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Vint Cerf Imagines the Net's Future At NASA

CmdrTaco posted about 5 years ago | from the smaller-faster-better dept.

The Internet 67

destinyland writes "Vint Cerf performed an hour-long Q&A at NASA for their 'Singularity University' (which is partially funded by Google ). A question about Twitter led Cerf to imagine even more useful micro-applications using the wireless internet and cell phones, including real-time health data and checking your location against a map of known biohazards and disease outbreaks. 'These systems have applications which I think we will discover over time,' Cerf says, adding 'For me, the exciting thing to just anticipate, are the new ideas for using these instruments.' Also speaking were Ray Kurzweil and nanotechnology expert Ray Merkle. (Read an interview with SU co-founder Peter Diamandis in the new issue of H+ magazine)."

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67 comments

Imagine (3, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#28636951)

Imagine having advice hooked up that could monitor for a heart attack or a stroke. If detected, emergency could be called automatically. If reliable, what would this do for survival rates? In many cases, survival or simply the degree of damage is determined by how quickly treatment begins. I think something like this, if reliable and unobtrusive, would be a major leap forward for health treatment.

Re:Imagine (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28637043)

Imagine having advice hooked up that could monitor for a heart attack or a stroke.

How do you hook up advice to anything? It is a non-physical recommendation.

Y'know, I've read the Bible. I couldn't find "THOU SHALT NOT PROOFREAD" anywhere.

Re:Imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28637101)

Did you try the New Testament?

Re:Imagine (-1, Troll)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | about 5 years ago | (#28637473)

How could the Nazis purportedly capture, transport, process, murder, incinerate/bury, etc., 6,000,000 Jews, and all this while fighting WWII on at least three fronts?

The Wehrmacht would have needed to gas more than 4,000 Jews per day, 7 days a week, for 4 years, to have murdered 6,000,000.

The number exceeds the Jewish population of Europe in 1939. How were there survivors and their children?

Even if this is not true, how can saying so be punishable by imprisonment in several "free" countries. Why is the holocaust considered a worse crime than the 300-year continuous torture and translocation of black Africans, who's deaths and suffering certainly dwarf any european experience, regardless of ethnicity?

Re:Imagine (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 years ago | (#28637189)

Imagine having advice hooked up that could monitor for a heart attack or a stroke.

Imagine having a device hookedup that could monitor basically everything about you, and report it in real time to the government. Or anyone else that you might not like knowing everything about you.

In the ideal, this could be really incredibly useful. In actual practice, it sounds like the worst nightmare of basically anyone who wants privacy of any kind.

Re:Imagine (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#28637343)

When I wrote the original post, I knew this would be the first response (outside of a goofy troll, I was right). Basically, every advance has the potential to be used for evil purposes. It is up to us as a society to stand up against that. That has nothing to do with the technology itself.

Re:Imagine (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#28637533)

Wish I had mod point.

To many people misunderstood, or didn't even bother to read, 1984.

Re:Imagine (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | about 5 years ago | (#28637593)

When I wrote the original post, I knew this would be the first response (outside of a goofy troll, I was right). Basically, every advance has the potential to be used for evil purposes. It is up to us as a society to stand up against that. That has nothing to do with the technology itself.

Here's the difference: did it come from top-down edicts, or from the overwhelming demand of the people? That is, is it something most people have wanted for a long time now that has finally become possible/economical, or is it something that must be sold to them? Is it a solution looking for a problem? Is its participation entirely voluntary and opt-on only or will people be coerced in some way into accepting it whether they want it or not? After all, if it's "for my own good" you should have no stake in whether I use it or not, and thus no problem with my refusal to use it.

The other side of the coin is that there are some technologies with marginal or dubious benefits and extremely terrible potential abuses. What do you call something that can only benefit you a little bit but might really hurt you a lot? Poor decision-making. The problem is that surveillance in general, the uses to which it can be put, and just how much power it represents, are not terribly well known. I'll gladly take my chances with whether I can reach a telephone and dial 911 before I'll wear any sort of monitoring device. That's because I am weighing the unlikely scenario of dying because I could not get to a doctor fast enough against the very likely scenario of this technology being abused when it becomes widespread. I'd much rather have a slightly higher chance of dying in a freer country than a slightly higher chance of surviving in a more tyrannical country. Any day.

Re:Imagine (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28638113)

If I am having a heart attack I don't care about my privacy. I am Peter help me.

Re:Imagine (3, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 years ago | (#28638881)

Basically, every advance has the potential to be used for evil purposes. It is up to us as a society to stand up against that. That has nothing to do with the technology itself.

Yep. Every technology can be used for evil purposes. And "society" has every right to stand up against that sort of thing.

The question becomes: is there any way that society CAN stand up against that sort of thing if we're all wearing our little monitoring devices?

I'm not specifically talking about the government doing the monitoring, but SOMEONE will monitor things, if only for "quality control purposes". Any problems with your ex- being one of the people who do the monitoring? Yes, your ex- is unlikely to be doing that but the people doing that are going to be SOMEONE's ex-. Is it okay if they can keep track of every orgasm you have? If they can monitor your vitals, they can tell when you're having sex, after all.

How about if they can check on WHO you're having sex with? It'll be someone in the same location, and unless you're really crappy at the whole sex thing, your partner's vitals will let anyone watching know that they're having a good time too...

Lots of things I could be doing that I don't want the government to know about. Even more that I don't especially want the neighbors to know about. Much less than neighbor's computer-literate teenagers....

And since this is all broadcast, just about anyone with sufficient savvy and equipment can monitor pretty much whatever they want - the internet doesn't keep too many secrets very well, after all. And cell phones even fewer....

Re:Imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28645937)

Kranzberg's First Law: Technology is neither good nor bad. Nor is it neutral

Re:Imagine (1)

LKM (227954) | about 5 years ago | (#28638463)

Imagine if you could decide who gets what information.

Re:Imagine (2, Interesting)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | about 5 years ago | (#28637225)

That could be an early possibility. This technology could also be used to monitor your body in real-time, ensuring that you are staying healthy. This would allow for prevention of heart attacks and strokes, instead of allowing for fast treatment after the problems occur.

Re:Imagine (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 5 years ago | (#28637743)

That could be an early possibility. This technology could also be used to monitor your body in real-time, ensuring that you are staying healthy. This would allow for prevention of heart attacks and strokes, instead of allowing for fast treatment after the problems occur.

I am not a doctor of any kind so this obviously is not a medical opinion. I am just saying what I believe to be common sense. This is one of those where I say "I have karma to burn." I don't expect it will be well-received because people who don't take responsibility for their well-being really seem to hate being reminded that they can. They regard you as something of a religious infidel for thinking that people aren't nearly so helpless as they tend to believe.

If I were worried about my health, I would eat mostly fruits and vegetables with some meat, I would exercise regularly, and I would learn how to handle problems without being stressed out by them (it's amazing how important that one is). If I were fat, I would work hard and do something about it until I were no longer fat. If I smoked, I would take steps to quit. Every day I would take a moment to really enjoy the hell out of something, even if it's some small thing. I would do all of those things, and then and only then, would I go to the medical system to resolve any remaining issues.

I see the obesity statistics and things of that nature. I go outside and I see some very heavy people everywhere. Most of them aren't doing anything about it; they are too busy trying to be "accepted" for it. Then I see all of the problems that folks with that lifestyle have to deal with, all the suffering they tend to have later in life, and I think of one word: "preventable."

I don't want real-time health monitoring devices. I want a society that can achieve a basic level of well-being without them.

Re:Imagine (2, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#28637813)

Do you know what a false dichotomy is? Your post is a shining example of one.

In your argument, I am either 'unconcerned' with my health, and want this device to cover for that. Or I live a healthy lifestyle and shun this.

Perfectly healthy people have strokes. A lady I worked with in her 60's had one. She was perfectly health and coul out-exercise most of the 30-somethings in the office. The first stroke was minor. However, she had a second that was worse, partially due to not having someone there to report it. If you have a stroke, you may be unaware of it because it is affecting your brain. An observer would notice right away something was wrong.

So while you can feel good about yourself and your superior eating habits, there are reasons a device like this may be useful to those who aren't fat and lazy.

Re:Imagine (1)

causality (777677) | about 5 years ago | (#28637951)

Do you know what a false dichotomy is? Your post is a shining example of one.

In your argument, I am either 'unconcerned' with my health, and want this device to cover for that. Or I live a healthy lifestyle and shun this.

Perfectly healthy people have strokes. A lady I worked with in her 60's had one. She was perfectly health and coul out-exercise most of the 30-somethings in the office. The first stroke was minor. However, she had a second that was worse, partially due to not having someone there to report it. If you have a stroke, you may be unaware of it because it is affecting your brain. An observer would notice right away something was wrong.

So while you can feel good about yourself and your superior eating habits, there are reasons a device like this may be useful to those who aren't fat and lazy.

So you mention a rather rare occurrence and believe that this better represents the typical case than my scenario which clearly described people who could be taking much better care of themselves? Sure, there are people who eat perfectly, run five miles a day, lift weights, and then drop dead from heart attacks at relatively young ages. Do you know why they're noteworthy? Because they're rare. That's not generally how things work out. For that matter, non-smokers get lung cancer sometimes, but I would hazard a (completely unqualified, not-a-doctor) guess that not smoking is still one of the best ways to make sure that you don't get lung cancer.

It's not a matter of feeling good or superior. If those are the only terms accessible to your imagination for why I said what I said, then I hope you outgrow that one day. Benefit of a doubt is a beautiful, though sometimes costly, thing.

Even if I were 200lbs overweight, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, and drank like a fish, I would still prefer to take my chances than be monitored like this. I hope that better explains to you where I'm coming from. Meanwhile, I'd rather people take a little more responsibility for their own well-being than come up with clever monitoring devices to enable somebody else to look after that for them.

Really, to hear some of these debates you'd think that humanity has had such technologies since the Neolithic Age. We have managed to get by without them. They are not essential to life. "Because we can" is not a good enough reason. It's perfectly valid to feel that there are good alternatives to invasive technologies.

Re:Imagine (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 5 years ago | (#28637353)

Imagine having advice hooked up that could monitor for a heart attack or a stroke. If detected, emergency could be called automatically. If reliable, what would this do for survival rates? In many cases, survival or simply the degree of damage is determined by how quickly treatment begins. I think something like this, if reliable and unobtrusive, would be a major leap forward for health treatment.

You do know that tyranny and the invasion of privacy is always "for the good of the land," right? I'm going to engate in some speculation here, something you might call a plausible scenario.

The problem is that if this health monitor becomes available and reasonably cheap, it will probably become difficult to obtain health insurance without it. The stated reason will be cost. So, in that way it's going to be required of everyone whether or not they care about the privacy aspects. I find that scenario a little too likely. That probable lack of voluntary, opt-in-only participation is one of your first clues that you are dealing with something the goals of which deviate from its stated purpose.

Re:Imagine (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#28637481)

Hi,

The solution to the problem you bring up is to deal with the problem, not the technology that brings the problem to a head. If we have a problem with health care in this country, then deal with the issue. Don't go "ABC is a bad technology and should not be pursued". That is foolish. There is a potential for real health benefit. Don't throw it out because it is easier to do so that to actually deal with the problem.

Re:Imagine (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#28644021)

The solution to the problem you bring up is to deal with the problem, not the technology that brings the problem to a head. If we have a problem with health care in this country, then deal with the issue. Don't go "ABC is a bad technology and should not be pursued". That is foolish.

That seems wise. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and all. Technology by itself is neutral, people make it good or bad through how they use it.

Now, if you could just clear something up for me. Are you saying we should implement this technology before or after we've fixed the problem of human nature, greed, and power-lust?

In the one case, 'technology is neutral' is a moot point because we'll be subject to the abuses caused by the people using it as a matter of course, and in either case it's going to be a long wait until the problem gets solved.

This would be a great thing for the society of Star Trek. For the institutions of the societies of today, the potential downsides are enormous, and the upside of potentially helping a few people who suffer spontaneous heart attack out of reach of anyone who could make a phone call on their behalf and aren't already aware that they are in a risk group is comparatively feeble.

Yes technology isn't "bad" outside of the context of people using it. Yet you can never escape and thus can never ignore that context. This technology is bad as long as the societal context it would be deployed in results in it being bad, and if you have any idea how to change that in my lifetime, I'd like to hear it much more than a defense of technology as neutral.

Re:Imagine (1)

fl!ptop (902193) | about 5 years ago | (#28637513)

The problem is that if this health monitor becomes available and reasonably cheap, it will probably become difficult to obtain health insurance without it.

the other problem is that it takes gov't a long time to do anything, so by the time the gov't bureaucrat assigned to monitor your device (assuming we get nationalized health care) gets around to calling the ambulance, you'll probably already be dead. from old age, not a heart attack or stroke.

or at least, that's what they'll tell your next of kin. that you died of old age, not red tape and inefficiency.

Re:Imagine (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#28640601)

Imagine having a method, that could prevent getting any heart attacks at all. If detected, trashy food could be thrown in the trash where it belongs automatically. If reliable, what would this do for survival rates?

Now imagine what this would do to the incomes of big "health" companies.

Schwarzkophf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28636971)

Nice information ...

real time health data (4, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#28637081)

All of a sudden, the cellphones of everyone around you whoop with the "red alert" sound from Star Trek. You take your phone out of your pocket. "Swine Flu Reported Nearby" flashes on the red screen. Covering your mouth with your shirt, you and everyone else start running in all directions, spreading the flu immediately to the surrounding communities. The process repeats like the grand-finale of the fireworks display, until the deadly disease is evenly distributed throughout the world.

Re:real time health data (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#28637135)

Don't worry, government firebombs would save the world.

We are talking about highly unlikely dystopias, right?

Re:real time health data (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28637345)

All of a sudden, the cellphones of everyone around you whoop with the "red alert" sound from Star Trek. You take your phone out of your pocket, read the message and run hysterically and as quickly as you can at a random direction. People seem to do exactly the same. After what seemed to be a lifetime you reach a dead end alley. Someone taps your shoulder from behind. You turn around and there he is, Patrick Swayze. Seconds later you explode.

Seriously? (2, Interesting)

quangdog (1002624) | about 5 years ago | (#28637117)

checking your location against a map of known biohazards and disease outbreaks.

Seriously?

When was the last time you rounded a corner and stepped right in a pile of biohazard or disease outbreak? While I can see the utility and potential upside to a lot of the ideas being implemented on mobile devices these days, some of them seem to be solutions looking for a problem.

Re:Seriously? (2, Interesting)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#28637275)

I'm traveling to India soon, and I would very much like to avoid the parts with malaria if I can. It would be useful to know that a large number of people in some neighborhood were diagnosed with malaria recently, especially when picking a hotel.

It would also be good to know recent parasite and food poisoning stats on a per-restaurant basis.

Re:Seriously? (1)

quangdog (1002624) | about 5 years ago | (#28637397)

And how will data required for this be collected? How will we know it is reliable and up-to-date?

Re:Seriously? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#28637493)

Hospitals with fully-computerized records will eventually have data like this. If 10 people come in with food poisoning in one day, and the hospital ask them where they have eaten in the past 48 hours, it doesn't take an amazing programmer to write an algorithm which identifies the dirty restaurant.

Similarly, with malaria, home or work addresses of patients would identify diseased areas with simple automated processing.

Re:Seriously? (2, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | about 5 years ago | (#28638131)

while agree the algorithm is easy.. but..

have you ever read electronic medical records? have you ever seen how these people input data?

the amazing programmer is the one that designs the system that gets them to input it right

Re:Seriously? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#28638779)

You don't need perfect data for statistical analysis. Furthermore, it is wrong to assume that hospital employees will necessarily and perpetually do a very poor job of data input. The finance industry does an incredible job of tracking even fractions of pennies. With improved procedures, UIs, and/or incentives, the data could be collected far more accurately.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28640245)

You don't need perfect data for statistical analysis. You DO need normalized data. You may not have noticed this, but it's pretty goddamn easy to normalize financial data, since they're all tracking the same data type. Just talk to the secretary at your doctor's office about coding...

Re:Seriously? (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 5 years ago | (#28640259)

oh i have no doubt that it can and will happen over time..

but i did want to point out that compared to what you have right now .. it will be amazing.

and while you don't need "perfect" data - it helps to have it somewhat relevant.

Re:Seriously? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#28637579)

This data is already collected by several agencies.
While in most cases it' will lage a couple of week, many disease outbreaks in poor countries linger for many months, to years.
If it's a surprising, or large outbreak, data will be available pretty quickly. Those event get into the media pretty quick.

If I was traveling I would like to know which area have lingering disease problems, or emerging problem.

Of course, I can't figure out why anyone would willingly travel to these places, but to each their own.

Re:Seriously? (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 5 years ago | (#28637879)

http://www.healthmap.org/ [healthmap.org]

HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers.

Has direct funding from Google.org. Provides information via Twitter already during the rash of H1N1 outbreaks across the world.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28637633)

> I'm traveling to India soon, and I would very much like to avoid the parts with malaria if I can

Here's how I used to do it when I lived in South Africa---

Rainy Season? Check! Check news reports for outbreaks of malaria in the low veldt? Check! Cancel plans to go to Kruger? Check!

Maybe you shouldn't go to India if you're truly worried about getting Malaria.

Seems like a no brainer.

Re:Seriously? (2, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 5 years ago | (#28637491)

When was the last time you rounded a corner and stepped right in a pile of biohazard or disease outbreak?

Doesn't this happen in Phillip K Dick novels a lot?

Re:Seriously? (1)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28637501)

Never, but for some reason elephants [slashdot.org] constantly step on my phones. But we'll show them, won't we Land Rover?

Re:Seriously? (1)

tomcode (261182) | about 5 years ago | (#28637783)

Best idea since Bear Patrol

Re:Seriously? (1)

Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) | about 5 years ago | (#28641625)

Last week I stepped in some dog poop. Does that count?

Singularity University (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28637181)

Impossibly easy entry requirements, but the only way to graduate is virtually.

Dimensional analysis = innovation (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 years ago | (#28637211)

GOOGle's strangle-lock on our Internet has irrationally limited the perspective of the Web to a two-dimensional aspect. Why limit ourselves to two dimensions, when scientists have long proven that human consciousness has at least four dimensions?

HOWEVER, I don't know if another government panel like NASA is the answer to this. What's needed is some forward thinking innovation to evolutionarily expand the organic dimensions of web "pages" into multi-dimensional info-spheres.

With everyone focused on the "cloud" it seems we all forgot about the fiundamentally networked nature of the internet. Vin't Cerf's article is unfortunately no exception.

Re:Dimensional analysis = innovation (1)

msparker (449164) | about 5 years ago | (#28637319)

Wow. Andreessen is right; Vint Cerf can't keep up [slashdot.org] .

Re:Dimensional analysis = innovation (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 years ago | (#28637411)

Okay, help me out here Slashdot crowd. Is the above post an example of:

A) Sufficiently advanced trolling is indistinguishable from stupidity
B) Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling
C) A and B
D) None of the above

Thanks.

Re:Dimensional analysis = innovation (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#28637799)

I'm gonna go with D. It seems to me that there is a huge group of people that like the feeling that comes from being enthusiastic about something, so rather than thinking critically about well-defined ideas and concepts, they think superficially about vague ideas and concepts that engender enthusiasm.

Hence the group that is nearly religious about the supposed implications of 'the' singularity, and the current state of Wired, and so forth.

But maybe that qualifies as advanced stupidity.

Re:Dimensional analysis = innovation (1)

gtarthur (86809) | about 5 years ago | (#28638053)

Yes, yes, yes! I'm sure that must be it!
Oh wait...

Re:Dimensional analysis = innovation (1)

smallfries (601545) | about 5 years ago | (#28637983)

Tough problem... I think you should try and get this in as a poll. I'm leaning towards B although that could just be an aspect of my two-dimensional perspective and A is also a strong candidate...

Seek Help (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 years ago | (#28638227)

Friend, do you remember when new ideas and new paradimes enthralled and excited you? But now, the cognitive straightjacket of your two-dimensional GOOGle-approved "web browsing" has transformed this natural human inquisitiveness into a cynicism bred by a pathalogically limited "worldview."

Your scoffing dismissal of my comments only lends credence to the urgent need to reanimate the internet by empowering multi-dimensional perspectives in its software applications.

Re:Seek Help (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#28643593)

Yes, he has clearly been educated stupid. I however can see the obvious reality of the simultaneous four-fold Info-Cube. GOOG can only hide, not undo, that which is already the only Truth. And it is reality, friend! Software need not be empowered, it need only be undefeatured. All information and thus all web pages are already Cubic!

Re:Dimensional analysis = innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28638679)

Kook alert!

How's this: (1)

netruner (588721) | about 5 years ago | (#28637229)

How about we try to develop an app platform that is vendor independent - not simply so we can have homegrown apps, but so that you don't have to choose your cell service provider based on what apps you want to run. While we're at it, can we make software for phones that will run reasonably fast? I hate having to hit the power button 7 times, each time wondering if the button is worn out or if the software just hasn't caught up yet.

Motion Detector iPhone App (4, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | about 5 years ago | (#28637239)

Seems the obvious application:

"20 meters!"
"Get set, folks."
"15 meters!"
"Short, controlled bursts."
"10 meters! 5 meters!"
"That's impossible! That's inside the room!"
"It's readin' right, man!"
"Well, you're not readin' it right." Hicks takes the Phone and look at the screen. "He's right, 3 meters...oh, wait. Hold on, call for you." Hands the phone back to Hudson.
"Thanks....Yallo. Going okay. Yessir. Yessir. No sir, not a bug hunt. Pretty much everyone. It wasn't me, man! Yah I remember last time. Who? Sorry, he's dead. He's dead too. Hicks? Yeah, sec." Hands the phone to Hicks who is listening to what can only be described as impatient tapping on the ceiling.
"Yah. No, he's right, only a few of us are left. Acid for blood. Hardly believe it myself, sir. Trying sir, but we need to get to orbit first. Oh. Really? That's new. Lemme look. Wow. There really is an app for everything. Ok. Well, five and a half to beam up. No, Paul Reiser isn't dead. Yet." Hicks fires a grenade into the ceiling. "Energize."

Re:Motion Detector iPhone App (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#28643721)

"Trying sir, but we need to get to orbit first."

That whole thing was awesome, but that bit really made me LOL. Glad you remembered to take out Burke, btw. :)

Why should we listen to this guy??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28637311)

After all, he's a little past Marc Andreessen's recommended age limit of 24 for being a visionary. Sorry Vint! What NASA really needs is a bunch of kids showing off their latest iPhone/twitteresque/web 2.0 widget.

The Swarm: A BUNCH of dampers (3, Funny)

starglider29a (719559) | about 5 years ago | (#28637485)

I can think of A BUNCH dampers to The Swarm (smartphone micronetwork):

Privacy
Until we learn to balance paranoiac fears of privacy invasion with "the good of the collective", these things will not reach a fraction of the potential. For example, I drive an hour to a choke point. I don't want the world to know where I am at any instant, but would like to know that if I slow down 3 mph, I'll get through the choke point sooner.
Civility
I would like to use my smart phone to talk to people in the commuter swarm around me. "Dude, your left rear tire is low." But, being a Slashdotter, we know where that would go. "Dude, you have an Apple sticker, yer a fking fanboi! die die die!" Lawyers
From inter-network contracts to micro-restraining orders (from the apple fanboi above), the potential for litigiousness will throw sand and syrup into this machine. And don't get me started on "intercept trajectories" with that hot chick who walks down the bike path every other day. "Hey, I just happened to..." "Right, get lost..." She presses the 'repel' button and is steered away from me henceforth.
Money/ROI
Throughput caps, and the exceeding thereof, will get expensive. Texts cost nothing, should be free, but they are not. If everything I do costs a penny, that adds up. The ROI won't hold up. Not everything I do is worth a penny. I make money 8 hours a day, but can spend it 60/60/24/7/365. How long can I sustain that?
Life (as in getting one)
I was a chat maven. Made some good, REAL relationships. No one is on chat anymore. People not on Facebook are virtually vanished. For now. I drive, I work, I cook, I eat, I sleep. Where does micronetworking ADD to that? "Say, I detect that you are adding Worcestershire sauce to that burger. Here are some Swarm Coupons for Baconnaise instead. Say, I detect that your cholesterol level is too high to warrant eating a burger. Say, I noted that you haven't moved outside the house in 4 days despite my detecting good weather in your area. Perhaps you should skip the burger and walk to the store for some lo-fat yogurt with bactieria cultures that I detect you are low in. Your neighbor 2 houses down has smelled your burger and wishes he could have it. Give it to him instead. I detect from his Swarmer that he has a 23% chance of dying of obesity in a month anyway."
Time
Nothing I do with a smartphone will get me time back. Sleep, chill, read, kiss. None of these require a Swarmer. It takes away. I watched 16 innings of baseball and went to sleep. Just as I drifted off, my phone texted me regarding the results. Thanks for that.

Re:The Swarm: A BUNCH of dampers (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#28637739)

Privacy - You're not that interesting.

Civility - no one cares, and not that much of an issue when you know and can see the person.

Lawyer - Hey, being able to be alerted when certain people are around me is a good thing. I'm not sure why you think lawyers need to be involved.or how the hell micro-restraining orsders would even work with any practicallity.

Money/ROI - considering we live in a world were a lot of data and apps to work with that data are free, I'm not wure where the penny comes in.

Life - If they were REAL friends, they woudl ahve let you know how to contact them, wouldn't they?
I ahve many friends through a sole online presence, all the inportant one I made have an email address and phone number.

How about this sceneriou "I see you like adding Worcestershire to the burger. There are 12 people within 3 miles would you like to set up an anonymous chat?"
Of "You are playing DnD, you would like an anon chat with any others players within 5 miles?"

Time - Funny, my smart phone gives me time. WHen I'm waiting for something, I contact people, or take care of things at that moment, instead of waiting until I get home.

This means when I get home, I can stop using it and spend time with my family, time I would have had to spend answering emails and doing planning for trips or events. Instead, all of that was taking care of while waiting for a meeting to start, or waiting for a coffee, or what have you.

The fact that you can't get from chat,. to real meat space is something you should work on.

Finally Worcestershire is AWESOME on burgers, and they make my Boca Burger much more tasty.

Boca burger is a vegetarian burger. I need to keep my fat between 20-30 Grams a day, but I love my burgers.

Re:The Swarm: A BUNCH of dampers (1)

starglider29a (719559) | about 5 years ago | (#28638169)

Good points. Got me thinking.

Privacy - You're not that interesting.

I have a list of cookies that disagrees with you. I am the WORST at responding to ads. I'm surprised Google hasn't banned me for non-performance.

Civility - no one cares, and not that much of an issue when you know and can see the person.

True, I've never flipped off a driver I could see~

I'm not sure why you think lawyers need to be involved

Nor I, but they always seem to get in there somehow. Like, when I want to drop my Sprint and get an iPhone. OOPS, contract!

Real friends/Meatspace

I have that handled. However, most of the meat is in different time zones. Different work schedules. Voice to voice is tricky. Meat to meat is rare.

When I'm waiting for something,while waiting for a meeting to start, or waiting for a coffee

You sound like you wait a lot. Why didn't your smartphone tell the barista when you'd be arriving? It also sounds like you don't drive on a commute. Lucky you. Texting + car = bad.

Money/ROI - considering we live in a world were a lot of data and apps to work with that data are free, I'm not wure where the penny comes in.

Content. I considered using a wireless broadband and ditching the cable. The plan allowed for 5GB a month. I stream music all night. That adds up fast. Overages kill.

I also left off COVERAGE! When my meatspace SigOther gets to my place, her signal vanishes. yay.

Worcestershire

contains anchovies. Not vegetarian.

I am The Architect. I created the Internets. (3, Funny)

sfraggle (212671) | about 5 years ago | (#28637773)

Has anyone else noticed how much Vint Cerf resembles the Architect out of the Matrix films?
The Architect [wired.com]
Vint Cerf [cyberpunkreview.com]

I think maybe we should be worried, especially if he's lecturing at "Singularity [wikimedia.org] University".

Citing the proper people (1)

bradbury (33372) | about 5 years ago | (#28638653)

The introduction note contains a typo. It is Ralph Merkle, not "Ray Merkle", that is involved in nanotechnology and the Singularity University as can be seen from his WikiPedia page and his web site (www.merkle.com).

All just pie in the sky, (1)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | about 5 years ago | (#28639271)

at least in the US of A, as long as the "broadband" part remains at the mercy of "providers" like the cablecos and phonecos. But I'm very happy for those who live in the developed world. Life will be good there.

Singularity ain't going to happen! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#28640433)

And I can prove it with this little explanation:

If you look at natural processes, they grow exponentially. Until limiting factors come into place. Then the curve flattens again, until it is horizontal, and the limiting factors and the growth balance each other out.

The inability to cope with the speed of change, close to the singularity, will itself be such a limiting factor.
Which will mean, that the speed of change will limit our ability to change things, slowing that speed of change itself down, until they balance each other out.

But how would Kurzweil and Cerf get any media attention, if that core object of fear would simply vanish into the air? ^^

Re:Singularity ain't going to happen! (1)

RaymondKurzweil (1506023) | about 5 years ago | (#28641425)

If you look at natural processes, they grow exponentially. Until limiting factors come into place.

Interesting, your mom hasn't yet demonstrated this phenomenon you speak of.

Re:Singularity ain't going to happen! (1)

Quackers_McDuck (1367183) | about 5 years ago | (#28642771)

Actually the singularity is not really about exponential growth -- I mean, sure, Ray Kurzweil writes about it a lot and uses it as evidence to get people excited, but the main idea of the singularity is that once we can create a high-level AI (at or greater than human), it can modify itself to become "smarter", and then that modified self could modify itself, and then it recursively continues. "Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an âintelligence explosion,â(TM) and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make." Also, I don't know about Cerf, but Kurzweil definitely doesn't use this idea to incite fear -- he has been criticized for being too optimistic.

Re:Singularity ain't going to happen! (1)

feelbad_feelsgood (809633) | about 5 years ago | (#28644881)

Are you suggesting that change that is faster than "people" can "cope" with, simply doesn't happen? This would come as quite a surprise to coal miners, polar bears, Iranian ayatollahs, newspaper publishers, and the RIAA, to name a few.

Nerd alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28642611)

Singularity is their maritial status.
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