Quick Hits

The Obama administration has abandoned the CLASS (long-term elderly care) portion of their ObamaCare bill, after discovering that it was unsustainable financially.

Guess that is what Pelosi meant when she said we must pass that bill in order to know what is in it. Now that we know, we know how badly ObamaCare is designed.


Watching college football yesterday, one could not help but be impressed with the Alabama running back, Richardson. A Florida athlete, he was the heavyweight weight-lifting state champion, AND the fourth fastest sprinter in the state. Big, strong and fast–what a combination!


The search for education solutions remains one of our nations most important quests.

The problem is that education is not scalable -when you find something that works it does not scale up to fit the entire US!

Only individualized, computerized instruction works, because no “one size fits all” will work, as has been demonstrated.

Automating education will face the same Luddite opposition that all automation has faced from unions, but education needs to transform like other industries.


Ooooops| Apple has sued Samsung in Australia for producing a Galaxy Tab that is a “slavish” copy of the iPAD2, and in a court hearing the Samsung lawyers were unable to distinguish between the two products in a test.

Not a good sign!


I read that argument that the children of illegal aliens were brought here against their will, and should not be punished for the sins of their parents.

Question: If the parents robbed a local Bank, and bought their children a new home with the proceeds, if discovered would the children be able to keep the home?

The children didn’t commit the crime, so why should they be punished?

Right! They must give the house back because although they should not be punished for the crimes of their parents, so too must they not BENEFIT from the crimes of their parents!



Hello, SIRI. My Name is…

The introduction of SIRI on the iPHONE 4S will be seen in the future as an opening shot  in the consumer level Artificial Intelligence (AI).

It will get a whole lot better!

The best guess is that Apple is using the Wolfram Alpha search engine, one I have used for years and it is really good, but I suspect that database is supplemented by other databases.

Google will promptly answer with a similar Personal Assistant for Anrdoid phones based on Google and Google Earth when their answer comes, and the race will be on. Android already has a text base from which to draw their voice based.

The consumer will be the beneficiary of the competition.

In the industry it is said that Steve Jobs concentrated his final efforts of design from cover to cover on the iPHONE5, due next summer, and that he considered the 4S a tease.

Google and Android are capable of matching SIRI 1 pretty quickly, but then will come SIRI 2 — Apple bought the SIRI Corp. last year, and that gave them the head start but Google can answer. They have the resources

Just watching AI advance first with chess computers whupping up on Chess Masters, then Watson winning Jeopardy told us it was coming.

Apple brought it!

SIRI is not new AI, it is not yet good AI, but it is available AI. It was even released as a “Beta” product so Apple knows it is not yet ready for prime time, but it is amazing nonetheless and the subject of a lot of buzz, something that Apple is terrific at generating.

(I have told the story before, but I wrote the Navy’s first AI program in 1968, but it was not by today’s standards very intelligent and it certainly was artificial! I later taught AI at the university graduate level, but in those days (1995) it took a supercomputer and was limited to predicting the movement of already visible thunderstorms at La Guardia airport in New York, so that only those runways about to be immediately impacted were temporarily closed. We have come a long way!)

Just as we always look back at the first clunky MAC for introducing us to the “mouse” we will look in the future to the iPHONE for our introduction to consumer-level AI.

Apple didn’t invent the mouse – that would be Palo Alto Research Center of Xerox (PARC), — but Apple brought it to the consumer, just as they did the Graphic User Interface (GUI). (You probably do not remember the bad old days when computers only produced black letters on green screens and no pictures or graphics.)

Apple has a knack for taking concepts out of the research labs, and popularizing them.

Jobs was a genius.