Thursday, September 1, 2016

Friday Thinking 2 Sept 2016

Hello all – Friday Thinking is a humble curation of my foraging in the digital environment. My purpose is to pick interesting pieces, based on my own curiosity (and the curiosity of the many interesting people I follow), about developments in some key domains (work, organization, social-economy, intelligence, domestication of DNA, energy, etc.)  that suggest we are in the midst of a change in the conditions of change - a phase-transition. That tomorrow will be radically unlike yesterday.

Many thanks to those who enjoy this.
In the 21st Century curiosity will SKILL the cat.
Jobs are dying - work is just beginning.

“Be careful what you ‘insta-google-tweet-face’”
Woody Harrelson - Triple 9


Ingenious Power Tool Uses Machine Vision to Make Perfect Cuts

“It is a well-known axiom that what is not measured can’t be managed” (Kaplan and Porter in the opening of their 2011 Harvard Business Review article “How to solve the cost crisis in health care”). This is well-known all right, and false, not to mention downright silly.

Who ever successfully measured culture, leadership, even the potential for a truly new product? Can none of these thus be managed? Did Kaplan and Porter measure the effectiveness of their own recommendations? Indeed, who has even tried to measure the performance of measurement itself, aside from assuming that it is marvelous? And how about measuring the performance of management? (Don’t tell me that increase in share price does this for the CEO. (See “The tricky task of measuring managers.”) I guess, therefore, measurement and management can’t be managed.

Guess what? They can. We just have to understand that many of the things that matter most in organizations (and in life) cannot be measured, yet they have to be managed, whether personally or organizationally. Certainly we have to measure what we can; we just cannot allow ourselves to be mesmerized by measurement―which we so often are.

Henry Mintzberg - Analyst: Analyze Thyself

"The great thing about trans-science is that you can keep on doing research," Sarewitz observes, "You can...create the sense that we're gaining knowledge...without getting any closer to a final or useful answer." Some contemporary trans-scientific questions: "Are biotech crops necessary to feed the world?" "Does exposure to synthetic chemicals deform penises?" "Do open markets benefit all countries?" "What will the costs of man-made global warming be in a century?" "What can be done about rising obesity rates?" "Does standardized testing improve educational outcomes?" All of these depend on debatable assumptions or are subject to confounders that make it impossible to be sure that the correlations uncovered are actually causal.

... the most valuable scientific institutions will be those that are held accountable and give scientists incentives to solve urgent concrete problems.

Most Scientific Findings Are Wrong or Useless

LIGO and Virgo have already performed a staggering feat. Consider the properties of the September 14 event: the signal was generated by two objects, each roughly 35 times the mass of our Sun, locked in a decaying orbit the size of Switzerland, circling each other 50 times a second. The energy involved was staggering, briefly exceeding that of all the starlight in the Universe, but the signal that reached Earth was among the most imperceptible things that humans have ever measured. As gravitational-wave detections make the transition from sensational discoveries to routine tools for astrophysics and cosmology, the invisible shaking of space will, paradoxically, illuminate parts of the Universe that were entirely dark until now.

Gravitational waves will bring the extreme universe into view

This is an interesting article - another in a recent line of reflection about how we do science. An interesting note is that it confirms that the context of influence can have to both guide and legitimate what science we do and how we do it.
"Academic science, especially, has become an onanistic enterprise worthy of Swift or Kafka," Sarewitz declares. He wants end-user constituencies—patient advocacy groups, environmental organizations, military planners—outside of academia to have a much bigger say in setting the goals for publicly funded research. "The questions you ask are likely to be very different if your end goal is to solve a concrete problem, rather than only to advance understanding," he argues. "That's why the symbiosis between science and technology is so powerful: the technology provides focus and discipline for the science."

Most Scientific Findings Are Wrong or Useless

“Science isn’t self-correcting, it’s self-destructing.”
"Science, the pride of modernity, our one source of objective knowledge, is in deep trouble." So begins "Saving Science," an incisive and deeply disturbing essay by Daniel Sarewitz at The New Atlantis. As evidence, Sarewitz, a professor at Arizona State University's School for Future Innovation and Society, points to reams of mistaken or simply useless research findings that have been generated over the past decades.

A 2015 editorial in The Lancet observed that "much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue." A 2015 British Academy of Medical Sciences report suggested that the false discovery rate in some areas of biomedicine could be as high as 69 percent. In an email exchange with me, the Stanford biostatistician John Ioannidis estimated that the non-replication rates in biomedical observational and preclinical studies could be as high as 90 percent.

And there's a bigger problem. In his 1972 essay "Science and Trans-Science," the physicist Alvin Weinberg noted that science is increasingly being asked to address such issues as the deleterious side effects of new technologies, or how to deal with social problems such as crime and poverty. These are questions that "though they are, epistemologically speaking, questions of fact and can be stated in the language of science, they are unanswerable by science; they transcend science." Such trans-scientific questions inevitably involve values, assumptions, and ideology. Consequently, attempting to answer trans-scientific questions, Weinberg wrote, "inevitably weaves back and forth across the boundary between what is known and what is not known and knowable."

This is a great discussion of the potential for distributed ledger technology (Blockchain) to transform and disrupt many of our institutions and enable whole new forms of self-governing organizations.In particular this example of what Estonia is enabling is a must read.
For now Estonia is the only country to offer eCitizenship to non-Estonian nationals. But we might be looking at a very different world a few years down the line, once other countries start offering similar programs.
All of a sudden we could live in a world where nations compete for citizens, just as in a free market, where companies compete for consumers.

Citizen Chain

...the future outlook becomes a bit brighter as we look at the e-Residency program that the Estonian government has recently introduced: citizens of any nationality can now become an eResident of Estonia, with equal rights to Estonian citizens when it comes to running a business: “e-Residency offers to every world citizen a government-issued digital identity and the opportunity to run a trusted company online, unleashing the world’s entrepreneurial potential.“

The Republic of Estonia is the first country to offer e-Residency: a transnational digital identity available to anyone in the world interested in administering a location-independent business online. The e-Residency program offers secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online. Estonian e-Residents can:
  • Digitally sign documents and contracts
  • Verify the authenticity of signed documents
  • Encrypt and transmit documents securely
  • Establish an Estonian company online
This program is still in early beta, and there are challenges to overcome. But once they are overcome, and that is only a matter of time, just imagine what could happen if other countries start offering similar residency programs.

This is a MUST VIEW 4min talk by Stuart Kauffman discussion the difference between a subcritical system vs supercritical system - doesn’t matter if the system is producing molecules or is an economy.

Stuart Kauffman - Do General Principles Govern All Science?

Are there 'general principles' that encompass all sciences, which have explanatory strength from physics to biology? Could such general principles even explain actions and activities beyond the physical and biological sciences, such as in psychology, sociology and economics? What would such commonalities mean about our world and about us?
A few more questions answered by Kauffman.
A clear, simple accessible explanation of the adjacent possible.

Does the Cosmos have a Reason?

Part of the question of why the universe is complex

Why Fine-Tuning Seems Designed

You can’t prestate the phase-space of the biosphere - hence there is no ‘entailing law’.

Is the World Self-Organizing?

The view that there is a single entailing law of the Universe - is profoundly wrong.

Can Science Provide Ultimate Answers?

This is a MUST VIEW 55min talk about the possibilities of governance in the digital environment.
If you start to map the journey - the journey of a building is not the plan - it’s a social organization. And the problem is, all our mapping technologies are still focused on the plan - we don’t know how to communicate this stuff properly.
We may be one crisis away from a universal basic income.

Indy Johar - Democratizing cities

“Multiple actors understanding their interdependencies is the first leverage of change”

In this keynote, architect Indy Johar takes on the important task of zooming out, discussing multi stakeholder systems and what a 21st century town hall should look like.

Even mainstream strategic organizations are realizing the looming change in conditions of change. The infographic is well worth the view - it provides a great summary.
  • The efficiencies created by peer-to-peer networks in an increasing number of industries will fuel continued growth of the sharing economy.
  • Urbanization in developing countries, especially China and India, will drive more interest in the services offered by peer-to-peer platforms.
  • Some countries could be forced to loosen their restrictions on the transfer of information as the economic need for cross-border data flow increases.

The World's Economies Are Learning to Share

One of the most profound — and potentially disruptive — developments in the world's economy over past five years has been the rapid growth of the so-called "sharing economy." The technologically driven networks underpinning the concept, also known as the peer-to-peer (P2P) economy, have grown so much that many countries are trying to add P2P to their official gross domestic product data to better monitor the sector's development. Recently, a P2P technology platform was at the center of one of the largest acquisitions in China's history, when Chinese network transportation company Didi Chuxing agreed to acquire Uber's China operations for $35 billion. Technological advancements, specifically in communications, have already brought substantial changes to a number of sectors, and with continued double-digit growth, the P2P economy will transform more industries in the future.

Changing technologies will affect how nation-states and countries evolve. China's rising importance in the global consumption economy and, by extension, all aspects of the sharing economy, will continue to influence the country's relations with tech companies, as Uber discovered. Moreover, the P2P economy itself will continue to contribute to substantial changes in the financial and banking sectors and have profound effects on the way that countries urbanize. However, the P2P economy is just one part of a much broader and more important long-term evolution that will shift influence and power away from the nation-state and toward other actors, or networks of actors, within the economic system. Even though P2P platforms are often public or open by nature, many P2P platforms in heavily regulated sectors will likely become closed, under the control of an organization, rather than open-sourced.

Well whatever can be automated will be - this give us a glimpse of a possible future of financial markets. It’s an interesting read.

How This Hedge Fund Robot Outsmarted Its Human Master

Yoshinori Nomura felt like weeping. It was the morning of June 24, Brexit day, and markets were moving against him.
Well, not against him, exactly. It was the hedge fund manager’s self-learning computer program that had placed the bet, selling Japanese stock-index futures before a sizable market advance. Nomura had anticipated a rally, but decided not to interfere, and his fund was paying the price.

Then, in an instant, everything changed. When new vote counts signaled Britain was going to leave the European Union, a burst of selling sent Japanese shares to their biggest drop in five years. By luck or design, Nomura’s Simplex Equity Futures Strategy Fund ended the day with a 3.4 percent gain, one of its best results in three months of trading.

“The machine was right after all,’’ said Nomura, who spent more than three years refining his trading program and now oversees about 3.5 billion yen ($35 million) in the fund, one of the first in Japan to utilize artificial intelligence technology.

The Blockchain - Distributed Ledger technology continues to make inroad with the major banks and in the finance industry.
"We believe that distributed ledger technology has the potential to change the way our market operates end-to-end, reduce risk and costs for our clients, speed-up the settlement process for investors, and support new services for listed companies. It offers a unique opportunity for Australia to be a leader in the assessment of innovative market solutions.”

Major stock exchange completes blockchain trial for replacement settlement system

Australia’s largest Stock Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), recently published its Annual Report, revealing the company's progress and near-future plans for its blockchain, or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), projects.

ASX is one of the world’s leading financial markets, with a total market capitalization of around $1.5 trillion. Employing a team of 530 people, their customers include 6.7 million share owners, 180 participants and, according to the annual report, 2,204 listed companies and issuers.

The company announced in January that it was going to develop solutions for the Australian equity market using blockchain technology. A partnership with Blythe Masters' Digital Asset Holdings followed shortly after, with an investment of A$14.9 million in the US-based firm.

The exchange has now completed the initial phase of its DLT testing, and their blockchain prototype has “met performance, security and scalability thresholds.” The same technology is now being developed as a potential system to replace its 20-year-old clearing and settlement system.

This is a vital concern for enabling a 21st Century civilization - it’s importance cannot be underestimated.

Renewable Power Future Needs Facilitative Power Grid

Can America’s power grid accommodate a more dominant role for renewables in the energy mix? As the grid stands today, the answer is no. Our society is putting increasing demands on electric infrastructure that wasn’t designed for today needs — much less what we’re asking of it to support a cleaner energy future. Modern, robust and flexible infrastructure for delivering electricity generation over long distances is essential to the nation’s successful transition to a larger share of renewable energy.

The fact is, the current grid is outdated and inadequate for the task of tapping America’s virtually unlimited clean energy resources. Seventy percent of high-voltage transmission lines and power transformers — the backbone system of electricity delivery — are over 25 years old. In fact, the majority of our grid was built more than 30 years ago — long before we fell in love with modern-day electronics and before electric cars became a viable solution for drivers.

We need to overhaul our nation’s electricity transmission system, creating one with the capacity to carry renewable energy resources to where they’re needed well into the future. As we move toward greater use of renewable resources, a remodeled grid will be needed to facilitate the balancing of associated intermittent flows on the system when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

Unlike renewable generating facilities, transmission projects can take up to 10 years to complete, from conception through regional planning processes, to state siting and then ultimately to the construction phase. That’s why we need a more proactive approach to grid planning, done in concert with generation planning.

Sometime change comes very slowly - until it very fast. The graphs in this article say it very clearly.

King Coal is dethroned in the US – and that’s good news for the environment

This is the worst year in decades for U.S. coal. During the first six months of 2016, U.S. coal production was down a staggering 28 percent compared to 2015, and down 33 percent compared to 2014. For the first time ever, natural gas overtook coal as the top source of U.S. electricity generation last year and remains that way. Over the past five years, Appalachian coal production has been cut in half and many coal-burning power plants have been retired.

This is a remarkable decline. From its peak in 2008, U.S. coal production has declined by 500 million tons per year – that’s 3,000 fewer pounds of coal per year for each man, woman and child in the United States. A typical 60-foot train car holds 100 tons of coal, so the decline is the equivalent of five million fewer train cars each year, enough to go twice around the earth.

And here’s some more good news - although it’s not ready for primetime yet - it holds a lot of promise.

Breakthrough could mean sharply lower energy use in making plastics

A new technology could dramatically reduce the costs and carbon emissions from plastics manufacturing by eliminating the need for large amounts of heat used in traditional processes, researchers from Exxon Mobil and the Georgia Institute of Technology said Thursday.

The new system, still under development, is 50 times more energy efficient and could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 45 million tons globally per year - the equivalent emissions of 5 million U.S. homes, Exxon Mobil said. The industry also could save $2 billion annually in energy costs.

The findings and a description of the technology, jointly developed by Exxon Mobil and Georgia Tech scientists, were published Thursday in the prominent scientific journal Science.

There has been a very significant concern about water scarcity in the coming years, good news may not be far off - no further than zero marginal cost energy and the ocean. This next article is only a design - but it is both beautiful and plausible - well worth the look.

Solar-powered Pipe desalinates 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for California

The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water, which will be significant, need not blight the landscape. Designs like The Pipe demonstrate how the provision of public services like these can be knitted into everyday life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the solar-powered plant deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean.

“Above, solar panels provide power to pump seawater through an electromagnetic filtration process below the pool deck, quietly providing the salt bath with its healing water and the city with clean drinking water,” the design team writes in their brief. “The Pipe represents a change in the future of water.”

According to Khalili Engineers, their design, a long gleaming thing visible from Santa Monica Pier, is capable of generating 10,000 MWh each year, which will in turn produce 4.5 billion liters (or 1.5 billion gallons) of drinking water. Given the current drought throughout California, and the dearth of water in general, a variety of urban micro generators such as this can complement utility-scale energy generation.

This is a great TED Talk - well worth the listen - a metalevel of our own microbial profile - but very significantly how evolution may be a lot more about collaboration than about competition.

Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

And here’s an indication that evolution is a condition that stimulates adaptation - with the domestication of DNA - it is plausible that within a decade we will understand how to tweak plant gene expressions to increase CO2 uptake in plants.
"In particular, we predict from these gene expression data that planetary greening will continue -- it won't switch off or become acclimated as CO2 continues to rise, but some of the extra carbon in future plants is likely to go into secondary chemicals for plant defence. This is associated with more gene expression underpinning plant respiration."

Molecular signature shows plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2

Plants are adapting to increasing atmospheric CO2 according to a new study.The research provides insight into the long-term impacts of rising CO2 and the implications for global food security and nature conservation.

This is only a mouse study - but….!!

Rapamycin treated mice lived up to 60 percent longer

Geroscience researchers studying the biology of aging briefly treated middle-aged mice with the drug rapamycin to gauge the long-term effects of short-term therapy on health and longevity.
The most-senior mouse in the study was Ike, the namesake of a relative of one of the researchers. The mouse Ike lived 1400 days. For a person, that would be like hailing a 140th year birthday.

Rapamycin, approved by the Food & Drug Administration for certain organ transplant recipients, is already known to extend life in mice and delay some age-related problems in rodents and humans.

Still, many questions prevail about when, how much and how long to administer rapamycin, what its mechanisms of action are in promoting healthy aging, and ways to avoid serious side effects.

Scientists at the University of Washington, University of Missouri, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center explored some of these issues.

There’s a lot of new progress on the domestication DNA horizon - here’s an important reason we have to get over the myths of GMO foods - at least those that aren’t produced to support bad business models. This is an important issue and this article is well worth the read.
In June 2016, 107 Nobel laureates signed a letter urging Greenpeace and its supporters to abandon their campaign against GMOs, and against Golden Rice in particular

Modified rice has five times the zinc and iron could save over 1 million lives each year

By modifying rice to enrich its nutritional value for people growing it in developing countries, a University of Melbourne researcher is helping prevent iron-deficiency anaemia and maternal mortality

Being able to prevent anemia and micronutrient deficiency in nearly two billion poor people will save over a million lives each year, prevent stunting which reduces IQ and boost productivity and GDP by over 20%. Success in this public health area would be one of the biggest things in reducing world poverty and improving public health in those countries.

Zinc deficiency is a major cause of stunting among children. About 165 million children with stunted growth run a risk of compromised cognitive development and physical capability. The IQ scores of the severely stunted children at eight years of age were 11 points lower than those of the children who were not stunted. When the children in the study were tested again at age 11, those who had been most severely stunted at age 2 still scored lower on the intelligence test than children who had not been stunted, although the gap was narrower at about 5 IQ points.

And here’s an example of domesticating DNA for manufacturing.
The results surpassed the team’s expectations as the synthetic, tryptophan-infused nanowires were 2,000 times more conductive than their natural counterparts. And they were more durable and much smaller, with a diameter of 1.5 nanometers (over 60,000 times thinner than a human hair)—which means that thousands of nanowires could possibly be stored in the tiniest spaces.

Down to the Wire: ONR Researchers and New Bacteria

Scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have genetically modified a common soil bacteria to create electrical wires that not only conduct electricity, but are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.

The ONR-sponsored researchers—led by microbiologist Dr. Derek Lovley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst—say their engineered wires can be produced using renewable “green” energy resources like solar energy, carbon dioxide or plant waste; are made of non-toxic, natural proteins; and avoid harsh chemical processes typically used to create nanoelectronic materials.

The centerpiece of Lovley’s work is Geobacter, a bacteria that produces microbial nanowires—hair-like protein filaments protruding from the organism—enabling it to make electrical connections with the iron oxides that support its growth in the ground. Although Geobacter naturally carries enough electricity for its own survival, the current is too weak for human use, but is enough to be measured with electrodes.

Lovley’s team tweaked the bacteria’s genetic makeup to replace two amino acids naturally present in the wires with tryptophan—which is blamed (incorrectly, some say) for the sleepiness that results from too much Thanksgiving turkey. Food allegations aside, tryptophan actually is very good at transporting electrons in the nanoscale.

And here a must read - about how the research into evolution is being accelerated via CRISPR.
“CRISPR is a revolution all across biology, but for evo-devo it’s transformative,” says Arnaud Martin, an evolutionary developmental biologist at George Washington University in Washington DC. “We can do things we were not able to do before.”

CRISPR's hopeful monsters: gene-editing storms evo-devo labs

Easy gene alterations in weird creatures make CRISPR a killer app for evolutionary developmental biology.
Most summers since 1893, young developmental and evolutionary biologists have flocked to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to master the tricks of their trade. At the world-famous Marine Biological Laboratory there, students in its annual embryology course dissect sea urchins and comb jellies, and graft cells together from different animals. But for the last three years, the keen apprentices have been learning something new: gene editing.

The precise, efficient CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing technique has already taken life-sciences labs by storm. Now it is sweeping through evo-devo, the field that seeks to explain the developmental changes underlying evolutionary adaptations.
Rather than simply infer what caused historic transitions, such as how fish developed limbs, scientists can check their hypotheses directly with CRISPR. The idea is simple: cut out the fish genes thought to be involved in making fins, and see whether the fish start to form something resembling feet.

That is exactly what researchers report today in Nature, using CRISPR to help explain how fish developed feet and started walking1. Others have wielded the technique to determine how butterflies evolved exquisite colour vision, and how crustaceans acquired claws.

This is really a must read - although it longish. For anyone interested in an accessible account of quantum phenomena as they relate to the rapidly developing field of quantum computing - this will be worth the read. turns out that just having a handful of quantum bits is enough to do good demos of the ideas of quantum computation. The quantum computers are now getting a lot bigger. Now, we have tens of bits, soon we'll have 50 bits, then we'll have 500 bits, because now there's a clear path to how you build a larger scale quantum computer.  

Quantum Hanky-Panky

A Conversation With Seth Lloyd
Thinking about the future of quantum computing, I have no idea if we're going to have a quantum computer in every smart phone, or if we're going to have quantum apps or quapps, that would allow us to communicate securely and find funky stuff using our quantum computers; that's a tall order. It's very likely that we're going to have quantum microprocessors in our computers and smart phones that are performing specific tasks.

This is simply for the reason that this is where the actual technology inside our devices is heading anyway. If there are advantages to be had from quantum mechanics, then we'll take advantage of them, just in the same way that energy is moving around in a quantum mechanical kind of way in photosynthesis. If there are advantages to be had from some quantum hanky-panky, then quantum hanky‑panky it is.
SETH LLOYD, Professor, Quantum Mechanical Engineering, MIT; Principal Investigator, Research Laboratory of Electronics; Author, Programming the Universe

Talk about brain-machine interface - as William Gibson is said to have said - Science Fiction can’t keep of with today. Imagine what the cutting edge will be in two decades? 2036? My first real foresight exercise in 2001, was looking at a 20 year horizon - 2020 and we aren’t even there yet. And from most people’s experience of working in a bureaucracy even that ‘yesterday’s horizon’ they may seem like a fantasy.
BCI (Brain computer interface) technology is becoming more widespread and accessible, so are heart monitoring applications for mobile devices, and in the future even parameters such as blood glucose.
The present study is merely a demonstration and proof of concept for integrating physiological output with molecular control.

Thought-Controlled Nanoscale DNA Robots in a Living Host

Ido Bachelet and his team have made a new type of brain-machine interface enabling a human operator to control nanometer-size robots inside a living animal by brain activity. Recorded EEG patterns are recognized online by an algorithm, which in turn controls the state of an electromagnetic field. The field induces the local heating of billions of mechanically-actuating DNA origami robots tethered to metal nanoparticles, leading to their reversible activation and subsequent exposure of a bioactive payload. As a proof of principle we demonstrate activation of DNA robots to cause a cellular effect inside the insect Blaberus discoidalis, by a cognitively straining task. This technology enables the online switching of a bioactive molecule on and off in response to a subject’s cognitive state, with potential implications to therapeutic control in disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficits, which are among the most challenging conditions to diagnose and treat.

Ido Bachelet had previously made 50 nanometer DNA buckets that would open when it encountered certain chemicals or biology.

Here’s another very short article for the ‘Moore’s Law is Dead - Long Live Moore’s Law’ file.

Kilocore processor with 1000 cores

A microchip containing 1,000 independent programmable processors has been designed by a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The energy-efficient “KiloCore” chip has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second and contains 621 million transistors.

A Japanese startup Exascaler built the first 1000+ core chip PEZY-SC. It is a 28nm MIMD processor with 1024 cores and has rankings on the Green 500.

The UC Davis Kilocore chip is the most energy-efficient “many-core” processor ever reported. The 1,000 processors can execute 115 billion instructions per second while dissipating only 0.7 Watts, low enough to be powered by a single AA battery. The KiloCore chip executes instructions more than 100 times more efficiently than a modern laptop processor.

This is a wonderful 2 min read - where the font says it all.

The Tale of English

Anglo-Saxon origin words are in bold; French-Latinate in italics.

The tale of English begins long ago with the Anglo-Saxons, small bands that lived in Britain who spoke a Germanic tongue.
They worked the land, growing crops, and fought for their king often. But in 1066 they lost to the Normans.

The Normans were a French people, and they imposed their language, their legal system and their form of government on the populace.

At home, in the field or at church, the Anglo-Saxons still spoke English.

But in court, at the parliament and among elite society, they conversed in French…..

A longer article on the weirdness of English but also how the evolution of language is an entanglement of conversation focused on meanings.

English is not normal

No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language
English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a ‘spelling bee’ competition. For a normal language, spelling at least pretends a basic correspondence to the way people pronounce the words. But English is not normal.

Spelling is a matter of writing, of course, whereas language is fundamentally about speaking. Speaking came long before writing, we speak much more, and all but a couple of hundred of the world’s thousands of languages are rarely or never written. Yet even in its spoken form, English is weird. It’s weird in ways that are easy to miss, especially since Anglophones in the United States and Britain are not exactly rabid to learn other languages. But our monolingual tendency leaves us like the proverbial fish not knowing that it is wet. Our language feels ‘normal’ only until you get a sense of what normal really is.

There is no other language, for example, that is close enough to English that we can get about half of what people are saying without training and the rest with only modest effort. German and Dutch are like that, as are Spanish and Portuguese, or Thai and Lao. The closest an Anglophone can get is with the obscure Northern European language called Frisian: if you know that tsiis is cheese and Frysk is Frisian, then it isn’t hard to figure out what this means: Brea, bĂ»ter, en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk. But that sentence is a cooked one, and overall, we tend to find that Frisian seems more like German, which it is.

This is the library of my dreams - if I was a billionaire - I would build my home inside this place. The pictures are a must view.

Holy Hell, This Library Is Amazing

Between the stacks of books, reading nooks and the feeling of calm that comes from being inside one, libraries are great – and we just found one that’s worth an international trip.
This library in Songjiang, China, has a display room with black mirrored flooring, an oval reading room with stepped shelving and a children’s room complete with a merry-go-round.
Often called the country’s most beautiful bookstore, Zhongshuge Books is located in a British-style village called Thames Town with cobbled streets, Victorian terraces, corner shops and red telephone booths.

This is what every home carpenter - do-it-yourselfer want - this is also where hand tools are going. Totally Cool. For anyone who considers themselves ‘handy’ - this is a must view. The video makes it very clear.

Ingenious Power Tool Uses Machine Vision to Make Perfect Cuts

PEEK INTO ANY of the commercial garages dotting San Francisco’s Mission District and you’ll find a mix of auto body shops and startups working on gleaming black-and-silver gizmos. On an intensely sunny afternoon in April, Shaper’s staff rolled up its garage door to reveal a cluster of workbenches—all made by Shaper’s handheld woodcutting tool, Origin, which goes on sale today.

You may not think of yourself as a woodworker, but the founders of Shaper can change that. The tool is built to take the mystery—and most of the skill—out of cutting even complex shapes from a piece of wood. Grab Origin by the handles, place it on a piece of wood, and start tracing along the edges of the shape on Origin’s touchscreen. The drill bit will automatically correct for your wobbly, inexperienced hands.

“While it’s really complex robotics under the hood, for users it’s kind of magic,” CEO Joe Hebenstreit says. “We want people to take the technology for granted.”
Here’s the Link to Shaper

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