Archive for ‘Technology’

August 16, 2021

Context Collapse

danah boyd

Context collapse or ‘the flattening of multiple audiences into a single context’ is a term arising out of the study of human interaction on the internet, especially within social media.

It ‘generally occurs when a surfeit of different audiences occupy the same space, and a piece of information intended for one audience finds its way to another’ with that new audience or audiences’ understanding being all the stronger for failing to understand the original context.

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July 31, 2021

GPT-3

OpenAI

Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) is an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text. It is the third-generation language prediction model in the GPT-n series (and the successor to GPT-2) created by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research laboratory.

Before the release of GPT-3, the largest language model was Microsoft’s Turing NLG, introduced several months earlier with a capacity of 17 billion parameters—less than a tenth of GPT-3’s.

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July 4, 2021

TRIZ

Genrich Altshuller

TRIZ (‘theory of the resolution of invention-related tasks’) is ‘a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature.’ It was developed by Soviet inventor and science-fiction author Genrich Altshuller (1926-1998) and his colleagues, beginning in 1946.

In English the name is typically rendered as the theory of ‘inventive problem solving,’ and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.

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May 3, 2021

Synaptic Transistor

Field-effect transistor

synaptic transistor is an electrical device that can learn in ways similar to a neural synapse (the site of transmission of electric nerve impulses between two nerve cells). It optimizes its own properties for the functions it has carried out in the past.

The device mimics the behavior of the property of neurons called spike-timing-dependent plasticity, or STDP. The process adjusts the connection strengths based on the relative timing of a particular neuron’s output and input action potentials (or spikes).

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April 26, 2021

Network Telescope

Honeypot

network telescope (also known as a ‘packet telescope,’ ‘darknet,’ ‘Internet motion sensor,’ or ‘black hole’) is an Internet system that allows one to observe different large-scale events taking place on the Internet. The basic idea is to observe traffic targeting the dark (unused) address-space of the network.

Since all traffic to these addresses is suspicious, one can gain information about possible network attacks (random scanning worms, and DDoS backscatter) as well as other misconfigurations by observing it.

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March 23, 2021

Gated Reverb

Townhouse Studios

Gated reverb or gated ambience is an audio processing technique that combines strong reverb (echo) and a noise gate (attenuating signals that register below a threshold). The effect is often associated with the sound of 1980s popular music.

It was developed in 1979 by engineer Hugh Padgham and producer Steve Lillywhite while working with the artists XTC, Peter Gabriel, and Phil Collins at Townhouse Studios in London, and is most famously demonstrated in Collins’s 1981 single ‘In the Air Tonight.’

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March 1, 2021

Non-fungible Token

Nyan Cat

Ethereum

non-fungible token (NFT) is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not mutually interchangeable.[1] This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and many network or utility tokens that are fungible in nature.

Non-fungible tokens are used to create verifiable digital scarcity, as well as digital ownership, and the possibility of asset interoperability across multiple platforms.[3] NFTs are used in several specific applications that require unique digital items like crypto art, digital collectibles, and online gaming.

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January 31, 2021

Brandolini’s Law

Bullshit

Brandolini’s law, also known as the bullshit asymmetry principle, is an internet adage which emphasizes the difficulty of debunking bullshit: ‘The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than to produce it.’

It was publicly formulated the first time in January 2013 by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer. Brandolini stated that he was inspired by reading Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ right before watching an Italian political talk show with journalist Marco Travaglio and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attacking each other.

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January 2, 2021

Rocking Chair

Michael Thonet

rocking chair or rocker is a type of chair with two curved bands (also known as rockers) attached to the bottom of the legs, connecting the legs on each side to each other. The rockers contact the floor at only two points, giving the occupant the ability to rock back and forth by shifting their weight or pushing lightly with their feet. Rocking chairs are most commonly made of wood. Some rocking chairs can fold.

Rocking cradles long predate rocking chairs; an example exists from antiquity, found in the ruins of Herculaneum. Michael Thonet, a German craftsman, created the first bentwood rocking chair in 1860. This design is distinguished by its graceful shape and its light weight. These rocking chairs were influenced by Greek and Roman designs as well as Renaissance and colonial era artistry.

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December 22, 2020

Cozy Bear

Cozy Bear

Cozy Bear, classified by the U.S. as advanced persistent threat APT29, is a Russian hacker group believed to be associated with one or more intelligence agencies of Russia.

In June 2016, Cozy Bear was implicated alongside the hacker group Fancy Bear in the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks. While the two groups were both present in the DNC’s servers at the same time, they appeared to be unaware of the other, each independently stealing the same passwords and otherwise duplicating their efforts. A CrowdStrike forensic team determined that while Cozy Bear had been on the DNC’s network for over a year, Fancy Bear had only been there a few weeks. Cozy Bear’s more sophisticated tradecraft and interest in traditional long-term espionage suggest that the group originates from a separate Russian intelligence agency.

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December 21, 2020

Dogecoin

Doge

Dogecoin [dowzh-coin] (Ð) is a cryptocurrency featuring a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the ‘Doge’ Internet meme as its logo. Introduced as a ‘joke currency’ in 2013, Dogecoin quickly developed its own online community and reached a capitalization of $60 million within months.

It’s market capitalization peaked in 2018 at $2b; today it is pegged at $600m. In July 2020 the price of Dogecoin spiked following a TikTok trend aiming to get the coin’s price to $1.

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October 13, 2020

Citation Needed

xkcd

Citation needed is a tag added by Wikipedia editors to unsourced statements in articles requesting citations to be added. The phrase is reflective of the policies of verifiability and no original research in Wikipedia and has become a general Internet meme.

By Wikipedia policy, editors should add citations for content, to ensure accuracy and neutrality, and to avoid original research. In June 2005, Chris Sherlock, a Wikipedia editor with the username Ta bu shi da yu, created the ‘citation needed’ template, to be added to statements without a citation that needed verification. 413,038 articles in the English Wikipedia are currently marked with the template.