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Future of mobile software

Just a thought I had today…

It’s been what, four years since writing software for the mobile platform started being lucrative? Maybe even three.

In that very short time span, everything has been written, every application made. Except for gaming, if you need to do something with your cell phone or tablet, there are scores of applications that are already offered, a couple of which are excellent, and have a strong following.

So, as a software writer, I worry. In just four tiny years, the market has been filled with every application imaginable.

What chance does a person who is not yet expert in a programming language has? What chance does the next generation has, if a new app concept is made in but a month or two?

I have some ideas about a good application that could revolutionize a certain empty field, but what chance do I have when it would take me months to be adequately familiar with the programming language?

Might as well start studying… Just in case…

Categories: Programming, Thinking Tags:

Having Pets

I don’t understand everyone’s apparent need to own a pet.

I think the essence is in the word own, in a world in which nobody is really in control over anything.

But aside from the fact that nobody owning a pet really knows why they do (only to follow others, probably), they would undoubtedly say that they love their pets, and their pets love them.

That is exactly what I’m wondering, because you have to admit that this kind of relation looks a lot like a master-slave relationship. If the slave doesn’t know any better (ie. he was born in it), he will love his master without any question.

So, you own a pet, you do what you want with it, you make sure he/she cannot have any offspring, for the illusion that something alive is giving you what you think is love in return…?

Others would say that having a pet is healthy because it relieves stress. An environment with a pet is terribly unhealthy, and the pet itself is a huge source of stress (get out of your denial phase on this point, please). Add to that the fact that the pheromones your body makes when petting an animal can be had in better quality and higher quantity when interacting with other humans…

I don’t understand.

Categories: Thinking Tags: ,

Artificial Intelligence

Reading Dr. Michio Kaku’s book Physics of the Future, I thought a bit about how we evolved and how AI could do so much better.

Imagine a central Knowledge Database (which I’ll call KDb for short), and a type of robot that is preprogrammed to make a new model every week. During the first iteration, this KDb holds the laws of physics and basic information about the world, and these robots would be programmed in such a way that anything endangering their integrity would be added to the KDb.

For example, a first-iteration model would bump into a wall, damaging some circuitry under the metal panel of its arm. During the following night, it would upload wirelessly to the KDb details of the event (location, force of the hit, material of the wall, etc). Every week, the central computer (or motherbrain, or however it would be called) would gather all events of the week, and calculate how best to prevent these events from happening again.

It could reason that the next iteration’s robots would need a stronger chassis, intra-wireless connections within its body, better cameras, better algorithms to detect collisions, or a better mobility. Then the robot factory would receive the recommendations, and start building the next iteration. The central computer would upload to the KDb that walls can be dangerous when hit with a certain amount of force. The only thing preventing the central computer from thinking about giving them explosives or weapons (in order to destroy the wall first) would be that the collision could be with a fellow robot.

Another example: a robot gets acid on its chest. This doesn’t damage it, but its chest is marred – it sends an event to the KDb. The central computer decides that the best course of action is to add that kind of acid to the list of things that a robot should avoid (maybe with a danger rating), along with how the acid looked like. Given enough knowledge about how acid and normal water each usually look like, these robots would, in a few iterations, be able to avoid acid.

And, every month or so, robots would go back to the factory to be recycled for materials, constantly leaving the better, newer versions out in the world.

 

In only two years, this kind of robot would go through a hundred iterations, and with them, the fastest evolution ever. The key point here, of course, is the KDb – a collective knowledge. Add to that an incentive to constantly build better and faster computers, and there would be no stopping them.

Categories: Thinking Tags:

I’m back, I think…

It has been a while. Too long, in fact.

For the 0.17 person wondering, my last post was right before starting a new way of life. I decided that I would spend a complete week almost disconnected from the Internet – only checking my email once before going to bed. After the fruitful week was over, I loosened my goal to a more appropriate “There shall be no unplanned usage of the Internets“. Meaning that I could go on youtube while I was eating dinner, or spend half an hour on reddit, but only if I had planned it.

All of a sudden, there were no more oh-my-god-it’s- 22:00-already-and-I-haven’t-done-anything-all-day. I had time to read and draw. They were good times. Instead of surfing the web during my lunch hour at work, I brought a book and read. It was all more peaceful, more zen, more serene. It’s when you take a step back that you realize how much strain the Internet, if used in a free-for-all manner, takes on you.

But then I wanted to do something more constructive during my lunch hours. I wanted to make a web site in python/django – and I had to learn the language, which I also did at home. Just a peek at the front page of reddit, a quick check on 4chan, reading my emails and RSS feeds more and more often… It almost got back to the state it was before I started.

It’s crazy how much of a drug the Internet has become.

So I might as well write once in a while in my old blog, where I write about things that cross my mind, or that seems interesting. Meanwhile, trying to minimize the unplanned web.

 

I’m back, I think…

 

Categories: Thinking

L’homme d’Affaires et le Jardinier-Forestier

Translation in french of a story I read earlier today at freeconomy.

 

Plus tôt ce matin, j’ai lu une histoire sur le site sus-mentionné. Juste avant de la reconter en français, pour ceux qui ne sont pas au courant, un jardin forestier est un jardin où on fait pousser des fruits, légumes, noix etc, parmis la forêt. Ça demande beaucoup moins de labeur à maintenir qu’un jardin typique dans une cour de maison.

L’histoire va comme suit:

 

Un jardinier prenait du soleil, mangeant quelques fruits qu’il venait de cueillir à même l’arbre. Un homme d’affaire passait par hasard, l’apperçu, et s’approcha.

“Vous n’allez pas produire plus de fruits et légumes en restant assis au lieu de travailler dur!”

Le jardinier le regarda, sourit, et lui dit “Et pourquoi je ferais ça?”

“Eh bien, vous pourriez acheter plus de terre et ainsi augmenter votre production de nourriture!”

Le jardinier lui demanda, toujours en souriant, “Et pourquoi je ferais ça?”

“Vous allez faire de l’argent, et pouvoir acheter un tracteur et autres machines qui vont vous sauver du travail manuel, et encore plus augmenter votre production!”

“Et pourquoi je ferais ça?”

L’homme d’affaire commençait à être un peu irrité. “Vous allez acheter de meilleures machines, faire plus d’argent, et embaucher quelques personnes pour faire le travail à votre place!”

“Et pourquoi je ferais ça?”

L’homme d’affaire commençait à être fâché. “Vous ne comprennez pas? Vous pourriez avoir plusieurs tracteurs et machines à cultiver, acheter beaucoup de terres et les convertir en agriculture intensive, et laisser tous vos employés faire pousser vos fruits et légumes pour vous!”

“Et pourquoi je ferais ça?”

L’homme d’affaire devenait enragé, et était sur le point de crier. “Mais qu’est-ce que vous ne comprenez pas? Si vous faites bien ça, vous allez être tellement riche que vous n’allez plus avoir le besoin de travailler! Vous allez pouvoir faire ce que vous voulez, sans le moindre soucis!”

Le jardinier, toujours souriant, lui dit “Et qu’est-ce que vous pensez que je suis en train de faire?”

 

J’ai beaucoup aimé cette histoire. Si vous ne l’avez pas compris, la morale est à propos de la simplicité volontaire.

Categories: Thinking