Now, this is what I consider a truly public cloud!
I was trawling the collapsed and locked answers on Quora. Again. I followed a trail of breadcrumbs that led me to Birth of the Global Mind, a Tim O’Reilly presentation for Clock of the Long Now.
News of the Long Now
Jeff Bezos has many to fish to fry; a hand in many kettles. One of the more abstract is his Clock of the Long Now project. The Long Now has a speaker series, for members only, of course. Publishing magnate Tim O’Reilly was on the agenda. The following excerpts are drawn from his lectures, interleaved in responsive-reading style, with thoughts of my own.
Deconstructing Tim O’Reilly
The Web has become the leading platform for harnessing collective intelligence. Wikipedia is a virtual city.
No, not really. It doesn’t make Wikipedia bad, nor a failure, but Wikipedia does not resemble a virtual city, even for those with a vivid imagination. I don’t think active Wikipedia editors would describe it as anything more than a fractious, yet somewhat functional online community.
Through device automation, Apple has imbued retail clerks with superpowers in its stores.
Apple Geniuses are NOT imbued with superpowers! They aren’t treated as poorly as Amazon.com warehouse workers, but conditions aren’t so good for Apple retail employees. I have read many complaints about low wages and long hours. Most Apple retail clerks are temporary workers, i.e. no benefits nor job security. Nice word choice,
"clerk". It is distinctively redolent of a not-so-great, not-so-new world. Clerks weren’t a fixture of the recent past, but rather, Victorian England and the 19th, or even 18th centuries.
Medicine for the masses
Watson, the AI that beat human champions at “Jeopardy,” is now being deployed to advise doctors in real-time, having read ALL the scientific papers.
I hope not! Artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly used to reduce head count, at all levels. In a clinical health setting, that means automating the functions of everyone from the CEO to managers to physicians, pharmacists and registered nurses. The Carl Icahn School of Big Data Medicine can explain it better than me. Peruse the meeting notes from their October 2013 convocation with The Atlantic. The Icahn Medical School was formerly known as Mount Sinai, in case you’re unfamiliar with the new name, as I was. Continue reading
Fake Google Glasses That Don’t Actually Do Anything
Fashion trends and electronics compulsion are powerful motivators! Google Glass no longer evokes nearly the same level of techno-rapture as it did in March 2013, when it was announced. That’s not entirely Google’s fault. Glass is still in beta as a product, and wearable tech hasn’t gotten past alpha as a consumer product. Edward Snowden’s disclosures about the NSA, which began in June 2013, were not helpful either.
Enthusiasts might have dismissed surveillance concerns if that had been all. Instead, news of additional incursions on privacy, at a domestic and international level, continued. They haven’t ended now, as of mid-January 2014. Rather, the news articles have slowed, but the surveillance and data harvesting continues despite public outcry and an increasing loss of faith in government. That loss of trust is the worst of all.
Silver lining in the Cloud
The Dutch teenagers who made these “fashion accessories” used 3-D printers. That might be the real story: One of the first successful applications of 3-D printing for which there was genuine consumer demand! And it didn’t involve illegally manufactured firearms in any way, whatsoever 🙂
Yay! The silver-lined cloud isn’t the Google Cloud, but Google is involved in many other ventures. I hope we’ll see more affordable 3-D printed products, regardless of the longer-term adoption of Google Glass.