A site devoted mostly to everything related to Information Technology under the sun - among other things.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tissue Engineering

This is great stuff.

What a fascinating hope for the future. I shake my head in wonder and broadly smile at all the possibilities. I suspect you will too.

Note the usage of HP InkJet printers; one wonders about using 3D printers.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Zooming Pictures

Take a look at the way the pictures are zoomed.


Nano-tube Radio

A research group at the University of California, Berkeley, lead by Alex Zettl, has used a single carbon nano-tube that functions as a radio. The paper discussing the technology may be found @ http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/zettl/projects/nanoradio/2007_Nanoletters_Nanotube_radio.pdf

Supplementary materials for the nano-tube radio may be found @ http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/zettl/projects/nanoradio/radio.html

Check out the videos of the actual vibrating nano-tube on that page.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Persistent BIOS Infection

Alfredo Ortega and Anibal Sacco from Core Security Technologies — used the stage at last week's CanSecWest conference to demonstrate methods (PDF) for infecting the BIOS with persistent code that will survive reboots and re-flashing attempts.

The technique includes patching the BIOS with a small bit of code that gave them complete control of the machine. The demo ran smoothly on a Windows machine, a PC running OpenBSD and another running VMware Player.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Circuitscape is a free, open-source program which borrows algorithms from electronic circuit theory to predict patterns of movement, gene flow, and genetic differentiation among plant and animal populations in heterogeneous landscapes. Find it @ http://www.circuitscape.org/Circuitscape/Welcome.html

Also take a look at the paper "Circuit theory predicts gene flow in plant and animal populations"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Smart Pen For Rquirements Elicitation

In the January/February 2009 issue of Scientific Computing we read:

"... we discovered the logical successor to the PDA — a digital “smart pen,” specifically, the “Pulse” smart pen from Livescribe. This hand-held computer sports a 32-bit ARM 9 processor, 1 or 2 GB of flash memory and runs applications written in Java. It does have a 96x18 pixel monochrome OLED display, but it is not a touch screen. It instead uses standard paper that has been printed with a screen pattern of 100-┬Ám diameter dots...."

So with the Pulse device business & requirements analysts can record information in JAD sessions, requirements elicitation meetings, etc. and replay their notes and their audio input — something that was nearly impossible with the PDA.

Furthermore, the Livescribe desktop software (available for both Windows and Mac) provides a comprehensive interface to the images, audio and file management on the smart pen.

The Geography of Unemployment

From the New York Times:


Friday, March 6, 2009

Theoretical History

A remarkable idea of the Foundation Trilogy of Isaac Asimov’s was that of psychohistory; a branch of mathematics that could predict the future, but only on a large scale; it was error-prone for anything smaller than a planet or an empire. It worked on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people could be predictable.

A similar idea was alluded to in the novel “Hard to be a god” by Arkadi and Boris Strugatskii in which Earthmen from the Institute for Experimental History had been intervening in the history of other planets with disastrous consequences.

Both of these ideas are now in the process of being realized.


A quantitative theory of physical and cultural co-evolution was first pioneered in “Genes, Mind, And Culture: The Co-evolutionary Process” by Charles J. Lumsden and Edward O. Wilson but they did not really delve into the process of history or the behavior of individuals. [A remarkable work nevertheless that was ignored for the most part.]

The task of modeling of the histories of a number of pre-industrial societies (such as dynastic China) was accomplished by Peter Turchin in the book “Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall” using ordinary differential equation. [He does not model the individuals as autonomous agents.] In his chapter on Meta-ethnic Frontier Theory he uses the following set of coupled differential equations:


Here A stands for the area of the state (ethnic group) and S stands for Ibn Khaldun’s old concept of “assabiya”; i.e. tribal solidarity and cohesion among a group of human beings. Turchin’s models reach quantitative agreements with historical data - surely making Ibn Khaldun proud!

On the other hand, a quantitative framework for the modeling of the individual agents was proposed by Michail Zak in 3 papers: “Dynamics of Intelligent Systems” and “Self-supervised Dynamical Systems” and “Physics of Life From First Principles”. The essential idea of Zak is the incorporation of the idea of “Self-Image” into stochastic non-linear set of differential equations that describe the behavior of a single individual (of an specific species). Zak models the behavior of an individual agent by using Newton’s Second Law but with an additional random force – attributable to the agents intelligence.

The reason for the random force is that if you observe animals without knowing that they have minds – and only knowing f=ma – you will be obliged to account for their behavior of changing direction and speed by invoking (invisible) random forces acting on them. And he postulate that this random force (which is modeling the agents autonomous intelligence) obeys the Liouville Equation. And in this manner he can account for emergent randomness.

Therefore, one can model, in principle, a society of humans by writing a simulation that keeps track of thousands or millions of such agents interacting and evolving – like codes that people write for modeling of galaxies [see the book “Gravitational N-body Simulations: Tools and Algorithms” by Sverre J. Aarseth].

Note that both Turchin and Zak approaches admit the possibility of chaotic solutions with no discernible patterns - something not too uncommon in actual human history.

Something that would be interesting to investigate is the relationship of Zak’s particulate approach to that of Turchin and others like him. For we know that the Navier-Stokes equations may be derived as various moments of the Boltzmann’s Equation. Can Turchin’s equations be similarly derived from the moments of a suitably chosen set of dynamical equations such as those proposed by Zak? Who knows, perhaps we could then settle the debate between “historical inevitability” and “The Role of Individual in History”?

A possible bridge between the two approaches may be found in the work of David Wolpert and his team at NASA’s Ames Research Center . His approach is based on giving goals to individual agents that would naturally optimize the collective. Wolpert is not interested in history, he is interested in engineering design optimization but his approach provides the glue between the two approaches discussed above.

One would think that a synthetic model that combined the gross approaches of Lumsden, Wilson, and Turchin, on the one side, and the individual agent approaches of Zak and Wolpert, on the other, would be an even more robust and powerful model to account for some features of human history. So there could, someday, exist an “Institute of Theoretical History” - welcome to “Noon: 22 Century”!

Microscopic Art

Willard Wigen, the artist, is a resident of Birmingham, England .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Selling Expertise On The Web

You might find the following 3 Web sites useful venues for selling your expertise.

LivePerson (http://www.liveperson.com/) seeks out experts on many topics, including mental health, financial services, shopping and fashion, as well as psychics and spiritual advisers.

Mechanical Turk (http://www.mturk.com/), a Web service run by Amazon.com Inc., pays workers to perform tasks, such as cataloging products online.

Associated Content (http://www.associatedcontent.com/) pays contributors to write articles on a wide range of subjects, from organic flower gardening to how to apply for financial aid.

Also take a look at:

Bug Scanner For Eclipse

Check this product ($ 499 per user) @ http://sdtimes.com/link/33298

PowerShell Weblogs

From Jeffery Hick's column in Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine @ http://mcpmag.co/columns/article.asp?editorialsid=2897

  1. The PowerShell team's Weblog from Microsoft is the best way to learn what's coming from PowerShell. The team usually posts terrific examples of how to use PowerShell. Find it here.
  2. If you have Citrix duties and are wondering how PowerShell will fit in, take a look at Brandon Shell's Weblog, BSonPoSH. Shell's blog includes quite a bit about PowerShell, Citrix and Active Directory.
  3. For Active Directory & PowerShell information check out Quest's Dmitry Sotnikov's Weblog. Here look especially for the free Quest AD cmdlets.
  4. Richard Siddaway's Weblog has a number of examples that cover topics like IIS and SQL.
  5. Also visit the PowerScripting podcast where Hal Rottenberg and Jonathon Walz put out a high-quality weekly podcast all about PowerShell. They usually include a lively interview They also broadcast live on UStream, so you can participate. Definitely great stuff.
  6. Finally, there is also blog.sapien.com.

Free eBook

The book "Patterns & Practices Application Architecture Guide 2.0" from Microsoft is now available @ http://www.codeplex.com/AppArchGuide

Monday, March 2, 2009

PDF Search

Search the Internet for ".pdf" documents @ http://www.pdf-search-engine.com/

About Me

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I am a senior software developer working for General Motors Corporation.. I am interested in intelligent computing and scientific computing. I am passionate about computers as enablers for human imagination. The contents of this site are not in any way, shape, or form endorsed, approved, or otherwise authorized by HP, its subsidiaries, or its officers and shareholders.

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