Oxygen doesn't grow on trees.

Archive for the ‘Google’ Category


A little over two years ago, I attended an event and listened to Brad Templeton speaking about the Google driverless car and how hard it would be for society to adapt to this new method of transportation.

I’ve stumbled upon a recording of him lecturing about the topic at “Driving Innovation: A Speaker Series Powered by Nissan Motor Company” (also on iTunes).

Here’s the transcript.

One of the biggest barriers is that for some unknown reason people don’t like being killed by robots… they’d rather be killed by drunks.

They were actually more afraid of possible injuries and accidents that could come from a robot than they would be afraid of it being done by drunks and other human negligence.

And this is a real thing, there is a real fear, and so when these vehicles, because they will not be perfect, and it would be a serious mistake to set a standard that demands that they’d be perfect, that demands that they’d be as good as elevators. I think that would be a serious mistake because we’re looking, outside, at the second most dangerous consumer product that is allowed to be sold in terms of unintentional deaths. To be more dangerous you’d have to light it on fire and breathe it into your lungs, that’s the most dangerous product.

And this is an effort to take that dangerous product and make it safer, make it kill fewer people. And I think that’s a grand effort and I think it’s an effort on par with even curing polio which killed fewer people than cars as of today.
More people have died in car accidents in the United States than in all the wars in the history of the United States going back to the revolutionary war. It’s an astoundingly huge number and to reduce that number I think is a grand goal, and so I think that the standard of care here should be to do better than that. But if the standard of care is more like an elevator, where perfection is demanded, the technology will never be deployed (or almost never, it would take a very long time), and a lot of people will die in the meantime.


What happens next starts with you…

What happens next starts with you.

You are a pioneer, a founder and an architect of what’s possible.
You are a Glass Explorer. We have an exciting journey ahead of us,
and what happens next starts with you.

Start exploring at google.com/glass

I can’t remember the last time I had to RTFM before figuring out how *turn on* a gadget I purchased.

And that’s the first thing I was planning to do with it…


Google developers have confirmed a cryptographic vulnerability in the Android operating system that researchers say could generate serious security glitches on hundreds of thousands of end user apps, many of them used to make Bitcoin transactions.
(via Ars Technica)

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

Robert Coveyou, Studies in Applied Mathematics, III (1970)

Google+ Auto Stupefying Awesome Thinger

I love love love the Google+ automatic photo combiner and GIF maker (GIF or JIF?). It even managed to automatically tag this photo with #BlackCat.

However, when I tell people about it, they say “but who the hell uses Google+?“.
I say, let them stay where they are, for now. There are awesome people on Google+, my feed there is much more interesting, and I feel like I’m using the word Awesome too much already.




Google+ automatically combined several stills of Footer into an animated GIF, and to top it off, automatically tagged it with #BlackCat.



PDLBKBR: People Don’t Like Being Killed by Robots

– Brad TempletonSingularity University Networks & Computing Chair and Chairman of the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, speaking about the Google driverless car at the “GarageGeeks and Yossi Vardi hosting Singularity University” event.

Edit: Listen as Brad explains how society can adapt to a new method of transportation at “Driving Innovation: A Speaker Series Powered by Nissan Motor Company“.