A mp3 from a 1961 vinyl recording of synthesized speech! The computer generated voice speaks, recites Shakespear, and sings… HAL 9000‘s “shutdown” song!!! To think this was 45 years ago. I also thought it was funny that the narrator’s voice sounds similar to today’s voice synthesis . Via BoingBoing and Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anyplace Else.
Monthly Archives: April 2006
Well, in this case, biological fact is stranger than theory. In an study published in the April 14th issue of Science by an interdisciplinary group of UK researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Manchester examined the workings of the aromatic amine dehydrogenase enzyme, on how it manages to extract protons from tryptamine, one of the compounds related to serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Using computer modelling (based on X-ray crystallography data), they simulated the action of the enzyme, resulting in the discovery that the enzyme’s action is due to a quantum effect, called tunneling. The amazing part is that they claim is that whole hydrogen atoms (a proton plus an electron) are being tunneled.
This has, if confirmed by further research (the discovery is not without controversy), far reaching implications on areas other than biology. A summary of the findings can be found in the Seed science magazine, and also in the Economist (subscription required).
I’ve been engadgeted. Well, comment-engadgeted actually, I left a very simple comment on an engadget.com post with a link to a related post on matsu, which has resulted in 5,405 visits from Tuesday until now (with the peak on Wednesday, with almost 3000 visits). But that’s not the interesting part. See this snippet from my server log report:
I have both visitors from the distant future as from the distant past… In the case of Microsoft, many years in the future!
This book started out as separate stories published on Asimov’s. I had already read most of them, but they do have a much greater impact in book form.
The book is basically the story of the next one hundred years, as lived by the several generations of the Macx family. Sounds traditional, cozy even? Forget about it. It’s probably the most information dense book I’ve ever read. I was familiar with almost all concepts in the book, which scared me a bit. I didn’t know I was this close to lunacy (lunacy in its best form, of course).
This is the best singularity book ever. While most authors don’t manage to face the singularity itself, Stross handles it beautifully head on. It’s also very diverse, putting a whole lot of sciences back into science fiction – besides the usual extrapolations on physics, there are also deep incursions into economics, medical science, sociology, computer science, law, and political science. Stross does have a very diverse background – my kind of guy.
The book is already available as a hardcover, or you can download it for free (although the author encourages you to buy a paper version if you enjoyed the electronic version).
The only shortcoming of the book is that in transforming the several stories into book chapters, some explanations (which make sense in separate stories) should have been condensed. As it stands, there is some (not much) needless repetition.