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Archive for the ‘internet’ category

Nov 7, 2017

Waymo makes history testing on public roads with no one at the wheel

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving car company, now has cars driving on public roads in the Phoenix metropolitan area with no one in the driver’s seat. Waymo CEO John Krafcik plans to announce the news today in a speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

For the last year, Waymo has offered free taxi rides to ordinary people who live near the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. Until recently, the company’s modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans had a Waymo employee in the driver’s seat ready to take control if the car malfunctioned.

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Nov 4, 2017

Supporting a decentralized, uncensored Internet for every person on the planet

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, encryption, internet

What makes a better Internet possible? At Orchid Labs, our goal is to ensure that every person on Earth can have access to an open, decentralized, and uncensored Internet. We believe a better Internet is one that isn’t controlled by the few, but open to all.

Currently, Internet access for the majority of the people on Earth is censored and monitored. Because of this, many Internet users are blocked from freely communicating, collaborating, and accessing information. The current centralized system, which limits our ability to communicate and learn — while also harvesting and selling our personal data — is far from the full potential of what the internet could be and strays from the original intention of its creators.

That’s why we’ve launched the Orchid Protocol, an open-source overlay network that uses excess bandwidth on top of the existing Internet to ensure that people — no matter where they live on our planet — can have unrestricted access to information and collaboration. Orchid’s protocol combines surplus bandwidth, state-of-the-art encryption, and a decentralized infrastructure enabling any Internet user to participate and exchange bandwidth for payment in peer-to-peer transactions using Orchid tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

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Nov 3, 2017

The Eve of the Self-Driving Revolution

Posted by in categories: internet, mobile phones, robotics/AI

The big roll out is set for 2021–2022.


A decade ago, there wasn’t much talk about self-driving cars or autonomous-cars, but Toyota and Lexus were setting the stage with their self-parking cars. They aired television commercials showing how cars magically parallel-parked themselves. That was before any mention of the first iPhone or Android. At the time, it seemed amazing, but that was nothing compared to what’s coming next.

The self-parking revolution that spread throughout the automotive industry over the last decade is now expanding. There is more technology in cars today than ever before: navigation systems, automatic updates wirelessly downloaded to the dashboard, in-cabin WiFi and much more.

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Nov 1, 2017

Sony’s new Aibo pet robot goes on sale tonight in Japan

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

After more than a decade away, Sony’s Aibo pet robot is making a return. The original dog-like robot launched in 1999, while Sony says its followup is “capable of forming an emotional bond with members of the household while providing them with love, affection, and the joy of nurturing and raising a companion.” Its OLED eyes allow for “nuanced” expressions as fisheye cameras see and recognize individual faces while new actuators allow its body to move smoothly along 22 axes. Pre-orders for the new robot begin tonight via Sony’s online store in Japan for 179,000 yen (about $1,739 US), with shipments scheduled to begin on January 11th.

Of course, because this is 2017, not only is the new Aibo powered by AI (that learns and develops a unique personality over time) but it’s also connected to the cloud. An Aibo Basic Plan subscription not only backs up your robot’s unique identity but also turns on the connection for owners to access their remote via WiFi or a mobile connection.

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Oct 29, 2017

Twisted light could make wireless data faster than fiber

Posted by in categories: habitats, holograms, internet

As fast as fiber optic lines have become, they’re still hamstrung by one key limitation: you still need to transmit that data over wires, which limits where you can transmit and the affordability of the fastest connections. Scientists may have a way to eliminate those cables while offering even faster speeds, though. They’ve discovered a way to ‘twist’ photons in a way that not only crams more data into each transmission, but survives interference from turbulent air. If you pass light through a special hologram, you can give photons an optical angular momentum that lets them carry more than just 1s and 0s — and so long as the light’s phase and intensity are right, you can reliably beam that data over long distances.

The research team successfully tested just such a link over a 1-mile stretch in Germany, making sure that it took place in an urban environment where the turbulence from taller buildings could theoretically cause chaos.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before this kind of wireless networking is practical. How do you serve a large number of people, and how is data affected by rain or snow? Still, it’s promising. The technology is clearly limited by the challenges of transmitting light (you couldn’t use this to transmit indoors, for obvious reasons), but it could be instrumental to the next generation of last-mile wireless networks. Instead of having to painstakingly wire homes and offices to achieve multi-gigabit speeds, internet providers could use light-based wireless links for large parts of their network and install cabling only when it’s absolutely necessary.

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Oct 22, 2017

What can we learn from small fraction of people who own 1 BTC

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, geopolitics, internet

How many individuals own at least 1 BTC?

I was asked this question today at Quora, a popular Q&A blog covering a variety of technical and economic disciplines. Under my alias “Ellery”, I am the most viewed author on Bitcoin and the blockchain.

While this question may sound like a good factoid for a trivia game, it is directly related to something with with far reaching impact on your pocketbook and your future. It goes to the heart of a debate between warring factions: In the 2nd half of this answer, I address the eternal question:

Is Bitcoin a pyramid scheme? Or are we still early on the adoption curve?

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Oct 15, 2017

The Future May Owe Itself to Blockchain Technology. Here’s Why

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, economics, internet, satellites

Sending satellites into space is going to continue to get cheaper since SpaceX proved it could reliably launch refurbished rockets. This is going to open up space exploration to more entities allowing for the continued democratization of space. Other technological advances could make a global space centered sharing economy a real possibility.

The rise of the internet and the ubiquity of mobile computing devices have changed everything from travel and shopping to politics – think Uber, Amazon, and Twitter.

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Oct 10, 2017

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

Posted by in categories: internet, mobile phones

The Google, Apple and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks who worry the race for human attention has created a world of perpetual distraction that could ultimately end in disaster.

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Oct 9, 2017

Tech companies are stepping up to provide relief for Puerto Rico and the U.S

Posted by in categories: internet, sustainability

Google & tesla send puerto rico hi-tech aid


Virgin Islands with everything from solar power grids to Wi-Fi balloons.

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Sep 30, 2017

Microsoft and Facebook’s massive undersea data cable is complete

Posted by in categories: futurism, internet

Last year, we reported that Microsoft and Facebook were teaming up to build a massive undersea cable that would cross the Atlantic, connecting Virginia Beach to the northern city of Bilbao in Spain. Last week, Microsoft announced that the cable, called Marea, is complete.

Marea, which means “tide” in Spanish, lies over 17,000 feet below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface and is around 4,000 miles long. It weighs 10.25 million pounds. The data rates (which let’s face it, that’s what we’re all really interested in) are equally staggering: Marea can transmit at a rate of 160 terabits/second. And it was finished in less than two years.

What’s really interesting about Marea, though, is that it has an open design. This means that Microsoft and Facebook are trying to make the cable as future proof as possible. It can evolve as technology changes and demands increase for more data and higher speeds. Its flexibility means that upgrading the cable and its equipment to be compatible with newer technology will be easier.

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