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Via Viktor Markowski
Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the United States was charging members of the Chinese military with economic espionage. Stealing trade secrets from American companies, he said, enabled China to “illegally sabotage” foreign competitors and propel its own companies to “success in the international marketplace.” The United States should know. That’s pretty much how we got our start as a manufacturing power, too.
“The United States emerged as the world’s industrial leader by illicitly appropriating mechanical and scientific innovations from Europe,” the historian Doron Ben-Atar observes in his book “Trade Secrets.” Throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, American industrial spies roamed the British Isles, seeking not just new machines but skilled workers who could run and maintain those machines. One of these artisans was Samuel Slater, often called “the father of the American industrial revolution.” He emigrated here in 1789, posing as a farmhand and bringing with him an intimate knowledge of the Arkwright spinning frames that had transformed textile production in England, and he set up the first water-powered textile mill in the U.S. Two decades later, the American businessman Francis Cabot Lowell talked his way into a number of British mills, and memorized the plans to the Cartwright power loom. When he returned home, he built his own version of the loom, and became the most successful industrialist of his time.The American government often encouraged such piracy. Alexander Hamilton, in his 1791 “Report on Manufactures,” called on the country to reward those who brought us “improvements and secrets of extraordinary value” from elsewhere. State governments financed the importation of smuggled machines. And although federal patents were supposed to be granted only to people who came up with original inventions, Ben-Atar shows that, in practice, Americans were receiving patents for technology pirated from abroad.Piracy was a big deal even in those days. Great Britain had strict laws against the export of machines, and banned skilled workers from emigrating. Artisans who flouted the ban could lose their property and be convicted of treason. The efforts of Thomas Digges, America’s most effective industrial spy, got him repeatedly jailed by the Brits—and praised by George Washington for his “activity and zeal.” Not that the British didn’t have a long history of piracy themselves. In 1719, in Derby, Thomas Lombe set up what’s sometimes called the first factory in the United Kingdom, after his half brother made illicit diagrams of an Italian silk mill. (Lombe was later knighted.) And in the nineteenth century Britain’s East India Company, in one of the most successful acts of industrial espionage ever, sent a botanist to China, where he stole both the technique for processing tea leaves (which is surprisingly complex) and a vast collection of tea plants. That allowed the British to grow tea in India, breaking China’s stranglehold on the market.These days, of course, things have changed. The United States is the world’s biggest advocate for enforcing stringent intellectual-property rules, which it insists are necessary for economic growth. Yet, as our own history suggests, the economic impact of technology piracy isn’t straightforward.Click headline to read more--
Yamamoto was fascinated to notice that the burst of gamma waves also occurred just before mice that had originally turned in the wrong direction realized their mistake and turned round. He called this the “oops” moment, and the results indicate that similar neuronal activity occurs when making a correct choice either immediately or on realization of an error. No such gamma-wave activity was detected when mice made the wrong choice without correcting it.Information processing in the brain is complex and involves both the processing of sensory inputs and the conversion of those inputs into behavior. The passing of electrical oscillations between networks of neurons in different parts of the brain is thought to be a critical component of cognition as well as conscious perception and awareness, but so far there has been little direct evidence linking specific neuronal oscillations to discrete thinking and behavior events. Jun Yamamoto and colleagues from the RIKEN–MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics have now detected a brief burst of nerve activity oscillating in two specific parts of the mouse brain just before a correct choice is made, either when planning an action or when correcting a mistake. The researchers searched for evidence of specific neuronal oscillations by studying mice navigating a T-shaped maze with a reward at the end of one arm of the T. Just before trained mice made the correct choice of direction, Yamamoto and his colleagues observed a brief burst of synchronized high-frequency gamma waves oscillating in specific parts of the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus.
Via iPamba, Miloš Bajčetić, Rui Guimarães Lima, massimo facchinetti
Chomsky: Well, unification is kind of an intuitive ideal, part of the scientific mystique, if you like. It's that you're trying to find a unified theory of the world. Now maybe there isn't one, maybe different parts work in different ways, but your assumption is until I'm proven wrong definitively, I'll assume that there's a unified account of the world, and it's my task to try to find it. And the unification may not come out by reduction -- it often doesn't. And that's kind of the guiding logic of David Marr's approach: what you discover at the computational level ought to be unified with what you'll some day find out at the mechanism level, but maybe not in terms of the way we now understand the mechanisms.
Via jean lievens
The latest edition of the annual Internet Trends report includes key Internet trends showing slowing Internet user growth but strong smartphone, tablet and mobile results. The Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byer report highlights areas of revenue growth, potential future opportunities and where mature markets are impacting growth....
Via Jeff Domansky, i-SCOOP
“ Answer (1 of 10): this study from Haifa University suggests group dynamics might undermine the process of making good decisions or arriving at correct answers. E.G. louder, more confident, but incorrect, people may overwhelm quieter, correct people.”
Via Viktor Markowski
David Edery, who was until recently part of the CMS staff and now works for Microsoft, has been generating some interesting discussion over on his blog, Game Tycoon, about how games might harness “the wisdom of crowds” to solve real world problems. It’s an idea he’s been promoting for some time but I only recently had a chance to read through all of his discussion. He starts by describing the growing academic interest that has been generated by James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds and then suggesting some of the challenges of applying these concepts in a real world context:
Via Viktor Markowski
Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to prevent members of Congress from becoming lobbyists after they retire.Current law allows senators to become lobbyists two years after leaving office, while House members only have to wait for a year. But Bennet and Tester's bill would institute a lifetime ban on lobbying for lawmakers.
"Washington lobbyists shouldn’t be allowed to hold more sway than the folks back home in Colorado and around the country. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the way things happen around this place," Bennet said.Bennet, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Tester, who represents a swing state, said the measure would limit lobbying influence on American politics."Slamming shut the revolving door between lawmakers and lobbyists will let folks know that Congress puts constituents first and will make government more accountable to the American people," Tester said.A Center for Responsive Politics study found that more than half of currently employed former members of the last session of Congress now work at lobbying firms or as lobbying clients.Click headline to read more--
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
There is a lingering notion in the world of business and beyond that organizations are things with four walls, that employees are people who report to work inside them every day for years on end, that work is a matter of executing on defined “KPIs,” and that success is a product of climbing ladders and exerting an ever-greater span of control.
The privacy of the data that we put online has been a hot topic over the last year. In order to protect against unwanted snooping, a group of scientists has created a new secure email service. ProtonMail provides end-to-end encryption, meaning that even the company itself can't even see the content of your messages.The service started being developed in 2013 by a group of CERN scientists who wanted a more secure and private internet, in part as a response to the Edward Snowden leaks. "We began thinking about this problem long before the Snowden leaks, but the leaks were what drove us to take action, as they truly demonstrated how much online privacy had eroded," company co-founder Andy Yen told Gizmag.The company is advised by the MIT Venture Mentoring Service and is developed, in part at MIT. Earlier this year, ProtonMail was a semi-finalist in the 2014 MIT 100K Startup Launch competition. The initial team, however, was formed via a CERN Facebook group made-up of scientists from CERN that, in some way, wanted to help improve society.Click headline to read more--
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
““The power and effectiveness of people working together through connection and collaboration … taking responsibility individually and collectively rather than relying on traditional hierarchical status.””
Via jean lievens
The New York Times Innovation Report has been ripped to pieces by many brains in the media world but the issues are the familiar TBD framework I work with, namely Technology (can/does it do what is needed?), Behaviour (will people do what we need/want?) and Data (will enough people do what we need?).After ploughing through it, despite a slightly depressing overtone, I am confident the New York Times will pull through…the industry can’t afford it not to (read: have an R&D budget). The very fact it is doing a report of this sort (especially considering who asked for it) means they are focusing and clear about their future problems – success therefore is predicated on hard decisions being made about some very core issues (staff etc).A few things stood out when I read the report...
Via Jeff Domansky
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