Hail, lightning and gales came through the state’s eastern region this summer thanks to scientist-puppetmasters.
As part of a secret program to control the weather in the Middle East, scientists working for the United Arab Emirates government artificially created rain where rain is generally nowhere to be found. The $11 million project, which began in July, put steel lampshade-looking ionizers in the desert to produce charged particles. The negatively charged ions rose with the hot air, attracting dust. Moisture then condensed around the dust and eventually produced a rain cloud. A bunch of rain clouds.
The number-crunchers on Wall Street are starting to crunch something else: the news.
Math-loving traders are using powerful computers to speed-read news reports, editorials, company Web sites, blog posts and even Twitter messages — and then letting the machines decide what it all means for the markets.
The development goes far beyond standard digital fare like most-read and e-mailed lists. In some cases, the computers are actually parsing writers’ words, sentence structure, even the odd emoticon. A wink and a smile — — for instance, just might mean things are looking up for the markets. Then, often without human intervention, the programs are interpreting that news and trading on it.
Derwent Capital Markets, a family- owned hedge fund, will offer investors the chance to use Twitter Inc. posts to gauge the mood of the stockmarket, said co-owner Paul Hawtin.
The Derwent Absolute Return Fund Ltd., set to start trading in February with an initial 25 million pounds ($39 million) under management, will follow posts on the social-networking website. A trading model will highlight when the number of times words on Twitter such as “calm” rise above or below average.
I dug ever so slightly deeper into why I love the Master, the Alan Moore archive site I mentioned recently, and found another rare gem: the long lost Big Numbers # 3. It’s actually been up since March, 2009 – I don’t know this has escaped me for so long.
After Bill Sienkiewicz quit Big Numbers after completing two issues and beginning a third, Tundra hired Sienkiewicz’s assistant Al Columbia to complete the project. Columbia finished issue 3 and part of issue 4, but then, well, something happened. Issues 3 & 4was long thought destroyed, but it turns out that photocopies of 3 surfaced on eBay last year and are now available for your reading pleasure, with the blessing of Moore (but not necessarily Columbia and Sienkiewicz).
Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed an innovative theory of roughness and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.
His death was caused by pancreatic cancer, his wife, Aliette, said. He had lived in Cambridge.
But Dr. Tononi’s theory is, potentially, very different. He and his colleagues are translating the poetry of our conscious experiences into the precise language of mathematics. To do so, they are adapting information theory, a branch of science originally applied to computers and telecommunications. If Dr. Tononi is right, he and his colleagues may be able to build a “consciousness meter” that doctors can use to measure consciousness as easily as they measure blood pressure and body temperature. [...]
For the past decade, Dr. Tononi and his colleagues have been expanding traditional information theory in order to analyze integrated information. It is possible, they have shown, to calculate how much integrated information there is in a network. Dr. Tononi has dubbed this quantity phi, and he has studied it in simple networks made up of just a few interconnected parts. How the parts of a network are wired together has a big effect on phi. If a network is made up of isolated parts, phi is low, because the parts cannot share information.
But simply linking all the parts in every possible way does not raise phi much. “It’s either all on, or all off,” Dr. Tononi said. In effect, the network becomes one giant photodiode.
Networks gain the highest phi possible if their parts are organized into separate clusters, which are then joined. “What you need are specialists who talk to each other, so they can behave as a whole,” Dr. Tononi said. He does not think it is a coincidence that the brain’s organization obeys this phi-raising principle.
Robert Prechter, who uses technical analysis, a theory that holds that there are mathematically computable patterns in the stock market, think’s we’re in for the “big one” in a big way:
Mr. Prechter is convinced that we have entered a market decline of staggering proportions — perhaps the biggest of the last 300 years. [...]
Originating in the writings of Ralph Nelson Elliott, an obscure accountant who found repetitive patterns, or “fractals,” in the stock market of the 1930s and ’40s, the theory suggests that an epic downswing is under way, Mr. Prechter said. But he argued that even skeptical investors should take his advice seriously. [...]
For a rough parallel, he said, go all the way back to England and the collapse of the South Sea Bubble in 1720, a crash that deterred people “from buying stocks for 100 years,” he said. This time, he said, “If I’m right, it will be such a shock that people will be telling their grandkids many years from now, ‘Don’t touch stocks.’ ”
There’s an article on Shift.com about a new piece of software called Venharis. It’s a 3D game that generates fractal music.
Navigating with the arrow keys, you round a corner. You are inside a large alien room with moving panels and a floating fractal hologram. Suddenly you notice an alien hovering nearby in a flying saucer. With lightning-fast reflexes, you target the alien and punch the mouse button. But the alien does not explode into a thousand gory pieces.
It plays you a song.
Phil Thompson’s Venharis, which was completed last week, is not a shoot-’em-up. Venharis is a music composer and generator wrapped in a 3D gaming environment — with a plot. In it, you’re investigating an artifact that leads you to a meeting place between two worlds, where different species communicate through music. There are different areas to explore, and each area has a different utility in terms of the musical composition. In the hologram area, you create pieces of music. Then it’s down the elevator and through some doors to the nebula area to adjust the temporal aspects of your piece: Change the tempo, schedule starts and stops. Although it’s not a game in the strictest sense, it looks and feels like one.