Articles about technology and science

Technology Forecast - 2016

This article is a critique of a technology forecast based on a seminar hosted by Singularity University. That forecast is predictably consistent with SU's major tenet that, sooner rather than later, artificial intelligence will grow without bound and make our lives much better. But it is much broader than just AI. My critique agrees with much that is said. But I question the time frame of some of the predictions; we aren't nearly ready to move ahead with them. I also throw in some caveats about societal implications of the forecast.

Technology Forecasting

Technology forecasting itself is a "vocational skill", which involves being able to apply some well-understood principles. Here are some of the ways a professional forecaster looks at things.

Evolution of computing power

I just got a smartphone. I didn't get it as a phone, though of course it has that capability. I got it as a computer! In my first couple of hours of playing with it, I was struck with the realization that this tiny gadget is the current heir to the computing legacy I have watched and lived since I was a teenager -- and I was astounded how far we have come.

Biting the Bullet

I finally gave in and got a smartphone. Here's why it took me so long. It was not that I was a Luddite or technophobe. (We all know better.) It was a matter of principle. But I finally wore down.

Chicken Little

Every so often I get a panicked email from a relative, with an attachment that somebody sent her in an email. "Is this true? It's really scary!" That is an improvement from previous years, when she would pass it along as gospel. Hey, not everything you read on the Internet is true. Here are some ways to figure out what's true and what's not.

Supreme Court API ruling

The Supreme Court just announced a decision in a legal battle between Google and Oracle. The Court ruled that Google's implementation of an Oracle API was legal -- not a copyright infringement. In this article, I explain what an API is, and why I feel this was a good and necessary decision. I use a non-programming analogy so that non-programmers can understand it better.

Publicizing a Town-Wide Yard Sale on the Internet

I enjoy going to yard sales, and town-wide yard sale days are the best. But in order to go to them, I have to know about them! And I have to know who the participants are. Too many times, a town-wide yard sale loses a lot of customers like me because whoever is in charge of publicizing it on the internet misses something important. Here's how to do it right.