Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds — within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as “smart” as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: “Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.” A philosopher and technologist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we’re building right now, driven by thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values — or will they have values of their own? TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
THE SPANISH CITY OF BARCELONA plans to replace its Microsoft software with open source alternatives including Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange.
Barcelona plans to invest 70 per cent of its annual software budget in open source this year, according to El Pais, with the aim of completing the transformation by spring 2019.
Microsoft’s Outlook and Exchange Server email software is to be replaced by Open-Xchange, Microsoft Office will be ditched in favour of Libre Office, and Mozilla’s Firefox will be made the default browser across systems.
The city council has been piloting the use of Ubuntu Linux desktops for some time and it is likely that this distribution will be chosen as the operating system of choice.
With this move, Barcelona becomes the first city to join an initiative by Free Software Foundation Europe dubbed ‘Public code, public money‘ which calls on public bodies to invest tax revenues in free reusable systems that are open to local businesses rather than proprietary licensed software.
Through the initiative, Barcelona aims to reduce its spend on software licensing and its dependence on the proprietary suppliers that have held contracts with the city authorities for years or in some cases decades.
Tiny Linux Plug Computers: Wall Wart Linux Servers
Choosing the Right One
Ever wish you could set up a small, efficient server? Maybe you’re setting up a mail server for a couple of people, or something to hand out music files over a home network. Do you really need a full-fledged PC with a noisy fan, sucking down 100 watts and heating up the room?
Fortunately, there’s a class of computers ideally suited to that sort of job: “plug computers”, sometimes called Sheevaplugs after an early model. The whole computer is built into the bit that plugs into the wall, so they’re barely bigger than a normal “wall wart” power supply. They use power-efficient ARM CPUs, so you can run a server with only 5 watts. They’re inexpensive, usually just over $100 for a plug with 512M RAM and 512M flash. Best of all, they come with Linux installed right out of the box.
Interested? Here’s what you need to know to get started in plug computing.