Darwin Among the Machines

Minientrada

dmThe following letter was first published in The Press, Christ Church, New Zealand, June 13, 1863. It was reprinted by H. Festing Jones in his edition of The Notebooks of Samuel Butler (1912) together with an editor’s note observing that the letter was Butler’s earliest expression of ideas about man and machine that were to be developed in the novel Erewhon (1872).

The serious implications of the letter -particularly its closing paragraphs- have increasingly overshadowed the delicious irony that suffuses Butler’s writing. This remarkable jeu déspirit by the young Samuel Butler (he wrote it when he was twenty-eight) almost casually anticipates some of the direst fears and warnings of the anti-utopian pundits, prophets, and science fiction writers of the twentieth century. In the brief period of calm before he was to pour out his wrath against Darwin and Darwinian thought, Butler playfully drew analogies between the development of the machines and the evolutionary process as it was conceived in The Origin of Species (1859). Shortly after writing “Darwin Among the Machines”, Butler was to launch his lonely, lifelong attack against Darwinism. As Bernard Shaw noticed in the preface to Back to Methuselah (1921), Butler realized that Darwin conceived evolution as a purposless process, “declared with penetrating accuracy that had ‘banished mind from the universe’; and even attacked Darwin’s personal character, unable to bear the fact that the author of so abhorrent a doctrine was an amiable and upright man. Nobody would listen to him. He was… completely submerged by the flowing tide of Darwinism”. Nevertheless, in a series of works such as Life and Habit (1877), Evolution, Old and New (1879), Unconscious Memory (1880), and Luck or Cunning? (1887), he developed his philosophy of Vitalism or Creative Evolution in opposition to Darwinian thought.


Sir -There are few things of which the present generation is more justly proud than of the wonderful improvements which are daily taking place in all sorts of mechanical appliances. And indeed it is matter for great congratulation on many grounds. It is unnecesary to mention these here, for they are sufficiently obvious; our present business lies with considerations which may somewhat tend to humble our pride and to make us think seriously of the future prospects of the human race. If we revert to the earliest primordial types of mechanical life, to the lever, the wedge, the inclined plane, the screw and the pulley, or (for analogy would lead us one step further) to that one primordial type from which all the mechanical kingdom has been developed, we mean to the lever itself, and if we then examine the machinery of the Great Eastern, we find ourselves almost awestruck at the vast development of the mechanical world, at the gigantic strides with which it has advanced in comparison with the slow progress of the animal and vegetable kingdom. We shall find it impossible to refrain from asking ourselves what the end of this mighty movement is to be. In what direction is tit tending? What will be its upshot? To give a few imperfect hints towards a solution of these questions is the object of the present letter.

We have used the words “mechanical life”, “the mechanical kingdom”, “the mechanical world”, and so forth, and we have done so advisedly, for as the vegetable kingdom was slowly developed from the mineral, and as in like manner the animal supervened upon the vegetable, so now in these last few ages an entirely new kingdom has sprung up, of which we as yet have only seen what will one day be considered an antidiluvian prototypes of the race.

We regret deeply that our knowledge both of natural history and of the machinery is too small to enable us to undertake the gigantic task of classifying machines into the genera and sub-genera, species, varieties and sub-varities, and so forth, of tracing the connecting links between machines of widely different characters, of pointing out how subservience to the use of man has played that part among machines which natural selection has performed in the animal and vegetable kingdoms, of pointing out rudimentary organs, which exist in some few machines, feebly developed and perfectly useless, yet serving to mark descent from some ancestral type which has either perished or been modified into some new phase of mechanical existence. We can only point out this field for investigation; it must be followed by others whose education and talents have been of a much higher order than any which we can lay claim to.

Some few hints we have determined to venture upon, though we did so with the profoundest diffidence. Firstly, we would remark that as some of the lowest of the vertebrata attained a far greater size than has descended to their more highly organized living representatives, so a diminution in the size of machines has often attended their development and progress. Take the watch for instance. Examine the beautiful structure of the little animal, watch the intelligent play of the minute members which compose it; yet this little creature is but a development of the cumbrous clocks of the thirteenth century -it is not deterioration from them. The day may come when clocks, which certainly at the present day are not diminishing in bulk, may be entirely superseded by the universal use of watches, in which case clocks will become extinct like the earlier saurians, while the watch (whose tendency have for some years been rather to decrease in size than the contrary) will remain the only existing type of an extinct race.

The views of machinery which we are thus feebly indicating will suggest the solution of one of the greatest and most misterious questions of the day. What sort of creature man’s next succesor in the supremacy of the earth is likely to be. We have often heard this debated; but it appears to us that we are daily adding to the beauty and delicacy of their physical organisation; we are daily giving them greater power and supplying by all sorts of ingenuous contrivances that self-regulating, self-acting power which will be to them what intellect has been to the human race. In the course of ages we shall find ourselves the inferior race. Inferior in power, inferior in that moral quality of self-control, we shall look up to them as the acme of all that the best and wisest man can ever dare to aim that. No evil passions, no jealously, no avarice, no impure desires will disturb the serene might of those glorious creatures. Sin, shame, and sorrow will have no place among them. Their minds will be in a state of perpetual calm, the contentment of a spirit that knows no wants, is disturbed by no regrets. Ambition will never torture them. Ingratitude will never cause them the uneasiness of a moment. The guilty conscience, the hope deferred, the pains of exile, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes -these will be entirely unknown to them. If they want “feeding” (by the use of which very word we betray our recognition of them as living organism) they will be attended by patient slaves whose business and interest it will be to see that they shall want for nothing. If they are out of order they will be promptly attended to by physicians who are thoroughly acquainted with their constitutions; if they die, for even these glorious animals will not be exempt from that neccesary and universal consummation, they will immediately enter into a new phase of existence, for what machine dies entirely in every part at one and the same instant?

We take it that when the state of things shall have arrived which we have been above attempting to describe, man will have become to the machine what the horse and the dog are to man. He will continue to exist, nay even to improve, and will be probably better off in his state of domestication under the beneficent rule of the machines than he is in his present wild state. We treat our horses, dogs, cattle and sheep, on the whole, with great kindness; we give them whatever experience teaches us to be best for them, and there can be no doubt that our use of meat has added to the happiness of the lower animals far more than it has detracted from it; in like manner it is reasonable to suppose that the machines will treat us kindly, for their existence is as dependent upon ours as ours is upon the lower animals. They cannot kill us and cat us as we do sheep; they will not only require our services in the parturition of their young (which branch of their economy will remain always in our hands), but also in feeding them, in setting them right when they are sick, and burying their dead or working up their corpses into new machines. It is obvious that if all the animals in Great Britain save man alone were to die, and if at the same time all intercourse with foreign countries were by some sudden catastrophe to be rendered perfectly impossible, it is obvious that under such circumstances the loss of human life would be something fearful to contemplate -in like manner were mankind to cease, the machines would be as badly off or even worse. The fact is that our interests are inseparable from theirs, and theirs from ours. Each race is dependent upon the other for innumerable benefits, and, until the reproductive organs of the machines have been developed in a manner which we are hardly yet able to conceive, they are entirely dependent upon man for even the continuance of their species. It is true that these organs may be ultimately developed, inasmuch as man’s interest lies in that direction; there is nothing which our infatuated race would desire more than to see a fertile union between two steam engines; it is true that machinery is even at this present time employed in begetting machinery, in becoming the parent of machines often after its own kind, but the days of flirtation, courtship, and matrimony appear to be very remote, and indeed can hardly be realised by our feeble and imperfect imagination.

Day by day, however, the machines are gaining upon us, day by day we are becoming more subservient to them; more men are daily bound down as slaves to tend them, more men are daily devoting the energies of their whole lives to the development of mechanical life. The upshot is simply a question of time, but that the time will come when the machines will hold the real supremacy over the world and its inhabitants is what no person of a truly prilosophic mind can for a moment question.

Our opinion is that war to the death should be instantly proclaimed against them. Every machine of every sort should be destroyed by the well-wisher of his species. Let there be no exceptions made, no quarter shown: let us at once go back to the primeral condition of the race. If it be urged that this is impossible under the present condition of human affairs, this at once proves that the mischief is already done, that our servitude has commenced in good earnest, that we have raised a race of beings whom it is beyond our power to destroy, and that we are not only enslaved but are absolutely acquiscent in our bondage.
For the present we shall leave this subject, which we present gratis to the members of the Philosophical Society. Should they consent to avail themselves of the vast field which we have pointed out, we shall endeavour to labour in it ourselves at some future and indefinite period.

I am, Sir, etc.,

Cellarius.


Samuel Butler and Art

Samuel Butler studied Classics at St John’s College from 1854 to 1858, and after graduating in 1859 he moved to New Zealand, where he established a profitable sheep run. Five years later, having achieved financial independence, Butler returned to England and settled in London, where he pursued his ambition of becoming a painter. He studied at the South Kensington Museum and Cary’s Art School in Bloomsbury, then from 1867 onwards studied exclusively at Heatherley’s in Newman Street.

Despite his formal training, Butler always favoured the primitive, untutored style of the provincial artists found in Italy before Raphael. Butler’s own naïve style of painting never sat well with the art establishment at the Royal Academy, and as a result his public success was limited.

Butler continued to sketch and paint throughout his life, though, producing all the illustrations for his Italian guide book Alps and Sanctuaries (1881). He also published works of art criticism, in which he championed the Italian painters and sculptors he spent time studying during his frequent vacations in Italy.

From the late 1880s onwards, photography became Butler’s medium of choice, and his ‘snap-shots’ display his acute talent for finding extraordinary qualities in scenes of ordinary life.

St. John’s College, University of Cambridge | Samuel Butler and Art

Mathematical Principles, Sir Isaac Newton

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Newton_wide-1200
Absolut time, in astronomy, is distinguished from relative, by the equation or correction of the apparent time. For the natural days are truly unequal, though they are commonly considered as equal, and used for a measure of time; astronomers correct this inequality that they may measure the celestial motions by a more accurate time. It may be, that there is no such thing as an equable motion, whereby time may be accurately measured. All motions may be accelerated and retarded, but the flowing of absolute time is not liable to any change. The duration of perseverance of the existence of things remains the same, whether the motions are swift or slow, or none at all: and therefore this duration ought to be distinguished from what are only sensible measures thereof; and from which we deduce it, by means of the astronomical equation. The necessity of this equation for determining the times of a phenomena, is evinced as well from the experiments of the pendulum clock, as by eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter.

As the order of the parts of time is immutable, so also is the order of the parts of space. Suppose those parts to be moved out of their places, and they will be moved (if the expression may be allowed) out of themselves. For times and spaces are, as it were, the places as well of themselves as of all other things. All things are placed in time as to order of succession; and in space as to order of situation. It is from the essence of nature that they are places; and that the primary places of things should be movable, is absurd. These are therefore the absolute places; and translations out of those places, are the only absolute motions.

But because the parts of space cannot be seen, or distinguished from one another by our senses, therefore in stead we use sensible measures of them. For from the positions and distances of things from any body considered as immovable, we define all places; and then with respect to such places, we estimate all motions, considering bodies as transferred from some of those places into others. And so, instead of absolute places and motions, we use relative ones; and that without any inconvenience in common affairs; but in philosophical disquisitions, we ought to abstract from our senses, and consider things themselves, disctinct from what are only sensible measures of them. For it may be that there is no body really at rest, to which the places and motions of others may be referred.

But we may distinguish rest and motion, absolute and relative, one from the other by their properties, causes and effects. It is a property of rest, that bodies really at rest do rest in respect to one another. And therefore as it is possible, that in the remote regions of the fixed stars, of perhaps far beyond them, there may be some body absolutely at rest; but impossible to know, from the position of bodies to one another in our regions, wether any of these do keep the same position to that remote body, it follows that absolute rest cannot be determined from the position of bodies in our regions.

It is a property of motion, that the parts, which retain given positions to their wholes, do partake of the motions of those wholes. For all the parts of revolving bodies endeavor to recede from the axis of motion; and the impetus of bodies moving forwards arises from the joint impetus of all the parts. Therefore, if surrounding bodies are moved, those that are relatively at rest within them will partake of their motion. Upon which account, the true and absolute motion of a body cannot be determined by the translation of it from those which only seem to rest; for the external bodies ought not only to appear at rest, but to be really at rest. For otherwise, all included bodies, besides their translation from near the surrounding ones, partake likewise of their true motions; and though that translation were not made, they would not be really at rest, but only seen, to be so. For the surrounding bodies stand in the like relation to the surrounded as the exterior part of a whole does to the interior, or as the shell does to the kernel; but if the shell moves, the kernel will also move, as being part of the whole, without any removal from near to shell.

A property, near akin to the preceding, is this, that if a place is moved, wathever is placed therein moves along with it; and therefore a body, which is moved from a place in motion, partake also of the motion of its place. Upon which account, all motions, from places in motion, are no others than parts of entire and absolute motions; and every entire motion is composed of the motion of the body out of its first place, and the motion of this place out of its place; and so on, until we come to some immovable place, as in the before-mentioned example of the sailor. Wherefore, entire and absolute motions can be no otherwise determined than by immovable places; and for that reason I did before refer those absolute motions to immovable places, but relative ones to movable places. Now no other places are immovable but those that, from infinity to infinity, do all retain tha same given position one to another; and upon this account must even remain unmoved; and do thereby constitute inmovanle space.

The causes by which true and relative motions are distinguished, one from the other, are the forces impressed upon bodies to generate motion. True motion is neither generated nor altered, but by some force impressed upon the body moved; but relative motion may be generated or altered without any force impressed upon the body. For it is sufficient only to impress some force on other bodies with which the former is compared, that by their giving way, that relation may be changed, in which the relative rest or motion of this other body did consist. Again, true motion suffers always some change from any force impressed upon the moving body; but relative motion does not necessarily undergo any change by such forces. For if the same forces are likewise impressed on those other bodies, with which the comparison is made, that the relative position may be preserved, than that condition will be preserved in which the relative motion consists. And therefore any relative motion may be changed when the true motion remains unaltered, and the relative may be preserved when the true suffers some change. Thus, true motion by no means consists in such relations.

The effects which distinguish absolute from relative motion are, the forces of receding from the axis of circular motion. For there are no such forces in a circular motion purely relative, but in a true and absolute circular motion, they are greater or less, acording to the quantity of the motion. If a vessel hung by a long cord, is so often turned about that the cord is strongly twisted, then filled with water, and held at rest together with the water; thereupon, by the sudden action of another force, it is whirled about the contrary way, and while the cord is untwisting itself, the vessel continues for some time in this motion; the surface of the water will at first be plain, as before the vessel began to move; but after that, the vessel, by gradually communicating its motion to the water, will make it begin sensibly to revolve, and recede by little and little from the middle, and ascend to the sides of the vessel, forming itself into a concave figure (as I have experienced), and the swifter the motion becomes, the higher will the water rise, till at last, performing its revolutions in the same times with the vessel, it becomes relatively at rest in it. This ascent of the water shows its endeavor to recede from the axis of its motion; and the true and absolute circular motion of the water, which is here directly contrary to the relative, becomes known, and may be measured by this endeavor. At first, when the relative motion of the water in the vessel was greatest, it produced no endeavor to recede from the axis; the water showed no tendency to the circunference, nor any ascent towards the sides of the vessel, but remained of a plain surface, and therefore its true circular motion had not yet begun. But afterwards, when the relative motion of the water had decreased, the ascent thereof towards the sides of the vessel proved its endeavor to recede from the axis; and this endeavor showed the real circular motion of the water continually increasing, till it had acquired its greatest quantity, when the water rested relatively in the vessel. And therefore this endeavor does not depend upon any translation of the water in respect of the ambient bodies, nor can true circular motion on any one revolving body, corresponding to only one power of endeavoring to recede from its axis of motion, as its proper and adequate effect; but relative motions, in one and the same body, are innumerable, according to the various relations it bears to external bodies, and, like other relations, are altogether destitute of any real effect, any otherwise that they may perhaps partake of that one only true motion. And therefore in their system who suppose that our heavens, revolving below the sphere of the fixed stars, carry the planets along with them; the several parts of those heavens, do yet really move. For they change their position one to another (which never happen to bodies truly at rest), and being carried together with their heavens, partake of their motions, and as parts of revolving wholes, endeavor to recede from the axis of their motions.

Wherefore relative quantities are not the quantities themselves, whose names they bear, but those sensible measures of them (either accurate or inaccurate), which are commonly used instead of the measured quantities themselves. And if the meaning of words is to be determined by their use, then by the names time, space, place and motion, their [sensible] measures are properly to be understood; and the expression will be unusual, and purely mathematical, if the accuracy of language, which ought to be kept precise, who interpret these words for the measured quantities. Nor do those less defile the purity of mathematical and philosophical truths, who confound real quantities with their relations and sensible measures.

It is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish the true motions of particular bodies from the apparent; because the parts of that immovable space, in which those motions are performed, do by no means come under the observation of our senses. Yet the thing is not altogether desperate; for we have some arguments to guide us, partly from the apparent motions, which are the differences of the true motions; partly from the apparent motions, which are the differences of the true motions; partly from the forces, which are the causes and effects of the true motions. For instance, if two globes, kept at a given distance one from the other by means of a cord that connects them, were revolved about their common centre of gravity, we might, from the tension of the cord, discover the endeavor of the globes to recede from the axis of their motion, and from thence we might compute the quantity of their circular motions. And then if any equal forces should be impressed at once on the alternate faces of the globes to augment or diminish their circular motions, from the increase or decrease of the tension of the cord, we might infer the increment or decrement of their motions; and thence would be found on what faces those forces ought to be impressed, that the motions of the globes might be most augmented; that is, we might discover their headmost their hindmost faces, or those which, in the circular motion, do follow. But the faces which follow being knows, and consequently the opposite ones that precede, we should likewise know the determination of their motions. And thus we might find both the quantity and the determination of this circular motion, even in an immense vacuum, where there was nothing external or sensible with which the globes could be compared. But now, if in that space some remote bodies were placed that kept always a given position one to another, as the fixed stars do in our regions, we could not indeed determine from the relative translation of the globes among those bodies, wether the motion did belong to the globes or to the bodies. But if we observed the cord, and found that its tension was that very tension which the motions of the globes required, we might conclude the motion to be on the globes, and the bodies to be at rest; and then, lastly, from the translation of the globes among the bodies, we should find the determination of their motions. But how we are to obtain the true motions from their causes, effects, and apparent differences, and the converse, shall be explained more at large in the following treatise. For to this end it was that I composed it.

Sir Isaac Newton.

Tecnología – 2015/07/03

Minientrada

BBC recortará empleos ante ascenso de TV por internet

Reuters 02.07.2015 Última actualización 02.07.2015

La emisora pública británica dijo que espera recibir menores ingresos por licencias debido a que la gente ha cambiado la televisión tradicional por la que se ofrece en internet.

La BBC dijo que recortará más de mil empleos, debido a que espera recibir 150 millones de libras, alrededor de 234 millones de dólares, menos de lo previsto a partir de licencias en el próximo año fiscal.

Dicha rebaja, argumentó la emisora, se debe a que los televidentes han dejado de ver programas por televisión y lo hacen por internet.

Cada hogar de Reino Unido con un televisor debe pagar 145.50 libras por año a la BBC, que es pública y fue fundada en 1922.

“Se prevé que ahora el ingreso por licencia en 2016/17 será 150 millones de libras menos de lo esperado en 2011”, dijo la BBC.

BBC Mundo | BBC recortará empleos ante ascenso de TV por internet

Samsung, Sony, Google y Facebook chocan por realidad virtual

Jair López 02.07.2015 Última actualización 08:52 AM

En el amor y en la realidad virtual todo se vale, parece ser la frase que marcará la competencia entre los gigantes tecnológicos en este campo de batalla, que tendrá un valor de 15 mil 890 millones de dólares hacia 2020.

Con su Google Cardboard que arranca en 15 dólares, el mayor buscador por internet parece haberse burlado de firmas como Samsung, Sony o Facebook, la cual ha invertido al menos 2 mil millones de dólares en el desarrollo de realidad virtual.

La realidad virtual se define como el efecto a partir de la creación de un escenario virtual en el que se genera la sensación de estar inmerso. Para lograrlo se hace uso de visores con una lente de aumento que permite visualizar imágenes en 3D, a partir 2D.

El Financiero | Samsung, Sony, Google y Facebook chocan por realidad virtual

Google Cardboard at I/O 2015

YouTube | Android Authority

Facebook trabaja en red de transmisión de datos a través de láser

Redacción 01.07.2015 Última actualización 01.07.2015

Facebook está trabajando en un sistema de comunicaciones que permita la transmisión de datos a través de láser, esta tecnología permitiría aumentar de forma exponencial la velocidad de envío de información a través de largas distancias.

En las imágenes se hizo visible los láseres, sin embargo aplicados a la vida real estos no serían visibles. (Tomada de Facebook Oficial de Mark Zuckerberg)

Como parte de su iniciativa Internet.org, la red social está trabajando en un sistema de comunicaciones que permita la transmisión de datos a través de láser.

“Nuestro laboratorio de conectividad está desarrollando un sistema de comunicaciones por láser que pueda transmitir datos desde el cielo a la comunidades”, escribió en un post el CEO y fundador de la red social Mark Zuckerberg.

De acuerdo con Zuckerberg, esta tecnología permitiría aumentar de forma exponencial la velocidad de envío de datos a través de largas distancias.

En imágenes, el CEO mostró que la tecnología ya está siendo probada. En las imágenes, señala Zuckerberg, se hizo visible los láseres, sin embargo aplicados a la vida real estos no serían visibles.

El Financiero | Facebook trabaja en red de transmisión de datos a través de láser

Mark Zuckerberg shows off Facebook’s internet lasers

YouTube | Dharavika Naveli

Facebook successfully tests laser drones in UK skies

Friday 27 March 2015 11.07 GMT

Social network prepares to use solar-powered drones with wingspan of a commercial airliner to beam internet access to rural areas

Facebook’s new internet drone was successfully tested in the skies above the UK. Photograph: Facebook

Facebook has been testing large, solar-powered drones in the skies over the UK, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has announced.

The drones use lasers to beam internet access down to the ground, designed to provide connections to rural and internet-free zones.

“As part of our Internet.org effort to connect the world, we’ve designed unmanned aircraft that can beam internet access down to people from the sky,” said Zuckerberg in a blog post. “We’ve successfully completed our first test flight of these aircraft in the UK.”

Developed by Ascenta, a Somerset-based designer of solar-powered drones bought by Facebook in March 2014, the drones will be able to fly at altitudes of 60,000 feet for months at a time on solar power. They will have wingspans greater than 29m, or that of a Boeing 737, but weigh less than a car.

“Aircraft like these will help connect the whole world because they can affordably serve the 10% of the world’s population that live in remote communities without existing internet infrastructure,” said Zuckerberg.

The Guardian | Facebook successfully tests laser drones in UK skies

Google, Facebook want to bring the world online with drones: 90 Seconds on The Verge

YouTube | The Verge

Cuba estrenó ayer la conexión WiFi a Internet

Periódico La Jornada
Viernes 3 de julio de 2015, p. 27

El costo del servicio es de 2 dólares la hora

Decenas de cubanos pasaron horas navegando en la Internet al entrar en servicio las conexiones Wi-Fi en sitios y plazas públicas. Antes de este cambio, los enlaces a la red se limitaban a sitios administrados por el gobierno y en hoteles de lujo. Foto Reuters

Cuba estrenó este jueves conexiones WiFi a Internet en plazas de 16 ciudades, una novedad en este país con escaso acceso a la red mundial, que en su primer día atrajo principalmente a jóvenes cibernautas. Un centenar de personas conectadas, fundamentalmente con teléfonos celulares, aprovecharon la nueva señal en La Rampa, en la zona céntrica del famoso Hotel Habana Libre. Decenas de personas, con tabletas y computadoras portátiles, estaban sentadas en las aceras absortas en el uso de la Internet de alta velocidad.

La nueva conexión WiFi en Cuba cuesta dos dólares la hora, tarifa elevada en un país donde el salario promedio es de 20 dólares al mes, pero más baja que la que cobraban las salas públicas de Internet, de 4.50 dólares.

La Jornada | Cuba estrenó ayer la conexión WiFi a Internet

F5 Networks

Minientrada


F5 Networks

F5 Networks, Inc. is a multinational American company which specializes in Application Delivery Networking (ADN) technology that optimizes the delivery of network-based applications and the security, performance, availability of servers, data storage devices, and other network resources. F5 is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has development, manufacturing, and sales/marketing offices worldwide. F5 originally manufactured and sold some of the industry’s first load balancing products. In 2010 and 2011, F5 Networks was on Fortune‘s list of 100 Fastest-Growing Companies worldwide.[3] The company was also rated one of the top ten best-performing stocks by S&P 500 in 2010.[4]

F5 offers products in various segments of the application delivery controller market. According to Gartner, in 2010 F5 had “a continued market-leading position”[5] in the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) market and the Advanced Platform Application Delivery Controller market. As of June 2011, Gartner cites the most significant competitors (in terms of market share) as Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, and Radware.

Wikipedia | F5 Networks


BIG-IP

Certified Big-IP LTM admin here. Big-IP is a product suite related to accelerated data delivery, created by company F5. This is everything from basic application delivery (think web acceleration and load balancing) to data distribution across SANs to assist in migrations and consolidations.
In my experience, people use Big-IP to refer to their flagship product, the LTM devices which are full proxy load balancers.
People have much love for the product line because of their powerful iRules language, which allows incredible customization of whatever you are accelerating (such as a web farm).
Other reasons people recommend the product is their fantastic SSL offloading, which allows the web servers to focus on serving data, not encryption/decryption, the fact that their web interface is intuitive and stable, a powerful, linux based backend for cron jobs, and the bigpipe command line interface for scripting the creation of farms (called pools in bigip lingo).
I used Juniper and Foundry load balancers extensively and IMHO (and many others), the LTM is best in class.

BIG-IP is essentially a network load balancer or Layer 4-7 switch. They are made by F5. They have additional features which allow to use it as a Firewall, SSL VPN appliance and other network appliance type functions. In comparison Cisco’s ACE, Citrix NetScaler, Foundry/Brocade Server Iron and a few others provide similar load balancing services.

Reddit /r/networking | BIG-IP


F5 BIG-IP LTM Initial Install and Configure

YouTube | Steven Roman


Cisco VMDC Cloud Infrastructure with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager

Design recommendations for using F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) within
the Cisco Virtualized Multiservice Data Center 2.3 (VMDC) solution in order to provide server-load balancing services. This document is based on lab validation of server-load balancing using F5 BIG-IP LTM in a Cisco VMDC 2.3 test environment.
This design incorporates both physical and virtual edition F5 BIG-IP LTM devices. The design uses BIG-IP 5200v devices, which are located at the edge of the network in order to take advantage of their high-performance hardware offload. The LTM virtual editions were used within each tenant and used 1 Gbps licenses running on VMware vSphere.
The audience for this document includes technical and business decision-makers who are interested in:

  • The design of a cloud ready infrastructure with F5 BIG-IP LTM devices in the overall cloud model.
  • Enabling IT innovation to meet their overall business strategy.

Cisco | Cisco VMDC Cloud Infrastructure with F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager


A Demonstration of WAN Virtualization with the Citrix CloudBridge Virtual WAN Solution

YouTube | Citrix


Reddit

Reddit /ˈrɛdɪt/,[6] stylized as reddit,[7] is an entertainment, social networking, and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, making it essentially an online bulletin board system. Registered users can then vote submissions up or down to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits.” The subreddit topics include news, gaming, movies, music, books, fitness, food, and photosharing, among others.

Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. Condé Nast Publications acquired the site in October 2006. Reddit became a direct subsidiary of Condé Nast’s parent company, Advance Publications, in September 2011. As of August 2012, Reddit operates as an independent entity, although Advance is still its largest shareholder.[8] Reddit is based in San Francisco, California. In October 2014 reddit raised $50 million in a funding round led by Sam Altman and including investors Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Ron Conway, Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto.[9] Their investment valued the company at $500 million.[10][11]

Site

The site is a collection of entries submitted by its registered users, essentially a bulletin board system. The name “Reddit” is a play-on-words with the phrase “read it,” i.e., “I read it on Reddit.”[12] The site’s content is divided into numerous categories, and 50 such categories, or “default subreddits,” are visible on the front page to new users and those who browse the site without logging in to an account. As of May 2014, these include:[13]

Category Subreddits
Educational News, Science, Space, TodayILearned (TIL) and WorldNews
Entertainment Creepy, Documentaries, Gaming, ListenToThis, Movies, Music, NoSleep, Sports, Television and Videos
Discussion-based AskReddit, AskScience, Books, ExplainLikeImFive, IAmA and TwoXChromosomes
Humor/light-hearted DataIsBeautiful, Funny, InternetIsBeautiful, Jokes, NotTheOnion, ShowerThoughts, StandUpShots, TIFU and UpliftingNews
Image sharing Art, Aww, EarthPorn, Gifs, MildlyInteresting, OldSchoolCool, Pics and PhotoshopBattles
Self-improvement DIY, Fitness, Food, GetMotivated, LifeProTips, PersonalFinance, Philosophy and WritingPrompts
Technology Futurology, Gadgets and Technology
Meta Announcements and Blog

When items (links or text posts) are submitted to a subreddit, users (redditors) can vote for or against them (upvote/downvote). Each subreddit has a front page that shows newer submissions that have been rated highly. Redditors can also post comments about the submission, and respond back and forth in a conversation-tree of comments; the comments themselves can also be upvoted and downvoted. The front page of the site itself shows a combination of the highest-rated posts out of all the subreddits a user is subscribed to.

Wikipedia | Reddit

Journalism Project | Pew Research center

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State of the News Media 2014

OVERVIEW

The State of the News Media 2014 is the eleventh edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project examining the landscape of American journalism.

This year’s study includes special reports about the revenue picture for news, the growth in digital reporting, the role of acquisitions and content sharing in local news and developments around digital video. In addition, it provides the latest audience, economic, news investment and ownership trends for key sectors of news media, including a new, searchable Media & News Indicators database. Read the Overview.

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vía State of the News Media 2014 | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’

BY KEITH HAMPTON, LEE RAINIE, WEIXU LU, MARIA DWYER, INYOUNG SHIN AND KRISTEN PURCELL

Summary of Findings

A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the “spiral of silence.”
Some social media creators and supporters have hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions, thus broadening public discourse and adding new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues.

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vía Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’ | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

Social Networking Fact Sheet

FACT SHEET

The average Facebook user gets more from their friends on Facebook than they give to their friends. Why? Because of a segment of “power users,” who specialize in different Facebook activities and contribute much more than the typical user does.

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vía Social Networking Fact Sheet | Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.

Power user

0Wikipedia-logo-en-bigA power user is a personal computer user who uses advanced features of programs which are not used by the average user. A power user is not necessarily capable of computer programming and system administration. In enterprise software systems, this title may go to an individual who is not a programmer, but who is a specialist in business software. Often these are people who retain their normal user job role, but also function in testing, training, and first-tier support of the enterprise software.
Users may erroneously label themselves as power users when they are less than fully competent.

vía Power user | Wikipedia.

Are You a Facebook Power User?

Are you among the 20-30% of the Facebook population that’s considered power users? If you’ve logged in to the social network already today, there’s a good chance you are one of the addicted elite.
This infographic, created by DemandForce, details what it means to be a Facebook power user. For starters, you likely kick butt at basic F-book activities, like sending friend requests, commenting and pressing the “Like” button. Sounds pretty basic, right?
On the contrary, only 5% of users excel in four or more of the core Facebook actions. Still convinced you’re at the top?

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vía Are You a Facebook Power User? | Mashable.

Facebook dominated by ‘power users’

By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
3:30PM GMT 03 Feb 2012

  • The majority of Facebook activity is carried out by a minority of users, according to a new study.

Most people using the social network receive more interactions, such as ‘likes’ or being tagged in photos, than they give out on the site.
A new study entitled: ‘Why Most Facebook Users Get More Than They Give’, from Pew Internet, an American not-for-profit research firm, found that people ‘liked’ other Facebook members’ content an average of 14 times, while their own content was on average ‘liked’ 20 times.
Twelve per cent of Pew’s study participants, over the course of a month, tagged friends in photos, but then 35 per cent were themselves tagged in minimum of one photo. On average they sent nine personal messages and received 12. Forty per cent of them made a ‘friend request’, while 63 per cent received one in that time.
“First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user,” explained Professor Keith Hampton, the lead author of the report.

A minority of Facebook users produce the majority of the content. Photo: GETTY

A minority of Facebook users produce the majority of the content. Photo: GETTY

vía Facebook dominated by ‘power users’ | The Telegraph.

Facebook IPO: your data just became more valuable

By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
3:50PM GMT 02 Feb 2012

  • Facebook’s IPO, which is expected to see the company be valued at $100bn, has put it under more pressure to aggressively sell its’ users data, according to leading digital agency chiefs.

Despite money generated from advertising accounting for 85 per cent of Facebook’s revenues last year, and its net income in 2011 reaching $1billion, the company will have to radically change the way it cashes in on its users’ data to make good on its valuation, says digital agency heads.
Charlie McGee, head of digital at Carat, a major UK advertising agency, thinks Facebook will follow Google’s AdSense model, and start selling adverts to its members through the 40 million plus sites which have already plugged in Facebook Connect.
“More than 40 million websites have installed the ‘Like’ button across the internet, so the infrastructure and technology is already there for Facebook to start capitalising on its users’ data away from the social networking site,” he explains.

Facebook's founder and chief, Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Facebook’s founder and chief, Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

vía Facebook IPO: your data just became more valuable | The Telegraph.

Twitter ‘elite’ send most tweets

Emma Barnett By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
7:00AM BST 29 Mar 2011

  • Only a small elite group of elite Twitter users are generating half of the tweets shared on the service, according to new research.

Fifty per cent of all tweets read and shared on Twitter are generated by only 20,000 ‘elite’ users, despite there being more than 200 million registered accounts on the service.
Yahoo! researchers looked at 260 million tweets posted on Twitter between July 28, 2009 and March 8, 2010, and by using Twitter ‘lists’, were able to distinguish between elite users – specifically celebrities, bloggers, and representatives of media outlets and other formal organizations, and ordinary users.
“Based on this classification, we find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter – roughly 50 per cent of tweets consumed are generated by just 20,000 elite users- where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed,” a Yahoo! researcher said.

Twitter Photo: PA

Twitter Photo: PA

The Seven Secret Habits of Twitter Power Users

Twitter is awesome for so many reasons. It’s the Great Connector. It’s the Great Amplifier. It’s the Great Curator. And it’s so simple to use. But Twitter could borrow a tagline from the Othello board game: a minute to learn, a lifetime to master. Because as easy as the platform is, there always is more you could be doing to leverage your use of it.
In this post, seven Twitter power users in the online marketing field share their tips for getting the most out of the popular micro-blogging platform.

vía The Seven Secret Habits of Twitter Power Users | blog.kissmetrics.com.

Why most Facebook users get more than they give

BY KEITH HAMPTON, LAUREN SESSIONS GOULET, CAMERON MARLOW AND LEE RAINIE

About this study

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project fielded a nationally representative phone survey about the social and civic lives of SNS users and reported the findings in June 2011 in a report entitled “Social networking sites and our lives.”1 During the phone survey, 269 of 877 original respondents who were Facebook users gave us permission to access data on their use of Facebook so that it could be matched with their survey responses. We partnered with Facebook to match individual responses from the survey with profile information and computer logs of how those same people used Facebook services over a one-month period in November 2010 that overlapped when the survey was in the field.

vía Why most Facebook users get more than they give | PewResearchCenter.

The tone of life on social networking sites

The overall social and emotional climate of social networking sites (SNS) is a very positive one where adult users get personal rewards and satisfactions at far higher levels than they encounter anti-social people or have ill consequences from their encounters. A nationally representative phone survey of American adults finds that…

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vía The tone of life on social networking sites | PewResearchCenter.

How Scientists Engage the Public

American scientists believe they face a challenging environment and the vast majority of them support the idea that participation in policy debates and engagement with citizens and journalists is necessary to further their work and careers.
A survey of 3,748 American-based scientists connected with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) finds that 87% agree with the statement “Scientists should take an active role in public policy debates about issues related to science and technology.” Just 13% of these scientists back the opposite statement: “Scientists should focus on establishing sound scientific facts and stay out of public policy debates.”

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vía How Scientists Engage the Public | PewResearchCenter.

Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society

Scientific innovations are deeply embedded in national life — in the economy, in core policy choices about how people care for themselves and use the resources around them, and in the topmost reaches of Americans’ imaginations. New Pew Research Center surveys of citizens and a representative sample of scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) show powerful crosscurrents that both recognize the achievements of scientists and expose stark fissures between scientists and citizens on a range of science, engineering and technology issues. This report highlights these major findings…

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vía Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society | PewResearchCenter.

U.S. Views of Technology and the Future

Science in the next 50 years
BY AARON SMITH

Findings

The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage. This is among the main findings of a new national survey by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine, which asked Americans about a wide range of potential scientific developments—from near-term advances like robotics and bioengineering, to more “futuristic” possibilities like teleportation or space colonization. In addition to asking them for their predictions about the long-term future of scientific advancement, we also asked them to share their own feelings and attitudes toward some new developments that might become common features of American life in the relatively near future.

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vía U.S. Views of Technology and the Future | PewResearchCenter.

Public’s Knowledge of Science and Technology

The public’s knowledge of science and technology varies widely across a range of questions on current topics and basic scientific concepts, according to a new quiz by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine. Click here to take the quiz yourself before reviewing the answers.
4-22-13 #1 About eight-in-ten Americans (83%) identify ultraviolet as the type of radiation that sunscreen protects against. Nearly as many (77%) know that the main concern about the overuse of antibiotics is that it can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
However, only about half (51%) of the public knows that “fracking” is a process that extracts natural gas, not coal, diamonds or silicon from the earth.

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vía Public’s Knowledge of Science and Technology | PewResearchCenter.

The myth of “Power Users” at Wikipedia

By Tim Davenport /// “Carrite” (Wikipedia username) /// “Randy from Boise” (Wikipediocracy username) with some modest assistance from Yerucham Turing

Of course this assumes that the community of volunteers that actually built the encyclopedia and governing apparatus behind the encyclopedia, are nothing but the Most Highly Perfected editing drones created by their Bay Area masters — who hold all the cards and call all the shots.

This is a matter of fundamental importance.

I was thinking during the Mediaviewer/Superprotection fiasco that it had finally sunk in with the WMF circle jerkers that the Wikipedia Volunteer Community was indeed a real entity, to be dealt with on the basis of partnership. No such luck. Get a load of the following slide from a presentation at the WMF Sept. 25 Mobil Metrics meeting held at Club Headquarters in San Francisco:

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vía The myth of “Power Users” at Wikipedia | wikipediocracy.com/.

Einstein | Discover Magazine

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  • A History of General Relativity

    Experiments past, present, and future have put general relativity to the test. Here, the most important developments over the last 100 years.
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    vía A History of General Relativity | Discover Magazine.

    Why the Quest to Prove Einstein Wrong?

    By Steve Nadis|Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    RELATED TAGS: MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS

    • Researchers are pushing Einstein’s theory to the max, trying to see where it falters in order to connect gravity with the rest of physics.

    Why are researchers so intent on proving Einstein right or wrong? It’s not simply that he is a towering figure whose name is synonymous with genius, someone whose work has profoundly shaped physics for more than a century.
    Instead, much of the incentive stems from gravity itself, which has been something of a problem child in the field. Physicists, including Einstein, have long hoped to devise a unified theory of the universe, but they’ve struggled to get gravity to mesh with the other fundamental forces. As a result, we currently have a theory of gravity (Einstein’s general relativity) and a separate theory of everything else (the “standard model” of particle physics). Unfortunately, these two extremely successful theories are incompatible with each other — and sometimes even contradictory.

    William Horace Smith/Corbis

    William Horace Smith/Corbis

    vía Why the Quest to Prove Einstein Wrong? | Discover Magazine.

    Relativity’s Long String of Successful Predictions

    By Adam Hadhazy|Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    RELATED TAGS: MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS

    • Six examples of how Einstein’s general theory of relativity has stood the test of (space-)time.

    Einstein’s concepts have been verified — just as he reckoned they would — on scales from a foot-long sub sandwich to galaxy clusters millions of light-years wide. In between, general relativity has made its mark on the Global Positioning System, while explaining anomalous planetary orbits and the whirling death dances of the remnants of giant stars.
    “We’re still using the same theory that was invented a hundred years ago, and it still works amazingly well in so many different situations,” says physicist Clifford Will of the University of Florida.
    Here are six examples of how Einstein’s landmark theory has stood the test of (space-)time.

    Paul Fleet/Shutterstock

    Paul Fleet/Shutterstock

    vía Relativity’s Long String of Successful Predictions | Discover Magazine.

    Bold Experiments Will Put General Relativity to the Test

    By Gabriel Popkin|Thursday, March 12, 2015
    RELATED TAGS: MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS

    • Powerful telescopes and huge gravitational wave detectors will test a theory that one man worked out a century ago with a pencil and paper.

    Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity remade gravity and solved problems that Newton’s theory couldn’t. It’s passed each of the dozens of experimental tests devised since its debut in 1915. But physicists have barely gotten started.
    “We’ve only been playing around in Newton’s world so far,” says Neil Cornish, a physicist at Montana State University. That will soon change, though, as several bold experiments enabled by telescopes of unprecedented reach — and in some cases by entirely new ways to gather data — are poised to study how gravity behaves around some of the universe’s most extreme objects.
    “This is where general relativity really gets going,” says Cornish. Powerful telescopes are already looking for minute hiccups in the whirring of stellar corpses called pulsars. A global effort will soon photograph, for the first time, a black hole. And huge gravitational wave detectors will scan thousands of galaxies for tiny ripples in the cosmic fabric of space-time.

    The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

    The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

    vía Bold Experiments Will Put General Relativity to the Test | Discover Magazine.

    Special Section: Outsmarting Einstein

    By Bill Andrews|Thursday, February 26, 2015
    RELATED TAGS: MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS

    • After a century of testing general relativity, physicists still strive to achieve what the genius who formulated the theory could not.

    Albert Einstein single-handedly changed the universe 100 years ago. For centuries, Isaac Newton’s straightforward equations ruled the cosmos — or at least how physicists thought about it. Any object with mass exerted an attractive force on any other object with mass; the bigger the masses, and the closer the two objects, the stronger the attraction. Simple. But in 1915, Einstein suggested that things were a bit trickier.
    Even Einstein had to labor for almost a decade to formulate the complex mathematical relationships behind his magnum opus, his own version of gravity: the general theory of relativity. Gravitational attraction, it turned out, was due to nothing less than the warping of the cosmos. A massive object literally bends the three-dimensional fabric of the universe around it, taking any smaller objects in the vicinity along for the ride. This results in familiar phenomena like orbiting moons, planets and stars, as well as some stranger effects like cosmic ripples and black holes.

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    vía Relativity’s Long String of Successful Predictions | Discover Magazine.

    Probing Einstein’s Brain for Clues to His Genius

    By Jenny Blair|Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    RELATED TAGS: BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION

    • Einstein’s brain, preserved during autopsy, has been studied for decades. Some say it’s time to give it a rest.

    An elderly man pries open a jar and fishes out a dripping human cerebellum. He carves off a chunk with a kitchen knife and places it in a plastic pill bottle. Then, wiping a hand on his pants, the man hands the bottle to an admiring visitor.
    The brain was Albert Einstein’s. The man was Thomas Harvey, a pathologist who in 1955 removed, photographed and preserved the great physicist’s brain during autopsy. In the decades since, the brain has enjoyed a certain celebrity. In the ’80s, Harvey gave away slices to the curious, keeping the rest in a pair of glass cookie jars. (These bizarre transactions appear in the 1994 documentary Relics: Einstein’s Brain.) In the late ’90s, he carried it across the country in a Tupperware container to offer it to Einstein’s granddaughter, who chose not to keep it. Finally, he gave it back to Princeton Hospital, where he performed the autopsy decades before.

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    In a 2013 analysis of the photos before the last paragraph, anthropologist Dean Falk counted four ridges (numbered 1-4) — one more than usual — in the right frontal lobe, an area associated with abstract thought. Researchers disagree about the significance of such anomalies. Frederick E. Lepore

    vía Probing Einstein’s Brain for Clues to His Genius | Discover Magazine.

    Images of Einstein’s brain revealed


    vía Images of Einstein’s brain revealed | YouTube

    Albert Einstein’s Brain – Documentary


    vía Albert Einstein’s Brain – Documentary | YouTube

Intel to Acquire FPGA-Specialist Altera for $16.7 Billion

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by Ryan Smith on June 1, 2015 6:05 PM EST

Today Intel has announced that they are buying Altera in an all-cash deal of $16.7 billion. The deal, having been rumored for a while now, will see Intel pick up Altera for their Field Programmable Grid Array (FPGA) experience, with Intel intending to both continue FPGA development and integrate FPGAs into some of their future products.

In the FPGA space Altera is one of the two major competitors, and alongside rival Xilinx the two companies comprise the bulk of the market. Prior to this sale Altera already had a close relationship with Intel, with Altera using Intel’s 14nm process for their latest generation of Stratix FPGAs.

Intel is already talking about the possibilities they see for Altera’s FPGA technology in the IoT and datacenter markets, but also the company has confirmed that they will be integrating FPGA technology into some of their future Xeon products, to allow customers to essentially build-out semi-custom processors via the FPGA component. Intel already does on-package FPGAs for certain customers, so this would represent the logical extension of that process by bringing the FPGA fully on-die.

Intel | Intel to Acquire FPGA-Specialist Altera for $16.7 Billion

Altera Corporation

0Wikipedia-logo-en-bigAltera Corporation is an American manufacturer of Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs), reconfigurable complex digital circuits. The company released its first PLD in 1984. Altera’s main products are the Stratix, Arria and Cyclone series FPGAs, the MAX series CPLDs, Quartus II design software, and Enpirion PowerSoC DC-DC power solutions.

Altera and Intel announced on June 1, 2015 that they have agreed that Intel would acquire Altera in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $16.7 billion.

FPGAs
The Stratix series FPGAs are the company’s largest, highest bandwidth devices, with up to 1.1 million logic elements, integrated transceivers at up to 28 Gbit/s, up to 1.6 Tbit/s of serial switching capability, up to 1,840 GMACs of signal-processing performance, and up to 7 x72 DDR3 memory interfaces at 800 MHz. Cyclone series FPGAs and SoC FPGAs are the company’s lowest cost, lowest power FPGAs, with variants offering integrated transceivers up to 5 Gbit/s. In between these two device families are Arria series FPGAs, which provide a balance of performance, power, and cost for mid-range applications such as remote radio heads, video conferencing equipment, and wireline access equipment. Arria FPGAs have integrated transceivers up to 10 Gbit/s.

Wikipedia | Altera Corporation

Altera

YouTube | Altera

Revolution 4.0

YouTube | DiVagancias

Altera Corporation

Altera Corporation is a semiconductor company. The Company designs and sells high-performance, high-density programmable logic devices (PLDs), HardCopy application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices, power system-on-chip devices (PowerSoCs), pre-defined design building blocks known as intellectual property (IP) cores, and associated development tools. Its PLDs, which consist of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs), are semiconductor integrated circuits that are manufactured as standard chips that its customers program to perform desired logic functions within their electronic systems. With its Hardcopy devices, the Company offers its customers a migration path from a PLD to a non-programmable implementation of their designs. Its products serve a range of customers within the telecom and wireless, industrial automation, military and automotive, networking, computer, and storage and vertical markets.

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Google Finance | Altera Corporation

FPGA y el sorprendente poder del hardware reconfigurable

Un FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) es un circuito integrado que, dicho en términos llanos, puede configurarse para llevar a cabo cualquier función lógica y hacer lo que a su dueño le plazca.

Claro que para conseguir eso el diseñador debe programar (configurar) el circuito, normalmente siguiendo la especificación de un lenguaje de descripción de hardware. Esto es algo así como hacer código en vez de electrónica digital. ¿Te imaginas las posibilidades creativas de una plataforma así?

Considera que con un FPGA eres capaz, en teoría, de reinventar todo tipo de dispositivos de cómputo. Incluso hacerlos trabajar en un mismo espacio y de forma paralela.

Hipertextual | FPGA y el sorprendente poder del hardware reconfigurable

Space Oddity

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Chris Hadfield

Chris Austin Hadfield OC OOnt MSC CD (born 29 August 1959) is a retired Canadian astronaut who was the first Canadian to walk in space. An engineer and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, Hadfield has flown two space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield, who was raised on a farm in southern Ontario, was inspired as a child when he watched the Apollo 11 Moon landing on TV. He attended high school in Oakville and Milton and earned his glider pilot licence as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and earned an engineering degree at Royal Military College. While in the military he learned to fly various types of aircraft and eventually became a test pilot and flew several experimental planes. As part of an exchange program with the United States Navy and United States Air Force, he obtained a master’s degree in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.

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Wikipedia | Chris Hadfield

Space Oddity

YouTube | Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield: in space ‘you recognise the unanimity of our existence’

He captured our imagination with a zero gravity cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, but Chris Hadfield’s time in space was a multi-facted, ‘enriching’ experience. The astronaut and Twitter phenomenon talks about the wonder of spacewalking and why he’ll never look as good as Sandra Bullock in a spacesuit.

Chris Hadfield sings David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station

It is a disorienting business, being in space, and most astronauts in the first days of orbit scan the Earth for reminders of home. The Russians look for their great lakes; the Americans for mountain ranges. For Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station, it was Plank Road, a 19th-century thoroughfare running through southern Ontario, Canada. “These guys put it there 150 years ago, and it was a neat thing for me to see from orbit. Hey, look! That’s where I’m from!” After a few days, the perceptive lens widens. “And you just start seeing the whole world.”

The Guardian | Chris Hadfield: in space ‘you recognise the unanimity of our existence’

Chris Hadfield, el astronauta que nos llevó a todos al espacio

Por Eduardo Marin el 13 de mayo de 2013, 22:00

El astronauta Chris Hadfield nos enseñó día a día cómo es la vida en el espacio, mediante vídeos y tweets. Hoy, luego de casi cinco meses, regresa a La Tierra como alguien que ha incentivado el estudio científico del espacio en miles de niños, y que además grabó el primer vídeo musical desde el espacio.

Chris Hadfield (Wikimedia Commons)

Comenzando por algo más que obvio, actualmente existe una manera infalible de transmitir un mensaje a enormes grupos de personas. La Internet se presta para esto de una manera fantástica, e incluso las redes sociales, donde podemos compartir un mensaje a millones en cuestión de segundos. Esto se presenta como la mayor herramienta que se puede usar para la divulgación científica, y sin duda alguna Chris Hadfield ha sabido hacerlo, llevando la vida en el espacio a través de internet a todo mundo, como nadie nunca antes lo había hecho, y con resultados espectaculares.

Hipertextual | Chris Hadfield, el astronauta que nos llevó a todos al espacio

Why I love the world: Astronaut Chris Hadfield

By Jim Benning
28 May 2015

The Canadian who captivated the planet with music videos and social media updates from space talks about his globetrotting travels on Earth.

Chris Hadfield was already a veteran astronaut by the time he became a global internet phenomenon. He’d flown a space shuttle to the Russian space station Mir in 1995 and had done his first stint aboard the International Space Station in 2001. But it was his time aboard the latter, from December 2012 to May 2013, that made the astronaut a full-fledged star.

 His photos of Earth and accompanying observations, which he posted to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, inspired legions of followers. Then the guitar-playing astronaut released a captivating music video in which he sang David Bowie’s Space Oddity while floating in zero gravity – a performance viewed more than 25 million times.

BBC Travel | Why I love the world: Astronaut Chris Hadfield



PHOTOS: My Favorite Study Space

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Photo credit: Margaret Bolaji/ Center for Girls’ Education

PHOTOS: My Favorite Study Space

What the Internet Thinks it Knows About Your Favorite Public Radio Hosts

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What the Internet Thinks it Knows About Your Favorite Public Radio Hosts

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 – 06:00 AM

Jad Abumrad sporting a hat knitted by Brooke Gladstone

RECOMMENDED LINKS

More on Crystal Knows

Imagine if everyone who wrote you an email could see into the deepest core of your personality.

Yeah, it’s not that far away: We found a service called Crystal Knows that takes the trend toward “personalization” (think crazy-targeted Facebook ads and Amazon items that follow you from sidebar to sidebar) up a notch, turning your online data into a sort of all-purpose communication coach.

On this week’s episode of Note to Self — the podcast formerly known as New Tech City! — we dive deep into Crystal, which claims to be able to read a person’s personality based on what they’ve written and shared online. It’s marketed as a tool for writing more personalized emails, catered toward the recipients’ particular communication style.

Here’s more on how it works:

We had to test it. So we sent some Crystal Knows-optimized emails to public radio “personalities,” as they’re called, asking them to weigh on on Crystal’s assessment of their… personalities.

What the Internet Thinks it Knows About Your Favorite Public Radio Hosts