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“We’re Here To Put A Dent In The Universe.” – Steven Jobs, 1955 – 2011

October 6th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
To finish the quote from this blog: “We’re here… universe. Otherwise, why else even be here? “This is a quote from Steve Jobs who is credited with having originated this; however there is evidence that Socrates said it first just in different words; Whether or not this is the case is irrelevant because Mr. Jobs had always proudly and openly admitted that Socrates influenced his whole life. Steve went as far as to say that he would trade all his technological knowledge he acquired throughout his life, just to spend an afternoon with Socrates.

This blog is going to have many quotes by virtue of the fact that that Steve Jobs was a genius, an entrepreneur, a man who studied Socrates, an obvious visionary, and a huge mover and Shaker who made a lot of money. People who possess the aforementioned attributes are listened to, taken seriously, and are often quoted – Why? Because in a nutshell we want what they have and what Steve had (not the pancreatic cancer, of course) and by studying him and memorizing  his quotes we will be taken seriously and who knows perhaps if one is a good student , we ourselves may acquire some of the great things Jobs had. “R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You touched an ugly world of technology and made it beautiful.” A twitter user quoted. (Not only is Jobs quoted but even the people who talk about him are quoted.)
Let’s  take a look at some of the things Steven Jobs accomplished:

As a child:

The founder of Hewlett-Packard, William Hewlett, was so impressed with the obviously gifted young Steve Jobs that he personally hired him to work at Hewlett-Packard when he was just 13 years old.

This is an offbeat accomplishment: Steven discovered that the whistle that came in the cereal box of Captain Crunch was tuned to a frequency that made it possible to make free long distance calls by blowing the whistle in a certain way into the phone. Wow!

As an Adult:
He made the personal computer easier to use by designing and developing the Macintosh computer.(Note: his 1979 visit to Xerox’s research center in Palo Alto was without question, the key moment for the development of Jobs’ Macintosh computer; he took note of the graphic video display and the mouse pointing device. Wow! The mouse-pointing device – that’s it! So easy and user-friendly, a 90 year-old great grandpa could figure this out with ease.  No technology experience needed, as simple as seeing what you want, pointing, and clicking.)

He developed and brought to market the i-Pod, the i-Phone, and the iPad.

He was a friend of George Lucas, the famous Star Wars film writer, producer, and director, and consequently started a company called Pixar Animation Studios. This company founded by Jobs had such an impact on the world, that computer-animated film became a mainstream art enjoyed by children and adults worldwide. The first film Pixar worked on was the blockbuster – “Toy Story.”

There is so much more he accomplished and I can go into so much more detail but this is a blog. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do….” Said Steve;. All successful people know this truism – if you love it you do it with care and as a result you do it well.
Steve was not your suit and tie business guy, though there are pictures of him with a tie, as soon as he had the power he shed the corporate look and supplanted that wardrobe with jeans, sneakers and a casual shirt. He sometimes would walk around the office barefooted. Mr. Jobs was after all a hippie at heart and a true San Franciscan – and yes he was a practicing Buddhist and indeed he experimented with LSD which he boldly went on to say that the experience of altering consciousness with this drug forever changed his life for the better. He even proclaimed that ingesting LSD was actually two or three of the most important things he had ever done with his life. (Experimenting with hallucinogenics, such as LSD and mescaline, was not uncommon amongst intellectuals and visionaries. The great Aldous Huxley, author of” Brave New World” (1932), consumed mescaline and had written an incredibly thought-provoking book about the experience – “The Doors of Perception” (1954).
“Innovation has no limits. The only limit is your imagination.” Steve was as innovative and visionary as they come. He was very interested in the look of his products – not only did his products have to be efficacious but they also needed to look good and have style; Jobs was prodigiously interested in taste. “There is no shortcut to excellence.’ Steve perhaps was stating the obvious, but this is a hugely important quote because I think it’s what young people of the United States suffer from today – instant gratification isn’t quick enough. I want it now! I’m not  going to medical school, it’s 12 years of my life and I won’t make a dime until I’m 30. Well, I think we all should try to be more patient and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day; we ought to practice delayed gratification and view it as a profound virtue. (I know, I could die tomorrow and what’s the point of going to school and not reaping the benefits. True, nothing in life is guaranteed and people die before they even have a chance. But when you’re dead you are dead and what if you don’t die?)
I’m paraphrasing here but Jobs stated that we, as Americans are always taking things – the food we eat is not grown by ourselves, we speak a language that other people already developed, almost everything we possess comes from the blood, sweat, and tears of others. (I mean we pay for these things if we’re not criminals, but you know what I mean.) He went on to say that creating something new and adding it to the pool of already existing human experience and knowledge is the greatest feeling in the world. And, I personally think he unveiled the secret of happiness and a good life. Giving, helping others, and making a difference. As the title of the blog says: We’re here to put a dent in the universe.
Oh, there is so much more to write about this incredible man who was only alive on this planet for 56 years. The tears are starting to come and I just want to say, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had Steve around for another 20 or 30 years.
Finally WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I will end this Op-ed obituary and blog with a statement from Steven Jobs and Apple’s archrival, Microsoft’s Bill gates when he heard that Steve passed away at the age of 56. “For those of us lucky enough to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” God bless Steven Jobs, R.I.P.

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire Will More Than Likely Be The Number One Ipad According To Experts

October 4th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Look out Apple ipad, here comes the Kindle Fire! This tablet, the Kindle Fire, is set to be released in November of this year and the folks at Apple are already nervous and concerned and for good reason. The IT gurus are predicting that the Kindle Fire will give Apple’s ipad a good run for its money and even bolder statements have been made suggesting that it’s a foregone conclusion; the Kindle Fire, for the price, is simply superior to Apple’s ipad and will crush Apple and its competition.   The cost of the Kindle fire is a mere $199.00 and has all the features that Apple’s ipad has such as: streaming movies and TV shows, a 7-inch multi-touch display, and total access to the Amazon Appstore.  Yet the consumer today can’t even begin to think about purchasing an ipad without spending at least 5 bills – $499.00 to be exact. For all you “techies” out there, here are some of the specs:
The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch touch-sensitive color screen.

It will run on a customized Android 2.3 operating system on a GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor.

Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0

8 GB OF Storage.

Now to put the aforementioned specs into English: The Kindle Fire is awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You will be able to watch movies, listen to music (it can carry 800 songs) & hold 6000 books. Wow ! Is it even possible for $199.00? Yes and there is more.   You have access to the Amazon Appstore, e-mail, webmail (which literally combines all your e-mail, yahoo, Hotmail, AOL into one).
So WhadaYaThink ? Is it too good to be true? I look forward to all your comments.
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Stephan Hawking is a Genius and a Remarkable Man

May 17th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Life is difficult for everyone no matter who you are. It is even hard  for someone who is wealthy and healthy because we all know that what we have now is not going to last forever and we’re all going to get sick and die someday. How difficult must it be for Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who suffers from one the most awful and incurable disease known to man – ALS. Yet ALS does not stop Mr. Hawking from lecturing and publishing brilliant book after brilliant book. Sure Mr. Hawking is luckily wealthy (he’s a genius and therefore is a celebrity and sells a lot of books.)so is able to work.
What sadly turns many people off is that he is an outspoken atheist. I love the quote he makes “Religion is for people who don’t want to do the math.” I, personally am not a scientist but I read a lot of science, which is basically the theory less, well – the math hahahaahh. However, I do get it. It takes a lot of talent for a scientist to explain very complex and nuanced issues in layman’s language. Hawking seems to be a little more difficult to read than say Natalie Angier, Daniel Dennett and E.O. Wilson (but make no mistake this is tough reading and you do feel like you’re back in college) but after the third time reading A Brief Hisrory of Time I believe I’ve got to the crux of this masterpiece. I do however still get lost on black holes; maybe because it’s such a mind-boggling concept that my brain can’t handle it. A black hole is or was a star that exploded into a supernova (gravitational collapse) and whose gravitational field is so intense that NOTHING can escape – not even LIGHT! This is spooky stuff my friends and Stephen Hawking is the guru on black holes.
What I applaud about Hawking is here is this man who is almost completely paralyzed yet spends every waking moment working and trying to find the answers to well – everything. He has contributed a plethora of knowledge in the world of Physics and cosmology i.e. he proved that black holes emit radiation. Today this is known as Hawking radiation. Let’s face it, Stephen Hawking is smarter than everyone else and he was cursed with the horrible disease of ALS. Who knows what else he would have come up with if time weren’t wasted on things like bathing, eating, and going to the bathroom (things we take for granted must be painstakingly difficult for him.)
Stephen Hawking believes that our time (human species) on earth is limited; either we are going to be wiped out by nuclear war, an enormous natural disaster, or some lethal virus. Our time on earth is limited and part of Hawking’s legacy is to have been a major factor in furthering space exploration.
I am going to end this blog with some personal quotes that the great Stephen Hawking has recently made to Diane Sawyer:
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I am not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
“There is no heaven or afterlife …that’s a fairytale for people afraid of the dark.” (many people don’t like this statement)
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing.”
Stephen Hawking is a great man with a giant-sized brain and lets just hope that he lives to 100 and finally discovers all the answers to all the great questions we humans have been asking ourselves from time immemorial.
Now it is your turn WHADAWETHINK ? Do you agree with Stephan Hawking that this is it – there is no God ? Do you think, despite his secularism, he is a great man ? There is so much to talk about – please contribute and have fun with this.
Now if you are interested in great material like this article and you want to support us, just treat yourself to something at Amazon. It does not have to be what is displayed in the ad, just hover over the widget, click, and shop away. Thanks in advance for your support.
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Man Vs. Machine

February 16th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

A friend of mine sent me this video   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyXHF3PyyWoIBM’s ‘Watson’ – a machine vs. man on Jeopardy; science fiction seemingly becoming science fact ; and the mere notion that man can actually create a machine with intelligence – meaning a machine which can think, conceptualize, reason and perhaps empathize is nothing short of astounding! (I know there are some science fiction that never materialized like flying saucers and robots mowing your lawn.)   

I remember back in college (this was long before the internet) my philosophy teacher talked about this very topic at length. Can and will man ever construct a machine with REAL intelligence? At that point in time our professor explained to us that the dumbest guy in the room was far more intelligent than the fastest and most powerful computer in the world. After all computers have no intelligence; the digital, analog or hybrid device merely stores, organizes and processes information and performs tasks and is even proficient at carrying out and solving highly complex mathematical and logical operations at incredible speeds that no human can match but nevertheless a computer is still dumber than a box of rocks. 

The reason for this is because a computer is a machine, it’s not alive and it’s capable of performing all sorts of incredible things because we – human beings – program it to do so. It is simply following a set of instructions we have given it and at a very elementary level all it is doing is executing operations based on zeros and ones, Xs and Os, and on and off. (I am not an IT specialist but this is just a very general explanation for lay people on how computers operate at a very basic level.) 

I began again thinking seriously about discerning, thinking, intelligent machines when I started this web site. As I mentioned earlier I know next to nothing about IT; I’m on the computer all day and I know as much next guy but I’m clueless when it comes to programming (I don’t even know how to use Twitter yet). When my web designer and other IT specialists began talking to me about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and building traffic, etc I was amazed to hear discussion about a machine gauging the content of the web site. Sure I can understand a site that gets an enormous amount of traffic appearing higher on Google; however I scratched my head when I was told that a search engine not only ranks a site by the number of hits, links to other sites, etc but also will rank a site with excellent content higher based on a prodigiously complex algorithm created by human beings. I am skeptical about the latter because as far as I know machines still have no real intelligence. (Not yet anyway). 

What I’m really wondering and getting at – is will we ever create a ‘Hal’ – you know the machine in Stanley Kubrick’s – ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (one of my all time favorite movies – released in 1968 – the whole movie really is about this very topic, evolution, technology gone crazy) or will the movie ‘The Terminator’ become a reality? 

I can write 10,000 pages on this and still not address all the issues surrounding this very thought-provoking topic. So now it’s your turn WHADAWETHINK? Do you think man will ever create a machine with emotions? Let’s say we can develop an intelligent conscientious robot sometime in the future, should it/he/she have the same rights as we – human beings? Do you think it’s a good idea to create these intelligent, thinking machines; after all it would be capable to easily wipe us out if elected to – how many human beings do you know who has read every single book ever written and who also has a perfect memory with the ability to retrieve any information instantaneously? Lots of ethical considerations here; please contribute and we would love to here what you think about this or WHADAWETHINK?

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