Saturday, 30 January 2010

Osama Bin Laden and the environment

Seems like Greenpeace and the rest of the climate warming/change movement have an unlikely hero according to a report on Finland's MTV3 channel.
Osama bin Laden: USA tuhoaa ympäristöä
translation: USA is destroying the environment
Quite some irony...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Apple "iSanitaryPad" ....

This mixed reviews here, to me it sounds like some kind of "feminine sanitary product"... but I'm sure the Apple fanboyz well tell otherwise.

Seems like someone else also had the same idea given the products here (not for the overly sensitive or Apple fanboyz)

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Finland's Internet for all

A rare moment of infrastructure provision sanity from the Finnish Government as reported by the BBC:
Delivering Finland's web 'human right'
NB: Emsalö is actually in Porvoo not Helsinki

Sikulu - Screenshot driven programming

Now this looks interesting: Project Sikuli (via a mention on LTU and and MIT News). From the web pages for Project Sikuli:
Sikuli is a visual technology to search and automate graphical user interfaces (GUI) using images (screenshots). The first release of Sikuli contains Sikuli Script, a visual scripting API for Jython, and Sikuli IDE, an integrated development environment for writing visual scripts with screenshots easily. Sikuli Script automates anything you see on the screen without internal API's support. You can programmatically control a web page, a desktop application running on Windows/Linux/Mac OS X, or even an iphone application running in an emulator.
And the ever present Hello World example.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Friday, 15 January 2010

WHO to look into claims it exaggerated swine flu

Article from the Irish Times on Swine Flu:

A few interesting quotes from the article:

THE WORLD Health Organisation is to examine its handling of the swine flu pandemic after accusations that it exaggerated the dangers of the virus under pressure from drug companies.

Council of Europe parliamentarian Wolfgang Wodarg called for an inquiry into what he called a “false pandemic” and the way it was handled at national and European levels, claiming pressure from pharmaceutical firms.

The Council of Europe is to discuss the claim and whether drug companies influenced public health officials to spend money unnecessarily on stockpiles of H1N1 vaccines later this month.
Finland should take note, especially as they've just started to vaccinate everyone against a possible 3rd wave - not exactly sure when the 1st and 2nd came, nor do they have any records about whether anyone actually had swine flu because they never tested persons - just assumed.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Categorification of Databases

Interesting paper: SIMPLICIAL DATABASES David I Spivak (Arxiv 0904.2012.v1) and the discussion on LtU.

From the abstract:
In this paper, we de ne a category DB, called the category of
simplicial databases, whose objects are databases and whose morphisms are
data-preserving maps. Along the way we give a precise formulation of the
category of relational databases, and prove that it is a full subcategory of
DB. We also prove that limits and colimits always exist in DB and that they
correspond to queries such as select, join, union, etc.
and then from the introduction:
One reason that relational databases have been so successful is that their de -
nition can be phrased within a precise mathematical language.
It is no accident that SQL uses tables instead of relations: Tables are inherently
more useful, yet just as easy to implement.
So, a category of databases based around tables and morphisms between tables - now as my interest is rather in graph based databases, ie: RDF - there are papers on categorification of RDF or at least using category theory over RDF structures. Of course an isomorphism can be shown (and does exist), but how easily do operations such as join etc (which form limits in the above category DB) correspond to "objects" or more accurately structures such as "molecules" and named graphics in RDF. The description logic handbook has references to papers about the expressability of ER in terms of various DLs...something to think about in the meantime.

Security Theater

Interesting read at The Register: Trouser-bomb clown attacks - how much should we laugh?

Of course Schneier has much to say about this on his blog.

Now ask yourself what the hell is going on?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone

This has been around for a while in the draft form, but now there's a (re)post on Lambda the Ultimate for the forthcoming book(?):
Physics, Topology, Logic and Computation: A Rosetta Stone
John C. Baez and Mike Stay, 2009.
Mentioned in the discussions are two other papers linked here: