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Music By Natural Selection Screenshot-sm 164

maccallr writes "The DarwinTunes experiment needs you! Using an evolutionary algorithm and the ears of you the general public, we've been evolving a four bar loop that started out as pretty dismal primordial auditory soup and now after >27k ratings and 200 generations is sounding pretty good. Given that the only ingredients are sine waves, we're impressed. We got some coverage in the New Scientist CultureLab blog but now things have gone quiet and we'd really appreciate some Slashdotter idle time. We recently upped the maximum 'genome size' and we think that the music is already benefiting from the change."
Government

Submission + - SSN overlap with Micronesia haunts NH woman

stevel writes: Holly Ramer, who lives in Concord, NH, has never been to the Federated States of Micronesia, but debt collectors dun her mercilessly for unpaid loans taken out by a small business owner in that Pacific island nation. Why? Micronesia and other countries in the region have their own Social Security Administrations which gave out numbers to residents applying for US disaster relief loans. The catch is that the Micronesian SSNs have fewer digits than the nine-digit US version, and when credit bureaus entered these into their database, they padded them out with zeros on the front. These numbers then matched innocent US citizens with SSNs beginning with zeroes, as many in northern New England do. The credit bureaus say to call the Social Security Adminustration, the SSA says call the credit bureaus, the FTC says they can't help, and nobody is taking responsibility for the confusion.
Businesses

Ideal, and Actual, IT Performance Metrics? 321

An anonymous reader writes "Recently it was revealed that our company measures IT performance by the time it takes to close trouble tickets. I consider IT's primary goal to be as transparent to the user as possible, thus this metric was rather troubling to me. Shouldn't we be focused on reducing calls, rather than simply closing them quickly? My question is: How is your IT performance measured, and how do you think it should be measured?"
Math

Submission + - A Math Geek's Plan to Save Wall Street's Soul 1

theodp writes: "What if an aeronautics engineer couldn't reconcile his elegant design for a state-of-the-art jumbo jet with Newton's second law of motion and decided to tweak the equation to fit his design? In a way, Newsweek reports, this is what's happened in quantitative finance, which is in desperate need of reform. And 49-year-old Oxford-trained mathematician Paul Wilmott — arguably the most influential quant today — thinks he knows where to start. With his CQF program, Wilmott is out to save the quants from themselves and the rest of us from their future destruction. 'We need to get back to testing models rather than revering them,' says Wilmott. 'That's hard work, but this idea that there are these great principles governing finance and that correlations can just be plucked out of the air is totally false.'"

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