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6/19/2007
07:58 PM
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Google Offers Tech Talks On Video

Google is making available a growing collection of technical lectures, but don't expect them to topple American Idol in the ratings any time soon.

Alpha geeks who dismiss cable channel tech shows as mere gadget porn now have access to edutainment worthy of turbo-charged brains: Google Tech Talks.

On Monday, Kevin McCurley, a member of Google's research team, posted an update on the Google Research blog about Google's growing collection of technical lectures.

"In the last few years, several technological developments have made it possible to distribute high-quality video of talks on the Web in addition to written publications," said McCurley. "This distribution of videos from talks holds the promise of changing the way that scientists think about communication. Imagine what lessons would be available to us if we had the ability to view lectures by Kepler, Einstein, Turing, Shannon, or von Neumann! Imagine also what it would be like to be able to watch and listen to selected talks from conferences that are across the world, without having to suffer the burden of traveling to the remote location," he said.

Imagine no more. You can view a wide variety of technical lectures, not to mention talks by authors and other notable people, from the comfort of your own office.

If you've been wondering whether Google should go nuclear, there's a video talk that addresses that very question.

And if you've already decided that Google is the bomb (thus rendering the nuclear issue moot), you may prefer to ponder "Scaling the Internet routing table with Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)" or "A perceptual space that can explain the robustness of bio-acoustic communication."

These are not the Top Five PC Productivity Tips. They're hardcore academic wonk fests. If you're the sort of person who watches Nova on PBS and recognizes the researchers as colleagues or former students, Google Tech Talks are for you.

Really, they're for anyone with an interest in current science and culture. But don't let that stop you from congratulating yourself for your elevated entertainment preferences.

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