Silicon Valley has become one of the most ageist places in America. Tech luminaries who otherwise pride themselves on their dedication to meritocracy don’t think twice about deriding the not-actually-old. “Young people are just smarter,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at Stanford back in 2007. As I write, the website of ServiceNow, a large Santa Clara–based I.T. services company, features the following advisory in large letters atop its “careers” page: “We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.” And that’s just what gets said in public. An engineer in his forties recently told me about meeting a tech CEO who was trying to acquire his company. “You must be the token graybeard,” said the CEO, who was in his late twenties or early thirties. “I looked at him and said, ‘No, I’m the token grown-up.’ ”
Nvidia showed their new face-rendering tech, FaceWorks, at the annual GPU Technology Conference this week. It runs on a Titan ($1000) graphics card. More info here. Compare. [more inside]
In 1996, a family of German tourists went on vacation in the desert Southwest of the US. They disappeared in Death Valley sometime late July of that year, and despite repeated searches, their remains were not found until 2009. Tom Mahood details how that happened.
Hipsters on the Hudson. The NYTimes is at it again, reporting on "Hipster Sprawl" (??).. yes, I made up that term.
The uncanny valley effect (too many previous posts to list) has been blamed for poor acceptance of human-analogue robots (YT) and computer simulations (not to mention the box office results for The Polar Express, Beowulf, and other computer-animated movies). But did you know that humans are not the only primate species to experience this "too close for comfort" effect? A recent behavioral study in macaque monkeys suggests (pdf) that the uncanny valley may be hardwired into our brains at a deeper level (i.e., earlier-evolved) than previously thought.
Is Silicon Valley a systemic risk? Treasury decides to treat venture capitalists like hedge funds The Obama administration wants to regulate venture capital firms to prevent systemic risks. Silicon Valley residents are scratching their heads and asking: What risks? The rest of us should ask why Washington is targeting a jewel of the American economy that had nothing to do with the housing bubble.
A bald, child-like creature dangles its legs from a chair as its shoulders rise and fall with rythmic breathing and its black eyes follow movements across the room. It's not human -- but it is paying attention. (via)
Wildman of the Loire, Didier Dagueneau RIP Didier Dagueneau, iconoclastic motorcycle driving beard-sporting winegrower of France's Loire valley, died today in a private plane crash. Dagueneau pushed winemaking in his region to a new level; his Silex (100 percent sauvignon blanc), farmed biodynamically on flinty soil, is a profound wine. I recently tasted the '99 Silex, one word: incroyable. A wine that redefines sauvignon blanc and makes you happy to be alive. Dagueneau also pushed younger colleagues like the cidermaker Eric Bordelet to pursue their craft at a higher level: the result is Bordelet's Granit pear cider, from 300 year old biodynamically farmed pear trees.
Emily is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as 'uncanny valley' (watch the video) - from the team who, in part, brought you GTA4. [more inside]
Charting the Uncanny Valley [2 3 4 5 6 7] is a thorough explanation of Masahiro Mori's hypothesis. Of course, if you're short on time, there's always 30 Rock. [more inside]
When did we jump to the other side of the "uncanny valley"?
Making huge leaps between memepool and Stanislaw Lem (all in one day), I stumbled upon an interesting connection. This link describes an extremely interesting phenomenon that I find tangentally represented in Solaris. Simulacra of all kinds in literature and film has always interested me, from Blade Runner, to A.I. As Halloween approaches, I'd like to know what other MeFiers have seen or read that has hit them in the deepest part of their 'uncanny valley'.