Reg old foe becomes expert in another field

From the destruction of mankind to hard disk storage in one fell swoop


Professor Kevin Warwick - an old favourite here at The Reg - appears to have his switched his specialism from end-of-the-world rantings about cyborgs to the less sexy world of storage technology.

For those unaware of Professor Warwick of Reading University, he became a high-profile figure here in the UK, talking about the inevitable destruction of human beings as modern technology made them inefficient. By gaining national publicity through a series of bizarre and improbable experiments, Kevin even made it to the front page of Wired magazine (this time claiming telepathy with his wife through what was essentially a two-inch reed switch). We took exception to such nonsense and so did much of the UK's academic community.

Commenting on BBC online about the latest disk technology, however - now capable of storing 1Gb per square inch - Prof Warwick said: "It is funny that whilst thousands of years ago they appear to have had a much longer term plan about buildings and structures and information, now we seem to be going for a much shorter timescale. The lifespan of things has really speeded up and you have to ask the question are we leaving much for posterity?"

Apart from the interesting concept of lifespans speeding up (getting shorter, no?), there's not much to get excited about you may think. But then considering Kevin had set himself up as "the leading prophet of the robot age", it does seems a little out of his remit.

And, of course, the fact that The Reg outed Prof Warwick as a fantasist, thereby decimating his media appearances, is a source of pride for us. We have nothing personally against Professor Warwick, but we are glad to see that philosophical comments now end with a question mark rather than a publicity led, publicly funded experiment. ®

Related stories

Home truths: Bionic man takes the Metal Mickey
World's first cyborg: man/machine or pipedream?


Other stories you might like

  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats a hasty retweet from the board
    We'll see you around the Block

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022