Three to five stories every weekday that highlight what's grabbing my interest today
In 2008 and 2009 researchers started using GPUs made by Nvidia and AMD to handle work typically performed by microprocessors. The parallel computing processors built into graphics cards made by these two companies offered distinct advantages over the X86 platform championed by Intel. At the time Nvidia was pushing hard into mobile and computing graphics, but several years earlier the company started heavily investing in designing graphics chips to handle non-graphical functions. The industry noticed, and Nvidia made a play for supercomputers.
Now, nearly ten years later, Nvidia’s products are among the fastest and most efficient supercomputing platforms available. Nvidia is set to, literally, power the computing world.
The reality is that technology has flipped the entire argument for patents — that they spur innovation — completely on its head. The very nature of technology — that costs are fixed and best maximized over huge user-bases, along with the presence of network effects — mean there are greater returns to innovation than ever before.
Did they delete the models, the algorithms, the software, the intellectual property that they derived from having the data in the first place? That's the only question that matters.
A pedestrian takes a few pictures then walks away. A pair of cyclists overtakes without a backward glance. A builder barks at us, just for fun. But overall, no one really cares about our self-driving pod as it bumps sedately along the riverside in the quiet London borough of Greenwich. And that’s very good news.
Pods could be the future of urban transport, say some. They’re quiet, compact, and they maneuver more easily through Europe’s winding streets than regular cars. Since last April, London has been trialing these autonomous vehicles with funding from a consortium of private and public institutions known as the Gateway Project. The aim is to find out how self-driving technology can best be integrated into the UK’s cities, and a big part of that work focuses on pods. They’re not trying to develop the hardware, like the Ubers and Waymos of this world, but explore what works best for the public and whether they even like it.