Which VPNs are working these days? What other advice do you have for me, when it comes to accessing the internet? Is accessing some sites easier with a Mac? Can GMU email be accessed without a VPN? WordPress? MR? Is there a difference between iPhones and iPads and laptops in these regards?
I thank you all in advance for your assistance.
Marijn Roovers’ epicurean delights have graced the tables of some of the Netherlands’ finest restaurants. But the food designer’s Chocolate Globe is his most intricate — and technologically advanced — creation. A chocolate shell just 0.8 millimetres thick is embossed in gold with the chocolate’s continent of origin, and it holds delicacies that symbolize the region.
Roovers and chef Wouter van Laarhoven printed it — layer-by-layer of chocolate — on a 3D printer. Roovers is at the forefront of a small group of gourmets and technophiles who want to revolutionize how food is prepared. On 21 April, they will gather in the Netherlands for the first conference dedicated to the 3D printing of food.
But do note this:
3D food printers tend to be slow: Roovers’ chocolate globes, for example, currently take about an hour to print. To prepare one per guest in a restaurant with 40 patrons would take almost 2 days of continuous printing. “It’s not very realistic,” he says. “At the moment it’s a way to show craftsmanship.”
Then there is the matter of texture. Most 3D printers work with either pastes or powders, so the resulting food tends to be mushy, says Julian Sing, founder of 3DChef, a firm near Tilburg, Netherlands, that specializes in 3D printing of sugar. “The food needs to have the right texture,” he says. “It needs to look like food and not like slop.”
There is more here, via Michelle Dawson.
…the warden of the Lee Correctional Institute, Cecilia Reynolds, said that in recent weeks her officers found 17 phones in one inmate’s cell. She said she suspected that the phones continue to come in on drones.
There is more here, interesting throughout. How about this bit?:
Prison officials, echoing Ms. Reynolds, say that convicts and their families and friends are willing to pay more than $1,000 to get a device – like an iPhone — into a prison. Smartphones are so desirable because unlike pay phones at prisons, they are not recorded or monitored, enabling gang leaders to freely run their criminal activities from behind bars. The phones also allow them to watch pornography and communicate surreptitiously with fellow prisoners.
The phones are essential for coordinating with smugglers using drones, because the prisoners need to know where to find the deliveries in the yard. Most important for the smugglers, the prisoners can then use the phones to quickly pay them.
How about blocking cell phone signals inside the jail? Elsewhere, a possibly radioactive drone was found on the roof of the office of Prime Minister Abe. As I’ve said already on Twitter, the drone wars have begun…
What are non-e sports for that matter? Via Liam Boluk, I read this from Prashob Menon:
Last year’s League of Legends championship, for example, drew nearly 30 million viewers, putting it in line with the combined viewership of the 2014 MLB and NBA finals, or the series finales of Breaking Bad and Two and a Half Men, plus the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones. As with most sports, competitive gaming is now firmly entrenched in the US college system, with the country’s largest collegiate league counting more than 10,000 active players, some of whom are on full athletic scholarships. Eager to capitalize on growing interest in the sport, Major League Gaming (MLG) opened the first dedicated domestic eSports arena in October 2014, and major brands such as Ford, American Express and Coke have begun forming partnerships with game developers, teams, players, event organizers and video distributors. The US Department of State has been issuing athlete visas to competitive gamers since 2013.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to say eSports aren’t “real” sports, but the bigger question is whether it even matters. The media business is about eyeballs, and audiences are turning up in droves for the likes of Defense of the Ancients and League of Legends.
The economics indeed do not look so bad:
Moreover, eSports fans, unlike linear TV viewers, are highly engaged in the content. Major League Gaming, for instance, consistently beats the industry average on key digital ad metrics such as completion rates (90% vs. 72%), click-through rates (4% vs. 2%), and ad viewability (99% vs. 44%).
Here is Wikipedia on eSports. I believe I have timed my birth at more or less the right time, so I will die of old age just when such institutions are taking over the world and pushing out baseball’s eight-team American League, as it ruled in 1968.
Dan Klein (from Abigail D.) directs my attention to an interesting paper by Fisher, Goddu, and Keil (pdf):
As the Internet has become a nearly ubiquitous resource for acquiring knowledge about the world, questions have arisen about its potential effects on cognition. Here we show that searching the Internet for explanatory knowledge creates an illusion whereby people mistake access to information for their own personal understanding of the information. Evidence from 9 experiments shows that searching for information online leads to an increase in self-assessed knowledge as people mistakenly think they have more knowledge “in the head,” even seeing their own brains as more active as depicted by functional MRI (fMRI) images.
Having done some further search on this topic, using Google, I can assure you that I now have a much better grasp on whether this hypothesis is true or not…
You will find it here. Here is one excerpt:
TYLER COWEN: New York City, overrated or underrated?
PETER THIEL: That’s massively overrated.
TYLER COWEN: Why?
PETER THIEL: We had a 25-year boom in finance, from ’82 to ’07. I think that’s slowly ebbing, slowly abating. It’s going to be increasingly regulated, and so if you want a long/short blue state trade, you want to be long California, short New York. The long/short red state trade, by the way, is you want to be long Texas, short Virginia.
If you ask, what do Virginia and New York have in common, and what do Texas and California have in common? Both Texas and California are very inward-focused places. California, both the Hollywood version and the Silicon Valley version, are very focused in on themselves. Texas is also a very inward-focused place.
What Virginia and New York, or let’s say DC and New York City, have in common is that they’re centers of globalization. Finance is an industry that’s fundamentally leveraged to globalization, and DC is fundamentally leveraged to international geopolitics.
I would bet on globalization slowly being in abeyance. I think with the benefit of hindsight, we will realize that 2007 was not just the peak year of the finance boom, but also the peak year of globalization, like maybe 1913. Happily, it hasn’t resulted in a world war, at least not yet, but I think we are in this period where globalization is steadily pulling back.
And so you want to be in places or industries that are levered to things other than globalization.
Self-recommending…The YouTube and podcast versions are here.
And at Utah Valley University in Orem, the school developed its own early warning system, called Stoplight, which uses academic and demographic details about students to predict their likelihood of passing specific courses; as part of the program, professors receive class lists that color-code each student as green, yellow or red.
The article, on anti-cheating software, is of interest more generally, via Michelle Dawson.
The YouTube version is here, the podcast version is here.
I was very happy with how it turned out, as I deliberately set out not to copy the content of any of Peter’s other dialogues. You can learn how he thinks we will leave the “great stagnation,” whether the AI hype is justified, how he would boil his thought down to the smallest number of dimensions, whether NYC is over- or underrated, why globalization is likely to decline and what that means for different regions, the parts of the Bible which have influenced him most, “the Straussian Jesus,” to what age he thinks he will live, why Japan is special, how his German background matters, his favorite opening chess move, how and why company names matter, and even his favorite TV show, which he calls “schlocky.”
And much, much more, with commentary and questions from me throughout. A transcript is being prepared as well.
“What jumped out for me was the survey that revealed that in some cases as many as 39 percent of our learners are teachers,”
There are two ways to view this. One is that educators are simply talking to each other. The alternative — more likely in my view — is that on-line and face-to-face education are in fact complements, but also that our educators know much less than they sometimes let on. They need MOOCs to learn the material, or more optimistically to improve their presentations of it.
And how is this for the law of demand?:
Across 12 courses, participants who paid for “ID-verified” certificates (with costs ranging from $50 to $250) earned certifications at a higher rate than other participants: 59 percent, on average, compared with 5 percent. Students opting for the ID-verified track appear to have stronger intentions to complete courses, and the monetary stake may add an extra form of motivation.
I’ve long thought the standard meme “Only [small number goes here] percent of starters complete free MOOCS” was a weak argument. This shows you why.
The piece discusses other interesting results as well.
I may not follow any of your suggestions, but just thought I should ask for advice, for my dialogue with Peter next week. I am the interviewer, he is the interviewee, more or less. #CowenThiel
There is an interview with me by Emily Hare in the latest issues of Contagious, a glossy British marketing periodical. Here is one bit:
Q: What should marketing do to ensure it lives up to its potential?
A; This is what I see happening and this may be disquieting for some of your readers. The people who are really good at marketing in this new environment are typically not formal marketers, they are not called marketing agencies, they have not studied marketing. They are people who know some areas very well and then they teach themselves a kind of marketing on the fly. A good examples if Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is not in any formal sense a marketer, but he’s actually one of the most brilliant marketers that the world has seen in the past few decades. General principles are not that useful anymore. What is paying off is incredibly detailed, context-specific knowledge of particular areas. that’s what it takes to craft unique messages.
At all levels we’re seeing this takeover by the content people and everything is supposed to look authentic, so in a sense, authenticity is the new inauthenticity.
Marketing has never been more important, but life has never been tougher for at least some of the marketers.
I do not believe there is a version of this on line.
You can sign up for rsvp or the live stream here, the chat with Peter Thiel is March 31, 2-3:30 p.m. EST, held at the Arlington campus of George Mason University. It is part of a new event series Conversations with Tyler.
The chat with Jeffrey Sachs is April 7, 3:30 to 5 p.m., again EST in Arlington. There will be more to come in the Fall.
I will host and talk with guests, but without formalities. I won’t ask “So tell us about your new book,” or any of the usual soporific chit-chatty questions. I will try to replicate the conversations I would have with these same individuals in a private setting, except that you all get to listen. That means launching into substance immediately and seeing how far the back and forth can be pushed. It also means asking questions that not everyone listening will understand and willing to let parts of the audience suffer in their confusion. I want these dialogues to be as smart as possible, based on the premise that each guest, no matter how renowned he or she may be, is nonetheless a radically underrated thinker.
The goal is to be never hostile or combative, but always probing. I’m aiming for the chat to be 1/3 me vs. 2/3 guest, more or less, but about the ideas and contributions of the guest most of all.
Or click here for a larger map and further explanation. The data are taken from Google searches from each state, and sadly the Northeast does not surprise me. (You will note that the searches seem to be done for the capital city of each state, which is selecting somewhat for low quality.) Perhaps Kentucky, Washington state, and Minnesota come off looking best…
For the pointer I thank Yuka.
This Neill Blomkamp (“District 9″) movie has received only lukewarm reviews, but while highly imperfect it is more interesting than most critics seem to realize. The initial premise is that in a few years’ time South Africa resorts to AI-driven, robot policemen. I see the film as revolving around three key questions:
1. What will a robot be like, if he grows up under rather brutal conditions? This is first and foremost a movie about education, and it could have been written by John Gray. Don’t assume that people (robots) have an irrevocable tendency to support liberal values, at least not when the chips are down and they have been beaten up. The gang motive is both popular and enduring.
2. Can a society dependent on robots for law enforcement become/remain a liberal society? Or will the “arms race” between the law and the criminals result in brutality and a loss of liberty?
3. How robust is a robot society to the eventual possibility of human error and depravity?
Along the way there are references to Asimov, “Silent Running,” Blade Runner, Verhoeven of course, and other android sources. I can’t endorse every angle of the ending, or every character decision, but still I didn’t consider leaving this one.