Latest Tweets:

newsweek:

You’re looking at Neurogrid: a slab of silicon inspired by the human brain, which is 9,000 times faster than a normal computer brain simulator and uses way less energy to boot. 

Developed by a team of Stanford bioengineers, it’s worth pointing out that this is hardly the first microchip to be inspired by the human brain—they’ve come and gone in the past. It is, however, capable of simulating 100s and 1,000s more neurons than any in the past, and on less power than it takes to run an iPad. 

The research appears in an article for the Proceedings of the IEEE. It’s no wonder scientists want to recreate the brain in silicon: even a mouse cortex can operate 9,000 times faster than a PC, and a even then the computer uses 40,000 times the power, too. 

Hence Neurorgrid, which uses 16 custom-designed “Neurocore” chips to simulate 1 million neurons and billions of synaptic connections. It’s 9,000 times faster, and 100,000 times more energy efficient, than a personal computer simulation of 1 million neurons. 

Understandable, then, that the prototype’s worth a cool $40,000—but sadly it’s not easy to code for. Kwabena Boahen, one of the researchers, explains: “Right now, you have to know how the brain works to program one of these. We want to create a neurocompiler so that you would not need to know anything about synapses and neurons to able to use one of these.”

Indeed, the idea is to use the devices to control prosthetic limbs for paralyzed people—a fitting application for a synthetic brain. But there’s still plenty of potential to make this thing way more cheaper—and, in turn, way more practical for the real world, too. 

This Brain-Inspired Microchip Is 9,000 Times Faster Than a Normal PC

That Moore’s Law graph is going to blip…

newsweek:

You’re looking at Neurogrid: a slab of silicon inspired by the human brain, which is 9,000 times faster than a normal computer brain simulator and uses way less energy to boot.

Developed by a team of Stanford bioengineers, it’s worth pointing out that this is hardly the first microchip to be inspired by the human brain—they’ve come and gone in the past. It is, however, capable of simulating 100s and 1,000s more neurons than any in the past, and on less power than it takes to run an iPad.

The research appears in an article for the Proceedings of the IEEE. It’s no wonder scientists want to recreate the brain in silicon: even a mouse cortex can operate 9,000 times faster than a PC, and a even then the computer uses 40,000 times the power, too.

Hence Neurorgrid, which uses 16 custom-designed “Neurocore” chips to simulate 1 million neurons and billions of synaptic connections. It’s 9,000 times faster, and 100,000 times more energy efficient, than a personal computer simulation of 1 million neurons.

Understandable, then, that the prototype’s worth a cool $40,000—but sadly it’s not easy to code for. Kwabena Boahen, one of the researchers, explains: “Right now, you have to know how the brain works to program one of these. We want to create a neurocompiler so that you would not need to know anything about synapses and neurons to able to use one of these.”

Indeed, the idea is to use the devices to control prosthetic limbs for paralyzed people—a fitting application for a synthetic brain. But there’s still plenty of potential to make this thing way more cheaper—and, in turn, way more practical for the real world, too.

This Brain-Inspired Microchip Is 9,000 Times Faster Than a Normal PC

That Moore’s Law graph is going to blip…

*54

Why the Smart Reading Device Of The Future May Be Paper

the-feature:

Paper books were supposed to be dead by now. For years, information theorists, marketers, and early adopters have told us their demise was imminent. Yet in a world of screen ubiquity, many people still prefer to do their serious reading on paper.

The paper/digital discussion goes on. Maybe it’s just horses for courses… The interesting thing is why…

*93

"

When you buy Google Glass, you are not a consumer. You are an Explorer.

Everything about Glass affirms your specialness. The Swedish modern showroom, where a hot guy tweaks Glass’s nose grips just for your face. The card that comes with Glass, calling you an “adventurer,” a “founder.” The fact that you must be invited to purchase your pair, since there are only 8,000 Google Glasses in the world.

When you wear Glass, you and Google are a team.

But explorers are not neutral. They are the shock troops of empire. The lands explorers traverse are later conquered by armies, their sacred objects melted down for gold. Glass Explorers continue the corporation’s conquest of reality.

"

Google Glass, The Corporate Gaze and Mine (via majoringindebt)

Hah! Quite… :)

(via laurennmcc)

*1

"

As Estonian President Toomas Ilves put it recently, it is as though we have two cultures: those who care about technology and those who care about liberal democracy. And not only do they not talk to each other, but act as if the other didn’t exist.

It’s time those two worlds learned how to understand and inter-relate with each other. Then we would not have a situation where, for example, mass observation of citizens is seen by some as “acceptable” merely because it is technically possible. Or, on the other side, where policy makers look at big data and can see only dangers and threats instead of opportunities.

"

EUROPA.EU

Trustycon: how to redesign NSA surveillance to catch more criminals and spy on a lot fewer people

The technical aspects of privacy - O'Reilly Radar

"A non-disclosure agreement that police departments around the country have been signing for years with the maker of a cell-phone spy tool explicitly prohibits the law enforcement agencies from telling anyone, including other government bodies, about their use of the secretive equipment, according to one of the agreements obtained by an Arizona journalist."

Wired

'Independent' court scrutinising MI5 is located inside Home Office

Transparency for the Masses - but not for the administration.

*1

Edward Snowden's magnificent testimony to the EU

*1

The neuromyths of the classrooms

School (like governance) is the next battle ground for rational structuring.

Seriously. That’s how far behind where we think we are we really are in applying sensible thinking to real life and infrastructure.

Digital Life in 2025

PEW decides that, yes, digital is the new substrate. But, you know, they have evidence. All I have is a buzzword or two ;)

Google: you can't snoop on our search stuffz (only we are allowed to do that)

Jennifer Pahlka - tech for government

"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he has called President Barack Obama to express his frustration over what he says is long-lasting damage caused by the US government’s surveillance programs."

When Zuck says you’re taking this whole “no privacy” thing too far, dude: you are a really taking this whole “no privacy” thing too far.

Here.

*3

""Iranian Living Room" is a new photojournalism project we’ve produced and self-published. Enrico Bossan, our brilliant head of photography, sought out 15 young Iranian photographers to take pictures of "interior life" in Iran (mainly Tehran.) We wanted to coincide with the Iranian election as we knew much of the associated imagery would be CNN and BBC cameras on the streets. But we also knew that the real discussions amongst Iranians would take place in private, off the streets, in the relative freedom of the "living room", away from the prying eyes of the world’s media, and the state.
[…]
I was told that [PayPal’s] shopping cart code was blocking the order because the book had the word “Iranian” in the title. And that word is on a “blacklist” (their word, not mine) as PayPal is based in the USA. And that was that. Our PayPal account manager on the phone in Dublin—who was vaguely helpful and evasive in equal measure—said that he could tell by my accent that I was American and I would understand the issue."

City Of Sound / PayPal and the word “Iranian” 

Sort of a Transparency For The Masses moment, sort of something more Foucauldian (kerCHING £1 in the Social Theorists Box). Blunt-instrument filters refusing to allow a legitimate - even socially valuable - transaction. Really bad news, and exactly the kind of thing we’ll see more of if we don’t object - the vanishing of unapproved groups and perspectives, the hollowing out of our empathy and the empowerment of filterbubble politics.

(Buy the book. I’m going to.)