Tag Archives: technology

Planet Money looks at the surprisingly rambunctious world of top-level Internet domains

.bike, .ninja, .plumbing, and .cool join the old familiar .com, .edu, and .gov, leading to a massive land grab by speculators looking to scoop up prime Internet real estate.

The whole thing has always seemed like a scam to me — a classic case of rent-seeking. As far as I can see, top-level domains serve no useful purpose at all other than make money for people who produce nothing of value in return. People should be allowed to call their website by any unique string of characters.

Top-level domains — and other Internet directory services — are overseen by ICANN, which has been in the news lately for other reasons, as the Republicans are wetting the bed about Obama supposedly giving away the Internet which isn’t even close to the truth.

The Wild West of the Internet

The future — probably — isn’t as scary as you think

In an interview with the Freakonomics podcast, Kelly acknowledges that artificial intelligence will be a threat in some ways, but promises great benefits.

“Artificial intelligence will become a commodity like electricity, which will be delivered to you over the grid called the cloud. You can buy as much of it as you want and most of its power will be invisible to you as well,” says Kelly, who co-founded Wired in 1993 and whose new book, “The Inevitable,” is about the “deep trends” of the next 20 years.

Most people think that most jobs in the future will be taken over by AI — but not their own jobs, Kelly says.

From what we’ve seen of AI so far, it’s most powerful when paired with human judgment. A person working with an AI is a better chess player or doctor than a person or AI alone, Kelly says.

Australia is not as down under as everyone thinks it is

Tectonic shift moves Australia at the brisk rate of 2.7 inches northward a year, with a slight clockwise rotation as well. That means every couple of decades the nation needs to adjust coordinates of everything in the country to make then more accurate, which becomes more of a big deal as next-generation GPS systems reach accuracy of one inch. The last adjustment, in 1994 was about 656 feet, “enough to give the delivery driver an alibi for ringing your neighbor’s doorbell instead of yours,” says Michelle Innis at The New York Times. The next adjustment, at the end of the year, will be about 1.5 meters or 5 feet.