This week’s special guest is Stanley Wood, design director at Spotify. We talk about how to scale design as companies grow, what it takes to create consistent experiences, and how style guides never work except when they do.
In this thought-provoking episode we tackle the future of AI, the singularity, racism in science fiction, space opera, and so much more. An interview with Charles Stross. Music: Kevin MacLeod. Blind Panels is the inclusive geek podcast. It’s created by Comics Empower, the comic book store for the blind and the visually impaired. Check it out: ComicsEmpower.com
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/user-817263528/ep-38-the-future-of-science-fiction-part-3charles-stross
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:47:52 GMT Available for 30 days after download
The 15th-century Renaissance was triggered, Lloyd began, by a flood of new information which changed how people thought about everything, and the same thing is happening now.
All of us have had to shift, just in the last couple decades, from hungry hunters and gatherers of information to overwhelmed information filter-feeders.
Information is physical.
A bit can be represented by an electron here to signify 0, and there to signify 1.
Information processing is moving electrons from here to there.
But for a “qubit" in a quantum computer, an electron is both here and there at the same time, thanks to "wave-particle duality.”
Thus with “quantum parallelism” you can do massively more computation than in classical computers.
It’s like the difference between the simple notes of plainsong and all that a symphony can do—a huge multitude of instruments interacting simultaneously, playing arrays of sharps and flats and complex chords.
Quantum computers can solve important problems like enormous equations and factoring—cracking formerly uncrackable public-key cryptography, the basis of all online commerce.
With their ability to do “oodles of things at once," quantum computers can also simulate the behavior of larger quantum systems, opening new frontiers of science, as Richard Feynman pointed out in the 1980s.
Simple quantum computers have been built since 1995, by Lloyd and ever more others.
Mechanisms tried so far include: electrons within electric fields; nuclear spin (clockwise and counter); atoms in ground state and excited state simultaneously; photons polarized both horizontally and vertically; and super-conducting loops going clockwise and counter-clockwise at the same time; and many more.
To get the qubits to perform operations—to compute—you can use an optical lattice or atoms in whole molecules or integrated circuits, and more to come.
The more qubits, the more interesting the computation.
Starting with 2 qubits back in 1996, some systems are now up to several dozen qubits.
Over the next 5-10 years we should go from 50 qubits to 5,000 qubits, first in special-purpose systems but eventually in general-purpose computers.
Lloyd added, “And there’s also the fascinating field of using funky quantum effects such as coherence and entanglement to make much more accurate sensors, imagers, and detectors.”
Like, a hundred thousand to a million times more accurate.
GPS could locate things to the nearest micron instead of the nearest meter.
Even with small quantum computers we will be able to expand the capability of machine learning by sifting vast collections of data to detect patterns and move on from supervised-learning (“That squiggle is a 7”) toward unsupervised-learning—systems that learn to learn.
The universe is a quantum computer, Lloyd concluded.
Biological life is all about extracting meaningful information from a sea of bits.
For instance, photosynthesis uses quantum mechanics in a very sophisticated way to increase its efficiency.
Human life is expanding on what life has always been—an exercise in machine learning.
The evolution of MetaFilter: this week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade talk to Matt Haughey, the founder of MetaFilter, the collection of sites and communities that Paul describes as “one of the real success stories of the web.” The conversation covers Matt’s early career at Pyra Labs, the accessibility of digital technologies, his current job as a writer for Slack, and how if you spend enough time publishing online, you’ll inevitably attract the attention of two groups — trolls and lawyers.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/postlighttrackchanges/this-is-haughey-do-it
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Wed, 17 Aug 2016 01:21:19 GMT Available for 30 days after download
Jason Palmer, editor of the Espresso daily-briefing app, is joined by geneticist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford to get to the bottom of the stories told by human DNA. They discuss the genetics of sprinters, the misguided nature v nurture debate and how promiscuous humans’ forebears were.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/theeconomist/the-economist-asks-how-has-dna-shaped-the-human-race
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Sat, 20 Aug 2016 09:36:21 GMT Available for 30 days after download
The O’Reilly Security Podcast: The chilling effects of DRM, nascent pro-security industries, and the narrative power of machines.In this episode, I talk with Cory Doctorow, a journalist, activist, and science fiction writer.
We discuss the EFF lawsuit against the U.S. government, the prospect for a whole new industry of pro-security businesses, and the new W3C DRM specification.Here are some highlights from our discussion around DRM:
How to sue the government: Taking on the DCMA
We [Electronic Frontier Foundation] are representing [Bunny Huang and Matthew Green] in a case that challenges the constitutionality of Section 1201 of the DMCA. The DMCA is this notoriously complicated copyright law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, that was brought in in 1998. Section 1201 is the part that relates to bypassing digital rights management (DRM), or digital restrictions management as some people call it. The law says that it’s against the rules to bypass this, even for lawful purposes, and that it imposes very severe civil and criminal penalties. There’s a $500,000 fine and a five-year prison sentence for a first offense provided for in the statute. The law’s been on the books, obviously, for a very long time—since 1998. Given that all digital technology works by making copies, it’s hard to imagine a digital technology that can’t be used to infringe copyright; no digital technology would be legal.
Recent changes add urgency
A couple things changed in the last decade. The first is that the kinds of technologies that have access controls for copyrighted works have gone from these narrow slices (consoles and DVD players) to everything (the car in your driveway). If it has an operating system or a networking stack, it has a copyrighted work in it. Software is copyrightable, and everything has software. Therefore, manufacturers can invoke the DMCA to defend anything they’ve stuck a thin scrim of DRM around, and that defense includes the ability to prevent people from making parts. All they need to do is add a little integrity check, like the ones that have been in printers for forever, that asks, "Is this part an original manufacturer’s part, or is it a third-party part?" Original manufacturer’s parts get used; third-party parts get refused. Because that check restricts access to a copyrighted work, bypassing it is potentially a felony. Car manufacturers use it to lock you into buying original parts.
This is a live issue in a lot of domains. It’s in insulin pumps, it’s in voting machines, it’s in tractors. John Deere locks up the farm data that you generate when you drive your tractor around. If you want to use that data to find out about your soil density and automate your seed broadcasting, you have to buy that data back from John Deere in a bundle with seed from big agribusiness consortia like Monsanto, who license the data from Deere. This metastatic growth is another big change. It’s become really urgent to act now because, in addition to this consumer rights dimension, your ability to add things to your device, take it for independent service, add features, and reconfigure it are all subject to approval from manufacturers.
How this impacts security
All of this has become a no-go zone for security researchers. In the last summer, the Copyright Office entertained petitions for people who have been impacted by Section 1201 of the DMCA. Several security researchers filed a brief saying they had discovered grave defects in products as varied as voting machines, insulin pumps and cars, and they were told by their counsel that they couldn’t disclose because, in so doing, they would reveal information that might help someone bypass DRM, and thus would face felony prosecution and civil lawsuits.
When copyright overrides the First Amendment
There are some obvious problems with copyright and free speech. Copyright is a government monopoly over who can use certain combinations of words or pictures, or convey certain messages in specific language, all of which seems to conflict with First Amendment rights. In both the Eldred and Golan cases, the Supreme Court said the reason copyright is constitutional, the reason the First Amendment doesn’t trump copyright, is that copyright has these escape valves. One is fair use. The other is what’s called the traditional contours of copyright, which determine what is and isn’t copyrightable (i.e., copyright only covers expressions and not ideas, copyright doesn’t cover non-creative works, and so on). But the DRM situation is urgent. Because DRM can be used to restrict fair use, because it can trump the traditional contours, and because it has criminal penalties, we were able to bring a challenge against it. When there are criminal penalties, you don’t have to wait for someone to sue you. You can sue the government.
EFF is suing the US government to invalidate the DMCA’s DRM provisions (BoingBoing)
America’s broken digital copyright law is about to be challenged in court (The Guardian)
1201 complaint in full
This week we are looking at an article from Cloud Four and Jason Grigsby about PWAs.
In the article he talks about how to approach Progressive Web Apps not from a technical approach such as…
Add Service Worker
Do caching stuff
Dinner and cocktails
But instead the logistics of the design and approach. He talks about the tough things like
When is it an app and when is it a website?
What expectations do users have if it is one or another?
An eight-year-old boy’s encounter with a robotic toy doll ends up changing the course of technological history. With special guests Ken Goldberg and Kate Darling, we look at the uncanny world of emotional robotics. What if the dystopian future turns out to be one where the robots conquer humanity with their cuteness?
Brian Kardell (@briankardell) chats with us on Web Development and how it has evolved over the years. We discuss the beginnings of HTML, Web standards bodies, the inception of The Extensible Web Manifesto, Chapters.io, and more.
This show kicks off what hopefully will be a 10-part mini series where we talk with other businesses that, like us, make money off the web. Some of them will be freemium SaaS (Software as a Service) like us, and some will be more tangentially related. Some will be bigger than us (probably most of them), and some will be smaller.
In this episode we’re talking to Ben Callahan and Rob Harr from Sparkbox about their experience running an agency - hiring employees, forecasting cash flow, diversifying income, how Sparkbox handles apprenticeships, and how they’re handling growth.
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