Data Anxiety

Tempus fugit

#technology

Patent wars

I’ve been following the Apple v. Samsung patent case in The Wall Street Journal. This is another aspect of the story, which is possibly more interesting, as it directly involves the media.

Reuters Wants to Publish Un-redacted IBM-Samsung Patent License Agreement, Apple v. Samsung; IBM Moves to Block (GrokLaw)

GrokLaw is a great resource. It is very densely packed with content! I rarely need that level of detail, but when I do, GrokLaw is the place to check. They are not neutral, nor do they claim to be.

Note that Reuters has not yet published anything, although the judge ruled that Reuters is allowed to publish the document.

“Though the first steam locomotive was invented by Richard Trevithick in 1804, it was the civil and mechanical engineer George Stephenson who played the greatest part in the development of the first railways. He constructed his first locomotive in 1814 and was instrumental in the building of the world’s first public steam locomotive hauled railway in 1825.”

The Industrial Revolution - UK Parliament

Steaming ahead: Technological innovation

The best and a little of the worst. Technology news of 2011

dhotson:

The best tech writing of 2011

Can’t get enough top ten lists? Here’s another..

This was a great sample.

It isn’t technical writing per se. That was what I was expecting at first. Instead, the title refers to mainstream media articles about technology subject matter. I guess it would be rather silly and overspecialized to assemble a “best of technical writing” post.

Another contribution

This is an unoriginal idea drawn from the comments of another article, for inclusion in any Worst Tech Writing of 2011 lists that have yet to be assembled:

Bill Gates’ daughter holds suspiciously Apple-like device while family enjoys festive break Down Under 

What a title…! It barely made the cut, with a time stamp of 30 December 2011.

Lithium-Iodine Battery 
By The Central Intelligence Agency on Flickr.
The Central Intelligence Agency often develops technology and conducts research that not only advances its mission but, when declassified, can have a positive impact in other contexts.

In the 1970s, the CIA shared research on lithium-iodine batteries with the medical community. That technology is used in heart pacemakers today.

Lithium-Iodine Battery 

By The Central Intelligence Agency on Flickr.

The Central Intelligence Agency often develops technology and conducts research that not only advances its mission but, when declassified, can have a positive impact in other contexts.

In the 1970s, the CIA shared research on lithium-iodine batteries with the medical community. That technology is used in heart pacemakers today.

Above: Opening engraving of Unemployment, circa 1932, written by Eric Gill.
HERE IS  an image of the cover of the pamphlet, also circa 1932, neatly summarizing the main points.
According to born1945 via Flickr:
Gill was an artist doing engravings, prints, book and fonts designs. He was also an essayist with some rather peculiar ideas by today’s standards. A sample of his ideas:  “There is no remedy for unemployment unless we scrap machinery.” In the context of when he was writing (1930’s UK), it would be like saying today: In order to solve our national (USA) economic problems we must stop all trade with China. Neither are realistic ideas.
The image above was used as the illustration in a TechCrunch post, a rather scary one.
What If This Is No Accident? What If This Is The Future?.
Premise: The industrial revolution improved living standards while creating new, better jobs. Technological and scientific discoveries of the 20th century followed, with a similarly beneficial effect. But increased automation and productivity due to present-day advancements are associated with, well, read the article. Sounds like “Return of the Luddites”, at first glance. TechCrunch is aware of that. They address it rather effectively.
Article is not anti-intellectual, nor political, nor self-assured. It  makes some observations. The author seems to hope he is wrong as much as, well, as much as I do.
Feel free to share. Point out all the holes, flaws, specious logic, and I will thank you.

Above: Opening engraving of Unemployment, circa 1932, written by Eric Gill.

HERE IS  an image of the cover of the pamphlet, also circa 1932, neatly summarizing the main points.

According to born1945 via Flickr:

Gill was an artist doing engravings, prints, book and fonts designs. He was also an essayist with some rather peculiar ideas by today’s standards.

A sample of his ideas: “There is no remedy for unemployment unless we scrap machinery.” In the context of when he was writing (1930’s UK), it would be like saying today: In order to solve our national (USA) economic problems we must stop all trade with China. Neither are realistic ideas.

The image above was used as the illustration in a TechCrunch post, a rather scary one.

What If This Is No Accident? What If This Is The Future?.

Premise: The industrial revolution improved living standards while creating new, better jobs. Technological and scientific discoveries of the 20th century followed, with a similarly beneficial effect. But increased automation and productivity due to present-day advancements are associated with, well, read the article. Sounds like “Return of the Luddites”, at first glance. TechCrunch is aware of that. They address it rather effectively.

Article is not anti-intellectual, nor political, nor self-assured. It  makes some observations. The author seems to hope he is wrong as much as, well, as much as I do.

Feel free to share. Point out all the holes, flaws, specious logic, and I will thank you.

Fewer women in technology now than in 1991

I was reminded of an article I read a few months ago about the “real reason women quit engineering.” Stemming The Tide: Why Women Leave Engineering summarizes the findings of a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study of 3,700 women with engineering degrees.

They found that just one in four women who had left the field reported doing so to spend more time with family. And, unsurprisingly:

Women engineers who were treated in a condescending, patronizing manner, and were belittled and undermined by their supervisors and co-workers were most likely to want to leave their organizations.

News such as this can’t inspire young women to go into these fields…

What percentage of women are participating in the more technical side of technology companies? Vastly fewer than men. According to U.S. government statistics, women accounted for 36 percent of IT professionals in 1991. They now account for only 25 percent of same.

In an article last year in the Wall Street Journal [regarding] the lack of women in venture-backed startups:

Only about 11% of U.S. firms with venture-capital backing in 2009 had current or former female CEOs or female founders… Start-up incubator Y Combinator has had just 14 female founders among the 208 firms it has funded.

The “where-are-all-the-women” meme is familiar… But in start-up land, where the good idea is supposed to trump social status and everything else, the lack of women in positions of authority stands out.

— Excerpt: Tech really is a man’s world 

by Linda Forrest, Business Insider (August 2011)

20 Years Of Data Storage Visualized »

DASD

The beauty of DASD: Direct Access Storage Devices.

I used to model the performance of these critters, long ago. I used queuing theory, seek and search, actuator fly height. Ask Cutlerish. He knows.

IBM GPD San Jose

We considered the DASD innards rather beautiful. Nearly everyone had a disk or two hanging on the wall, shinier and more reflective than any mirror I’ve ever seen. Look how well-made they were. This image reminds me of precision machining work.

I still think that DASD are beautiful.

A couple weeks ago I talked about a patent awarded to Apple to charge devices wirelessly using induction charging. This is still viable… however, I just learned about an even better technology.

Ubeam is a tech start-up that invented a concept [demo’d] at the D9 Conference. Think of an audio speaker that plays music. It transmits radio waves from the speaker to your ears. Using ultrasound, Ubeam transmits very high sound from their charger to a charging station where you can plug in multiple devices to charge simultaneously, wirelessly. The only catch is there can’t be anything blocking it.

I think it will be a success if Ubeam gets the right funding.

BitShare: Proof of concept to charge devices wirelessly with ultrasound