Archive for ‘Technology’

May 2, 2022

Accidental Discovery

Author and researcher Royston Roberts has said that various discoveries required a degree of genius, but also some lucky element for that genius to act on.  Author Richard Gaughan wrote that accidental discoveries result from the convergence of preparation, opportunity, and desire.

Major everyday discoveries that were helped by luck in some way include products like vulcanized rubber, teflon, nylon, penicillin, cyanoacrylate (Super Glue), the implantable pacemaker, the microwave oven, Scotchgard, Saran wrap, Silly Putty, Slinky, safety glass, the propeller, artificial snowmaking, stainless steel, Perkin’s mauve (one of the first synthetic dyes), and popsicles. Most artificial sweeteners have been discovered when accidentally tasted, including aspartame and saccharin.

read more »

January 25, 2022

Hot Mic

We begin bombing in five minutes

hot mic is an error in which a microphone is switched on or remains on, especially without the speaker realizing, allowing unintended listeners to hear parts of conversations not intended for public consumption.

Such errors usually involve live broadcasting in radio or television, and sometimes material is recorded and played back via media outlets. Hot mic events can cause embarrassment for the person or organization involved, sometimes resulting in serious confrontations and employment termination.

read more »

December 28, 2021

DAO

The DAO

decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), sometimes called a decentralized autonomous corporation (DAC), is an organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members and not influenced by a central government.

A DAO’s financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain. The precise legal status of this type of business organization is unclear.

read more »

October 22, 2021

Locksport

Lock picking

Locksport is the sport or recreation of defeating locking systems. Its enthusiasts learn including lock picking, lock bumping, and a variety of other skills traditionally known only to locksmiths and other security professionals.

Lock picking has existed for as long as locks have, and recreational lock picking has as well. King Louis XVI of France (1754–1793) was a keen designer, picker and manipulator of locks.

read more »

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.

read more »

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.

read more »

July 25, 2021

The Diamond Age

Engines of Creation

The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer’ is a 1995 science fiction novel by American writer Neal Stephenson. It is to some extent a Bildungsroman or coming-of-age story, focused on a young girl named Nell, set in a future world in which nanotechnology affects all aspects of life. The novel deals with themes of education, social class, ethnicity, and the nature of artificial intelligence.

The book contains descriptions of various exotic technologies, such as the chevaline (a mechanical horse that can fold up and is light enough to be carried one-handed), and forecasts the use of technologies that are in development today, such as smart paper that can show personalized news headlines. Major cities have immune systems made up of aerostatic defensive micromachines, and public matter compilers provide basic food, blankets, and water for free to anyone who requests them.

read more »

Tags: ,
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.

read more »

Tags:
June 28, 2021

Extremely Online

dril

To be extremely online (often capitalized) means to be closely engaged with Internet culture. People said to be extremely online often believe that online posts are very important.

Events and phenomena can themselves be extremely online; while often used as a descriptive term, extreme onlineness has been described as ‘both a reformation of the delivery of ideas – shared through words and videos and memes and GIFs and copypasta – and the ideas themselves.’ It has been said that ”online’ can be thought of as a way of doing things, not the place they are done.’

read more »

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).

read more »

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.

read more »

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.’

read more »