Promethea Unbound

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To Jasmine, a little girl with olive skin and dark eyes prone to faraway expressions, it felt like camping. She wasn’t enrolled in school, so her mother took her to the zoo, the botanical gardens, and the beach. They had a favorite park overlooking the bay where they would take long walks, watch people fishing on the pier, and wash their hair—they both had long, thick black tresses—in a fountain… More at The Atavist Magazine.

An absolute must read.

Edge Computing

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The ‘edge’ refers to computing infrastructure that exists close to the origin sources of data. It is distributed IT architecture and infrastructure where data is processed at the periphery of the network, as close to the originating source as possible… More here.

Just in case you want to learn something new.

6 tech companies that aren’t evil

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I’ll just say this up front. If you’re trying to ditch the prevailing technologies in favor of those that are more secure and less exploitative, you’ll have to accept a level of inconvenience. Convenience is a powerful motivator to keep using Google, Facebook, PayPal, etc. But in recent months I’ve decided to start weening myself… More at Medium.

Not convinced that there is a real solution to this, but it is good to at least try.

Decriminalization: A Love Story

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A general practitioner can get to know his community of patients fairly intimately in a small town. When he first arrived in Olhão, it didn’t take long for Pereira to steep in the details of people’s lives, their families, and their insides. He’d bump into patients at the café, shopping for fresh catch at the market, and on Sunday afternoon strolls along the boardwalk overlooking the Ria Formosa lagoon. His wife, an educator, came to know generations as students or parents at the local schools. When heroin began washing up on Olhão’s shores, tearing their lives and families and insides apart, Pereira was who they turned to… More here.

An excellent read.

A child genius raised in poverty…

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One night in the summer of 1997, Georgia decided to surprise Jasmine with the next day’s activity. While driving around, she pretended they were lost. After Jasmine fell asleep, Georgia headed to the campus of Stanford University, 35 miles south of San Francisco, where she parked the Voyager in a dormitory lot. Throughout the night, whenever someone drove past, she grabbed a flashlight and map to look like she’d pulled over for directions… More here.

Bookmark it, read it. Just don’t ignore it.

What is Moore’s Law Anyway?


Everyone knows Moore’s Law, right? Computers will double in performance every 2 years, or 18 months in some versions? And everyone claims it’s been remarkably consistent and some even claim that it’s Moore’s Law the causes computers to double in performance instead of it being an observation and prediction.

Well that’s not quite right. I read this article because the title caught my eye. While much of the article has food for thought, I was annoyed by the opening paragraph that reads 

“In 1965, Intel cofounder Gordon Moore published a remarkably prescient paper which predicted that computing power would double about every two years. For a half century, this process of doubling has proved to be so remarkably consistent that today it is commonly known as Moore’s Law and has driven the digital revolution.”

But that’s not what Moore wrote. According to Wikipedia, and my own memory of reading Moore’s Law, 

“Moore’s law is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.”

In the initial paper in 1965, he said every year, but revised that 10 years later to every 2 years. The bit about 18 months wasn’t Moore at all. From Wikipedia:

“The period is often quoted as 18 months because of Intel executive David House, who predicted that chip performance would double every 18 months (being a combination of the effect of more transistors and the transistors being faster)”

Moore was remarkably prescient. The plot in the Wikipedia article is so close as to suggest that he knew something before it happened. And certainly transistor density contributes directly to the steady increase in computing performance. But being the picky person that I am, I’d like articles quoting Moore’s Law to quote what he actually wrote.

Bob

Selling Mattresses

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I couldn’t know it then, but the outcome of that battle would influence the purchase decisions of many thousands, if not millions, of people seeking a good night’s sleep. It would also reveal just how thoroughly the internet and the businesses that thrived there had blurred the lines between product reviews and advertisements. All I’d wanted was a mattress, but what I got was a look at a little-known and hugely lucrative annex of e-commerce, one where the relationships can often get a little too comfy—until they’re not… More at Fast Company.

Who knew this industry could be like this?