2013/01/14: Then, unfortunately, the data people took XML and decided that it solved their problems. So we got configuration files in XML, databases in XML, and so on. Some of these applications did ok. Storing data in XML for long-term interoperability is an acceptable use of XML. Indeed, XML is supported by virtually all programming languages and that is unlikely to change.
However, XML as a technology for databases was supposed to solve new problems. All major database vendors added support for XML. DBAs were told to learn XML or else… We also got handfuls of serious XML databases. More critically, the major database research conferences were flooded with XML research papers.
And then it stopped.
2018/11/28: In 2012 people generated 2.8 trillion GB of data worldwide, or enough to write 10 million Blu-Ray discs. By 2030, that figure is expected to multiply nearly forty times. The rapid expansion of the so-called Internet of Things, or IoT, is the spark behind this explosion of user data.
In 2010 there were 12.5 billion internet-connected devices in the world. By 2020 there will be 50 billion, incorporating any and all devices that can connect to the internet – such as smart home appliances, smart phones and in the not too distant future, smart cars. But of all the data generated by the 12.5 billion internet-connected devices in 2010, only 0.5% of it was processed.
2018/11/30: Though Blockchain has been touted as the answer to everything, a study of 43 solutions advanced in the international development sector has found exactly no evidence of success.
Three practitioners including erstwhile blockchain enthusiast John Burg, a Fellow at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), looked at instances of the distributed crypto ledger being used in a wide range of situations by NGOs, contractors and agencies. But they drew a complete blank.
"We found a proliferation of press releases, white papers, and persuasively written articles," Burg et al wrote on Thursday. "However, we found no documentation or evidence of the results blockchain was purported to have achieved in these claims. We also did not find lessons learned or practical insights, as are available for other technologies in development."
Blockchain vendors were keen to puff the merits of the technology, but when the three asked for proof of success in the field, it all went very quiet.
2018/10/23: The Digital Transformation Agency appears less than impressed with blockchain’s current capabilities after it was given $700,000 in budget funding to investigate the technology.
After its initial research, the federal government’s digital office has found that blockchain is at the “top of a hype cycle” and is currently less effective than other existing technologies in delivering government services.
It would be fair to say that a lot of the big vendors are pushing blockchain very hard and internationally most of the hype around blockchain is coming from vendors and companies, not from governments and users and deliverers of services.
2018/09/28: While it is commendable to strive to reduce the ecological footprint of cities some realism is called for. For their provisions and waste disposal, cities need forest, agricultural, marine, and wetland ecosystems on lands many hundred times the area of the city itself.[xxii] If we are serious about feeding the cities more locally, we should look more to the perimeters of the city and to the interplay between cities and their hinterland. It is here that there really is a potential to feed the cities.
Silicon Valley meats Hollywood That is the best description of how we will get food in the future if we would believe the impressive number of food tech start-ups which will produce food without soil or animals. But few of them deliver on their exaggerated promises.
Because of how badly we humans have treated soils and animals it is understandable that people now are looking for other ways of producing food. Under banners of digital ecosystems, open source, individual foods, actionable intelligence, disruptive food systems and digital transformation, there are legions of entrepreneurs (mostly with background in the IT sector) seeking venture capital and researchers looking for grants.
3-D printing of food is expensive, incredibly slow and not capable of making most of the food we like to eat - today. Perhaps it will in the futures. My concern is rather that 3-D printing of food and robocooks seems to be far-fetched solutions to marginal problems, and it certainly has nothing to do with “solving the world’s largest food and farming problems”.
I turn my attention to methods of primary production which are not soil or animal based (I will leave wild foods and fisheries outside of the discussion).
Few people seem to realize that lab-foods also need a feedstock, and the companies marketing the products are mostly silent regarding the raw materials used. To grow maize as a feedstock for ‘artificial’ food or to produce chicken is not so very different. Chicken production, in many parts of the world, is already landless production, a kind of feed converter factory. And it is obvious that you can do a similar thing with fungi or bacteria. It is not obvious, however, that the process will be much more efficient (but possibly more ethically acceptable).
Tissue culture of beef is currently done on a serum extracted from unborn calves and it also involves the use of antibiotics.[v] Other resource demands are rarely documented, so the claims of being resource efficient still needs to be proven.
Though the cultivation of algae using man-made or natural ponds was initially simple, turning it into a viable feedstock has always been problematic. So our industry has always needed a system that could enable higher production levels, lower capital and operating costs, greater biomass density, better environmental control, and above all, industrial scalability.”[vi] Even bio-fuels could be made from algae, but the cost of production is prohibitive and would use enormous areas and water resources. In addition, it is very energy consuming and CO2 emissions caused would be much bigger than for fossil fuels. Therefore, almost all algae entrepreneurs are producing nutritional supplements and other specialty products which have prices two orders of magnitude higher than fuel or staple food.
Much aquaculture today is based on predatory fish, such as salmon, which are fed on undersized caught wild fish, other fish leftovers and fodder from agriculture. There is not a dramatic difference between modern fish farming and broiler production.
For aquaculture to really play a meaningful role in feeding a growing population in a sustainable way, we need systems that integrate aquaculture and farming. Such systems have developed over a long time in Asia where rice, fish and vegetables have been grown in the same system, sometimes also including ducks or pigs. There are also modern versions of such systems under development.
An extreme version of hydroponics are indoor vertical farms in cities. But the fact that it is possible doesn’t mean it is viable on a larger scale, and even less that it will take place in the cities. Vertical hydroponic farms are totally dependent on inputs that will need to be transported in, they are not part of any ecological context in the city, and if they are large, the crops will be put into the normal food distribution networks. In that sense, they are like any other assembly plant. And, like any other assembly plants, they are better located outside of city centres. But the rational for stacking crops on top of each other is gone where land prices are lower.
But it has little relevance for feeding the population, which is underscored by that the commercial application are all about growing baby lettuce, pak choy or herbs, crops which provide almost no food energy or proteins.
those technologies are not integrated into the ecological web of the city, rather the opposite, they need to be sealed off even from the people and the water used mus
2018/09/30_ What would happen if we made all of our data public—everything from wearables monitoring our biometrics, all the way to smartphones monitoring our location, our social media activity, and even our internet search history?
Would such insights into our lives simply provide companies and politicians with greater power to invade our privacy and manipulate us by using our psychological profiles against us?
A burgeoning new philosophy called dataism doesn’t think so.
In fact, this trending ideology believes that liberating the flow of data is the supreme value of the universe, and that it could be the key to unleashing the greatest scientific revolution in the history of humanity.
2017/12/16: Will anyone ever write another positive story about a tech startup? Probably not.
The issue is bigger than any single scandal, I told him. As headlines have exposed the troubling inner workings of company after company, startup culture no longer feels like fodder for gentle parodies about ping pong and hoodies.
Talking to tech founders every day, it’s clear how little their lives have changed in the last year, even as the world around them has shifted. Even top bosses who’ve noticed the change in public opinion aren’t willing to adjust.
Y Combinator president Sam Altman argued that political correctness was damaging the tech industry. “This is uncomfortable, but it’s possible we have to allow people to say disparaging things about gay people if we want them to be able to say novel things about physics,”
After Skedaddle, an “Uber for Buses” startup, was featured on Business Insider, a screenshot of the four young male cofounders, smiling atop an article describing an unsavory-sounding mission, ricocheted across Twitter. “What a nightmare,” the writer Lisa McIntire tweeted, adding, “Silicon Valley is run by complete sociopaths.”
venture investors are increasingly passing on deals—including hot ones they’d normally fight to get a piece of—because of negative character references.
Evidence is mounting that that the world is no longer fascinated with Silicon Valley: It’s disturbed by its callous behavior. But it will take a massive shift to introduce self-awareness to an industry that has always assumed it was changing the world for the better. Cynics would argue it doesn’t matter.
2018/08/16: The vision is a radical departure from the one-person, one-vote, once-every-year-or-two trip to the ballot box we are familiar with—and by which, in Siri’s view, we are so ill-served. Users of Democracy.Earth’s one-size-fits-all governance platform—code-named Sovereign—would have infinite flexibility to vote on any kind of topic or person, whenever they log on. In the Democracy.Earth future, every day will be election day, and the ballot will include anything that enough of us think should be there.
In this perfect world, Siri argues, the supposedly unhackable and absolutely transparent blockchain will ensure that no centralized election authority is required to tabulate a vote, and no corrupt politician or gridlocked legislature can interfere with the popular mandate. But coming up with a superior form of voting technology is just the beginning; the larger, far more revolutionary goal is to devise a decentralized decisionmaking process that eliminates the necessity for any kind of central government at all.
“We are not in the business of selling e-voting machines or helping modernize governments with internet voting,” Siri says. “We want to empower people down to the individual level without asking for the permission of governments.”
The proposition that new solutions are necessary for our strange new world is hard to argue against. The problem lies in proving that something as complex as Democracy.Earth fixes more than it breaks.
What Siri seemed to be saying is that Sovereign isn’t really intended as a replacement for how the United States elects a president or California passes an initiative. Instead, it's really an exercise in figuring out how to use the blockchain to make group decisions in the crypto-digital domain. Sovereign, in other words, represents government of the crypto-people, by the crypto-people, and for the crypto-people.
I did see many things almost as tragic that no one could miss -- AI being squeezed into almost every conceivable bit of consumer electronics. But none were convincing. If ever there was a solution looking for a problem, it's ramming AI into gadgets to show of a company's machine learning prowess. For the consumer it adds unreliability, cost and complexity, and the annoyance of being prompted.
The rehearsed smugness of the presenters puts me off the content - which is all about making the simple sound profound
The Internet of Things no longer suffers from being abstract; its growth has been phenomenal. But could this growth spurt be its downfall too?
A startup is hemorrhaging cash, and the VCs have yet to agree on terms for a capital infusion. The clock is ticking until deadpool, first weeks away then days. The founders, stress levels increasing to stratospheric levels, continue to sell their company to everyone, whether investors, employees, p
Cut through the tantalizing visions of cars with wallets trading with each other, and you'll find debates taking shape over nitty-gritty details.
Startups-and big companies like IBM and Walmart-are betting that blockchain technology will change how goods travel around the world.
The hype around blockchain is massive. To hear the blockchain hype train tell it, blockchain will now: What the heck is a blockchain, anyway? And can it really do all these things? Can blockchain
A WAVE of automation anxiety has hit the West. Just try typing "Will machines " into Google. An algorithm offers to complete the sentence with differing degrees of disquiet: "...take my job?"; "...take all jobs?"; "...replace humans?"; "...take over the world?" Job-grabbing robots are no longer science fiction.
I am intrigued by blockchain technology and in the future use of smart contracts. Here, when I say "blockchain" I refer a secure, trustless,
A look at why Snap's IPO raised so much money, despite the company losing hundreds of millions.
Blockchains are a brilliant application of cryptography to the concept of a distributed, immutable log. But here's the thing: there is a 99% chance that blockchains are totally inappropriate for
Hype around blockchain has been huge, but it seems that we could finally be leaving the noise behind and clearing space for the first shoots of reality