Marcin Wichary writes (among other things) articles about crazy, complicated computer bugs and what they say about the world. Come to read about how a bug in Google's famous Pac-Man doodle led to all manner of chaos, stay to learn how a confluence of history, typography, and OS weirdness broke the Polish S (previously), or how a fluke of CSS unearthed a decades-old font. [more inside]
The Deep Mind of Demis Hassabis - "The big thing is what we call transfer learning. You've mastered one domain of things, how do you abstract that into something that's almost like a library of knowledge that you can now usefully apply in a new domain? That's the key to general knowledge. At the moment, we are good at processing perceptual information and then picking an action based on that. But when it goes to the next level, the concept level, nobody has been able to do that." (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
Auto Correct — Has the self-driving car at last arrived? From The New Yorker, November 25, 2013.
NASA will send you an email or text alert when the International Space Station is visible from your area. IBM scientists have recently made significant advances in nanotechnology. A mathematician thought a poorly-encrypted headhunting email from Google was testing him, but he had actually discovered a major security hole. All of this found via The Brief: A Daily Briefing of Technology News Worth Caring About from MeFi's own nostrich. [via mefi projects]
How to Read 600 RSS Feeds a Day for Pleasure and Profit. Video of Robert Scoble showing how he culls 600 RSS feeds a day for his weblog, Scobleizer, using Google Reader.
NSA,FISA, and Privacy It is of course the president who finally approves of actions that may or may not be deemed legal but before 9/11, this is what he had been advised to consider "The largest U.S. spy agency warned the incoming Bush administration in its "Transition 2001" report that the Information Age required rethinking the policies and authorities that kept the National Security Agency in compliance with the Constitution's 4th Amendment prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" without warrant and "probable cause," according to an updated briefing book of declassified NSA documents posted today on the World Wide Web. If this is the sort of reading you enjoy, then by all means dig about here: But then Windows allowed NSA to have a sure access to your machine . And by now we all know that Google will fight the government on making its search data base available in order to protect your privacy.(Reality: to protect Google stuff). And if you worry about search engines tracking you and making data available, then here is a workaround
The John Markoff of the New York Times [registration required] reports that Google plans to roll-out a text and file search tool code-named Puffin for finding information stored on PCs. The move is seen as a defensive one; Microsoft plans to include PC searching in its new operating system, scheduled to be released in 2006 (at the earliest).
Google To Start Selling Banner Adverts From the that-didn't-take-too-long-department, Google's ad sales VP Tim Armstrong says Google will now start selling graphical banner adverts. One concession to their old mores is that, for now, the banner adverts will only appear on affiliated websites running their AdSense referral program (as does MeFi), and there is an opt-out. However... "We have no plans to show images on Google.com", said Mr. Armstrong "but we are not opposed to it".