recent posts related to technology in general

Amazon security flaw? alvin March 23, 2017 - 10:03am

I was surprised to find out yesterday that you can change your Amazon email address without having to verify the change from your old email account. You only have to verify the new email address. That seems like a flaw.

LiquidText: e-Reading done right alvin March 15, 2017 - 10:54am

I just saw this video for LiquidText. It made me think that this is the sort of functionality I always wanted from Amazon Kindle. More accurately, I knew I didn’t like how Kindle worked, and LiquidText makes you think, “See, there it is, that’s what I want.” (I’ll know it when I see it.)

The state of payments systems in ten years alvin February 15, 2017 - 11:49am

“If you think you know what the state of the payments system 10 years out you're in a state of delusion.”

~ Charlie Munger talking about AMEX

The thermodynamics of learning alvin February 7, 2017 - 10:01am

From a article titled The thermodynamics of learning:

“The greatest significance of our work is that we bring the second law of thermodynamics to the analysis of neural networks,” Sebastian Goldt at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, told “The second law is a very powerful statement about which transformations are possible — and learning is just a transformation of a neural network at the expense of energy. This makes our results quite general and takes us one step towards understanding the ultimate limits of the efficiency of neural networks.”

How a mechanical watch works alvin February 7, 2017 - 9:55am

Last week I was wondering how mechanical watches work, and this morning Erik Bruchez shared this ‘animated infographic’ article on how they work.

HP has 157 business laptops; Dell has 167 alvin February 6, 2017 - 7:43pm

HP offers 157 “business” laptops. (I have no idea how many “personal” laptops they offer, I didn’t look.)

When I searched Dell for 15” laptops, their search results showed 167 models.

Apple has one. Maybe as many as four, depending on how you count.

“Silicon Valley’s ambivalence toward Trump turns to anger” alvin January 29, 2017 - 12:54pm

The New York Times has this article on how Silicon Valley’s attitude towards Donald Trump changed in less than 36 hours. The photo shows Sergey Brin, Google co-founder and refugee, joining a protest at the airport in San Francisco.

The causes of the Samsung 7 battery explosions alvin January 22, 2017 - 8:42pm

Forbes has a good article on the causes of the Samsung Note 7 battery explosions, including everything Samsung did to understand the problem, and a little bit about where they’re going from here.

VisiCalc was written in assembly language alvin January 4, 2017 - 6:34am

If you think programming now is difficult, VisiCalc was written in assembly language for an Apple II. Here are a few words from this web page that describe this code: