Zeit·geist = spirit, essence of a particular time

A collection of food-for-thought posts and articles on technology, business, leadership and management. 

An End to Moore's Law: the Dawn of a New Computing Era

(continuation to: The Second Arms Race: Artificial Intelligence)

Many information technologies have evolved at exponential rate (Nagy et al, 2011), Moore’s law, stating the transistor count doubles every 2 years, has been at the core of causality for 50 years.

But this trend may not hold for much longer (Mack 2011, Lundstrom 2003) as per physical limitations of silicon, or, maybe we don’t see the forest for the trees.

•    There are limits to the exponential growth inherent in each paradigm. Moore’s law was not the first paradigm to bring exponential growth to computing, but rather the fifth. 

•    In the 1950s they were shrinking vacuum tubes to keep the exponential growth going and then that paradigm hit a wall. But the exponential growth of computing didn’t stop. 

•    It kept going, with the new paradigm of transistors taking over. Each time we can see the end of the road for a paradigm, it creates research pre, quest for the pressure to create the next one. 

 •    That’s happening now with Moore’s law, even though we are still about fifteen years away from the end of our ability to shrink transistors on a flat integrated circuit. 

•    We’re making dramatic progress in creating the sixth paradigm, which is three-dimensional (quantum) molecular computing. 

Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is near

The dawn of a new computing era: More than Moore MtM

Moore’s law will come to an end as a consequence of physical limitations of silicon; three dimensional quantum computing is poised to take over as the new paradigm. 

Quantum computing timeline:


•    Coherent superposition of an ensemble of approximately 3 billion qubits for 39 minutes at room temperature. The previous record was 2 seconds.


•    Documents leaked by Edward Snowden confirm the Penetrating Hard Targets Project, by which the National Security Agency seeks to develop a quantum computing capability for cryptographic purposes.

•    Scientists transfer data by quantum teleportation over a distance of 10 feet (3.048 meters) with zero percent error rate, a vital step towards a quantum Internet.


•    Optically addressable nuclear spins in a solid with a six-hour coherence time.

•    Quantum information encoded by simple electrical pulses.

•    Quantum error detection code using a square lattice of four superconducting qubits


Quantum computing promises to augment computing power a billion fold, however, we may not need to get there to develop a strong Artificial Intelligence, one that has the capacity to improve and evolve by itself.

The expectation is that soon after we reach a strong AI matching a human brain, the ability to replicate it rapidly and limitlessly will generate a self-improving general AI, which in turn would accelerate intelligence exponentially.


Next: An Explosion of Intelligence: The A.I. Arms Race

Smartphone adoption, not even half way

Diffusion of technologies follow a bell curve, going from early adopters, on to majority, late majority and laggards,  to reach 100% penetration.  This phenomenon was studied and explained by Everett Rogers back in 1983.

An S shaped curve (logistic function) follows suit. The bell curve is actually product of the derivative of the logistic function.

WebCongress Miami 2013 Why does Superman wear his underwear outside

Stacking up the data of smartphone sales from last years, it´s amazing how accurately its adoption follows the pattern. The coloured area on the right part of the chart, corresponding to actual US smartphone sales gives you an indication of the maturity of this market today, well above 50% penetration, versus worldwide penetration sitting north of 22% only.

A similar pattern can be observed looking at top 5 European countries.

This post from the analyst Horace Dediu is the original source for the all data and graphs.

Now you can estimate where the growth (in volume) will come from, geographically speaking, based on adoption and relative audience available.

And this, regardless of manufacturer shares, as the theory demonstrates the different players will adapt their strategies accordingly, within the limits of the S adoption curve.

This theory can be applied to literally any new technology breakthrough; products, services, social networks....

Now, the task is to analyze the underlying reasons behind the pattern. The Why.

There are some theories out there linking human learning processes with it but I suspect there is more behind, specifically about the perceived benefit of a technology within the community (or the bigger entire human colony if you will), and the role of the brand as a fostering mechanism for adoption.

Fascinating food for thought.


credits: Horace Dediu. Asymco

WebCongress US: Why Superman wears his underwear outside his pants? - Tech trends & patterns

Actually this is a presentation about technology trends, patterns and mobility but, given the audience at WebCongress held in Miami James L. Knight center I had to look for a catchy title. Head on to slide 32 for a wonderful graph on Smartphone adoption where you can see where the world is at today compared to US and EU 5 countries. Thanks to analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco.

[slideshare id=28014475&doc=webcongressmiami2013whydoessupermanwearhisunderwearoutside-online-131107133803-phpapp02]

The deck is 51 slides long but there are another 50 in the original draft, pretty much covering everything I could find from real experts around tech. More importantly, at the end of the presentation, slides 46 onwards, you'll find what this means to people, and their reason behind the rising new generation of entrepreneurs.

As a summary, this is the new context we face:

  • New paths in Maslow’s pyramid
  • ‘truth’ is a tweet, photo or video clicked & sent away
  • New definitions of ‘success’: money may not be in
  • Access to luxury more important than owning luxury – Rise of sharing economy
  • Self-realization and self-actualization online
  • (Win)^3: You help me, I help you, we help others
  • Klout score in your resume
  • Managing man-machine symbiosis, key competencies.
  • Global network, global thinking, global objectives. A collective intelligence arising (Singularity)

Consequence of historical events:

  • Reduced sense of security since 2001 terrorists attacks
  • Destabilized economy since Global Financial crisis 2008
  • High unemployment levels – ‘Evil’ corporations
  • Increasing perceived fiscal pressure – need to self sustain or get out the system
  • Pervasive & cheap computing everywhere
  • Tech-entrepreneur heroes – Dorsey, Zuckenberg, Larry, Sergey
  • All tools you need in the web: crowdfunding yourself (kickstarter)

Loss aversion decreased dramatically for new generations, a 'nothing to lose' context fosters entrepreneurship. We'll all meet there.


Father & Son lifespan together #toomuchtimeonplanes

My son turned 4 the other day, on the 20th of August. I was away, as usual these days, traveling.

Being away made me think of the time we should be spending together and, more importantly, about how much effective time we will be able to spend together over the course of our respective lifespans.


I came up with a draft aproximation to the problem based on two criteria:

Time (X axis), overlaying Father and Son's timelines, with the estimated lifespan they can effectively share, since a son is born till father dies.

Energy (Y axis), or 'impressions' during a lifetime. Inherently linked to our physical growth as humans, representing our lives as a bell (gaussian) curve: birth, growth phase, younger age, middle age peak and elderly evolution.

Foremost and most important, time father and son can share over their respective lifespans is limited to those years where both are alive. This is true at least while we can't backup our brains and download our consciousness on virtual machines as this would enable timeless independent interaction.

While we wait for that technology, in my case, common lifespan for my son and I is in the range of 30 years over our combined lives reach of 140 years, overlying our respective timelines.

In the picture above, this is the time between point A in 2013 (ed Jr, my son, turning 4 now) and point C in 2043 (myself becoming too old for meaningful interaction).

Peaks in life, top of bell curves, happen at mid age (points D and E), gone for me, and estimated at the age of 50 for my son, somewhere around year 2059.

This is considering life expectancy of new generations, and new millennials to increase from 80-90 years today to over 100 for them, hence ed Jr's bell peak at 50 instead of 40 as it was for Generation X parents like me.

Similarly, the 'energy' or 'impression' levels for new generations over the course of their lives will be far bigger, amplified by technology, ubiquitous knowledge, and online, always on services & resources that will expand human interaction with the world around them (early signs of this can be seen today).

The gaussian area below your bell shaped life curve defines how impactful your life has been. It's some sort of power measurement (energy/time) of your life.

For instance, there's little 'power' life you can live with your son before he is at least 3-4 years old, when he starts to remember things and experiences (point A). Similarly, there's little doable at the very end of your life (probably lying on a bed with serious physical limitations, point C).

The triangle shaped area delimited by points A, B and C gives you a sense of the actual common 'powered' life available for you and your son.

The referred triangled area is the gaussian area below your son's life curve (between point A and B) adding the area from father's declining bell curve (from point B to C).

Anyone up to do the math?, would you like to see an online calculator of 'father & son power lifespan'?, let me know....



#CongresoCloud en Logroño, la Rioja

Mobile cloud from a visual angle @efernandez [slideshare id=13146821&w=425&h=355&sc=no]
  1. CongresoCloud
    #Congresocloud Gracias a las 1.800 personas que han seguido este congreso vía streaming
    Fri, Jun 01 2012 07:44:08
  2. juan_osaba
    RT “@Thinktic: @pau @eyeos en #congresocloud #LaRioja clausurando un congreso de 236 acreditaciones y 1.800 Via web http://pic.twitter.com/ReYyWa3o”
    Fri, Jun 01 2012 08:00:14
  3. amadeolazaro
    RT @lasblogenpunto: El cloud debería inspirarse en el espíritu de Kodak: 'Usted apriete el botón, que nosotros hacemos el resto'. Simplicidad #congresocloud
    Fri, Jun 01 2012 07:45:53
  4. luispedraza
    RT @juan_esteban: Que buena presentacion!! RT@efernandez: Mobile cloud from a visual angle @efernandez http://www.slideshare.net/edslide/congresocloud-ii-congreso-nacional-cloud-la-rioja-mayo2012-efernandez-sub-red #congresocloud @congresocloud
    Fri, Jun 01 2012 07:34:07
  5. ulisesmt
    RT @CongresoCloud: "Every traditional business has a digital bullet whit its name engraved" citado por @efernandez en #congresocloud
    Thu, May 31 2012 11:04:34
  6. CongresoCloud
    RT @juan_esteban: @efernandez que gran presentacion!! Enhorabuena!! #congresocloud
    Thu, May 31 2012 10:52:04
  7. sergiosanchezgo
    @efernandez "Every traditionally business has a digital bullet with its name engraved" #CongresoCloud
    Thu, May 31 2012 08:56:36
  8. JoseLCalvillo
    @efernandez Digitalización y movilidad: las claves del desarrollo de cualquier negocio #CongresoCloud
    Thu, May 31 2012 08:52:30
  9. juan_esteban
    Que buena presentacion!! RT@efernandez: Mobile cloud from a visual angle @efernandez http://www.slideshare.net/edslide/congresocloud-ii-congreso-nacional-cloud-la-rioja-mayo2012-efernandez-sub-red #congresocloud @congresocloud
    Thu, May 31 2012 08:52:19
  10. CongresoCloud
    @efernandez @BlackBerryESP me tira mucho esta tierra #LaRioja en #congresocloud http://pic.twitter.com/tzevNQfp
    Thu, May 31 2012 08:39:07