the daily column

Links for the Day

  • Ok, I know the whole iPad thing is getting tired, but here’s one final one (for now) that’s making me reconsider it a bit – just look at this quote:

    I went back for a second helping of Avatar this Sunday. There’s a scene early on in the movie where one of the scientists walks across the lab carrying the “mobile computer slab of the future.” We’ve seen one of these in almost every sci-fi movie of the last 50 years. It comes free with a jetpack, I suppose. Except this time, one month later, my 12 year old son turns to me and whispers “Look Dad, it’s an iPad.”

    I’m still not sure those used to more power, for want of a better word, to do what they want on their computers will give it up for the iPad, but it does push the fulfilment of the average user’s expectations that one step further.

  • Gary Kasparov, he of World-Chess-Champion-Playing-Computer fame, writes on the evolution of chess being influenced by computers, particularly since the historic victory of Big Blue, and how the computer’s lack of context, of appreciating the myth of culture around Chess, means its playing style is different and unfettered.Kasparov is left wondering if Chess is losing its heart to the march of technology, and whether this could he tackled by a better AI that actually tries to imitate human thinking – more efficient and elegant than brute-force, but certainly a harder technology to create.

    Either way, a fascinating read.

  • The New York Times has an excellent info-graphic of the US Federal Budget as requested by Obama this year – The proportions spent on defence, health (both the boxes labelled Health and Medicare) and social security (which I would consider includes both the Social Security and Income Security boxes) are staggering, and if anyone wants to use it as propoganda for the relative socialism of the American state, it’s ripe for the picking. Wish we had a similar one for the Australian budget yearly… *investigates how to get this data ready*
  • A beautiful image of an owl in flight. Just realised we don’t have many (any?) owls in Australia, do we?
  • 50 second Avatar Lego spoof. Need. I. Say. More.