Archive for Technology

How Nature Documentaries Are Fake

“Because storytelling is what engages us, not facts and figures”

More isn’t always better

It’s very difficult to measure networks’ performance, in part because they are so complex, but also because people use them differently at different times, and because those choices affect others’ experiences. For example, one person choosing to drive to work instead of taking the bus puts one more car on the road, which might get involved in a crash or otherwise contribute to a traffic jam.

Explaining the Braess paradox.

In 1968, German mathematician Dietrich Braess observed the possibility that adding a road to an area with congested traffic could actually make things worse, not better. This paradox can occur when travel times depend on the amount of traffic. If too many drivers decide their own optimal route involves one particular road, that road can become congested, slowing everyone’s travel time. In effect, the drivers would have been better off if the road hadn’t been built.

This phenomenon has been found not only in transportation networks and the internet, but also, recently, in electrical circuits.

We shouldn’t waste time and money building or repairing network links the community would be better without. But how can we tell which elements help and which make things worse?

Source: Calculating where America should invest in its transportation and communications networks

Better Than Free

When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied.

Well, what can’t be copied?

  • Immediacy
  • Personalization
  • Interpretation
  • Authenticity
  • Accessibility
  • Embodiment
  • Patronage
  • Findability

Source: The Technium: Better Than Free

Interstellar is almost here

Self Driving Trucks will Change our Economy

I think some of the claims are exaggerated in the video above [ No, ‘truck driver’ isn’t the most common job in your state ]

but still, the impact will be huge, especially when you add into consideration the rest of the supporting infrastructure surrounding it, gas, cafes, clinics, etc. especially in many small towns.



Nick Denton believes the ‘good internet will rise up again’

“Facebook makes me despise many of my friends and Twitter makes me hate the rest of the world,” Gawker founder Nick Denton said.


…“On Google Hangouts chats or iMessage you can exchange quotes, links, stories, media,” he said. “That’s a delightful, engaging media experience. The next phase of media is going to come out of the idea of authentic, chill conversation about things that matter.”

“Even if we’re full of despair over what the internet has become, it’s good to remind yourself when you’re falling down some Wikipedia hole or having a great conversation with somebody online—it’s an amazing thing,“ he added. ”In the habits that we enjoy, there are the seeds for the future. That’s where the good internet will rise up again.”

Source: Gawker founder Nick Denton believes the ‘good internet will rise up again’ | Macworld

All new net electricity capacity in the USA has been from clean energy sources since 2009

When subtracting retirements of coal and natural gas from additions of these fossil fuel sources, we get all the way back to 2009 before capacity additions starts to outpace capacity retirements. In a simple way, all of the utility-scale electricity generation capacity added to the United States grid since 2009 has been clean energy.

The electricity generation industry – mostly in retiring so much coal and replacing it with natural gas – has managed to lower overall emissions by 12% since 2005. During this time, US electricity demand has stayed mostly flat. It was only very recently, 2015 or so, that the volumes of wind and solar power installed became considerable enough to dent the amounts of fossil fuels being burnt – meaning not only has a flat amount of fossil fuels been installed, its also been running less.

Source: All new net electricity capacity in the USA has been from clean energy sources since 2009 | Electrek

Does Facebook advertising even work a lick?

But what about those numbers, those video views, those “engagement” numbers? Facebook has always been very purposely opaque and doesn’t share its methodology and algorithms with anyone, which makes it impossible for anyone to do any objective reporting — or regulating — of those numbers.

Then last September, right about the time it was announcing that its first three quarters profit was near $6 billion, up from $3.69 billion in 2015, it also reported a big whoopsie: It had been inflating video view numbers by 60-80 percent (94 percent in Australia).

Source: Does Facebook advertising even work a lick? – Digiday

Why Silicon Valley Wouldn’t Work Without Immigrants

…studied the 87 privately held American start-ups that were then valued at $1 billion or more. They discovered something amazing: More than half of them were founded by one or more people from outside the United States. And 71 percent of them employed immigrants in crucial executive roles.

Source: Why Silicon Valley Wouldn’t Work Without Immigrants – The New York Times

Facebook will lose 80% of users by 2017, say Princeton researchers

“Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,” the authors claim in a paper entitled Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics.

“Ideas are spread through communicative contact between different people who share ideas with each other. Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of ‘immunity’ to the idea.”

Facebook reported nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users in October, and is due to update investors on its traffic numbers at the end of the month. While desktop traffic to its websites has indeed been falling, this is at least in part due to the fact that many people now only access the network via their mobile phones.

Source: Facebook will lose 80% of users by 2017, say Princeton researchers | Technology | The Guardian