get out now), mute all (turn off notifications), and carry on (without hope and without despair).
**  austinkleon  technology  habits 
february 2018 by gpe
This is Not a Simulation —The New Inquiry “ASK a liberal who is to blame for Trumpism and guilt falls everywhere but on their own shoulders.”
Whether true or false, the simulation hypothesis changes next to nothing about life on earth, and therein lies the theory’s appeal for the liberal elite: it’s futurism without a substantially different future, progressivism sans meaningful progress, a flash forward to the end of history that bypasses suffering through the present. Simulation theory is the eternal continuation of the same system that entitles Elon Musk, a billionaire seventeen times over, to stop his factory workers at Tesla from forming a union. It empowers Condé Nast, the multinational media corporation who signs Adam Gopnik’s checks, to exist in a perpetual state of layoffs. Why would the few who benefit from this bankrupt arrangement ever want it to end? So far, the aliens that developed the simulation of this world have rigged the game in their favor
neoliberal  theory  Liberalism  politics  *****  progressive  conspiracy  technology  simulation  the.new.inquiry 
august 2017 by gpe
Why You Can Thank the Government for Your iPhone | TIME
“Every major technological change in recent years traces most of its funding back to the state,” says Mazzucato. Even “early stage” private-sector VCs come in much later, after the big breakthroughs have been made. For example, she notes, “The National Institutes of Health have spent almost a trillions dollars since their founding on the research that created both the pharmaceutical and the biotech sectors–with venture capitalists only entering biotech once the red carpet was laid down in the 1980s. We pretend that the government was at best just in the background creating the basic conditions (skills, infrastructure, basic science). But the truth is that the involvement required massive risk taking along the entire innovation chain: basic research, applied research and early stage financing of companies themselves.” The Silicon Valley VC model, which has typically dictated that financiers exit within 5 years or so, simply isn’t patient enough to create game changing innovation.

Mazzucato’s book cites powerful data and anecdotes. The parts of the smart phone that make it smart—GPS, touch screens, the Internet—were advanced by the Defense Department. Tesla’s battery technologies and solar panels came out of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Google’s search engine algorithm was boosted by a National Science Foundation innovation. Many innovative new drugs have come out of NIH research.
capitalism  government  entrepreneur  silicon.valley  technology  innovation  ****  funding  time 
september 2016 by gpe
How Composites are Strengthening the Aviation Industry
Increasingly, aircraft designers have been turning to composites to help make their vehicles lighter, more fuel-efficient and more comfortable for passengers.

Half of the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350, for example, are constructed of composite materials, and other manufacturers, like Bombardier, are adopting composites for a variety of aircraft sections.

Composites present a number of substantial advantages to aircraft designers -- as well as potential problems.

Pros and Cons of Composites

Composites do have some attractive material properties.

First of all, composites offer a very high stiffness-to-weight ratio. Very stiff fibers (usually carbon or glass) are embedded in a matrix (usually some sort of plastic).

The fibers provide the stiffness, and the matrix provides the glue to produce a stiff structure that is very light. Plastics and the fibers generally are less dense than metals, but the fibers have greater stiffness, providing for a larger stiffness-to-weight ratio.

Since composites are composed of a matrix reinforced with a fiber, it's rare for large cracks to develop in them.

Small cracks ordinarily stop when they run into a stiff, neighboring fiber. When extreme forces are applied to the structure, composites indeed may crack, but the energy required for complete fracture is significant.

Metals are susceptible to both fatigue and corrosion -- each of which has resulted in high-visibility calamities over the years. The famous Aloha Airlines disaster in the 1980s was the result of fatigue.
Aircraft operate in very corrosive environments, and inspections for corrosion damage are carried out often. Composites don't corrode, which is a plus, and they are also not subject to fatigue damage to the extent of metal structures.

Because of this, new aircraft with composite fuselages, such as the Boeing 787, can provide some additional passenger comfort amenities not available on a metal aircraft.

For example, the pressure in the cabin in flight can be higher, producing less ear popping on landing. This is possible since the pressurization differences between the inside cabin and the outside air can be higher for a composite fuselage.

This is due to its superior cyclic load capabilities, which is the primary cause of fatigue damage. The humidity levels in the cabin also can be higher due to the corrosion resistance of composites, which will produce fewer headaches and dry mouths after a long flight.

Another passenger benefit to composites is that due to their very stiff material properties, windows can be larger.

From an engineering perspective, composites offer some additional advantages. For one, their stiffness properties can be tailored since they are stiffer in the direction of the reinforcing fibers.

Composites are usually built up with laminates where unidirectional fabric layers are stacked on top of each other in different orientations to give the structure maximum stiffness where it is needed.

Also composites can be tailored to slightly change shape in designed ways with an applied load, which allows designers to create more aerodynamically efficient wing structures. With composites, engineers also are more easily able to embed sensors into the aircraft's skin to allow pilots to watch for any damage. That capability can significantly reduce the likelihood of a small problem growing into a dangerous one.

Despite these benefits, aircraft manufacturers justifiably have been very cautious in transitioning to composites. One reason is that since composites are often constructed of different ply layers into a laminate structure, they can "delaminate" between layers where they are weaker.

Out-of-plane loads perpendicular to the layers are one cause of delamination, so designers have to be aware of all of the potential loads paths in the structure to avoid this. Similarly, any loads that try to compress the length of the fibers can cause delamination.

Much like pushing on the ends of a deck of cards, the entire stack can come apart. The internal load distribution in a composite can be very complex, which can cause layers to separate in certain combinations of loads.

This definitely poses some design issues to be addressed that don't often come into play with metallic structures.

Because of the threat of delamination, engineers who design composite structures take special care to make certain that loads placed on the composites are primarily in-plane -- where the fibers are strong -- and that buckling does not occur.

Compounding the difficulties confronting engineers, composites cannot be inspected for weakness or internal damage in the same way that metals can. Delamination and cracks in the composite matrix are usually internal to the composite and will not be visible from the surface.

Techniques are available to find such faults -- such as the embedded sensors previously mentioned -- but they require a different methodology than that to which the industry is accustomed.
A final issue revolves around the joining of composite components to metal structures.

The composite is stiffer than the metal, so from an engineering standpoint, the composite carries most of the loads. To compensate for this additional stress, manufacturers must build up the joint with more material, a process that adds weight to the aircraft.

Moreover, the metal will expand and contract much more than the composites to which it is joined, an imbalance that can cause joint failure.

The solution seems simple enough: Use more composites. Joining composite to composite eliminates some of the issues but they can cause others.

For example, joining of composites is often done with an adhesive layer that is prone to delamination under certain types of loads. Using fasteners to join composites presents other difficulties due to the stress concentrations from drilled holes and thermal expansion mismatch between the composites and the fasteners.

Ideally, designers are looking to create more integral composite structures that do not require joining.

The Importance of Simulation

Because so many technical variables can impact the use of composites, manufacturers are relying more than ever on computer simulation to design and test composite structures virtually before constructing the actual aircraft.

However, simulation becomes more complex than in the past because, rather than analyzing a uniform metal component, the system must deal with layers of fibers that have a directionality that can influence the response of the structure. This heterogeneous material has its own particular properties that must be considered.

The number of design variables to consider is multiplied exponentially, which often results in very conservative designs that do not take full advantage of the many unique properties of composites.

Advanced simulation software is enabling engineers to account for these variables in a more reliable and systematic fashion. For instance, Altair ProductDesign, with its optimization algorithm that has been developed especially for composite design, is able to precisely calculate where designers should incorporate fewer plies or more of them, which ply angles should be used where in the structure, and how to best stack the plies.

These solutions offer up the calculations that engineers need to fabricate the right composite structure for the particular application. This process takes advantage of the computer that can cycle through the variables in a very efficient manner to come up with a better design.

Composites are likely to assume an ever more crucial position in the aviation industry, and with composites playing a larger role, the industry can expect a lift that takes it and its customers to new heights of safety, comfort and efficiency.
aviation  aeriality  technology  innovation  composites  *** 
march 2015 by gpe
Delta pushes Boeing to squeeze more range from 777-200LR
"Delta Air Lines wants Boeing to examine ways of boosting the 777-200LR's range to enable the airline to serve Australia directly from the US East Coast.

The Boeing twinjet is already the world's longest-range airliner, with the capability of flying missions of up to 17,500km (9,450nm), and Delta executive vice-president for network planning and revenue management Glenn Hauenstein says the airline has informally asked the airframer to study possible modifications to allow even longer-range, full-payload performance."
airplane  innovation  technology  **  transportation  777  delta  boeing 
february 2013 by gpe
Technological Zones
"This article provides an overview of the analysis of technological zones. A technological zone can be understood as a space within which differences between technical practices, procedures and forms have been reduced, or common standards have been established. Such technological zones take broadly one of three forms: (1) metrological zones associated with the development of common forms of measurement; (2) infrastructural zones associated with the creation of common connection standards; and (3) zones of qualification which come into being when objects and practices are assessed according to common standards and criteria. The article argues that technological zones can have more or less clear borders, but such borders increasingly do not correspond to the borders of nation-states. Through a discussion of the global oil industry, some of the ways in which the formation of technological zones has become critical to contemporary economic and political life are examined."
technology  space  infrastructure  ***  article 
february 2013 by gpe
Lufthansa tests ‘Shark skin’ structures
Lufthansa has announced that two of its A340-300s are taking part in a test that started in mid-2011 alongside Airbus Operations and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM) in Bremen.

The project, which will run until summer, will look at the durability of a surface coating for aircraft that mimics shark skin under real-life flying conditions. The riblets that cover the skin of fast-swimming sharks help reduce turbulent vortices and drag, diminishing surface resistance when moving at speed. Eight 10cm x 10cm test patches will be placed on the fuselage and leading edge of the wings of each aircraft to test whether the new aerodynamic shark skin structures, which can be embossed into aircraft paints, could reduce fuel consumption by about one per cent and lower operating costs.
technology  aeriality  aeromobility  innovation  **  lufthansa  airplane  airlines  efficiency 
february 2013 by gpe
In an Israeli lab, the world's smallest drone Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
"In a Technion aeronautics laboratory, a pair of scientists are conducting experiments funded by the U.S. Army that would allow them to control the flight of insects from afar, as if they were mechanical flight vehicles.

Instead of building a tiny plane whose dimensions would be measured in centimeters, the researchers are taking advantage of 300 million years of evolution. "In order to build drones the size of an insect, you need systems to monitor and control, and to produce energy," says Technion Prof. Daniel Weihs, who served until recently as the chief scientist of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The experiments, conducted by Weihs and Dr. Gal Ribak of the Technion, together with researchers from Tel Aviv University, are funded by the U.S. Army. Weihs - a pioneer in aeronautics research using insects and animals - is not prepared to divulge details about the experiments' applications, adding that he himself isn't entirely sure about them.

Their aeronautics laboratory is unusual in that it doesn't contain a single piece of airplane equipment. Instead, it's full of aquariums and boxes brimming with flies, grasshoppers and beetles, and a bowl containing plants for cultivating dragonflies. The temperature is a warm 30 degrees Celsius. A flight simulator - a long, noisy tube-shaped fan - sits in the center of the lab. A grasshopper hangs in mid-air. When the researchers turn on the fan, the grasshopper flaps its wings furiously as it would if it were caught in a gust of wind in the Carmel forest."
insects  animal  *****  dissertation  israel  drone  technology  innovation  military 
august 2012 by gpe
Paul Kingsnorth on Civilisation and its Discontents | The Browser
"Robinson Jeffers was a poet who lived in California for most of his life. He’s a very interesting poet, unlike any other I have come across. I remember reading an anthology many years ago and coming across a couple of his poems. I’d never heard of him before but thought they were very striking for two reasons. First, they had a deep, radical ecological vision of the world. Second, the way they were written, with long, flowing lines – he’s not interested in meter, he’s interested in rhythm. His style is unlike anything else I’ve seen, as are his themes. Jeffers looks at the world, as one would now describe it, from a deep ecological perspective with humans as just one part of the ecological web, not at the centre of it."
poetry  literature  technology  progress  **  list  books  toread  interview 
august 2012 by gpe
Saab Reinvents Air Traffic Control With a Digital Panorama | Design Decoded
On Saab's remote air-traffic control towers: "The most impressive aspect of the r-TWR is the capability for a remote tower controller to manage multiple airports simultaneously. Teams of coordinated controllers could manage large airports from a centralized warehouse facility (think aircraft hangers full of air traffic controllers instead of planes) or a lone operator could oversee a series of small, regional airports from a single office. With the press of a button, the tower controller is virtually transported to any airfield instantly—or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the airfield is transported to the tower controller. Imagine: a local controller surrounded by the glowing landscape of Washington Dulles International Airport, guiding planes safely to their gates from the comfort of his office in downtown Cleveland. Such virtual realities aren’t new, of course; video game designers and science fiction writers have been exploring the technology for decades. But the effect of completely immersing a viewer in a foreign landscape has an origin that dates back more than 200 years. Specifically, it brings to mind the 18th and 19th century panorama."
airport  navigation  remote.sensing  aviation  *****  future  trends  technology  innovation 
june 2012 by gpe
Your Tech Weblog: a consumer-technology blog» Blog Archive » In one year, our iPad-festooned airport will look like this
Concourse G at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport...will have about 2,500 of the Apple tablets installed, one for just about every restaurant and waiting-area seat.

The tethered tablets on stands will be free to use, and let anyone access their social-media streams, browse the Web, check flight status – even order food form a nearby eatery and have it brought to them."
minnesota  airport  innovation  ipad  tablet  technology  **  news  2012  from twitter_favs
june 2012 by gpe
Bird’s-Eye View | Photos | Air & Space Magazine
"One thing the filmmakers learned, according to Downer, was how birds use their feathers in flight. The key to the discovery was through the development of ultra-lightweight, onboard cameras. "The size of the camera," he writes, "depended on the size of the bird. Large birds, such as Rüppell's griffon vultures [above], were able to carry a specially adapted HD camera about the size of a matchbox, that weighed little more than 3 ounces." The camera was attached to a foam mount, which was strapped to the bird's back like a tiny rucksack. "Within minutes the bird preened the harness into its feathers, so it was almost invisible, and it quickly seemed unaware that it was carrying anything at all." The team had to position the camera so that it wouldn't interfere with the bird's flying, and they discovered that eagles, cranes, and geese hold their heads out front as they fly, while condors and vultures tuck their heads underneath once they become airborne. "With a camera mounted on a Rüppell's griffon vulture," writes Downer, "we could see the intricate way in which the feathers on its wings and body worked at take off, during flight and on landing." "When the bird came in to land," he continues, "the onboard camera revealed how it slows to a stop. The secondaries drop like airbrakes, much like an aircraft's flaps, but the big surprise was on the wing's leading edge. All along this edge are what look like simple contour feathers, but as the bird slows down these flicked up, much like the slats on the aircraft that increase lift at slow speeds. Scientists are now studying the pictures we obtained as part of their study of aerofoil performance to improve aircraft wings.""
aviation  technology  innovation  ***  inspiration  atmosphere  animal  bird  flight 
march 2012 by gpe
Favorite MLK quote on tech innovation « Scott Berkun
"There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers." — MLK
mlk  quotation  aviation  technology  innovation  *** 
march 2012 by gpe
The Cyborg in Us All
"Weeks before, Schalk played the Pink Floyd song for some of his epileptic volunteers and recorded the activity in the parts of the brain that process sound. Schalk showed me a volume meter on his computer screen — this was a brain, tracking the roar of a guitar solo. It worked just like any other volume meter, but in one experiment, Schalk found that the brain did something unexpected. When he interrupted the Pink Floyd song with moments of silence, the brain’s volume meter continued to tremble up and down, as if the song were still playing. This, Schalk said, showed that the brain creates a model of what it expects to hear — a shadow song that plunks out its tune in the player piano of our auditory system.

“Isn’t this crazy?” he shouted over the thunder of the bass. “We’re close to being able to reconstruct the actual music heard in the brain and play it. If we had several times more electrodes, I bet we could do it.”"
nytimes  brain  mind  language  music  future  science  technology  ***  cyborg 
february 2012 by gpe
The Wirecutter | A List of the Best Gadgets
Gadget and tech reviews. A little more up my alley than most.
technology  electronics  hardware  shopping  ** 
december 2011 by gpe
…My heart’s in Accra » DARPA director Regina Dugan at MIT: “Just Make It”
“The 19th century was about energy.
The 20th century was about information.
The 21st century is about matter.”

If we embrace this challenge, Gabriel tells us, we will be able to make things at the cost we used to produce and stockpile them in bulk, and this change will change how we innovate."
innovation  technology  defense  usa  2011  darpa  mit  science  matter  energy  information  *** 
december 2011 by gpe
russell davies: talking on the radio / the internet with things
"I wonder whether the 'Internet With Things' is a more useful term than the 'Internet Of Things'. As Matt Jones has said "The network is as important to think about as the things" and the network has people in it. We're in there with the things. And people are looking for more than just sleek efficiency, they're after something else, something unexpected.

That's why, personally, I'm way more excited about what the Makers are doing than the big industry initiatives. The exciting, radical, life-affirming stuff is going to bubble up from the enthusiasts and tinkerers and the people who build tools for them. Especially when those tools include things like cheap 3D printing and personal robotics.

And people are going to start making their own things and connecting them up to the internet. And those things will be dismissed as pointless and silly and a waste of time and pundits will wonder 'why would anyone want to do that?' just as they did with Twitter and Facebook and GeoCities.

And once again we must think of Clay Shirky's wise words:

"creating something personal, even of moderate quality, has a different kind of appeal than consuming something made by others, even of high quality"

It's not just about the thing. It's about the relationships and satisfactions connected to the thing and to the making of the thing."
internet  inspiration  ****  future  trends  printing  twitter  network  2011  technology  from twitter_favs
november 2011 by gpe
Palantir, the War on Terror's Secret Weapon - BusinessWeek
"As the CIA analyst starts poking around on Fikri’s file inside of Palantir, a story emerges. A mouse click shows that Fikri has wired money to the people he had been calling in Syria. Another click brings up CIA field reports on the Syrians and reveals they have been under investigation for suspicious behavior and meeting together every day over the past two weeks. Click: The Syrians bought plane tickets to Miami one day after receiving the money from Fikri. To aid even the dullest analyst, the software brings up a map that has a pulsing red light tracing the flow of money from Cairo and Syria to Fikri’s Miami condo. That provides local cops with the last piece of information they need to move in on their prey before he strikes."
software  cia  fbi  usa  terror  weapon  war  technology  innovation  **** 
november 2011 by gpe
Winging It: America’s Cup Racers Push the Sailboat to Its Limits
From my tweet about it: The new America’s Cup boats' intolerance for error [1] reminds me of [2]. | 1: http://ow.ly/6p6m0 2: http://ow.ly/6p6m1
technology  innovation  limits  ellul  ***  wired  boat  competition  from delicious
september 2011 by gpe
Cities in Fact and Fiction: An Interview with William Gibson: Scientific American
"Migration to cities is now so powerful, so universal, that people will create cities, of sorts, simply through migration—cities that literally consist mainly of the people who inhabit them on a given day."
migration  technology  interview  cities  urbanism  future  people  *****  william.gibson  scifi  quotation  dissertation  from delicious
august 2011 by gpe
Rethinking The Shuttle: Carrying People, And Cargo
""I really look forward to the time when, I hope, the private sector will develop spaceflight to the point where many more people will have access to the experience that I've been fortunate enough to have," he says.<br />
<br />
That might also free some of NASA's resources, which can then be devoted to deep space exploration – and the future of the space age."
commerce  space  transport  faa  nasa  science  technology  private  **  npr  from delicious
july 2011 by gpe
Smart Tech Paraglides Tons of Airdropped Cargo From High Altitudes to Meter-Sized Targets | Popular Science
The civilian applications of this this are interesting to think about. | "The U.S. Army’s Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) 2K could allow the military to revamp its resupply tactics, reducing the need for convoys that expose troops to enemy fire, according to researchers at Draper Laboratory.<br />
<br />
“it’s similar to a UAV in the sense that now it has become a guided aircraft of sorts. It’s released from a cargo plane, and it’s fully autonomous from the time it is released until it touches down,” said Andreas Kellas, autonomous systems business leader for defense at Draper. “They can turn left and right, and fly winding, serpentine trajectories that are constantly being recomputed in real time. They can compensate for shifting winds, compensate for terrain, so they land at the impact point as accurately as possible.”"
science  aviation  technology  *****  dissertation  military  afghanistan  ied  uav  cargo  freight  from delicious
july 2011 by gpe
Low-tech Magazine: Aerial ropeways: automatic cargo transport for a bargain
"Ropeways have been used for more than 2,000 years, transporting both passengers and goods. The first sign of their use comes from the rugged Asiatic countries of China, India and Japan, where it is speculated that they may have been in operation since 250 BC. Men used rope to cross ravines, rivers and river-gorges, initially transferring themselves, hand over hand, with the body suspended by a crude harness."
technology  freight  engineering  science  transport  interesting  transportation  **  from delicious
july 2011 by gpe
Frank Chimero - The Setup
He's got a killer backup system:<br />
<br />
"...at any time, I’ve got 5 copies of my data:<br />
<br />
* locally, on the internal hard drive<br />
* locally, on my external hard drive<br />
* locally on the cloned external hard drive<br />
* in the cloud, through Backblaze<br />
* in the cloud, through Dropbox"
software  mac  backup  technology  computer  apple  design  inspiration  *  from delicious
january 2011 by gpe
TSA Says Better Body Scanners Will End Privacy Uproar: Don't Bet on It - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic
"Here's how they work. First, an image is obtained with an x-ray backscatter or millimeter wave machine like the 385 systems already installed in 70 airports around the country. While the two types of machines have important differences, their basic principles are comparable. The electromagnetic waves (x-rays or radio) used in the machines pass easily through clothing, but bounce back when they encounter human skin (or other denser materials). Those reflections reach the scanner and are transformed into an image of the body sans clothing.

In one of the automated threat detection systems, that image would be fed to an algorithm that would compare it to a database of other images to determine if it was suspicious. Instead of looking at an image of a person, the TSA scanners would see a stick figure that would indicate the general area where a problem existed. They would then follow up with a patdown or other screening procedure..."
technology  innovation  the.atlantic  *  privacy  scanners  tsa  airport  security 
december 2010 by gpe
Not such wicked leaks | Presseurop – English
"I once had occasion to observe that technology now advances crabwise, i.e. backwards. A century after the wireless telegraph revolutionised communications, the Internet has re-established a telegraph that runs on (telephone) wires. (Analog) video cassettes enabled film buffs to peruse a movie frame by frame, by fast-forwarding and rewinding to lay bare all the secrets of the editing process, but (digital) CDs now only allow us quantum leaps from one chapter to another. High-speed trains take us from Rome to Milan in three hours, but flying there, if you include transfers to and from the airports, takes three and a half hours. So it wouldn’t be extraordinary if politics and communications technologies were to revert to the horse-drawn carriage.

One last observation: In days of yore, the press would try to figure out what was hatching sub rosa inside the embassies. Nowadays, it’s the embassies that are asking the press for the inside story."
wikileaks  umberto.eco  future  privacy  secrecy  technology  innovation  diplomacy  2010  ****  usa  travel  communication 
december 2010 by gpe
After secrets: Missing the point of WikiLeaks
"...the debate over WikiLeaks has proceeded as if the matter might conclude with the eradication of these kinds of data dumps—as if this is a temporary glitch in the system that can be fixed; as if this is a nuisance that can be made to go away with the application of sufficient government gusto. But I don't think the matter can end this way. Just as technology has made it easier for governments and corporations to snoop ever more invasively into the private lives of individuals, it has also made it easier for individuals, working alone or together, to root through and make off with the secret files of governments and corporations. WikiLeaks is simply an early manifestation of what I predict will be a more-or-less permanent feature of contemporary life, and a more-or-less permanent constraint on strategies of secret-keeping."
secrets  security  diplomacy  military  wikileaks  ****  economist  innovation  technology  government  future  trends 
december 2010 by gpe
The Prosthetic Imagination | > jim rossignol
On gaming as a prosthetic imagination. | "What would the implications be for our culture, Shaviro wonders, if prosthetic had been the dominant metaphor during the information revolution, rather than virtual? For games the ramifications are pretty obvious: prosthetic reality, prosthetic worlds. Not empty placebo realities, but useful extensions of this one. That also seems more apt when you look at the experience of gaming. You are not simply waving at passing spectres in the night, you are right in there, wrestling with the invented physics, unravelling the stories, ripping open alien monstrosities. The imagination is extended into this space, it spills back and forth from technology to mind."
disability  cyborg  technology  ***  creativity  future  mind  story  space  extension 
september 2010 by gpe
What's Wrong With "X Is Dead" - Science and Tech - The Atlantic
"Technologies die violent deaths less often than we think.

This is the basic problem with the Chris Anderson-anchored Wired cover story, "The Web is Dead." If you think about technology as a series of waves, each displacing the last, perhaps the rise of mobile apps would lead you to conclude that the browser-based web is a goner.

But the browser-based web is not a goner. It's still experiencing substantial growth -- as BoingBoing's Rob Beschizza showed with his excellent recasting of Wired's data -- and that should be one big clue that the technological worldview that says, "The new inevitably destroys the old," is fundamentally flawed. " (via @robinsloan)
technology  economics  ellul  future  trends  innovation  ***  the.atlantic 
august 2010 by gpe
Greg's Cable Map
"Greg's Cable Map is an attempt to consolidate all the available information about the undersea communications infrastructure. The initial data was harvested from Wikipedia, and further information was gathere by simply googling and transcribing as much data as possible into a useful format, namely a rich geocoded format. I hope you find the resource useful and any constructive criticism is welcome.

The data is available in ArcGIS .shp file format on request, so long as it's not going to be used for profit."
cable  internet  mapping  cartography  visualization  infrastructure  network  technology  submarine  **** 
august 2010 by gpe
The city is a hypertext
"...whenever I read anything about the web rewiring our brains, foretelling immanent disaster, I've always thought, geez, people -- we live in cities! Our species has evolved to survive in every climate and environment on dry land. Our brains can handle it!"
psychology  urbanism  george.simmel  history  writing  technology  internet  brain  design  media  architecture  attention  ***  kottke  hypertext 
august 2010 by gpe
Diffusion of innovations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
North Korea is on here now, officially commencing the Laggards Phase of the Rogers' adoption curve for Twitter.
innovation  technology  north.korea  t  marketing  sociology  wikipedia  theory  * 
august 2010 by gpe
Kindle and iPad Displays: Up close and personal. | BIT-101
Kindle & iPad screens magnified 400x. "The Kindle’s screen looks almost organic at high magnification."/@rogre
q  kindle  screen  display  amazon  technology  innovation  typography  apple  * 
august 2010 by gpe
Glitch shows how much US military relies on GPS
"Because GPS makes weapons more accurate, the military needs fewer warheads and fewer personnel to take out targets. But a leaner, GPS-dependent military becomes dangerously vulnerable if the technology is knocked out."
military  gps  navigation  failure  usa  airforce  technology  ** 
june 2010 by gpe
Using Laser to Map Ancient Civilization in a Matter of Days
"In only four days, a twin-engine aircraft equipped with an advanced version of lidar (light detection and ranging) flew back and forth over the jungle and collected data surpassing the results of two and a half decades of on-the-ground mapping, the archaeologists said. After three weeks of laboratory processing, the almost 10 hours of laser measurements showed topographic detail over an area of 80 square miles, notably settlement patterns of grand architecture and modest house mounds, roadways and agricultural terraces."
archaeology  mapping  laser  lidar  remote.sensing  history  technology  anthropology  science  architecture  nyt  innovation  *** 
june 2010 by gpe
MIT-Led Team Designs Two Airplanes That Would Use 70% Less Fuel Than Current Models
"The MIT team met NASA’s challenge by developing two designs: the 180-passenger D “double bubble” series to replace the Boeing 737 class aircraft, currently used for domestic flights, and the 350 passenger H “hybrid wing body” series to replace the 777 class aircraft now used for international flights.

Not only does the D series meet NASA’s long-term fuel burn, emissions reduction and runway length objectives, but it could also offer large benefits in the near future because the MIT team designed two versions: a higher technology version with 70% fuel-burn reduction, and a version that could be built with conventional aluminum and current jet technology that would burn 50% less fuel and might be more attractive as a lower risk, near-term alternative."
aviation  airplane  technology  innovation  mit  nasa  design  ***  efficiency  environment 
may 2010 by gpe
A Story We Somehow Knew Was Coming (TSA Dept)
""I don't know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747," Rafi Sela told parliamentarians probing the state of aviation safety in Canada.

"That's why we haven't put them in our airport," Sela said, referring to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, which has some of the toughest security in the world."
security  security.theater  bruce.schneier  israel  terrorism  sensors  the.atlantic  james.fallows  aviation  ***  technology 
april 2010 by gpe
GIS Mapping Shows What Discrimination Looks Like
"GIS mapping technology is helping underprivileged communities get better services — from education and transportation to health care and law enforcement — by showing exactly what discrimination looks like."
gis  mapping  dissertation  *****  politics  geography  technology  visualization  activism  cartography  discrimination 
january 2010 by gpe
On gospel, Abba and the death of the record: an audience with Brian Eno
"In my house in Oxfordshire, we have this big, beautiful Andrew Logan sculpture of a lovely Pegasus with blue glass wings. When I get a taxi from the station, a driver will always comment on it because it is so striking. What they often say is, 'What does that stand for then?' Or, 'What does that mean?', based on the idea that something exists because it has to tell you something, or it refers to something else, and I realise that this notion is foreign to me. The earliest paintings I loved were always the most non-referential paintings you can imagine, by painters such as Mondrian. I was thrilled by them because they didn't refer to anything else. They stood alone and they were just charged magic objects that did not get their strength from being connected to anything else."
mondrian  art  music  ambient  brian.eno  interview  guardian  media  technology  change  innovation  dissertat  ****  future  instrument  guitar 
january 2010 by gpe
China's High-Speed-Rail Revolution
"China has begun operating what is, by several measures, the world's fastest rail line: a dedicated 968-kilometer line linking Wuhan, in the heart of central China, to Guangzhou, on the southeastern coast. In trials, the "WuGuang" line trains (locally built variants of Japan's Shinkansen and Germany's InterCity Express high-speed trains) clocked peak speeds of up to 394 kilometers per hour (or 245 miles per hour). They have also recorded an average speed of 312 kph in nonstop runs four times daily since the WuGuang's December 26 launch, slashing travel time from Wuhan to Guangzhou from 10.5 hours to less than three."
speed  high.speed.rail  china  technology  innovation  amtrak  usa  train  investment  future  transportation  rail  passenger.rail  technology.review  *** 
january 2010 by gpe
Local Cities, Global Problems: Jane Jacobs in an Age of Global Change
"A tenet of modernist planning was that cities didn’t matter any more, that communications technology (much less the threat of nuclear war) rendered them useless and inefficient. Of course, the opposite has proved true. As technology has lowered the barriers between places, the differences between them have become accentuated. At least at a global scale, when ideas and capital flow freely, they tend to dry up in some places and pool in others—as in New York. But the influence of communication technology is beginning to have an impact at the neighborhood scale as well. Jacobs wrote that “word does not move around where public characters and sidewalk life are lacking.” Now it does. There are the people paused at the top of the subway stairs, occupying two spaces at once, one physical, one virtual. And in neighborhoods around the country—this one in particular—community online message boards and blogs are thriving, entirely in parallel with news passed stoop to stoop."
andrew.blum  architecture  urbanism  culture  online  internet  community  neighborhood  scale  society  environment  development  brooklyn  jane.jacobs  *****  dissertation  local  communication  technology  modernism 
january 2010 by gpe
Nothing, something, and more
"Bad development work is based on the idea that poor people have nothing. Something is better than nothing, right? So anything you give these poor people will be better than what they had before. Even if it’s your old clothes, technology they can’t use, or a school building with no teacher. / ... / The “it’s better than nothing” argument is meaningless. No one is starting from nothing. If you find yourself saying, “our program/charity/intervention is better than nothing” that’s more than just damning faint praise, it’s a sign that you have a problem."
development  poverty  ***  technology  people 
january 2010 by gpe
The next big thing will start out looking like a toy
"Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they “undershoot” user needs. The first telephone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading telco of the time, Western Union, passed on acquiring the phone because they didn’t see how it could possibly be useful to businesses and railroads – their primary customers. What they failed to anticipate was how rapidly telephone technology and infrastructure would improve (technology adoption is usually non-linear due to so-called complementary network effects). The same was true of how mainframe companies viewed the PC (microcomputer), and how modern telecom companies viewed Skype. (Christensen has many more examples in his books)."
toys  counterintuitive  technology  innovation  history  telephone  internet  computer  ** 
january 2010 by gpe
Frank talk with Lady Gaga
""If you ask somebody where you see sexism in your life, all they think of is the old stuff," said Nona Willis Aronowitz, co-author of the new book "Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism," by phone. "Equal pay, that's not really on their radar. Domestic violence and rape aren't necessarily in the forefront. But you ask about double standards or restrictive gender roles, they don't think of that as sexism; they think of that as the way it is. That's kind of like what Lady Gaga is talking about.""
feminism  la.times  lady.gaga  band  music  artist  criticism  art  technology  identity  culture  2009  interview  share 
december 2009 by gpe
Border Crossing: There's an App for That
"A San Diego research team is close to releasing a smart phone application to help illegal immigrants navigate safely across the border." (via http://twitter.com/arikan/status/6142084438)
border  immigration  undocumented  usa  mexico  politics  technology  innovation  application  software 
november 2009 by gpe
Altairnano Batteries Make Proterra A Magic Bus
"Despite the estimated cost of around $1 million per Proterra — about twice the cost of a comparable diesel bus — Copeland says that transit agencies can look at the overall cost of ownership for cost savings. The average diesel bus gets no better than 4 MPG, while the Proterra averages an equivalent MPG of 15-21. That’s not to mention the lifestyle benefits that cities gain from electric buses that don’t belch diesel fumes and that — lacking an engine compartment — are ten feet shorter than comparable 37-passenger diesels."
wired  bus  green  environment  technology  transit  transportation  urbanism  future  congress 
november 2009 by gpe
25 ideas for 2010: from authorship to Zoloft (I've highlighted the idea of shared space)
"Imagine a street where people and vehicles aren't segregated, where road markings, signs and traffic lights are a thing of the past. Urban-movement consultant Ben Hamilton-Baillie calls it "shared space", and he says it reduces accidents and improves traffic flow. On Brighton's New Road, for example, a shared-space scheme has safely increased pedestrian and cyclist movements by 162 per cent and 92 per cent respectively. Other successes include Hans Monderman's 2002 scheme at a major junction in Drachten, Friesland (accidents fell from an average of 8.3 per year in 2003 to one a year in 2004 and 2005), and the UK Department for Transport's recognition of shared space in its 2007 Manual for Streets."
shared.space  future  technology  wired  london  author  piracy  drugs  medicine  network  politics  list  ideas  via:bldgblog 
november 2009 by gpe
"Science fiction writers don’t predict the future [but] they may manage to predict the present." /by @doctorow
"Science fiction writers don’t predict the future (except accidentally), but if they’re very good, they may manage to predict the present." — Cory Doctorow
scifi  technology  culture  futurism  future  prediction  doctorow  science  writing  quotation  dissertation  book  t 
november 2009 by gpe
Bullet Trains for America?
"If President Barack Obama has his way, American passenger rail will pick up speed again. Earlier this year, he called for the creation of a national high-speed rail network. The idea is not to lay track coast to coast, but to focus on heavily populated corridors where short distances between cities let fast trains compete effectively with cars and planes. President Obama allocated $8 billion from the economic stimulus package and requested $5 billion more from Congress through 2014, which would be used as seed money for improved rail service."
corridor  train  transportation  usa  high.speed.rail  rail  technology  infrastructure  funding  investment  china 
november 2009 by gpe
"Few inventions have been so simple as the stirrup, but few have had so catalytic an influence on history."
"Few inventions have been so simple as the stirrup, but few have had so catalytic an influence on history."
warfare  innovation  invention  history  france  feudalism  medieval  change  europe  technology  tools  t  via:hrheingold 
november 2009 by gpe
Longish read: "Baltimore as World and Representation: Cognitive Mapping and Capitalism in The Wire"
"While the logic of capital is constantly pullulating under the surface of the show’s narrative, The Wire also adroitly portrays the really existing neoliberal city in a manner that shows how often capitalist efficiency is encumbered by everything from election cycles and black ministers associations to nepotism, palace politics, and the conservatism of the silent majority. In the words of Harvey (borrowing from Arrighi), it dramatises on the city-level the dialectical relation between the territorial and capitalist logics of power."
capitalism  urbanism  economics  philosophy  david.simon  david.harvey  theory  the.wire  culture  politics  baltimore  marxism  labor  sociology  dissertation  art  mapping  technology  t 
november 2009 by gpe
The Meaning of Information Technology
Very interesting ideas here. | "Would you describe a single grain of wheat as a heap? No. Would you describe two grains of wheat as a heap? No…. You must admit the presence of a heap sooner or later, so where do you draw the line? // Unfortunately, the problem has only become ever more acute in the modern era. In fact, far from only destabilizing the fabrication of pastries, it has further undermined every area of society. Consider the process of voting. If no one voted, one vote would affect the outcome. But if millions of people vote, one vote makes little difference. // In fact, the defining characteristic of the modern era is that every aspect of society is heaping." (via daringfireball)
technology  future  trends  voting  election  information  idea  society  twitter  social  culture  measurement 
november 2009 by gpe
VURB
"VURB is a European framework for policy and design research concerning urban computational systems. The VURB foundation, based in Amsterdam, provides direction and resources to a portfolio of projects investigating how our cultures might come to use networked digital resources to change the way we understand, build, and inhabit cities."
technology  ubicomp  urbanism  design  urban  culture  data  netherlands  europe  dissertation  infrastructure  collaboration  policy 
october 2009 by gpe
Autonomous Robots Invade Retail Warehouses
"The system adjusts to the nature of the products and workers, too. In a typical setup, the humans are placed around the edges of the room. As the robots pick up loads of products and put them back, they adjust the warehouse for greater efficiency. More popular products end up around the edges of the warehouse while more obscure products, like those acid-washed bell bottoms, end up buried deep in the stacks. The self-tuning nature of the system creates big efficiencies."
robots  robotics  technology  industry  mapping  wired  trends  future  efficiency  space 
october 2009 by gpe
The mysterious cable that links the UK to the US
"The Apollo North cable the last in a long line of transatlantic cables to arrive in Cornwall, the nearest land point to north America - hasn't suffered a break for four years. It is powerful enough to provide 320 gigabits a second of bandwidth capacity. This is roughly equal to 100,000 times the bandwidth available to the average UK home user."
technology  guardian  cable  internet  connectivity  infrastructure  underwater  ocean  secret  usa  uk  dissertation 
october 2009 by gpe
Wayfinding Through Technology
Good roundup of ideas, videos, and links. I especially like the invocation of McLuhan at the end: "every extension is also an amputation."
wayfinding  navigation  design  architecture  technology  mapping  geography  gis  gps  *****  urbanism  ubicomp  augmentedreality  mcluhan  quotation 
october 2009 by gpe
Maryland Proposes All-Electronic Toll Road
"The Intercounty Connector, a highway connecting Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland, is scheduled to open its first portion in 2010. When it does, it will be the first highway in Maryland to use electronic tolling exclusively."
planetizen  road  tolls  its  maryland  technology  innovation  privacy  ezpass 
october 2009 by gpe
Lily Allen's copyright problem
The muddle that is copyright law: "Copyright is problematic for everyone: musicians, fans, bloggers. The absence of clear affirmative rights to make personal copies, to share with your friends, to copy for the purposes of discussion and commentary (as opposed to the fuzzy and difficult-to-interpret fair use guidelines, which have been further confused by the entertainment industry's bold attempts to convince us all that they don't matter and can't be relied upon) means that we're all in a state of constant infringement."
boing.boing  doctorow  copyright  law  rights  piracy  privacy  technology  innovation  communication 
september 2009 by gpe
Post-Medium Publishing
"Economically, the print media are in the business of marking up paper. We can all imagine an old-style editor getting a scoop and saying "this will sell a lot of papers!" Cross out that final S and you're describing their business model. The reason they make less money now is that people don't need as much paper."
business  publishing  media  technology  innovation  paper  journalism  writing  trends  future  paul.graham 
september 2009 by gpe
Police chief denounces 'cowardly' iPhone users monitoring speed traps
Area drivers looking to outwit police speed traps and traffic cameras are using an iPhone application and other global positioning system devices that pinpoint the location of the cameras.//That has irked D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier, who promised her officers would pick up their game to counteract the devices, which can also help drivers dodge sobriety checkpoints.//"I think that's the whole point of this program," she told The Examiner. "It's designed to circumvent law enforcement -- law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives."
security  safety  iphone  trends  technology  innovation  disruption  traffic  police  policing  car  washingtondc  news  software  surveillance  gps  share  dissertation 
september 2009 by gpe
Clive Thompson on the New Literacy
"young people today write far more than any generation before them. That's because so much socializing takes place online, and it almost always involves text. Of all the writing that the Stanford students did, a stunning 38 percent of it took place out of the classroom—life writing, as Lunsford calls it. Those Twitter updates and lists of 25 things about yourself add up.//It's almost hard to remember how big a paradigm shift this is. Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn't a school assignment. Unless they got a job that required producing text (like in law, advertising, or media), they'd leave school and virtually never construct a paragraph again."
literacy  writing  literature  counterintuitive  wired  education  technology  web2.0  learning  teaching  research  clive.thompson 
september 2009 by gpe
The Pushbutton Web: Realtime Becomes Real - Anil Dash
"...recently, a few key pieces have fallen into place that make it inexpensive and relatively easy to add realtime messaging as an incremental upgrade to existing websites and web applications. This set of related technologies, which I'm calling the Pushbutton platform, will yield a broad new set of capabilities for users, publishers and developers on the web. Best of all, Pushbutton technologies are free, open and decentralized, meaning that the arrival of realtime on the web will not be owned or controlled by any single company." | A few of these key pieces include: Atom and RSS; PubSubHubBub and RSS Cloud; Web Hooks.
web  innovation  time  technology  internet  development  feeds  rss  publishing  twitter  realtime 
july 2009 by gpe
How Amazon's remote deletion of e-books from the Kindle paves the way for book-banning's digital future. - By Farhad Manjoo
"The worst thing about this story isn't Amazon's conduct; it's the company's technical capabilities. Now we know that Amazon can delete anything it wants from your electronic reader. That's an awesome power, and Amazon's justification in this instance is beside the point. As our media libraries get converted to 1's and 0's, we are at risk of losing what we take for granted today: full ownership of our book and music and movie collections."
slate  kindle  amazon  book  censorship  technology  copyright  business  future 
july 2009 by gpe
Swedes miss Capri after GPS gaffe
"A Swedish couple in search of the isle of Capri drove to Carpi, an industrial town in northern Italy, because they misspelt the name in their car's GPS."
gps  bbc  technology  lost  geography  italy  europe 
july 2009 by gpe
anotherheideggerblog: Interview with Ian Bogost
"I devote a chapter to ideology in the book, but my favorite example comes from the game America's Army, which was created by the US Army as a publicity and recruiting tool. It's a multiplayer game, in which players, grouped into teams, compete against one another. In each mission, one team plays as the US Army and one plays a group of guerilla insurgents. Each has a mission objective, and the team who meets it wins.//Here's the thing: both teams think they are the US Army. Their characters wear army uniforms, and they see their opponents as insurgents. The Army did this because, well, it's a game about being in the army, and it tries to simulate the rules of engagement and other aspects of army life. Of course, this design also exposes a fundamental ideology of American military opposition: the enemy is just the same as we are, except he is evil. There's no complexity of history, no collision of different worlds, just two sides, one good and one wicked."
videogame  gaming  game  interview  heidegger  philosophy  technology  dissertation  georgia.tech  computing  military  war  army 
july 2009 by gpe
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