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Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_world.html

Related:  The world of Algorithm

Algorithm Flow chart of an algorithm (Euclid's algorithm) for calculating the greatest common divisor (g.c.d.) of two numbers a and b in locations named A and B. The algorithm proceeds by successive subtractions in two loops: IF the test B ≥ A yields "yes" (or true) (more accurately the numberb in location B is greater than or equal to the numbera in location A) THEN, the algorithm specifies B ← B − A (meaning the number b − a replaces the old b). Similarly, IF A > B, THEN A ← A − B. The process terminates when (the contents of) B is 0, yielding the g.c.d. in A.

Is drug resistance in humans coming from chickens? There’s a new paper out in the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that makes a provocative claim: There is enough similarity between drug-resistance genes in E. coli carried by chickens and E. coli infecting humans that the chickens may be the source of it. If it is correct—and it seems plausible and is backed by past research—the claim provides another piece of evidence that antibiotic use in agriculture has a direct effect on human health. Here are the details: The paper is a collaboration by researchers from several hospitals in the Netherlands, plus the Netherlands’ National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection, the University of Birmingham and a section of the UK’s National Health Service.

10 TED Talks for Entrepreneurs ? The Educated Entrepreneur's Blog A fellow entrepreneur gave me a slight nudge today that motivated me to post today’s blog. I think you will certainly find value in it as it incorporates some of the best minds of the 21st century. Remember….. Chinese Drones Will Use Genetic Algorithms to Learn to Hunt For Submarines China usually holds its military hand very close to the vest--that, or things "mysteriously" leak that it doesn't (does) want the world to know about--so we're left to wonder why the People's Republic has decided to publish this in the journal Advanced Materials Research. Nonetheless, it's pretty interesting. Chinese navy researchers have plans for a new submarine hunting scheme that uses ship-launched UAVs running genetic algorithms. Genetic algorithms narrow down a range of possibilities to an optimal solution much the way evolution does (at least in a simplified sense)--by weeding out the weaker offspring and mating the best with the best to create stronger candidates. These algorithms would take into account things like fuel economy, potential air and sea threats, and oceanographic geography to zero in on the most likely places for submarines to be moving at a given time. Working with dropped sonar buoys, the drones would then attempt to locate enemy subs in action.

Chimpanzees expand their territory by attacking and killing neighbours Chimpanzees cooperate to acquire new territory, killing individuals from rival groups. Photograph: Michael S. Lewis/Corbis Gangs of chimpanzees carry out violent attacks on individuals from rival groups in order to secure more resources or mates, a 10-year study in Uganda has found. During that time scientists recorded 18 attacks and found signs of three others carried out by a large, male-dominated community of chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park. In summer last year, the aggressor chimpanzees finally began to occupy the area where two-thirds of their attacks had occurred, expanding their territory by more than a fifth.

Statistical inference In statistics, statistical inference is the process of drawing conclusions from data that are subject to random variation, for example, observational errors or sampling variation.[1] Initial requirements of such a system of procedures for inference and induction are that the system should produce reasonable answers when applied to well-defined situations and that it should be general enough to be applied across a range of situations. Inferential statistics are used to test hypotheses and make estimations using sample data. The outcome of statistical inference may be an answer to the question "what should be done next?"

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) Photo: Name Withheld; Digital Manipulation: Jesse Lenz The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont. The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU). Several cables describe "biotechnology outreach programs" in countries across the globe, including African, Asian and South American countries where Western biotech agriculture had yet to gain a foothold. Cables detail US efforts to influence the biotech policies of developed countries such as Egypt and Turkey, but France continues to stand out as a high-profile target.

PageRank Mathematical PageRanks for a simple network, expressed as percentages. (Google uses a logarithmic scale.) Page C has a higher PageRank than Page E, even though there are fewer links to C; the one link to C comes from an important page and hence is of high value. If web surfers who start on a random page have an 85% likelihood of choosing a random link from the page they are currently visiting, and a 15% likelihood of jumping to a page chosen at random from the entire web, they will reach Page E 8.1% of the time. (The 15% likelihood of jumping to an arbitrary page corresponds to a damping factor of 85%.) Without damping, all web surfers would eventually end up on Pages A, B, or C, and all other pages would have PageRank zero.

Nature - Tardigrades: Water bears in space 17 May 2011Last updated at 02:46 By Emma Brennand Reporter, BBC Nature Tardigrades are microscopic animals commonly known as water bears In 2007, a little known creature called a tardigrade became the first animal to survive exposure to space. It prevailed over sub-zero temperatures, unrelenting solar winds and an oxygen-deprived space vacuum. Remembering The Flash Crash I came across this video today where you hear live traders and their reaction on May 6th, which of course is the day of the Flash Crash. It’s always useful and interesting to go back and revisit trader’s reactions on monumental trading events such as this to see if you can learn how to react or not to reach in the future. If you’ve been a reader here at zentrader for some time you’ll remember that my timing signal issued a sell on the markets on April 29th, and I got short the indexes after the close on that day. On the actual day of the crash I remember leaving to take my wife out to lunch that day because it was her birthday and when I left at 2pm eastern the markets were falling, but given that I was short I left my positions alone so they can do their magic. By the time I got to Starbucks and hour later and opened my laptop to see the carnage, I exited my positions as quickly as I could.

If You Want to Get a Job Learn About SEO Bots Like in the film iRobot, many menial tasks are now assigned to bots in order to optimize the process and save money for companies. Search has become so ubiquitous as a technology today that we rarely stop to think where it applies, or how. Search has become the de facto means through which we navigate the web. Without it the massive amount of information locked up in websites and online documents is next to useless. Search technology however is not just useful when it comes to getting websites to rank on the web.

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