Google Calculator

Now, “everybody”: has already gone on and on about the new Google “built in calculator”:, and “the fun one can have with it”: The most awe inspiring thing about it is that it’s the easiest calculator I’ve ever used. You can ask it questions in english and get back answers! It can answer questions that … Read moreGoogle Calculator

Artificial Diamonds

The end of the diamond industry as we know it, and good riddance too. bq.. Wired: “The New Diamond Age”: Two companies in the US have perfected techniques for creating cheap artificial diamonds, virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The story of how they got there is riveting – retired army generals purchasing cold war … Read moreArtificial Diamonds

Introduction to the Theory of Relativity

A series of elementary, informal, and almost equation-free articles descibing the Theory of Relativity in physics. Part I: History This described the history of ideas in the development of relativity. Part II: Special Relativity This described Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Part III: General Relativity This gives at least a taste of Einstein’s General Theory … Read moreIntroduction to the Theory of Relativity

Will Humanoid Robots Take All the Jobs by 2050?

bq. “Marshall Brain (the guy who started “HowStuffWorks”: has published “an article”: claiming that robots will take half the jobs in the U.S. by 2050. Some of his predictions: real computer vision systems by 2020, computers with the CPU power and memory of the human brain by 2040, completely robotic fast food restaurants in 2030 … Read moreWill Humanoid Robots Take All the Jobs by 2050?

Disk Drives Explained

bq. Magnetic disk drives are one of those things I usually take for granted without thinking about, but I recently realized how little I understood about how they really work. ACM Queue has an article from their ‘Storage’ issue titled, “‘You Don’t Know Jack About Disks’”:, which does a very good job of explaining exactly … Read moreDisk Drives Explained

Closing the Barn Door

bq.. Tinkering on a laptop, wearing a rumpled T-shirt and a soul patch goatee, this George Mason University graduate student has mapped every business and industrial sector in the American economy, layering on top the fiber-optic network that connects them. He can click on a bank in Manhattan and see who has communication lines running … Read moreClosing the Barn Door

The internet is shit.

bq. I’ve been hearing the same sentiments by a lot of people over the last few months in different types of language. Some say “The Internet is Shit”: Some others say that “Virtual Community has died”: Without wanting to doubt the good intentions and aspiration of all the people who want to make more of … Read moreThe internet is shit.

Harry Potter and the Entertainment Industry

bq. In a surprisingly insightful article entitled “Harry Crushes the Hulk”:, Frank Rich discusses how “Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix”: beat out “The Hulk” and goes on to offer some insightfull and interesting comments on demographics, digital media piracy, file sharing and p2p networks, the iTunes store, and more… His conclusion? “[Consumers] … Read moreHarry Potter and the Entertainment Industry

Copy Protection | Commons

An article over at Wired looks into the relation between copy protection and the reality of a rational amount of ‘wiggle room’ that is typically provided by the legal system.

In reality, our legal system usually leaves us wiggle room. What’s fair in one case won’t be in another – and only human judgment can discern the difference. As we write the rules of use into software and hardware, we are also rewriting the rules we live by as a society, without anyone first bothering to ask if that’s OK.

Slashdot has an interesting discussion on it.

The Boston Review it its New Democracy Forum has a section on copyrights over here.

The purpose of Boston Review’s New Democracy Forum is to foster politically engaged, intellectually honest, and morally serious debate about fundamental issues of the day–both on and off the agenda of conventional politics–and to say something about how we might better address them.

Read Reclaiming the Commons by David Bollier.

Read moreCopy Protection | Commons