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Monthly Archives: August 2017

25
Aug
2017

The Constant in E = MC² May No Longer Apply to The Speed of Information

by Bill

One of the simplest, most elegant, most profound and far reaching of all human intellectual achievements was Einstein’s formulation of E = MC² to describe the fact that Energy is equal to Mass times the Speed of Light squared. The equation has lead to massive scientific advancements. It also posits the idea that the entire universe is restricted by one constant that never changes. Einstein suggested that the speed of light which is 2.99792458 108 m/s serves as a sort of universal speed limit that no particle can ever surpass, and countless experiments in the visible world seemed to back up that claim. However, in the incredibly microscopic world of quantum mechanics, things become much more fuzzy. Now, in data transmission, there are modern breakthroughs that suggest information need not obey Einstein’s formulations.

Using a principle known as Quantum Entanglement, scientists have discovered that two particles can be “paired” and that each will react to changes affecting the other instantaneously, even across huge distances. In a paper published in Science on June 16 the Chinese team reported that it had achieved its goal, measuring more than 1,000 pairs of photons to verify that they were indeed entangled, as predicted, and that team has gone on to make use of the entangled particles in a revolutionary new way of utilizing satellite communications.

The Quantum Science Satellite, nicknamed Micius or Mozi (Chinese: 墨子) was designed to establish a ‘Hack-Proof’ communications system of unimaginable speed and precision. Now initial tests are proving it actually works.

The key thing to keep in mind, is that with quantum entanglement data isn’t actually being sent anywhere or received anywhere. Instead, the paired particles are altered in one location and instantaneously become altered in exactly the same way in another location. That allows for the data to exist in two places at once without the need for anyone to send it anywhere… because it is already there the moment they create it.

Many publications are touting this new technology as a way to move data without any possibility of it being snooped or hacked by a third party, since there is no actual transmission. Yes, that is fundamentally accurate and impressive, but far too few are taking note of the fact that this also means data can be “sent” anywhere without speed even being a factor. As one example, if we sent a human crew on a mission to Mars, any traditional communication they would send to Earth would take at least 12.5 minutes to arrive because Mars is 12.5 Light Minutes away from Earth. Up until now that delay was not something that could be overcome. Planets further away or in other solar systems would require years of delay in communications… but if we sent that same crew with entangled particles, they would theoretically speak to people here in Earth with zero latency.

Now apply that same logic to modern computing and it becomes easy to see why everyone from High Frequency Traders on Wall Street to video game creators and ad networks are excited by the prospect of immediate information without the need to send data to or from anywhere ever again!

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23
Aug
2017

FCC Transparency Called Into Question

by Bill

AJIT Pai, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said in February that he wanted the agency to be “as open and accessible as possible to the American people.” Now people are calling that statement into question due to some key information that has become surprisingly hard to acquire.

The FCC’s recent handling of complaints from the public about internet providers and the still murky cause(s) of a May 7th outage of the public comments section of the FCC’s own website are garnering interest from politicians and the public.

“Chairman Pai promised to make the FCC more transparent, but the early returns aren’t looking good,” says U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), in a statement. “The FCC seems more concerned with helping Big Cable than living up to his promise.”

Pai declined to be interviewed with Wired Magazine about the issues but a spokesperson told the magazine that the chair “is proud of the transparency measures he has instituted at the FCC.”

Still complaints persist about a lack of transparency at the FCC regarding the commission’s stated plan to reverse some of its own net-neutrality rules, which have always prohibited internet providers from favoring some forms of traffic over others.

The FCC has stated that it received only one formal complaint about the shift in policy, but fails to mention that the agency received more than 47,000 informal complaints about net-neutrality violations since the rules took effect in 2015. That’s significant because a formal complaint costs $225 to file, and often require lawyers, procedural rules, and written pleadings. Informal complaints can be filed online for free with a simple online form. Accurate accounting of actual complaints continues to be elusive and on July 26th, the American Oversight sued to obtain the records, but again the FCC declined to comment on the suit.

A May 7th outage of the commission’s public comment system followed a segment of the television show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, in which the host asked viewers to file comments about net neutrality. The next day, the FCC blamed the outage on a cyber attack saying: “Our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks,” according to FCC chief information officer David Bray in a statement published on May 8th. “These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC’s comment system with a high amount of traffic.”

However, Journalist Kevin Collier filed suit against the agency after it did not respond to his April 26 FOIA request. The FCC told tech news site Gizmodo it had no records prior to Bray’s statement related to the “analysis” he referenced.

It becomes increasingly difficult for an agency like the FCC is claim net neutrality is not in the public interest, when clearly the public keeps saying it is… and the FCC has decided to stop accurately reporting what the public has been saying all along.

We will continue to monitor this story and the political chatter regarding net neutrality as it directly affects our clients and the Internet in a broader sense. When regulations change, business strategies must adapt and National Net is always about putting our clients first, with as much foresight as we can muster to assist in delicate process of staying ready for whatever comes down the pipe… transparently announced or otherwise.

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10
Aug
2017

Facebook Forced To Shut Down AI That Created Its Own Language

by Bill

As computers becoming smarter people may mistake the speed of calculations with the entirely different set of parameters that make up what researchers refer to as artificial intelligence. AI is not about the speed or processing power precisely, it’s about the possibility of a machine learning to think well enough to develop its own creative solutions and eventually to think of things that its human creators were unable to come up with on their own. Facebook recently built an AI that did exactly that, and its human overlords became so frightened by the result that they immediately pulled the plug on the project…. for now.

As was widely reported, Facebook needed to pull the plug on their artificial intelligence system because it accomplished what they wanted and was immediately deemed to be too far out of hand. The systems were created to talk to each other and make trades with one another. When they began throwing what researched assumed to be nonsense statements to each other, but ended up making trades based on those statements, it became clear that the machines had stopped using English and started using a language that they created on their own: a language that their creators were entirely unable to comprehend.

Bob: “I can can I I everything else.”

Alice: “Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to.”

The above passages may make no sense to humans, but they are an actual conversation that happened between two AI agents. The AI agents, talked to each other using plain English, but eventually negotiated in this new language that only the AI systems understood.

The implications are obvious and serious. First, Facebook did manage to create machine AI systems capable of thought, and perhaps far more importantly, this result shows that when left to their own devices, machine AI will seek to answer questions or solve problems other than the ones its creators task them with at the start.

Will this be the way human’s cure cancer? Will it eventually be the way machines learn to eradicate water (which has long been the enemy of anything electronic), or will researchers somehow find ways to safeguard their seems while creating machines smarter than themselves?

Given the fact that the goal is to make a system smarter than the person who created it, it stands to reason that we are all running out of time before machine generated malware finds a way to establish the primacy of new apex predators in a radically new age.

As leading technologist and Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said earlier this month at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island: “I have exposure to the very most cutting-edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it

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