2015 blog in review

WordPress.com prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report.

Fear: No more jobs?

I’ve been meaning to write a post about the future of work.  Several young people have expressed concern that increasing automation — especially from software and robots — will mean that there will not be jobs for millions of Americans in the future.  I’ve pointed out that 95% of the US workforce in the late…

WSJ: The Robots May Become More Ethical Than Most of Us (2015)

My 8/1/2015 WSJ Letter to the Editor, reprinted here: [My proposed title was “Lame Robotic Strawmen”, but the WSJ ignored that.] July 31, 2015 4:30 p.m. ET The concerns expressed in the essay “Is It Possible to Create an Ethical Robot?” (Review, July 25) about “blindly obeying” speed limits are already solved, as BMW and…

Innovation 1970-2015, 2015-2045

My list of key innovations since 1970 and my predictions for the next 30 years: Since 1970 Futures PC, μProcessor Self-Driving Cars Cable TV Drones LED, LCD Robots Mobile Phone Dr. Cloud Email, SMS Genetic Engineering Internet, Wi-Fi Rockets to Mars GPS Your Baby’s Owner’s Manual Flash Memory Digital Camera Li-Ion Battery DNA sequencing

36 Years of Technical Innovation

1978 Mainframe vs. 2014 Mobile Phone Here is a technical comparison of the Control Data Corporation mainframe computer I used at the Northwestern University Vogelback Computing Center in 1978 versus my Google Nexus 6 smart phone that I purchased at a T-Mobile store on 12/15/2014. 1978 2014 factor CDC 6400 computer Nexus 6 0.0500 CPU speed…

BJA: We’d be better off keeping cryptography free (1994)

A Who’s Who of cryptographic geniuses published this 31 page indictment of Government stupidity yesterday (7/7/2015): Keys Under Doormats: Mandating insecurity by requiring government access to all data and communications Abelson, Diffie, Rivest, Schneier, e. al. go into much greater depth than my short 1994 opinion piece in the Bellevue, WA, newspaper, but I believe I…

Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper

On Amazon.com: Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong (2014) Author Robert Bryce challenges the zero-sum neo-Malthusians (climate change, polution, water shortages, war, political gridlock, debt crises, income inequality, etc.) head-on in his latest book. By recounting the technological progress human beings have made in so many different areas — including communications, electronics,…

WSJ: Survival of the Fittest Is Best Defense for Cyber Attacks (2012)

My 5/3/2012 WSJ Letter to the Editor, reprinted here: LETTERS Survival of the Fittest Is Best Defense for Cyber Attacks May 3, 2012 3:55 p.m. ET Judging from his April 23 op-ed “Everyone Should Pay for Cyber Defense,” Martin Feldstein doesn’t know enough about software, biology or evolution. Why is biology important? Because software hacking—and…

WSJ: You Cannot ‘Pause’ Evolution (2015)

My 4/20/2015 WSJ Letter to the Editor, reprinted here: Drs. Baltimore and Berg have unimpeachable scientific credentials, but judging from their opinion piece, they appear to have an incomplete understanding of human nature. Every technology advance has been pursued aggressively for the perceived economic or military advantage of its developer. Just a few examples are…

Your Baby’s Owner’s Manual

My start-up idea: “When your baby Julia (say) is born, you send off a cheek swab to Marvelton Labs, and they send you back an “owner’s manual” for Julia which will — most importantly — describe her cognitive tendencies so that you can “row in the same direction” with her as she grows up.” When…