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Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations no longer shine

The Ancestor's Tale
Topic: Science 6:28 am EDT, Oct 19, 2004

Renowned biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments in the field to his own provocative views.

Loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dawkins's Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on earth. As our pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the 'rendezvous points' where we find a common ancestor. The band of pilgrims swells into a vast crowd as we join first with other primates, then with other mammals, and so on back to the very first primordial organism.

Dawkins's brilliant, inventive approach allows us to view the connections between ourselves and all other life in a bracingly novel way. It also lets him shed bright new light on the most compelling aspects of evolutionary history and theory: sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, geographical dispersal, and more.

The Ancestor's Tale is at once a far-reaching survey of the latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of all living things.

Must read.

The Ancestor's Tale

Wired News: Awarding the Brains Behind AI
Topic: Knowledge Management 6:22 am EDT, Oct 19, 2004

] By addressing fundamental problems with machine learning
] and exploring the foundations of intelligence, Koller is
] pushing the limits of present-day scientific
] understanding of how to build computer programs that
] learn efficiently and reason intelligently.
Koller's work weaves together logic and probability in a context to support learning. This could be a significant advance.

Wired News: Awarding the Brains Behind AI

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

Building An Idea Factory
Topic: High Tech Developments 6:25 am EDT, Oct 14, 2004

] Inspiration is fine, but above all, innovation is really
] a management process.
] Ask most people who invented the lightbulb, and they will
] promptly provide the wrong answer: Thomas Alva Edison.
] Truth is, the famous inventor's 1879 debut of his
] incandescent light trailed others by decades. So why does
] he get all the glory? Mostly because of what he did next,
] notes Andrew Hargadon, author of How Breakthroughs
] Happen: The Surprising Truth about How Companies
] Innovate.

A pretty compelling review of the book.

Building An Idea Factory

PhysOrg: Smart watch system could help busy, forgetful people keep track of necessities
Topic: Human Computer Interaction 6:19 am EDT, Oct 14, 2004

] In the not-so-distant future, your wristwatch could stop
] you if you try to run out the door without the
] necessities you need for the day, like your keys, wallet
] or cell phone.
] At work, it could prompt you for important items needed
] for a meeting or a business lunch. In an academic
] setting, it could remind students which books to take as
] they hurry out the door for class.
] Think of it as a technological string around the finger
] -- one that's smart enough to take the initiative to save
] you from the inconvenience and embarrassment of forgotten
] essentials.

This is so cool! Your wristwatch serves as an interface. You've got a server in your pocket. An RFID reader compares RFID tags in to critical events in your personal schedule.

PhysOrg: Smart watch system could help busy, forgetful people keep track of necessities

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: Officials discuss how to delay Election Day
Topic: Current Events 8:37 am EDT, Jul 13, 2004

Decius wrote:
] k wrote:
] ] I guess, at present, i'm leaning towards the opinion that
] ] voting is a duty, an act of patriotism even, and that if you
] ] have to do it during a time of danger or instability, then
] you
] ] should suck it up and do it. I'm interested in other
] ] opinions, certainly... for now, I'm not ready to accept
] that
] ] someone who isn't congress should be able to play this game.
] I don't agree. When terror attacks occur a great deal of time
] passes when emotions are extremely high and there is
] widespread confusion. This can, and has, impacted elections.
] People should make electoral choices when their minds are
] clear.
] Imagine what would happen if there was a string of bombings of
] voting locations on election day?
] However, any way of addressing this issue should have a very
] clear structure. No more then a certain amount of delay should
] be allowed, and only under certain circumstances.

Interestingly, the CNN article states, "...there is no evidence that the bombings influenced the March 11 vote, ..." which was not the perception at the time.

RE: Officials discuss how to delay Election Day

RE: Fewer Noses Stuck in Books in America, Survey Finds
Topic: Society 5:53 pm EDT, Jul  8, 2004

k wrote:
] [ Lots of good statistics to chew on here and lots of
] discussion to be had... i hope everyone will read this.

I've read a lot more this last year than anytime in the last ten, but it's all non-fiction. I'll see a book that's been meme's in this forum, go over to my local library web page, and put a hold on it. They send me an e-mail when it's ready and I pick it up -- or go over to Amazon if it's not in the library. Interestingly, I actually finish more of the books that I check out of the library than the books I buy.

RE: Fewer Noses Stuck in Books in America, Survey Finds

Giant Grid Discovers Largest Known Prime Number
Topic: Computers 8:50 am EDT, Jun  4, 2004

] Using an international grid of about 240,000 networked
] computers, researchers have discovered the largest known
] prime number.
] The number, expressed as 2 to the 24,036,583th power
] minus 1, has 7,235,733 decimal digits. Discovered May 15,
] the number is nearly a million digits larger than the
] previous largest prime number, which was itself
] discovered last December.

] Of the 240,000 computers networked onto the grid, Woltman says
] 20,000 to 40,000 computers are active at any one time. The grid
] covers virtually every time zone in the world.
] Woltman estimates that the grid, which is comprised of businesses,
] universities and home users, does 20 trillion calculations a
] second.

If the GIMP network were executing the Linpack benchmark at this
rate, it would be number 2 on the Top 500 supercomputers list.

Giant Grid Discovers Largest Known Prime Number

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!

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