QWERTY keyboard

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Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (Writing Science) by Thierry Bardini

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The evolution of typewriting was far from complete when Mur- ray made the connection between telegraphic practice and typewriting in 1905. It was by no means clear yet what a typewriter should be like or how it should be operated. In particular, it was by no means clear that touch typing had to be touch typing as we know it today, on a QWERTY keyboard. Many early typewriters in fact employed chord keysets. It took the emergence of touch typing on a QWERTY keyboard as an incorporating practice to settle The Chord Keyset and the QWERTY Keyboard 71 that issue and to finally seem to banish the chord keyset to the museum of ob- solete technologies. QWERTY keyboards, chord keysets, and, indeed, Morse telegraph keys all share an essential characteristic: the unlinking" of the hand, eye, and letter. Focusing on the typewriter, Friedrich Kittler, in his impressive Discourse Net- works, 1800/1900, notes: In typewriting, spatiality determines not only the relations among signs but also their relation to the empty ground. . . .

In the different context of electronic computing fifty to one hundred years later, the performance advantages of the five-bit devices that Engelbart employed still existed. Although the QWERTY keyboard lay- out has been severely criticized since the 1930'S at least, with the invention of the Dvorak keyboard and its supposed efficiencies, no other type input device 80 The Chord Keyset and the QWERTY Keyboard ever has managed to challenge its supremacy. 8 As Jan Noyes (19 8 3 a , 278-79) puts it in "The QWERTY Keyboard: A Review": Rearranging the letters of the QWERTY layout has been shown to be a fruitless pastime, but it has demonstrated two important points: first, the amount of hos- tile feeling that the standard keyboard has generated and second, the supremacy of this keyboard in retaining its universal position. . . . The design and the layout of the QWERTY keyboard are not optimal for efficient operation. However it is not feasible to modify the standard keyboard and hence improve, because of con- founding factors pertinent to QWERTY's situation.

I immediately realized that I was using one of the most efficient tools that I ever had the opportunity to encounter. As I eventually discovered, its value as an input device had been well recognized since the nineteenth century. Engelbart was able to ignore its subsequent eclipse and see how it could serve his purposes for user-machine communications in a way that what had become the standard, ubiquitous input device, the QWERTY keyboard, could not. What he was unable to ignore, however, was the hegemony of the QWERTY keyboard. "RE-INVENTING THE HIGH-WHEEL BICYCLE WITH GOVERNMENT FUNDS" The charge that, at this early stage, Engelbart was simply returning to an obso- lete and discarded technology was made by one of his sponsors, Harold Woos- ter, director of the Information Sciences Directorate of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research at the time of Engelbart's second proposal.

pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

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A. Roger Ekirch, Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Shoshana Zuboff, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

Nobody has been able to reconstruct Sholes’s and Densmore’s reasoning completely. It would probably be necessary to find an operating Model 1 or 2 typewriter and experiment with combinations of letters. The QWERTY keyboard, as it came to be known, was clearly a compromise. On the middle row of text there was a nearly alphabetical sequence: DFGHJKLM. The last letter was later moved to the bottom row, where the original C and X were also later reversed. On the top row was a vowel cluster (UIO) out of alphabetical order. Sholes and Densmore were both familiar with newspaper type cases, arranged not in alphabetical order but roughly according to letter frequency. The QWERTY keyboard did not follow these patterns but was conceived in a similar spirit.27 Sholes and Densmore made a fateful assumption about the operator’s technique. Compositors used thumb and forefinger and looked at the type case as they worked, and it seemed reasonable to think that typewriter operators would do the same—as, indeed, all but a few initially did.

Norman and Fisher found that although the Dvorak arrangement did indeed save on motion as its advocates had long claimed, gains in speed were modest: the advantage was only about 5 to 10 percent. They found the long-maligned QWERTY keyboard surprisingly rational in its high number of alternating-hand sequences. The Norman studies and others bolstered an influential 1990 rebuttal to Paul David’s analysis by two fellow economists, S. J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis, who argued that the Dvorak arrangement had lost on its merits.41 The critics of the Dvorak layout have a point. Typists’ minds are able to manage the additional 37 percent finger travel of the QWERTY keyboard without a corresponding loss of speed. Differentials range from a mere 2.6 percent for Dvorak, to 11 percent. A 1980 Japanese study suggested 15 to 25 percent faster performance in timed writing and 25 to 50 percent faster production of letters, reports, and tables.

Compositors used thumb and forefinger and looked at the type case as they worked, and it seemed reasonable to think that typewriter operators would do the same—as, indeed, all but a few initially did. For this style of work the QWERTY keyboard was relatively efficient. Its leading twentieth-century critic, August Dvorak, found that the most frequent letters were typed with the first two fingers of the left hand and the index finger of the right. There seems to be a balance between putting all the most frequent characters near the center of the keyboard and maintaining an order that will make it easier to find keys visually, like keeping O and P as well as the middle-row sequence together. As early as 1875, proposals circulated for more efficient keyboards. Once touch typing prevailed, it would have been logical to look for even greater speed and comfort by devising a new arrangement.

Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies by Jared M. Diamond

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affirmative action, Atahualpa, British Empire, California gold rush, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, invention of movable type, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Maui Hawaii, QWERTY keyboard, the scientific method, trade route

As one example, I mentioned in Chapter 13 the QWERTY keyboard for typewriters. It was adopted initially, out of many competing keyboard designs, for trivial specific reasons involving early typewriter construction in America in the 1860s, typewriter salesmanship, a decision in 1882 by a certain Ms. Longley who founded the Shorthand and Typewriter Institute in Cincinnati, and the success of Ms. Longley's star typing pupil Frank McGurrin, who thrashed Ms. Longley's non-QWERTY competitor Louis Taub in a widely publicized typing contest in 1888. The decision could have gone to another keyboard at any of numerous stages between the 1860s and the 1880s; nothing about the American environment favored the QWERTY keyboard over its rivals. Once the decision had been made, though, the QWERTY keyboard became so entrenched that it was also adopted for computer keyboard design a century later.

The reason behind all of those seemingly counterproductive features is that the typewriters of 1873 jammed if adjacent keys were struck in quick suc- cession, so that manufacturers had to slow down typists. When improve- ments in typewriters eliminated the problem of jamming, trials in 1932 with an efficiently laid-out keyboard showed that it would let us double our typing speed and reduce our typing effort by 95 percent. But QWERTY keyboards were solidly entrenched by then. The vested interests of hundreds of millions of QWERTY typists, typing teachers, typewriter and computer salespeople, and manufacturers have crushed all moves toward keyboard efficiency for over 60-years. While the story of the QWERTY keyboard may sound funny, many similar cases have involved much heavier economic consequences. Why does Japan now dominate the world market for transistorized electronic consumer products, to a degree that damages the United States's balance of payments with Japan, even though transistors were invented and pat- ented in the United States?

Millions of people today buy designer jeans for double the price of equally durable generic jeansbecause the social cachet of the designer label counts for more than the extra cost. Similarly, Japan continues to use its horrendously cumbersome kanji writ- ing system in preference to efficient alphabets or Japan's own efficient kana syllabarybecause the prestige attached to kanji is so great. Still another factor is compatibility with vested interests. This book, like probably every other typed document you have ever read, was typed with a QWERTY keyboard, named for the left-most six letters in its upper row. Unbelievable as it may now sound, that keyboard layout was designed in 1873 as a feat of anti-engineering. It employs a whole series of perverse tricks designed to force typists to type as slowly as possible, such as scatter- ing the commonest letters over all keyboard rows and concentrating them on the left side (where right-handed people have to use their weaker hand).

pages: 199 words: 43,653

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

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Gourville writes that products that require a high degree of behavior change are doomed to fail even if the benefits of using the new product are clear and substantial. For example, the technology I am using to write this book is inferior to existing alternatives in many ways. I’m referring to the QWERTY keyboard which was first developed in the 1870s for the now-ancient typewriter. QWERTY was designed with commonly used characters spaced far apart. This layout prevented typists from jamming the metal typebars of early machines. [xxvii] Of course, this physical limitation is an anachronism in the digital age, yet QWERTY keyboards remain the standard despite the invention of far better layouts. Professor August Dvorak’s keyboard design, for example, placed vowels in the center row, increasing typing speed and accuracy. Though patented in 1932, the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard was written off.

Accessed November 12, 2013. http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/lessons-learnt-viral-marketing/. [xxvi] Gourville, John T. “Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers: Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption.” Accessed November 12, 2013. http://hbr.org/product/eager-sellers-and-stony-buyers-understanding-the-p/an/R0606F-PDF-ENG. [xxvii] Adams, Cecil. “Was the QWERTY Keyboard Purposely Designed to Slow Typists?,” October 30, 1981. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/221/was-the-qwerty-keyboard-purposely-designed-to-slow-typists [xxviii] Bouton, Mark E. “Context and Behavioral Processes in Extinction.” Learning & Memory 11, no. 5 (September 1, 2004): 485–494. doi:10.1101/lm.78804. [xxix] Kirshenbaum, Ari P., Darlene M. Olsen, and Warren K. Bickel. “A Quantitative Review of the Ubiquitous Relapse Curve.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 36, no. 1 (January 2009): 8–17. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2008.04.001.

pages: 722 words: 90,903

Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought by Drew Neil

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Bram Moolenaar, don't repeat yourself, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, place-making, QWERTY keyboard, web application

The letter j sort of looks like an arrow pointing downward. On a Qwerty keyboard, the h and l keys are positioned to the left and right of each other, mirroring the direction in which they move the cursor. Although h, j, k, and l may seem unintuitive at first, learning to use them is worth your while. To reach for the arrow keys, you have to move your hand away from its resting place on the home row. Because the h, j, k, and l keys are all within easy reach, you can move Vim’s cursor without having to move your hand. That might sound like a trivial saving, but it adds up. Once you’ve acquired the habit of using h, j, k, and l to move around, using any other editor that depends on the arrow keys will feel strange. You’ll wonder how you put up with it for so long! Leave Your Right Hand Where It Belongs On a Qwerty keyboard, the j, k, and l keys fall directly beneath the index, middle, and ring fingers of the right hand.

We can’t cover them all in this chapter, so I recommend that you look up the motion.txt ​ section of Vim’s documentation for a complete reference. Set yourself the goal of adding a couple of motions to your repertoire each week. Tip 46 Keep Your Fingers on the Home Row Vim is optimized for the touch typist. Learn to move around without removing your hands from the home row, and you’ll be able to operate Vim quicker. The first thing you learn as a touch typist is that your fingers should rest on the home row. On a Qwerty keyboard, that means the left-hand fingers rest on a, s, d, and f, while the right-hand fingers rest on j, k, l, and ; keys. When poised in this position, we can reach for any other key on the keyboard without having to move our hands or look at our fingers. It’s the ideal posture for touch typing. Just as with any other text editor, Vim lets us use the arrow keys to move the cursor around, but it also provides an alternative by way of the h, j, k, and l keys.

You’re wasting keystrokes if you press the h key more than two times in a row. When it comes to moving horizontally, you can get around quicker using word-wise or character search motions (see Tip 48, and Tip 49). I use the h and l keys for off-by-one errors, when I narrowly miss my target. Apart from that, I hardly touch them. Given how little I use the h key, I’m happy to have to stretch for it on a Qwerty keyboard. On the flip side, I use the character search commands often (see Tip 49), so I’m pleased that the ; key rests comfortably beneath my little finger. Break the Habit of Reaching for the Arrow Keys If you’re finding it difficult to break the habit of using the arrow keys, try putting this in your vimrc file: motions/disable-arrowkeys.vim ​​noremap <Up> <Nop>​​ ​​noremap <Down> <Nop>​​ ​​noremap <Left> <Nop>​​ ​​noremap <Right> <Nop>​​ This maps each of the arrow keys to do nothing.

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

One of the problems of the early models was that when operated at high speed, the type-bars would clash and jam the machine. On the very first machines, the letters of the keyboard had been arranged in alphabetical order, and the major cause of the jamming was the proximity of commonly occurring letter pairs (such as D and E, or S and T). The easiest way around this jamming problem was to arrange the letters in the type-basket so that they were less likely to collide. The result was the QWERTY keyboard layout that is still with us. (Incidentally, a vestige of the original alphabetical ordering can be seen on the middle row of the keyboard, where the sequence FGHJKL appears.) Densmore made two attempts to get the Sholes typewriter manufactured by small engineering workshops, but they both lacked the necessary capital and skill to manufacture successfully and cheaply. As one historian of manufacturing has noted, the “typewriter was the most complex mechanism mass produced by American industry, public or private, in the nineteenth century.”

Palm never achieved more than a 3 percent market share and was quickly overshadowed in its primary market—business users—by Research in Motion (RIM), a Canadian specialist in paging, messaging, data capture, and modem equipment that launched the PDA “Blackberry” in 1999. Blackberry benefited in the business and government handset markets from RIM’s private data network, user-friendly e-mail, and miniature QWERTY keyboard. Microsoft, which came late to the PDA/smartphone platform business by licensing Windows-based mobile operating systems, had some success in the enterprise market before smartphones became consumer oriented and the touchscreen-based Apple iOS and Android systems rose to dominance. While Apple’s Macintosh was a technical success at its launch in 1984, it helped Microsoft far more than Apple itself (by showing the dominant operating-system company the way to a user-friendly graphics-based operating system).

Watson is Thomas Beldens and Marva Beldens’s The Lengthening Shadow (1962); it is not particularly hagiographic, but William Rogers’s Think: A Biography of the Watsons and IBM (1969) is a useful counterbalance. The most recent biography of Watson is Kevin Maney’s The Maverick and His Machine (2003). JoAnne Yates’ Structuring the Information Age (2005) is an important account of how interactions between IBM and its life-insurance customers helped shape IBM’s products. Page 22“let them in on the ground floor”: Quoted in Bliven 1954, p. 48. Page 23the QWERTY keyboard layout that is still with us: See David 1986. Page 23“typewriter was the most complex mechanism mass produced by American industry”: Hoke 1990, p. 133. Page 23“reporters, lawyers, editors, authors, and clergymen”: Cortada 1993a, p. 16. Page 23“Gentlemen: Please do not use my name”: Quoted in Bliven 1954, p. 62. Page 24By 1900 the US Census recorded 112,000 typists: Davies 1982, pp. 178–179.

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida

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QWERTY keyboard

Its author, Naoki Higashida, was born in 1992 and was still in junior high-school when the book was published. Naoki’s autism is severe enough to make spoken communication pretty much impossible, even now. But thanks to an ambitious teacher and his own persistence, he learnt to spell out words directly onto an alphabet grid. A Japanese alphabet grid is a table of the basic forty Japanese hiragana letters, and its English counterpart is a copy of the QWERTY keyboard, drawn onto a card and laminated. Naoki communicates by pointing to the letters on these grids to spell out whole words, which a helper at his side then transcribes. These words build up into sentences, paragraphs and entire books. ‘Extras’ around the side of the grids include numbers, punctuation, and the words ‘Finished’, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. (Although Naoki can also write and blog directly onto a computer via its keyboard, he finds the lower-tech alphabet grid a ‘steadier hand-rail’ as it offers fewer distractions and helps him to focus.)

pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

In addition, the first row was provided with all of the letters in the word “typewriter,” so that salesmen, new to typing, could type the word using just one row. Quickly, however, mechanical improvements made faster typing possible, and new keyboards placing letters according to frequency were presented. But it was too late: There was no going back. By the 1890s, typists across America were used to QWERTY keyboards, having learned to zip away on new versions of them that did not stick so easily. Retraining them would have been expensive and, ultimately, unnecessary, so QWERTY was passed down the generations, and even today we use the queer QWERTY configuration on computer keyboards, where jamming is a mechanical impossibility. The basic concept is simple, but in general estimation tends to be processed as the province of “cute” stories like the QWERTY one, rather than explaining a massive weight of scientific and historical processes.

., 84 Prusiner, Stanley, 240 psychiatry, 232, 233–34, 235, 279 psychotherapy, 41–42 public policy, 93 experiments in, 26, 273–74 uncertainty and, 54, 56 QED moments, 355–57 quantum gravity, 297–98 quantum mechanics, 25, 114, 192–93, 234, 322, 356 entanglement in, 330–32 “many worlds” interpretation of, 69–70 thought experiments in, 28 wave-particle duality in, 28, 296–98 quantum tunneling, 297 quarks, 190–91, 297 Quaternary mass extinction, 362 QWERTY keyboards, 285–86 Ramachandran, V. S., 242–45 Randall, Lisa, 192–93 randomness, 105–8 rational unconscious, 146–49 ratios, 186 Read, Leonard, 258 realism, naïve, 214 Reality Club, xxix recursive structure, 246–49 reductionism, 278 Rees, Martin, 1–2 regression, 235 ARISE and, 235–36 relationalism, 223 relativism, 223, 300 relativity, 25, 64, 72, 234, 297 religion, 5, 6, 114 creationism, 268–69 self-transcendence and, 212–13 supernatural beings in, 182–83 and thinking in time vs. outside of time, 222 repetition, in manufacture, 171 replicability, 373–75 Revkin, Andrew, 386–88 Ridley, Matt, 257–58 risk, 56–57, 68–71, 339 security theater and, 262 statistical thinking and, 260 risk aversion, 339 risk literacy, 259–61 Ritchie, Matthew, 237–39 Robertson, Pat, 10 Roman Empire, 128 root-cause analysis, 303–4 Rosen, Jay, 203–5 Rovelli, Carlo, 51–52 Rowan, David, 305–6 Rucker, Rudy, 103–4 Rushkoff, Douglas, 41–42 Russell, Bertrand, 123 Rwanda, 345 Saatchi, Charles, 307–8 safety, proving, 281 Saffo, Paul, 334–35 Sagan, Carl, 273, 282 Sakharov, Andrei, 88 Salcedo-Albarán, Eduardo, 345–48 Sampson, Scott D., 289–91 Sapolsky, Robert, 278–80 Sasselov, Dimitar, 13–14, 292–93 SAT tests, 47, 89 scale analysis, 184–87 scale transitions, 371–72 scaling laws, 162 Schank, Roger, 23–24 Schmidt, Eric, 305 schools, see education Schrödinger’s cat, 28 Schulz, Kathryn, 30–31 science, 192–93 discoveries in, 109–11, 240–41, 257 humanities and, 364–66 method of, 273–74 normal, 242–43, 244 pessimistic meta-induction from history of, 30–31 replicability in, 373–75 statistically significant difference and, 378–80 theater vs., 262–63 scientific concept, 19, 22 scientific lifestyle, 19–22 scientific proof, 51, 52 scuba divers, 40 seconds, 163 security engineering, 262 security in information-sharing, 75–76 Segre, Gino, 28–29 Sehgal, Tino, 119 Seife, Charles, 105–8 Sejnowski, Terrence, 162–64 self, 212 ARISE and, 235–36 consciousness, 217 Other and, 292–93 separateness of, 289–91 subselves and the modular mind, 129–31 transcendence of, 212–13 self-control, 46–48 self-model, 214 self-serving bias, 37–38, 40 Seligman, Martin, 92–93 Semelweiss, Ignaz, 36 senses, 43, 139–42 umwelt and, 143–45 sensory desktop, 135–38 September 11 attacks, 386 serendipity, 101–2 serotonin, 230 sexuality, 78 sexual selection, 228, 353–54 Shamir, Adi, 76 SHAs (shorthand abstractions), xxx, 228, 277, 395–97 graceful, 120–23 Shepherd, Jonathan, 274 Shermer, Michael, 157–59 shifting baseline syndrome, 90–91 Shirky, Clay, xxvii, 198, 338 signal detection theory, 389–93 Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics (Green and Swets), 391 signals, 228 Simon, Herbert, 48 simplicity, 325–27 skeptical empiricism, 85 skepticism, 242, 243, 336 skydivers, 39 Smallberg, Gerald, 43–45 smell, sense of, 139–42, 143–44 Smith, Adam, 258 Smith, Barry C., 139–42 Smith, Hamilton, 166 Smith, Laurence C., 310–11 Smith, John Maynard, 96 Smolin, Lee, 221–24 social microbialism, 16 social networks, 82, 262, 266 social sciences, 273 Socrates, 340 software, 80, 246 Solomon Islands, 361 something for nothing, 84 specialness, see uniqueness and specialness Sperber, Dan, 180–83 spider bites, 68, 69, 70 spoon bending, 244 stability, 128 Standage, Tom, 281 stars, 7, 128, 301 statistically significant difference, 378–80 statistics, 260, 356 stem-cell research, 56, 69–70 stock market, 59, 60–61, 151, 339 Flash Crash and, 60–61 Pareto distributions and, 199, 200 Stodden, Victoria, 371–72 stomach ulcers, 240 Stone, Linda, 240–41 stress, 68, 70, 71 string theories, 113, 114, 299, 322 subselves and the modular mind, 129–31 success, failure and, 79–80 sun, 1, 7, 11, 164 distance between Earth and, 53–54 sunk-cost trap, 121 sunspots, 110 Superorganism, The (Hölldobler and Wilson), 196–97 superorganisms, 196 contingent, 196–97 supervenience, 276, 363–66 Susskind, Leonard, 297 Swets, John, 391 symbols and images, 152–53 synapses, 164 synesthesia, 136–37 systemic equilibrium, 237–39 Szathmáry, Eörs, 96 Taleb, Nassim, 315 TANSTAAFL (“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”), 84 Tapscott, Don, 250–53 taste, 140–42 tautologies, 355–56 Taylor, F.

pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

The innovations that music inspired turned out to unlock other doors in the adjacent possible, in fields seemingly unrelated to music, the way the “Instrument Which Plays by Itself” carved out a pathway that led to textile design and computer software. Seeking out new sounds led us to create new tools—which invariably suggested new uses for those tools. Legendary violin maker Stradivari’s workshop Consider one of the most essential and commonly used inventions of the computer age: the QWERTY keyboard. Many of us today spend a significant portion our waking hours pressing keys with our fingertips to generate a sequence of symbols on a screen or page: typing up numbers in a spreadsheet, writing e-mails, or tapping out texts on virtual keyboards displayed on smartphone screens. Anyone who works at a computer all day likely spends far more time interacting with keyboards than with more celebrated modern inventions like automobiles.

See also Hughson’s tavern Green Dragon, 241, 243 as inns for travelers, 239–40 as a new kind of social space, 237–38, 245 rising standards of living, 239 Roman tabernae, 238, 239–40, 242 in the ruins of Pompeii, 239 technology. See also computer technology computer networks of the early 1990s, 170 digital simulations that trigger emotions, 184–85 frequency hopping, 100–101 global creation, 201–202 “global village” of Minecraft, 201 as illustrated in the work of Banu Masu and al-Jazari, 3–5, 4 multiplane camera, 179–81, 180 music’s role in developing, 91–92, 100–101 QWERTY keyboard, 86–87 textiles “Calico Madams,” 28 cotton, 26–28 East India Company, 28 economic fears regarding the import of, 28–29 French weaving industry, 79–83 inventions to aid in the production of fabric, 29, 30 Jacquard loom, 80–83, 81 vivid colors of chintz and calico, 26–27, 27 theft. See shoplifting theme parks Disneyland, 55–56, 273 fantasy world of, 273 Tierpark Hagenbeck, 271–73, 272 Thorp, Edward, 221–27 Tierpark Hagenbeck, 271–73, 272 torpedo using frequency hopping, remote-controlled, 98–101 toys foreshadowing the rise of mechanized labor, 11, 14–15 as illustrated in the work of Banu Masu and al-Jazari, 2, 3–5 trading, global Columbus’s trip to the Caribbean, 114–15 Dutch East India Company, 119 Nossa Senhora dos Martires (“Pepper Wreck”), 115–16, 117 opium, 119 Spice Islands, 111–13, 138 spices, importance of, 130–44 Venice as a central European distribution point, 118 transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, 142–43 Travels in Hyperreality (Eco), 273 Tully, John, 214 Turing, Alan, 193, 227, 280 Turing Test, 227 Turner, Jack, 115, 125, 132 Tussaud, Marie (“Madame Tussaud”), 6 2008 U.S. presidential election, 33–34 typewriters “printing machine,” 90 Remington No. 1, 90, 90 shorthand, 89 “writing harpsichord,” 89 Tyrian purple aesthetic response to, 21 difficulty obtaining, 18 sea exploration inspired by the demand for, 18–19, 20 as a status symbol, 18, 20, 38 Unger, Johann Freidrich, 89 vanilla, 125–30, 127, 133–34 Vaucanson, Jacques de, 7, 77–79, 78 Vaux, Calvert, 274 “Vertue of the COFFEE Drink” (essay), 249–50 Victoria (queen), 268 visual tricks.

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

In the most famous metaphor of chaos theory, a butterfly flapping its wings provokes a tornado thousands of miles away and days later. 18 Systems in which initial conditions affect subsequent behavior indefinitely are path dependent. 19 Path dependency is why the film industry is still based in Hollywood. The design of our computer keyboards is path dependent: the QWERTY layout was devised in the earliest days of typewriting, and although it is ergonomically inefficient, users are familiar with it and the number of QWERTY keyboards and typists is too large to make any change possible. 20 The coevolution of technology and institutions-the development of the social and economic infrastructure of rich states-has been path dependent. But path dependency in which outcomes are sensitive to small details-the problem of the butterfly and the tornado-is fatal to forecasting. The hopes that were placed in the development of computers and mathematical modeling have been disappointed.

There is probably no strong reason why the United States, and France, chose the right, and Britain the left, but they did. Path dependency then took over. Countries made choices dictated by their colonial masters, or by larger countries in close proximity. It is now unlikely that any major country will switch-the last to change was Sweden, which moved from left to right during one extraordinary night in 1967. The QWERTY keyboard layout is another example of a path dependent solution to a coordination problem. Standards, like keyboard layouts, are everywhere. Currency is a standard. So is Ianguage. We need to use the same money, the same words, as the people around us. Television sets need to be compatible with television broadcasts. The FCC-prescribed NSTC is used in the United States, but most of the rest of the world uses the German PAL system.

pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

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Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

It isn’t simply a matter of designing some delightful new way to present images of information on a computer. It’s just as much a matter of reckoning with—and not simply discarding—past habits. For instance, the QWERTY keyboard has for years been the universally familiar means of typing and entering information into a computer. QWERTY, which refers to the first six keys on the left side of the third row of a keyboard, was a relic, a keyboard arrangement from the era of manual typewriters that was designed to keep the individual letter-embossing hammers from getting tangled up when the user was typing at high speed. Christie and Ording decided against altering this ubiquitous, albeit hidebound, preference. Instead, they would experiment with having a virtual QWERTY keyboard appear on the screen when you needed to type. As they began to experiment with multi-touch, they found that they could do all kinds of things that were both effective and fun.

pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

(A common device was a letter wheel requiring the user to turn the wheel to strike each letter.) The idea of an individual key for each letter was turned into a working solution primarily by a former newspaper editor, Christopher Sholes, in Milwaukee. On a third try, he produced a small number of working machines that outpaced manual scribes, one of which, from 1872–1873, survives. It is recognizably a modern mechanical typewriter, complete with a QWERTY keyboard. (The original keyboard was in alphabetical order, but Sholes realized that when closely spaced keys, like s and t, were struck in sequence, they tended to jam. The QWERTY sequence was the random outcome of multiple key rearrangements to reduce high-frequency, closely spaced sequences. The DFGH sequence in the middle row is a remnant of the original layout.) Successful though they were, the Milwaukee prototypes highlighted the severity of the manufacturing challenge, for typewriters were “the most complex mechanism mass produced by American industry, public or private, in the nineteenth century.”35 Sholes and a financial partner had the good sense to seek a professional manufacturer; they settled on E.

After a number of financial reverses, it spun off the typewriter business to the biggest distributor in 1886. The new company, the Standard Typewriter Company, renamed itself Remington Typewriter in 1902 and was later part of Sperry Rand. Early Surviving Scholes Typewriter, c. 1872–1873. The typewriter developed primarily by a Milwaukee editor, Christopher Scholes, was the first to look like a recognizable modern typewriter. Note the QWERTY keyboard. Schole’s first keyboard was alphabetical, but closely-spaced frequent companion letters tended to jam. The new keyboard arrangement was the random outcome of Schole’s trial-and-error method of addressing the problem. By the 1890s, there was a host of competitors—Hall Typewriters, American Writing Machine, Oliver, L. C. Smith & Brothers—and the industry, unlike sewing machines, evolved into a manufacturing competition.

pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

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book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Taken more broadly, this kind of metadata can be thought of as a pedigree: who thinks that this document is valuable? How closely correlated have this person's value judgments been with mine in times gone by? This kind of implicit endorsement of information is a far better candidate for an information-retrieval panacea than all the world's schema combined. Amish for QWERTY (Originally published on the O'Reilly Network, 07/09/2003) I learned to type before I learned to write. The QWERTY keyboard layout is hard-wired to my brain, such that I can't write anything of significance without that I have a 101-key keyboard in front of me. This has always been a badge of geek pride: unlike the creaking pen-and-ink dinosaurs that I grew up reading, I'm well adapted to the modern reality of technology. There's a secret elitist pride in touch-typing on a laptop while staring off into space, fingers flourishing and caressing the keys.

pages: 210 words: 42,271

Programming HTML5 Applications by Zachary Kessin

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barriers to entry, continuous integration, fault tolerance, Firefox, Google Chrome, mandelbrot fractal, QWERTY keyboard, web application, WebSocket

In many cases, on a mobile device, changing the input type will also cause the device to put up a custom keyboard to enable the user to enter the right kind of data. For instance, if type is set to number, the device can put up a numeric keypad. For a type of tel, the device can put up a numeric keypad that looks a little different but is optimized for entering phone numbers. For a type of email, the keyboard will be a standard QWERTY keyboard but modified for the entry of email addresses. One input type that is especially useful for smartphone applications is the speech input type: <input type="text" x-webkit-speech/>. The speech tag will take what the user said and translate it into text. My Android phone, for instance, has a Google Search widget that can search by voice. The speech tag still allows the user to type text normally as well.

Victorian Internet by Tom Standage

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British Empire, financial independence, global village, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, paper trading, QWERTY keyboard, technoutopianism

It was used by businessmen and state officials, including the commissioner of police at Scotland Yard, who sat "spider-like in a web of co-extension with the metropolis" as he monitored reports coming in from all over London. Members of the royal family also had their own private lines installed. Another popular automatic system was devised by David Hughes, a professor of music in Kentucky. Appropriately enough, given his musical background, the Hughes printer, launched in 1855, had a pianolike keyboard with alternating white and black keys, one for each letter (the modern QWERTY keyboard was not invented until twenty years later). It worked on a similar principle to that of the ABC telegraph, but with a constantly rotating "chariot," driven by clockwork, which was stopped in its tracks whenever a key was held down at the sending station. At the same moment an electromagnet activated a hammer, printing a character on a paper tape. The Hughes printer could be operated by anyone—it simply involved pressing the letter keys in order—and it provided a printed message that anyone could read, without the need for an operator at the receiving end.

Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage by Roger L. Martin

asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, high net worth, Innovator's Dilemma, Isaac Newton, mobile money, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, six sigma, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Wall-E, winner-take-all economy

Well, you have to know what the paradox is.” In order to advance knowledge, the design thinker has to get comfortable delving into the mystery, trying to see new things or to see things in a new way. In the early days of the BlackBerry, Lazaridis saw that laptop users were demanding smaller and smaller devices, while the industry was bumping up against the size limitations of small keyboards and display screens. A standard QWERTY keyboard can only get so small before it becomes awkward and uncomfortable to use. A screen displaying all the information a user expects can be reduced only so much before it becomes unreadable or painfully cluttered. Staring at this paradox—this mystery—Lazaridis stepped back and asked what could be true. What if users didn’t use all their fingers to type? What if the information we think must be displayed actually gets in the way of understanding?

pages: 209 words: 80,086

The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, David Ashton

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active measures, affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, zero-sum game

The disconnection between prosperity and justice would come as no surprise to Karl Marx as they capture the Janus-headed nature of market capitalism. Although its innovative powers for dramatic economic change are clearly evident, it has also created chronic instability and inequality. Economists call the way countries are locked into a predetermined future “path dependency” because it’s difficult to break free of past ways of organizing various forms of economic activity. A classic example is the QWERTY keyboard, which once established makes it difficult to shift to another format. See Paul A. David, “Clio and the Economics of QWERTY,” American Economic Review, 75, no. 2 (1985): 332–337. David Kusnet, Lawrence Mishel, and Ruy Teixeira, Talking Past Each Other: What Everyday Americans Really Think (and Elites Don’t Get) about the Economy (Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, 2006). Doreen Massey, winner of Nobel Prize geography’s, correctly talks about space as relational and the need to extend our understanding of responsibility beyond the local because we are all locals as well as global citizens.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

(I realise that isn't saying much, but Hollywood does frame the way many of us think about future technologies.) The essence of the plot is that the hero falls in love with his digital assistant, with intriguing consequences. Although he uses keyboards occasionally, most of the time they communicate verbally. There will be times when we want to communicate with our “friends” without making a sound. Portable “qwerty” keyboards will not suffice, and virtual hologram keyboards may take too long to arrive – and they may feel too weird to use even if and when they do arrive. Communication via brain-computer interfaces will take still longer to become feasible, so perhaps we will all have to learn a new interface – maybe a one-handed device looking something like an ocarina[cxlv]. Another way we may communicate with our Friends, and indeed with many of the newly intelligible objects in the Internet of Things is radar.

pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

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Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

The goal of continuity is to make the Internet as intuitive as possible, to make the network a natural-feeling extension of the user’s own body. Thus, any mediation between the user and the network must be eliminated. Interfaces must be as transparent as possible. The user must be able to move through the network with unfettered ease. All traces of the medium should be hidden, hence the evolution from the less intuitive “QWERTY” keyboard to technologies such as the touch screen (e.g., Palm and other PDAs) and voice recognition software. Feedback loops. As the discussion of Brecht and Enzensberger shows, the history of media has been the history of the prohibition of many-to-many communication. Many-to-many communication is a structure of communication where each receiver of information is also potentially a sender of information.

pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar

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anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

Instead of a portable typewriter – which were never that portable – or scribbled longhand notes that had then to be read to copytakers back in London, which could lead to the sort of error that once saw the Warsaw Pact become the Walsall Pact – there was the Tandy 200. A clunky but functional ‘portable computer’ that was effectively little more than an electronic typewriter with an LCD black-on-green display, the Tandy was the journalist’s lifesaver. It had a full-sized QWERTY keyboard and was powered by four AA batteries, the sort you could buy just about anywhere in the world, even behind the Iron Curtain. There was also the benefit of being able to send your copy directly into the newspaper’s own computer systems. The miracle of written words transformed into electronic signals and transmitted over the ether is so common now that it seems antique to remember that just twenty years ago, the most successful way to do it was to affix two ‘crocodile clips’ from the Tandy’s output directly to telephone wires.

pages: 440 words: 109,150

The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war by Michael Smith

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Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, British Empire, Etonian, haute cuisine, QWERTY keyboard, trade route

In 1927, Commander Edward Travis, a member of GC&CS who oversaw the construction and security of British codes and cyphers, asked Hugh Foss, a specialist in machine cyphers, to test the commercially available machine. The Enigma machine resembled a small typewriter encased in a wooden box. It had a typewriter-style keyboard, set out in the continental QWERTZU manner, which differed slightly from the standard British/American QWERTY keyboard. Above the keyboard, on top of the box, was a lampboard with a series of lights, one for each letter of the alphabet. The operator typed each letter of the plain-text message into the machine. The action of depressing the key sent an electrical current through the machine, which lit up the encyphered letter on the lampboard. The encypherment mechanism consisted of three or four teethed wheels or rotors which were inserted into the machine.

pages: 401 words: 108,855

Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff

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Anton Chekhov, clean water, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, money market fund, QWERTY keyboard, Skype, telemarketer, urban renewal, young professional

Open until midnight daily and 1:00 am on Saturdays; store at 52 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 is open on Sundays (tel: Surcouf; 139 avenue Daumesnil, 75012; tel:; website: http://www.surcouf.com. Multi-storey bazaar selling computer hardware, software (some in English), peripherals, etc. Also offers technical support and repair. Anglo Computers; tel:; website: http:// www.anglocomputers.com. English-language software and qwerty keyboards are hard to find in France. If these are important to you, contact Anglo Computers, which offers everything that an Anglophone could want. Technical Support Power outages are rare, but to suppress the occasional power surges, buy a parasurtenseur (surge protector) at computer shops and hardware stores. Micro King; 33 rue Dautancourt, 75017; tel:; website: http://www.micro-king.com.

pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

In the new NLS system, each workstation consisted of a keyboard for entering data and alongside it a mouse with three buttons and a five-key keyboard. The small keyboard, which looked a bit like a short piano without sharps and flats, could be used either for entering text or for sending commands to the system, making it possible to edit rapidly with two hands without being forced to move a hand between the keyboard and mouse. For those who had been trained to use a standard qwerty keyboard, the Augment system took a while to get used to, and Engelbart glued one of the five-key keyboards to the dashboard of his car so he could practice using it while driving. The Augment researchers tested the system and found that it was easy for the programmers to master and that it enabled blindingly fast and efficient editing. Some of the team even mastered the art of typing using the chord-key set exclusively—one young programmer was able to type more than fifty words per minute.

pages: 327 words: 102,322

Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

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Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, indoor plumbing, Iridium satellite, patent troll, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the new new thing

Speaking to students at the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg in June 2009, he declared: “Strategic ambiguity [is] death to a company…. It paralyzes organizations.” Unbeknown to the students, he was talking in part about his own company. To Balsillie, RIM was in an existential crisis, mired in what he describes as “strategic confusion.” The company’s business had been disrupted on several levels, with no obvious path forward. Was RIM supposed to defend the QWERTY keyboard, or jump all-in and become a touch-screen smartphone maker? Was it supposed to challenge Apple at the high end of the smartphone market or focus on the lower end with devices like its Curve and Gemini models, which were driving heady sales gains in foreign markets where Apple wasn’t yet a factor? Should the company stick to its closed, proprietary software technology or open its platform? One of the biggest puzzles was what to do about apps.

pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

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Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Later Apple—and pretty much only Apple, among the makers of e-readers—paid the penalty for that. The same listen-to-no-one folly led to the 1985 disaster that was New Coke—a universally rejected replacement for old Coke that precisely no consumers had been asking for—and the serial messes that are Microsoft Word, the all-but-universal word processing program that becomes more confusing, less intuitive and more stuffed with dubious functions with each unnecessary upgrade. Like the QWERTY keyboard, it is a bad system that unfortunately became the dominant system, but at least QWERTY has remained the same since its introduction in 1873. Microsoft Word doubles down on bad every few years. There are “I Hate Microsoft Word” forums and “I Hate Microsoft Word” rant threads. There is an “I Hate Microsoft Word” Facebook page. On one tech website, the author of a story called “The 10 Most Hated Programs of All Time” wrote: “Some people say ‘I hate Microsoft Word because it’s far too complicated!’

pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

In the early seventeenth century, some 341 silver and 505 types of gold coin were in circulation in the Dutch Republic .14 Such a multiplicity of coins meant that individual traders could easily be confused by their value. This was an age-old problem which created the need for specialists who could distinguish between the different currency units. These were the ‘money changers’ that Jesus threw out of the temple. Another historic term, ‘touchstone’, derives from a method of assessing a coin’s metallic value. Just as the QWERTY keyboard outlasted the manual typewriter, initial choices of names and weights have had long-lasting consequences. Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, lived from c.715 to 768. He established that a livre or pound of silver was worth 240 denarii or pennies, while the solidus was worth 12 denarii.15 This was the basis for the British monetary system for centuries until 1971.

pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

Material growth, economic growth and human wellbeing can be decoupled.19 Path-dependence and innovation But innovation does not happen in a vacuum. The downside to the propensity for knowledge to build upon knowledge is that it makes a radical shift in the course of technology and infrastructure much harder to achieve. Innovation is path-dependent: it is constrained by what has gone on before. Ideas and practices are sticky. Examples abound. It is generally believed that the ostensibly odd design of the QWERTY keyboard was to prevent Englishlanguage typewriters from jamming. Very few typewriters are still in use, but the world is stuck with the keyboard, irrespective of whether it now enhances writing productivity. London’s city plan, including the shape and location of its new skyscrapers, is in part determined by Roman planning two millennia ago. This is the phenomenon of ‘lock-in’: the ways in which existing infrastructure and ideas interact to set the course for future change.

pages: 442 words: 110,704

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel

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Albert Einstein, card file, Cepheid variable, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Ernest Rutherford, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index card, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Solar eclipse in 1919, V2 rocket

“The Draper Classification seems to me all the better because the letters are not in alphabetical order,” Russell declared. “This helps to keep the novice from thinking that it is based on some theory of evolution.” Apparently the alphabet could flout its own order and still remain effective—or even improve its utility—as a labeling scheme. Pickering could see that much on his typewriter’s QWERTY keyboard. The third of the questionnaire’s five questions contained three parts: “Do you think it would be wise for this committee to recommend at this time or in the near future any system of classification for universal adoption? If not, what additional observations or other work do you deem necessary before such recommendations should be made? Would you be willing to take part in this work?” The mixed reactions to this question crossed party lines.

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers (Wiley Finance) by Feng Gu

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active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, value at risk

The consequence of this disclosure ossification, as we will demonstrate empirically in the following chapters, is the inevitably fast and continuous deterioration in the usefulness of financial information to investors. A DEVIL’S ADVOCATE Perhaps, you may say, this is inevitable. Corporate financial reporting reached its technological apogee 110 years ago, as did double-entry bookkeeping 550 years ago, and cannot be further improved, like the QWERTY keyboard layout introduced in 1878 in the Remington No. 2 typewriter and still on keyboards today. Absurd as this sounds, it would have made some sense if suggestions for accounting change were seriously tried and found to fail. But there wasn’t any serious trial and error in accounting structure over the past century. Even worthwhile suggestions for structural change, like the one by a leading accounting thinker, Yuji Ijiri, a now retired Carnegie Mellon professor, who proposed in 1989 the triple entry bookkeeping, which, to the best of our knowledge, was never seriously discussed by accounting regulators.6 In essence, Ijiri suggested that, in addition to the balance sheet (a static report of assets and liabilities), and the income statement (a report on the “distance” the firm traveled from beginning to end of period), there should be a third report, akin to acceleration or momentum of operations, informing on the pace of change over the period in sales, expenses, and earnings.

pages: 111 words: 1

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, availability heuristic, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, commoditize, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, fixed income, global village, hindsight bias, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, too big to fail, Turing test, Yogi Berra

For our typewriters have the order of the letters on their keyboard arranged in a nonoptimal manner, as a matter of fact in such a nonoptimal manner as to slow down the typing rather than make the job easy, in order to avoid jamming the ribbons as they were designed for less electronic days. Therefore, as we started building better typewriters and computerized word processors, several attempts were made to rationalize the computer keyboard, to no avail. People were trained on a QWERTY keyboard and their habits were too sticky for change. Just like the helical propulsion of an actor into stardom, people patronize what other people like to do. Forcing rational dynamics on the process would be superfluous, nay, impossible. This is called a path dependent outcome, and has thwarted many mathematical attempts at modeling behavior. It is obvious that the information age, by homogenizing our tastes, is causing the unfairness to be even more acute—those who win capture almost all the customers.

pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, peer-to-peer, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

Over the next decade, he and his staffers at the Augmentation Research Center invented some of the most ubiquitous features of contemporary computers, including the mouse. Between 1966 and 1968, the group developed a collaborative office computing environment known as the On-Line System, or NLS. The NLS featured many of the elements common to computer systems today, including not only the mouse, but a QWERTY keyboard and a CRT terminal. More importantly, the system offered its users the ability to work on a document simultaneously from multiple sites, to connect bits of text via hyperlinks, to jump from one point to another in a text, and to develop indexes of key words that could be searched. The NLS depended on a time-sharing computer, yet it functioned within the office environment much like a contemporary intranet.

pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

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Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Stephenson’s working life* marks the point in the development of steam technology when the value of what economists call “network effects” finally overtook the importance of any individual invention, however brilliant. Setting the distance between the smooth tracks on which the Blucher traveled at four feet eight and a half inches was arbitrary—that was the width of the Killingworth Colliery wagonway—but its specific width was irrelevant. The value of any standard is not its intrinsic superiority, but the number of people using it. Like the famous example of the QWERTY keyboard, the Stephenson gauge became the world standard, and it is still the width used on more than 60 percent of the world’s railroads. Of course, simply laying rails a particular distance apart does not make for a monopoly unless others follow. And others weren’t about to follow Stephenson’s lead until they were persuaded that there was some advantage to it, in the form of either increased revenue or lower costs.

pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

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AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

They did a fine eMacs, though. Linus Torvalds’s greater skills in nerd-to-nerd diplomacy got there with Linux. 12. Quotron is another example of the “don’t build special purpose computers” rule. They did, and went from being synonymous with “electronic market data terminal” to being nowhere in a remarkably short time. The first Quotrons were so alien to Wall Street types that they rearranged the “QWERTY” keyboard to be “ABCDE.” Schumpeter was right about capitalism being a process of creative destruction. 13. Large is a relative term here. The bleeding-edge machines of the mid-1980s had 32M of memory. Fifteen years earlier, the onboard computers used on the lunar landings had 64K. 14. Evan’s fine account of his career is in Alan Rubenfeld’s book, The Super Traders: Secrets and Successes of Wall Street’s Best and Brightest (McGraw-Hill, 1995), pp. 227–252. 15.

pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, web application

It accomplishes this by using vibration technologies similar to the motors that are activated when our phone is on vibrate mode. Apple is reportedly releasing a haptic-feedback, multitouch “mighty mouse” as a replacement for its current Mac mouse series.14 The one perceived shortcoming on the iPhone is the poor comparative usability of the on-screen keyboard, which has an unusually high error rate compared with its RIM competitor or a standard QWERTY keyboard. While Siri is an effort to reduce reliance on an on-screen keyboard, haptics may work as a mechanism to resolve the usability issues of an on-screen keyboard. If we feel like we are using a real keyboard as a result of haptic feedback, then the theory goes that the keyboard (and the user) will behave as if it is “real”, and accuracy will be improved dramatically. This is why it is possible that the mouse and physical keyboard will disappear over the next 10 years.

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

As their skills fade with them, however, we rely ever more on technology. This new generation of maps and models is thus more than a collection of pretty digital guides. They should be the focal point for the synthesis of environmental science, politics, economics, culture, technology, and sociology3—a curriculum curated through the study of connections rather than divisions. We shouldn’t be using static political maps any more than we would cling to QWERTY keyboards when we have voice recognition, gestural interfaces, and instant video communication. Today’s “digital natives”—also known as millennials or Generation Y (and Z)—need this new tool kit. There are more young people alive today than ever in history: Forty percent of the world population is under the age of twenty-four, meaning an even larger percentage has no personal memory of colonialism or the Cold War.

How I Became a Quant: Insights From 25 of Wall Street's Elite by Richard R. Lindsey, Barry Schachter

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized markets, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, Donald Knuth, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, John von Neumann, linear programming, Loma Prieta earthquake, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, P = NP, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, performance metric, prediction markets, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, sorting algorithm, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, stochastic process, systematic trading, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, value at risk, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve, young professional

Noah eventually got work as Dr. Carter on ER, so Steven farms out the napkin folding. 6. Quotron is another example of the “don’t build special-purpose computers” rule. It did, and went from being synonymous with “electronic market data terminal” to being nowhere in a remarkably JWPR007-Lindsey May 18, 2007 11:41 Notes 341 short time. The first Quotrons were so alien to Wall Street types that they rearranged the “QWERTY” keyboard to be ABCDE. Schumpeter was right about capitalism being a process of creative destruction. 7. Large is a relative term here. The bleeding-edge machines of the mid-1980s had 32MB of memory. Fifteen years earlier, the on-board computers used on the lunar landings had 64K. Today, you can get a 1GB memory card for about forty bucks. 8. “A Little AI Goes A Long Way on Wall Street,” D. Leinweber and Y.

pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Around the same time as Ballmer’s brash dismissal of Apple, Research in Motion (RiM), the parent company of BlackBerry, ridiculed the iPhone as a marginal event in the market for cellular phones. That arrogance seemed daring, even at that time. RiM had grown from a small Canadian pager company to a major, multi-billion-dollar mobile company in just a few years. It had made its fortune by mobilizing computer services, enabling people to read and write emails from anywhere in the world using a QWERTY keyboard. It could not have been a distant thought that there would be demand for a new mobile device that allowed people to surf the web everywhere too. And it wasn’t a distant thought. RiM understood that change was coming. But the profits it made from its own blockbuster email device were still too substantial and tempted them to stick just a little bit longer with the old, instead of moving to a new product that had a different keyboard and a screen suitable for web services.

pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, book scanning, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

He copy-and-pasted WORD, WORD, WORD, WORD. ‘So I could get myself some material on a blank piece of paper and then I’d say, well, this is going to be more important than it looks, so I’d like to set up a “file”. So I tell the machine, “Output to a file.” And it says, “I need a name.” I’ll give it a name. I’ll say it’s “sample file”.’ The screen faded to a shot of Engelbart’s hands. He was working on a typewriter-like QWERTY keyboard that was connected by wires to the monitor on which the words had been appearing and disappearing. To his right was a strange box containing wheels that he used to move the cursor. He called this contraption a ‘mouse’. When it was all over, the crowd rose to their feet and cheered, spellbound, enthralled. Not only had Engelbart introduced the world to the notion of the computer as a personal assistant controlled by a mouse, keyboard and cursor, he’d shown them a graphical user interface which formed the basis of the ‘windows’ he’d been manipulating, hyperlinks and the concept of the networked online realm we know today as the Web.

pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

“We showed Steve all of these things and he shot them all down. Steve wanted something that people could understand right away,” Williamson says. They stuck with the suboptimal key configuration for the same reason it had migrated to computers half a decade ago—familiarity. “When people pick up this phone in the store, it has to be something that’s instantly recognizable, that they can use immediately. And that’s why we stuck with the QWERTY keyboard, and we added a whole bunch of smarts in there.” Those smarts would be crucial. “People thought that the keyboard we delivered wasn’t sophisticated, but in reality it was super-sophisticated,” Williamson says. “Because the touch region of each key was smaller than the minimum hit size. We had to write a bunch of predictive algorithms technology to think about the words you could possibly be typing, artificially increase the hit area of the next few keys that would correspond to those words.”

France (Lonely Planet, 8th Edition) by Nicola Williams

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active transport: walking or cycling, back-to-the-land, bike sharing scheme, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Columbine, double helix, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information trail, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Blériot, Louis Pasteur, low cost carrier, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, pension reform, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Sloane Ranger, supervolcano, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl, V2 rocket

Orientation Pedestrians-only place Stanislas, Nancy’s focal point, connects the narrow, twisting streets of the medieval Vieille Ville (Old Town), centred on Grande Rue, with the rigid right angles of the 16th-century Ville Neuve (New Town) to the south. The train station is 800m southwest of place Stanislas. Information Copycom ( 03 83 22 90 41; 3 rue Guerrier de Dumast; per hr €2; 9am-8pm Mon-Sat, 3-8pm Sun) Internet access. E-café Cyber Café ( 03 83 35 47 34; 11 rue des Quatre Églises; per min/hr €0.09/5.40; 11am-9pm Mon & Sat, 9am-9pm Tue-Fri, 2-8pm Sun) A proper café whose computers have qwerty keyboards and webcams. Laundrette (124 rue St-Dizier; 7.45am-9.30pm) Métropolitain ( 03 83 33 14 71; 12 rue Mazagran; Nancy Gare; per hr €3; noon-2am daily) Internet access in a bar-cum-games arcade. Post Office (10 rue St-Dizier; Point Central) Does currency exchange. Tourist Office ( 03 83 35 22 41; www.ot-nancy.fr; place Stanislas; 9am-7pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun & holidays Apr-Oct, 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 10am-1pm Sun & holidays Nov-Mar) Inside the hôtel de ville.

EMERGENCY Duty Pharmacy ( 04 76 63 42 55) Grenoble University Hospital ( 04 76 76 75 75) Hôpital Nord La Tronche (av de Marquis du Grésivaudan; tram stop ‘La Tronche’ on tramway line B); Hôpital Sud (av de Kimberley, Echirolles; bus 11 & 13) INTERNET ACCESS Log in to the tourist office’s two computers (below) for €2 per 15 minutes or €5 an hour. Celsius Café ( 04 76 00 13 60; 15 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau; per 30/60min €1.50/2.50; 9am-11pm Mon-Sat, 1-8pm Sun) Top location and facilities. Neptune Internet ( 04 76 63 94 18; 2 rue de la Paix; per 30/60min €2.50/3.50; 1-7pm Mon-Sat, 2-6pm Sun) A funky, tidy place with lots of QWERTY keyboards. Pl@net Internet ( 04 76 47 44 74; 1 place Vaucanson; per hr €3.50; 8.30am-10pm Mon-Sat) LAUNDRY Pay about €3.50 to wash a 7kg load: Au 43 Viallet (43 av Félix Viallet; 7am-8pm) Laverie Berriat (88 cours Berriat; 7am-8pm) POST Post Office (rue de la République) Next to the tourist office. TOURIST INFORMATION Tourist Office ( 04 76 42 41 41; www.grenoble-isere-tourisme.com; 14 rue de la République; 9am-6.30pm Mon-Sat, 10am-1pm Sun Oct-Apr, 10am-1pm & 2-5pm May-Sep) Inside the Maison du Tourisme.

Place Bernard Cornut Gentille, with the bus station that includes services to Nice, is on the northwestern corner of Vieux Port. The old town, Le Suquet quarter, is to the west of the Vieux Port. Information BOOKSHOPS Cannes English Bookshop ( 04 93 99 40 08; 11 rue Bivouac Napoléon) Get your (English-language) summer reading from the lovely Christel and Wally. INTERNET ACCESS Cap Cyber (12 rue 24 AoÛt; per hr €3; 10am-9pm Mon-Sat) Very central, with several QWERTY keyboards and Asian language software. LAUNDRY Laverie du Port ( 04 93 38 06 68; 36 rue Georges Clemenceau; per 7kg load €5.50, drying per 10min €1.50; closed Sun & from noon Sat) Multilingual staff on-site. MONEY Scads of banks line rue d’Antibes and rue Buttura. Crédit Lyonnais (13 rue d’Antibes) Has an ATM. POST Post Office (22 rue Bivouac Napoléon; 9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 9am-noon Sat) Has an ATM.

pages: 496 words: 174,084

Masterminds of Programming: Conversations With the Creators of Major Programming Languages by Federico Biancuzzi, Shane Warden

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Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, cloud computing, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, continuous integration, data acquisition, domain-specific language, Douglas Hofstadter, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Firefox, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, HyperCard, information retrieval, iterative process, John von Neumann, Larry Wall, linear programming, loose coupling, Mars Rover, millennium bug, NP-complete, Paul Graham, performance metric, Perl 6, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Ruby on Rails, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software as a service, software patent, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, Turing complete, type inference, Valgrind, Von Neumann architecture, web application

So all that was done using machinery designed originally for communication purposes such as teletype communication, store and forward messages, and so on. So we did away with punch cards. Second thing we wanted to do was to get away from the requirements that punch cards imposed on users, which was that things had to be in certain columns on the card, and so we wanted to be something more or less free form that somebody could type on a teletype keyboard, which is just a standard “qwerty” keyboard, by the way, but only with uppercase letters. That’s how the form of the language appeared, something that was easy to type, in fact originally it was space-independent. If you put spaces or you didn’t put spaces in what you were typing it didn’t make any difference, because the language was designed originally so that whatever you typed was always interpreted by the computer correctly, even if there were spaces or no spaces.

pages: 678 words: 159,840

The Debian Administrator's Handbook, Debian Wheezy From Discovery to Mastery by Raphaal Hertzog, Roland Mas

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bash_history, Debian, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Jono Bacon, NP-complete, QWERTY keyboard, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Skype, SpamAssassin, Valgrind, web application, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

In graphical mode, you can use the mouse as you would normally on an installed graphical desktop. Figure 4.2. Selecting the language 4.2.3. Selecting the country The second step consists in choosing your country. Combined with the language, this information enables the program to offer the most appropriate keyboard layout. This will also influence the configuration of the time zone. In the United States, a standard QWERTY keyboard is suggested, and a choice of appropriate time zones is offered. Figure 4.3. Selecting the country 4.2.4. Selecting the keyboard layout The proposed “American English” keyboard corresponds to the usual QWERTY layout. Figure 4.4. Choice of keyboard 4.2.5. Detecting Hardware This step is completely automatic in the vast majority of cases. The installer detects your hardware, and tries to identify the CD-ROM drive used in order to access its content.

pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Here’s just one gem: “It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.” Might be time for you (and me) to rethink our personal priorities. On a related and sad note, Matt’s father passed away unexpectedly weeks after he recommended this article to me. Matt was at his bedside. Qwerty Is for Junior Varsity The normal QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow down human operators to avoid jams. That time has passed, so try the Dvorak layout instead, which is easier on your tendons and helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. Read The Dvorak Zine (dvzine.org). Colemak is even more efficient, if you dare. Within Automattic, Matt has held speed-typing challenges, where the loser has to switch to the winner’s layout. So far, Dvorak has always beaten QWERTY.

pages: 781 words: 226,928

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall

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Apple II, belly landing, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

The Pocket Computer was very calculator-like, and Commodore had the infrastructure needed to build such a device. When he was unable to convince Charpentier to develop a handheld LCD computer, he departed for Japan to see if he could bypass his reluctant engineers and obtain the product he desired. Tramiel returned with a Toshiba IHC-8000. The tiny computer looked like a calculator, with a single row of 24 characters on the LCD and a tiny rubber QWERTY keyboard. He rebranded it the HHC-4 (Handheld Computer), and replaced the Toshiba decal with a Commodore logo in order to display the product at the upcoming CES. In the past, Tramiel reacted to the market, often making decisions based on what his competitors sold. In 1982, the Osborne 1 portable microcomputer was selling well, and with it, the Osborne Computer Corporation began remarkable growth.

pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, assortative mating, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

It was introduced in response to a problem in the early days of the typewriter: The keys used to jam. The idea was to minimize the collision problem by separating those keys that followed one another frequently.... Once {123} adopted, it resulted in many millions of typewriters and ... the social cost of change ... mounted with the vested interest created by the fact that so many fingers now knew how to follow the QWERTY keyboard. QWERTY has stayed on despite the existence of other, more "rational" systems. [Papert 1980, p. 33.]12 The imperious restrictions we encounter inside the Library of Mendel may look like universal laws of nature from our myopic perspective, but from a different perspective they may appear to count as merely local conditions, with historical explanations.13 If so, then a restricted concept of biological possibility is the sort we want; the ideal of a universal concept of biological possibility will be misguided.

pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Some collective practices have enormous inertia because they impose a high cost on the first individual who would try to change them. A switch from driving on the left to driving on the right could not begin with a daring nonconformist or a grass-roots movement but would have to be imposed from the top down (which is what happened in Sweden at 5 A.M., Sunday, September 3, 1967). Other examples are laying down your weapons when hostile neighbors are armed to the teeth, abandoning the QWERTY keyboard layout, and pointing out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes. But traditional cultures can change, too, and more dramatically than most people realize. Preserving cultural diversity is considered a supreme virtue today, but the members of the diverse cultures don’t always see it that way. People have wants and needs, and when cultures rub shoulders, people in one culture are bound to notice when their neighbors are satisfying those desires better than they are.

pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, commoditize, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

x This tendency to shared error has been labelled ‘the bandwagon effect’: Mirowski, ‘A Visible Hand’ (1994), 574. Pinch appears to think that this is the sole cause of agreement on measurements (Labinger and Collins (eds.), The One Culture? (2001), 223) but that can’t be right, or agreement once established would never break down. xi Under particular circumstances there may be an economic or institutional investment in a bad solution that allows it to persist. The English-language QWERTY keyboard is an example (David, ‘Clio and the Economics of QWERTY’ (1985)); geocentrism, for the Catholic Church after 1616, is also an example. xii The issue arose, entirely predictably, shortly after the invention of the pendulum clock (1656), which made possible new standards of accuracy, exposing previously invisible anomalies (Cohen, ‘Roemer and the First Determination of the Velocity of Light (1676)’ (1940), 338).

pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

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affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, John Markoff, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

LCD is okay, supertwist LCD even better, EL and PLASMA are even better than that, but if you plan to hack at night or in the dark like most hackers on the road, you should make sure your laptop has a backlit screen. Color LCD screens are useless unless you plan to call Prodigy or download and view GIFs, in which case you should stop reading this article right now and go back to play with your Nintendo. The keyboard should be a standard full-sized QWERTY keyboard, with full travel plastic keys. You don’t need a numeric keypad or function keys or any of that crap. Membrane keyboards or chicklet rubber keys are out of the question. Unless you are utterly retarded, having your keys alphabetized is not an added benefit. Basically, if you can touch type on a keyboard without your fingers missing keys, getting jammed, or slipping around, then it is a good keyboard.

pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

But sometimes the advantage of conformity to each individual can lead to pathologies in the group as a whole. A famous example is the way an early technological standard can gain a toehold among a critical mass of users, who use it because so many other people are using it, and thereby lock out superior competitors. According to some theories, these “network externalities” explain the success of English spelling, the QWERTY keyboard, VHS videocassettes, and Microsoft software (though there are doubters in each case). Another example is the unpredictable fortunes of bestsellers, fashions, top-forty singles, and Hollywood blockbusters. The mathematician Duncan Watts set up two versions of a Web site in which users could download garage-band rock music. 273 In one version users could not see how many times a song had already been downloaded.