Wednesday April 23, 2003

Emerging Technologies

Day One of the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference. Fun stuff. We went to a talk on Biological Computer Models - how to use ideas from "swarms" (e.g. ant colonies, bees, wasps...) such as "simple rules" and "bottom-up modeling" to make new and different computer systems. When Southwest Airlines applied these models to their air cargo transport, they improved their efficiency by 70% and saved millions of dollars. All by using a "traveling ant salesman" algorithm.

We also attended a talk on semantic search engines, given by a speaker from NITLE - they appear to have some very interesting projects going on.

We stopped by to chat with the folks at the Internet Archive Bookmobile. The Internet Archive is collaborating with numerous libraries to digitize as many texts and books as possible, The Bookmobile is making "out of print" (and/or out of copyright) books available to people one book at a time from the back of a well-equipped minivan.containing an HP duplexing color printer, a couple of laptops, a desktop binding machine, and a paper cutter.

The Bookmobile is a demo of a public domain application. It addresses the basic question: What good is the public domain?
Lessons from the Internet Bookmobile

It was an interesting day. I look forward to tomorrow.

Emerging Technologies ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Wed, 23 Apr, 23:30 Pacific