Grace Hopper, computer innovator, would have been 107 today
I had no idea who she was until I saw the Google doodle. I took a snippet from Wikipedia so that you can understand how important she was to the field of computer science. Every time you compile and debug code, it was Grace Hopper that made that a reality some fifty years prior.
Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (inspired by an actual moth removed from the computer). Owing to the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.
The Guide to NYC Tech 2.0 -
At Lerer Ventures I created the first version of The Guide to NYC Tech after dozens of people asked me the same dozen questions, over and over. What are the best co-working spaces? Which lawyer should I hire? Where are good places to take a meeting? Who are the key investors to know? How do I…
Fantastic resource for NYC’s startup ecosystem!
When a Great Idea strikes out of the blue, it is tied in some metaphysical way to all that effort we’ve put in day after day churning through a mass of mundane notions. —
Wonderful meditation on why “the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas” by Scott Myers over at Go Into The Story, which is invariably excellent.
This notion was perhaps best articulated by iconic graphic designer Paula Scher, and powerfully intimated by 20-year-old Hunter S. Thompson. Or, as artist Austin Kleon put it, “you are a mashup of what you let into your life.”(via explore-blog)
(Source: , via explore-blog)
In other words, the gene-centric model survives because simplicity is a hugely advantageous trait for an idea to possess. People will select a simple idea over a complex idea almost every time. This holds especially in a hostile environment, like, say, a sceptical crowd. For example, Sean B Carroll, professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of Wisconsin, spends much of his time studying gene expression, but usually uses gene-centric explanations, because when talking to the public, he finds a simple story is a damned good thing to have. — Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest – David Dobbs – Aeon (via ninakix)
I look for them to articulate a problem in the world and work backwards to the solution. Don’t start by showing a pretty solution and find a problem to try to attach it to. — “What I’ve Learned in My First Month as a VC" via Ryan Sarver (via marksbirch)
New York City Accelerators, Incubators, and Coworking Spaces -
Since early last year when I last revisited my list of incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces based in NYC, the options have literally exploded.Because of the vastly expanded number of facilities, I have instead posted a new listing instead of updating the old listing. What is certain…
When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. — Nelson Mandela dies today at 95.
The Myth of the Innovator Hero from The Atlantic via Findings.
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. —
Don’t Fall into the trap.
The ‘Busy’ Trap - NYTimes.com (via courtenaybird)
…when MIT researchers spent an entire year following 2,600 employees, observing their social ties, even using mathematical formulas to analyze the size and scope of their address books and buddy lists, they found that the more socially connected the IBM employees were, the better they performed. They could even quantify the difference: On average, every e-mail contact was worth an added $948 in revenue.
The best predictor of team success is not smarts or effort — it’s how team members feel about one another. —
This Is The Number One Thing That Holds Most People Back From Success (via khuyi)
Compelling (quantifiable) evidence supports the value of social ties at work.
But in fact, great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant and grow again. Perfection and polish aren’t nearly as important as good light, good drainage and a passionate gardener. — Seth’s Blog: Gardens, not buildings (via ninakix)
What I hope for you:
That you combine that edgy mixture of self-confidence and doubt.
That you have enough self-confidence to try new things.
That you have enough self doubt to question.
That you think of technology as a verb, not a noun; it is subtle but important difference.
That you remember the issues are usually not technical.
That you create opportunities to improvise. — Facebook’s Margaret Stewart remembers ITP’s Red Burns, who used to welcome students with a list of things she wanted them to know… and things she hoped for them. Pretty lovely and a salient message for us all. (via thoughtyoushouldseethis)
KANYI MAQUBELA: On the passing of Ronald H. Coase and the New Economy -
Another Kanyi classic — insightful and wonderfully written piece.
Nobel-winning economist R.H. Coase passed away yesterday. Here are my thoughts. When the crash of 1929 hit, Ronald Harry Coase was an undergraduate student at the London School of Economics, working on a Bachelor’s degree in commerce. Thanks to his professor Arnold Plant, he decided that markets…
MIT Researchers Use Kinect to Teach Robots Spatial Awareness
With just a current-gen Kinect camera and some newly created software, the research team was able to create a robot that builds accurate three-dimensional maps of its surroundings, navigable and corrected for errors.
One of the major sources of error in the past has been a phenomenon called “drift,” which results when small errors in the robot’s estimation of its own location compound over many hundreds of different measurements. The results can be devastating to any attempt to actually move through a space, making doorways appear out of line with the stairs behind them…
The team from MIT decided to try to fix the positioning problem by calculating the robot’s change in position between each of Kinect’s 30 frames per second. It uses the data collected from the range-finding camera to build up a 3D model of the environment, then uses the positional information to automatically bend the model into a consistent whole.
This is useful for a number of reasons. It lets a robot build up a sense of physical space without the need for special markers, allowing, for instance, a next-gen Roomba to return to a rest spot intelligently. Combined with input analysis software, however, this could also give a robot the ability to venture into new areas with confidence; Ava500 can already deal with unexpected human movements within a known environment, and combining the two awareness technologies would result in an unprecedented level of autonomy.
(via Kinect-based robotic mapping puts autonomy back on the menu (with video) | ExtremeTech)
Revealed: Elon Musk Explains the Hyperloop -
Ashlee Vance spoke to Musk about his Hyperloop idea:
As for safety? Musk has heard of it. “There’s an emergency brake,” he says. “Generally, though, the safe distance between the pods would be about 5 miles, so you could have about 70 pods between Los Angeles and San Francisco that leave every 30 seconds. It’s like getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland.” Musk imagines that riding on the Hyperloop would be quite pleasant. “It would have less lateral acceleration—which is what tends to make people feel motion sick—than a subway ride, as the pod banks against the tube like an airplane,” he says. “Unlike an airplane, it is not subject to turbulence, so there are no sudden movements. It would feel supersmooth.”
The hot thing amongst pundits at the moment seems to be to snark this to no end and mention it in the same breath as things like the Segway. But I unequivocally love everything about this. I want to live in a world where this exists. I really hope someone builds it.