recent posts related to technology in general

Amazon security flaw?

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

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

“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

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.”

Dan Bricklin: The history of VisiCalc and other things

Dan Bricklin, inventor/creator of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program for personal computers, has created this page of historical notes and images about his work. His work came long before my interest in computers and programming, so I enjoy reading about it from a historical perspective. He shows a TI calculator and very large state diagram on this page. I remember seeing calculators like that in stores, and the work he put into the state diagram looks like a modern mind map.

If you’re into history, it’s all very cool.