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October 2008

October 21, 2008

Your Entire Life On An iPhone

Atomic Wires
iStockphoto / James Benet

Thanks to Mohir at K21st for a recent article describing how Professor Lee Cronin and Dr. Malcolm Kadodwala of the University of Glasgow have developed a nanotechnology technique that can store 150,000 times more data per square inch than current technology.

With this technique, the researchers were able to assemble a functional nanocluster just one nanometer in size. This tiny size would permit an incredible storage of 500 trillion bytes per square inch - enough capacity to store:

  • 100 million MP3s
  • 5 million CDs
  • 100,000 DVDs
  • 100 years of video at 1Mbps

Storage capabilities at this level like this will benefit projects like Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell's MyLifeBits. Gordon's project aims to store and index an entire human's lifetime of books, emails, phone calls, video, audio, and more.

Combine this incredible amount of data storage with an eyeglass cam, and OCR, speech and facial recognition software. Now imagine being able to search and play back anything you've ever seen, heard or read right from your iPhone.

You can read the original article from the University of Glasgow here.

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October 20, 2008

Brain Science Is About To Fundamentally Change

After inventing the Palm Pilot, Jeff Hawkins focused his efforts on neuroscience. He describes his memory-prediction framework theory of the brain in his book On Intelligence.

Predicting Patterns

This theory describes the process of how the brain makes predictions of future events by matching sensory inputs to stored memory patterns. Inputs that are processed from the bottom-up interact with expectations from the top-down to generate predictions. When a particular level recognizes a pattern, a label is associated and forwarded to the next level in the hierarchy.

Jeff Hawkins was inspired by an issue of Scientific American dedicated to the brain. He saw that neuroscience lacked a comprehensive framework to describe the operation of the brain and embarked on an effort to build one. In this TED video, he describes his ideas and their implications on artificial intelligence and machine learning.


October 11, 2008

Singularity Summit VIP Pass Contest Results

Congratulations to Faris Naji, the winner of the Nested Universe Singularity Summit 2008 VIP pass giveaway.

The drawing was held by numbering the six entries in order of their arrival. Then, random.org was used in Integer Generator mode to select a number from 1 to 6, 3 being the value that was returned.


October 05, 2008

Daniel C. Dennett and The Awesome Power of Memes

Daniel C. Dennett is a philosopher who co-edited The Mind's I with Douglas Hofstadter. In this video from a TED conference, he expands on Richard Dawkins' concept of memes - ideas that survive by their ability to replicate in a manner analogous to genes.

His secret to happiness: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.