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Category Archive: Technology

Jul 09 2014

I’ve got to buy a Roku now?

They seem to be nifty little devices, and now I have one more reason to get one. American Atheists announced Wednesday that it has set Tuesday, July 29, 2014, as the official date for the launch of Atheist TV, the world’s first television channel dedicated to atheist content, on Roku. The national atheist nonprofit will …

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Jun 10 2014

Correcting the bad reporting

I complained about the credulous media coverage of the so-called landmark success at the Turing test yesterday. That was the first flush of press release regurgitation; fortunately, there’s been a strong rebound of sensible journalism now. Gary Marcus talks about failing the Turing test, Scott Aaronson has a chat with Eugene Goostman, and Mike Masnick …

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Jun 09 2014

Media fails to pass the Turing test

I don’t get it — there are news reports everywhere credulously claiming that the Turing Test has been successfully passed, and they are all saying exactly the same thing: that over 30% of the judges couldn’t tell that a program called Eugene Goostman wasn’t a 13 year old boy from Odessa with limited language skills. …

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Jun 05 2014

Albert Einstein was not your prophet

fakeeinsteinquote

This photo has been making the rounds for a while — it’s garbage, Snopes suggests that there is no corroboration for the quote, and the commenters agreeing with the sentiment are idiots. Who are using technology to talk about it. I look at that bottom photo and see five women interacting intensely with a larger …

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Jun 02 2014

Trolls, there is a purpose to your life at last

John Oliver asks that you use your vast powers to rescue Net Neutrality. It’s like your whole life has been building to this moment. Go to fcc.gov/comments and spew. Spew like you’ve never spewed before.

May 26 2014

What are we going to do about Amazon?

I was reading a summary of Amazon’s bullying of Hachette — basically, Amazon used it’s near-monopoly power to shut out an independent publisher — and that, on top of it’s labor practices, tells me I need to find a way out of the Amazon trap before they become a full monopoly. But here’s the catch: …

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May 07 2014

Who wants robot bees?

This short film is intended to “raise awareness of the growing disappearance of honey bees”, a worthy goal, but all I could think while watching it is “ROBOT BEES ARE AWESOME!” I doubt that is the response they want. Besides, we’re nowhere near making tiny robots as elegant as real bees. GREENPEACE – NEW BEES …

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Apr 29 2014

A new programming language, Avail

Look it over, the Avail Programming Language was released to the public just today. (What a random thing for me to mention, you might be thinking…until you look at the credits.)

Apr 05 2014

What’s causing the boom in atheism?

LosingReligion

It is only appropriate that now, while I’m at Skep-Tech 2, we should get an article about the influence of technology on religion. It seems to be primarily corrosive. Back in 1990, about 8 percent of the U.S. population had no religious preference. By 2010, this percentage had more than doubled to 18 percent. That’s …

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Mar 31 2014

My future tattoo

I, for one, welcome our glorious future of ubiquitous computing. Researchers have come up with a temporary tattoo that functions as a computer, complete with processing power, data storage, and wireless data reception and transmission. Also, drugs. The researchers constructed the device by layering a package of stretchable nanomaterials — sensors that detect temperature and …

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