Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for November 14, 2019

in rsslog •  3 months ago 

Bitgo is processing 20% of all bitcoin transactions; Forrester says IBM and Oracle are so far behind in cloud that they need to specialize and focus on core strengths; The evolutionary reasons behind neuroticism; AI computational difficulty is growing 7 times faster now than before 2012, also 7 times faster than Moore's Law; and a Steem report that Netflix is dropping support for older devices, including multiple Roku devices


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  1. BitGo Says It’s Now Processing 20% of Bitcoin Transactions - At the Invest: NYC conference on November 12, Bitgo announced that they are processing 20% of all bitcoin transactions. CEO, Mike Belshe said, however, that the company does not represent a single point of failure for its clients or the bitcoin network, because with BitGo's multikey security mechanism, the clients hold the keys.

  2. IBM and Oracle are so far behind in the cloud, they might stop trying to compete with Amazon altogether and go a different route, analyst says - According to a new report from Forrester, the top-4 cloud providers: AWS, Google, Microsoft, and Alibaba will soon account for 75% of the $75 billion market. As a result, the analyst suggests that Oracle and IBM will be forced to take a different approach to cloud. In particular, Forrester expects Oracle to focus on moving its own applications and databases to the cloud, and IBM will focus on integrating cloud with RedHat Linux - which IBM now owns. Additionally, Forrester expects that both companies will focus on professional services, helping their clients to make applications and databases cloud-enabled.

  3. The perks of being a bit neurotic - Along with openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness, neuroticism is one of the "big 5" personality traits. Characterized as "extreme sensitivity to negative stimuli", extreme neuroticism can lead to debilitation, and it seems to be passed through our genes. The question explored by this article is, the other big-5 traits are all basically positive, so why has neuroticism been preserved through millenia of natural selection? The answer, it says, is that moderate neuroticism leads to risk-aversion, which may have kept our ancestors safe in their dangerous environments, and it also may have led to success in groups because neurotic ancestors would have avoided controversy. In summary, the article suggests that there may be a neurotic "sweet spot" where risk aversion is balanced with the other traits in order to make individuals more successful. This is supported by the observations that creativity is often found with neuroticism, and that people who are both neurotic and conscientious tend to channel their risk aversion into healthy behaviors. h/t RealClear Science

  4. The computing power needed to train AI is now rising seven times faster than ever before - According to an analysis by OpenAI, the computing power needed to train AI systems doubled every two years - at roughly the same speed as Moore's law - from 1959 through 2012. From that time through 2018, however, the computing power requirements doubled every 3.4 months, seven times faster than the previous rate. This data reinforces recent warnings from AI experts that costs are exploding for AI and deep learning systems. In response to this problem, OpenAI calls for increased public funding from policy makers, and the Allen Institute proposed that AI researchers should always publish the financial and computational costs of training their models.

  5. STEEM Netflix Phasing Out Old Technology Soon - Citing a report in lifehacker.com, @triverse reports that Netflix is phasing out compatibility with some older Roku models. The impacted devices include: Roku 2000C, Roku 2050X, Roku 2100X, Roku HD, Roku SD, Roku XD, Roku XR, along with any Roku device that cannot autoplay the next episode, and Samsung TVs with the characters 'C' or 'D' in their model code. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @triverse.)


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