Mozilla has announced support for WebVR in Firefox for Windows (making it the first out of the gate). "WebVR provides support for exposing virtual reality devices — for example head-mounted displays like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive — to web apps, enabling developers to translate position and movement information from the display into movement around a 3D scene." Now if I could add that to my Glitch homepage...
I'm going to keep gushing about Glitch some more, and not only because it allows me to finallyt play in the band with Jim and Brian and others. First, try this drum machine, then, have a look at the code, and then, realize that you could clone it and make your own in about as long as it took me to type these words. Upload it to GitHub and share with your friends. Making apps is becoming as simple as making websites was in the 1990s. It took a bit for the idea to catch on, but when it did... (p.s. remember the 'blink' tag and Geocities websites? This home page might be the 21st century equivalent.)
It's really time for some proper scepticism from news articles reporting on artificial intelligence. This item on understanding natural beauty is a case in point. For training data, "they focused the algorithm on 200,000 images rated by people on the website ScenicOrNot." The new images are then rated by their similarity to images in the training data. But what does that tell us? That people, in the aggregate, find nature beautiful. Well surprise! But beauty depends (as the saying goes) on the beholder. I can find a ton of beauty in an industrial park. But the algorithm isn't seeing that, because most people don't see it. The same scepticism should be applied to algoritms detecting sarcasm. Different people are sarcastic in different ways; there isn't a 'common' sense of sarcasm.
My password is written on a PostIt attached to my computer monitor.* This practice is the result of very bad advice viven 15 years ago by Bill Burr and implemented into policy by computer services. It's the rule that says we have to use special characters and rotate the password every six months. As Randall Munroe comments, we have successfully trained people to use passwords that are hard to remember but easy for computers to crack. The correct solution? Write longer passwords that you can remember. (*) Not really. It's written in code on a random piece of paper on my desk.
This is a pretty good introduction to blockchain, now characterized as "any distributed electronic ledger that uses software algorithms to record transactions with reliability and anonymity." More specifically, "blockchain is a self-sustaining, peer-to-peer database technology for managing and recording transactions with no central bank or clearinghouse involvement." There are some good examples of how blockchain may sustain a variety of recordkeeping functions, but the 'strategc perspective' is strictly basic advice: identify opportunities, evaluate, run pilots, and scale.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.