November 2010

Monday, 29 November 2010

A Nation of Secrets

Balloon Juice: “Galison has a number of targets in this piece.  But the biggest one, or at least that which resonated now as I read this essay again, is that once you set out down a road where each unknowable fact needs its hedge of other secrets to preserve the original wall of ignorance and so on…you end up in a position where it becomes impossible for the governed to give informed consent to their governors.”


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang

Physorg: “The discovery doesn’t suggest that there wasn’t a Big Bang - rather, it supports the idea that there could have been many of them.”


Saturday, 27 November 2010

Wall Street, investment bankers, and social good

The New Yorker: “However, it is not yet clear how the rule will be applied or how it will prevent some types of proprietary trading that are difficult to distinguish from market-making. If a firm wants to place a bet on falling interest rates, for example, it can simply have its market-making unit build up its inventory of bonds.”


Judging the cyber war terrorist threat

The New Yorker: “Chinese officials have told me that we’re not going to attack Wall Street, because we basically own it”


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Can Anything Stop The Facebook Juggernaut?

Jon Evans: “Facebook has become to the social web what Microsoft is to the desktop: mindbogglingly gargantuan, relentlessly mediocre, and almost inescapable.”


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Extreme Life is Found in Deepest Layer of Earth’s Crust Living on Methane and Benzene

Daily Galaxy: “One scientific hypothesis holds that natural selection acts to reduce genome size because of the metabolic burden of replicating ‘junk’ DNA with no adaptive value - SAR11 supports that theory.”


Monday, 22 November 2010

You knew this was coming



Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Hidden Costs of Extra Security “Polls in 2002 and 2003 found that most people thought the new procedures were indeed making air travel safer — just as most people now say they favor the full-body scans. Despite this, there was a material reduction in air travel: inconvenience outweighed security for quite a few passengers when push came to shove.”


Sunday, 14 November 2010

The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother “The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.”


Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Successor to Facebook

Reinventing Business: “The first law of the Internet (which I am just now making up) is: ‘It’s all about trust.’”


Friday, 12 November 2010

Is this evidence that we can see the future?

New Scientist: “‘My personal view is that this is ridiculous and can’t be true,’ says Joachim Krueger of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who has blogged about the work on the Psychology Today website. ‘Going after the methodology and the experimental design is the first line of attack. But frankly, I didn’t see anything. Everything seemed to be in good order.’”


Thursday, 11 November 2010

Is the Deficit Commission Serious?

Mother Jones: “To put this more succinctly: any serious long-term deficit plan will spend about 1% of its time on the discretionary budget, 1% on Social Security, and 98% on healthcare. Any proposal that doesn’t maintain approximately that ratio shouldn’t be considered serious.”


11h-11d-11m. Remember.

Balloon Juice: “Not to be forgotten—them, or this: There are no small wars.”


Literacy may have stolen brain power from other functions

Ars Technica: “The authors suggest that the area that responds to faces normally expands with age, and learning to read may limit this expansion by putting nearby brain areas to other uses.”


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

How many Nines?

Vijay: “Lost Revenue at 5-9s availability is 120,000.00 and lost revenue at 6-9s is 12,000.00. The delta is 108,000.00. Which is less than 1FTE (loaded cost). So there is no reason to go to 6 nines at that revenue number if it requires more than 1 FTE worth of work to be done. Full model is here.”


Milky Way bubbles could signal massive black hole eruption “The scientists weren’t flying blind; previous studies by other astronomers using other instruments had found intriguing clues that a huge, previously unknown structure might be lurking near the Milky Way’s heart.”


Unserious People “Even if those cuts are offset by supposed elimination of tax breaks elsewhere, balancing the budget is hard enough without giving out a lot of goodies — goodies that fairly obviously, even without having the details, would go largely to the very affluent.”


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

TSA Bans Ink & Toner Cartridges From Flights. Next On The Ban List: People.

TechCrunch: “What does banning items one-by-one get us?”


Friday, 5 November 2010

Two Nations In One State

Giles Bowkett: “If you’re a smaller country watching a big country with a lot of nuclear bombs alternate wildly between polar extremes, it could make you nervous.”


Thursday, 4 November 2010

What Your Phone Says About You

TechCrunch: “Sometimes the guys in our office like to get in stupid fights about phones.”


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Metro experiences insane crowds for ‘Sanity’ rally “But with long lines, packed trains and frustrated riders throughout the Metro system Saturday, why did it seem like the transit agency wasn’t prepared for those Comedy Central rallies? It has a lot to do with the actual size of the crowd on the National Mall. ‘We were told to expect a crowd about the size of the Glenn Beck rally,’ Metro spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel tells WTOP. ‘At the most 100,000 people.’”


Monday, 1 November 2010

For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance “So, to summarize: With no supporting evidence whatsoever that it will make anyone any safer, and in response to absolutely no credible threats, the TSA has decided to implement a policy, that nobody asked for, in which every passenger must allow TSA agents to either see or touch their genitals before boarding a plane.”