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Comment: Re:Yes, it does. (Score 1) 608

by Non-Huffable Kitten (#24632105) Attached to: Do Subatomic Particles Have Free Will?

That's what distinguishes determinism from my definition of free will, namely: "not determinism".

Fixed that for you :)

It's a bad choice of identifier for this definition though, since the words are already in use.

That "you" would be able to predict someones actions in a deterministic universe is a really misleading intuition pump. As has been mentioned by another poster, that's wildly impossible for several physical reasons. Some abstruse godlike entity would be able to simulate our actions - that hardly makes them less free.

Microsoft Developing News Sorting Based On Political Bias 234

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the next-measure-the-magnitude-of-political-affiliation dept.
wiredog writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft is developing a program that classifies news stories according to whether liberal or conservative bloggers are linking to them and also measures the 'emotional intensity' based on the frequency of keywords in the blog posts." If you would like to jump right to the tool you can check out "Blews" on the Microsoft site.
Programming

Psychologist Beating Math Nerds in Race to Netflix Prize 205

Posted by Zonk
from the must-calculate-harder dept.
s1d writes "An almost-anonymous British psychologist named Gavin Potter has suddenly risen to the top of the Netflix prize charts. With his very first attempt, he got a score which took the BellKor team seven months to reach. Currently at a score of 8.07, he has only five teams ahead of him now in the race for the ultimate Netflix algorithm. 'Potter says his anonymity is mostly accidental. He started that way and didn't come out into the open until after Wired found him. "I guess I didn't think it was worth putting up a link until I had got somewhere," he says, adding that he'd been seriously posting under the name of his venture capital and consulting firm, Mathematical Capital, for two months before launching "Just a guy." When he started competing, he posted to his blog: "Decided to take the Netflix Prize seriously. Looks kind of fun. Not sure where I will get to as I am not an academic or a mathematician. However, being an unemployed psychologist I do have a bit of time."'"
Space

NASA Looking For "Diamonds In The Sky" 101

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the asteroid-mining-the-next-big-industry dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Scientist Charles Bauschlicher and his research team have found a new way to look for 'diamonds in the sky'. It may not be romantic, but diamonds shine especially brightly in the 3.4 to 3.5 micron and 6 to 10 micron infrared ranges, which should make NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope the perfect tool to see them with. Though less common and more monopolized on earth, diamonds are surprisingly common in outer space and the nanometer-sized bits comprise 3% of all the carbon found in meteorites. That means that if meteorite composition is representative of interstellar dust, that dust would contain about 10 quadrillion (1 * 10^16) nanodiamonds per gram."
Medicine

Google to Begin Storing Patients' Health Records 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the meet-doctor-google dept.
mytrip writes with news that Google's health record archive is about to be tested with the assistance of the Cleveland Clinic. Thousands of patients (who must approve the transfer of information) will have access to everything from their medical histories to lab results through what Google considers a "logical extension" of their search engine. We discussed the planning of this system last year. "Each health profile, including information about prescriptions, allergies and medical histories, will be protected by a password that's also required to use other Google services such as e-mail and personalized search tools. The health venture also will provide more fodder for privacy watchdogs who believe Google already knows too much about the interests and habits of its users as its computers log their search requests and store their e-mail discussions. Prodded by the criticism, Google last year introduced a new system that purges people's search records after 18 months. In a show of its privacy commitment, Google also successfully rebuffed the U.S. Justice Department's demand to examine millions of its users' search requests in a court battle two years ago."
Robotics

Robot Composed of "Catoms" Can Assume Any Form 168

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the come-with-me-if-you-want-to-live dept.
philetus writes "An article in New Scientist describes a robotic system composed of swarms of electromagnetic modules capable of assuming almost any form that is being developed by the Claytronics Group at Carnegie Mellon. 'The grand goal is to create swarms of microscopic robots capable of morphing into virtually any form by clinging together. Seth Goldstein, who leads the research project at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in the US, admits this is still a distant prospect. However, his team is using simulations to develop control strategies for futuristic shape-shifting, or "claytronic", robots, which they are testing on small groups of more primitive, pocket-sized machines.'"
Math

+ - Open Source Mathematical Software

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The American Mathematical society has an opinion piece about open source software vs propietary software used in mathematics. From the article : "Increasingly, proprietary software and the algorithms used are an essential part of mathematical proofs. To quote J. Neubüser, 'with this situation two of the most basic rules of conduct in mathematics are violated: In mathematics information is passed on free of charge and everything is laid open for checking.'""
Software

+ - Algorithm Rates Trustworthiness of Wikipedia Pages

Submitted by paleshadows
paleshadows (1127459) writes "Researchers at UCSC developed a tool that measures the trustworthiness of each wikipedia page. Roughly speaking, the algorithm analyzes the entire 7-year user-editing-history and utilzes the longevity of the content to learn which contributors are the most reliable: If your contribution lasts, you gain "reputation", whereas if it's edited out, your reputation falls. The trustworthiness of a newly inserted text is a function of the reputation of all its authors, a heuristic that turned out to be successful in identifying poor content. The interested reader can take a look at this demo (random page with white/orange background marking trusted/untrusted text, respectively; note "random page" link at the left for more demo pages), this presentation (pdf), and this paper (pdf)."
Biotech

+ - The Myth, the Math, the Sex-> 3

Submitted by
gollum123
gollum123 writes "A nice article in the NYtimes talks about how statistical data which has been repeatedly given out about why men are more promiscuous than women, cannot be logically consistent with math ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/weekinreview/12k olata.html?em&ex=1187150400&en=a1f8d851ad6790a6&ei =5087%0A ). One survey, recently reported by the federal government, concluded that men had a median of seven female sex partners. Women had a median of four male sex partners. Another study, by British researchers, stated that men had 12.7 heterosexual partners in their lifetimes and women had 6.5. but mathematicians contend that the conclusion that men have substantially more sex partners than women is not and cannot be true for purely logical reasons. The number of partners must be about the same,not different by a factor of 2. Sex survey researchers say they know that this is correct. Men and women in a population must have roughly equal numbers of partners. So, when men report many more than women, what is going on and what is to be believed? The most likely explanation for such a result according to the math people by far, is that the numbers cannot be trusted. The problem is that when such data are published, with no asterisk next to them saying they can't be true, they just "reinforce the stereotypes of promiscuous males and chaste females"."
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