April 24, 2009

April 23, 2009

Max Planck

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

Max Planck

April 22, 2009

This blog is "little credible"

From Ars Technica:

The proliferation of widespread Internet access has enabled everyone and their dog to start a website, but not every one is filled with what some of us would describe as "credible" information. That's why some researchers are attempting to create software that can analyze Web content and automatically rank it to help out those who can't quite decide for themselves.

Researchers at the Austria-based Know-Center are working on a program that analyzes the language used on blogs in order to rank them as highly credible, having average credibility, or "little credible." The code looks at the distribution of words over time, and compares blog topics against articles from mainstream news, which are apparently weighted as being more credible.

"It has shown promising results, we think we are on the right path," Know-Center researcher Andreas Juffinger said at the World Wide Web conference in Madrid this week, according to the AFP. "It has to be automatic because it is not possible for customers to label and read all these blogs."

More from Ars Technica

The Importance of Saving Money

South Park

April 21, 2009

Ahmadinejad speech

...Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, the world's general condition is rapidly moving towards basic changes. Power based equations have become very weak. The sound of the pillars of global tyranny breaking can be heard. Political and macro economic structures are falling. Political and security crisis are growing. And the growing global economic crisis, for the resolution of which there is no bright horizon, makes all sorts of quantitative and quality aspects of change on the way very impressive. I have emphasised the necessity of getting back from the wrong path that today's absolute global management is following and I have warned about the critical outcomes of delaying to do so...

...Formation of a global community, the practical possibility of a common global system materialising and finally involving thinkers, managers and people of the world to actively and justly participate in the macro and principle decision makings is the main path to this great destination.

At the moment, scientific and technical capabilities as well as information and communication technology have created a mutual and comprehensive understanding of the global community and have created the necessary ground for a common system to materialise.

Now, this is a grave responsibility that the world's scientists, elites and officials across the world should shoulder by playing a historic role through faith in this definite path...

...First point: The improvement of the current international condition is hundred per cent possible. But we should know that this cannot be achieved without the cooperation of all the governments and nations. Therefore, we should benefit from the capacities of international cooperation to the maximum. My presence in this conference indicates my respect for this important issue, and the essential issue of human rights and support for nations' rights against the evil phenomenon of racism and cooperation with you, the thinkers.

Second: Considering the lack of efficiency of systems and international political, economic, security and cultural relations is necessary. In view of divine and humanitarian values and the true and real definition of human beings and based on justice and respect for the rights of all human beings across the world, confessing to the wrong management in the past and changing the views and performances, measures should be taken to reform the current structures. Therefore, a speedy change in the structure of the United Nations and the elimination of the discriminatory right to veto and a change in the financial and monetary system of the world must be on the agenda. Obviously, the lack of understanding for the urgency of this change will result in heavier costs due to any delay...

BBC Translation

Yellowstone plans expanded cell, Internet service

As the host of more than 24,000 visitors on busy summer days, Yellowstone National Park has adopted a wireless communications plan that seeks to balance safety and convenience with its mission of preserving the park's natural condition.

Yellowstone completed the plan this month after taking public comment on a proposal released last fall. The plan includes a limited expansion of cell phone service, restrictions on wireless Internet at historic lodges and rules for new scientific monitoring stations.

"Not all potential services are appropriate in all areas," park spokesman Al Nash said Monday. "It really is about an expectation that visitors have of a certain experience in Yellowstone, whether it's in historic lodging or in the backcountry. This plan recognizes technological change but works to protect the experience people seek in Yellowstone."

Business Week

Court flunks high schoolers' appeal on plagiarism database

Over student objections, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has found that Web-based plagiarism detection service TurnItIn.com does not violate the students' copyrights in their work, even though it sometimes stores their complete papers for future plagiarism hunting. The federal decision (PDF) reads like a primer on "fair use," which was the legal doctrine that TurnItIn relied upon for its activities.

Several years ago, when I had the distinct privilege of teaching freshman composition, "plagiarism detection" took the form of using Google to look up sentences that seemed suspiciously out of place (and suspiciously well-written). This generated results more often than I could believe, but professors today can turn to Web-based tools like TurnItIn for even quicker searches of whole batches of student papers.

ars technica