Google+ The World 2 Come: July 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004

An artificial cortex has 20 billion neurons

"CCortex is a system intended to mimic the structure of the human brain, with a layered distribution of neural nets and detailed interconnections. CCortex closely emulates specialized regions of the human cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus and hippocampus. CCortex runs on a high-performance, parallel supercomputer, a Linux cluster with up to 500 nodes and 1,000 processors, 1 terabyte of RAM, and 200 terabytes of storage. With 20 billion neurons and 20 trillion connections, CCortex is up to 10,000 times larger than any previous attempt to replicate, partially or completely, primary characteristics of human intelligence, and is the first neural system to achieve a level of complexity rivaling that of the mammalian brain."

Source: Robotic Nation Evidence
See also:
Neural network - Wikipedia
The NeuroAge
Brain Waves
Human Being 2.0
What 2034 will bring
3 Laws Unsafe
Neural Networks - Orkut
Artificial Intelligence - Orkut
Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


"Neurowarfare is a very real and growing threat. In an effort to accelerate new drugs and vaccines against potential bioterror weapons including anthrax, smallpox, plague and the Ebola virus, the House of Representatives approved last week a $5.6 billion anti- terrorism initiative called Project Bioshield."

"While American's focus on bioweapons, other governments are making headway on new ways to stem deadly the impact of neuroweapons. This week at Singapore International Neuroscience Conference, researchers from DSO National Laboratories presented new findings that showed how epidural clonidine is used with two other drugs it can protect brain cells from being destroyed by nerve agents, like sarin gas. Preliminary tests showed that the combination reduces brain damage significantly and does not cause breathing complications, thus increasing survival rates, compared to the cocktail now used in situations like the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo subways by members of Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo."

" 'While the new combination has been shown to protect most of an affected person's brain cells even when administered as much as 40 minutes after he is poisoned by biochemicals...the potential downside is that it could lead to psychosis, a mental disorder where the person loses touch with reality, and lead to his being on medication for life.' Given these complications, the researchers stated that it will take at least another six to eight years of testing to determine if the new combination should replace the existing one."

Another threat to worry about...

Source: Brain Waves
See also:
The NeuroAge
What is Neurotechnology? - Brain Waves
Science: human sciences news - Moreover
Neuroscience - Orkut

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Global Mind

"This article presents some thoughts about the future of intelligence on Earth. In particular, I discuss the similarities between the Internet and the brain, and how I believe the emerging Semantic Web will make this similarity even greater."

Keywords from the article:
- Distributed Intelligence
- The Internet is a Brain…and the Web is its Mind
- Memes are Evolving Minds of their Own
- The Infrastructure of Distributed Intelligence
- The Evolution of Metalanguage
- How the Global Mind Thinks
- Can the Global Mind Pass the Turing Test
- Reading the Global Mind
- Minding Your Business
- Knowledge Objects: A New Medium for the Web
- Knowledge Networks

Source: Minding the Planet
See also:
From Semantic Web to Global Mind - Danny Ayers
Nova Spivacks on the global mind - Future Now
Semantic Web - Wikipedia
Hive mind - Red Herring
The Rise of Digital Lifestyle Aggregation - Marc Canter
Semantic Web - Orkut

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Analyzing Terrorist Networks

"It's critical that we understand how terrorist networks operate, grow, and evolve. John Robb talks with Valdis Krebs on how the terrorist network that attacked on 9/11 was organized and how we can use a similar network analysis to improve our ability to protect crtical infrastructure.

Network analysis is a hot topic. It is at the core of our ability to unwind terrorist networks and how we can protect our critical infrastructure from disruption. In the first half of the show, Valdis Krebs provides insight into how the 9/11 terrorist network was organized. He demonstrates how their networked architecture provided the group both extreme robustness (against discovery) and effectiveness (an ability to get the job done). Also explored: 'adaptability through recombination', dynamic network analysis, and more.

In the second part of the show Valdis and John discuss how network analysis can improve the robustness of critical infrastructure. Valdis provides insight into different types of network vulnerabilities and what can be done about them (including those in Iraq, Russia, and Saudi Arabia). We conclude with a discussion of how we can create a network of our own to counter the networks of global guerrillas.

Valdis is a management consultant and the developer of InFlow, a software based, organization network analysis methodology that maps and measures knowledge exchange, information flow, communities of practice, networks of alliances and other networks within and between organizations. Through eye-opening graphics and revealing measures, this technique allows managers to see what was once invisible."

Source: IT Conversations
See also:
The 9/11 Commission Report - Jason Kottke
Beyond Fear - IT Conversations
Radical Restructure: The Only Way to Fix Intelligence - AlwaysOn
The Terror Web - New Yorker
The Nuclear 9/11
The Digital Pearl Harbour
Little Brother versus Big Brother
Intelligent Defense
Social Network Analysis of the 9-11 Terrorist Network -
War against Terror - Orkut
Social Network Analysis - Orkut
Terror Network -

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Digital Pearl Harbour

"In 2010, information security will be much better than it is today. But between then and now, everything will get inconceivably worse. There's no need to imagine a worst-case scenario for Internet security in the year 2010. The worst-case scenario is unfolding right now.

Based on conservative projections, we’ll discover about 100,000 new software vulnerabilities in 2010 alone, or one new bug every five minutes of every hour of every day. The number of security incidents worldwide will swell to about 400,000 a year, or 8000 per workweek.

Windows will approach 100 million lines of code, and the average PC, while it may cost $99, will contain nearly 200 million lines of code. And within that code, 2 million bugs.

By 2010, we’ll have added another half-a-billion users to the Internet. A few of them will be bad guys, and they’ll be able to pick and choose which of those 2 million bugs they feel like exploiting.

In other words, today’s sloppiness will become tomorrow’s chaos.

The good news is that we probably won’t get to that point. Most experts are optimistic about the future security of the Internet and software. Between now and 2010, they say, vulnerabilities will flatten or decline, and so will security breaches. They believe software applications will get simpler and smaller, or at least they won’t bloat the way they do now. And they think experience will provide a better handle on keeping the growing number of bad guys out of our collective business. Some even suggest that by 2010, a software Martin Luther will appear to nail 95 Theses — perhaps in the form of a class-action lawsuit — to a door in Redmond, kicking off a full-blown security reformation.

The bad news is that this confidence, this notion of an industrywide smartening up, is based on the assumption that there will be a security incident of such mind-boggling scope and profoundly disturbing consequence — the so-call digital Pearl Harbour — that conducting business as usual will become inconceivable."

Source: CIO - Australia
See also:
Scary forecasts by a cybersecurity expert - US News
Cyber War - PBS
The Great Cyberwar of 2002 - Wired
Thinking the Unthinkable, 2.0 - American Outlook
Information Warfare -
Network security - Orkut

Saturday, July 17, 2004

3 Laws Unsafe

(Press release)

Atlanta, GA – In anticipation of 20th Century Fox’s July 16th release of I, Robot, the Singularity Institute announces “3 Laws Unsafe” ( “3 Laws Unsafe” explores the problems presented by Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, the principles intended for ensuring that robots help, but never harm, humans. The Three Laws are widely known and are often taken seriously as reasonable solutions for guiding future AI. But are they truly reasonable? “3 Laws Unsafe” addresses this question.

Tyler Emerson, Executive Director of the Singularity Institute: “The release of I, Robot is a wonderful chance to engage more people about the perils and promise of strong AI research. The constraints portrayed in I, Robot appear extremely dangerous and excessively lacking as an approach to moral AI. The Singularity Institute’s detailed approach, by contrast, utilizes advanced technical research for creating a mind that is humane in nature.”

“3 Laws Unsafe” will include articles by several authors, weekly poll questions, a blog for announcements and commentary related to I, Robot and the Three Laws, a free newsletter subscription, and a reading list with books on relevant topics such as the future of AI, accelerating change, cognitive science and nanotechnology.

The Singularity Institute’s Advocacy Director, Michael Anissimov: “It is essential that more considerate thinkers get involved in dialogues of AI ethics and strategy. Although AI as a discipline has a dubious history of false starts, the accelerating growth of computing power and brain science knowledge will very likely result in its creation at some point. In the past few years, technologists such as Ray Kurzweil and Bill Joy have been informing the public about this critical issue; but more awareness is now needed.”

The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) was founded in 2000 for the pursuit of ethically enhanced intelligence by creating humane AI. SIAI believes the ethical and significant enhancement of intelligence will help solve contemporary problems, such as disease and illness, poverty and hunger, more readily than other philanthropic causes. SIAI is a tax-exempt non-profit organization with branches in Canada and the United States.

Source: Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
See also: Human Being 2.0

Monday, July 12, 2004

Energy is the big challenge

"Energy is the single most important challenge facing humanity today."

"As we peak in oil production and worry about natural gas supplies, life must go on. Somehow, we must find a basis for energy prosperity in the 21st century for ourselves and the rest of humanity.

By the middle of this century we should assume that we will need to double world energy production from its current level, with most of this coming from clean, sustainable, carbon dioxide-free sources. For worldwide peace and prosperity, it must be cheap. We simply cannot do this with current technology.

We will need revolutionary breakthroughs to find the clean, low-cost energy necessary for advanced civilization of the 10 billion souls we expect to be living on this planet before this century is out.

The system most likely to meet that goal is an electrical-based grid that draws from numerous sources – solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, biomass and fossil fuels – for reliable energy. Nanotechnology will be a contributor, as well as other technologies, if we provide sufficient support.

Consider, for example, a vast interconnected electrical energy grid for the North American continent. By 2050 this grid will interconnect several hundred million local sites. There are two key aspects of this future grid that will make a huge difference: massive long-distance electrical power transmission, and local storage of electrical power with real-time pricing."

Sorce: Small Times
See also:
The Smalley Group - Rice University
Richard Smalley - Wikipedia
The Future of Energy -
Renewable Energy - Orkut
Alternative Energy - Orkut
Solar Power and Alternative Energy -

Saturday, July 10, 2004

The End Of Management?

"With experimental markets, workers are betting on their company's future — and moving in on the boss's domain."

"The end of management just might look something like this. You show up for work, boot up your computer and log onto your company's Intranet to make a few trades before getting down to work. You see how your stocks did the day before and then execute a few new orders. You think your company should step up production next month, and you trade on that thought. You sell stock for the production of 20,000 units and buy stock that represents an order for 30,000 instead. All around you, as co-workers arrive at their cubicles, they too flick on their computers and trade.

Together, you are buyers and sellers of your company's future. Through your trades, you determine what is going to happen and then decide how your company should respond. With employees in the trading pits betting on the future, who needs the manager in the corner office?"

Source: Time
See also:
How making wagers on the future can make it happen faster - Robin Hanson
In the New Financial Cosmos, It Will Be Safer to Take a Dare - Business Week
The global corporation becomes the leaderless corporation - Business Week
The Case for Terrorism Futures - Wired
The Wisdom of Crowds - Jason Kottke
Thomas Malone - Perspective - IT Conversations
Pork bellies or the presidency: The market will choose -
The Swarmbots Are Coming - Wired
The Iowa Electronic Markets
BlogShares - Fantasy Blog Share Market

The Chinese Century

"Thanks to Mao — and to good old American know-how and help — China is getting ready to supplant the U.S. as the capitalist engine of the world. A lesson in economic development and global interconnectedness."

"Will China overtake the U.S. economically in this century?"

Source: NY Times
See also:
The New Global Job Shift - Business Week
China - Wikipedia
China Daily
China news - Moreover
China - Google News
Country Briefings: China - Economist
China - Orkut

Friday, July 09, 2004

The revolution will not be televised

"Joe Trippi's new book describes an emerging commingling of politics and technology. Too bad it ends up as just more political posturing, says Chris Nolan, our new poli-tech columnist."

Source: eWeek
See also:
The revolution will not be televised - MSNBC
O'Reilly Digital Democracy - IT Conversations
Joe Trippi's Killer App - Fast Company
The 2004 Wired Rave Awards
Change For America
The Cluetrain Manifesto

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Information Society on the move

"The slogan of the 'Information Society' was born in the nineties, when Internet technology finally acquired mass appeal. There was more information available than ever before, and all in real time – the sheer mass of it overwhelmed us. Now, as we have cut the wires, the concept of the Information Society has to be mobilized. And where is that going to lead us?"

Source: Receiver
See also:
Smart Mobs
The Wi-Fi Revolution - Wired
Wireless Society: The next Information Age - CNN
Future Vision - Vodafone
Wireless - Orkut
Wireless - AlwaysOn
Wireless Future -
Information society - Wikipedia
Wireless sector news - Moreover
Telecom news - Moreover
Mobile industry news - Moreover
Communications equipment news - Moreover
3G and GPRS news - Moreover
MIT Media Lab: Projects List Database

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Capitalism of Soccer

"There is, we believe, something quintessentially American not just about baseball, but about all our major league sports. Basketball, football, and baseball engender competition and reward merit. They afford people, regardless of their background, the ability to gain fame and vast fortune. Each league marries marketing and brand-building to sex, power, and money. Sports are the ultimate market activity, with champions and losers minted every night and every season."

"Just so, whoever wants to know the heart and mind of Europe—and Latin America, as well as big chunks of Africa and Asia—had better learn soccer, the national pastime of the rest of the world."

"For when you look at the business of professional sports—in both Europe and the United States—American sports are virtually all socialistic while the European soccer leagues more closely resemble the entrepreneurial capitalism we Americans fetishize."

"In other words, the European system rewards ambition and ruthlessly punishes sloth and incompetence. At the beginning of each year, every owner places every dollar of investment on the line. And in European soccer, that can mean a huge sum. The market capitalization of Manchester United, a publicly held company, is about $1.2 billion!"

Source: Slate
See also:
Higher and higher - Kathimerini
Football (soccer) - Wikipedia
Greece crowned Euro kings - CNN
Review of Euro 2004 - BBC
Sports: soccer news - Moreover
Euro 2004 - Orkut

Friday, July 02, 2004

The Nanotech Arms Race

"India's new President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam called for India to develop nanotechnology -- including nanobots -- because it will revolutionize warfare."

"He had previously called for nanotech to be developed for cheaper space access and for health and food.

In a speech to scientists at the Weapons and Electronic Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE), a naval research and development outfit, President Kalam asserted that 'this would revolutionise the total concepts of future warfare' and reportedly 'asked the country's scientists to make a breakthrough.' This article mentions 'super strong, smart and intelligent structures in the field of material science and this in turn could lead new production of nano robots with new types of explosives and sensors for air, land and space systems.'

This is probably the starting gun of the nano arms race. Every government will have to take this seriously. We'll be watching for reactions around the world, but we'd appreciate your help; please post news stories in the comment section."

Source: Responsible Nanotechnology
See also:
He's Serious, Folks - Responsible Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology -
Responsible Nanotechnology -
Nanotechnology - Orkut
Nanotechnology news - Moreover
Nanotechnology - Google News
Nanotechnology - Yahoo News
Nanotechnology - MSN Newsbot

50 Coolest Websites

"Our tally of the best sites that piqued our interest over the past year."

"We'll stay away from the major news organizations; you probably already have those Websites bookmarked. Instead, here are some less obvious links, including an encyclopedia of how-to advice and a Hollywood hot sheet, a lie detector and a blog-sifter, all guaranteed to keep you in the know."

"Each site listed here pertains to a particular area of interest — politics, science, health, music — but they all have two things in common: great content and great presentation.",

"It's a small world, after all, and the Internet can make it seem even smaller. Each of these sites, in one way or another, and for one reason or another — practical, political, personal or professional — does a good job of connecting people."

"Here are some new, exciting and maybe better ways to do a lot of things you probably already do — search the Web, share digital photos, consult a thesaurus, find something on a map and decide what to cook for dinner."

"If you're in the market for new ways to waste time, you're in luck: we found some marvelous examples of flash animation, a rather odd public art installation and one bad-ass movie site, among other worthwhile distractions." Wedding Dress

Source: Time
See also:
The Webby Awards 2004 winners
Alexa Web Search - Top 500
Google Zeitgeist

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Four Concept Computers

"New PC designs may not reach a mass audience, but some features point to the future of computing."

"Look around the office. What do you see? Offices filled with PCs in tower cases, or black notebooks neatly docked to their monitors. Could that change? This year, the enterprise will see two new types of PCs vie to replace the traditional desktop and notebook: the blade PC and the modular PC. Even the common PC and notebook designs are changing. Analysts, however, are betting on the evolutionary designs rather than the revolutionary ones. 'Change is a four-letter word,' says Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle. Still, designers keep trying to come up with something new to appeal to computer buyers. Here's a preview of the main contenders."

Source: CIO
See also:
New Life for the PC - BusinessWeek
The Future PC - PC Magazine
Personal Technology - CNET News
Personal technology news - Moreover
Apple - Hardware
Tablet PC - Microsoft