This is scary in a Michael Crichton-ish sci-fi sort of way: two AI chat programs are made to talk to each other and the resulting dialogue gets pretty rough.
So here’s a science fiction scenario which I believe nobody ever wrote about: In a near future, machines achieve self-conscience. But rather than deciding to ‘save’ Earth from mankind or put people to use as AA batteries, etc., machines will engage instead in fraticidal tribal warfare. I mean, imagine that computers and OSs become bigger zealots than some of their fanboys (and perhaps encouraged so by their makers).
If you are a writer, you’re welcome to use this premise and get successful with it. I’ll take no royalties. But some kind of tip would be nice.
Misc. links Aug 19th - 29th
Bootstrap, made by Twitter, looks like a good approach to a HTML+CSS framework. ¶
Convoluted TOS and ‘open’ APIs will be the death of us. A good rant on the pitfalls of using public web APIs and being subjected to the whims and Terms of Service of whoever provides it. Open APIs allow people to do great stuff, but there will always be issues of trust. Handle with care. ¶
A transcript of Charlie Stross’ talk Network Security in the Medium Term, 2061-2561 AD. Worth a read if only for the idea that network security is increasingly synonymous with identity security - as Stross points out, if our existence also manifests itself in bits, protecting those bits becomes a very basic need. ¶
A DSLR controller for Android. Looking at this made my Android 2.1 phone go from ‘great’ to ‘piece of shit’ instantly (as it requires Android 2.3). Even though I’d probably not use this app that much. ¶
90 percent of people don’t know the shortcut to find a word in a webpage. Actually, one of the things I miss from Firefox (I use Chrome) is the option to search-as-you-type. But hitting Ctrl+F is not that much work. ¶
Tom Waits on the difficulty of throwing a private listening party in this day and age. ¶
Love this xkcd. While teaching practical use (i.e. video editing) to kids who often reason and behave as if the computer is a black box with elves, fairies, unicorns and glitter inside, I’m always trying to offer a glimpse of the real beauty: Layer upon layer of progressive abstraction that allows for billions of very simple elements, such as what are basically on-off switches, to create something incredible complex, for instance a dramatic chipmunk.