A new study of starling flocks has revealed that each bird only needs to track its nearest six or seven neighbours, regardless of their physical distance, to keep the flock cohesive. Previous models such as boids were based on each bird tracking every other bird within a certain range.
Archive for January, 2008
The free saga continues. Lawrence Lessig is offering his latest book free, Chris Anderson is writing a new book “Free“, and now MS offers free web hosting: “Microsoft UK is offering all Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Design students in the UK (email in ac.uk domain) free web hosting for 1 year. Each student will have access to 500MB disk space on a Windows Server 2008/IIS 7 platform, with 1 x SQL 2005 database. The webspace will have support for ASP.NET 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, classic ASP, PHP 5 and CGI.” (I received it from a guy at MS Research Cambridge).
WEBSPAM-UK2007 ” is a large collection of annotated spam/nonspam hosts labeled by a group of volunteers. The base data is a set of 105,896,555 pages in 114,529 hosts in the .UK domain downloaded by the Laboratory of Web Algorithmics of the University of Milano. The assessment was done by a group of volunteers.
For the purpose of the Web Spam Challenge 2008, the labels are being released in two sets. SET1, containing roughly 2/3 of the assessed hosts will be given for training, while SET2 containing the remaining 1/3, will be held for testing. More information about the Web Spam Challenge 2008, co-located with AIRWeb 2008 will be available soon” here and here.
There is an interesting article here about a university professor who bans her students from using Google and Wikipedia in their assignments, saying that they are “churning out banal and mediocre work by using what search engines provided them.” viagra usa She effectively argues that using search engines (and wikipedia) do not only offer students shallow (or potentially misleading) ideas, but also deprives them of interpretative and analytic skills. (more…)
A short follow up to my recent post: Recently I’ve been reading Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock (written around 1970). It examines the accelerating rate of change in society, including the increased mobility of people, the evermore dynamic structures of organizations, and the impermanence of many aspects of life that may otherwise have been considered “points of reference” to people. Other than the fact that it’s usually fun to read what a futurologist of the past said about the future, apparently he is the one who coined the term “information overload;” a term he uses when describing a state where the prosperity of choice imprisons, rather than liberates, people. Here is a quote from the book: (more…)
The Security group at CNR in Pisa (Italy) has 5 openings for PhDs/PostDocs on those projects:
- Context-aware Information Sharing
- Security and Trust for GRID systems
- Secure Software and Services for Mobile Systems
- Biologically-inspired autonomic Networks and services
- Software Engineering for Service-Oriented Overlay Computers
- Secure and Resilient Networks and Services