Observation for Now

It has always seemed to me that the human race needs more things to wonder about, rather than less.

-- Gregory L Reece

Thursday, January 26, 2017

MA-86 - 45s & Favorites, Disc 18


Another boffo collection of musical memories!


01. Overture from Tommy - The Assembled Multitude (2:28)  1970
02. Primitive Love - Suzi Quatro (4:12)  1973
03. Hey, St. Peter - Flash and the Pan (3:51)  1976
04. Ain't Gonna Bump No More - Joe Tex (3:30)  1977
05. Bloat On - Cheech & Chong (4:56)  1977
06. Sunshine After the Rain - Elkie Brooks (3:20)  1977
07. Hollywood Square - Hollywood Squares (2:56)  1978
08. Baby Don't Go - Karla Bonoff (3:18)  1979
09. Barbed Wire Love - Stiff Little Fingers (3:26)  1979
10. Homework - Screaming Urge (2:24)  1979
11. Lucky Number - Lene Lovich (2:46)  1979
12. Money - The Flying Lizards (2:30)  1979
13. Video Killed the Radio Star - Bruce Woolley & the Camera Club (2:50)  1979
14. Weekend Love - The Stripes (2:11)  1980
15. Don't You Want Me - Human League (3:58)  1981
16. I Could Be Happy - Altered Images (3:31)  1981
17. He Could Be the One - Josie Cotton (2:46)  1982
18. Do You Wanna Hold Me - Bow Wow Wow (3:11)  1983
19. Human Touch - Rick Springfield (5:07)  1983
20. Hero Takes a Fall - Bangles (2:54)  1984
21. Crime Story (Runaway) (edit) - Del Shannon (4:49)  1986
22. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band / A Little Help from My Friends - Big Daddy (5:12)  1992

You can't go wrong with any of the songs here.  Track 13 is the original version of the song that launched MTV's first minutes.  Track 21 is an amalgamation of about four or five sources, from the original 45rpm to the opening and closing titles of Crime Story.

MA-86 - 45s & Favorites, Disc 18

I'll see you on Monday, friends and fiends!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tomorrow’s Tech … Today!


Tomorrow’s Tech … Today!


FORECASTING THE FUTURE
          The Silver Age Superman had a big ol’ computer in his Fortress called Univac, which could accurately predict future events based on any data supplied to it. 


 Of course, any change in the variables could affect the outcome, as in Minority Report, which posited catching a criminal before he can commit a crime that had been forecast (although using precognition instead of technology).  As illustrated in 1983's War Games, using computers to predict forthcoming events may have unforeseen consequences!
          Leaving aside the question of future prediction vs free will, the entire point of war gaming and other similar exercises is similar — trying to forecast what options are most likely.

      IRL, PECOTA is a program for predicting baseball players’ future performance.   There are plenty of computers involved in “forecasting” the weather, and look how well THAT works; example: NYC’s “non-storm “ of January 2015.
          The infamous Web Bot could supposedly predict future events based on internet searches, which led to its predicting a polar reversal and worldwide cataclysm on 12/21/2012.  A similar net-searching program called EMBERS is underway at Virginia Tech. Other “branching reality”  computer programs are used in business and other strategic applications.  But until the branching reality of human choice can be quantified, all future predictions will be only provisional.



****************

BIOMETRIC SECURITY
          This involves the use of mechanical or electronics means to verify identity through stored measurements.  A familiar trope of crime or espionage fiction involves one side trying to defeat the other side’s biometric defenses.  Whether pressing an amputated finger to a fingerprint reader (Malaysian car thieves in 2005) or holding a freshly plucked eye up for retina scan (Demolition Man), it’s probably been thought of.


          In Star Trek II, Kirk used a retina scan to access the Project Genesis proposal.  In the 1992 film Sneakers, Robert Redford’s voice was his passport.


          IRL, this kind of security has a ways to go.  Mythbusters even proved that a detector designed to only accept “living” fingerprint  was easily fooled by a printed scan of an authenticated user’s print!  And as early as the 1970s, the US military was researching ways to alter one person’s retina to “spoof” another person’s pattern.  Look out, Minority Report! 


          Sadly, automated security can only take us so far.  There may always be a need for real-life watchmen — assuming they can stay awake on those long overnight shifts.

See you on Thursday.
  
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