QWERTY keyboard

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Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

Apple II, augmented reality, Bill Duvall, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, hypertext link, index card, information retrieval, invention of hypertext, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, unbiased observer, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

The evolution of typewriting was far from complete when Mur- ray made the connection between telegraphic practice and typewriting in 1905. It was by no means clear yet what a typewriter should be like or how it should be operated. In particular, it was by no means clear that touch typing had to be touch typing as we know it today, on a QWERTY keyboard. Many early typewriters in fact employed chord keysets. It took the emergence of touch typing on a QWERTY keyboard as an incorporating practice to settle The Chord Keyset and the QWERTY Keyboard 71 that issue and to finally seem to banish the chord keyset to the museum of ob- solete technologies. QWERTY keyboards, chord keysets, and, indeed, Morse telegraph keys all share an essential characteristic: the unlinking" of the hand, eye, and letter. Focusing on the typewriter, Friedrich Kittler, in his impressive Discourse Net- works, 1800/1900, notes: In typewriting, spatiality determines not only the relations among signs but also their relation to the empty ground. . . .

In the different context of electronic computing fifty to one hundred years later, the performance advantages of the five-bit devices that Engelbart employed still existed. Although the QWERTY keyboard lay- out has been severely criticized since the 1930'S at least, with the invention of the Dvorak keyboard and its supposed efficiencies, no other type input device 80 The Chord Keyset and the QWERTY Keyboard ever has managed to challenge its supremacy. 8 As Jan Noyes (19 8 3 a , 278-79) puts it in "The QWERTY Keyboard: A Review": Rearranging the letters of the QWERTY layout has been shown to be a fruitless pastime, but it has demonstrated two important points: first, the amount of hos- tile feeling that the standard keyboard has generated and second, the supremacy of this keyboard in retaining its universal position. . . . The design and the layout of the QWERTY keyboard are not optimal for efficient operation. However it is not feasible to modify the standard keyboard and hence improve, because of con- founding factors pertinent to QWERTY's situation.

I immediately realized that I was using one of the most efficient tools that I ever had the opportunity to encounter. As I eventually discovered, its value as an input device had been well recognized since the nineteenth century. Engelbart was able to ignore its subsequent eclipse and see how it could serve his purposes for user-machine communications in a way that what had become the standard, ubiquitous input device, the QWERTY keyboard, could not. What he was unable to ignore, however, was the hegemony of the QWERTY keyboard. "RE-INVENTING THE HIGH-WHEEL BICYCLE WITH GOVERNMENT FUNDS" The charge that, at this early stage, Engelbart was simply returning to an obso- lete and discarded technology was made by one of his sponsors, Harold Woos- ter, director of the Information Sciences Directorate of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research at the time of Engelbart's second proposal.


pages: 255 words: 76,834

Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda

1960s counterculture, anti-pattern, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bash_history, Charles Lindbergh, conceptual framework, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, HyperCard, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, premature optimization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, zero-sum game

The added benefit is that this entire cycle removed the arbitrariness from taste. It gave taste a purpose, a rationale beyond self-indulgence, an empathetic end. So, is the QWERTY keyboard a pleasing and integrated whole? Is it well balanced and justifiably likable? Is it a design that works? The intervening years have provided the answer. The autocorrecting QWERTY keyboard did not sink the iPhone as a product, as did the disappointing handwriting recognition on the Newton. The opposite happened. Two-thumb typing on a touchscreen is now normal. It’s the default for mobile devices. Even so, popularity doesn’t equal excellence. A better justification is that people can type on a smartphone QWERTY keyboard without thinking about it. The keyboard can melt away, it can recede, and when it does, it leaves a space for what people really care about.

Since I always displayed the specific sequence of keys you actually tapped, you could always look up and find your place. Getting distracted while typing “aluminum” no longer meant getting slimy. The new single-key QWERTY design provided the definitive solution to the “Where am I?” problem. The single-letter QWERTY keyboard really was better. Greg Christie was right. Within a few days after making this change, I no longer had a pile of problems with no solutions in sight. Now you could type people’s names. You could type like a pirate. You wouldn’t get lost in the middle of words. Even so, solving these lingering problems revealed the next issue, a subtle behavior about the new QWERTY keyboard and the space bar. From the start of my investigations into providing active dictionary assistance, I aimed my user interface and technical designs at helping people type individual words. Tapping the space bar was an important trigger.

At the kick-off of the keyboard derby, I had no idea how to make useful algorithms to assist people with text entry. Even when I had progressed through to the single-letter QWERTY keyboard layout, my autocorrection code was still extremely simple. It worked something like the tumblers on a bike lock. If you meant to type the word “cold” but typed colf instead, you could imagine how spinning the fourth tumbler to a different letter would produce the desired word. This is a basic concept behind autocorrection, finding the best combination of letters given the taps from a typist, the keys that popped up, and considering the letters in the neighborhood of the popped-up key. Since the letter D is close to F on the QWERTY keyboard, the code could autocorrect from colf to cold. The algorithm created an arrangement of tumblers corresponding to the keys you typed and the letters close to the keys you typed.


pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

A. Roger Ekirch, Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Shoshana Zuboff, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

Nobody has been able to reconstruct Sholes’s and Densmore’s reasoning completely. It would probably be necessary to find an operating Model 1 or 2 typewriter and experiment with combinations of letters. The QWERTY keyboard, as it came to be known, was clearly a compromise. On the middle row of text there was a nearly alphabetical sequence: DFGHJKLM. The last letter was later moved to the bottom row, where the original C and X were also later reversed. On the top row was a vowel cluster (UIO) out of alphabetical order. Sholes and Densmore were both familiar with newspaper type cases, arranged not in alphabetical order but roughly according to letter frequency. The QWERTY keyboard did not follow these patterns but was conceived in a similar spirit.27 Sholes and Densmore made a fateful assumption about the operator’s technique. Compositors used thumb and forefinger and looked at the type case as they worked, and it seemed reasonable to think that typewriter operators would do the same—as, indeed, all but a few initially did.

Norman and Fisher found that although the Dvorak arrangement did indeed save on motion as its advocates had long claimed, gains in speed were modest: the advantage was only about 5 to 10 percent. They found the long-maligned QWERTY keyboard surprisingly rational in its high number of alternating-hand sequences. The Norman studies and others bolstered an influential 1990 rebuttal to Paul David’s analysis by two fellow economists, S. J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis, who argued that the Dvorak arrangement had lost on its merits.41 The critics of the Dvorak layout have a point. Typists’ minds are able to manage the additional 37 percent finger travel of the QWERTY keyboard without a corresponding loss of speed. Differentials range from a mere 2.6 percent for Dvorak, to 11 percent. A 1980 Japanese study suggested 15 to 25 percent faster performance in timed writing and 25 to 50 percent faster production of letters, reports, and tables.

Compositors used thumb and forefinger and looked at the type case as they worked, and it seemed reasonable to think that typewriter operators would do the same—as, indeed, all but a few initially did. For this style of work the QWERTY keyboard was relatively efficient. Its leading twentieth-century critic, August Dvorak, found that the most frequent letters were typed with the first two fingers of the left hand and the index finger of the right. There seems to be a balance between putting all the most frequent characters near the center of the keyboard and maintaining an order that will make it easier to find keys visually, like keeping O and P as well as the middle-row sequence together. As early as 1875, proposals circulated for more efficient keyboards. Once touch typing prevailed, it would have been logical to look for even greater speed and comfort by devising a new arrangement.


The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting by Anne Trubek

computer age, crowdsourcing, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, lateral thinking, Norman Mailer, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker, Whole Earth Catalog

“Since the introduction of the typewriter in our junior high schools, there is a tendency to minimize the importance of the teaching of handwriting,” wrote a Pittsburgh school administrator in 1924.14 In 1938 the New York Times published an article, “Of Lead Pencils,” that warned, “Writing with one’s own hand seems to be disappearing, and the universal typewriter may swallow all.”15 The placement of the keys on the typewriter greatly influenced the speed of the typist. The letters were arranged into an idiosyncratic pattern—that, despite it being inefficient and of no purpose to us today, remains: the QWERTY keyboard. QWERTY was invented in 1873 in order to separate common letter pairs, preventing type bars from sticking together when struck sequentially. But QWERTY keyboards did not come with any instruction manual for how best to use them. Most people used either two or four fingers to type. In 1888, Frank McGurrin created a system that all people could use, one that would be the most efficient. His system is what we now call touch-typing. He went on the road, showing off his speedy new method, shocking people that he could hit keys without looking at them and using all ten fingers.

One of the most surprising aspects of the digital revolution, in fact, is how very text based it has been. As we keep writing more on different surfaces, we create new methods of making letters: We press our fingers onto glass, we swipe across touch screens, and we talk to Siri, dictating our words to a digital scribe, just as Socrates, Caesar, the popes, royals, and novelists of the past did. The pace of change (with the exception of our stubborn commitment to the QWERTY keyboard) has been so rapid, it is easy to forget how quickly and sweepingly we have changed. If the history recounted here repeats itself, there will be less heterogeneity soon; keyboarding—perhaps done by swiping instead of pressing—will become ubiquitous in American elementary classrooms, and we will develop new cultural, emotional, and individual associations with the rhythm and look and feel of pressing letters, ones that we may then impart to our children when they learn to write.

See also calligraphy; handwriting curricula for, here drills for, here, here, here, here, here master penmen teaching, here, here Palmer Method of, here, here, here Spencer’s method of, here, here, here, here, here standardization of, here, here, here typewriting compared to, here, here and forensic document examination, here, here manufacturers of, here nibs for, here, here quill pens, here, here, here, here, here reed pens, here, here of scribal monks, here, here as writing technology, here writing with, here Persia, here Peters, Cortez, here Petrarch, here Philodemus of Gadara, here Phoenician alphabet, here phonics, here phrenology, here Pinker, Steven, here Pius II, Pope, here Pius IX, Pope, here Plato, here Pliny the Elder, here, here Pliny the Younger, here Poe, Edgar Allan, here Pompeii, here, here, here Powell, Barry, here Powers, Richard, here Preyer, Wilhelm, here print culture, here printing press claims against, here effect on calligraphic tradition, here effect on handwriting, here effect on scribes, here, here, here invention of, here, here, here standardization of fonts, here, here survival of writing from, here prisons and prisoners, here professions, scripts associated with, here, here, here proto-writing, here, here pseudosciences, here Ptolemaic period, here public schools, handwriting pedagogy in, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here punctuation, here, here, here, here, here questioned document examiners, here quill pens, here, here, here, here, here quipus (Incan knotted cords), here QWERTY keyboard, here, here racial hierarchies, here Ravel, Maurice, here Rawlinson, Henry, here reading. See also literacy cognitive effects of, here of cuneiform, here, here effect of handwriting on comprehension, here, here silent reading, here, here, here and standardization of typewriting, here, here teaching of, here, here, here recto, here, here reed pens, here, here reed styluses, here Remington, Eliphalet, here Remington typewriters, here, here, here, here Renaissance, here, here, here rhetorical skills, here Rice, Victor M., here right-handed writing, here Roman alphabet, here, here, here, here Romance languages, here Roman Empire, here, here, here Romans books created by, here, here, here bookstores of, here bureaucracy of, here oral communication of, here, here papyrus used by, here, here scribes of, here, here scripts used by, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here survival of writing by, here, here, here, here, here Romantic era, here, here Rosetta stone, here round hand, here, here, here Rowling, J.


pages: 335 words: 111,405

B Is for Bauhaus, Y Is for YouTube: Designing the Modern World From a to Z by Deyan Sudjic

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, dematerialisation, deskilling, edge city, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, illegal immigration, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, light touch regulation, market design, megastructure, moral panic, New Urbanism, place-making, QWERTY keyboard, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, urban sprawl, young professional

But if Kerouac managed to sidestep one of the technical constraints of the format he worked in, he accepted a more fundamental intrusion between his mind as it formed words, and his attempts to record and crystallize them. He used the QWERTY keyboard as the route between his fingers and the paper, or rather between his brain and the paper. The relationship between the two is indirect. The skill with which his fingers manipulate the keyboard does not in itself reflect the quality of his words, in the way that a pianist’s musical performance would do. Just as a steering wheel is not the only method of controlling a car, so the QWERTY keyboard is not the only kind of interface that allows a writer to work. Early automobiles used tillers. Contemporary Formula One cars have something more like the joystick of an aircraft studded with electrically operated buttons through which the driver can impose his will on the speed and course taken by his vehicle.

Design’s pursuit of authenticity, in fact, makes designers into endlessly inventive fakers. Proceeding through the alphabet, this book does indeed touch upon “B is for Bauhaus,” but as much through an exploration of the significance of a massive exhibition catalogue for the Bauhaus show I saw in London as a schoolboy as through an objective appraisal of the movement. I am equally fascinated by the significance of collection, of the squalor of car interiors, and the impact of a Qwerty keyboard on my approach to writing. This is a book that reflects my life over the last thirty years as a critic and a curator, and is written from the vantage point of the Design Museum. There is no better place to look at the constantly fluctuating, endlessly fascinating world of design. I have a green fishtail parka that I bought in a shop on a backstreet by a canal in Milan. It was hanging on a rack, alongside a couple of elderly flying suits, a selection of brand-new khaki vests, and some second-hand cargo pants.

Mario Bellini, the designer who did more than anybody to create the image of modern Italy in the 1960s, designed a bright-yellow plastic adding machine, the Divisumma, in which he went to infinite pains to maximize the tactile qualities of the keyboard. He made each key into a rounded button, stretching a soft rubber membrane over the whole surface. He somewhat coarsened the effect at his lectures by interspersing close-up photographs of the machine in profile, a single Michelangelo digit reaching out to depress one of the keys with the image of a nipple. The QWERTY keyboard used to be the most effective way to communicate with and control a machine, until Steve Jobs teamed it with a screen and a mouse – what used to be called the graphic user interface. Jobs created not simply the window through which the computer could be coaxed, haltingly, to explain itself to the user, but the place in which the user could work directly with the machine. The click-and-point mouse was not Jobs’s idea, he took it from Xerox’s Paolo Alto research lab – which itself relied on earlier studies.


pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Airbnb, AltaVista, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, framing effect, game design, Google Glasses, IKEA effect, Inbox Zero, invention of the telephone, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the new new thing, Toyota Production System, Y Combinator

Gourville writes that products that require a high degree of behavior change are doomed to fail even if the benefits of using the new product are clear and substantial. For example, the technology I am using to write this book is inferior to existing alternatives in many ways. I’m referring to the QWERTY keyboard which was first developed in the 1870s for the now-ancient typewriter. QWERTY was designed with commonly used characters spaced far apart. This layout prevented typists from jamming the metal type bars of early machines.11 This physical limitation is an anachronism in the digital age, yet QWERTY keyboards remain the standard despite the invention of far better layouts. Professor August Dvorak’s keyboard design, for example, placed vowels in the center row, increasing typing speed and accuracy. Though patented in 1932, the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was written off.

David Skok, “Lessons Learned—Viral Marketing,” For Entrepreneurs (accessed Nov. 12, 2013), http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/lessons-learnt-viral-marketing. 10. John T. Gourville, “Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers: Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption,” Harvard Business Review (accessed Nov, 12, 2013), http://hbr.org/product/eager-sellers-and-stony-buyers-understanding-the-p/an/R0606F-PDF-ENG. 11. Cecil Adams, “Was the QWERTY Keyboard Purposely Designed to Slow Typists?,” Straight Dope (Oct. 30, 1981), http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/221/was-the-qwerty-keyboard-purposely-designed-to-slow-typists. 12. Mark E. Bouton, “Context and Behavioral Processes in Extinction,” Learning & Memory 11, no. 5 (Sept. 2004): 485–94, doi:10.1101/lm.78804. 13. Ari P. Kirshenbaum, Darlene M. Olsen, and Warren K. Bickel, “A Quantitative Review of the Ubiquitous Relapse Curve,” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 36, no. 1 (Jan. 2009): 8–17, doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2008.04.001. 14.


Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies by Jared M. Diamond

affirmative action, Atahualpa, British Empire, California gold rush, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, invention of movable type, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Maui Hawaii, QWERTY keyboard, the scientific method, trade route

As one example, I mentioned in Chapter 13 the QWERTY keyboard for typewriters. It was adopted initially, out of many competing keyboard designs, for trivial specific reasons involving early typewriter construction in America in the 1860s, typewriter salesmanship, a decision in 1882 by a certain Ms. Longley who founded the Shorthand and Typewriter Institute in Cincinnati, and the success of Ms. Longley's star typing pupil Frank McGurrin, who thrashed Ms. Longley's non-QWERTY competitor Louis Taub in a widely publicized typing contest in 1888. The decision could have gone to another keyboard at any of numerous stages between the 1860s and the 1880s; nothing about the American environment favored the QWERTY keyboard over its rivals. Once the decision had been made, though, the QWERTY keyboard became so entrenched that it was also adopted for computer keyboard design a century later.

The reason behind all of those seemingly counterproductive features is that the typewriters of 1873 jammed if adjacent keys were struck in quick suc- cession, so that manufacturers had to slow down typists. When improve- ments in typewriters eliminated the problem of jamming, trials in 1932 with an efficiently laid-out keyboard showed that it would let us double our typing speed and reduce our typing effort by 95 percent. But QWERTY keyboards were solidly entrenched by then. The vested interests of hundreds of millions of QWERTY typists, typing teachers, typewriter and computer salespeople, and manufacturers have crushed all moves toward keyboard efficiency for over 60-years. While the story of the QWERTY keyboard may sound funny, many similar cases have involved much heavier economic consequences. Why does Japan now dominate the world market for transistorized electronic consumer products, to a degree that damages the United States's balance of payments with Japan, even though transistors were invented and pat- ented in the United States?

Millions of people today buy designer jeans for double the price of equally durable generic jeansbecause the social cachet of the designer label counts for more than the extra cost. Similarly, Japan continues to use its horrendously cumbersome kanji writ- ing system in preference to efficient alphabets or Japan's own efficient kana syllabarybecause the prestige attached to kanji is so great. Still another factor is compatibility with vested interests. This book, like probably every other typed document you have ever read, was typed with a QWERTY keyboard, named for the left-most six letters in its upper row. Unbelievable as it may now sound, that keyboard layout was designed in 1873 as a feat of anti-engineering. It employs a whole series of perverse tricks designed to force typists to type as slowly as possible, such as scatter- ing the commonest letters over all keyboard rows and concentrating them on the left side (where right-handed people have to use their weaker hand).


pages: 345 words: 84,847

The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt

active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize

<http://nypost.com/2010/10/17/ordering-at-eleven-madison-park-has-become-the-controversial-talk-of-the-town> Spiegel, Garrett J. et al. “Design, Evaluation, and Dissemination of a Plastic Syringe Clip to Improve Dosing Accuracy of Liquid Medications.” Annals of Biomedical Engineering 41, no. 9 (2013): 1860–8. doi:10.1007/s10439-013-0780-z. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23471817 Stamp, Jimmy. “Fact of Fiction? The Legend of the QWERTY Keyboard.” Smithsonian. May 3, 2013. Accessed May 11, 2016. <http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/fact-of-fiction-the-legend-of-the-qwerty-keyboard-49863249> Stanley, Matthew. “An Expedition to Heal the Wounds of War.” Isis 94, no. 1 (2003): 57–89. Steinitz, Richard. György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2003. Stevens, Jeffrey R., Alaxandra G. Rosati, Sarah R. Heilbronner, and Nelly Mühlhoff. “Waiting for Grapes: Expectancy and Delayed Gratification in Bonobos.”

In searching for the sweet spot between the two, creators sometimes tilt on the side of the familiar. It seems safer there because it builds on what a community already knows and loves. But moving incrementally carries a risk: the public may move on without you. Consider the BlackBerry smartphone. In 2003, the technology company RIM brought the first BlackBerry to market. Its main innovation was a full QWERTY keyboard, making it possible to answer emails as well as take phone calls. By 2007, BlackBerry phones were such a success that the company’s stock had increased eighty-fold. RIM had become one of the tech sector’s hottest companies. That same year Apple introduced the first iPhone. BlackBerry’s market share and stock price continued to rise for a while, hitting new highs, but the attention of the public began to turn toward touchscreen phones.

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ref1 Schleicher, Lowell ref1 Schmidt, Eric ref1 schools ref1 arts, influence of ref1, ref2 audiences ref1 creative capital ref1 imagination ref1 meaningful work ref1 motivation ref1 precedents ref1 prizes ref1 proliferating options ref1, ref2 risk, encouraging ref1 Schubert, Franz ref1 Schulz, Bruno ref1 science blending ref1, ref2, ref3 breaking ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 cultural conditioning ref1, ref2 education ref1 fiction ref1 influence of the arts ref1 Scieszka, Jon ref1 Scofidio, Ricardo ref1 scouting, distances ref1 Scratch software ref1 sea squirt ref1 seeking ref1 Semper, Max ref1 Senz umbrella ref1 September 11, 2001 ref1 Serra, Richard ref1 Seurat, Georges ref1 70/20/10 rule (Google) ref1 Shadow Torso (Rodin) ref1 Shakespeare, William ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 Shelley, Mary ref1 Shelley, Percy Bysshe ref1 Sheppard, Sheri ref1 Sherlock (tv) ref1 ShipIt Days (Atlassian) ref1 shipping ref1 “The Shipwreck” (Falconer) ref1 Shockley, William ref1 Short, Bobby ref1 Shrinky Dinks ref1 Shuttlecocks (Oldenburg/van Bruggen) ref1 Siemens ref1 silk ref1 Simon (smartphone) ref1 simulating outcomes ref1 see also future Siri ref1 Sistine Chapel ref1 skeuomorphs ref1, ref2 smartphones ref1, ref2, ref3 Blackberry ref1 iPhone ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Smets, Gerda ref1, ref2 Snowboard Bicycle ref1 Sobel, Dava ref1 social enhancement ref1 Solyndra ref1 Sony Playstation ref1 Sony Walkman ref1 “A Sound of Thunder” (short story) (Bradbury) ref1 SpaceShipOne (Mojave Aerospace) ref1 speculation ref1 Sphinx ref1 spiders ref1 Sprague, Frank J. ref1 stadiums ref1 Starck, Philippe ref1 Starkweather, Gary ref1 steam engine ref1 Still Life with Violin and Pitcher (Braque) ref1 Stoppard, Tom ref1 Stradivari, Antonio ref1 Stradivarius violins ref1 streamlining ref1 The Street of Crocodiles (Schulz) ref1 A Study in Scarlet (Conan Doyle) ref1 A Study in Pink (tv) ref1 Stueckelberg, Ernst ref1 Subscribervision service ref1 Sun Microsystems ref1 Super Mario Clouds (Arcangel) ref1, ref2 super-font ref1 superheroes ref1 surprise ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 each other ref1, ref2, ref3 sweet potatoes ref1 sweet spot ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Swift, Philip K. ref1 Swigert, Jack ref1, ref2 symmetry, visual ref1 Symmetry 454 (calendar) ref1 synecdoche ref1 Szilard, Leo ref1 Szotyńscy and Zaleski (company) ref1 The Taking of Pelham 123 (film) ref1 Tata ref1 Tate, Nahum ref1 tech box (IDEO) ref1 technology bending ref1 blending ref1 breaking ref1 education ref1, ref2 flexibility ref1 proliferating options ref1 testing possibilities ref1, ref2, ref3 Telemeter ref1 television (tv) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Teller, Astro ref1 Teller, Edward ref1 three Bs see also bending; blending; breaking ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Three Flags (Johns) ref1 Three Studies for Portraits (including Self-portrait) (Bacon) ref1 3M Corporation ref1, ref2 300 (film) ref1, ref2 Tilman, Congressman John Q. ref1 time bending ref1 blending ref1 breaking ref1 “end of time” illusion ref1 release medications ref1 sharing ref1 timelessness ref1 Time (magazine) ref1 Titled Arc (Serra) ref1 To B.W.T. (1950) (Guston) ref1 “Today in 1963” (article) (Bel Geddes) ref1 “Tom’s Diner” (song) ref1 “Too Marvelous for Words” (song) ref1 touchscreens ref1 Toyota Corporation ref1 Toyota FCV Plus ref1 Toyota i-Car ref1 transistors ref1 “transitron” ref1 The Travelers (Catalano) ref1 Tree of Codes (Foer) ref1 Trehub, Sandra ref1 trolley cars ref1 The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Scieszka) ref1 Turner, Mark ref1 Twain, Mark ref1, ref2 Twitter ref1 Twombly, Cy ref1 umbrellas ref1 Un dimanche après-midi à l’île de la Grande Jatte (Seurat) ref1 unBrella ref1 universal beauty ref1 universal language ref1, ref2 Unrecognized (Abakanowicz) ref1 vacuum cleaners ref1 van Bruggen, Coosje ref1 van Gogh, Vincent ref1 variation ref1 Vega, Suzanne ref1 Velázquez, Diego ref1 Veloso, Manuela ref1 ventilators ref1 verlan (French slang) ref1 Verna, Tony ref1 Versailles, Palace of ref1 Versatile Extra Sensory Transducer Vest ref1 Viktor & Rolf ref1 Violin Concerto (Beethoven) ref1 visual perception ref1 visual symmetry ref1 Volute ref1 Waldorf institutions ref1 Walker, Shirley ref1 Walkman, Sony ref1 Wall-less House ref1 Walsh, Craig ref1 Warped Building (“Krzywy Domek”) ref1 Washington, Denzel ref1 Water Lilies and Japanese Footbridge (Monet) ref1 Wegener, Alfred ref1, ref2 The Well-Tempered Clavier (Bach) ref1 Wells Fargo bank ref1 West Side Story (musical) ref1 Westinghouse ref1 what-ifs ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 see also future White Album (album) ref1 White Flag (Johns) ref1 White on White (Malevich) ref1 Whitney, Eli ref1, ref2 Wiles, Andrew ref1 Wilson, E.O. ref1, ref2, ref3 Wilson, John Tuzo ref1 Windows 8 ref1 windshields ref1, ref2 Winehouse, Amy ref1 wing warping ref1 The Winstons (band) ref1 Women of Algiers (Delacroix) ref1 workplace changes ref1 World calendar ref1 World Season Calendar ref1 World Wide Web ref1 World’s Fairs ref1 Wright, Orville ref1 Wright brothers ref1, ref2, ref3 Wyler, William ref1 X research and development (Google) ref1, ref2 Xerox Corporation ref1, ref2 XPrize ref1 X-Space library ref1 Yoko Ono ref1 YouTube ref1, ref2 Zamenhof, L.L. ref1 Zen gardens ref1 zombies ref1, ref2 NOTES Introduction 1 Gene Kranz, Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000). 2 Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger, Apollo 13 (New York: Pocket Books, 1995). 3 John Richardson and Marilyn McCully, A Life of Picasso (New York: Random House, 1991). 4 William Rubin, Pablo Picasso, Hélène Seckel-Klein and Judith Cousins, Les Demoiselles D’Avignon (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1994). 5 A.L.


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Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought by Drew Neil

Bram Moolenaar, don't repeat yourself, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, place-making, QWERTY keyboard, web application

The letter j sort of looks like an arrow pointing downward. On a Qwerty keyboard, the h and l keys are positioned to the left and right of each other, mirroring the direction in which they move the cursor. Although h, j, k, and l may seem unintuitive at first, learning to use them is worth your while. To reach for the arrow keys, you have to move your hand away from its resting place on the home row. Because the h, j, k, and l keys are all within easy reach, you can move Vim’s cursor without having to move your hand. That might sound like a trivial saving, but it adds up. Once you’ve acquired the habit of using h, j, k, and l to move around, using any other editor that depends on the arrow keys will feel strange. You’ll wonder how you put up with it for so long! Leave Your Right Hand Where It Belongs On a Qwerty keyboard, the j, k, and l keys fall directly beneath the index, middle, and ring fingers of the right hand.

We can’t cover them all in this chapter, so I recommend that you look up the motion.txt ​ section of Vim’s documentation for a complete reference. Set yourself the goal of adding a couple of motions to your repertoire each week. Tip 46 Keep Your Fingers on the Home Row Vim is optimized for the touch typist. Learn to move around without removing your hands from the home row, and you’ll be able to operate Vim quicker. The first thing you learn as a touch typist is that your fingers should rest on the home row. On a Qwerty keyboard, that means the left-hand fingers rest on a, s, d, and f, while the right-hand fingers rest on j, k, l, and ; keys. When poised in this position, we can reach for any other key on the keyboard without having to move our hands or look at our fingers. It’s the ideal posture for touch typing. Just as with any other text editor, Vim lets us use the arrow keys to move the cursor around, but it also provides an alternative by way of the h, j, k, and l keys.

You’re wasting keystrokes if you press the h key more than two times in a row. When it comes to moving horizontally, you can get around quicker using word-wise or character search motions (see Tip 48, and Tip 49). I use the h and l keys for off-by-one errors, when I narrowly miss my target. Apart from that, I hardly touch them. Given how little I use the h key, I’m happy to have to stretch for it on a Qwerty keyboard. On the flip side, I use the character search commands often (see Tip 49), so I’m pleased that the ; key rests comfortably beneath my little finger. Break the Habit of Reaching for the Arrow Keys If you’re finding it difficult to break the habit of using the arrow keys, try putting this in your vimrc file: motions/disable-arrowkeys.vim ​​noremap <Up> <Nop>​​ ​​noremap <Down> <Nop>​​ ​​noremap <Left> <Nop>​​ ​​noremap <Right> <Nop>​​ This maps each of the arrow keys to do nothing.


pages: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

But that same feature also slowed down even the fastest typists. The QWERTY design has persisted even though the mechanism that caused all the trouble is no longer relevant. When Apple engineers designed the iPhone, they debated whether to finally get rid of QWERTY altogether. What kept them coming back to it was familiarity. After all, their closest competitor at the time, the BlackBerry, had a hard QWERTY keyboard that performed so well the product was commonly known as the “Crackberry” for its addictive nature. “The biggest science project” of the iPhone was the soft keyboard.6 But as late as 2006 (the iPhone was launched in 2007), the keyboard was terrible. Not only could it not compete with the BlackBerry, but it was so frustrating that no one would use it to type a text message, let alone an email.

The problem was that to fit it on the 4.7-inch LCD screen, the keys were very small. That meant it was easy to hit the wrong one. Many Apple engineers came up with designs that moved away from QWERTY. With just three weeks to find a solution—a solution that, if not found, might have killed the whole project—every single iPhone software developer had free rein to explore other options. By the end of the three weeks, they had a keyboard that looked like a small QWERTY keyboard with a substantial tweak. While the image the user saw did not change, the surface area around a particular set of keys expanded when typing. When you type a “t,” it is highly probable the next letter will be an “h” and so the area around that key expanded. Following that, “e” and “i” expanded, and so on. This was the result of an AI tool at work. Ahead of virtually anyone else, Apple engineers used 2006-era machine learning to build predictive algorithms so that key size changed depending on what a person was typing.

See also jobs “Lady Lovelace’s Objection,” 13 Lambrecht, Anja, 196 language translation, 25–27, 107–108 laws of robotics, 115 learning -by-using, 182–183 in the cloud vs. on the ground, 188–189, 202 experience and, 191 in-house and on-the-job, 185 language translation, 26–27 pathways to, 182–184 privacy and data for, 189–190 reinforcement, 13, 145, 183–184 by simulation, 187–188 strategy for, 179–194 supervised, 183 trade-offs in performance and, 181–182 when to deploy and, 184–187 Lederman, Mara, 168–169 Lee, Kai-Fu, 219 Lee Se-dol, 8 legal documents, redacting, 53–54, 68 legal issues, 115–117 Lewis, Michael, 56 Li, Danielle, 58 liability, 117, 195–198 lighting, cost of, 11 London cabbies, 76–78 Lovelace, Ada, 12, 13 Lyft, 88–89 Lytvyn, Max, 96 machine learning, 18 adversarial, 187–188 churn prediction and, 32–36 complexity and, 103–110 from data, 45–47 feedback for, 46–47 flexibility in, 36 judgment and, 83 one-shot, 60 regression compared with, 32–35 statistics and prediction and, 37–40 techniques, 8–9 transformation of prediction by, 37–40 Mailmobile, 103 management AI’s impact on, 3 by exception, 67–68 Mastercard, 25 mathematics, made cheap by computers, 12, 14 Mazda, 124 MBA programs, student recruitment for, 127–129, 133–139 McAfee, Andrew, 91 Mejdal, Sig, 161 Microsoft, 9–10, 176, 180, 202–204, 215, 217 Tay chatbot, 204–205 mining, automation in, 112–114 Misra, Sanjog, 93–94 mobile-first strategy, 179–180 Mobileye, 15 modeling, 99, 100–102 Moneyball (Lewis), 56, 161–162 monitoring of predictions, 66–67 multivariate regression, 33–34 music, digital, 12, 61 Musk, Elon, 209, 210, 221 Mutual Benefit Life, 124–125 Napster, 61 NASA, 14 National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), 222–223 navigation apps, 77–78, 88–90, 106 Netscape, 9–10 neural networks, 13 New Economy, 10 New York City Fire Department, 197 New York Times, 8, 218 Nordhaus, William, 11 Norvig, Peter, 180 Nosko, Chris, 199 Novak, Sharon, 169–170 Numenta, 223 Nymi, 201 Oakland Athletics, 56, 161–162 Obama, Barack, 217–218 objectives, identifying, 139 object recognition, 7, 28–29 Olympics, Rio, 114–115 omitted variables, 62 one-shot learning, 60 On Intelligence (Hawkins), 39 Open AI, 210 optimization, search engine, 64 oracles, 23 organizational structure, 161–162 Osborne, Michael, 149 Otto, 157–158 outcomes in decision making, 74–76, 134–138 job redesign and, 142 outsourcing, 169–170, 171 Page, Larry, 179 Paravisini, Daniel, 66–67 pattern recognition, 145–147 Pavlov, Ivan, 183 payoff calculations, 78–81 in drug discovery, 136 judgment in, 87–88 Pell, Barney, 2 performance, trade-offs between learning and, 181–182, 187 performance reviews, 172–173 photography digital, 14 sports, automation of, 114–115 Pichai, Sundar, 179–180 Piketty, Thomas, 213 Pilbara, Australia, mining in, 112–114 policy, 3, 210 power calculations, 48 prediction, 23–30 about the present, 23–24 behavior affected by, 23 bias in, 34–35 complements to, 15 consequences of cheap, 29 credit card fraud prevention and, 24–25 in decision making, 74–76, 134–138 definition of, 13, 24 by exception, 67–68 human strengths in, 60 human weaknesses in, 54–58 improvements in, 25–29 as intelligence, 2–3, 29, 31–41 in language translation, 25–27 machine weaknesses in, 58–65 made cheap, 13–15 selling, 176–177 techniques, 13 unanticipated correlations and, 36–37 of what a human would do, 95–102 predictive text, 130 preferences, 88–90, 96–97, 98 selling consumer, 176–177 presidential elections, 59 prices effects of reduced AI, 9–11 human judgment in, 100 sales causality and, 63–64 for ZipRecruiter, 93–94 privacy issues, 19, 49, 98 China and, 219–220 country differences in, 219–221 data collection, 189–190 probabilistic programming, 38, 40 processes. See work flows Project Apollo, 164 Putin, Vladimir, 217 Qi Lu, 219 quality risks, 198–199 QWERTY keyboards, 129–130 racial profiling, 195–196 radiologists, 55–56, 108–109, 145–148 recruitment, 127–129 reengineering, 123–135 Reengineering the Corporation (Hammer and Champy), 123–134 regression, 13 failures of, 36–37 multivariate, 33–34 in predicting churn, 32–35 reinforcement learning, 13, 145, 183–184 Rekimoto, Jun, 26 research and development, 218–221 return on investment (ROI), 156, 198–199 reverse causality, 62 reverse-engineering, 202–204 reward function, 79–80, 172–173 engineering, 92–94, 174 strategy alignment and, 162 Rio Tinto, 113–114 risks and risk management, 19, 195–206 biases in job ads and, 195–198 decision making and, 108–109 liability and, 195–198 quality and, 198–199 security, 199–205 society and, 209–224 Rivers, Lynn, 218–219 Robotlandia, 211 robots Asimov’s laws of robotics and, 115 grasping problem with, 144–145 if-then logic and, 104–109 mail delivery, 103 moon-based, 115 quick responses and, 114–115 uncertainty problems and, 103–104 Rockefeller Foundation, 31 Roomba, 104 Rose, Geordie, 145 Rosenberg, Nathan, 182–183 Rumsfeld, Donald, 58 Rush (rock band), 73 Russakovsky, Olga, 28–29 Russia, 217 sabermetrics, 56, 161–162 Salesforce, 190 satisficing, 107–109 scale, 67 Schoar, Antoinette, 66–67 school bus drivers, 149–150 Schumpeter, Joseph, 215 search engines, 50, 64, 216 security risks, 199–205 self-driving vehicles.


Autonomous Driving: How the Driverless Revolution Will Change the World by Andreas Herrmann, Walter Brenner, Rupert Stadler

Airbnb, Airbus A320, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, carbon footprint, cleantech, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, crowdsourcing, cyber-physical system, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, demand response, digital map, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer rental, precision agriculture, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Zipcar

Norms and standards can also improve the confidence of potential customers, as people can be unsettled by competition between companies for the right or wrong technological basis (see Box 24.1). Box 24.1. Characterisation of Standards Good Standards, Bad Standards Standards can not only accelerate the innovation process, but also strengthen a company’s market position with its products. The QWERTY keyboard configuration illustrates how a suboptimal technology gained almost total acceptance. The Remington Arms Company received complaints that their typewriters often jammed when typists worked too rapidly. To solve this problem, a Remington engineer had the idea of separating commonly connected letters, such as q and u. This resulted in the QWERTY configuration, where the left hand has to do most of the typing and many common words (was, were) involve just the left hand.

Dvorak subsequently developed a more efficient keyboard, where the right hand does more typing than the left and most typing is carried out on the home and middle row of the keys, including the most common letters. Cassingham [20] estimates that professional typists are 20 per cent faster using a Dvorak keyboard and that, during an eight-hour day, a typist’s hand travels 16 times further on a QWERTY keyboard than on a Dvorak one. Yet, puzzlingly, 99 per cent of all current keyboards are QWERTYbased. QWERTY was a standard for more than 20 years before Dvorak’s keyboard appeared. Norms and Standards 243 The development of the Boeing 777 is an example of how the standardisation of data transfer between the companies involved in a project can significantly reduce costs and time. The project specified designing the plane without paper drawings, although many suppliers were involved in the development process.

At some point, architecture appears and is then accepted as the industry standard, like Microsoft Windows. The product core can then be standardized; economies of scale can be created in production and marketing. Firms entering the industry during exploratory phases can be led down the wrong technological path, but have tremendous winning potential if they choose the right one. As the example of the QWERTY keyboards shows, dominant designs don’t have to be better than alternative architectures [20]. They simply embody a set of key features and functions that come together at a certain time due to technological path dependence and need not be based on functionality, practicality or customer preference. With autonomous driving, the debate about the dominant design plays a particularly important role in the development of V-to-V communication (Declaration of Amsterdam).


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Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

In the meantime, the United States, like other nations and transnational bodies, faces myriad communication policy issues affecting digital communication that are often about technological choices. Technologies reinforce the status quo once a communication regime is put in place. Technologies are “path dependent,” meaning that once they are in place with a certain technological standard, it is very difficult and expensive to replace them unless there is a major technological revolution, even if they have considerable flaws. We still live with the limitations of the QWERTY keyboard, to take one example, though the rationale for that system disappeared generations ago.31 Likewise, communication technologies invariably have unintended consequences—the more significant the technology, the greater the unintended consequences. Both of these features point to the need for as careful and thoughtful an approach to communication policy making as possible. As Philip N. Howard puts it, “technology design can actually involve political strategy and be part of a nation’s ‘constitutional moment.’”32 The Commercial Media Entertainment System The Internet and digital technology encompass all communication.

Not surprisingly, the emergence of e-books is dramatically altering reading from “an intimate exchange between the reader and the words on the page” into “something measurable and quasi-public.” Also not surprisingly, the impetus for this change is due as much to commercial imperatives as it is to the nature of the technology. See Alexandra Alter, “Your E-Book Is Reading You,” Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2012. 29. Carr, Shallows, 116. 30. John Naughton, What You Really Need to Know About the Internet: From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg (London: Quercus, 2012). 31. The QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow down typists so early typewriters could function without the keys jamming. If a keyboard were to be designed for optimal efficiency, it would use a different layout. 32. Cited in Rebecca MacKinnon, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (New York: Basic Books, 2012), 53. 33. For a sophisticated history of the relationship of commercialism to popular music in the United States, see David Suisman, Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). 34.

See media conglomeration; minority media ownership; newspaper ownership; public ownership; radio station ownership Page, Larry, 102, 135 Paine, Thomas, 54, 57, 279n148 Pariser, Eli, 43, 148 The Filter Bubble, 9–10, 70, 76, 157 partisan press, 85 Patch, 189 patents, 103–4, 133–34, 260n25–27 Paton, John, 185 pay. See CEOs’ pay; wages PayPal, 138, 141, 164 pay-per-view model, 147 paywalls, 186–87 PCs. See personal computers The Penguin and the Leviathan (Benkler), 6–7 Pentagon. See U.S. Department of Defense Pentagon Papers, 169 Peoria Journal-Star, 177 periodicals, 93, 156, 176, 205, 237n15. See also newspapers; press subsidies personal computers, 101, 135, 218. See also QWERTY keyboard; tablet computers personalized advertising, 188 personalized news stories, 187–88 Philadelphia, 176–77 Philadelphia Inquirer, 176, 177 Philippines, 192–93 Phillips, Kevin, 18 phone industry. See telephone industry phone tapping. See wiretapping photo repositories, digital. See digital photo repositories Pickett, Kate, 36 Pierson, Paul, 30 piracy, fear of, 123, 125, 126. See also Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) plutocracy, 33 police, 165, 209 policy.


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Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

One of the problems of the early models was that when operated at high speed, the type-bars would clash and jam the machine. On the very first machines, the letters of the keyboard had been arranged in alphabetical order, and the major cause of the jamming was the proximity of commonly occurring letter pairs (such as D and E, or S and T). The easiest way around this jamming problem was to arrange the letters in the type-basket so that they were less likely to collide. The result was the QWERTY keyboard layout that is still with us. (Incidentally, a vestige of the original alphabetical ordering can be seen on the middle row of the keyboard, where the sequence FGHJKL appears.) Densmore made two attempts to get the Sholes typewriter manufactured by small engineering workshops, but they both lacked the necessary capital and skill to manufacture successfully and cheaply. As one historian of manufacturing has noted, the “typewriter was the most complex mechanism mass produced by American industry, public or private, in the nineteenth century.”

Palm never achieved more than a 3 percent market share and was quickly overshadowed in its primary market—business users—by Research in Motion (RIM), a Canadian specialist in paging, messaging, data capture, and modem equipment that launched the PDA “Blackberry” in 1999. Blackberry benefited in the business and government handset markets from RIM’s private data network, user-friendly e-mail, and miniature QWERTY keyboard. Microsoft, which came late to the PDA/smartphone platform business by licensing Windows-based mobile operating systems, had some success in the enterprise market before smartphones became consumer oriented and the touchscreen-based Apple iOS and Android systems rose to dominance. While Apple’s Macintosh was a technical success at its launch in 1984, it helped Microsoft far more than Apple itself (by showing the dominant operating-system company the way to a user-friendly graphics-based operating system).

Watson is Thomas Beldens and Marva Beldens’s The Lengthening Shadow (1962); it is not particularly hagiographic, but William Rogers’s Think: A Biography of the Watsons and IBM (1969) is a useful counterbalance. The most recent biography of Watson is Kevin Maney’s The Maverick and His Machine (2003). JoAnne Yates’ Structuring the Information Age (2005) is an important account of how interactions between IBM and its life-insurance customers helped shape IBM’s products. Page 22“let them in on the ground floor”: Quoted in Bliven 1954, p. 48. Page 23the QWERTY keyboard layout that is still with us: See David 1986. Page 23“typewriter was the most complex mechanism mass produced by American industry”: Hoke 1990, p. 133. Page 23“reporters, lawyers, editors, authors, and clergymen”: Cortada 1993a, p. 16. Page 23“Gentlemen: Please do not use my name”: Quoted in Bliven 1954, p. 62. Page 24By 1900 the US Census recorded 112,000 typists: Davies 1982, pp. 178–179.


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Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

We may seem largely locked-in to the human-controlled car but daunting as the change may seem, the push and pull factors for change are at least worthy of consideration. But “better” technologies don’t always automatically take over. Those who feel the human-driven car has outlived its usefulness, need to remember that less than ideal, or outdated reasons for retention of older technologies, can and do persist. For example, the QWERTY keyboard[360] was designed in the 1870s to slow down typists but is still in use today despite there no longer being any mechanical reason for it to remain. Will human drivers still be in use in future decades when they are similarly no longer required? Even assuming an unlikely smooth uptake, the journey of driverless cars to market maturity will take 20 years or more to complete. But it is not too soon for the automotive industry, regulators and all players in the transportation and technology spheres to consider the implications of this revolutionary development and prepare for the changes it will unleash.

MOD=AJPERES [348] https://www.automotiveisac.com/best-practices/ [349] https://techcrunch.com/2015/10/23/connected-car-security-separating-fear-from-fact/ [350] http://www.raymondloewy.com/about.html [351] https://www.ft.com/content/97a04f76-3494-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3 [352] http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35301279 [353] https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2016/INCLA-PE16007-7876.PDF [354] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [355] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment [356] https://www.scribd.com/document/333075344/Apple-Comments-on-Federal-Automated-Vehicles-Policy [357] Remarks at Infrastructure Week, May 2017 [358] Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, Carlota Perez, 2002 [359] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/10/14/move-over-humans-the-robocars-are-coming/ [360] https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/a-brief-history-of-the-qwerty-keyboard/ [361] http://www.wsj.com/articles/could-self-driving-cars-spell-the-end-of-ownership-1448986572 [362] https://www.morganstanley.com/articles/autonomous-cars-the-future-is-now [363] https://www.wired.com/2016/04/american-cities-nowhere-near-ready-self-driving-cars/ [364] Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 6 [365] http://time.com/4236980/against-human-driving/ [366] https://www.ft.com/content/e961f914-6ba3-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c [367] Paul Roberts, The Impulse Society: What's Wrong With Getting What We Want, 2014 [368] http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2033076,00.html [369] http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/da5d033c-8e1c-11e1-bf8f-00144feab49a.html#axzz1t4qPww6r [370] http://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2016/04/29/traffic-future-driverless-cars


The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

QWERTY keyboard

Its author, Naoki Higashida, was born in 1992 and was still in junior high-school when the book was published. Naoki’s autism is severe enough to make spoken communication pretty much impossible, even now. But thanks to an ambitious teacher and his own persistence, he learnt to spell out words directly onto an alphabet grid. A Japanese alphabet grid is a table of the basic forty Japanese hiragana letters, and its English counterpart is a copy of the QWERTY keyboard, drawn onto a card and laminated. Naoki communicates by pointing to the letters on these grids to spell out whole words, which a helper at his side then transcribes. These words build up into sentences, paragraphs and entire books. ‘Extras’ around the side of the grids include numbers, punctuation, and the words ‘Finished’, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. (Although Naoki can also write and blog directly onto a computer via its keyboard, he finds the lower-tech alphabet grid a ‘steadier hand-rail’ as it offers fewer distractions and helps him to focus.)


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

The innovations that music inspired turned out to unlock other doors in the adjacent possible, in fields seemingly unrelated to music, the way the “Instrument Which Plays by Itself” carved out a pathway that led to textile design and computer software. Seeking out new sounds led us to create new tools—which invariably suggested new uses for those tools. Legendary violin maker Stradivari’s workshop Consider one of the most essential and commonly used inventions of the computer age: the QWERTY keyboard. Many of us today spend a significant portion our waking hours pressing keys with our fingertips to generate a sequence of symbols on a screen or page: typing up numbers in a spreadsheet, writing e-mails, or tapping out texts on virtual keyboards displayed on smartphone screens. Anyone who works at a computer all day likely spends far more time interacting with keyboards than with more celebrated modern inventions like automobiles.

See also Hughson’s tavern Green Dragon, 241, 243 as inns for travelers, 239–40 as a new kind of social space, 237–38, 245 rising standards of living, 239 Roman tabernae, 238, 239–40, 242 in the ruins of Pompeii, 239 technology. See also computer technology computer networks of the early 1990s, 170 digital simulations that trigger emotions, 184–85 frequency hopping, 100–101 global creation, 201–202 “global village” of Minecraft, 201 as illustrated in the work of Banu Masu and al-Jazari, 3–5, 4 multiplane camera, 179–81, 180 music’s role in developing, 91–92, 100–101 QWERTY keyboard, 86–87 textiles “Calico Madams,” 28 cotton, 26–28 East India Company, 28 economic fears regarding the import of, 28–29 French weaving industry, 79–83 inventions to aid in the production of fabric, 29, 30 Jacquard loom, 80–83, 81 vivid colors of chintz and calico, 26–27, 27 theft. See shoplifting theme parks Disneyland, 55–56, 273 fantasy world of, 273 Tierpark Hagenbeck, 271–73, 272 Thorp, Edward, 221–27 Tierpark Hagenbeck, 271–73, 272 torpedo using frequency hopping, remote-controlled, 98–101 toys foreshadowing the rise of mechanized labor, 11, 14–15 as illustrated in the work of Banu Masu and al-Jazari, 2, 3–5 trading, global Columbus’s trip to the Caribbean, 114–15 Dutch East India Company, 119 Nossa Senhora dos Martires (“Pepper Wreck”), 115–16, 117 opium, 119 Spice Islands, 111–13, 138 spices, importance of, 130–44 Venice as a central European distribution point, 118 transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, 142–43 Travels in Hyperreality (Eco), 273 Tully, John, 214 Turing, Alan, 193, 227, 280 Turing Test, 227 Turner, Jack, 115, 125, 132 Tussaud, Marie (“Madame Tussaud”), 6 2008 U.S. presidential election, 33–34 typewriters “printing machine,” 90 Remington No. 1, 90, 90 shorthand, 89 “writing harpsichord,” 89 Tyrian purple aesthetic response to, 21 difficulty obtaining, 18 sea exploration inspired by the demand for, 18–19, 20 as a status symbol, 18, 20, 38 Unger, Johann Freidrich, 89 vanilla, 125–30, 127, 133–34 Vaucanson, Jacques de, 7, 77–79, 78 Vaux, Calvert, 274 “Vertue of the COFFEE Drink” (essay), 249–50 Victoria (queen), 268 visual tricks.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

In addition, the first row was provided with all of the letters in the word “typewriter,” so that salesmen, new to typing, could type the word using just one row. Quickly, however, mechanical improvements made faster typing possible, and new keyboards placing letters according to frequency were presented. But it was too late: There was no going back. By the 1890s, typists across America were used to QWERTY keyboards, having learned to zip away on new versions of them that did not stick so easily. Retraining them would have been expensive and, ultimately, unnecessary, so QWERTY was passed down the generations, and even today we use the queer QWERTY configuration on computer keyboards, where jamming is a mechanical impossibility. The basic concept is simple, but in general estimation tends to be processed as the province of “cute” stories like the QWERTY one, rather than explaining a massive weight of scientific and historical processes.

., 84 Prusiner, Stanley, 240 psychiatry, 232, 233–34, 235, 279 psychotherapy, 41–42 public policy, 93 experiments in, 26, 273–74 uncertainty and, 54, 56 QED moments, 355–57 quantum gravity, 297–98 quantum mechanics, 25, 114, 192–93, 234, 322, 356 entanglement in, 330–32 “many worlds” interpretation of, 69–70 thought experiments in, 28 wave-particle duality in, 28, 296–98 quantum tunneling, 297 quarks, 190–91, 297 Quaternary mass extinction, 362 QWERTY keyboards, 285–86 Ramachandran, V. S., 242–45 Randall, Lisa, 192–93 randomness, 105–8 rational unconscious, 146–49 ratios, 186 Read, Leonard, 258 realism, naïve, 214 Reality Club, xxix recursive structure, 246–49 reductionism, 278 Rees, Martin, 1–2 regression, 235 ARISE and, 235–36 relationalism, 223 relativism, 223, 300 relativity, 25, 64, 72, 234, 297 religion, 5, 6, 114 creationism, 268–69 self-transcendence and, 212–13 supernatural beings in, 182–83 and thinking in time vs. outside of time, 222 repetition, in manufacture, 171 replicability, 373–75 Revkin, Andrew, 386–88 Ridley, Matt, 257–58 risk, 56–57, 68–71, 339 security theater and, 262 statistical thinking and, 260 risk aversion, 339 risk literacy, 259–61 Ritchie, Matthew, 237–39 Robertson, Pat, 10 Roman Empire, 128 root-cause analysis, 303–4 Rosen, Jay, 203–5 Rovelli, Carlo, 51–52 Rowan, David, 305–6 Rucker, Rudy, 103–4 Rushkoff, Douglas, 41–42 Russell, Bertrand, 123 Rwanda, 345 Saatchi, Charles, 307–8 safety, proving, 281 Saffo, Paul, 334–35 Sagan, Carl, 273, 282 Sakharov, Andrei, 88 Salcedo-Albarán, Eduardo, 345–48 Sampson, Scott D., 289–91 Sapolsky, Robert, 278–80 Sasselov, Dimitar, 13–14, 292–93 SAT tests, 47, 89 scale analysis, 184–87 scale transitions, 371–72 scaling laws, 162 Schank, Roger, 23–24 Schmidt, Eric, 305 schools, see education Schrödinger’s cat, 28 Schulz, Kathryn, 30–31 science, 192–93 discoveries in, 109–11, 240–41, 257 humanities and, 364–66 method of, 273–74 normal, 242–43, 244 pessimistic meta-induction from history of, 30–31 replicability in, 373–75 statistically significant difference and, 378–80 theater vs., 262–63 scientific concept, 19, 22 scientific lifestyle, 19–22 scientific proof, 51, 52 scuba divers, 40 seconds, 163 security engineering, 262 security in information-sharing, 75–76 Segre, Gino, 28–29 Sehgal, Tino, 119 Seife, Charles, 105–8 Sejnowski, Terrence, 162–64 self, 212 ARISE and, 235–36 consciousness, 217 Other and, 292–93 separateness of, 289–91 subselves and the modular mind, 129–31 transcendence of, 212–13 self-control, 46–48 self-model, 214 self-serving bias, 37–38, 40 Seligman, Martin, 92–93 Semelweiss, Ignaz, 36 senses, 43, 139–42 umwelt and, 143–45 sensory desktop, 135–38 September 11 attacks, 386 serendipity, 101–2 serotonin, 230 sexuality, 78 sexual selection, 228, 353–54 Shamir, Adi, 76 SHAs (shorthand abstractions), xxx, 228, 277, 395–97 graceful, 120–23 Shepherd, Jonathan, 274 Shermer, Michael, 157–59 shifting baseline syndrome, 90–91 Shirky, Clay, xxvii, 198, 338 signal detection theory, 389–93 Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (Green and Swets), 391 signals, 228 Simon, Herbert, 48 simplicity, 325–27 skeptical empiricism, 85 skepticism, 242, 243, 336 skydivers, 39 Smallberg, Gerald, 43–45 smell, sense of, 139–42, 143–44 Smith, Adam, 258 Smith, Barry C., 139–42 Smith, Hamilton, 166 Smith, Laurence C., 310–11 Smith, John Maynard, 96 Smolin, Lee, 221–24 social microbialism, 16 social networks, 82, 262, 266 social sciences, 273 Socrates, 340 software, 80, 246 Solomon Islands, 361 something for nothing, 84 specialness, see uniqueness and specialness Sperber, Dan, 180–83 spider bites, 68, 69, 70 spoon bending, 244 stability, 128 Standage, Tom, 281 stars, 7, 128, 301 statistically significant difference, 378–80 statistics, 260, 356 stem-cell research, 56, 69–70 stock market, 59, 60–61, 151, 339 Flash Crash and, 60–61 Pareto distributions and, 199, 200 Stodden, Victoria, 371–72 stomach ulcers, 240 Stone, Linda, 240–41 stress, 68, 70, 71 string theories, 113, 114, 299, 322 subselves and the modular mind, 129–31 success, failure and, 79–80 sun, 1, 7, 11, 164 distance between Earth and, 53–54 sunk-cost trap, 121 sunspots, 110 Superorganism, The (Hölldobler and Wilson), 196–97 superorganisms, 196 contingent, 196–97 supervenience, 276, 363–66 Susskind, Leonard, 297 Swets, John, 391 symbols and images, 152–53 synapses, 164 synesthesia, 136–37 systemic equilibrium, 237–39 Szathmáry, Eörs, 96 Taleb, Nassim, 315 TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”), 84 Tapscott, Don, 250–53 taste, 140–42 tautologies, 355–56 Taylor, F.


pages: 413 words: 106,479

Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

4chan, book scanning, British Empire, citation needed, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Flynn Effect, Google Hangouts, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, moral panic, multicultural london english, natural language processing, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Great Good Place, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

.”* Here’s a few patterns we can observe in keysmash: Almost always begins with “a” Often begins with “asdf” Other common subsequent characters are g, h, j, k, l, and ;, but less often in that order, and often alternating or repeating within this second group Frequently occurring characters are the “home row” of keys that the fingers are on in rest position, suggesting that keysmashers are also touch typists If any characters appear beyond the middle row, top-row characters (qwe . . .) are more common than bottom-row characters (zxc . . .) Generally either all lowercase or all caps, and rarely contains numbers Sure, a lot of these patterns relate to the fact that we’re mashing on the home row of the QWERTY keyboard rather than using random-letter generators, but they’re reinforced by our social expectations. I conducted an informal survey, asking if people retype their keysmash if it doesn’t look, er, smashing enough. While there were a few keysmash purists, who posted whatever came out, I found that the majority of people will delete and remash if they don’t like what it looks like, plus a significant minority who will adjust a few letters.

And, just like <sarcasm> or </rant>, I could hashtag my sentences with #sarcasm or #awkward or #NovelWittyHashtag or other metacommentary—labels that add a note of irony instead of categorization. The hash mark itself, also known as the number sign, pound sign, or octothorpe, dates back hundreds of years, originally a hastily written version of the abbreviation lb from Latin libra pondo, “a pound by weight,” as in 3# potatoes @ 10¢/#. In the early days of the internet, the hash mark, as a relatively underutilized symbol available on a standard QWERTY keyboard, was repurposed for a variety of technical functions. One of these was organizational. In chatrooms, you could type in “join #canada” or “join #hamradio” to talk with Canadians or ham radio enthusiasts. On the early social bookmarking site del.icio.us and the early photo-sharing site Flickr, you could “tag” your links or pictures with relevant categories like #funny or #sunset, borrowing a metaphor from how a tag on a shirt labels it with metadata about its price or creator.


pages: 210 words: 42,271

Programming HTML5 Applications by Zachary Kessin

barriers to entry, continuous integration, fault tolerance, Firefox, Google Chrome, mandelbrot fractal, QWERTY keyboard, web application, WebSocket

In many cases, on a mobile device, changing the input type will also cause the device to put up a custom keyboard to enable the user to enter the right kind of data. For instance, if type is set to number, the device can put up a numeric keypad. For a type of tel, the device can put up a numeric keypad that looks a little different but is optimized for entering phone numbers. For a type of email, the keyboard will be a standard QWERTY keyboard but modified for the entry of email addresses. One input type that is especially useful for smartphone applications is the speech input type: <input type="text" x-webkit-speech/>. The speech tag will take what the user said and translate it into text. My Android phone, for instance, has a Google Search widget that can search by voice. The speech tag still allows the user to type text normally as well.


pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

air freight, American ideology, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, undersea cable

(A common device was a letter wheel requiring the user to turn the wheel to strike each letter.) The idea of an individual key for each letter was turned into a working solution primarily by a former newspaper editor, Christopher Sholes, in Milwaukee. On a third try, he produced a small number of working machines that outpaced manual scribes, one of which, from 1872–1873, survives. It is recognizably a modern mechanical typewriter, complete with a QWERTY keyboard. (The original keyboard was in alphabetical order, but Sholes realized that when closely spaced keys, like s and t, were struck in sequence, they tended to jam. The QWERTY sequence was the random outcome of multiple key rearrangements to reduce high-frequency, closely spaced sequences. The DFGH sequence in the middle row is a remnant of the original layout.) Successful though they were, the Milwaukee prototypes highlighted the severity of the manufacturing challenge, for typewriters were “the most complex mechanism mass produced by American industry, public or private, in the nineteenth century.”35 Sholes and a financial partner had the good sense to seek a professional manufacturer; they settled on E.

After a number of financial reverses, it spun off the typewriter business to the biggest distributor in 1886. The new company, the Standard Typewriter Company, renamed itself Remington Typewriter in 1902 and was later part of Sperry Rand. Early Surviving Scholes Typewriter, c. 1872–1873. The typewriter developed primarily by a Milwaukee editor, Christopher Scholes, was the first to look like a recognizable modern typewriter. Note the QWERTY keyboard. Schole’s first keyboard was alphabetical, but closely-spaced frequent companion letters tended to jam. The new keyboard arrangement was the random outcome of Schole’s trial-and-error method of addressing the problem. By the 1890s, there was a host of competitors—Hall Typewriters, American Writing Machine, Oliver, L. C. Smith & Brothers—and the industry, unlike sewing machines, evolved into a manufacturing competition.


pages: 436 words: 76

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

In the most famous metaphor of chaos theory, a butterfly flapping its wings provokes a tornado thousands of miles away and days later. 18 Systems in which initial conditions affect subsequent behavior indefinitely are path dependent. 19 Path dependency is why the film industry is still based in Hollywood. The design of our computer keyboards is path dependent: the QWERTY layout was devised in the earliest days of typewriting, and although it is ergonomically inefficient, users are familiar with it and the number of QWERTY keyboards and typists is too large to make any change possible. 20 The coevolution of technology and institutions-the development of the social and economic infrastructure of rich states-has been path dependent. But path dependency in which outcomes are sensitive to small details-the problem of the butterfly and the tornado-is fatal to forecasting. The hopes that were placed in the development of computers and mathematical modeling have been disappointed.

There is probably no strong reason why the United States, and France, chose the right, and Britain the left, but they did. Path dependency then took over. Countries made choices dictated by their colonial masters, or by larger countries in close proximity. It is now unlikely that any major country will switch-the last to change was Sweden, which moved from left to right during one extraordinary night in 1967. The QWERTY keyboard layout is another example of a path dependent solution to a coordination problem. Standards, like keyboard layouts, are everywhere. Currency is a standard. So is Ianguage. We need to use the same money, the same words, as the people around us. Television sets need to be compatible with television broadcasts. The FCC-prescribed NSTC is used in the United States, but most of the rest of the world uses the German PAL system.


Victorian Internet by Tom Standage

British Empire, financial independence, global village, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jacquard loom, paper trading, QWERTY keyboard, technoutopianism, undersea cable

It was used by businessmen and state officials, including the commissioner of police at Scotland Yard, who sat "spider-like in a web of co-extension with the metropolis" as he monitored reports coming in from all over London. Members of the royal family also had their own private lines installed. Another popular automatic system was devised by David Hughes, a professor of music in Kentucky. Appropriately enough, given his musical background, the Hughes printer, launched in 1855, had a pianolike keyboard with alternating white and black keys, one for each letter (the modern QWERTY keyboard was not invented until twenty years later). It worked on a similar principle to that of the ABC telegraph, but with a constantly rotating "chariot," driven by clockwork, which was stopped in its tracks whenever a key was held down at the sending station. At the same moment an electromagnet activated a hammer, printing a character on a paper tape. The Hughes printer could be operated by anyone—it simply involved pressing the letter keys in order—and it provided a printed message that anyone could read, without the need for an operator at the receiving end.


Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, high net worth, Innovator's Dilemma, Isaac Newton, mobile money, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Wall-E, winner-take-all economy

Well, you have to know what the paradox is.” In order to advance knowledge, the design thinker has to get comfortable delving into the mystery, trying to see new things or to see things in a new way. In the early days of the BlackBerry, Lazaridis saw that laptop users were demanding smaller and smaller devices, while the industry was bumping up against the size limitations of small keyboards and display screens. A standard QWERTY keyboard can only get so small before it becomes awkward and uncomfortable to use. A screen displaying all the information a user expects can be reduced only so much before it becomes unreadable or painfully cluttered. Staring at this paradox—this mystery—Lazaridis stepped back and asked what could be true. What if users didn’t use all their fingers to type? What if the information we think must be displayed actually gets in the way of understanding?


pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

It isn’t simply a matter of designing some delightful new way to present images of information on a computer. It’s just as much a matter of reckoning with—and not simply discarding—past habits. For instance, the QWERTY keyboard has for years been the universally familiar means of typing and entering information into a computer. QWERTY, which refers to the first six keys on the left side of the third row of a keyboard, was a relic, a keyboard arrangement from the era of manual typewriters that was designed to keep the individual letter-embossing hammers from getting tangled up when the user was typing at high speed. Christie and Ording decided against altering this ubiquitous, albeit hidebound, preference. Instead, they would experiment with having a virtual QWERTY keyboard appear on the screen when you needed to type. As they began to experiment with multi-touch, they found that they could do all kinds of things that were both effective and fun.


pages: 272 words: 52,204

Android 3. 0 Application Development Cookbook by Kyle Merrifield Mew

Google Chrome, QWERTY keyboard, social web, web application

The Configuration object provides us with many useful fields such as Configuration.orientation, which we used here and which can also take the value ORIENTATION_SQUARE. The next table contains a list of a few of the more useful Configuration fields and their associated constants: Configuration.field constants .hardKeyboardHidden HARDKEYBOARDHIDDEN_NO, HARDKEYBOARDHIDDEN_YES. .keyboard KEYBOARD_NOKEYS, KEYBOARD_QWERTY, KEYBOARD_12KEY. .navigation NAVIGATION_NONAV, NAVIGATION_DPAD, NAVIGATION_TRACKBALL, NAVIGATION_WHEEL. .navigationHidden NAVIGATIONHIDDEN_NO, NAVIGATIONHIDDEN_YES. .touchscreen TOUCHSCREEN_NOTOUCH, TOUCHSCREEN_STYLUS, TOUCHSCREEN_FINGER. These configuration fields are extremely useful when you consider that we have little idea in advance about what hardware will be available for our applications in the wild.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

AltaVista, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Taken more broadly, this kind of metadata can be thought of as a pedigree: who thinks that this document is valuable? How closely correlated have this person's value judgments been with mine in times gone by? This kind of implicit endorsement of information is a far better candidate for an information-retrieval panacea than all the world's schema combined. Amish for QWERTY (Originally published on the O'Reilly Network, 07/09/2003) I learned to type before I learned to write. The QWERTY keyboard layout is hard-wired to my brain, such that I can't write anything of significance without that I have a 101-key keyboard in front of me. This has always been a badge of geek pride: unlike the creaking pen-and-ink dinosaurs that I grew up reading, I'm well adapted to the modern reality of technology. There's a secret elitist pride in touch-typing on a laptop while staring off into space, fingers flourishing and caressing the keys.


Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual by Peter Meyers

computer age, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex

GEM IN THE ROUGH: Typing Tips and Tricks Even though it’s just you tapping, the Fire can help you make text more quickly and accurately than you could on your own. For starters, there are the three biggies that every touchscreen typist nowadays expects: the Fire auto-inserts an apostrophe in common contractions (I’m, Don’t); two taps of the space bar gets you a period; and you get auto-correct for common misspellings (“teh” gets changed to “the”). Keep an eye, as well, on the row above the traditional QWERTY keyboard. Here’s where you get an ever-changing lineup of handy helpers. Before you start typing, this row sports a lineup of commonly used punctuation (exclamation point, question mark, @ sign, and so on). When you start typing, those guys disappear and in their place a horizontally swipeable row of auto-complete suggestions appear. So if you start typing the letters raga, what you see is: raga, rags, ragamuffin, and a dozen or so more.


pages: 244 words: 66,599

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything by Steven Levy

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, information retrieval, information trail, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush

Seeing this, I had to admit that anyone who learned how to play this thing would have a huge advantage over the laggards wed to our current antique. But to get this part of his system in the mainstream, Engelbart would have had to overthrow a technology entrenched more doggedly than the Maginot Line-the QWERTY typewriter keyboard. Everyone knows what a dog that interface is. If it seems like the QWERTY keyboard was laid out deliberately to slow down speed typists, that's because it was. If people typed too fast, they would overwhelm the machine-the keys would jam. So inefficiency was built in. A good idea for the nineteenth century, when text was produced by pounding a lever to make an impact on a piece of paper, but not so good a hundred years later, when hitting a key sends electrical impulses to a silicon chip.


How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Albert Einstein, book scanning, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, citizen journalism, City Beautiful movement, clean water, colonial rule, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, friendly fire, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Howard Zinn, immigration reform, land reform, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, urban planning, wikimedia commons

Today there are more accommodating encodings, covering languages from Cherokee to Cuneiform, but they aren’t universally supported. That means there’s no guarantee that a non-English email or text will display correctly. Web addresses are still nearly all in ASCII, which is why the most popular website in China is accessed by typing baidu.com, not 百度.中文网. And even if it did have a Chinese web address, users would still have to use QWERTY keyboards—the global standard, designed in New York around the English alphabet—to type it. Roman characters are featured first on the search engine Baidu, the most visited web page in China. The dominance of English on the internet is, in a way, the result of free choices. No government commanded it, no army enforces it. Yet many who have chosen to work in English have done so reluctantly, in the way a Betamax fan might bow to inevitability and purchase a VHS system.

Bureau of Puerto Rico; annexation of; chemical weapons tests on residents of; citizenship of residents of; “commonwealth” status of; constitution of; demands for statehood of; disease in; Division of Territories and Island Possessions in charge of; English language in; governors of; on Greater United States map; hurricanes in; independence movement in; industrialization of; mainland indifference toward; medical experiments in; migration to mainland from; National Guard of; nationalism in; nuclear weapons in; population of; rebellion in; slums in; in Spanish Empire; sterilization of women in; sugar plantations in; supporters of statehood for; University of; during war with Spain; during World War II Pulitzer Prize Python coding language Quakers quality control Quapaws Quezon, Manuel Quezon City (Philippines) Quincy, Josiah Quirino, Elpidio, and family Qutb, Sayyid QWERTY keyboard Radio Free Europe Radio Liberation (later Liberty) railroads Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail (Roosevelt) Rand McNally Rangoon (Burma) Rankin, Bill Ready Reference Atlas of the World Réard, Louis reconcentration Recto, Claro Red Cross Reischauer, Edwin rendition, extraordinary Republican Party; Puerto Rican Revolutionary War Rhoads, Cornelius Packard (“Dusty”) Rhodes, Cecil Rhodesia Ricarte, Gen.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

(I realise that isn't saying much, but Hollywood does frame the way many of us think about future technologies.) The essence of the plot is that the hero falls in love with his digital assistant, with intriguing consequences. Although he uses keyboards occasionally, most of the time they communicate verbally. There will be times when we want to communicate with our “friends” without making a sound. Portable “qwerty” keyboards will not suffice, and virtual hologram keyboards may take too long to arrive – and they may feel too weird to use even if and when they do arrive. Communication via brain-computer interfaces will take still longer to become feasible, so perhaps we will all have to learn a new interface – maybe a one-handed device looking something like an ocarina[cxlv]. Another way we may communicate with our Friends, and indeed with many of the newly intelligible objects in the Internet of Things is radar.


pages: 209 words: 80,086

The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, David Ashton

active measures, affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, zero-sum game

The disconnection between prosperity and justice would come as no surprise to Karl Marx as they capture the Janus-headed nature of market capitalism. Although its innovative powers for dramatic economic change are clearly evident, it has also created chronic instability and inequality. Economists call the way countries are locked into a predetermined future “path dependency” because it’s difficult to break free of past ways of organizing various forms of economic activity. A classic example is the QWERTY keyboard, which once established makes it difficult to shift to another format. See Paul A. David, “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY,” American Economic Review, 75, no. 2 (1985): 332–337. David Kusnet, Lawrence Mishel, and Ruy Teixeira, Talking Past Each Other: What Everyday Americans Really Think (and Elites Don’t Get) about the Economy (Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, 2006). Doreen Massey, winner of Nobel Prize geography’s, correctly talks about space as relational and the need to extend our understanding of responsibility beyond the local because we are all locals as well as global citizens.


pages: 269 words: 77,876

Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky: How the Top 1% of Entrepreneurs Profit From Global Chaos by Sarah Lacy

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, BRICs, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, income per capita, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, megacity, Network effects, paypal mafia, QWERTY keyboard, risk tolerance, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

Reports of how many Indonesians are online vary from 20 mil ion to nearly 40 mil ion, which is close to the size of Internet audiences in Brazil and India—both far more hyped markets. And that’s just for accessing the Internet over computers. The mobile Web is huge in Indonesia, and BlackBerrys—not iPhones—are the hip device. You can You can buy BlackBerry data service by the day on prepaid phones, no contract required. For those who can’t afford a BlackBerry, a local company cal ed Nexian sel s Qwerty-keyboard knockoffs from China for a fraction of the price, customized with Indonesian content like local bands and artists. In just a few years, Nexian has surged from a “nobody” to a company sel ing more than 5 mil ion handsets per year, and eating into Nokia’s market share. The Indonesian desire for keyboards—not touchscreens—isn’t surprising given that the country’s Web obsession is built on checking in, Tweeting, and messaging.


pages: 789 words: 207,744

The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, different worldview, Doomsday Book, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Georg Cantor, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Metcalfe's law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pierre-Simon Laplace, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, ultimatum game, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wikimedia commons

They currently exert enough power over the US legislative process to thwart meaningful legislation at the national level.63 However, even without these special interests, some structural characteristics of our global system make it very difficult to change direction. One of these is known as technological lock-in: the fact that, once a technology is widely adopted, an infrastructure is built up around it, making change prohibitively expensive. A frequently cited example is the QWERTY keyboard, which was originally designed for its inefficiency in an attempt to slow down the rate of typing and therefore prevent early typewriter keys from hitting each other. More efficiently laid-out keyboards can double typing speeds, and yet it has been impossible for them to make inroads because everyone is used to the older, inefficient design. In the case of fossil fuels, an obvious example of technological lock-in is the network of gas stations for vehicles with conventional engines.

., 311 Presocratics, 146, 148–49, 158, 236, 243 Priestley, Joseph, 315 Prigogine, Ilya, 366 progress human, 78, 420 moral, 432, 434, 440 technological, 410, 431, 440 Western view of, 16, 29, 400–401, 417, 434 Protestantism, 237–38, 245, 273, 346–47, 378 ethic, Protestant, 237–38, 312, 378 Puritans and, 238 Proto-Indo-European (PIE) culture, 133–39 Anatolian farming hypothesis and, 134, 624 creation myth of, 137–38 dualism, source of, 138, 489 homeland of, 133–35 Kurgan expansion, 138–39 Kurgan hypothesis and, 134, 138–39, 482–83 language family of, 133, 137, 140, 198–99, 205–207, 302 legacy of, 132–33, 140, 302 source of Greek thought, 136, 144, 150 source of Indian thought, 136, 150 source of Zoroastrian tradition, 136, 139, 150 values of, 137–38, 302, 489 See also Aryans Pseudo-Dionysius, 337 psyche, 113, 153 Ptolemy (astronomer), 319–20, 336, 337 Ptolemy (ruler), 223 Pyramid of the Sun (Mexico), 299 Pythagoras cosmology of, 150–51, 153–54, 164 Indian thought and, 154, 164 mathematics, vision of, 336–37, 340, 345 Plato, relationship with, 143 theorem, 208 travels of, 145 qi, 113, 203, 208, 329 Chinese cosmology, as basis of, 180–83 dynamism of, 181–82, 183–84 health, relation to, 181 li (principle), in relation to, 256–58 modern thought, relation to, 258–60, 271–72 in Neo-Confucian thought, 256–58, 260–62, 265, 269 Qin, Emperor, 188 Qin Jiushao, 324 quantum mechanics, 13, 258, 351–52, 353, 363–64 Quran, 246, 320, 321, 323 QWERTY keyboard, 396 Ramesses II, Pharaoh, 215 Randers, Jorgen, 429–30 reason Cartesian view of, 236–37 Chinese view of, 210, 267, 329–30 in Christian Rationalism, 342–47, 352 Christian view of, 231, 237, 338–44, 424 deification of, 158–59, 185, 190, 424–26 emotion, contrasted with, 196, 209–10, 238, 267, 362, 440–41 faith, contrasted with in Christianity, 245, 338–42, 344 in Islam, 320–24, 338 Greek view of, 148–49, 158–59, 169–71, 175, 177, 332, 336–37, 424 human uniqueness, source of, 211, 237 Indian view of, 170–72, 173, 175 Plato's view of, 155–56, 158–59, 184 Romantic view of, 196, 362 Stoic view of, 159 Taoist view of, 190–91, 210 Western view of, 16–17, 286, 440–41 reciprocal altruism, 44 reductionism, 271, 369–70 as mainstream scientific viewpoint, 357, 364, 368–70, 372–73 rejected by Romantic movement, 361–63 systems thinking, contrasted with, 14, 285, 354–55, 357–59, 365, 368–73 Reformation, 234, 245, 346–47 reincarnation in Greek thought, 153–54, 157, 164 in Indian thought, 163–64, 166, 254 religious thought agrarian culture and, 111–12 evolution of, 72–77 fear of death and, 72–73 hunter-gatherers and, 84–85, 87–88 spandrel, as a, 73–77 ren in Confucian thought, 195 in Neo-Confucian thought, 269–71 Renaissance, 251, 340, 344 Republic (Plato), 155 requerimiento, 311 reverse dominance hierarchy, 47, 463 Rhodes, Cecil, 314 Ricci, Matteo, 250, 302–303 Rig Veda (hymns), 134–36, 137, 162–63 Roman Empire, 131 Christianity in, 243–44, 300, 320, 435 decline of, 225–26, 340, 413–15, 435–36 destruction of Plato's Academy by, 159 religious tolerance of, 241, 243–44 slavery in, 299–300 Romantic movement, 196, 361–62 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques human nature, view of, 83, 91, 95, 470 Royal Society, 285–86 rta, 162, 165, 174–75 ruah, 113 Sacred Depths of Nature, The (Goodenough), 264 Sahlins, Marshall, 91 Said, Edward, 17 Saint-Simon, Henri, 388 Sanskrit, 133, 136, 137, 165, 496 Santiago theory of cognition, 14 “sapient paradox,” 69–72 Sapir, Edward, 198 Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, 22, 34, 198–99, 200, 205 Whorfianism, modern, 22, 201–203, 213, 496 satcitananda, 172 Saul, King, 242–43 Schrödinger, Erwin, 366, 368 Science and Civilisation in China (Needham), 185, 257–58, 327 scientific cognition, 332–33, 335–55 Christianity and, 335, 337, 340–42 Christian Rationalism as basis of, 342–44, 349–51 Scientific Revolution and, 332–33, 343, 349–51 truth, belief in universal, 351–55 Western thought, relation to, 354–55 Scientific Revolution, 16, 235, 237, 378 causes of, 318, 330–33 magnitude of, 317–18 NATURE AS MACHINE metaphor and, 282–84 as paradigm shift, 372 scientific cognition and, 332–33, 343, 349–51 sources in Greek thought, 331 uniqueness of, 325–26, 330 scientific worldview, 237, 279, 332, 378 and Christianity, 284, 335, 347–49 Christian Rationalism and, 343 universal validity, belief in, 354–55 See also reductionism; scientific cognition Scotus, John, 341 Seattle, Chief, 288, 513 sedentism, 104–106, 475–76 “selfish gene” hypothesis, 44–45, 284–85, 371, 462 self-organization, 366–68 autopoiesis in, 368, 370 Chinese cosmology and, 185, 258–60, 263, 268, 271–72, 289 cognition and, 14 emergence and, 367–69 fractal geometry and, 263, 364–65, 370, 371 human superorganism and, 427 language and, 57–58 living organisms and, 14, 285, 368–70 machine intelligence and, 422–23 mathematics and, 353–55 qi and, 181 reciprocal causality in, 20, 23–24, 368 reductionism, contrasted with, 285, 354–55 See also complex systems; systems thinking Sepúlveda, Juan Ginés de, 311 shamanism, 88–90, 472 agrarian culture and, 88, 112, 118–19 last common source of Greek and Chinese thought, 88–89, 205 monotheism and, 123 pantheism and, 441 reincarnation and, 163–64 sources in Chinese thought, 180, 472 sources in Greek thought, 146, 150 sources in Indian thought, 163–64, 173–77, 472 Upper Paleolithic art and, 89–90, 472 Shamash, 130 shared intentionality, 45, 51, 428 Shen Kuo, 251 “shifting baseline syndrome,” 414, 419–20, 429, 431, 539 Shiva, 173 Sima Guang, 251–52 Simon, Julian, 417 Singularity, 421–28 artificial intelligence causing, 422–23 dualism and, 424–26 human superorganism and, 426–28 Kurzweil's vision of, 422, 423–26, 538–39 Singularity University, 422 Sivin, Nathan, 325–26, 330, 331, 457–58 slavery, 381, 398, 403–404, 354 Smohalla, 288 social brain hypothesis, 42–45 social intelligence, 46–49, 75, 76 Socrates, 143, 155–56, 167, 169 Solomon, King, 217 Solow, Robert, 417 “Sorcerer's Apprentice” (Goethe), 375, 382, 390, 396 soul Aquinas's view of, 360 Aristotle's view of, 359–60, 368 Chinese thought, relation to, 180, 185, 209–11, 250, 265 in Christian thought, 228–29, 230, 231–33, 234, 238, 250, 360 Gnosticism and, 228 in Greek thought, 34, 153–56, 210, 337 Hellenic view of, 360 in Indian thought (atman), 163, 166–73 in Islamic thought, 246 mind, relation to, 236–37, 424 in Platonism, 223–25 Plato's view of, 154–58, 337, 359 reason, relation to, 337 as software, 425 spirit, compared with, 113, 153, 250 See also reincarnation South Africa, 436 Soviet Union, 286, 385, 399–400 Spencer, Herbert, 314 Spenser, Edmund, 234 Speyer (German town), 246 Diet of, 273 Spinoza, Baruch, 361 spirits agrarian belief in, 112–14, 123 belief in as evolutionary spandrel, 75, 76 in Chinese thought, 113, 118–19, 180–81, 192, 193, 250, 328 in Greek thought, 146, 153, 154 hunter-gatherers’ belief in, 32–33, 84–90, 94, 174 shamanic view of, 88–90, 146, 472 soul, compared with, 113, 153, 250 in Zoroastrianism, 139 Sprat, Thomas, 285–86 stenahoria, 201 stirrups, 301–302 St.


pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

The goal of continuity is to make the Internet as intuitive as possible, to make the network a natural-feeling extension of the user’s own body. Thus, any mediation between the user and the network must be eliminated. Interfaces must be as transparent as possible. The user must be able to move through the network with unfettered ease. All traces of the medium should be hidden, hence the evolution from the less intuitive “QWERTY” keyboard to technologies such as the touch screen (e.g., Palm and other PDAs) and voice recognition software. Feedback loops. As the discussion of Brecht and Enzensberger shows, the history of media has been the history of the prohibition of many-to-many communication. Many-to-many communication is a structure of communication where each receiver of information is also potentially a sender of information.


pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar

anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

Instead of a portable typewriter – which were never that portable – or scribbled longhand notes that had then to be read to copytakers back in London, which could lead to the sort of error that once saw the Warsaw Pact become the Walsall Pact – there was the Tandy 200. A clunky but functional ‘portable computer’ that was effectively little more than an electronic typewriter with an LCD black-on-green display, the Tandy was the journalist’s lifesaver. It had a full-sized QWERTY keyboard and was powered by four AA batteries, the sort you could buy just about anywhere in the world, even behind the Iron Curtain. There was also the benefit of being able to send your copy directly into the newspaper’s own computer systems. The miracle of written words transformed into electronic signals and transmitted over the ether is so common now that it seems antique to remember that just twenty years ago, the most successful way to do it was to affix two ‘crocodile clips’ from the Tandy’s output directly to telephone wires.


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Gary Small, a psychiatrist at UCLA, has found that self-described Internet addicts feel a pleasurable mood burst or “rush” just from booting up their computers. The Internet and cellular communications are ideal vehicles for operant conditioning. SMS (Short Messaging Service) arrived on the scene in 1984.6 But using phone keyboards to type messages was an arduous task. When the Blackberry with its tiny QWERTY keyboard arrived in 1999, the messaging floodgates opened.7 Within a few years, people were continually checking their phones for good news and alerts. The last barrier was breached with the arrival of ubiquitous touch pad smartphones. Operant conditioning environments are everywhere in virtual space. Many of them started by accident. In an effort to make their games, Internet sites, and user experiences more engrossing, designers used A/B testing, presenting two flavors of an experience, to see which one the customers liked best.


pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, twin studies, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Later Apple—and pretty much only Apple, among the makers of e-readers—paid the penalty for that. The same listen-to-no-one folly led to the 1985 disaster that was New Coke—a universally rejected replacement for old Coke that precisely no consumers had been asking for—and the serial messes that are Microsoft Word, the all-but-universal word processing program that becomes more confusing, less intuitive and more stuffed with dubious functions with each unnecessary upgrade. Like the QWERTY keyboard, it is a bad system that unfortunately became the dominant system, but at least QWERTY has remained the same since its introduction in 1873. Microsoft Word doubles down on bad every few years. There are “I Hate Microsoft Word” forums and “I Hate Microsoft Word” rant threads. There is an “I Hate Microsoft Word” Facebook page. On one tech website, the author of a story called “The 10 Most Hated Programs of All Time” wrote: “Some people say ‘I hate Microsoft Word because it’s far too complicated!’


The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers (Wiley Finance) by Feng Gu

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, value at risk

The consequence of this disclosure ossification, as we will demonstrate empirically in the following chapters, is the inevitably fast and continuous deterioration in the usefulness of financial information to investors. A DEVIL’S ADVOCATE Perhaps, you may say, this is inevitable. Corporate financial reporting reached its technological apogee 110 years ago, as did double-entry bookkeeping 550 years ago, and cannot be further improved, like the QWERTY keyboard layout introduced in 1878 in the Remington No. 2 typewriter and still on keyboards today. Absurd as this sounds, it would have made some sense if suggestions for accounting change were seriously tried and found to fail. But there wasn’t any serious trial and error in accounting structure over the past century. Even worthwhile suggestions for structural change, like the one by a leading accounting thinker, Yuji Ijiri, a now retired Carnegie Mellon professor, who proposed in 1989 the triple entry bookkeeping, which, to the best of our knowledge, was never seriously discussed by accounting regulators.6 In essence, Ijiri suggested that, in addition to the balance sheet (a static report of assets and liabilities), and the income statement (a report on the “distance” the firm traveled from beginning to end of period), there should be a third report, akin to acceleration or momentum of operations, informing on the pace of change over the period in sales, expenses, and earnings.


pages: 487 words: 95,085

JPod by Douglas Coupland

Asperger Syndrome, Drosophila, finite state, G4S, game design, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, neurotypical, pez dispenser, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, wage slave, Y2K

It's area code 604, and the number itself is a seven-digit prime which, when squared, is two digits short of being a factorial. Are you up to that challenge? Let me help you become the Power Clown you know you can be. John Doe . . . Just before the turtle meeting, I went on eBay and bought a Benelux keyboard. Belgian keyboards are totally from hell. For whatever reason, they scramble the character keys even more randomly than a QWERTY keyboard. Thanks to UPS, it ought to be here the day after tomorrow, and Kaitlin shall meet her match. God, I love the twenty-first century. I just heard her on the phone with someone in HR, trying to get out of jPod. Good luck. "What do you mean it's not possible?" [HR staffer] "Do you mean not possible now, or not possible ever}" [HR staffer] "I'm a super-experienced character animator, and I've worked at two other big companies, and none of them would ever have stuck me in this chunk of Siberia with a clump of whacked-out freaks."


pages: 111 words: 1

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, availability heuristic, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, commoditize, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, fixed income, global village, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, too big to fail, Turing test, Yogi Berra

For our typewriters have the order of the letters on their keyboard arranged in a nonoptimal manner, as a matter of fact in such a nonoptimal manner as to slow down the typing rather than make the job easy, in order to avoid jamming the ribbons as they were designed for less electronic days. Therefore, as we started building better typewriters and computerized word processors, several attempts were made to rationalize the computer keyboard, to no avail. People were trained on a QWERTY keyboard and their habits were too sticky for change. Just like the helical propulsion of an actor into stardom, people patronize what other people like to do. Forcing rational dynamics on the process would be superfluous, nay, impossible. This is called a path dependent outcome, and has thwarted many mathematical attempts at modeling behavior. It is obvious that the information age, by homogenizing our tastes, is causing the unfairness to be even more acute—those who win capture almost all the customers.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

Material growth, economic growth and human wellbeing can be decoupled.19 Path-dependence and innovation But innovation does not happen in a vacuum. The downside to the propensity for knowledge to build upon knowledge is that it makes a radical shift in the course of technology and infrastructure much harder to achieve. Innovation is path-dependent: it is constrained by what has gone on before. Ideas and practices are sticky. Examples abound. It is generally believed that the ostensibly odd design of the QWERTY keyboard was to prevent Englishlanguage typewriters from jamming. Very few typewriters are still in use, but the world is stuck with the keyboard, irrespective of whether it now enhances writing productivity. London’s city plan, including the shape and location of its new skyscrapers, is in part determined by Roman planning two millennia ago. This is the phenomenon of ‘lock-in’: the ways in which existing infrastructure and ideas interact to set the course for future change.


pages: 327 words: 102,322

Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, indoor plumbing, Iridium satellite, patent troll, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the new new thing

Speaking to students at the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg in June 2009, he declared: “Strategic ambiguity [is] death to a company…. It paralyzes organizations.” Unbeknown to the students, he was talking in part about his own company. To Balsillie, RIM was in an existential crisis, mired in what he describes as “strategic confusion.” The company’s business had been disrupted on several levels, with no obvious path forward. Was RIM supposed to defend the QWERTY keyboard, or jump all-in and become a touch-screen smartphone maker? Was it supposed to challenge Apple at the high end of the smartphone market or focus on the lower end with devices like its Curve and Gemini models, which were driving heady sales gains in foreign markets where Apple wasn’t yet a factor? Should the company stick to its closed, proprietary software technology or open its platform? One of the biggest puzzles was what to do about apps.


pages: 401 words: 108,855

Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff

Anton Chekhov, clean water, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, money market fund, QWERTY keyboard, Skype, telemarketer, urban renewal, young professional

Open until midnight daily and 1:00 am on Saturdays; store at 52 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 is open on Sundays (tel: 01.49.53.50.00). Surcouf; 139 avenue Daumesnil, 75012; tel: 08.92.70.06.00; website: http://www.surcouf.com. Multi-storey bazaar selling computer hardware, software (some in English), peripherals, etc. Also offers technical support and repair. Anglo Computers; tel: 08.11.00.72.39; website: http:// www.anglocomputers.com. English-language software and qwerty keyboards are hard to find in France. If these are important to you, contact Anglo Computers, which offers everything that an Anglophone could want. Technical Support Power outages are rare, but to suppress the occasional power surges, buy a parasurtenseur (surge protector) at computer shops and hardware stores. Micro King; 33 rue Dautancourt, 75017; tel: 01.53.06.65.10; website: http://www.micro-king.com.


pages: 440 words: 109,150

The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war by Michael Smith

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, British Empire, Etonian, haute cuisine, QWERTY keyboard, trade route

In 1927, Commander Edward Travis, a member of GC&CS who oversaw the construction and security of British codes and cyphers, asked Hugh Foss, a specialist in machine cyphers, to test the commercially available machine. The Enigma machine resembled a small typewriter encased in a wooden box. It had a typewriter-style keyboard, set out in the continental QWERTZU manner, which differed slightly from the standard British/American QWERTY keyboard. Above the keyboard, on top of the box, was a lampboard with a series of lights, one for each letter of the alphabet. The operator typed each letter of the plain-text message into the machine. The action of depressing the key sent an electrical current through the machine, which lit up the encyphered letter on the lampboard. The encypherment mechanism consisted of three or four teethed wheels or rotors which were inserted into the machine.


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

In the early seventeenth century, some 341 silver and 505 types of gold coin were in circulation in the Dutch Republic .14 Such a multiplicity of coins meant that individual traders could easily be confused by their value. This was an age-old problem which created the need for specialists who could distinguish between the different currency units. These were the ‘money changers’ that Jesus threw out of the temple. Another historic term, ‘touchstone’, derives from a method of assessing a coin’s metallic value. Just as the QWERTY keyboard outlasted the manual typewriter, initial choices of names and weights have had long-lasting consequences. Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, lived from c.715 to 768. He established that a livre or pound of silver was worth 240 denarii or pennies, while the solidus was worth 12 denarii.15 This was the basis for the British monetary system for centuries until 1971.


pages: 442 words: 110,704

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

Albert Einstein, card file, Cepheid variable, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Ernest Rutherford, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index card, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Solar eclipse in 1919

“The Draper Classification seems to me all the better because the letters are not in alphabetical order,” Russell declared. “This helps to keep the novice from thinking that it is based on some theory of evolution.” Apparently the alphabet could flout its own order and still remain effective—or even improve its utility—as a labeling scheme. Pickering could see that much on his typewriter’s QWERTY keyboard. The third of the questionnaire’s five questions contained three parts: “Do you think it would be wise for this committee to recommend at this time or in the near future any system of classification for universal adoption? If not, what additional observations or other work do you deem necessary before such recommendations should be made? Would you be willing to take part in this work?” The mixed reactions to this question crossed party lines.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

In the new NLS system, each workstation consisted of a keyboard for entering data and alongside it a mouse with three buttons and a five-key keyboard. The small keyboard, which looked a bit like a short piano without sharps and flats, could be used either for entering text or for sending commands to the system, making it possible to edit rapidly with two hands without being forced to move a hand between the keyboard and mouse. For those who had been trained to use a standard qwerty keyboard, the Augment system took a while to get used to, and Engelbart glued one of the five-key keyboards to the dashboard of his car so he could practice using it while driving. The Augment researchers tested the system and found that it was easy for the programmers to master and that it enabled blindingly fast and efficient editing. Some of the team even mastered the art of typing using the chord-key set exclusively—one young programmer was able to type more than fifty words per minute.


pages: 401 words: 109,892

The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets by Thomas Philippon

airline deregulation, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, commoditize, crack epidemic, cross-subsidies, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, gig economy, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, intangible asset, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, law of one price, liquidity trap, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Still, life as a student forced me to pay attention to my personal finances. I studied prices and shopped around for the best deals. As an economist, I would now say that I was “price-elastic.” Figuring out what to do with the scholarship was easy enough. The first thing I needed was a laptop. The second was an internet connection. The third was a place to sleep (priorities!), preferably not in the graduate computer lab because I don’t enjoy waking up with a QWERTY keyboard imprinted on my forehead. I had already agreed to share an apartment with two classmates, so that took care of the detail of putting a roof over my head. I could thus focus on the serious business of studying, buying books, and purchasing a computer. The US was a great place to get a laptop. Computers were so much cheaper that people from other countries would often ask their friends in the US to buy laptops for them, even if it meant dealing with a different keyboard layout.


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

They did a fine eMacs, though. Linus Torvalds’s greater skills in nerd-to-nerd diplomacy got there with Linux. 12. Quotron is another example of the “don’t build special purpose computers” rule. They did, and went from being synonymous with “electronic market data terminal” to being nowhere in a remarkably short time. The first Quotrons were so alien to Wall Street types that they rearranged the “QWERTY” keyboard to be “ABCDE.” Schumpeter was right about capitalism being a process of creative destruction. 13. Large is a relative term here. The bleeding-edge machines of the mid-1980s had 32M of memory. Fifteen years earlier, the onboard computers used on the lunar landings had 64K. 14. Evan’s fine account of his career is in Alan Rubenfeld’s book, The Super Traders: Secrets and Successes of Wall Street’s Best and Brightest (McGraw-Hill, 1995), pp. 227–252. 15.


pages: 457 words: 125,329

Value of Everything: An Antidote to Chaos The by Mariana Mazzucato

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cleantech, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, European colonialism, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, Google Hangouts, Growth in a Time of Debt, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, rent control, rent-seeking, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software patent, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

The history of many innovations demonstrates these dynamics very well. The internal combustion engine has retained its dominance for over a hundred years, not because it is the best possible engine, but because through historical accident it gained an initial advantage. Subsequent innovations did not seek to supplant it, but clustered around improvements to it, so that it became post factum the best engine.60 The same goes for the QWERTY keyboard layout, named for the first six letters on the top from left to right. In the days of mechanical typewriters, the very inefficiency of this keyboard layout gave it an advantage over alternatives such as the faster DVORAK layout because the mechanical keys would jam less frequently. The mechanical necessity for the QWERTY layout has long passed in these days of electronic keyboards, but its advantage has remained.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Stephenson’s working life* marks the point in the development of steam technology when the value of what economists call “network effects” finally overtook the importance of any individual invention, however brilliant. Setting the distance between the smooth tracks on which the Blucher traveled at four feet eight and a half inches was arbitrary—that was the width of the Killingworth Colliery wagonway—but its specific width was irrelevant. The value of any standard is not its intrinsic superiority, but the number of people using it. Like the famous example of the QWERTY keyboard, the Stephenson gauge became the world standard, and it is still the width used on more than 60 percent of the world’s railroads. Of course, simply laying rails a particular distance apart does not make for a monopoly unless others follow. And others weren’t about to follow Stephenson’s lead until they were persuaded that there was some advantage to it, in the form of either increased revenue or lower costs.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, American ideology, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Around the same time as Ballmer’s brash dismissal of Apple, Research in Motion (RiM), the parent company of BlackBerry, ridiculed the iPhone as a marginal event in the market for cellular phones. That arrogance seemed daring, even at that time. RiM had grown from a small Canadian pager company to a major, multi-billion-dollar mobile company in just a few years. It had made its fortune by mobilizing computer services, enabling people to read and write emails from anywhere in the world using a QWERTY keyboard. It could not have been a distant thought that there would be demand for a new mobile device that allowed people to surf the web everywhere too. And it wasn’t a distant thought. RiM understood that change was coming. But the profits it made from its own blockbuster email device were still too substantial and tempted them to stick just a little bit longer with the old, instead of moving to a new product that had a different keyboard and a screen suitable for web services.


pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, web application

It accomplishes this by using vibration technologies similar to the motors that are activated when our phone is on vibrate mode. Apple is reportedly releasing a haptic-feedback, multitouch “mighty mouse” as a replacement for its current Mac mouse series.14 The one perceived shortcoming on the iPhone is the poor comparative usability of the on-screen keyboard, which has an unusually high error rate compared with its RIM competitor or a standard QWERTY keyboard. While Siri is an effort to reduce reliance on an on-screen keyboard, haptics may work as a mechanism to resolve the usability issues of an on-screen keyboard. If we feel like we are using a real keyboard as a result of haptic feedback, then the theory goes that the keyboard (and the user) will behave as if it is “real”, and accuracy will be improved dramatically. This is why it is possible that the mouse and physical keyboard will disappear over the next 10 years.


How I Became a Quant: Insights From 25 of Wall Street's Elite by Richard R. Lindsey, Barry Schachter

Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized markets, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, Donald Knuth, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, John von Neumann, linear programming, Loma Prieta earthquake, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, performance metric, prediction markets, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, sorting algorithm, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, stochastic process, systematic trading, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, value at risk, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve, young professional

Noah eventually got work as Dr. Carter on ER, so Steven farms out the napkin folding. 6. Quotron is another example of the “don’t build special-purpose computers” rule. It did, and went from being synonymous with “electronic market data terminal” to being nowhere in a remarkably JWPR007-Lindsey May 18, 2007 11:41 Notes 341 short time. The first Quotrons were so alien to Wall Street types that they rearranged the “QWERTY” keyboard to be ABCDE. Schumpeter was right about capitalism being a process of creative destruction. 7. Large is a relative term here. The bleeding-edge machines of the mid-1980s had 32MB of memory. Fifteen years earlier, the on-board computers used on the lunar landings had 64K. Today, you can get a 1GB memory card for about forty bucks. 8. “A Little AI Goes A Long Way on Wall Street,” D. Leinweber and Y.


pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

He copy-and-pasted WORD, WORD, WORD, WORD. ‘So I could get myself some material on a blank piece of paper and then I’d say, well, this is going to be more important than it looks, so I’d like to set up a “file”. So I tell the machine, “Output to a file.” And it says, “I need a name.” I’ll give it a name. I’ll say it’s “sample file”.’ The screen faded to a shot of Engelbart’s hands. He was working on a typewriter-like QWERTY keyboard that was connected by wires to the monitor on which the words had been appearing and disappearing. To his right was a strange box containing wheels that he used to move the cursor. He called this contraption a ‘mouse’. When it was all over, the crowd rose to their feet and cheered, spellbound, enthralled. Not only had Engelbart introduced the world to the notion of the computer as a personal assistant controlled by a mouse, keyboard and cursor, he’d shown them a graphical user interface which formed the basis of the ‘windows’ he’d been manipulating, hyperlinks and the concept of the networked online realm we know today as the Web.


pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, animal electricity, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, MITM: man-in-the-middle, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

“We showed Steve all of these things and he shot them all down. Steve wanted something that people could understand right away,” Williamson says. They stuck with the suboptimal key configuration for the same reason it had migrated to computers half a decade ago—familiarity. “When people pick up this phone in the store, it has to be something that’s instantly recognizable, that they can use immediately. And that’s why we stuck with the QWERTY keyboard, and we added a whole bunch of smarts in there.” Those smarts would be crucial. “People thought that the keyboard we delivered wasn’t sophisticated, but in reality it was super-sophisticated,” Williamson says. “Because the touch region of each key was smaller than the minimum hit size. We had to write a bunch of predictive algorithms technology to think about the words you could possibly be typing, artificially increase the hit area of the next few keys that would correspond to those words.”


pages: 459 words: 138,689

Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration―and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives by Danny Dorling, Kirsten McClure

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, clean water, creative destruction, credit crunch, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Henri Poincaré, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, jimmy wales, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, rent control, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, very high income, wealth creators, wikimedia commons, working poor

That might be true given our past of great stability, where not much changed from generation to generation, but in recent generations there has been a great acceleration and so arguably we have instead become used to that. We may well be tuned, long term, to cope well in a world in which less and less changes. We could be well adapted for the stability that is already upon us. However, before we accept that things are no longer speeding up, many of us may clutch at every future small technological discovery as a great advancement. One day I hope I will not have to type words on a QWERTY keyboard, but that day should already have come. That keyboard was designed for slowdown—to actually slow down typists’ speed so that the levers of old typewriters did not jam. A few friends of my age whose hands have also been worn out by too much typing now use voice recognition to dictate their ideas, rather like how businesspeople used to dictate to their secretaries. But something quicker than speaking was once possible.


pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Hackers Conference, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

Over the next decade, he and his staffers at the Augmentation Research Center invented some of the most ubiquitous features of contemporary computers, including the mouse. Between 1966 and 1968, the group developed a collaborative office computing environment known as the On-Line System, or NLS. The NLS featured many of the elements common to computer systems today, including not only the mouse, but a QWERTY keyboard and a CRT terminal. More importantly, the system offered its users the ability to work on a document simultaneously from multiple sites, to connect bits of text via hyperlinks, to jump from one point to another in a text, and to develop indexes of key words that could be searched. The NLS depended on a time-sharing computer, yet it functioned within the office environment much like a contemporary intranet.


Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology) by Geoffrey C. Bowker

affirmative action, business process, corporate governance, Drosophila, information retrieval, loose coupling, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Occam's razor, QWERTY keyboard, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, sexual politics, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the medium is the message, transaction costs, William of Occam

Stra ngers and outsiders encounter infrastructure as a target object to be learned about. New participants acquire a naturalized familiarity with its objects as they become members. • Links with conventions of practice. Infrastructure both shapes and is shaped by the conventions of a community of practice; for exa mple , the ways that cycles of day-night work are a ffected by and affect electrical power rates a nd needs. Genera tions of typists have learned the QWERTY keyboard ; its limitations are inherited by the computer keyboard and thence by the design of today's computer furniture (Becker 1 982). • Embodiment of standards. Modified by scope and often by conflicting conventions, infrastructure takes on transparency by plugging into other infrastructures and tools in a standardized fashion. • Built on an installed base. Infrastructure does not grow de novo; it wrestles with the inertia of the installed base and inherits strengths and limitations from that base.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

As their skills fade with them, however, we rely ever more on technology. This new generation of maps and models is thus more than a collection of pretty digital guides. They should be the focal point for the synthesis of environmental science, politics, economics, culture, technology, and sociology3—a curriculum curated through the study of connections rather than divisions. We shouldn’t be using static political maps any more than we would cling to QWERTY keyboards when we have voice recognition, gestural interfaces, and instant video communication. Today’s “digital natives”—also known as millennials or Generation Y (and Z)—need this new tool kit. There are more young people alive today than ever in history: Forty percent of the world population is under the age of twenty-four, meaning an even larger percentage has no personal memory of colonialism or the Cold War.


Bleeding Edge by Pynchon, Thomas

addicted to oil, AltaVista, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Burning Man, carried interest, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Hacker Ethic, index card, invisible hand, jitney, late capitalism, margin call, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Y2K

They’ve always liked to trawl for amateur hackers—now they’ve set up this, well it’s more than just a firewall with a dummy computer, it’s a virtual corporation, totally bogus, sittin out there as bait for the script kiddies, who they can then keep a eye on, wait till they’re just about to crack all the way into core, then bust them and threaten legal action. Offer them a choice between pullin a single over on Rikers or an opportunity to take the next step toward becoming a ‘real hacker.’ Is how they put it.” “You know somebody this happened to?” “A few. Some took the deal, some split town. They enroll you in a course out in Queens where you learn Arabic and how to write Arabic Leet.” “That’s . . .” taking a guess, “using a qwerty keyboard to make characters that look like Arabic? So hashslingrz is, what, expanding into a new Mideast market area?” “One theory. Except that every day civilians walk around, no clue, even when it’s filling up screens right next to them at Starbucks, cyberspace warfare without mercy, 24/7, hacker on hacker, DOS attacks, Trojan horses, viruses, worms . . .” “Didn’t I see something in the paper about Russia?”


France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams

active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, post-work, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Orientation Pedestrians-only place Stanislas, Nancy’s focal point, connects the narrow, twisting streets of the medieval Vieille Ville (Old Town), centred on Grande Rue, with the rigid right angles of the 16th-century Ville Neuve (New Town) to the south. The train station is 800m southwest of place Stanislas. Information Copycom ( 03 83 22 90 41; 3 rue Guerrier de Dumast; per hr €2; 9am-8pm Mon-Sat, 3-8pm Sun) Internet access. E-café Cyber Café ( 03 83 35 47 34; 11 rue des Quatre Églises; per min/hr €0.09/5.40; 11am-9pm Mon & Sat, 9am-9pm Tue-Fri, 2-8pm Sun) A proper café whose computers have qwerty keyboards and webcams. Laundrette (124 rue St-Dizier; 7.45am-9.30pm) Métropolitain ( 03 83 33 14 71; 12 rue Mazagran; Nancy Gare; per hr €3; noon-2am daily) Internet access in a bar-cum-games arcade. Post Office (10 rue St-Dizier; Point Central) Does currency exchange. Tourist Office ( 03 83 35 22 41; www.ot-nancy.fr; place Stanislas; 9am-7pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun & holidays Apr-Oct, 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 10am-1pm Sun & holidays Nov-Mar) Inside the hôtel de ville.

EMERGENCY Duty Pharmacy ( 04 76 63 42 55) Grenoble University Hospital ( 04 76 76 75 75) Hôpital Nord La Tronche (av de Marquis du Grésivaudan; tram stop ‘La Tronche’ on tramway line B); Hôpital Sud (av de Kimberley, Echirolles; bus 11 & 13) INTERNET ACCESS Log in to the tourist office’s two computers (below) for €2 per 15 minutes or €5 an hour. Celsius Café ( 04 76 00 13 60; 15 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau; per 30/60min €1.50/2.50; 9am-11pm Mon-Sat, 1-8pm Sun) Top location and facilities. Neptune Internet ( 04 76 63 94 18; 2 rue de la Paix; per 30/60min €2.50/3.50; 1-7pm Mon-Sat, 2-6pm Sun) A funky, tidy place with lots of QWERTY keyboards. Pl@net Internet ( 04 76 47 44 74; 1 place Vaucanson; per hr €3.50; 8.30am-10pm Mon-Sat) LAUNDRY Pay about €3.50 to wash a 7kg load: Au 43 Viallet (43 av Félix Viallet; 7am-8pm) Laverie Berriat (88 cours Berriat; 7am-8pm) POST Post Office (rue de la République) Next to the tourist office. TOURIST INFORMATION Tourist Office ( 04 76 42 41 41; www.grenoble-isere-tourisme.com; 14 rue de la République; 9am-6.30pm Mon-Sat, 10am-1pm Sun Oct-Apr, 10am-1pm & 2-5pm May-Sep) Inside the Maison du Tourisme.

Place Bernard Cornut Gentille, with the bus station that includes services to Nice, is on the northwestern corner of Vieux Port. The old town, Le Suquet quarter, is to the west of the Vieux Port. Information BOOKSHOPS Cannes English Bookshop ( 04 93 99 40 08; 11 rue Bivouac Napoléon) Get your (English-language) summer reading from the lovely Christel and Wally. INTERNET ACCESS Cap Cyber (12 rue 24 AoÛt; per hr €3; 10am-9pm Mon-Sat) Very central, with several QWERTY keyboards and Asian language software. LAUNDRY Laverie du Port ( 04 93 38 06 68; 36 rue Georges Clemenceau; per 7kg load €5.50, drying per 10min €1.50; closed Sun & from noon Sat) Multilingual staff on-site. MONEY Scads of banks line rue d’Antibes and rue Buttura. Crédit Lyonnais (13 rue d’Antibes) Has an ATM. POST Post Office (22 rue Bivouac Napoléon; 9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 9am-noon Sat) Has an ATM.


pages: 678 words: 159,840

The Debian Administrator's Handbook, Debian Wheezy From Discovery to Mastery by Raphaal Hertzog, Roland Mas

bash_history, Debian, distributed generation, do-ocracy, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Jono Bacon, MITM: man-in-the-middle, NP-complete, QWERTY keyboard, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Skype, SpamAssassin, Valgrind, web application, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

In graphical mode, you can use the mouse as you would normally on an installed graphical desktop. Figure 4.2. Selecting the language 4.2.3. Selecting the country The second step consists in choosing your country. Combined with the language, this information enables the program to offer the most appropriate keyboard layout. This will also influence the configuration of the time zone. In the United States, a standard QWERTY keyboard is suggested, and a choice of appropriate time zones is offered. Figure 4.3. Selecting the country 4.2.4. Selecting the keyboard layout The proposed “American English” keyboard corresponds to the usual QWERTY layout. Figure 4.4. Choice of keyboard 4.2.5. Detecting Hardware This step is completely automatic in the vast majority of cases. The installer detects your hardware, and tries to identify the CD-ROM drive used in order to access its content.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Here’s just one gem: “It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.” Might be time for you (and me) to rethink our personal priorities. On a related and sad note, Matt’s father passed away unexpectedly weeks after he recommended this article to me. Matt was at his bedside. Qwerty Is for Junior Varsity The normal QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow down human operators to avoid jams. That time has passed, so try the Dvorak layout instead, which is easier on your tendons and helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Read The Dvorak Zine (dvzine.org). Colemak is even more efficient, if you dare. Within Automattic, Matt has held speed-typing challenges, where the loser has to switch to the winner’s layout. So far, Dvorak has always beaten QWERTY.


pages: 781 words: 226,928

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall

Apple II, belly landing, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

The Pocket Computer was very calculator-like, and Commodore had the infrastructure needed to build such a device. When he was unable to convince Charpentier to develop a handheld LCD computer, he departed for Japan to see if he could bypass his reluctant engineers and obtain the product he desired. Tramiel returned with a Toshiba IHC-8000. The tiny computer looked like a calculator, with a single row of 24 characters on the LCD and a tiny rubber QWERTY keyboard. He rebranded it the HHC-4 (Handheld Computer), and replaced the Toshiba decal with a Commodore logo in order to display the product at the upcoming CES. In the past, Tramiel reacted to the market, often making decisions based on what his competitors sold. In 1982, the Osborne 1 portable microcomputer was selling well, and with it, the Osborne Computer Corporation began remarkable growth.


pages: 496 words: 174,084

Masterminds of Programming: Conversations With the Creators of Major Programming Languages by Federico Biancuzzi, Shane Warden

Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, cloud computing, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, continuous integration, data acquisition, domain-specific language, Douglas Hofstadter, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Firefox, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, HyperCard, information retrieval, iterative process, John von Neumann, Larry Wall, linear programming, loose coupling, Mars Rover, millennium bug, NP-complete, Paul Graham, performance metric, Perl 6, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Ruby on Rails, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software as a service, software patent, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, Turing complete, type inference, Valgrind, Von Neumann architecture, web application

So all that was done using machinery designed originally for communication purposes such as teletype communication, store and forward messages, and so on. So we did away with punch cards. Second thing we wanted to do was to get away from the requirements that punch cards imposed on users, which was that things had to be in certain columns on the card, and so we wanted to be something more or less free form that somebody could type on a teletype keyboard, which is just a standard “qwerty” keyboard, by the way, but only with uppercase letters. That’s how the form of the language appeared, something that was easy to type, in fact originally it was space-independent. If you put spaces or you didn’t put spaces in what you were typing it didn’t make any difference, because the language was designed originally so that whatever you typed was always interpreted by the computer correctly, even if there were spaces or no spaces.


pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Joan Didion, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Some collective practices have enormous inertia because they impose a high cost on the first individual who would try to change them. A switch from driving on the left to driving on the right could not begin with a daring nonconformist or a grass-roots movement but would have to be imposed from the top down (which is what happened in Sweden at 5 A.M., Sunday, September 3, 1967). Other examples are laying down your weapons when hostile neighbors are armed to the teeth, abandoning the QWERTY keyboard layout, and pointing out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. But traditional cultures can change, too, and more dramatically than most people realize. Preserving cultural diversity is considered a supreme virtue today, but the members of the diverse cultures don’t always see it that way. People have wants and needs, and when cultures rub shoulders, people in one culture are bound to notice when their neighbors are satisfying those desires better than they are.


pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, assortative mating, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

It was introduced in response to a problem in the early days of the typewriter: The keys used to jam. The idea was to minimize the collision problem by separating those keys that followed one another frequently.... Once {123} adopted, it resulted in many millions of typewriters and ... the social cost of change ... mounted with the vested interest created by the fact that so many fingers now knew how to follow the QWERTY keyboard. QWERTY has stayed on despite the existence of other, more "rational" systems. [Papert 1980, p. 33.]12 The imperious restrictions we encounter inside the Library of Mendel may look like universal laws of nature from our myopic perspective, but from a different perspective they may appear to count as merely local conditions, with historical explanations.13 If so, then a restricted concept of biological possibility is the sort we want; the ideal of a universal concept of biological possibility will be misguided.


pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, commoditize, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, social intelligence, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

x This tendency to shared error has been labelled ‘the bandwagon effect’: Mirowski, ‘A Visible Hand’ (1994), 574. Pinch appears to think that this is the sole cause of agreement on measurements (Labinger and Collins (eds.), The One Culture? (2001), 223) but that can’t be right, or agreement once established would never break down. xi Under particular circumstances there may be an economic or institutional investment in a bad solution that allows it to persist. The English-language QWERTY keyboard is an example (David, ‘Clio and the Economics of QWERTY’ (1985)); geocentrism, for the Catholic Church after 1616, is also an example. xii The issue arose, entirely predictably, shortly after the invention of the pendulum clock (1656), which made possible new standards of accuracy, exposing previously invisible anomalies (Cohen, ‘Roemer and the First Determination of the Velocity of Light (1676)’ (1940), 338).


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

But sometimes the advantage of conformity to each individual can lead to pathologies in the group as a whole. A famous example is the way an early technological standard can gain a toehold among a critical mass of users, who use it because so many other people are using it, and thereby lock out superior competitors. According to some theories, these “network externalities” explain the success of English spelling, the QWERTY keyboard, VHS videocassettes, and Microsoft software (though there are doubters in each case). Another example is the unpredictable fortunes of bestsellers, fashions, top-forty singles, and Hollywood blockbusters. The mathematician Duncan Watts set up two versions of a Web site in which users could download garage-band rock music. 273 In one version users could not see how many times a song had already been downloaded.


pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, John Markoff, late fees, license plate recognition, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, undersea cable, Y2K

LCD is okay, supertwist LCD even better, EL and PLASMA are even better than that, but if you plan to hack at night or in the dark like most hackers on the road, you should make sure your laptop has a backlit screen. Color LCD screens are useless unless you plan to call Prodigy or download and view GIFs, in which case you should stop reading this article right now and go back to play with your Nintendo. The keyboard should be a standard full-sized QWERTY keyboard, with full travel plastic keys. You don’t need a numeric keypad or function keys or any of that crap. Membrane keyboards or chicklet rubber keys are out of the question. Unless you are utterly retarded, having your keys alphabetized is not an added benefit. Basically, if you can touch type on a keyboard without your fingers missing keys, getting jammed, or slipping around, then it is a good keyboard.