sandykoe + technology   24

Test driving the ultimate connected society: (E-)stonia – POLITICO
The result: Estonia is a world leader in digital public services and, via an e-residency program established in 2015, the Estonian government is now also an export industry.

“We want you to have an entirely online relationship with the government, from the birth certificate onward,” Chief Information Officer Siim Sikkut said, comparing his country’s efforts to the advantages Silicon Valley accumulated over other private tech clusters in the 1960s and 1970s. “If you want to monitor how your kid is doing at school, you do it via an app on your phone. If you want to pay for parking, you do it from your phone. You can vote from wherever you are in the world. All your utility transactions are available online,” Sikkut said.
[...]

The final Estonian secret: Don’t leave the revolution to software engineers.

“It is a change in management, not tech work. A messy process put online does not make it better,” Sikkut said. “If you automate stupidity, you just make stupidity faster.”
politics  policy  technology  IR 
may 2017 by sandykoe
Next Big Future: Lockheed Portable Fusion project still making progress
Aviation Week was given exclusive access to view the Skunk Works experiment, dubbed “T4,” first hand. Led by Thomas McGuire, an aeronautical engineer in the Skunk Work’s aptly named Revolutionary Technology Programs unit, the current experiments are focused on a containment vessel roughly the size of a business-jet engine. Connected to sensors, injectors, a turbopump to generate an internal vacuum and a huge array of batteries, the stainless steel container seems an unlikely first step toward solving a conundrum that has defeated generations of nuclear physicists—namely finding an effective way to control the fusion reaction.
technology  fusion  science  military  future 
october 2016 by sandykoe
Lockheed Still Supporting Portable Nuclear Generator
“This is a great example of one of our creative engineers who was very focused on solving this obviously critical national security level issue, and we are, again, making the appropriate amount of investment today,” Weiss said. “It’s basically at this stage we are increasing the temperature at which the fusion could occur, and our process for containing the reaction, and we will continue to elevate the level of the temperature and testing the containment theory.”

Weiss also confirmed the team has achieved “initial plasma,” an important early step for the reactor.
military  future  technology  science 
october 2016 by sandykoe
How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War to Crush Google Plus | Vanity Fair
No. I submit he is an old-school genius, the fiery force of nature possessed by a tutelary spirit of seemingly supernatural provenance that fuels and guides him, intoxicates his circle, and compels his retinue to be great as well. The Jefferson, the Napoléon, the Alexander... the Jim Jones, the L. Ron Hubbard, the Joseph Smith. Keeper of a messianic vision that, though mercurial and stinting on specifics, presents an overwhelming and all-consuming picture of a new and different world. Have a mad vision and you’re a kook. Get a crowd to believe in it as well and you’re a leader.
history  technology  tech 
june 2016 by sandykoe
The Untold Story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup | WIRED
THERE IS SOMETHING special happening in a generic office park in an uninspiring suburb near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Inside, amid the low gray cubicles, clustered desks, and empty swivel chairs, an impossible 8-inch robot drone from an alien planet hovers chest-high in front of a row of potted plants. It is steampunk-cute, minutely detailed. I can walk around it and examine it from any angle. I can squat to look at its ornate underside. Bending closer, I bring my face to within inches of it to inspect its tiny pipes and protruding armatures. I can see polishing swirls where the metallic surface was “milled.” When I raise a hand, it approaches and extends a glowing appendage to touch my fingertip. I reach out and move it around. I step back across the room to view it from afar. All the while it hums and slowly rotates above a desk. It looks as real as the lamps and computer monitors around it. It’s not. I’m seeing all this through a synthetic-reality headset. Intellectually, I know this drone is an elaborate simulation, but as far as my eyes are concerned it’s really there, in that ordinary office. It is a virtual object, but there is no evidence of pixels or digital artifacts in its three-dimensional fullness. If I reposition my head just so, I can get the virtual drone to line up in front of a bright office lamp and perceive that it is faintly transparent, but that hint does not impede the strong sense of it being present. This, of course, is one of the great promises of artificial reality—either you get teleported to magical places or magical things get teleported to you. And in this prototype headset, created by the much speculated about, ultrasecretive company called Magic Leap, this alien drone certainly does seem to be transported to this office in Florida—and its reality is stronger than I thought possible.
tech  future  technology 
april 2016 by sandykoe
Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine’s Power Grid | WIRED
Regardless, the successful assault holds many lessons for power generation plants and distribution centers here in the US, experts say; the control systems in Ukraine were surprisingly more secure than some in the US, since they were well-segmented from the control center business networks with robust firewalls.
business  policy  politics  security  technology 
march 2016 by sandykoe
There Will Be Netflix on Mars
The question is, how do you make the internet work in an environment as sprawling and hostile as the solar system?
technology  science  future  space 
march 2016 by sandykoe
The Quest to Unlock an Ancient Library: The Scrolls of Herculaneum - The New Yorker
More than three-quarters of the Villa dei Papiri has never been excavated at all. It wasn’t until the nineteen-nineties that archeologists realized that there are two lower floors—a vast potential warehouse of artistic treasures, awaiting discovery. A dream held by papyrologists and amateur Herculaneum enthusiasts alike is that the Bourbon tunnellers did not find the main library, that they found only an antechamber containing Philodemus’ works. The mother lode of missing masterpieces may still be there somewhere, tantalizingly close.
history  rhetoric  technology 
february 2016 by sandykoe
Research Blog: AlphaGo: Mastering the ancient game of Go with Machine Learning
We first trained the policy network on 30 million moves from games played by human experts, until it could predict the human move 57% of the time (the previous record before AlphaGo was 44%). But our goal is to beat the best human players, not just mimic them. To do this, AlphaGo learned to discover new strategies for itself, by playing thousands of games between its neural networks, and gradually improving them using a trial-and-error process known as reinforcement learning. This approach led to much better policy networks, so strong in fact that the raw neural network (immediately, without any tree search at all) can defeat state-of-the-art Go programs that build enormous search trees.
technology 
january 2016 by sandykoe
ImperialViolet - Juniper: recording some Twitter conversations
Again, as­sum­ing this hy­poth­e­sis is cor­rect then, if it wasn't the NSA who did this, we have a case where a US gov­ern­ment back­door ef­fort (Dual-EC) laid the ground­work for some­one else to at­tack US in­ter­ests.
tech  internet  technology 
january 2016 by sandykoe
Mobile, ecosystems and the death of PCs — Benedict Evans
On this basis, instead of thinking of 'tablets and smartphones' as one category and 'PCs as another, we should think of larger screen and smaller screen devices.
future  technology 
november 2015 by sandykoe
How people respond to life-changing inventions
1. I’ve never heard of it. 2. I’ve heard of it but don’t understand it. 3. I understand it, but I don’t see how it’s useful. 4. I see how it could be fun for rich people, but not me. 5. I use it, but it’s just a toy. 6. It’s becoming more useful for me. 7. I use it all the time.
8. I could not imagine life without it.
9. Seriously, people lived without it?
technology 
july 2015 by sandykoe
SpaceX founder files with government to provide Internet service from space - The Washington Post
Elon Musk’s space company has asked the federal government for permission to begin testing on an ambitious project to beam Internet service from space, a significant step forward for an initiative that could create another major competitor to Comcast, AT&T and other telecom companies.
future  technology 
june 2015 by sandykoe
Image Scaling using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks — Flipboard Engineering
This past summer I interned at Flipboard in Palo Alto, California. I worked on machine learning based problems, one of which was Image Upscaling. This post will show some preliminary results, discuss our model and its possible applications to Flipboard’s products.
technology 
may 2015 by sandykoe
Hyperloop Is Real: Meet The Startups Selling Supersonic Travel
If people could get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 20 minutes, or New York to Philly in 10, cities become metro stops and borders evaporate, along with housing price imbalances and overcrowding.
science  future  technology 
march 2015 by sandykoe

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