It was a very public way to die. Public, that is, to the few thousand people on The Well. On March 25, 1995, Tom Mandel sat down at his computer and wrote: It's bad luck to say goodbye before it's time to do so and there's no point in embracing death before one's time, but I thought maybe I'd sneak in a topic, not too maudlin I hope, in which I could slowly say goodbye to my friends here, curse my enemies one more time and otherwise wave a bit at the rest of you until it's just not time to do so any more. Mandel might have felt he owed a heartfelt goodbye to all the people he had wrangled with for nearly a decade. Perhaps he wanted to make amends with the many who considered him arrogant and obstinate; as one of The Well's most controversial figures, he had excited a great deal of scorn as well as admiration. But in truth, Tom Mandel was only doing what he had done nearly every day, and sometimes several times a day, for years: dialing in to a community where he had found a home … [Read more...] about The Epic Saga of The Well
The new jersey institute of technology
Unless you live in a bomb shelter and have canceled your cable TV and internet services, you’ve heard that the newspaper business has run aground. Advertising revenue is down 67 percent since 2005, and as panicked publishers shutter newspapers, reduce the number of days they publish, lay off journalists and cut local coverage to balance their books, the likelihood that great swaths of the country will become “news deserts,” devoid of accountability reports on government and corporations, has grown. The state of New Jersey thinks it’s found the secret to making the desert bloom: A $5 million subsidy for a university-led consortium that will dispense grants for local news coverage. “Never before has a state taken the lead to address the growing crisis in local news,” said Mike Rispoli of the Free Press Action Fund, the advocacy group that advanced the consortium idea. “Trustworthy local journalism is the lifeblood of democracy; it allows people … [Read more...] about The State of New Jersey Wants to Subsidize News. Uh-oh.
How big is the sun? Well, that depends on when you’re measuring. The sun slightly shrinks and expands as it goes through a solar cycle, a roughly 11-year period of high and low magnetic activity, a new study finds. When the sun is the most active, its radius decreases by 1 or 2 kilometers, two researchers report in a paper accepted in the Astrophysical Journal. Given that the sun’s full radius is about 700,000 kilometers, that’s a tiny change. Unlike a planet, the sun has no solid surface, so defining the absolute size isn’t simple. “It’s a slippery concept: What does it mean, the radius of the sun?” says astronomer Jeff Kuhn of the University of Hawaii in Maui. One way of defining the sun’s width is based on how the brightness of the sun decreases from its center. In 2010, Kuhn and colleagues found no signs that the sun’s radius varied during the solar cycle, when based on brightness. But the new study considered a different … [Read more...] about The sun shrinks a teensy bit when it’s feeling active
NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2018--VOICE Summit, the nation’s largest multi-day voice-first conference, today announced a slate of more than 150 industry speakers. The event will feature voice-first experts David Isbitski, Chief Evangelist Alexa and Echo at Amazon, Howard Lerman, Founder and CEO of Yext and Chiori Hori, Principal Research Scientist, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories.David Isbitski has supported the launch of numerous technology platforms, frameworks and programming languages across an array of devices at both Microsoft and Amazon. Howard Lerman is Founder and CEO of Yext, the leader in Digital Knowledge Management. Yext’s mission is to give companies control over their brand experiences across the digital universe of maps, apps, search engines, voice assistants, and other intelligent services. Chiori Hori has been working on neural network based technologies for Human-Robot communication at MERL since 2015, introducing deep learning … [Read more...] about VOICE Summit Announces Dynamic Slate of Speakers and Keynotes from Amazon, LEGO and Yext
For being a single cell organism without a brain, slime mold can act pretty smart. As it grows, slime mold can keep track of where it’s been, it can solve mazes in search of food, and it can even be trained to take risks in the name of a big payoff. How exactly? We visited the Swarm Lab at the New Jersey Institute of Technology to find out. Here, assistant professor Simon Garnier studies decentralized systems like colonies of ants — or petri dishes filled with slime mold — to figure out how these organisms make decisions and solve problems together. That’s what’s called “swarm intelligence,” and in the future, this kind of information could help us design an algorithm to create a more efficient network of self-driving cars. If you want to learn more about slime mold, watch the video above. We joined Garnier in the lab to recreate a famous slime mold experiment, and we even tasted some right out of the petri dish. (Spoiler: it tasted like … [Read more...] about How slime mold could shape the future of self-driving cars