Links for 15th September 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Infinite goods and artificial scarcity – the Replicator analogy

    You could have as many tomatoes as you wanted, they’d always be perfect and delicious, and they’d always be free. This would put tomato farmers out of business. But these tomato farmers could likely start growing something else instead. And what happens to the rest of the economy? Pizza and pasta restaurants suddenly find that a major ingredient in many of their dishes just became free. Now, for the same dish, they can charge less, or buy higher quality ingredients, or make more profit. And if you’re a really talented cook specializing in tomatoes? Your skills are now in very high demand.

    And there is still a demand for the people who bring the tomatoes from the replicator to your table. There is still a demand for the person who stews and cans the tomatoes, or dices and seasons them. And all the other food items, the ones that aren’t in infitnite supply, still need people to produce, process, and distribute them.

    Tagged with: ebooksmusicpublishingcopyrightscarcityinfinite-goodsartificial-scarcitycommercecreativityart

  2. Electronics ‘missing link’ united with rest of the family

    "Memristors behave a bit like resistors, which simply resist the flow of electric current. But rather than only respond to present conditions, a memristor can also "remember" the last current it experienced.

    That's an ability that would usually require many different components. "Each memristor can take the place of 7 to 12 transistors," says Stan Williams, head of HP's memristor research. What's more, it can hold its memory without power. By contrast, "transistors require power at all times and so there is a significant power loss through leakage currents", Williams explains.

    A memristor's memory of its last current can be read by watching how it creates a new memory as it responds to a new current. They are made from a double layer of semiconducting titanium dioxide – the pigment in white paint." Wonder what'll come of this. New ceiling for Moore's Law?

    Tagged with: memristorselectronicscomputerhardwareMoore's-Lawtechnology

  3. Fake video dramatically alters eyewitness accounts

    "One third of the subjects were told that the person sat next to them was suspected of cheating. Another third were told the person had been caught on camera cheating, and the remaining group were actually shown the fake video footage. All subjects were then asked to sign a statement only if they had seen the cheating take place.

    Nearly 40% of the participants who had seen the doctored video complied. Another 10% of the group signed when asked a second time by the researchers. Only 10% of those who were told the incident had been caught on film but were not shown the video agreed to sign, and about 5% of the control group who were just told about the cheating signed the statement."

    Tagged with: psychologybehaviourdoctoredvideoevidencepeer-pressureeyewitnesslaw

  4. Publicity Rights Of Dead People: Courtney Love Threatens Activision Over Kurt Cobain In Guitar Hero

    "The issue, of course, is usually about whether a company can use the likeness of someone for commercial purposes without their permission. But that issue is getting more and more complicated as technology gets better and better. In the last few decades, for example, there's been a growing trend to use famous dead people, such as John Wayne, Lucille Ball and Fred Astaire in commercials. But those mostly involved taking clips of those actors from existing films/TV and splicing them into a commercial (with permission from their estates). However, as some lawyers have been noting, with better and better digital technologies, this issue is becoming more important as it's now possible to digitally recreate someone for the purpose of film. Or, say, a video game."

    Tagged with: publicitypersonalitycelebrityavatarrightslawreanimationdeath

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