1. Virtualbox virtual machines keep aborting.

    03 December 2015

    If you've been experimenting with different operating systems for a while, or you have some need to run more than one OS on a particular desktop machine, chances are you've been playing around with Oracle Virtualbox due to its ease of use, popular set of features, flexibility, and cost. You've also probably run into the following syndrome (usually while trying to build a new virtual machine):


    • You configure a new virtual machine.
    • You associate a bootable optical disk image with the new VM (for the sake of argument, let's say you're experimenting with the 50 megabyte(!) distro Damn Small Linux …

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  2. The Nigeria ICT Fest will be held this weekend!

    30 November 2015

    The Nigeria ICT Fest is a public/private initiative for spurring economic development in the country of Nigeria by applying communication and information technologies. It will last two days, 4 and 5 December 2015 and will be held in Nigeria. On Friday, 4 December the conference will be held at Magrellos Fast Food in Festac. On Saturday, 5 December the conference will be held at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel on Victoria Island in the city of Lagos.

    I will not be physically present at the Fest, unfortunately, but I will be attending via telepresence. I will be presenting at 1630 …

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  3. The history of software agents.

    30 November 2015

    Building on top of my first post about software agents, I'd like to talk about the history of the technology in reasonable strokes. Not so broad that interesting details are lost (or misleading ones added) but not so narrow that we forget the forest while studying a single tree.

    Anyway, software agents could be said to have their roots in UNIX daemons, dating back to the creation of UNIX at AT&T in the 1970's. On the big timesharing systems of the time, where multiple people could be logged into the same machine working simultaneously without stepping on one another …

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  4. Semi-autonomous agents: What are they, exactly?

    16 November 2015

    This post is intended to be the first in a series of long form articles (how many, I don't yet know) on the topic of semi-autonomous software agents, a technology that I've been using fairly heavily for just shy of twenty years in my everyday life. My goals are to explain what they are, go over the history of agents as a technology, discuss how I started working with them between 1996e.v. and 2000e.v., and explain a little of what I do with them in my everyday life. I will also, near the end of the series, discuss …

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  5. Star Wars, the Force, and balance.

    31 October 2015

    I've had some ideas kicking around in the back of my head for a while, in particular after finally watching the other two Star Wars prequels (I saw the first and it put me off from watching the other two for many years - ye gods...) and this article in the Huffington Post about where the next movie might be headed. I'll not cover that territory because there really isn't any reason to, but there are a few things that I've been ruminating on for a while.

    First, let me state a couple of things up front: I'm not a raving …

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  6. Direct neural interface: Hopefully coming soon to a brain near you

    27 October 2015

    Direct neural interface has long been a dream and fantasy of tech geeks like myself who grew up reading science fiction. Slap an electrode net on your head (or screw a cable into an implanted jack) and there you are, controlling a computer with the same ease that you'd walk down the street or bend a paperclip with your fingers. If nothing else, those of us who battle the spectre of carpal tunnel syndrome constantly know that our careers have a shelf life, and at some point we're going to be out of action more or less permanently. So we …

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  7. Machine learning going from merely unnerving to scary.

    13 October 2015

    It seems like you can't go a day with any exposure to media without hearing about machine learning, or developing software which isn't designed to do anything in particular but is capable of teaching itself to carry out tasks tasks and make educated predictions based upon its training and data already available to it. If you've ever had to deal with a speech recognition system, bought something off of Amazon that you didn't know existed (but seemed really interesting at the time), or used a search engine you've interacted with a machine learning system of some kind. That said, here's …

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  8. I am now obligated to say something.

    12 October 2015

    Readers of my site or social aquaintenances may be aware of independent presidential candidate and outspoken transhumanist Mr. Zoltan Istvan, who is at this time on the campaign trail. More specifically Zoltan is one of the residents of the Immortality Bus which is driving across the country to raise awareness of death and why time and funds must be allocated to study cures for aging and decrepitude in the human animal. Zoltan Istvan seems, in the times I've spoken with him on a casual basis a reasonably decent, intelligent, and well read person. He is a very successful and ambitious …

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