Thursday, October 29, 2015

What do we think about when we think about thinking ?

How Much Consciousness Does an Octopus Have?
By Emily Reynolds
Neuroscience 07 October 15


*M. J. Wells, 1962. Brain and Behavior in Cephalopods

*Margaret Boden, 1977. Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man

*Marvin Minsky, 1986. The Society of Mind

Roger T. Hanlon, John B. Messenger, 1996. Cephalopod Behaviour

Patricia Churchland, 2014. In response to "Storm Over the Brain"

*Paul Churchland, 1988. Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

*Patricia Churchland, 1992. The Computational Brain, The MIT Press

*Daniel C. Dennett, 1991. Consciousness Explained

John Ratley, 2001. A User's Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain”

*Adam Zeman, 2002. Consciousness: A User’s Guide


Annalee Newitz, 2010. Three arguments for the consciousness of cephalopods, ion,

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Net of Insecurity - The making of a vulnerable internet

A three part series by Craig Timberg in The Washington Post exploring the design of the internet and it’s impact on privacy and security.

LOpht - These hackers warned the Internet would become a security disaster. Nobody listened.

As the Web arrived in the 1990s, tech giants churned out flawed products, unleashing bugs that persist today.

part 1: A flaw in  the design: The Internet’s founders saw its promise but didn’t foresee users attacking one another, 30 May 2015

part 2: The long life of a quick ‘fix’: Internet protocol from 1989 leaves data vulnerable to hijackers, 31 May 2016

part 3: A disaster foretold — and ignored: LOpht’s warnings about the Internet drew notice but little action

Craig Timberg, Net of Insecurity - The making of a vulnerable internet, Washington Post, 2015

Monday, February 09, 2009

AU KDDI Announces Spring 2009 Cellphone Models

Japan's AU KDDI Keitai cell phone service has announced 10 new phones being added to their spring collection. Via Wireless Watch Japan ...

The KDDI product lineup page ( lists phones from Casio, Hitachi, Kyocera, Pantech, Sharp, Sony Erickson, Toshiba, ... what did I miss. The phones range in features from rich ones like Sharp's iPhone-like Aquos with a3 3.5" screen, a 5.2 Mpixel camera and the Toshiba Sportio Personal Smart Trainer down to the beautifully simple Kyocera A101K - it's just a phone - no flip, no text, no camera, quick call buttons that can be labeled, and a strap with the phone's phone number on it!  

The health feature (calorie counting) feature is often enhanced with KDDI's LISMO music (dance and burn calories) and television (veg out and save calories) support. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 Upgrade: (re)Enabling Wireless Access


During both an upgrade install (from 8.04 on a Dell x100) and a fresh install (on a Dell D600), my wireless networking vanished. There may be several solutions for this, but the one that has worked for me (so far) is the one I found on the UbuntuForum, by Moly. I haven't tried something similar on my Macbook ... yet ...

Re: kwlan disabled my eth0 and eth1 ports; how to reenable?

Moly reports

I seem to have fixed it. I went to /etc/network/interfaces and found Code:

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
#iface eth0 inet dhcp

So I uncommented out the last line, and added Code:

# The wireless network interface
auto eth1
iface eth1 inet dhcp

and then I restarted the network with Code:

/etc/init.d/networking restart

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Professor, Can we chat ...

In a survey released by CDW-G, 39 percent of college students say they want regular online chats with faculty. The students are likely to be disappointed, according to the report. Only 23 percent of IT staff surveyed aid their campus offered that kind of electronic faculty-student contact. Faculty, however, have found work arounds ... a diverse mix of tools supports communication -- more at

Cartoon from

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Visualizing Text with Wordle

This morning I was inspired to do a bit of word cloud exploration ...

I was prompted by a general tweet from Kevin Lim about "making beautiful word clouds using He had constructed a word cloud based on his entries ...


Kevin, in turn, was prompted by Henry Farrell's posting of his text cloud based on his book “The Political Economy of Trust: Institutions, Interests and Inter-Firm Cooperation” ...


Henry was reacting to Steven Poole's posting of the word cloud based on "Unspeak" ...


So, what does it all mean?

At the simplest level, a "word cloud" ("text cloud", "tag cloud" in the case of a blog) displays words whose font size is proportional to that word's frequency of occurrence in the analyzed text. It's a graphical concordance.

The placement of the graphemes, however, is not so rigid. Some clouds display the words according to size (boring :)), some alphabetically (not as boring), and some use algorithms that are not always published (interesting, since one is left to guess the algorithm).

The process can be made more analytical and comparative ... the IBM's Many Eyes project can compare two text clouds (recent examples were campaign speaches by Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama ... expect more of this genre this fall).

Henry Farrell, Wordle,

Kevin Lim, Wordle: Make beautiful textclouds…,

Many Eyes,

Steven Pool, Can Freedom Possible,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Understanding the Technologies behind Google ranking

In a post to the googgleblog, Official Google Blog: Technologies behind Google ranking, Amit Singhai, Google Fellow, writes:

As part of our effort to discuss search quality, I want to tell you more about the technologies behind our ranking. The core technology in our ranking system comes from the academic field of Information Retrieval (IR). The IR community has studied search for almost 50 years. It uses statistical signals of word salience, like word frequency, to rank pages. (See "Modern Information Retrieval: A Brief Overview" for a quick overview of IR technology.) IR gave us a solid foundation, and we have built a tremendous system on top using links, page structure, and many other such innovations.

Search in the last decade has moved from give me what I said to give me what I want. User expectations from search have rightly increased. We work hard to fulfill the expectations of each and every user, and to do that we need to better understand the pages, the queries, and our users. Over the last decade we have pushed the technologies for understanding these three components (of the search process) to completely new dimensions.

Official continue reading ...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Joi Ito explains the Creative Commons to Loic Le Meur

Joi Ito explains the Creative Commons to Loic Le Meur

Note: July 21. While correcting a typo in the title of this post, I discovered some link rot. The video is no longer available. Youtube reports "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation." That's the only information - as if there were only one term of use.

I originally found it on Joi Ito's own blog at ... so at least one of the parties in the interview was agreeable to it's being posted. He and Loic were discussing "old" and "new" media at Cannes in April.

On the blog (and on other references to the post), there were no production credits (as one would find on an AP or Reuters photograph). From what I recall, it seemed to be produced by a handheld camera, though probably not a keitai camera.

Loic's blog entry Joi Ito explains Creative Commons in Seesmic du Jour 124 links to the same [yanked] video.

A google search for [Joi Ito chats with Loic Le Meur about the Creative Commons] finds an edited version of this video at one of Loic Le Meur's podcast site -- as Seesmic du Jour 124: Joi Ito in Cannes, which opens at .

Wonder what the story is. How did this get pulled ? Is all of Cannes copyrighted ? Who complained ? Was Youtube hacked ? Curious minds want to know.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tagged in Motion

Hamburg artist DAIM sprays graffiti into the empty space in a large hall. Three cameras capture his position and movements as he paints with a virtual spray can. The assimilated data is shown to him in real time in a pair of video glasses — as free-floating 3D graffiti in space. His extended reality becomes a three-dimensional canvas, on which something completely new is created: street art of the next generation!

From Jung von Matt, Hamburg,Germany at

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Text Clouds and Workshop Evaluations


Often we are faced with evaluating comments, suggestions, and survey questions frequently taken from small groups. Other than just reading the comments and sifting through them mentally, is there any (easy) way to get a view of "what they all mean?"

Last week, Kevin Lim mashed up web 2.0 style tagging with a small survey and came up with a text cloud visualization of "Workshop Participants Expectations: Facebook Strategies for the Classroom" for a workshop he led at the University of Buffalo [1], [2], [3]. Despited the non-linear, non-narrative presentation, one gets the sense that a theme is evolving.

A google search quickly came up with a series of "cut and paste" tools for creating these text clouds as well as a short article suggesting other explorations -- including turning one's Ph.D. thesis into a text cloud.

Tags: Text Analysis Visualization

[1] Kevin Lim, February 21, 2008. Workshop Participants Expectations: Facebook Strategies for the Classroom,

[2] Kevin Lim, February 22, 2008. Facebook Strategies for the Classroom,

[3] Kevin Lim, February 20, 2008. Facebook Strategies for the Classroom,



[4] Joe Lamantia, Text Clouds: A New Form of Tag Cloud?, March 15, 2007.