Students are always more entrepreneurial and understand needs better than bureaucracies can,” said Harry R. Lewis, the director of undergraduate studies for Harvard’s computer science department, “since bureaucracies tend to have messages they want to spin, and priorities they have to set, and students just want stuff that is useful. I know this well, since students were talking to me about moving the Harvard face books online seven years before Zuckerberg just went and did it without asking permission.

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two - NYTimes.com

The processor may thus be able to recognize that a woman in a video is picking up a purse, or control a robot that is reaching into a pocket and pulling out a quarter. Humans are able to recognize these acts without conscious thought, yet today’s computers and robots struggle to interpret them. The chip contains 5.4 billion transistors, yet draws just 70 milliwatts of power. By contrast, modern Intel processors in today’s personal computers and data centers may have 1.4 billion transistors and consume far more power — 35 to 140 watts.

IBM Develops New Computer Chip Designed to Work Like the Brain - NYTimes.com

That it will be of very great use cannot be questioned, but how will its uses add to the happiness of mankind? Has the land telegraph done any good? Has it banished any evil, mitigated any sorrow?

In 1858, People Said the Telegraph Was ‘Too Fast for the Truth’ - Adrienne LaFrance - The Atlantic

The trouble always starts when teachers are told to put innovative ideas into practice without much guidance on how to do it. In the hands of unprepared teachers, the reforms turn to nonsense, perplexing students more than helping them. One 1965 Peanuts cartoon depicts the young blond-haired Sally struggling to understand her new-math assignment: “Sets … one to one matching … equivalent sets … sets of one … sets of two … renaming two… .” After persisting for three valiant frames, she throws back her head and bursts into tears: “All I want to know is, how much is two and two?”

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? - NYTimes.com

The easiest thing to do would be to please shareholders today and simply keep forging ahead, blind to the changes in the market around you, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that PC sales are dropping every year and that while they continue to drive huge profits for Microsoft today, it’s not a sustainable model in the long term. That is a textbook Innovator’s Dilemma.

Innovator’s Dilemma Is Real And Requires Bold Action To Overcome | TechCrunch

We can’t yet see how much this will change things. The proliferation of imaging is a profound change that bears comparison with the way vinyl and especially the transistor took music everywhere two and three generations ago, or the way the steam press and railways took print everywhere in the 19th century.

Benedict Evans: Imaging (via davemorin)

(via davemorin)

A new survey suggests that the digital divide has been replaced by a gap in digital readiness. It found that nearly 30% of Americans either aren’t digitally literate or don’t trust the Internet. That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American. In contrast, says Eszter Hargittai, a sociologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who was not involved in the study, those with essential Web skills “tend to be the more privileged. And so the overall story … is that it’s the people who are already privileged who are reaping the benefits here.”

Nearly one-third of Americans aren’t ready for the next generation of technology | Science/AAAS | News

Three “general purpose technologies”—rare innovations that transform not only one industry but the entire economy—were developed within a few months of each other in 1879. Thomas Edison invented the first properly working light bulb, Karl Benz built the first reliable internal combustion engine and, two decades before Marconi, David Edward Hughes sent a wireless signal. … The second industrial revolution was “multidimensional.” The internal combustion engine meant cars and thus motorways, which led to wholesale distribution networks. Electricity meant light, air-conditioned offices and the service economy. US productivity grew by an average of 2.36 per cent a year from 1891 to 1972.

In contrast, Gordon says, the computer revolution of the past 40 years has been “one-dimensional,”

Is technology set to steal your job? (via interestingsnippets)

(via interestingsnippets)