Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

I’m not really very good at thinking through tax related issues, but when I listened to this recently released interview by Quartz with Bill Gates, his words made perfect sense to me.

If robots are taking over the jobs of workers why shouldn’t they pay the same kind of tax that would be paid by the people they replace?!

And … as Gates questions with that endearing giggle at the end of the video ….. it’s somewhat unlikely that robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax?!

Gates’ thoughts on the subject have already drawn commentary with Forbes describing his ideas as “bafflingly simple”.  Headlines citing reference to this interview such as this one: Robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes  are bound to proliferate across the web over the coming week as more thought is given to Gates’ not so outrageous thoughts!

Interesting – no?

Read Full Post »

My fascination with 3D printers never ends – after all its applications really are without end!

A while ago I fleetingly read about a pop up 3D restaurant in the newspaper, but with the restaurant scheduled to open in London, I didn’t really pay all that much attention.

Then I saw this video and ….. well ….. as I just said …… anything is possible!

But the magic of invention took a new turn when I read a post about an invention by a Dutch design studio which has created a compact 3D chocolate printer perfect for use in restaurants and homes.

Just look at it!  Apart from what it can do, this ‘must have’ kitchen accessory is sleek and sexy and I can already imagine it sitting on my kitchen benchtop!

3D chocolate printer

Most definitely, this is the most perfect ‘find’ for me which has popped up just in time for the summer holidays.   You don’t need much imagination to know what I will be spending the summer playing with!

See you back here in February 2017 when our school year ‘Downunder’ restarts.

Read Full Post »

I’m not really a ‘car’ kind of person, so I don’t usually follow news articles about the car market.

But I couldn’t help stopping in my tracks just a couple of weeks ago when I saw an article which forecast that self driving cars will be on the market in 5 years.  Why?

1.  The thought of cars zipping around the roads was at one time a little overwhelming while at the same time reminiscent of that immortal TV show – The Jetsons.  – Stop for a tic to either wander down memory lane or discover this futuristic family for yourself!

2.  The second reason I stopped in my tracks was because I had the pleasure of going for a drive in one about a year ago – The Tesla Model S.  Even if I was a little nervous sitting in the front passenger seat while watching the driver’s hands be anywhere other than the steering wheel, it really was quite an awesome experience!

While the article I read seemed to be a promo for Ford’s predicted entry into the self drive market,  others including Google, Uber and BMW are starting to compete with Tesla who are so well advanced in the self driver market that they are now working on a more affordable version.

Self driving cars are, it is said, is a development that will place the incredible advances that have been made in artificial intelligence squarely into the lives of the masses.  But with this development, a whole range of ethical issues arise.  And like many of you, I’ve not considered these issues until I read a recent article in NovaNext: Can Autonomous Cars Learn to be Moral? (July 27, 2016)

As artificial intelligence develops increasingly subtle and complex decision making processes, it will become harder to determine who’s accountable for a machine’s actions: the engineer who designed it, the consumer who purchased it, or the machine itself.

The kinds of decisions that need to be incorporated into the ‘thinking’ of self driving cars are really quite scary.  If, for example, the self driving car is heading into a crash with another vehicle or an oncoming train should it veer sideways to avoid the crash knowing that the car and its driver will roll down the bank on the side of the road with the possibility of the driver being either injured or killed?

Referred to as The Trolley Problem, this kind of ethical decision has long been debated by philosophers:

Food for thought – no?

Read Full Post »

I saw the trailer for Loving Vincent earlier in the year when it was first uploaded.  Quite simply – it is both awesome and beautiful!

Then I started reading the story behind the making of the movie, which, on its own, is quite breathtaking in the complexity and enormity of its production.  Loving Vincent is to be the world’s first painted film.

For it we will have to paint over 62,450 frames of painting on over 1,000 canvases. We shot the film with actors, and now we are literally painting over it frame by frame. This is a very laborious and time-consuming process. It has taken us 4 years to develop the technique, and it will take us 1 year with a team of over 100 painters working at studios in the Polish cities of Gdansk and Wroclaw, and a studio in Athens to complete the film.

The reason we are doing it is not because we want to be the first, or that we want to set any records, it is because we believe that you cannot truly tell Vincent’s story without his paintings, so we needed to bring his paintings to life.

An amazing undertaking, which reveals itself as even more impressive the more I delved into the movie’s website: Loving Vincent.  Explore how the film is made by viewing anyone of a number of short videos on the website.  This one, for example, explains how the artists paint every shot with oil paints on canvas.

I can’t wait to see the finished movie!

Read Full Post »

When was the last time you gave some thought to the preservation of film.  Yes – film – as in movie film.

The Nuclear Bunker Preserving Movie History gives a fascinating insight into how a building which once used to store gold while doubling as a fallout shelter for the U.S. president and his cabinet during the Cold War has now been taken over by The Library of Congress and is responsible for both the restoration of films and their safe storage.

It’s a fascinating glimpse into an area!

Read Full Post »

More than a couple of years ago I came across a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace in 2005 at Kenyon College.

An extract of his speech “This is water” has been coupled with graphics and is overlaid with David Foster Wallace reading his speech.  Intended as advice to graduating students stepping out into the world, Foster Wallace’s asks us to consider an alternate meaning to the banality and mundanity of everyday life.

Each of us he contends has to choose how to live our life.  Working on auto pilot, we can become bogged down by the boredom of routine and its inherent petty frustration.  If I am the centre of the world, my expectation is that my needs and feelings should determine the world’s priorities, he says.  If, however, we can learn how to think and pay attention to details and to perceive our world through the eyes of others, we will learn to enjoy the options life has to offer.  Looking beyond ourselves and the tiny details of daily life will, he suggests, make us more compassionate and reap rewards that will enable us to live a more fulfilling life.

The gift of being educated is understanding how to think.  Deciding what has meaning and what doesn’t is, he says, real freedom.

Take a few minutes to consider his words:

Read Full Post »

Hooked on Pokemon?

With more than 30 million players worldwide traveling around catching cartoon characters using phone GPS and cameras, it certainly seems that phenomenal records have been hit.Pokemon

I have to admit though, I did a double take yesterday afternoon when driving down Dandenong Road, a major arterial road here in Melbourne,  to see a road sign hung up over the busy road warning drivers to not play Pokemon while driving!

Photographed by someone at night and uploaded onto the Internet, this is the wording of more than 40 signs that popped up mid-way through last week on our roads.

News reports tell the story!

Hard on the heels of news reports are all kinds of warnings, such as this one from the

I’ve also spotted stranger danger videos posted on Facebook warning of the dangers of following others in the trail of playing Pokemon.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »