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Getting Closer to Digital Immortality

December 16, 2016

After his father’s death, Ray Kurzweil started collecting every scrap of information about his father that he could. He wanted his father back, and believed that the day would come when artificial intelligence, if supplied with enough information about a person, could produce a high-fidelity virtual replica of that person. Kurzweil has saved all that collected information against that day. That day may not be as far off as you might think, based on what some startup companies are doing even now. NBC News reports on the current state of the efforts.

US Election Assistance Commission Hacked

December 16, 2016

As reported by the reputable Reuters news agency, a Russian-speaking hacker penetrated the USEAC and stole login credentials of officials of the Commission. The intent was to sell them to a foreign government for cash. The hacker used a SQL injection attack to penetrate the credentials database. This kind of crime is a danger to everyone, including those who never touch a computer. If anyone you know touches a computer, you are at risk too, through them.

Learn more by requesting my free SQL Injection Attack Primer.

 

My Latest Book

December 1, 2016

My latest book, “Develop Microsoft HoloLens Apps Now” is available for a limited time at a 30% discount, direct from the publisher. Go to Apress.com, enter the title, and use discount code TAYLOR30.

develop-microsoft-hololens-apps-now

Mayo Clinic Researchers Link Senescent Cells to Most Common Form of Arthritis

August 11, 2016

August 11, 2016

close-up of hands with rheumatoid arthritisROCHESTER, Minn. — Researchers at Mayo Clinic have reported a causal link between senescent cells — cells that accumulate with age and contribute to frailty and disease — andosteoarthritis in mice. Their findings appear online in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

Osteoarthritis is the leading form of arthritis in the elderly, causing pain, disability and immobility. The disease impacted 30.8 million adults from 2008 to 2011, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The only therapeutics currently available include treatments focused on pain control, joint replacement surgery or mobility aides, such as canes, braces and walkers.

“Osteoarthritis has previously been associated with the accumulation of senescent cells in or near the joints, however, this is the first time there has been evidence of a causal link,” says James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging. “Additionally, we have developed a new senescent cell transplantation model that allows us to test whether clearing senescent cells alleviates or delays osteoarthritis.”

Using the new model, researchers injected small numbers of senescent and non-senescent cells from ear cartilage into the knee joint area of mice. After tracking the injected cells in the mice for more than 10 days using bioluminescence and fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, they found that the injection of the senescent cells into the knee region caused leg pain, impaired mobility and characteristics of osteoarthritis, including damage to surrounding cartilage, X-ray changes, increased pain and impaired function.

“We believe that targeting senescent cells could be a promising way to prevent or alleviate age-related osteoarthritis,” says Dr. Kirkland. “While there is more work to be done, these findings are a critical step toward that goal.”

The Road to Business Intelligence

August 2, 2016

In 1965, Gordon Moore wrote an article for an electronics industry magazine where he noticed that computer memory manufacturers were doubling the number of memory cells that they could fabricate on a single silicon chip about every two years. This translated to the fact that every two years, you could get about twice as much computing power for the same amount of dollars as you could get two years before.  This is the hallmark of exponential growth.

Moore’s Law has been in operation now for over 50 years and still holds true. That is why the supercomputers we carry around in our pockets and purses, called phones, have the capabilities that they do.

Back when Gordon Moore made his famous observation, there were no iPhones, tablets, or personal computers. At that time a computer filled an entire room much bigger than the room you are probably in right now.

One of the most common tasks in business in those days, as it is now, was to do financial analysis with an electronic spreadsheet. I worked with a company that offered such a spreadsheet for IBM mainframe computers. They rented it to their clients for $25,000 a month, and that was in the days when $25,000 was worth many times more than it is now.

Personal computers appeared on the scene in 1975, but were considered to be toys by IBM and the other mainframe manufacturers of the day, and were ignored. In many ways, they were toys because the programs that early hobbyists wrote for them were not particularly business oriented.

That changed in 1979 when Dan Bricklin’s Software Arts released VisiCalc for the Apple II. The program was immediately recognized as so valuable, that it not only justified its purchase price—all by itself, it justified the purchase of the computer that it ran on. It was the world’s first killer app.

After a brief time in the sun, VisiCalc was superseded by Lotus 1-2-3, which had more features and ran on the IBM PC. Lotus 1-2-3 was later displaced by Microsoft Excel, which ran under the new Windows operating system as well as on the Apple Macintosh. Excel is still at the top of the spreadsheet heap today, but the market has evolved.

Today, organizations have data stored in a variety of formats that have been created by different programs. In many cases, they want to pull data from different sources, combine it in a meaningful way, and present the result in a way that brings out trends and emphasizes what is important. This field is called Business Intelligence or BI. A number of companies worldwide have been active in BI for many years. SAP is one example and SAS is another.

BI products have tended to be quite costly, earning high profit margins for their purveyors. However, Moore’s law has now become a factor in the BI marketplace. Microsoft has recently evolved extensions to its ubiquitous Excel spreadsheet product into a new cloud-based BI product called Power BI.

One way to look at Moore’s law is to say that every two years you get twice as much computing power for the same cost. There is another way, however. That is to say that every two years you get the same power for half the cost. The ultimate result of that way of looking at it is that commodities that are subject to Moore’s Law eventually become free. This is essentially true of hard disk drives, where you can now get a drive holding trillions of bytes for well under $100. It has also come to business intelligence in the form of Microsoft’s Power BI, which is literally free. No cost whatsoever. Nada.

Microsoft is using Power BI as a lure to pull businesses into their ecosystem of products. Power BI is free, but once you have it, you are going to want the other Microsoft products that are tightly connected to it.

Moore’s Law rolls on far beyond what Gordon Moore or anyone else at that time ever thought it would. We today are the beneficiaries. If you run a business of any kind today, take a look at Microsoft’s Power BI. The price is right.

After Month-Long Delivery Mission, SpaceX’s Dragon Returns to Earth

May 11, 2016

The last month ha

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.americaspace.com

SpaceX Dragon returns experimental results and other cargo from the space station.

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Deep Space Industries, Luxembourg Government Announce Prospector-X Mission at Parabolic Arc

May 10, 2016

Space Tourism … and Much More

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.parabolicarc.com

Luxembourg enters the asteroid mining business by partnering with Deep Space Industries.

See on Scoop.itNew Space