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Math

44 Conjectures of Stephen Wolfram Disproved 158

Richard Pritches writes in to let us know that MIT errata expert Evangelos Georgiadis has disproved 44 conjectures set by Dr. Stephen Wolfram (founder of Mathematica) in A New Kind of Science. The paper was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Cellular Automata and can be read in PDF form at Prof Edwin Clark's collection of reviews of Wolfram's ANKS. "The formulas provided by Wolfram for these [44] rules are not minimal. Moreover for 8 of these cannot be minimal even by simple inspection since minimal formula sizes for 3-input Boolean functions over this basis never exceeds 5."
Math

Wolfram's 2,3 Turing Machine Not Universal 284

Fishbat writes "In a cutting message to the Foundations of Mathematics mailing list, Stanford's Vaughan Pratt has pointed out an elementary mistake in the recently announced proof that Wolfram's (2,3) machine is universal." Update: 10/30 04:18 GMT by KD : Ed Pegg Jr. from Wolfram Research points to this response to Dr. Pratt's note, which has been submitted to the FoM mailing list but has not yet appeared there due to moderation.
Math

Numerically Approximating the Wave Equation? 260

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "I'm an applied mathematician who has recently needed to obtain good numerical approximations to the classic second-order wave equation, preferably in three space dimensions. A lot of googling has not revealed much on what I had assumed would be a well-studied problem. Most of the standard numerical methods, finite difference/finite element methods, don't seem to work very well in the case of variable wave speed at different points in the domain, which is exactly the case that I need. Are any in this community working on numerically solving wave equation problems? What numerical methods do you use, and which programs do you find best suited to the task? How do you deal with stability issues, boundary/initial values, and other pitfalls? Are there different methods for electromagnetic wave problems? Finally, when the numbers have all been crunched, how do you visualize your hard-earned data?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Netcraft: Microsoft IIS may soon overtake Apache

benjymouse writes: From the latest Netcraft web server survey:
In the August 2007 survey we received responses from 127,961,479 sites, an increase of 2.3 million sites from last month. Microsoft continues to increase its web server market share, adding 2.6 million sites this month as Apache loses 991K hostnames. As a result, Windows improves its market share by 1.4% to 34.2%, while Apache slips by 1.7% to 48.4%. Microsoft's recent gains raise the prospect that Windows may soon challenge Apache's leadership position.
Patents

Submission + - Indian Court Rejects Novartis Patent (bbc.co.uk)

toppavak writes: The BBC is running an story about how an Indian court rejected Swiss drug company Novartis' appeal for a patent on an anti-cancer drug. According to the article "The firm's bid to patent anti-cancer drugs Glivec was rejected because it is a new form of an existing substance." The Indian government has long fought against restrictive drug patents and encourages the production of inexpensive generics to keep prices within the reach of the nation's poor. "The Swiss firm said that the ruling, which threw out its appeal, would have long-term negative effects on research into new drugs."
Supercomputing

Submission + - Researchers Isolate Hop Chemicals For Better Beer (beeradvocate.com)

jonashophead writes: Will technology help make the perfect beer or will it just take the fun of brewing and perhaps drinking? Here is a recent post on Beeradvocate.com that talks about isolating certain chemicals from hops to make better beer.

Wired Science blog (Better Beer Through Chemistry: The Search For Noble Hop Aroma Chemicals)reports researchers from Australia and New Zealand have been working on identifying the chemical compounds that give noble hops their trademark spicy scent.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - iPhone Completely Unlocked for $96 with Forged SIM (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Gizmodo is reporting total unlocking of the iPhone: 'while the wizards are still working on a software-only complete unlock for the iPhone, hackers in Europe claim that they have completely unlocked it, allegedly using a SIM reader/writer and a blank SIM card to obtain full calling and SMS capabilities. Total cost: $96. Read on for the details.' Apparently it has been tested in Europe, but I am ordering my SIM kit now.
Unix

Submission + - How blogging grew out of Unix history (clubtroppo.com.au)

Jacques Chester writes: "I administer a moderately popular site in Australia. Like many geeks who get roped into helping out with such things, I am frequently surprised at how current bloggers seem to think the Internet was only turned on when they turned up, that this is a new phenomenon. I decided to write a little on how it's all been done before."
Data Storage

Submission + - Is Microsoft muscling into our national archives? (zdnet.co.uk)

ZDOne writes: "National Archives chief information officer David Thomas is tasked with ensuring government documents and websites survive for future generations but it's no easy task. Microsoft has been keen to show-off what it is doing to curb the problem posed by Office documents no longer being commercially supported but open source alternatives may be a better long term option."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Ultimate Gang Showdown

polterbyte writes: "Pirates or Ninjas? Well, The Ultimate Gang Showdown will give us a chance to answer that question once and for all. Of course Monkeys, Robots and Zombies are there too. And many, many more. Actually, there are 128 contestants in this Wimbledon style Draw. Get in there and vote!"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Russia working to claim Arctic (foxnews.com)

Crazy Taco writes:
Two deep-diving Russian mini-submarines descended more than 2 1/2 miles under North Pole ice to stake a flag on the ocean floor Thursday, part of a quest to bolster Russian claims to much of the Arctic's oil-and-mineral wealth.


So, according to Russian thought in this article, does the United States just get the moon then? After all, we went there and planted our flag. Should that be ours? Should we just give in and accept that the Russians get the Arctic for planting a flag, since that gives us the moon (which is WAY better in the long run)?

Media

Submission + - NY Times "Free" trial is a trap (nytimesee.com)

LiquidCoooled writes: The New York Times have recently begun offering an exact digital replica of the daily newspaper.
However to get a look at this nifty sounding site, you must signup and leave your credit card details.
The only thing which concerns me is the following:

Page Headline: Free: Try The New York Times Electronic Edition For 7 Days

Clause lower down: The first charge will be on the 5th day of your 7-day free trial.

My question then, how do I get a free 7 day trial?

Censorship

Submission + - Homeland Security abused by Kinder Morgan (charlestoncitypaper.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Calling out Kinder Morgan's polluting habits earns one man a visit from Homeland Security. Hearing more and more of these kinds of stories, no warrant and no reports. "He's repeatedly tried to obtain the boarding report typical of any Coast Guard boarding, but Sea Hawk's Gutierrez says that since Charleston County responded to the call, the only records of the incident are Deputy Adcock's report about the expired registration, which never mentions boarding the boat."

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