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Scrabble Needs a New Scoring System

stuckinarut Rethinking the value of Scrabble tiles (202 comments)

Original Joshua Lewis (the researcher) blog posting: Rethinking the value of Scrabble tiles

I've developed an open source package called Valett for determining letter valuations in word games based on statistical analyses of corpora. In addition to calculating the frequency of each letter in a corpus, Valett calculates the frequency by word length and the incoming and outgoing entropy for each letter's transition probabilities. One can then weight these properties of the corpus based on the structure of the game and arrive at a suggested value for each letter..

about 2 years ago

Doctors Transplant Same Kidney Twice In Two Weeks

stuckinarut Re:Get me a hammer! (130 comments)

On QI: H Series - Episode 4 they calculated the approximate total cost for a human body to be about £500,000 including the organs, meat (£1.32/Kg), leather, carbon (coal), bone meal (fertiliser) as well as the various metals the body contains; QIXL Series H S08E04 Humans

more than 2 years ago

James Cameron Begins His Deep-Sea Dive

stuckinarut Re:Well... (162 comments)

The test dives all went well past the 8,000 meter mark and I'm sure the sponsors wanted the deepest point moniker attached to the venture. There are many mountains more challenging to climb than Everest but everyone want to go to the highest none the less.

All along he's said that it's about the science and having reached the deepest point I'm sure they'll be visiting those places that maximise the science. James Cameron says he does not want this dive to the deep to be a one-off, and wants to use it as a platform for ocean exploration.

Having reached the deepest point there is no where marked off limits and there are several other ventures out there on the same Race to the bottom of the Ocean quest.

more than 2 years ago

Mystery Rising Within Mercury

stuckinarut Re:What about this is unusual? (120 comments)

Perhaps try the BBC article: Mercury has been 'dynamic world'

"Many scientists believed that Mercury was much like the Moon - that it cooled off very early in Solar System history, and has been a dead planet throughout most of its evolution," said Maria Zuber, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"Now, we're finding compelling evidence for unusual dynamics within the planet, indicating that Mercury was apparently active for a long time."

Dr Zuber and her colleagues used laser measurements from Messenger to map out a large number of impact craters, and found that many had tilted over time. This suggests that geological processes within the planet have re-shaped Mercury's terrain after the craters were created.

A process called polar wander can cause geological features to shift around on a planet's surface.

In theory, the process of convection going on within the mantle could drive such changes. But Dr Zuber said this would be unusual in Mercury's case, because the mantle is so thin.

Another potential explanation could be that features on the surface were distorted as the planet's interior cooled and contracted. This fits in with observations that some surface features on Mercury have been exposed to high levels of stress.

more than 2 years ago

Pirate Bay Founders Lose Final Appeal

stuckinarut Re:Gee, I wonder what Slashdot will think (307 comments)

Result of GPL enforcement: More work available to the public.

Result of shortening copyright: More work available to the public.

The difficulty is the big studios don't want this otherwise there will be plenty of entertainment experiences for us all to enjoy without paying our tithe to them. To keep making money, churning out the same experiences over and over, the old experiences need to be as hard to access as possible.

more than 2 years ago

The Rise and Fall of Kodak

stuckinarut Re:Horse and buggy companies didn't make it either (352 comments)

A few excerpts from Kodak develops: A film giant's self-reinvention (Feb 2010) seem to suggest they just couldn't transition fast enough rather than became irrelevant.

... every Oscar winner for Best Motion Picture in the past 81 years has used Kodak film... 65 percent of Kodak's business now comes from business-to-business products and 70 percent of them are digital. Hayzlett's message is simple: every aspect of Kodak's business has been reinvigorated by winds of change.

The usual explanation is that Kodak failed to see the approach of digital.

In fact, Kodak was more than ahead of its competitors: it invented the digital camera -- even though it lacked the foresight to exploit it.

more than 3 years ago

NASA Gravity Probe Confirms Two Einstein Predictions

stuckinarut Re:NASA and the USA (139 comments)

Not exclusively USA

Some 100 students achieved their PhDs by working on some aspect of the mission during the many years it took to develop, build and then fly the probe. Most of these PhDs were earned at Stanford, and at the universities in Huntsville; and in Aberdeen, UK. More than 350 undergraduate students also worked on GP-B, including one who later became the first female American astronaut in space, Sally Ride. Another was Eric Cornell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001.

more than 3 years ago

Can You Beat a Computer At Rock-Paper-Scissors?

stuckinarut Help me statistician your my only hope ... (292 comments)

Playing in veteran mode when I loose, and then stubbornly refuse to change my choice, I'll constantly loose as the computer then 'correctly predicts I would play scissors' or whatever losing choice I've made repeatedly. Surely at some point it should think I won't be that dumb any more and I'll change my choice so shouldn't it change it's choice at some point too? Why does it always stick with it's winning choice? How many of the previous 200,000 rounds would have over twenty consecutive choices of scissors for it to always choose rock. Having "convinced" the computer I'll play scissors every time I can then win when I eventually choose paper. I can't get more than three consecutive ties though. For some reason I'm reminded of Derren Brown recording for hours on end until he got twenty consecutive heads in a coin toss in one take.

more than 3 years ago

Mathematics As the Most Misunderstood Subject

stuckinarut Re:Mathematics as an art (680 comments)

When I am working on a problem, I don't think about beauty, but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful then I know it is wrong - R. Buckminster Fuller

more than 4 years ago

My Most Productive Day of the Week Is..

stuckinarut Re:To turn the question around... (162 comments)

I always seem to make negative progress on a Wednesday so I ask myself if I didn't come to work at all surely that would be a positive productivity gain. Tried that rational with my boss and he suggested trying Saturday instead so for now I'll just stick to going backwards on my projects on Wednesdays.

more than 4 years ago

X Particle Might Explain Dark Matter & Antimatter

stuckinarut Re:Don't get into the science pool if you can't fl (285 comments)

Well said sir! As an example, Frame-dragging was proposed as a theory in 1918 based on Einstein's theory of General Relativity but wasn't able to be tested until 1996 with a couple of special satellites and even then not accurately enough to be provable until 2006. Since we had barely left the ground let alone orbit the earth at that point I'm sure it must have seemed un-testable at the time.

more than 4 years ago

Mount Everest Gets 3G Service

stuckinarut Re:It's true! (150 comments)

The man you refer to is Rob Hall who at the time had climbed Everest more times than any other non-Sherpa. He was leading a group of paying climbers that he wouldn't abandon to save his own life. I recommend reading the Jon Krakenauer book Into Thin Air which covers the biggest tradgey on Everest that occured whilst the IMAX team were filming. Ed Shears and David Breshers part of the IMAX team were part of the rescue effort. From the outside the world of high altitude climbing does appear to be about thrill seeking but like most things we don't truely understand there is so much more to it.

more than 4 years ago

In UK, Hacker Demands New Government Block Extradition

stuckinarut Re:Shrug (349 comments)

I'm not sure you have followed the facts of the case. He admitted his crime, was charged in the UK with those crimes and had bail terms set with curfew and zero access to computers or the internet. I'm sure he would have eventually gone to court and served whatever punishment was set by UK courts. Unfortunately whilst on bail the US Government decided to use a fast track extradition treaty deisgned to be used for terrorists to get him in court in the US. In order to scare him into not contesting the extradition hey had threatened to throw the book at him and jail him for 50 years. He is not using Asperger's as an excuse to proclaim his innocence of these crimes since he freely admits what he did. The real debate is how serious is the offence he comitted, where to punish him and what level of punishment his offence deserves? The actions of the US government don't seem proportional to his actions.

more than 4 years ago



High Resolution Global Topographic Map of Moon

stuckinarut stuckinarut writes  |  more than 3 years ago

stuckinarut (891702) writes "NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has released the highest resolution near-global topographic map of the moon ever created.

Our new topographic view of the moon provides the dataset that lunar scientists have waited for since the Apollo era,” says Mark Robinson, Principal Investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) from Arizona State University in Tempe. “We can now determine slopes of all major geologic terrains on the moon at 100 meter scale. Determine how the crust has deformed, better understand impact crater mechanics, investigate the nature of volcanic features, and better plan future robotic and human missions to the moon.”"

Link to Original Source

Mount Everest summit gets 3G

stuckinarut stuckinarut writes  |  more than 4 years ago

stuckinarut (891702) writes "Climbers can now ditch satellite phones and enjoy high speed 3G data coverage on the way up to the summit of Mount Everest or Sagarmth as it is more appropriately known locally.

Ncell, a Nepalese mobile communications company, has announced a 3G service is available on the world’s highest mountain and surrounding areas. Ncell says that the new data network is capable of speeds up to 3.6MB per second and potential to increase that to 7.2MB per second if there’s enough demand.

The service was made possible through the installation of eight 3G base stations, four of which are solar powered, along the way up to Everest’s base camp. It’s not clear if climbers can expect coverage all the way to the summit, which lies just above 29,000 feet. The highest of the 3G stations is at around 17,000 feet.

It’s not only climbers who are set to benefit from the 3G expansion. Ncell plans on bringing wider 3G coverage to the surrounding areas of Nepal in the near future."

Link to Original Source

Origami Spaceplane Aims For Space Station Descent

stuckinarut stuckinarut writes  |  about 7 years ago

stuckinarut (891702) writes "A paper plane might not seem ideally suited to space travel, but a Japanese engineering professor is collaborating with origami masters to design a small paper spacecraft that could be launched from the International Space Station and survive a descent to Earth. When released from the International Space Station, it would be travelling at Mach 20 but thanks to a large surface area and low weight it should slow considerably as it falls through the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere. A smaller prototype paper plane was tested up to Mach 7 and about 200 C in a hypersonic wind tunnel in Tokyo last week."

Weak link in Spam business

stuckinarut stuckinarut writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stuckinarut (891702) writes "A study of more than a million spam emails has revealed a weak link in the junk email business.Geoff Voelker and Chris Fleizach at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) examined the infrastructure behind spam. The pair studied more than a million spam messages, collected over a single week in 2006, which advertised 2334 distinct companies, ranging from businesses selling legal products to financial scamming sites.
The messages came from a wide range of sources ... but when the UCSD team followed web links in each spam message, they found that 94% directed traffic to a single web server. Furthermore, 57% led to a single host based in the US."

stuckinarut stuckinarut writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stuckinarut (891702) writes "Peer to peer file sharing network popularity is at an all time high, with hundreds of thousands of computers connected to a single P2P network at a given time. These networks are increasingly being used to trick PCs into attacking other machines, experts say. In fact, some reports indicate that peer-to-peer may actually exceed web traffic. Computer scientists have previously shown how P2P networks can be subverted so that several connected PCs gang up to attack a single machine, flooding it with enough traffic to make it crash. This can work even if the target is not part of the P2P network itself. Now, security experts are warning that P2P networks are increasingly being used to do just this. "Until January of this year we had never seen a peer-to-peer network subverted and used for an attack," says Darren Rennick of internet security company Prolexic in an advisory released recently. "We now see them constantly being subverted.""


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