It's like the uncertainty principle and the decoherence/coherence transition in quantum theory. Any single person's actions are unpredictable, but in increasing numbers, coherent patterns are evident and behavior can be predicted.
number1scatterbrain writes: Washington Post reports..."The failure apparently originated in the company's Dallas-area server farm. But unlike previous times, this does not appear to be a power issue, the company says. Some other sites that are currently affected include: 37signals, Brizzly, Scoble's blog, all of the sites hosted by Laughing Squid, Tumblr custom domains, and many others." Link to Original Source
Hugh Pickens writes: "Nature reports that data collected on the timing of attacks and number of casualties from more than 54,000 events across nine insurgent wars, including those fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2008 and in Sierra Leone between 1994 and 2003 suggests that insurgencies have a common underlying pattern that may allow the timing of attacks and the number of casualties to be predicted. By plotting the distribution of the frequency and size of events, the team found that insurgent wars follow an approximate power law, in which the frequency of attacks decreases with increasing attack size to the power of 2.5. That means that for any insurgent war, an attack with 10 casualties is 316 times more likely to occur than one with 100 casualties (316 is 10 to the power of 2.5). "We found that the way in which humans do insurgent wars — that is, the number of casualties and the timing of events — is universal," says team leader Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami in Florida. "This changes the way we think insurgency works." To explain what was driving this common pattern, the researchers created a mathematical model that assumes that insurgent groups form and fragment when they sense danger, and strike in well-timed bursts to maximize their media exposure. Johnson is now working to predict how the insurgency in Afghanistan might respond to the influx of foreign troops recently announced by US President Barack Obama. "We do observe a complicated pattern that has to do with the way humans do violence in some collective way," adds Johnson."
voiptoday writes: Asterisk PBX on a PCI card with integrated telephony ports, hardware based echo cancellation, Ethernet interface and Compact Flash port.PCI card by Positron Telecom is a leap forward in the telecommunications card market. It is the first of its kind to offer the functionality of Asterisk PBX on a card with integrated telephony ports, hardware based echo cancellation and Ethernet interface.
By integrating the Linux, Asterisk, Echo Canceller, Ethernet (for PCI and LAN), Telephone ports (FXS) and Gateway functionality (FXO) we have created the first standalone solution that can be installed in any PC and by interfacing Ethernet to the PCI bus we have also made it an ANY Operating System solution – no special drivers required. Link to Original Source
number1scatterbrain writes: "iPods may cause pacemakers to miss a beat
18:39 11 May 2007
NewScientist.com news service
New Scientist Tech and Reuters
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute
Heart Rhythm Society
iPods can cause implantable cardiac pacemakers to malfunction, according to a study presented at a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday.
The study tested the effect of placing the portable device near the chest of 100 patients with an average age of 76 — all were fitted with pacemakers. Technicians monitored information from an electrocardiogram and from the pacemaker itself, via a telemetry screen, during the trials.
Some form of interference was detected half of the time when an iPod was held 5 centimetres from the patient's chest for between 5 and 10 seconds. And, in a few cases, interference was detected when a device was 45 cm from the chest. In some cases the devices appeared to interfere with the pacemaker's telemetry link and in others with its reading of the heart's pacing.
The study was held at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University and the results were presented at the Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting in Denver.
The study did not examine any portable music devices other than iPods, but it did incorporate both hard-drive-based and flash-memory-based iPods.
Jay Thaker, lead author of the study is a 17-year-old high school student at Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan. Thaker asked his father, who is an electrophysiologist, about a potential interaction between pacemakers and iPods.
"We looked online but didn't see anything. Then, one of his patients asked him if there would be a problem, so (my father) put me in touch with Dr Krit (Jongnarangsin)," Thaker says.
Jongnarangsin, a long-time friend of Thaker's father, is the senior author of the study and an assistant professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan.
"Most pacemaker patients are not iPod users," Jongnarangsin says, adding that, for this reason, it is unclear how often iPods may cause misreadings of heart rates. "This needs to be studied more," Jongnarangsin adds.
Thaker says he is interested in doing a similar study about how another type of implantable device, called a cardioverter defibrillator (ICDs), may be affected by iPods.
iPod manufacturer Apple did not return requests for comment by time of posting.
number1scatterbrain writes: "150,000 U.S. layoffs for IBM?
Last year I wrote a series of columns on management problems at IBM Global Services, explaining how the executive ranks from CEO Sam Palmisano on down were losing touch with reality, bidding contracts too low to make a profit then mismanaging them in an attempt to make a profit anyway, often to the detriment of IBM customers. Those columns and the reaction they created within the ranks at IBM showed just how bad things had become. Well they just got worse. This is according to my many friends at Big Blue, who believe they are about to undergo the biggest restructuring of IBM since the Gerstner days, only this time for all the wrong reasons. The IBM project I am writing about is called LEAN...
http://www.pbs.org/hplink/redir/http://www.pbs.org /cringely/?campaign=pbshomefeatures_5_icringely_20 07-05-07"
number1scatterbrain writes: "12:48 02 May 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Perspectives: The biggest flop of all
28 April 2007
It pays to be well hung, if you're a rat
26 February 2007
Artificial penis allows rabbits to mate normally
25 May 2006
Search New Scientist
Daniel Udelson, Boston University College of Engineering
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Like a column collapsing under the burden of a heavy roof, erectile dysfunction is a classical mechanical engineering problem, says a US urologist. Using mathematical models of penis geometry and hydrostatic pressure, doctors can predict when penises will fail — and in which vagina — he says.
The most widely investigated parameter of penile rigidity is intracavernosal pressure (ICP) — the fluid pressure achieved by blood build up in the two expandable "caverns" of the penis. For a healthy man, the erect ICP is between 60 and 90 millimetres of mercury (mmHg), but can drop to just 30 mmHg, in men with erectile dysfunction (ED).
Anti-impotence drugs, such as Viagra, work by relaxing arterial muscles and allowing more blood, and hence more pressure, to build up in the penis.
But Daniel Udelson, a research urologist and professor of aerospace engineering at Boston University, thought that penis geometry — specifically the ratio of width to length — ought to play a significant role in the robustness of an erection against the force of sexual intercourse.
So Udelson developed a model that would predict the buckling force, based on penis length, circumference and the ease of expandability over a range of ICPs — it is a direct adaptation of 200-year-old column buckling research by Swiss mathematician Leonard Euler.
Udelson tested the model against 57 men with erectile dysfunction. Each was measured by slowly injecting their penises with saline solution until erect. Udelson then applied a force to the tip of the penis until it started to bend, the first sign of buckling.
The model correctly predicted the buckling forces for 80% of patients — forces ranged from about 2 kilograms to just 0.3 kg given a pressure of 50 mmHg. But the buckling force during intercourse doesn't just rely a man's blood flow and penis shape, it also depends on his partner's vagina.
Previous studies have found that the force required enter a vagina, which depends on a vaginal diameter and lubrication, ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 kg. So, "an individual male may exhibit ED with one partner but not with another," says Udelson
Journal reference: Journal of the Royal Society Interface (DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2007.0221)"
number1scatterbrain writes: "Quantum physics says goodbye to reality (Apr 20)
Some physicists are uncomfortable with the idea that all individual
quantum events are innately random. This is why many have proposed more
complete theories, which suggest that events are at least partially
governed by extra "hidden variables". Now physicists from Austria claim
to have performed an experiment that rules out a broad class of
hidden-variables theories that focus on realism — giving the uneasy
consequence that reality does not exist when we are not observing it
(Nature 446 871)."