The General Electric Company, or GE (NYSE: GE), is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in the State of New York.The Company operates through five segments: Energy Infrastructure, Technology Infrastructure, NBC Universal (NBCU), Capital Finance and Consumer & Industrial (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) http://www.hdd-shop.co.uk .
In 2010, Forbes ranked GE as the world's second largest company (after JP Morgan Chase ), based on a formula that compared the total sales, profits, assets, and market value of several multinational companies.The company has 304,000 employees around the world (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
By 1890, Thomas Edison had brought together several of his business interests under one corporation to form Edison General Electric. At about the same time, Thomson-Houston Company, under the leadership of Charles A (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
Coffin, gained access to a number of key patents through the acquisition of a number of competitors. Subsequently, General Electric was formed by the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric of Schenectady, New York and Thomson-Houston Company of Lynn, Massachusetts, and both plants remain in operation under the GE banner to this day (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
The company was incorporated in New York, with the Schenectady plant as headquarters for many years thereafter. Around the same time, General Electric's Canadian counterpart, Canadian General Electric, was formed (Dell KM958 battery) .
In 1896, General Electric was one of the original 12 companies listed on the newly formed Dow Jones Industrial Average and still remains after 114 years, the only one remaining on the Dow (though it has not continuously been in the DOW index) (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .
23 Ton diesel electric locomotive made at the General Electric Corp. plant in Schenectady, N.Y.
In 1911 the National Electric Lamp Association (NELA) was absorbed into General Electric's existing lighting business. GE then established its lighting division headquarters at Nela Park in East Cleveland, Ohio (Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery) .
Nela Park is still the headquarters for GE's lighting business. In 1935, GE was one of the top 30 companies traded at the London Stock Exchange.
The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was founded by GE in 1919 to further international radio (Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery) .
GE used RCA as its retail arm for radio sales from 1919, when GE began production, until separation in 1930.RCA would quickly grow into an industrial giant of its own (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery) .
See also: GE Wind Energy
GE's long history of working with turbines in the power generation field gave them the engineering know-how to move into the new field of aircraftturbosuperchargers (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery) .
Led by Sanford Moss, GE introduced the first superchargers during WWI, and continued to develop them during the Interwar period. They became indispensable in the years immediately prior to WWII, and GE was the world leader in exhaust-driven supercharging when the war started (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery) .
This experience, in turn, made GE a natural selection to develop the Whittle W.1 jet engine that was demonstrated in the US in 1941. Although their early work with Whittle's designs was later handed to Allison Engine Company, GE Aviation emerged as one of the world's largest engine manufacturers second only to the well-founded, and older, British company (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery) ;
Rolls-Royce plc, which led the way in innovative, reliable and efficient, high-performance, heavy-duty, jet engine design and manufacture.
In 2002 GE acquired the wind power assets of Enron during its bankruptcy proceedings Sony VGP-BPL15 battery .
Enron Wind was the only surviving US manufacturer of large wind turbines at the time, and GE increased engineering and supplies for the Wind Division and doubled the annual sales to $1.2B in 2003. It acquired ScanWind in 2009 Dell Inspiron E1505 battery .
GE was one of the eight major computer companies through all of the 1960s — with IBM, the largest, called "Snow White" followed by the "Seven Dwarfs": Burroughs, NCR, Control Data Corporation, Honeywell, RCA, UNIVAC and GE Dell Latitude E6400 battery .
Within the industry, this group was also referred to as the "BUNCH", and IBM was referred to as "Big Blue", a name it retains today.
GE had an extensive line of general purpose and special purpose computers HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery .
Among them were the GE 200, GE 400, andGE 600 series general purpose computers, the GE 4010, GE 4020, and GE 4060 real time process control computers, and the Datanet 30 message switching computer SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery .
A Datanet 600 computer was designed, but never sold. It has been said that GE got into computer manufacturing because in the 1950s they were the largest user of computers outside of the United States federal government. In 1970 GE sold its computer division to Honeywell SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery .
In 1986 GE reacquired RCA, primarily for the NBC television network (also parent of Telemundo Communications Group), The remainder was sold to various companies, including Bertelsmann(Bertelsmann acquired RCA Records) and Thomson SA which, ironically, traces its roots to Thomson-Houston, one of the original components of GE SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery .
In 2002 Francisco Partners and Norwest Venture Partners acquired a division of GE called GE Information Systems (GEIS). The new company, named GXS, is based in Gaithersburg, MD. GXS is a leading provider of B2B e-Commerce solutions. GE maintains a minority ownership position in GXS SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery .
Also in 2002, GE bought wind turbine manufacturing assets of Enron Wind after the Enron scandals.
In 2004 GE bought 80% of Universal Pictures from Vivendi. Vivendi bought 20% of NBC forming the company NBC Universal. GE then owned 80% of NBC Universal and Vivendi owned 20% SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery .
In 2004 GE completed the spin-off of most of its mortgage and life insurance assets into an independent company, Genworth Financial, based in Richmond, Virginia.
Genpact formerly known as GE Capital International Services (GECIS) was established by GE in late 1997 as its captive India based BPO SONY VAIO VGN-FZ430E Battery .
GE sold 60% stake in Genpact to General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners in 2005 and hived off Genpact into an independent business. GE is still a major client to Genpact getting its services in customer service, finance, information technology and analytics.
In May 2008, GE announced it was exploring options for divesting the bulk of its Consumer and Industrial business SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery .
For a complete list of acquisitions and divestitures, see General Electric timeline.
General Electric's Schenectady, New York facilities (including GE's original headquarters) are assigned the ZIP code 12345. (All Schenectady ZIP codes begin with 123, but no others begin with 1234.) SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery
On December 3, 2009, it was announced that NBC Universal will become a joint venture between GE and cable TV operator Comcast. The cable giant will hold a controlling interest in the company, while GE retains a 49% stake and will buy out shares currently owned by Vivendi SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery .
Vivendi will sell its 20% stake in NBC Universal to GE for US$5.8 billion. Vivendi will sell 7.66% of NBC Universal to GE for US$2 billion if the GE/Comcast deal is not completed by September 2010 and then sell the remaining 12.34% stake of NBC Universal to GE for US$3.8 billion when the deal is completed or to the public via an IPO if the deal is not completed SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery.
On March 1, 2010, General Electric (GE) announced that the company is planning to sell its 20.85% stake in Turkey-based Garanti Bank.
In August 2010, GE Healthcare signed a strategic partnership to bring cardiovascular Computed Tomography (CT) technology from start-up Arineta Ltd. of Israel to the hospital market SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery .
In October 2010, General Electric acquired gas engines manufacture Dresser Inc. for a $3 billion deal and also bought a $1.6 billion portfolio of retail credit cards from Citigroup Inc. This is the first major deal since the start of the financial crisis.
On October 14, 2010, GE announced acquisition of data migration & SCADA simulation specialists Opal Software SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery .
December 2010: For the second times of this year (after Dresser acquisition), General Electric Co. buy oil sector company British Wellstream Holding Plc. an oil drilling pipemaker for 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery .
Shed non-core assets
GE Capital sold its $2 billion dollar Mexican assets to Santander for $162 million and exit the business in Mexico. Santander will additionally assume the portfolio debts of GE Capital in the country SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery .
The transaction will be finished at first half of 2011. GE Capital will focus in the core business and will shed its non-core assets.
GE is a multinational conglomerate headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery .
Its New York main offices are located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Rockefeller Center, known as the GE Building for the prominent GE logo on the roof. NBC's headquarters and main studios are also located in the building. Through its RCA subsidiary, it has been associated with the Center since its construction in the 1930s SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery .
The company describes itself as composed of a number of primary business units or "businesses." Each unit is itself a vast enterprise, many of which would, even as a standalone company, rank in the Fortune 500 . The list of GE businesses varies over time as the result of acquisitions, divestituresand reorganizations SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery .
GE's tax return is the largest return filed in the United States; the 2005 return was approximately 24,000 pages when printed out, and 237 megabytes when submitted electronically.
In 2005 GE launched its "Ecomagination" initiative in an attempt to position itself as a "green" company SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery .
GE is currently one of the biggest players in the wind power industry, and it is also developing new environment-friendly products such as hybrid locomotives, desalination and water reuse solutions, and photovoltaic cells. The company has set goals for its subsidiaries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery .
On May 21, 2007, GE announced it would sell its GE Plastics division to petrochemicals manufacturer SABIC for net proceeds of $11.6 billion. The transaction took place on August 31, 2007, and the company name changed to SABIC Innovative Plastics, with Brian Gladden as CEO SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery .
Jeffrey Immelt is the current chairman of the board and chief executive officer of GE. He was selected by GE's Board of Directors in 2000 to replace John Francis Welch Jr. (Jack Welch) following his retirement SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery .
Previously, Immelt had headed GE's Medical Systems division (now GE Healthcare) as its President and CEO. He has been with GE since 1982 and is on the board of two non-profit organizations SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery .
His tenure as the Chairman and CEO started at a time of crisis — he took over the role on September 7, 2001 four days before the terrorist attacks on the United States, which killed two employees and cost GE's insurance business $600 million — as well as having a direct effect on the company's Aircraft Engines sector Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery .
Immelt has also been selected as one of President Obama's financial advisors concerning the economic rescue plan.
GE has the fourth most recognized brand in the world, worth almost $48 billion Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery .
CEO Jeffrey Immelt had a set of changes in the presentation of the brand commissioned in 2004, after he took the reins as chairman, to unify the diversified businesses of GE. The changes included a new corporate color palette, small modifications to the GE Logo, a new customized font (GE Inspira) Dell Inspiron 1564 Battery ,
and a new slogan, "imagination at work" replacing the longtime slogan "we bring good things to life", composed by David Lucas. The standard requires many headlines to be lowercased and adds visual "white space" to documents and advertising to promote an open and approachable company Dell Inspiron 1764 Battery .
The changes were designed by Wolff Olins and are used extensively on GE's marketing, literature and website.
GE's divisions include GE Capital, GE Energy, GE Technology Infrastructure, NBC Universal and GE Home & Business Solutions Dell Studio 1450 Battery .
Through these businesses, GE participates in a wide variety of markets including the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity (e.g. nuclear, gas and solar), lighting, industrial automation,medical imaging equipment, motors, railway locomotives, aircraft jet engines, and aviation services Dell Studio 1457 Battery .
It co-owns NBC Universal with Comcast. Through GE Commercial Finance, GE Consumer Finance, GE Equipment Services, and GE Insurance it offers a range of financial services as well. It has a presence in over 100 countries.
GE also produces General Imaging digital cameras Dell Latitude D610 Battery .
In 2010, General Imaging released the Bridge Camera GE X5 with 14MP and 15x optical zoom.
Since over half of GE's revenue is derived from financial services, it is arguably a financial company with a manufacturing arm. It is also one of the largest lenders in countries other than the United States, such as Japan Toshiba NB100 Battery .
Even though the first wave of conglomerates (such as ITT Corporation, Ling-Temco-Vought,Tenneco, etc.) fell by the wayside by the mid-1980s, in the late 1990s, another wave (consisting of Westinghouse, Tyco, and others) tried and failed to emulate GE's success Toshiba Satellite M65 battery .
It was announced on May 4, 2008 that GE would auction off its appliances business for an expected sale of $5–8 billion. However, this plan fell through as a result of the recession.
In 2004, GE was named number one company for employers and employees on the Forbes 500 Global Player list Toshiba Satellite M60 battery .
Over the years, GE has received several awards honoring them for their accomplishments, values and reputation:
- In Fortune Magazine's 2005 "Global Most Admired Companies" list, GE ranked first overall. (February 2005)
- In Fortune Magazine's 2006 "America's Most Admired Companies" list, GE ranked first overall. (March 2006) Dell Latitude D830 Battery
- GE was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index as one of the world's leaders in environmental, social and economic programs.
- GE ranked ninth on Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Desirable MBA Employers" list. (April 2004) Dell Latitude D620 Battery
GE has a history of some of its activities giving rise to large-scale air and water pollution. Based on year 2000 data, researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute listed the corporation as the fourth-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with more than 4.4 million pounds per year (2,000 Tonnes) of toxic chemicals released into the air Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery .
GE has also been implicated in the creation of toxic waste. According to EPA documents, only the United States Government, Honeywell, and Chevron Corporation are responsible for producing more Superfund toxic waste sites Sony VGN-FW11S Battery .
In 1983, New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York to compel GE to pay for the cleanup of what was claimed to be more than 100,000 tons of chemicals dumped (legally, at the time) from their plant in Waterford Sony VGN-FW11M Battery .
In 1999, the company agreed to pay a $250 million settlement in connection with claims it polluted the Housatonic River and other sites with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery .
From approximately 1947 to 1977, GE discharged as much as 1.3 million pounds of PCBs from its capacitor manufacturing plants at the Hudson Falls and Fort Edward facilities into the Hudson River. GE fought a media and political battle to avoid cleaning up the river and countered that dredging the river would actually stir up PCBsDell Latitude E5400 Battery .
In 2002, GE was ordered to clean up a 40-mile (64 km) stretch of the Hudson River it had contaminated.
In 2003, acting on concerns that the plan proposed by GE did not "provide for adequate protection of public health and the environment Dell Latitude E4200 Battery ,
" the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a unilateral administrative order for the company to "address cleanup at the GE site" in Rome, Georgia, also contaminated with PCBs.
In May 2005 GE announced the launch of a program called "Ecomagination Dell Inspiron 300M Battery ,
" intended, in the words of CEO Jeff Immelt "to develop tomorrow’s solutions such as solar energy, hybrid locomotives, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger durable materials, efficient lighting, and water purification technology Dell Vostro A840 Battery ,
” prompting The New York Times to observe that, "while General Electric's increased emphasis on clean technology will probably result in improved products and benefit its bottom line, Mr. Immelt's credibility as a spokesman on national environmental policy is fatally flawed because of his company's intransigence in cleaning up its own toxic legacy Dell Studio 1737 battery ."
GE has said that it will invest $1.4bn in cleantech research and development in 2008 as part of its Ecomagination initiative. As of October 2008, the scheme had resulted in 70 green products being brought to market, ranging from halogen lamps to biogas engines Dell Inspiron E1505 battery .
In 2007, GE raised the annual revenue target for its Ecomagination initiative from $20bn in 2010 to $25bn following positive market response to its new product lines. In 2010, GE continued to raise the hype by adding $10 billion into Ecomagination over the next five years Dell RM791 battery .
GE Energy’s renewable energy business has expanded greatly, to keep up with growing U.S. and global demand for clean energy. Since entering the renewable energy industry in 2002, GE has invested more than $850 million in renewable energy technology Dell XPS M1530 battery .
In August 2008 it acquired Kelman Ltd, a Northern Ireland company specializing in advanced monitoring and diagnostics technologies for transformers used in renewable energy generation, and announced an expansion of its business in Northern Ireland in May 2010 Dell XPS M2010 battery .
In 2009, GE’s renewable energy initiatives, which include solar power, wind power and GE Jenbacher gas engines using renewable and non-renewable methane-based gases, employ more than 4,900 people globally and have created more than 10,000 supporting jobs Acer Aspire One battery .
GE Energy and Orion New Zealand Limited (Orion) have announced implementation of the first phase of a GE network management system to help improve power reliability for customers. GE’s ENMAC Distribution Management System is the foundation of Orion’s initiative Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery .
The system of smart grid technologies will significantly improve the network company’s ability to manage big network emergencies and help it to restore power faster when outages occur SONY VGN-FZ210CE Battery .
GE Healthcare is collaborating with The Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Medical College of South Carolina to offer an integrated radiology curriculum during their respective MD Programs led by investigators of the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity study Dell Precision M70 Battery .
GE has donated over one million dollars of Logiq E Ultrasound equipment to these two institutions.
Recently, GE has unveiled a 40W replacement Energy Smart LED bulb, which will be available later this year or early 2011 Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery .
The company claims that the new LED bulb will provide a 77% energy savings and produce nearly the same light output as a 40W incandescent bulb, while lasting more than 25 times as long Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery .
On August 4, 2009 the SEC fined General Electric $50 million for breaking accounting rules in two separate cases, misleading investors into believing GE would meet or beat earnings expectations Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery .
GE has faced criminal action regarding its defense related operations. GE was convicted in 1990 of defrauding the U.S. Department of Defense, and again in 1992 on charges of corrupt practices in the sale of jet engines to Israel Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery .
GE was the focus of a 1991 short subject Academy Award winning documentary, "Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment" that juxtaposed GE's rosy 'We Bring Good Things To Life' commercials with the true stories of workers and neighbors whose lives have been affected by the company's activities involving nuclear weapons Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery ."
GE's corporate culture and management practices are frequently lampooned in the NBC television series 30 Rock. In the first season episode "The Rural Juror", character Jack Donaghy opens a complex organization chart that depicts the ownership structure of General Electric's subsidiaries Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery .
The chart reveals that NBC is a subsidiary of Sheinhardt Wig Company, and NBC in turn owns subsidiaries not related to broadcasting or entertainment production.
In the early 1950s Kurt Vonnegut was a writer for General Electric Sony Vaio PCG-5G2L Battery .
A number of his novels and stories (notably Cat's Cradle) refer to the fictional city of Ilium, which appears to be loosely based onSchenectady, New York. The Ilium Works is the setting for the short story, Deer in the Works Sony Vaio PCG-5G3L Battery .
The company was also spoofed in the children's book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. In the drawing that depicts the Grinch stealing the Whos' feast, the icebox has a label that reads "General Who-lectric" .
The NBC sitcom 30 Rock is set at the NBC Studios in the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Center (hence the title) Sony Vaio PCG-5J1L Battery .
All characters in the main cast are NBC (and therefore GE) employees, and one character, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is portrayed as having risen through the ranks of GE management to become Vice President of NBC's East Coast operations through the company's microwave oven division Sony Vaio PCG-5K2L Battery .
In two 1950s science fiction films about missions to the moon, General Electric's name appears on the launch clocks: Destination Moon, and Rocketship X-M.
In the 1987 movie *batteries not included, character Mason Baylor identifies a piece of metal as part of his coffee maker machine because "it said GE" Sony Vaio PCG-5J2L Battery .
The GE Building is an Art Deco skyscraper that forms the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center in the midtown Manhattan section of New York City. Known as the RCA Building until 1988, it is most famous for housing the headquarters of the television network NBC Sony Vaio PCG-5K1L Battery .
At 850 feet (259 m) tall, the 70-story building is the 10th tallest building in New York City and the 33rd tallest in the United States. Its address is 30 Rockefeller Plaza, which has led to its nickname "30 Rock".
The building was completed in 1933 as part of the Rockefeller Center Sony Vaio PCG-5L1L Battery .
The noted Art Deco architect Raymond Hood led a team of Rockefeller architects. It was named the RCA Building for its main tenant, the Radio Corporation of America, formed in 1919 by General Electric. It was the first building constructed with the elevators grouped in the central core Sony Vaio PCG-6S2L Battery .
During construction, photographer Charles Clyde Ebbets took the famous photograph Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper. National Broadcasting Company, also owned by General Electric, leased space in the building.
The office of the Rockefeller family occupied Room 5600 on the 56th floor Sony Vaio PCG-6S3L Battery .
This space is now occupied by Rockefeller Family & Associates, spanning between the 54th floor and the 56th floor of the building. In 1985, the building acquired official landmark status. The RCA Building was renamed as the GE Building in 1988, two years after General Electric re-acquired the RCA Corporation Sony Vaio PCG-6V1L Battery .
The GE Building is one of the most famous and recognized skyscrapers in New York. The frieze located above the main entrance was executed by Lee Lawrie and depicts "Wisdom", along with a slogan that reads "Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times", from Isaiah 33:6 (KJV) Sony Vaio PCG-6W1L Battery .
The vertical detailing of the building's austere Art Deco facade is integrated with a slim, functionally expressive form. The present exterior is recognized for the large GE letters at the building's top. The famous marquee above the building's entrance is seen on numerous television shows, such as 30 Rock andSeinfeld Sony Vaio PCG-6W2L Battery .
Unlike most other tall Art Deco buildings constructed in the 1930s, the GE Building has no spire on its roof.
Some of the building's nicknames include The Slab and 30 Rock. The latter is also the title of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, which follows the cast and crew of a fictional television show filmed inside the building Sony Vaio PCG-6W3L Battery .
The television show uses the building for exterior shots while interior shots are filmed at Silvercup Studios inQueens.
KWO35, the NOAA Weather Radio station for the majority of the Tri-State area, transmits from atop the GE Building at 162.55 MHzSony Vaio PCG-7111L Battery .
Below the building is a shopping concourse, connected to the lobby via an escalator. The open lobby's rich materials and reduced black and beige ornamental scheme is enhanced by dramatic lighting. Granite covers the building base to a height of 4 feet (1.2 m), and the shaft has a refined facade of Indiana Limestone with aluminum spandrel panels Sony Vaio PCG-7112L Battery .
The top floor of the GE Building is an event room and restaurant named the Rainbow Room, which was recently revamped and reopened to the public with new operators. The famous photograph Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper was taken there when the building was under construction in 1932 Sony Vaio PCG-7113L Battery .
The Rainbow Room announced on January 4, 2009, that it would no longer operate as a restaurant due to the economic downturn.
The building is well known for housing the headquarters of NBC and the New York facilities of NBC Studios. In 1996, NBC bought the 1,600,000 square feet (149,000 m2) of space it had leased since 1933 Sony Vaio PCG-7133L Battery .
The purchase allowed the company to introduce new technologies and renovate the space; it also gave them options to renew the lease on the Today Show studios, broadcast from a nearby building, 10 Rockefeller Plaza. NBC owns floors 1-30 & 50-59. The office ofJack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, is located on the 51st floor of the GE Building Sony Vaio PCG-7Z2L Battery .
The building's studios include Studio 8H, the home of Saturday Night Live. Studio 8H was once the largest radio studio in the world, originally home to theNBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. It was converted into a television studio in 1950Sony Vaio PCG-8Y1L Battery .
The Tonight Show was also taped at the GE Building in Studio 6-B from the early Jack Paar years until 1972, when the show moved to Burbank, California. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon now occupies the former Tonight Show space. During its run, Rosie O'Donnell broadcast her syndicated talk show from the building Sony Vaio PCG-8Y2L Battery .
The observation deck atop the skyscraper, dubbed "Top of the Rock", reopened to the public on November 1, 2005, after undergoing a $75 million renovation. It had been closed since 1986 to accommodate the renovation of the Rainbow Room Sony Vaio PCG-8Z1L Battery .
The deck, which is built to resemble the deck of an ocean liner, offers sightseers a bird's eye view of the city, competing with the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building. It is often considered the best panoramic city view, if only because it offers a view of the aforementioned Empire State Building, which cannot be seen from its own observation deck Dell Studio 1555 battery .
The "Top of the Rock" had also been co-opted for NBC's Sunday Night Football during the 2006–07 season, with the top player/MVP in that night's game according to John Madden and Al Michaelsreceiving the honor of being that night's "Rock Star" in the form of a glass trophy display on the observation deck Sony Vaio PCG-8Z2L Battery ;
this was a replacement for the Horse Trailer Award formerly awarded on ABC's Monday Night Football. The Horse Trailer honor was restored for the 2007–08 season.
Wheeler's "it from bit"
Following Jaynes and Weizsäcker, the physicist John Archibald Wheeler wrote the following Sony VAIO PCG-5G2L Battery :
It is not unreasonable to imagine that information sits at the core of physics, just as it sits at the core of a computer.
It from bit. Otherwise put, every 'it'—every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself—derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits Sony VAIO PCG-5G3L Battery .
'It from bit' symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances—an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes–no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses Sony VAIO PCG-5J1L Battery ;
in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe. (John Archibald Wheeler 1990: 5)
David Chalmers of the Australian National University summarised Wheeler's views as follows Sony VAIO PCG-5K2L Battery :
Wheeler (1990) has suggested that information is fundamental to the physics of the universe. According to this 'it from bit' doctrine, the laws of physics can be cast in terms of information, postulating different states that give rise to different effects without actually saying what those states are Sony VAIO PCG-5J2L Battery .
It is only their position in an information space that counts. If so, then information is a natural candidate to also play a role in a fundamental theory of consciousness. We are led to a conception of the world on which information is truly fundamental, and on which it has two basic aspects, corresponding to the physical and the phenomenal features of the world Sony VAIO PCG-5K1L Battery .
Chris Langan also builds upon Wheeler's views in his epistemological metatheory:
The Future of Reality Theory According to John Wheeler: In 1979, the celebrated physicist John Wheeler, having coined the phrase “black hole”, put it to good philosophical use in the title of an exploratory paper, Beyond the Black Hole, in which he describes the universe as a self-excited circuit Sony VAIO PCG-5L1L Battery .
The paper includes an illustration in which one side of an uppercase U, ostensibly standing for Universe, is endowed with a large and rather intelligent-looking eye intently regarding the other side, which it ostensibly acquires through observation as sensory information Sony VAIO PCG-6S2L Battery .
By dint of placement, the eye stands for the sensory or cognitive aspect of reality, perhaps even a human spectator within the universe, while the eye’s perceptual target represents the informational aspect of reality. By virtue of these complementary aspects, it seems that the universe can in some sense Sony VAIO PCG-6S3L Battery ,
but not necessarily that of common usage, be described as “conscious” and “introspective”…perhaps even “infocognitive”.
The first formal presentation of the idea that information might be the fundamental quantity at the core of physics seems to be due to Frederick W. Kantor (a physicist from Columbia University) Sony VAIO PCG-6V1L Battery .
Kantor's book Information Mechanics (Wiley-Interscience, 1977) developed this idea in detail, but without mathematical rigor.
The toughest nut to crack in Wheeler's research program of a digital dissolution of physical being in a unified physics, Wheeler himself says, is time Sony VAIO PCG-6W1L Battery .
In a 1986 eulogy to the mathematician, Hermann Weyl, he proclaimed: "Time, among all concepts in the world of physics, puts up the greatest resistance to being dethroned from ideal continuum to the world of the discrete, of information, of bits. ... Of all obstacles to a thoroughly penetrating account of existence, none looms up more dismayingly than 'time Sony VAIO PCG-6W2L Battery .
' Explain time? Not without explaining existence. Explain existence? Not without explaining time. To uncover the deep and hidden connection between time and existence ... is a task for the future." The Australian phenomenologist, Michael Eldred, comments Sony VAIO PCG-6W3L Battery :
The antinomy of the continuum, time, in connection with the question of being ... is said by Wheeler to be a cause for dismay which challenges future quantum physics, fired as it is by a will to power over moving reality, to "achieve four victories" (ibid.).. Sony VAIO PCG-7111L Battery .
And so we return to the challenge to "[u]nderstand the quantum as based on an utterly simple and — when we see it — completely obvious idea" (ibid.) from which the continuum of time could be derived. Only thus could the will to mathematically calculable power over the dynamics, i.e. the movement in time, of beings as a whole be satisfied Sony VAIO PCG-7112L Battery .
Digital vs. informational physics
Not every informational approach to physics (or ontology) is necessarily digital. According to Luciano Floridi,"informational structural realism" is a variant of structural realism that supports an ontological commitment to a world consisting of the totality of informational objects dynamically interacting with each other Sony VAIO PCG-7113L Battery .
Such informational objects are to be understood as constraining affordances.
Digital ontology and pancomputationalism are also independent positions. In particular, John Wheeler advocated the former but was silent about the latter; see the quote in the preceding section Sony VAIO PCG-7133L Battery .
On the other hand, pancomputationalists like Lloyd (2006), who models the universe as a quantum computer, can still maintain an analogue or hybrid ontology; and informational ontologists like Sayreand Floridi embrace neither a digital ontology nor a pancomputationalist position Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1L Battery .
Theoretical computer science is founded on the Turing machine, an imaginary computing machine first described by Alan Turing in 1936. While mechanically simple, the Church-Turing thesis implies that a Turing machine can solve any "reasonable" problem Sony VAIO PCG-7Z2L Battery .
(In theoretical computer science, a problem is considered "solvable" if it can be solved in principle, namely in finite time, which is not necessarily a finite time that is of any value to humans.) A Turing machine therefore sets the practical "upper bound" on computational power, apart from the possibilities afforded by hypotheticalhypercomputers Sony VAIO PCG-8Y1L Battery .
Wolfram's principle of computational equivalence powerfully motivates the digital approach. This principle, if correct, means that everything can be computed by one essentially simple machine, the realization of a cellular automaton. This is one way of fulfilling a traditional goal of physics: finding simple laws and mechanisms for all of nature Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2L Battery .
Digital physics is falsifiable in that a less powerful class of computers cannot simulate a more powerful class. Therefore, if our universe is a gigantic simulation, that simulation is being run on a computer at least as powerful as a Turing machine Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1L Battery .
If humans succeed in building a hypercomputer, then a Turing machine cannot have the power required to simulate the universe .
The Church-Turing (Deutsch) thesis
The classic Church-Turing thesis claims that any computer as powerful as a Turing machine can, in principle, calculate anything that a human can calculate, given enough time Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2L Battery .
A stronger version, not attributable to Church or Turing, claims that a universal Turing machine can compute anything whatsoever, so that it is not possible to build a "super-Turing computer" called a hypercomputer. But the limits of practical computation are set by physics, not by theoretical computer science Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery :
"Turing did not show that his machines can solve any problem that can be solved 'by instructions, explicitly stated rules, or procedures', nor did he prove that the universal Turing machine 'can compute any function that any computer, with any architecture, can compute' Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery .
He proved that his universal machine can compute any function that any Turing machine can compute; and he put forward, and advanced philosophical arguments in support of, the thesis here called Turing's thesis. But a thesis concerning the extent of effective methods—which is to say Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery ,
concerning the extent of procedures of a certain sort that a human being unaided by machinery is capable of carrying out—carries no implication concerning the extent of the procedures that machines are capable of carrying out, even machines acting in accordance with 'explicitly stated rules Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery .
' For among a machine's repertoire of atomic operations there may be those that no human being unaided by machinery can perform."
On the other hand, if two further conjectures are made, along the lines that Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery :
- Hypercomputation always involves actual infinities;
- There are no actual infinities in physics,
the resulting compound principle does bring practical computation within Turing's limits SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery .
As David Deutsch puts it:
"I can now state the physical version of the Church-Turing principle: 'Every finitely realizable physical system can be perfectly simulated by a universal model computing machine operating by finite means SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery .
' This formulation is both better defined and more physical than Turing's own way of expressing it." (Emphasis added)
This compound conjecture is sometimes called the "strong Church-Turing thesis" or the Church–Turing–Deutsch principle SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery .
The critics of digital physics—including physicists who work in quantum mechanics—object to it on a several grounds.
Physical symmetries are continuous
One objection is that extant models of digital physics are incompatible with the existence of several continuous characters of physical symmetries, e.g. SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery ,
rotational symmetry, translational symmetry, Lorentz symmetry, and electroweak symmetry, all central to current physical theory.
Proponents of digital physics claim that such continuous symmetries are only convenient (and very good) approximations of a discrete reality SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery .
For example, the reasoning leading to systems of natural units and the conclusion that the Planck length is a minimum meaningful unit of distance suggests that at some level space itself is quantized .
Some argue that extant models of digital physics violate various postulates of quantum physics (SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery) .
For example, if these models are not grounded in Hilbert spaces and probabilities, they belong to the class of theories with local hidden variables that some deem ruled out experimentally using Bell's theorem. This criticism has two possible answers SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery .
First, any notion of locality in the digital model does not necessarily have to correspond to locality formulated in the usual way in the emergent spacetime. A concrete example of this case was recently given by Lee Smolin. Another possibility is a well-known loophole in Bell's theorem known as superdeterminism (sometimes referred to as predeterminism) SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery .
In a completely deterministic model, the experimenter's decision to measure certain components of the spins is predetermined. Thus, the assumption that the experimenter could have decided to measure different components of the spins than he actually did is, strictly speaking, not true SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery .
Physical theory requires the continuum
It has been argued that digital physics, grounded in the theory of finite state machines and hence discrete mathematics, cannot do justice to a physical theory whose mathematics requires the real numbers, which is the case for all physical theories having any credibility SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery .
But computers can manipulate and solve formulas describing real numbers using Symbolic computation, thus avoiding the need to approximate real numbers by using an infinite number of digits. Before symbolic computation, a number—in particular a real number, one with an infinite number of digits SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery —
was said to be computable if a Turing machine will continue to spit out digits endlessly. In other words, there is no "last digit". But this sits uncomfortably with any proposal that the universe is the output of a virtual-reality exercise carried out in real time (or any plausible kind of time) WD passport essential (500GB/640GB) .
Known physical laws (including quantum mechanics and its continuous spectra) are very much infused with real numbers and the mathematics of the continuum.
"So ordinary computational descriptions do not have a cardinality of states and state space trajectories that is sufficient for them to map onto ordinary mathematical descriptions of natural systems WD passport essential (250GB/320GB) .
Thus, from the point of view of strict mathematical description, the thesis that everything is a computing system in this second sense cannot be supported".
Moreover, the universe seems to be able decide on their values in real time, moment by moment. As Richard Feynman put it WD passport essential SE (750GB/1TB) :
"It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space WD passport elite(250GB/320GB) ?
Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do?"
He then answered his own question as follows:
"So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board with all its apparent complexitiesWD passport elite(500GB/640GB) .
But this speculation is of the same nature as those other people make—'I like it,' 'I don't like it'—and it is not good to be prejudiced about these things".
For his part, David Deutsch generally takes a "multiverse" view to the question of continuous vs . discrete WD passport studio for Mac(320GB/500GB) .
In short, he thinks that “within each universe all observable quantities are discrete, but the multiverse as a whole is a continuum. When the equations of quantum theory describe a continuous but not-directly-observable transition between two values of a discrete quantity, what they are telling us is that the transition does not take place entirely within one universe. WD passport studio for Mac(500GB/640GB) .
So perhaps the price of continuous motion is not an infinity of consecutive actions, but an infinity of concurrent actions taking place across the multiverse.