A break from the usual consumption

Recently subscribed to the Radiolab podcast, to fill in the hours while Howard Stern is on vacation, and it’s programming like this that makes me wish The King of All Media would just retire already, or make good on his promise to only work one day a week, so I can pay attention to something else.

Long story short, this NPR show is not easy to describe, but suffice it to say they talk about killer Argentine ants, how Bugs Bunny saved Mel Blanc and how researchers are working on programming better, smarter artificial intelligence. The latter episode is titled “Talking to Machines,” and if there’s one URL I’ll keep visiting for at least the next couple of weeks, it would be Clever Bot, a result of efforts like ELIZA, a program I had all but forgotten about.

Good show.

Twenty-thirteen

The first computer ID I was assigned was the number 2013 when I was 11 years old and enrolled in the gifted-and-talented program in my junior high school.

By gifted and talented, the school meant students should use computers to solve second-grade math problems. Luckily, the teachers in charge knew nothing about the system, and a couple of friends of mine and soon enough found the password to the system and made it our own.

I need to start preparing a list for things that need to happen in 2013. What kind of list? The answer to that will be the first bullet point.