50 years on, we’re living the reality first shown at the “Mother of All Demos”

Douglas Engelbart during his 1968 demonstration.

Douglas Engelbart during his 1968 demonstration. (credit: SRI International)

A half century ago, computer history took a giant leap when Douglas Engelbart—then a mid-career 43-year-old engineer at Stanford Research Institute in the heart of Silicon Valley—gave what has come to be known as the “mother of all demos.”

On December 9, 1968 at a computer conference in San Francisco, Engelbart showed off the first inklings of numerous technologies that we all now take for granted: video conferencing, a modern desktop-style user interface, word processing, hypertext, the mouse, collaborative editing, among many others.

Even before his famous demonstration, Engelbart outlined his vision of the future more than a half-century ago in his historic 1962 paper, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.”

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments



Source: Ars Technica – 50 years on, we’re living the reality first shown at the “Mother of All Demos”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Promotes Tourism to Myanmar, Where Social Media Enabled Genocide

Jack Dorsey, CEO of social media platform Twitter—the company now emblazoned in the public eye as one of the primary mouthpieces of our very loud and angry president—wants you to know how about his powerful experiences with Vipassana meditation techniques. Specifically, his recent experience at a 10-day retreat in…

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Promotes Tourism to Myanmar, Where Social Media Enabled Genocide

Some Epic Store Games Are Pushing Back or Scrapping Steam Releases

When Epic Games launched its digital storefront last week, many called it the first real threat to Steam due to the studio’s standing and larger revenue of 88% versus Valve’s 70%. That sentiment has only managed to grow, as a handful of developers have already declared their support for Epic: factory builder Satisfactory will no longer be available on Steam, while Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, Genesis Alpha One, and Super Meat Boy Forever are timed exclusives. Gamers may be fed up with the increasing amount of stores and launchers, but competition is a pretty good thing.



“Before Valve and the 70/30 split it was pretty darn rough to be an indie, both in terms of royalty share and in terms of the ability to sell things without a publisher. We can all thank Valve for using their leverage to make that happen, and usher in the era we have now. We think it’s safe to say that a large percentage of the games made today wouldn’t exist without it. Epic is using their leverage to push that even farther, to 88/12. That’s another whole strata of developers who can survive.”

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Some Epic Store Games Are Pushing Back or Scrapping Steam Releases

'What Straight-A Students Get Wrong'

From a story: Year after year, I watch in dismay as students obsess over getting straight A’s. Some sacrifice their health; a few have even tried to sue their school after falling short. All have joined the cult of perfectionism out of a conviction that top marks are a ticket to elite graduate schools and lucrative job offers. I was one of them. I started college with the goal of graduating with a 4.0. It would be a reflection of my brainpower and willpower, revealing that I had the right stuff to succeed. But I was wrong.

The evidence is clear: Academic excellence is not a strong predictor of career excellence. Across industries, research shows that the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year after college and trivial within a handful of years. For example, at Google, once employees are two or three years out of college, their grades have no bearing on their performance.

Academic grades rarely assess qualities like creativity, leadership and teamwork skills, or social, emotional and political intelligence. Yes, straight-A students master cramming information and regurgitating it on exams. But career success is rarely about finding the right solution to a problem — it’s more about finding the right problem to solve.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – ‘What Straight-A Students Get Wrong’

Google's Mountain View development plans include affordable housing

Google is still tweaking its Mountain View expansion plans, and the public just got a clearer glimpse of what those changes could entail. The city has published a Google development proposal for the North Bayshore area that would at least partially…

Source: Engadget – Google’s Mountain View development plans include affordable housing

AMD Ryzen Sales Agency Teases Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X

As if there wasn’t enough indication the next generation of Ryzen would surface in 2019, a South Korean CPU sales agency has teased and confirmed the nomenclature of the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X in its new campaign, which asks fans to guess their respective Cinebench scores. The contest ends December 14th.



Before I started writing this post, I have reached out to HardwareBattle to ask for details. From what I learned, the contest was neither posted by a PR agency nor AMD employees working on behalf of AMD. I was told this is just a CPU sales agency hired by AMD to do local events and contests.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – AMD Ryzen Sales Agency Teases Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X

Soulja Boy Is Selling a Console That's Basically an Overpriced Emulator

American rapper Soulja Boy, who has “played games all his life,” has decided to expand his brand and capitalize on the gaming industry with two new products, the “SouljaGame Handheld” and “SouljaGame Console.” Polygon and Waypoint have concluded that they are just clever scams, however: the rapper appears to be selling potentially illegal emulation consoles identical to those produced by Anbernic, but at a significant markup.



As far as we can tell, Soulja Boy is selling these products on his site, just with his name attached. He’s also selling them at a markup; both the console and handheld cost $199.99, although they’re on sale for $149.99 and $99.99 respectively. Meanwhile, AliExpress has the direct-from-Anbernic versions for $105.99 and $72.99. We’ve contacted Soulja Boy’s press team for further information about the SouljaGame products, and we’ll update once Soulja Boy tells ’em, and then tells us in return.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Soulja Boy Is Selling a Console That’s Basically an Overpriced Emulator

Amazon Workers in Spain and Germany Announce Strikes Ahead of Christmas: ‘Change Must Come Now’

Following protests over workers’ rights across Europe during the Black Friday crunch last month, Amazon workers in Spain and Germany continue to strike ahead of Christmas. Multiple protests are planned over what workers and unions describe as poor work environments, anti-union tactics, and demanding conditions

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Amazon Workers in Spain and Germany Announce Strikes Ahead of Christmas: ‘Change Must Come Now’

Microsoft Claims the iPad "Isn't a Real Computer"

Microsoft released a holiday ad earlier this week promoting its new, lower-cost Surface Go lineup, and while it’s a cute video, some are saying the company has embarrassed itself by directly namedropping the competition: the ad features a little girl who explicitly tells her Grandma she doesn’t want an iPad because it isn’t “a real computer.” Longtime Surface users wouldn’t disagree, however, being that Redmond’s devices aren’t limited to a mobile OS.



The ad opens with a little girl singing, “Grandma, don’t run out and buy an iPad. Fine when I was six, but now I’m 10. My dreams are big, so I need a real computer. To do all the amazing things I know I can.” The assertion being the iPad isn’t a real computer. If the iPad isn’t a real computer, then what is? Why, a Surface Go, of course. Because it can help you learn to code, and help you “help the gentle manatee”. Which may just be the strangest pairing since John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Microsoft Claims the iPad “Isn’t a Real Computer”

Google's rumored Pixel 3 'Lite' XL might ditch the notch

There’s been talk (and apparent leaks) of a mid-range Pixel 3 variant, but what about an equivalent to the larger Pixel 3 XL? That might be coming too. OnLeaks and 91mobiles claim to have details of a Pixel 3 ‘Lite’ XL (just a placeholder name for…

Source: Engadget – Google’s rumored Pixel 3 ‘Lite’ XL might ditch the notch

Alibaba Already Has a Voice Assistant Way Better Than Google's

Like Google’s Duplex, Chinese internet giant Alibaba has its own humanlike voice assistant capable of making restaurant reservations and salon appointments. But unlike Google, which has rolled out the feature to select audience, Alibaba’s offering already has a wider reach. And it’s smart, too. From a report: On December 2 at the 2018 Neural Information Processing Systems conference, one of the largest annual gatherings for AI research, Alibaba demoed the AI customer service agent for its logistics company Cainiao. Jin Rong, the dean of Alibaba’s Machine Intelligence and Technology Lab, said the agent is already servicing millions of customer requests a day. The pre-recorded demo call involved the agent asking a customer where he wanted his package delivered. In the back-and-forth exchange, the agent successfully navigated several conversational elements that demonstrated the breadth of its natural-language capabilities.

Take this exchange at the beginning of the call, translated from Mandarin: Agent: Hello, I am Cainiao’s voice assistant. I am — Customer: Hello.
A: Yes, hi, you have package scheduled for morning delivery to 588 Culture West Road. Is it convenient for you to receive? C: Who are you? A: I am Cainiao’s voice assistant. I’d like to confirm your morning delivery to 588 Culture West Road. Does that work for you? C: I’m not home in the morning. A: Then do you have another address that you’d like to use?

Within 30 seconds, the agent has smoothly handled three common, and tricky, conversational ingredients: interruption, nonlinear conversation, and implicit intent. Interruption is self-explanatory: the agent can respond to the customer’s interruption and continue relaying relevant information without starting over or skipping a beat.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Alibaba Already Has a Voice Assistant Way Better Than Google’s

Learn Spanish Through Pop Music Using This App

When I was in kindergarten our class participated in a riveting performance of “50 Nifty United States” a song about, you guessed it, the 50 states. Part (and by part I mean 75%) of the song entails singing the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order. Now in my late 30s, I’ve been delighting bar patrons for years…

Read more…



Source: LifeHacker – Learn Spanish Through Pop Music Using This App