Archive for the 'Almost there' Category

Drifting Towards the Singularity

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

The tag-line on this blog is ‘drifting towards the Singularity’. This post is intended to give a flavor of what the Singularity might mean by providing pointers for further reading. But, it also will help to expand on the aim of this blog.

Singularity

The Singularity refers to a time where the rate of change of technology is so great that the way we will interact with the world will be so much different than today. This concept was originally proposed by Vernor Vinge in an article titled, ‘The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era’. The title polarizes one potential outcome of the singularity. Ray Kurzweil in ‘The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology’ goes into greater detail and highlights ongoing trends in technology: genetics, robotics and nanotechnology. Based on their estimations the Singularity should occur sometime between 2030 and 2045. Almost right around the corner, but not a certainty.

Toilet Tech

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Modern toiletA frequent sound on entering a hotel room in Japan is that of the toilet rebooting. This can be a bit disconcerting since one wonders why noisy printer-like sounds are coming from the bathroom. But it does bring to light the question of what does a modern toilet require?

The plain old toilet which requires no electrical outlet is a dying breed. In the winter one can not live without a warm toilet seat. And a quick wash and dry after completing your business with the built in bidet is a must for many around the world. The temperature of the water and seat need to be independently adjustable. In public restrooms the toilet should create masking sounds to avoid embarrassment and wash itself between users.