Baldrson writes: This is an interesting angle on relational programming: Relate a functional or even imperative language program to its outputs, provide constraints and then reverse to do fun things like generate all programs that say "I love you.", generate all Quines, etc. This is demonstrated in PolyConf 15: The Promise of Relational Programming / William Byrd. (The afore video link skips past the boring logic programming type stuff like reversible append.) But this is more than a mere novelty, as demonstrated in the final section of the presentation: Imperative programs (involving destructive assignment, error traps, etc.) can be interpreted under the relational paradigm to answer questions like, "What input conditions to this program yield this output condition?"
Baldrson writes: Politico.com reports that: "FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack were briefed Monday by a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator...Researchers from the cyber intelligence company Norse have said their own investigation into the data on the Sony attack doesn’t point to North Korea at all and instead indicates some combination of a disgruntled employee and hackers for piracy groups is at fault." One wonders what Paul Graham has to say about the risk posed by "disgruntled employees" to Fortune 500 firms that follow his advice.
Baldrson writes: Kitco.com reports that: "Low energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and by extension palladium, is attracting the attention of one of the richest men in the world and a pioneer inventor of new technology... In a recent visit to Italy, billionaire business man, investor and inventor Bill Gates said that for several years he has been a believer in the idea of LENR, and is a sponsor of companies developing the technology... During his trip to Italy he visited the national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) where scientists have made significant progress towards a working design for low energy nuclear fusion. The centerpiece of their design is the same as in Mitsubishi’s: palladium. Creating palladium foil with just the right parameters, and managing stress levels in the material was a key issue, one that the researchers at EMEA were able to resolve several years ago." This is controversial to say the least. For example one of the first (1994) Idea Futures claims was that a palladium cold fusion device could produce even a small fraction of that claimed by many researchers over the last quarter century. That claim is presently selling at 2% odds and the judgement deadline is next week.
Baldrson writes: The WSJ reports that: "The long-secretive space ambitions of Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc., suddenly are about to get a lot more public. Blue Origin LLC, the space-exploration startup Mr. Bezos has been quietly toiling over for years, is part of a team led by Boeing Co. that is expected to soon garner a NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from the international space station, according to people familiar with the matter."
Baldrson writes: Perpetually in-flight "skytrains" with which smaller aircraft would temporarily dock to exchange passengers and cargo, ground-effect flying container ships ala the Hughes Spruce Goose (only bigger and not made of spruce) and vertical takeoff and landing supersonic business jets were among among the aircraft potentials of cold fusion technology presented at NASA Langley's ARMD Seedling Seminar, February 25, 2014 in a study titled "Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft" (Warning: Adobe Connect). One comment heard: "There is a similar initiative in Lockheed/Martin."
Baldrson writes: The New York Times reports: "An LCA is not an actual H1-B application rather an intent to hire an H1-B worker after an unsuccessful domestic search...Within the top 10 jobs, there are an estimated 134% more candidates nationwide than there were positions requested. Additionally, we found that domestic student enrollment in computer and mathematical graduate programs has grown 88% in the last decade, while foreign student enrollment has dwindled 13%. There does not appear to be a sudden mass shortage of educated domestic workers, rather a handful of outsourcing firms who file a majority of the LCAs and are uninterested in domestic candidates. 82% of the positions requested by the top 20 companies were requested by outsourcing firms."
Baldrson writes: Forbes technology contributor Mark Gibbs reports that: "I haven’t posted about Rossi and his E-Cat since last August simply because there wasn’t much to report other than more of Rossi’s unsupported and infuriating claims... What everyone wanted was something that Rossi has been promising was about to happen for months: An independent test by third parties who were credible... much to my, and I suspect many other people’s surprise, a report by credible, independent third parties is exactly what we got. Published on May 16, the paper titled “Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device” would appear to deliver what we wanted...And now, the big reveal the authors’ conclusions are (again, the emphasis is mine): ' if we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value of (7.93 ± 0.8) 102 MJ/Liter that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source.'"
Baldrson writes: "The UK Guardianvia io9 reports that "A massive and illegal geoengineering project has been detected off Canada’s west coast." An Amerindian tribe in the Pacific NW that depends on salmon contracted to have 100 tonnes of iron sulphate spread across a huge area in order to spur plankton growth. The entrepreneur, Russ George, hopes to cash in on the carbon credits and the Amerindian tribe on an increased salmon harvest. This is inducing mass hysteria among the poltical class."
Baldrson writes: "From a Notre Dame press release: "In the first study to measure the temporary impact of highly skilled immigrants on native populations, University of Notre Dame EconomistAbigail Wozniak and Fairfield University's Thomas J. Murray — a former Notre Dame graduate student — found that when highly skilled immigrants move to a city or town, the U.S. natives in that area who are also highly skilled tend to move away. However, the study found that the same immigrant group's presence decreases the chances that low-skilled natives would leave." This, of course, contrasts with pundits such as Tim O'Reilly who claim that US skilled workers enjoy greater economic security from skilled immigrants."
Baldrson writes: In this video teams of quadrotors autonomously build cubic structures from modular parts. Imagine these little guys flying to battery recharge stations, dropping off their discharged batteries and picking up freshly charged batteries. That would take only about 10% off their production time. The battery recharge stations themselves could be autonomously and continuously redistributed to the construction frontier. Autonomous crawlers could weld the positioned joints.
Baldrson writes: Business Week reports that: "SpaceX’s Falcon 9 took off on its first test flight at about 2:45 p.m. local time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It reached the Earth’s orbit about nine minutes later." This is a victory not only for Elon Musk's team, but for advocates of commercial space transportation.
Baldrson writes: "I've been following space solar power satellite technology since O'Neill's Stewart Brand days (longer than half of you have been alive) and this is the first time it appears likely to happen in the near future: PowerSat Corporation has filed 2 important patents. One uses the solar array to propel itself from low earth orbit to geostationary orbit. The other one turns a cloud of small geostationary solar power satellites into a huge phased array. The propulsion patent plausibly reduces launch costs by 67%. The satellite cloud microwave phasing patent, however, has a huge hidden benefit that I doubt even Powersat has fully taken into account: industrial learning curve of small launchers. A similar argument has been made before by Autodesk founder, John Walker in "A Rocket A Day keeps the High Costs Away. Basically, if you are going to deploy a system with a large number of repetitions, the total (integral) cost is given by the formula: firstunit*(units^(1-rate))/(1-rate). To replace all fossil fuel baseload generation capacity in the US (250GW) would require 20,000 Falcon 9 HL launches (78Mdollars/15000kg or $5200/kg to geostationary transfer orbit) each of 3 BrightStars (PowerSat's satellite) at nearly 5000kg each. Walk that down down an industrial learning curve at 10% per doubling, the total launch cost of a 250GW cloud would be (1-.67)*1-.67)*5200*3*5000*((200*100)^(1-.1))/(1-.1) = 212G$ or less than a dollar per installed watt of baseload electric generation capacity. Assuming 10% energy loss in transmission to the ground array, each satellite would need to generate around 250GW/(3*5000*200*100)kg/(1-.1) or less than 1kW/kg or 5MW/satellite. At 35% solar conversion efficiency and 1kW/m^2 solar flux most of that would be in a weightless mirror that would have to be about 70m in diameter at 350g/m^2 (5000kg/(5MW/(.35*1kW/m^2))). Weightless mirrors can be very low mass and inexpensive. Looks doable. To pay for the satellite itself let's more than triple the installed cost to $3/W. To understand how big of a deal this is: The other near-term scalable baseload electrical sources are "clean coal" and nuclear power — both of which are, optimistically, at similar capital costs per installed watt."