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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

Faster XML ahead? | CNET
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:58 pm EST, Mar 26, 2005

] The possibility of the World Wide Web Consortium pursuing
] more efficient XML through a binary, rather than text,
] format is causing concerns over interoperability and
] questions about the future direction of XML.

Sound bites:
] XML is fast becoming a widely used way of formatting and
] saving business documents such as purchase orders. But
] for certain applications--sending data to set-top boxes,
] for instance, and offering interactive programs on cell
] phones--representing data using XML is simply too bulky,
] say proponents for more efficient XML.
] If XML were zippier, say some, cell phone companies, for
] example, could meet consumer demand for more complex
] programs. The Air Force, too, has expressed interest in
] using speedier XML formats for embedded computing
] applications, such as those found in fighter jets (click
] here for related PDF).
] A W3C committee recently recommended that the group
] address the problem by moving away from the traditional
] way of saving XML data--in text format--and instead
] create a standard for a binary format. W3C working group
] recommendations are generally taken up as formal
] standards efforts, which means the group is one step
] closer to a major change in the XML standard.

Faster XML ahead? | CNET

Photo in the News: Baby Foxes Going to the Dogs
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:48 pm EST, Mar  9, 2005

] Young foxes, or kits, scamper in a cage in Siberia,
] Russia, where they are part of a 45-year research project
] to domesticate foxes. Each generation has been
] selectively bred for tameness%u2014fearlessness and
] nonaggression toward humans. By now the foxes in the
] project behave like pet dogs, barking and wagging their
] tails at humans.

[ Crazy. And cute as hell. -k]

Photo in the News: Baby Foxes Going to the Dogs

Everything you Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes (Stephen King)
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:06 pm EST, Mar  2, 2005

] 4. Remove every extraneous word
] You want to get up on a soapbox and preach? Fine. Get one
] and try your local park. You want to write for money? Get
] to the point. And if you remove all the excess garbage
] and discover you can't find the point, tear up what you
] wrote and start all over again . . . or try something
] new.

[ Holy shit! Steven FUCKING King is encouraging writers to be concise?! Every single one of his full length novels could be reduced by 20-50%, at least. Ok, fine, i can only speak to the ones i've read, and I'll admit I gave up on his ass some time ago, but shit man, this motherfucker can describe a scene for 14 pages without getting around to any action on the part of the actors in the story. -k]

Everything you Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes (Stephen King)

Vernor Vinge on the Singularity
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:06 pm EST, Nov 12, 2004

] Within thirty years, we will have the technological means
] to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the
] human era will be ended.
] Is such progress avoidable? If not to be avoided, can
] events be guided so that we may survive? These questions
] are investigated. Some possible answers (and some further
] dangers) are presented.

[ I've read this before, but came across it again today and thought it worth memeing. Though a decade old, it's still an interesting read. I wonder how it could be updated today? Vinge is among my favorite writers... one of the greats. -k]

Vernor Vinge on the Singularity

BBC NEWS | Technology | Visionaries outline web's future
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:29 am EDT, Oct 14, 2004

] Visionaries outline web's future
] US Library of Congress, BBC
] This entire building could fit on one shelf
] Universal access to all human knowledge could be had for
] around $260m, a conference about the web's future has
] been told.

A number of cool ideas presented by folks like Brewster Kahle, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gross.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Visionaries outline web's future

Ireland Is Lost Island of Atlantis, Says Scientist
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:24 am EDT, Aug 10, 2004

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Atlantis, the legendary island nation over whose existence controversy has raged for thousands of years, was actually Ireland, according to a new theory by a Swedish scientist.

Atlantis, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote in 360 BC, was an island in the Atlantic Ocean where an advanced civilization developed some 11,500 years ago until it was hit by a cataclysmic natural disaster and sank beneath the waves.

Geographer Ulf Erlingsson, whose book explaining his theory will be published next month, says the measurements, geography, and landscape of Atlantis as described by Plato match Ireland almost exactly.

"I am amazed no one has come up with this before, it's incredible," he told Reuters.

"Just like Atlantis, Ireland is 300 miles long, 200 miles wide, and widest across the middle. They both have a central plain surrounded by mountains.

Aye Laddie.. Keep tossing back those pints of Guiness. More cool theories will come along soon.

Ireland Is Lost Island of Atlantis, Says Scientist

RE: Yahoo! Top Stories - Super-Robots Will Wipe Out Mankind!
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:05 pm EDT, May 10, 2004

angus wrote:
] I tend to agree with this assessment. The irony is clear. One
] must master technology without becoming dependent on it!
] ] "We are on the cusp of perfection of extreme evil -- an
] ] evil whose possibility spreads well beyond weapons of
] ] mass destruction," Joy warned recently in Wired magazine.
] Bill Joy makes the Weekly World News!

That quote appears to be from Bill Joy, Wired 8.04, April 2000. To the WWN, that is "recently"? or is there a more recent Wired article?

RE: Yahoo! Top Stories - Super-Robots Will Wipe Out Mankind!

Robots for No Man's Land (
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:00 pm EST, Jan 30, 2004

] The education of Stryker, an 18-ton military monster
] truck, begins in the warehouse lab of General Dynamics in
] Westminster, Md.
] There, Stryker, one of the U.S. Army's newest infantry
] vehicles, is fitted with a "ladar" scanner, the
] equivalent of a mounted pair of eyes that see by emitting
] 400,000 laser and radar beams and snap 120 camera images
] every second. Its brain -- a 40-pound computer system
] tucked inside its body -- processes that data, and makes
] instant judgments on how to act and where to go.

An all-purpose un-manned land vehicle.

Robots for No Man's Land (

MemeStreams - The Year in Graphs 2003
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:04 am EST, Jan 20, 2004

Rattle wrote:

For several months now, work has been underway building the next version of MemeStreams. It has been necessary to recode most of the site from scratch, so its taking awhile. At any given time the trials of life, lack of funding, bad timing, hardware failure, and general bad luck is screwing up the works. However, we _are_ making progress.
While these graphs may be fun to look at, the data they are built with is what's really exciting.. The same thing that allowed me to make these graphs is what's going to lead to improvements in the capabilities of the Reputation Agent.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy browsing through this review of the past year!

Wow. The underlying data would be really valueable for anyone doning social-network research.

MemeStreams seems small. Is this a result of the interface or is it really small? It would be interesting to see graphs of usage over time for the frequency with which folks read, recommend, and post. Even better would be summary data in a tabular form that one could crunch.

A philosophical question. Is MemeStreams going to be a single community where everyone reads more or less the same set of posts, or a community with multiple foci of interest? How will the new developments support the one versus the other approach?

MemeStreams - The Year in Graphs 2003

Model to Model Workshop
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:26 am EDT, Sep  6, 2003

] A workshop to explore the relation between Multi-Agent
] Based Simulation [MABS] models

Compares MABS models used to study social, biological, and artificial systems. This page contans links to papers presented at the workshop and a link to a closely related special issue of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS).

Model to Model Workshop

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