What teenagers do

July 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm (Uncategorized)

A report written by Matthew Robson, a 15-year old schoolboy, for Morgan Stanley on how he and his friends consume media. Source: Morgan Stanley

What I am most suprised about is how blindingly obvious most of it is and how little the basic themes differ from when I was a kid.  Here’s the quick summary:

  • Price is  a driver, things that are free are more used than things that cost money
  • Kids listen to music, don’t like paying for it and share it with friends
  • Kids watch TV (or an online version of it)
  • Kids don’t read newspapers
  • Kids play game consoles
  • Kids ignore most ads
  • Kids go to the movies, particularly if they can get in for half price

There were a couple of amusing things in there though

  • “Almost all teenagers like to have a ‘hard copy’ of the song (a file of the song that they can keep on their computer and use at will)”  Clearly the definition of “hard copy” has changed since I was a kid.
  • “Teenagers do not upgrade their phone very often, with most upgrading every two years.”  When I was a kid, two years seemed like a long time too.

Much has been made of kids not using Twitter.  Most people say this means twitter is doomed, but I celebrate it, finally a place for adults that isn’t being ruined by idiot kids.

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Memristor minds: The future of artificial intelligence

July 11, 2009 at 11:37 am (Uncategorized)

“EVER had the feeling something is missing? … A fourth basic circuit element besides the standard trio of resistor, capacitor and inductor. Chua dubbed it the “memristor”. The only problem was that as far as anyone could see, memristors did not actually exist.” In the early 2000s Stan Williams, senior fellow at the Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California tried to create a fast, low-power switch by placing two tiny resistors made of titanium dioxide over one another, using the current in one to somehow toggle the resistance in the other on and off. “They found that they could, but the resistance in different switches behaved in a way that was impossible to predict using any conventional model.”  They had created a memresistor. “What was happening was this: in its pure state of repeating units of one titanium and two oxygen atoms, titanium dioxide is a semiconductor. Heat the material, though, and some of the oxygen is driven out of the structure, leaving electrically charged bubbles that make the material behave like a metal.”

More at new scientist

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Predator or photosynthetic?

July 6, 2009 at 2:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Hatena is a single-cell organism, swimming around in the water, using a little feeding apparatus to eat cells and organic material smaller than itself. At some point, it would feed on another unicellular algae, the Nephroselmis. After ingesting the algae, this mouth disappears. Instead, it is replaced by an eyespot from the algae. The Hatena then gets all its energy from the photosynthetic algae and swims towards the light so the algae gets more sun.

From Byte Size Biology

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