IBM Watson really is an amazing piece of software, much more interesting than Deep Blue. Chess, like all board games, is very artificial. While there’s no doubt a technical achievement in being able to search a large number of well defined states in parallel, but it is a bit abstracted from real problems. Watson on the other hand deals with natural language. You ask it random lookup questions, and it answers. It’s a technology – along with Siri – that is futuristic.
Danny Boyle has decided that Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller will share the roles of Dr. Frankenstein and the monster, switching roles every night of the his stage production of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.
Blind Date Swingers Club is a rotating club event in Berlin, that sounds very cool, and very reproducible. Everyone brings a mix tape (well, CD) of music, along with a note and contact information inside the jewel case. The music is left with the DJ. At the end of the night, everyone takes a CD that someone else made.
I love how this is a really simple idea that encourages the discovery of new people and new music. I’d love for a Bay Area version of this.
I managed to make my way up to San Francisco and see both the USS Bunker Hill and the Varyag. Unfortunately, there was a mixup about how long Russians were giving tours of the ship. Instead of going to 3 pm, they stopped at 1 pm. However, I did get some decent photos of the ship from the pier. For more detailed shots, I suggest you view the Chronicle’s pictures of ship. I did manage to take a tour of the Bunker Hill. We mainly stayed on the outside of ship, seeing the fore and aft vertical launch systems, the helicopter hanger, and also the bridge. About 350 crew members are on board, and about 40% of those are female. In 2008, the ship was the first Ticonderoga class cruiser to underwent an upgrade to its fire control systems, that allowed (in addition to other things) the ability of both the fore and aft 5 inch guns to be targeted independently. On of the new roles for the Bunker Hill is ballistic missile defense, and the ship is of the same type that recently shot down a satellite.