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Education

Bees Beat Machines At 'Traveling Salesman' Problem 394

eldavojohn writes "Recent research on bumble bees has proven that the tiny bee is better than computers at the traveling salesman problem. As bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen they discover other flowers en route in the wrong order. But they still manage to quickly learn and fly the optimally shortest path between flowers. Such a problem is NP-Hard and keeps our best machines thinking for days searching for a solution but researchers are quite interested how such a tiny insect can figure it out on the fly — especially given how important this problem is to networks and transportation. A testament to the power of even the smallest batch of neurons or simply evidence our algorithms need work?"
The Courts

Mozilla To Join EU Suit Against Microsoft 422

CWmike writes "The European Commission (EC) has granted Mozilla the right to join its antitrust case against Microsoft, a spokesman said Monday. If the charges stick, Microsoft could be forced to change the way it distributes IE, as well as pay a fine for monopoly abuse. Mitchell Baker, Mozilla's chairperson, said in a blog over the weekend that there isn't 'the single smallest iota of doubt' that Microsoft's tying of IE to Windows 'harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.'"
The Courts

You Are Not a Lawyer 693

Paul Ohm is starting a new "very occasional" feature on the Freedom To Tinker blog called You Are Not a Lawyer — "In this series, I will try to disabuse computer scientists and other technically minded people of some commonly held misconceptions about the law (and the legal system)." In the first installment, Ohm walks through the reasons why many techies' faith in the presence of "reasonable doubt" is so misplaced. "When techies think about criminal law, and in particular crimes committed online, they tend to fixate on [the 'beyond a reasonable doubt'] legal standard, dreaming up ways people can use technology to inject doubt into the evidence to avoid being convicted. I can't count how many conversations I have had with techies about things like the 'open wireless access point defense,' the 'trojaned computer defense,' the 'NAT-ted firewall defense,' and the 'dynamic IP address defense.' ... People who place stock in these theories and tools are neglecting an important drawback. There are another set of legal standards — the legal standards governing search and seizure — you should worry about long before you ever get to 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'"

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