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"Minority Report" turns into reality

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  • "Minority Report" turns into reality

    Absolutely fascinating lecture about the "Sixth Sense" technology being developed at the MIT media lab. A bright silver lining amongst all the gloomy news out there. We need more of such guys than bright people becoming financial quants.








  • #2
    Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

    Originally posted by ViC78 View Post
    Absolutely fascinating lecture about the "Sixth Sense" technology being developed at the MIT media lab. A bright silver lining amongst all the gloomy news out there. We need more of such guys than bright people becoming financial quants.
    Just wait till he gets a wife and 2-3 kids, mortgage, and inflation knocking on the door. He'll be gunning for wall street and they will welcome him with open arms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

      Absolutely amazing! Can you imagine a speech application for this? Allowing sign language to be translated directly into spoken words via a small speaker, with perhaps a pair of glasses that allow the lip-read words of the non-sign speaker to be displayed in a HUD (heads-up display) fashion for the hearing-impaired wearer?

      Perhaps the future holds many plain white walls...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

        Vic, this post never got enough play/attention on iTulip.

        Lets bring it back.............

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

          adding to the cultural mix . . .

          June 19, 2012
          He Has Seen the Internet, and It Is Us

          By DWIGHT GARNER

          TUBES


          A Journey to the Center of the Internet

          By Andrew Blum
          294 pages. Ecco. $26.99.


          The title of Andrew Blum’s first book, “Tubes,” is a tacit and playful acknowledgment of something the world’s digerati have long known: Ted Stevens was right.

          You remember Ted Stevens. He’s the former Alaska senator who, in 2006, described the Internet as “a series of tubes.” For this he was roundly satirized, especially on late-night television. He was an easy target. He seemed cranky and out of touch. He looked like the kind of guy who didn’t know the difference between the ROTC and ROTFL.

          The phrase “a series of tubes” felt — and feels — like an insult to this ethereal network, which has come to resemble both the air we breathe and an intimate extension of our nervous systems. Mr. Stevens’s comment was the equivalent of reducing sex to our wobbly bits, or religion to votive candles.

          Mr. Blum is a correspondent for Wired magazine, which happily is not called Tubes magazine. His quixotic and winning book is an attempt to comprehend the physical realities of the Internet, to describe how this seemingly intangible thing is actually constructed. Early on, he lays down this bedrock assertion, which is worth quoting at modest length:

          “I have confirmed with my own eyes that the Internet is many things, in many places. But one thing it most certainly is, nearly everywhere, is, in fact, a series of tubes. There are tubes beneath the ocean that connect London and New York. Tubes that connect Google and Facebook. There are buildings filled with tubes, and hundreds of thousands of miles of roads and railroad tracks, beside which lie buried tubes. Everything you do online travels through a tube.”

          Reading this, you wish Mr. Stevens, who died in an airplane crash in 2010, were here to savor it. “Inside those tubes (by and large) are glass fibers,” the author continues. “Inside those fibers is light. Encoded in that light is, increasingly, us.”

          In “Tubes,” Mr. Blum travels the globe, visiting vast data warehouses, which tend to be in the boonies, and giant Internet exchanges where multiple networks meet, the largest of which are in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and London. He witnesses the laying of undersea cables, and he spooks around in what he calls “signal-haunted buildings where glass fibers fill copper tubes built for the telegraph.” He learns that the Internet in many places has a smell, one he describes as “an odd but distinctive mix of industrial strength air-conditioners and the ozone released by capacitors.” This scent he breathes deeply, as alert to its nuances as Robert M. Parker is when inhaling from a glass of 1787 Chateau Yquem.

          Mr. Blum is an unobtrusive writer, yet one with a knack for bundling packets of data into memorable observations. Dense layers of cables suggest to him a “data center mille-feuille.” In an Internet cafe near Palo Alto, Calif., ground zero for America’s digital faithful, the patrons “reminded me of priests in Rome, fingering smartphones rather than rosary beads, but similarly sticking close, for reasons both practical and spiritual, to the center of power.”

          Watching a technician fuse together fibers in undersea cables that have been pulled to the surface, he writes: “The work became increasingly delicate: He worked first like a butcher, then a fisherman, then a sous-chef, now finally a jeweler, as he held each fiber between his pursed lips.”

          Mr. Blum’s book flickers with the remnants of his own reading. He’s as familiar with Thoreau and Emerson as he is with Walter Benjamin, the author of “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” and the dystopian science-fiction writer J. G. Ballard.

          What truly animates Mr. Blum, however, and what makes “Tubes” more than an unusual sort of travel book, is his sense of moral curiosity that tips over into moral outrage. “I’d feel better about outsourcing my life to machines if I could at least know where they were, who controls them, and who put them there,” he declares. He adds: “The great global scourges of modern life are always made worse by not knowing.”

          In one of this book’s best scenes Mr. Blum visits an important Google data center in central Oregon, a popular locale because of its cold and dry weather, limiting the need for air-conditioning to keep the machines cool. Google gives him the runaround, refusing to show him little more than the lunchroom.

          The Orwell in him emerges. The company’s “primary colors and childlike playfulness no longer seemed friendly,” he says. “They made me feel like a schoolkid. This was the company that arguably knows the most about us, but it was being the most secretive about itself.”

          What Mr. Blum calls “the condescending purr of ‘we’ll take care of that for you’ ” puts him in mind of slaughterhouses. “If we’re entrusting so much of who we are to large companies, they should entrust us with a sense of where they’re keeping it all, and what it looks like.”

          The reporting in “Tubes” didn’t lead the author to many grand vistas or scenic sites. “I had tried to prepare myself for this — for the possibility of banality, of an apparently unremarkable black box,” he writes about visiting the nerve center of the Internet exchange in Frankfurt. “This was like visiting Gettysburg: It’s just a bunch of fields.”

          Yet he does consider many contentious issues, including security and terrorism. When Mr. Blum visits an important Internet service provider in Milwaukee, an engineer says to him, “All this talk about Homeland Security, but look what someone could do in here with a chain saw.” That’s a bit of local paranoia; some of the situations discussed here are global in their dark import. In 2007, he notes, Scotland Yard broke up a Qaeda plot to destroy the London Internet Exchange from the inside.

          This valuable book leaves you with its share of unsettling visions, but there are comic ones too. At the London exchange, Mr. Blum is forced to step into a small, cylindrical, high-tech glass space that verifies the identities of employees and visitors and checks for theft. Inside it the author lets out “a burst of uncontrolled laughter, a loud snorting guffaw.”

          He adds: “I couldn’t help it: I was inside a tube!”


          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/bo..._r=1&ref=books

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          • #6
            Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

            Haha, that's good and funny!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

              Lovely, further integration of the "real" (if we can even call it that any more) with the "virtual", creating a hyperreality where everything is simultaneously true & false, and control is in the hands of those that control data and processing power.

              Why does no one discuss the morality or future implications of these child-like toys? Are we all supposed to applaud every new toy without assessing its societal impact? Are there any adults left in the room?
              The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge ~D Boorstin

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                Originally posted by reggie View Post
                Why does no one discuss the morality or future implications of these child-like toys? Are we all supposed to applaud every new toy without assessing its societal impact? Are there any adults left in the room?
                the short answer . . .


                no



                Jim Quinn's partial answer . . .


                The middle class has a gut feeling they are being screwed by somebody, they just can’t figure out who to blame. The ultra-wealthy elite keep up an endless cacophony of propaganda and misinformation designed to confuse an increasingly uneducated and willfully ignorant public while blurring the facts for those educated few capable of understanding the truth. They have been able to keep the masses dumbed down through government run education; distracted by sports, reality TV, Facebook, internet porn, and i-gadgets; lured by mass media messages of materialism; and shackled with the chains of debt used to acquire the goods sold by mega-corporations. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-...e-class-part-2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                  Wow, that video was awesome! It's 3 years later. What happened to this guy and all his inventions?
                  Warning: Network Engineer talking economics!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                    Originally posted by don/jim quinn
                    the short answer . . .
                    Jim Quinn's partial answer . . .


                    ...endless cacophony of propaganda and misinformation designed to confuse an increasingly uneducated and willfully ignorant public while blurring the facts for those educated few capable of understanding the truth. ....
                    The Truth? (my fantasy here is that jack plays lord blankfein (on the stand, in some future courtroom scene) - tho its quite unclear who tom cruise will be playing, but... well... we can still dream, right?)




                    (and please realize that i'm rooting for tom here.... that and the rest of jack's lines after one of the most memorable in cinamatic history doesnt apply to my little fantasy above ;)
                    Last edited by lektrode; 06-22-12, 02:47 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                      Originally posted by don View Post
                      The middle class has a gut feeling they are being screwed by somebody, they just can’t figure out who to blame. The ultra-wealthy elite keep up an endless cacophony of propaganda and misinformation designed to confuse an increasingly uneducated and willfully ignorant public while blurring the facts for those educated few capable of understanding the truth. They have been able to keep the masses dumbed down through government run education; distracted by sports, reality TV, Facebook, internet porn, and i-gadgets; lured by mass media messages of materialism; and shackled with the chains of debt used to acquire the goods sold by mega-corporations. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-...e-class-part-2
                      Eric Voegelin was quite critical of the abyss that academics & intellectual leaders fell into in the 20th Century. What do you call it when they fall from the abyss into a deeper hole, 'cause that's where they are now.

                      “I have seen the future and it doesn’t work.”
                      Zardoz (1974)
                      Last edited by reggie; 06-23-12, 08:56 PM.
                      The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge ~D Boorstin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                        Originally posted by reggie View Post
                        Eric Voegelin was quite critical of the abyss that academics & intellectual leaders fell into in the 20th Century. What do you call it when they fall from the abyss into a deeper hole, 'cause that's where they are now.
                        “Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.”
                        – Oscar Ameringer
                        Ed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                          "When all is said and done, more is said than done"

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                          • #14
                            Re: "Minority Report" turns into reality

                            Originally posted by FRED View Post
                            “Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.” – Oscar Ameringer
                            Politics is kybernetike ('an art of navigation' .... governing a community) ~ Plato
                            The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge ~D Boorstin

                            Comment

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