Jumat, 03 September 2010


The Singularity, Google and the new civilisation

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 03:16 AM PDT

Imagine, if you will, Arthur C. Clarke’s third law that states: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” and that Harry Potter’s “magic” will soon be realised through advanced technologies that are nearing a “Singularity”, the dawn of a new civilisation.

For over three decades, futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected advocates of the role of technology in defining our intelligence. He presents the concept of technological change in which computers will surpass human intelligence in an inexorable evolutionary transformation, where man and machine will be merged.

Extrapolated exponentially into the 21st century, he foretells of the growth of intelligence that will become “increasingly non-biological” and “trillions of times more powerful” than it is today. This is the essence of the Singularity.

This technological Singularity is a hypothetical event whereby technological progress is due to become exponential due to positive feedback. In this brave new world, the distinction between reality and virtual reality, or human and machine, by means of nanotechnology, will be indistinguishable. Kurzweil argues that human ageing and illness will be reversed, pollution will be stopped and world hunger and poverty will be solved.

Vernor Vinge proposes that the creation of smarter-than-human intelligence would represent a breakdown in humans’ ability to model their future, while IJ Good’s “intelligence explosion”, talks of the increasing power of computers’ nano- and bio-technologies, through the amplification of artificial intelligence, that will one day re-write our source code so that we become far more intelligent than we are today.

Novelist William Gibson opined on Google’s role in this process: “In Google, we are at once the surveilled and the individual retinal cells of the surveillant, however many millions of us, constantly if unconsciously participatory. We are part of a post-geographical, post-national superstate, one that handily says no to China. Or yes, depending on profit considerations and strategy. But we do not participate in Google on that level. We’re citizens, but without rights.”

To back up these hypotheses, without being too Timothy Learyesque, scientists have created the first two-terminal memory chips using silicon to generate nanocrystal wires far smaller than circuitry in even the most advanced computers, which extends the limits of miniaturisation subject to Moore’s Law which describes the long-term trend in the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubling approximately every eighteen months.

In a review of “The Singularity Is Near”: “We never imagined that artificial intelligence would be like this. We imagined discrete entities. Genies. We also seldom imagined that emergent technologies would leave legislation in the dust, yet they do. In a world characterised by technologically-driven change, we necessarily legislate after the fact, perpetually scrambling to catch up, while the core architectures of the future, increasingly, are erected by entities like Google.”

To further Google’s cause, William Gibson maintains: “We have yet to take Google’s measure. We’ve seen nothing like it before, and we already perceive much of our world through it. We would all very much like to be sagely and reliably advised by our own private genie; we would like the genie to make the world more transparent, more easily navigable. Google does that for us: it makes everything in the world accessible to everyone, and everyone accessible to the world. But we see everyone looking in, and blame Google.”

Much of the discussions on Google centre on young people who expose their private lives via social networking. Apparently, Google is: “letting societal chips fall where they may, to be tidied by lawmakers and legislation as best they can, while the erection of new world architecture continues apace and that those who are indiscreet on the web will continue to have to make the best of it, while sharper cookies slouch toward an ever more Googleable future, one in which Google, to some even greater extent than it does now, helps us decide what we’ll do next.”

Kurzweil’s book envisions the world of the Singularity — a fusion of symbiotic advances in genetics, robotics and nanotechnology — where mankind’s technological knowledge is snowballing at an exponential rate in which a zero-energy-consuming computer with a memory of about a thousand trillion trillion bits and a processing capacity about ten trillion times more powerful than all human brains on Earth.

In 2009 the LA Times published a report that Ray Kurzweil and Google, as sponsor, were behind the move to form the Singularity University, which brought together the world’s top graduate and postgraduate students in ten diverse disciplines, such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, medicine and law, designed to provide future leaders with an understanding of what is possible today as well as an understanding of where the real opportunities exist for innovation that might spring from converging technologies.

Earlier, published in 2005, The New York Times wrote: “We are fast approaching a time when humankind melds with technology to produce mind-boggling advances in intelligence. We will be able to play quidditch as Harry Potter does; we will control the ageing process; and we will be smarter by a factor of trillions.”

Maybe one day we will be so smart that we can actually understand what Ray Kurzweil is telling us.

V9 Design and Build (http://www.v9designbuild.com) produce tasteful web design in Bangkok, Thailand, including ecommerce shopping cart solutions, with functionality that allows owners to set up and maintain their online stores.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

The Singularity, Google and the new civilisation

Link Bait: Put Your Link Building on Steroids

Posted: 02 Sep 2010 02:00 AM PDT

linkbuildingThe most significant and perhaps the hardest part of website optimization is link building. Website promoters beat the bushes trying to discover the blooming valleys of premium quality links to pick up some juicy links there. However, it isn’t that easy and quite often all efforts may be in vain.

But as the saying has it: “If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the mountain!” If you can’t get links from well-established websites you can encourage them to link to you themselves! One of the ways you can build up tons of links is by producing premium quality content that may potentially go viral. This SEO technique is generally referred to as link baiting. Generally it’s about enticing website visitors to promote your site via links from their own sites.

Here are the high spots of the link baiting techniques that may encourage anyone (be it a well-known blogger or the Average Joe) to link to your website:

Write About the Industry’s ‘Big Guys’

You can get yourself a huge piece of link pie if you write about the authorities in your given market niche. If you tell a story about the leaders who have impacted your niche or post an interview with them you are sure to build a good reputation and attract more visitors. But you must make sure that the story or the interview you post is really noteworthy and useful to readers.

Review Popular Products or Services

The online market is full of similar offers so folks often get confused when making their choice. That’s why before making their final decision they search the web for reviews to compare products or services. So if you manage to write a detailed, informative and authoritative review, it is likely to go viral and to be reposted with the reference to the primary source (your website or blog). Besides this can not only get you good quality links, but also win some bonuses from the companies whose products and services you reviewed (like for instance a free version of their products) .

Give Out Some Freebies

Just confess how many times you entered the word “free” in Google when searching for something. People are easily drawn by free offers, so if on your website you give out some quality products or services that can significantly increase the flow of website traffic. You can offer some free software, free video or music downloads, e-books or tutorials, etc. Providing such free services as web hosting, free search tools etc. can also attract traffic to your website and help you get more backlinks. Moreover, you’ll also be able to promote your own products and
services over time.

Be the First to Write on an Issue

News travels like wildfire. Keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and be the first to break the latest news. That can significantly boost your website traffic and bring lots of valuable backlinks. And, note that not only the news itself, but also the analysis of news items or your comments on the news can attract more website visitors.

Stir Some Controversy

Creating content that goes against some wide-spread idea or criticizes some popular beliefs or practices may raise a wave of public interest and as a result lots of people will link to your website. But you must be careful using this link bait technique and make sure that all your arguments are weighty and convincing enough. Otherwise you run a risk of getting the reputation of being a flamer and might even lose precious link juice.

As you can see, link bait is a great link building technique, but it’s impossible to predict whether or not it’ll work out. That’s why you shouldn’t forget about other link building techniques such as directory submission, link exchange etc. There are lots of tools for link building out there that can help you handle those link building tasks.

Among the most widely used in SEO are Yahoo! Site Explorer and SEO SpyGlass.

Yahoo! Site Explorer is the grandpa of all tools for link building. It is free and user-friendly. All that users have to do is enter the URL of the website and it displays a list of webpages that link to your website.

SEO SpyGlass is another tool for link building.. SEO SpyGlass evaluates each link according to 26 criteria, such as Google Page Rank, Alexa Rank, inclusion into Yahoo! or DMOZ directories, exact anchor texts and URLs of each link, domain age, exact link value and dozens more.

Please visit this site to discover ahead-of-the-web SEO software for link building. Download a cutting edge backlink checker.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Link Bait: Put Your Link Building on Steroids