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Math

Mathematics As the Most Misunderstood Subject 680

Posted by timothy
from the philosophical-engagement dept.
Lilith's Heart-shape writes "Dr. Robert H. Lewis, professor of mathematics at Fordham University of New York, offers in this essay a defense of mathematics as a liberal arts discipline, and not merely part of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum. In the process, he discusses what's wrong with the manner in which mathematics is currently taught in K-12 schooling."
Censorship

The French Government Can Now Censor the Internet 419

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-of-le-children dept.
Psychophrenes writes "A new episode in French internet legislation — French ministers have passed a bill (original in French) allowing the government to add any website to a black list, which access providers will have to enforce. This black list will be defined by the government only, without requiring the intervention of the legal system. Although originally intended against pedo-pornographic websites, this bill is already outdated, as was Hadopi in its time, and instead paves the way for a global censorship of the 'French internet.'"
Hardware Hacking

All-Analog DIY Segway Project 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-out-some-cliff-insurance-buddy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the zany hacker-makers here at MIT just finished this DIY Segway project (video). Difference from the others: it's all analog. The controller is built without a microprocessor or even digital logic. It does use a gyroscope like the real Segway. The functionality looks fairly basic, but the fact that the controller works at all is amazing. The guy has a ton of other projects on his site too. Definitely worth a read for people who enjoy building things."
Privacy

A Nude Awakening — the TSA and Privacy 728

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-it-above-the-waist dept.
DIplomatic writes "The Oklahoma Daily has a well-written editorial about the current state of airport security. Though the subject has overly-commented on, this article is well worth the read. Quoting: 'The risk of a terrorist attack is so infinitesimal and its impact so relatively insignificant that it doesn't make rational sense to accept the suspension of liberty for the sake of avoiding a statistical anomaly. There's no purpose in security if it debases the very life it intends to protect, yet the forced choice one has to make between privacy and travel does just that. If you want to travel, you have a choice between low-tech fondling or high-tech pornography; the choice, therefore, to relegate your fundamental rights in exchange for a plane ticket. Not only does this paradigm presume that one's right to privacy is variable contingent on the government's discretion and only respected in places that the government doesn't care to look — but it also ignores that the fundamental right to travel has consistently been upheld by the Supreme Court. If we have both the right to privacy and the right to travel, then TSA's newest procedures cannot conceivably be considered legal. The TSA's regulations blatantly compromise the former at the expense of the latter, and as time goes on we will soon forget what it meant to have those rights.'"
Math

Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration 473

Posted by timothy
from the it's-all-mathy dept.
parallel_prankster writes "I find this paper very amusing. From the abstract: 'To develop a mathematical model for the determination of total areas under curves from various metabolic studies.' Hint! If you replace phrases like 'curves from metabolic studies' with just 'curves,' then you'll note that Dr. Tai rediscovered the rectangle method of approximating an integral. (Actually, Dr. Tai rediscovered the trapezoidal rule.). Apparently this is called 'Tai's Model.'"
Power

First Electric Cars Have Power Industry Worried 450

Posted by Soulskill
from the they'll-find-a-way-to-charge-double-for-it dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Jonathan Fahey writes for AP that as the first mass-market electric cars go on sale next month, the power industry faces a huge growth opportunity, with SoCal Edison expecting to be charging 100,000 cars by 2015 and California setting a goal of 1 million electric vehicles by 2020. But utility executives are worried that the difficulty of keeping the lights on for the first crop of buyers — and their neighbors — could slow the growth of this industry because it's inevitable that electric utilities will suffer some difficulties early on. 'We are all going to be a lot smarter two years from now,' says Mark Perry, director of product planning for Nissan North America. When plugged into a home charging station the first Leafs and Volts will draw 3,300 Watts and take about 8 hours to deliver a full charge, but both carmakers may soon boost that to 6,600 Watts. The Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car with a huge battery, can draw 16,800 Watts. That means that adding an electric vehicle or two to a neighborhood can be like adding another house, and it can stress the equipment that services those houses. The problem is that transformers that distribute power from the electrical grid to homes are often designed to handle less than about 12,000 watts so the extra stress on a transformer from one or two electric vehicles could cause it to overheat and fail, knocking out power to the block."
The Internet

Google, Microsoft Cheat On Slow-Start — Should You? 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the reply-hazy-ask-again dept.
kdawson writes "Software developer and blogger Ben Strong did a little exploring to find out how Google achieves its admirably fast load times. What he discovered is that Google, and to a much greater extent Microsoft, are cheating on the 'slow-start' requirement of RFC-3390. His research indicates that discussion of this practice on the Net is at an early, and somewhat theoretical, stage. Strong concludes with this question: 'What should I do in my app (and what should you do in yours)? Join the arms race or sit on the sidelines and let Google have all the page-load glory?'"

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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