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jgarber / Jason Garber

Web developer, musician, photographer, author, and suspect patent holder.

There are fifteen people in jgarber’s collective.

Huffduffed (234)

  1. The most robot-proof job of them all

    Five years ago, Marketplace explored how machines, robots and software algorithms were increasingly entering the workforce in our series "Robots Ate My Job." Now, we’re looking at what humans can do about it with a new journey to find robot-proof jobs.

    The way the Trump administration sees it, the move to harden our borders is about national security and preserving jobs in the U.S. But moving forward, the real competition for work may come from machines, software and robots. Some jobs will be replaced, some jobs will be changed and some jobs will thrive.

    Dave Rollinson is in that third category. Five years ago, Rollinson was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University studying snake robots used for search and rescue. Now he’s a co-founder of HEBI Robotics, a startup that makes electronic building blocks that serve as the shoulder, elbow or knee of almost any robot someone might construct.

    "We were kind of inspired by Lego," Rollinson said. "We want to get to the point where people can put these together as easily and intuitively as Lego." If HEBI can manage to do that, there could be a big payoff. But for now, his No. 1 worry is finding people with the right skills to hire.

    "You’ve whittled your set down to probably, like, a handful of people in the world that can really do what it is that you’re trying to do," Rollinson said. "It’s probably our No. 1 concern as we grow is just finding the right people." Across town, at Rollinson’s alma mater, they see it this way, too.

    RELATED: Say hello to your robot co-worker Trump keeps talking about trade but he should be talking robots "This is the real concern," said David Bourne, principal systems scientist at CMU’s Robotics Institute. "It’s not what jobs robots are going to steal, it’s that people aren’t going to be ready to do the jobs that they need to do."

    Bourne said the bottleneck might be lack of faculty. Many potential teachers with robotics skills are being swallowed up by private companies, like Uber, which hired away four CMU professors and 36 researchers to work on its self-driving cars.

    "Just to give you an example, in one of our programs, we had 600 applications and there were 40 spots," Bourne said. "That should give you pause. You know, there’s a lot of people that can’t do the field they want to do."

    Anca Dragan is one of those select few who can. Originally from Romania, she earned a graduate degree from Carnegie Mellon’s robotics program and now researches the interaction between humans and robots at University of California, Berkeley.

    "It was just what I was passionate about. I loved math and I did math competitions," Dragan said. "I was raised in a country where math is, like, our national sport." Her early inspiration was a book on artificial intelligence that she came across in high school, co-authored by Berkeley professor Stuart Russell.

    "Now, I get to be a colleague of Stuart’s, and he’s just a few offices away," she said. "It’s really interesting to think of where I was in 12th grade and sort of the luck that I have now."

    "Luck” in the sense that you make your own luck, but also the luck of being born in Romania, a country that honors math and science achievements. The question is can the U.S. change its culture and rewire its economy to make these skills available to the many, rather than the few?

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  2. #71 — What Is Technology Doing to Us?

    In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Tristan Harris about the arms race for human attention, the ethics of persuasion, the consequences of having an ad-based economy, the dynamics of regret, and other topics. You can support the Waking Up podcast at samharris.org/support.

    http://wakingup.libsyn.com/71-what-is-technology-doing-to-us

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  3. The Entrepreneurs: Eureka 43: Urbanito

    Eureka 43: Urbanito: Simon and Elaine MacKenzie are the husband-and-wife team behind new family-friendly city-guide brand Urbanito. While travelling with their children the Scottish duo discovered a lack of smart and stylish travel guides that catered to curious kids as well as their parents – so they decided to make one themselves. They share their story.

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  4. The Clock

    The clock was invented in 1656 and has become an essential part of the modern economy.

    There’s no such thing as “the correct time”. Like the value of money, it’s a convention that derives its usefulness from the widespread acceptance of others. But there is such a thing as accurate timekeeping. That dates from 1656, and a Dutchman named Christiaan Huygens. In the centuries since, as Tim Harford explains, the clock has become utterly essential to almost every area of the modern economy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04skkw4

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  5. Public key cryptography

    Geeks versus government – the story of public key cryptography.

    Take a very large prime number – one that is not divisible by anything other than itself. Then take another. Multiply them together. That is simple enough, and it gives you a very, very large “semi-prime” number. That is a number that is divisible only by two prime numbers. Now challenge someone else to take that semi-prime number, and figure out which two prime numbers were multiplied together to produce it. That, it turns out, is exceptionally hard. Some mathematics are a lot easier to perform in one direction than another. Public key cryptography works by exploiting this difference. And without it we would not have the internet as we know it. Tim Harford tells the story of public key cryptography – and the battle between the geeks who developed it, and the government which tried to control it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04vqrwy

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  6. Free Thinking Festival: Time, Space and Science

    Carlos Frenk, Eugenia Cheng, Jim Al-Khalili and Louisa Preston debate time and space.

    Carlos Frenk, Eugenia Cheng, Jim Al-Khalili and Louisa Preston debate time and space with presenter Rana Mitter and an audience at Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead.

    We can measure time passing but what actually is it? What do scientists mean when they suggest that time is an illusion. Can time exist in a black hole? Is everyone’s experience of time subjective? What is the connection between time and space? How does maths help us understand the universe?

    Professor Carlos Frenk is founding Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and the winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2014.

    Dr Eugenia Cheng is Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sheffield. She is trilingual, a concert-level classical pianist and the author of Beyond Infinity: An Expedition To The Outer Limits Of The Mathematical Universe.

    Jim Al-Khalili is Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific and TV documentaries. His books include Paradox: the Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science, Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines and Quantum: a Guide for the Perplexed.

    Dr Louisa Preston is a UK Space Agency Aurora Research Fellow. An astrobiologist, planetary geologist and author, she is based at Birkbeck, University of London. Her first book is Goldilocks and the Water Bears: the Search for Life in the Universe.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04z7ws1

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  7. How Aristotle Created the Computer - The Atlantic - Chris Dixon

    The philosophers he influenced set the stage for the technological revolution that remade our world.

    Read the full text version here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/03/aristotle-computer/518697/

    The history of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II. In fact, it is better understood as a history of ideas, mainly ideas that emerged from mathematical logic, an obscure and cult-like discipline that first developed in the 19th century. Mathematical logic was pioneered by philosopher-mathematicians, most notably George Boole and Gottlob Frege, who were themselves inspired by Leibniz’s dream of a universal “concept language,” and the ancient logical system of Aristotle.

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    Original video: https://soundcloud.com/user-154380542/how-aristotle-created-the-computer-the-atlantic-chris-dixon
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:21:33 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  8. 48: Progressive Enhancement | With Aaron Gustafson

    In this episode we talk about the Progressive Enhancement approach to web design and development with Aaron Gustafson. He talks us through some of the advantages of adopting Progressive Enhancement (PE) versus more traditional approaches. We also discuss barriers that might prevent us using PE and Aaron makes some useful recommendations.

    A much more in-depth discussion of the topic is available in Aaron’s book ‘Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement’.

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    Original video: https://soundcloud.com/relativepaths/48-progressive-enhancement-with-aaron-gustafson
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Fri, 14 Apr 2017 02:32:13 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  9. 47: Dogmatism | With Chris Coyier

    This was one of the most interesting, thoughtful and funny conversations we’ve had. We spoke to Chris Coyier about dogmatism (the expression of an opinion or belief as if it were a fact) in the web industry. We talked about why it happens, what we can to do be less dogmatic ourselves and how to deal with dogmatic people and their bombastic opinions.

    Our Toolstar this week was CodePen Projects, zero setup, full-featured front end web development environment, right in the browser. Chris talked us through it, and it sounds pretty great. We like all the CodePen things.

    It was a diverse Jukebox this week. I chose ‘A Tender History In Rust’ by Do Say Make Think. Ben chose ‘Eve’ by Anchorsong, it’s very Ben. And Chris chose ‘The Stable Song’ by Gregory Alan Isakov, and had a very cool story of meeting him IRL. They’ll be added to the Relative Paths Alt Playlist, or the Relative Paths Playlist as appropriate.

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    Original video: https://soundcloud.com/relativepaths/47-dogmatism-with-chris-coyier
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:32:49 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

  10. A computer learns about ingredients and recipes

    Recommendation engines are everywhere. They let Netflix suggest shows you might want to watch. They let Spotify build you a personalised playlist of music you will probably like. They turn your smartphone into a source of endless hilarity and mirth. And, of course, there’s IBM’s Watson, recommending all sorts of “interesting” new recipes. As part of his PhD project on machine learning, Jaan Altosaar decided to use a new mathematical technique to build his own recipe recommendation engine.

    The technique is similar to the kind of natural language processing that powers predictive text on a phone, and one of the attractions of using food instead of English is that there are only 2000–3000 ingredients to worry about, instead of more than 150,000 words.

    The results so far are fun and intriguing, and can only get better.

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/a-computer-learns-about-ingredients-and-recipes/

    —Huffduffed by jgarber

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