Friday, June 29, 2007

Are there Business Models for the Singularity?

If the Singularity is here, what kind of a business model best benefits from it?

Maybe user friendly products and services design. The compexity could go into the hardware, and simplcity to the front end.

Barcelona

AMD is playing against Intel and now offers the Barcelona chip for next August. 2GHz processing speed. Sun Microsystems is building a new supercomputer using a new architecture.

Could it be that the Singularity advocating by some people is going to be sooner than some thought?

Today many people are using a new telephone. Do they feel like the Singularity is here?

I hope so.

AMD's quad-core 'Barcelona' launching in August

Advanced Micro Devices in August will begin selling its quad-core "Barcelona" Opteron processors, models that answer Intel's current products but soon will face stiffer competition.

read more | digg story

US Social Forum, Day 2: Immigration and the 2008 election

By Elizabeth DiNovella June 29, 2007In a small conference room on the fourteenth floor of the Westin Hotel on Peachtree Avenue in downtown Atlanta, dozens of activists sat on chairs--some squatted on the floor--and discussed immigration and the 2008 election.

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What Next?

It seems now that until 2008 everything is going to stay still on immigration. Can this be so?

I doubt it.

I do not know what is coming, maybe a big storm, maybe a little rain. Human behavior is harder to predict than the weather. 

One think I am sure of, come November 2008, and we will have more than the twelve or so million illegal aliens in this country now.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sun Super Computer May Hit 2 Petaflops

Sun Microsystems on Monday revealed the Constellation System, a high-performance computing platform that company executives claim will vault the company back into the top ranks of supercomputer manufacturers.

read more | digg story

Who is Running the US?

Definitely not George W. Bush.

He could not even force his party to discuss an Immigration Bill he favors.

Immigration Bill Blocked in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.

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Senate Refuses to Discuss Immigration

A moment ago the Senate did not approve the continuation of discussions on the Immigration Bill proposed by a bipartisan committee. They needed 60 votes, they were short fourteen votes; for lack of a nail, a shoe was lost,...

This is a sad moment in the history of the US Senate, now I am hearing Senator Byrd from West Virginia, lecturing on how old people can still help us in our lives.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Gore Coins the Word: Climate Refugees

I have not read before today the word Climate Refugees, that is how Al Gore described in Spain the Africans leaving the heat coming from the Sahara Desert and going to different African countries.
If you read Spanish, take a look at my previous post that I took from "La Jornada", a Mexican newspaper.

Al Gore: Cambio climático es responsable de migración africana

DPA

25/06/2007 11:52

Santa de Cruz de Tenerife, España. El ex vicepresidente de Estados Unidos Al Gore aseguró este lunes en España que el cambio climático es responsable de la emigración africana.

El cambio climático, explicó el político demócrata, provoca sequía y hambre en el continente y ello lleva a la emigración de sus habitantes, que arriesgan en muchas ocasiones su vida tratando de entrar de forma ilegal en territorio español sobre embarcaciones precarias con las que cruzan desde la costa africana a las Islas Canarias.

"Canarias puede decir al mundo lo que significan los refugiados climáticos", manifestó Gore en la isla de Tenerife, en la inauguración de unas jornadas sobre "Sociedad del conocimiento y cambio climático".

La tesis sostenida por el ex vicepresidente norteamericano fue que "los refugiados climáticos" ya son una realidad y su número puede ir en aumento como consecuencia del calentamiento global.

"No hemos llegado tarde", aseguró Gore, defendiendo que aún es posible luchar contra el cambio climático. "Tenemos lo necesario para resolver la crisis" pero hay que espabilar "con una patada en el trasero", manifestó.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bush, Perkins, and You

I posted today in digg.com an article from the NYT explaining George W. Bush's admiration for Mexicans he met in Midlands, Tex., the town where he grew up. I just saw John Perkins give his presentation of "The Secret History of the American Empire" for booktv.org. Now what about you, and me?

I want to believe that George W. Bush is a real human being, as well as John Perkins. They are telling us to take action, but sometimes in different directions. Like everything in life we have to make our minds and do what we think is right.

I do not even have a job at this point. What I want to do is to be useful in leading all of us to take the best decisions for our benefit and that of our children.

Bush's Secret Campaign To Deny Global Warming Revealed

Earlier this year, the world's top climate scientists released a definitive report on global warming. It is now "unequivocal," they concluded, that the planet is heating up. Bush no likey.



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Friday, June 22, 2007

How Do You Know the World is Ending?1

I already asked this question before:
Part 1
Today I add another test. The world is ending when more political parties act in unprecedented ways, more genocides are committed, and more of us feel more and more unsettled.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

James Hansen et alia

Dr. Hansen and collaborators from NASA and other universities published last May an article in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A from England, the abstract of the article is in the previous post.

These are serious warnings that should be heeded by all of us to take the measures necessary to save the planet.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Climate Change and Trace Gases

Palaeoclimate data show that the Earth’s climate is remarkably sensitive to global forcings. Positive feedbacks predominate. This allows the entire planet to be whipsawed between climate states. One feedback, the ‘albedo flip’ property of ice/water, provides a powerful trigger mechanism. A climate forcing that ‘flips’ the albedo of a sufficient portion of an ice sheet can spark a cataclysm. Inertia of ice sheet and ocean provides only moderate delay to ice sheet disintegration and a burst of added global warming. Recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest human-made climate forcing, but other trace constituents are also important. Only intense simultaneous efforts to slow CO2 emissions and reduce non-CO2 forcings can keep climate within or near the range of the past million years. The most important of the non-CO2 forcings is methane (CH4), as it causes the second largest human-made GHG climate forcing and is the principal cause of increased tropospheric ozone (O3), which is the third largest GHG forcing. Nitrous oxide ( N2O) should also be a focus of climate mitigation efforts. Black carbon (‘black soot’) has a high global warming potential (approx. 2000, 500 and 200 for 20, 100 and 500 years, respectively) and deserves greater attention. Some forcings are especially effective at high latitudes, so concerted efforts to reduce their emissions could preserve Arctic ice, while also having major benefits for human health, agricultural productivity and the global environment.

Geronimo's great-grandson wants bones returned

Geronimo's great-grandson wants bones returnedAP | June 20, 2007SANTA FE, N.M. --Legend has it that Yale University's ultrasecret Skull and Bones society swiped the remains of American Indian leader Geronimo nearly a century ago from an Army outpost in Oklahoma.



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Humans can justify almost anything

Cognitive dissonance is the extreme emotional discomfort we feel when two important beliefs, attitudes or perceptions collide. Humans cannot tolerate dissonance for long, so they ease the tension by making a change in belief or attitude—and justifying the change.



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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

US General Says Rumsfeld Allowed Abu Ghraib Torture

A New Yorker article is raising uncomfortable questions for the White House about what President Bush knew about the horrific abuse at Abu Ghraib, and when he knew it. General Taguba says Donald Rumsfeld has always known about the torture at Abu Ghraib and that the same policy was used in Guantanamo.



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Monday, June 18, 2007

General Antonio Taguba investigated Abu Ghraib, became a casualty

The General’s Report: How Antonio Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal, became one of its casualties - by Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, 25 Jun 2007



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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Information and Black Swans

Shannon defined information received in a message as the logarithm of the inverse probabilty of the message. If the Sun comes tomorrow, the probability of that event is close to one, the inverse probability is also close to one, so the information received is close to zero.
A Black Swan has a low probabilty of occurrence , almost zero; so the inverse of that number is close to infinity and likewise with the logarithm. These low probabilty events could have a big impact, like the the collapse of the World Trade Building on September 11, 2001.

Shannon's definition does not incorporate the consequences of the event happening, he worked for the American Telephone and Telegraph company, his bosses did not care about the consequences of the message, only with the faithfullness with which their system would deliver the message, any message.

One could define a new measurement of probability that takes into account consquences, in this measure, Black Swans are heavy. 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This Lebanon born thinker recently published the book "The Black Swan". He defines events of low probability and high consequence as Black Swans, besides, once they occurred most of us think that we understand them.

It seems to me that what he has discovered is the way our mind handles the external world. This way of thinking was more useful in the past when things did not happen as fast as now nor were of the high variety of types that cross our lives these days.

It may be possible to re-tune our brains to this new world. If I can re-tune my mind, I will write it here how.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Version of Widget

Three posts, that is enough.
This Widget was not working. Now I can use it again.
Hi,
New Blogger

GZK Puzzle

Professor Sokolsky from the University of Utah claims today in an article published at the Los Alamos Electronic Archive, that the GZK puzzle has been solved.

The puzzle is that events that should not have happened seemed to have happened.

Now with better equipment, like the AUGER Observatory in Argentina, there is no puzzle. High Energy Cosmic Rays have a cutoff around 1019 eV, as predicted by Greisen, Zatsepin, and Kuzmin, more than forty years ago.

Pierre Sokolsky New submissions for Tue, 12 Jun 07

While it appears that the GZK puzzle has now been set to rest, the underlying questions are as urgent and burning as ever: what are the sources of UHE cosmic rays, what is the nature of the acceleration mechanism and what is the composition of the particles? Tantalizing hints of point sources have begun to appear in the last decade. Significant measurements of anisotropy, both on large and small scales, seem just within reach. The new generation of detectors, with order of magnitude larger sensitivities and excellent angular resolution should make a great impact in this area.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Auger Report for Mérida 2007

The Pierre Auger Observatory is located in the province of Mendoza in western Argentina (35.5o S, 69.3o W). Construction will be complete at the end of 2007, but production data have been collected by the growing observatory since January 2004. At the time of writing,over 1200 of the 1600 water Cherenkov particle detector tanks have been deployed on a 1.5 km triangular grid [1] (Figure 1). Each surface detector (SD) tank contains 12 tonnes of water (10 m2 area), and each is equipped with local digitizing electronics (400 MHz sampling rate), solar power, GPS receiver and a radio communication system[2]. The final fluorescence detector (FD) site came into operation in February 2007 on the northern edge of the SD array. Now four sites view the atmosphere above the array, with each site consisting of 6 Schmidt telescopes, a design chosen for improved optical performance. The telescopes each have a field of view of approximately 30o × 30o ,mirror area of 12 m2, aperture area of 3.8 m2 and 440 hexagonal pixels of 1.5o diameter. Pixel signals are digitized with 100 MHz sampling [2].

GED Graduation

I met a neighbor from Mexico City here in Illinois yesterday. He moved here in 1992, I in 1998. He got his High School Diploma, I was there to see the result of my volunteer work.

Everybody that has finished the program studies conscientiously. I hope more of them come in the future.

Also this week President Bush abandoned his immigration bill, now millions of workers have to keep working without the protection of the law. One can argue that since they did not asked for it, that since they forfeited their rights by braking the law, they do not deserve better conditions. I myself don't think so. Life is complicated and what we observe at this point is not only their fault.

In any case if any of the GED graduates is not here legally, I hope that their employers will pay them more now that they have proven themselves as students.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

As Immigration Plan Folded, Grass Roots Roared

WASHINGTON, Mich., June 8 — The undoing of the immigration bill in the Senate this week had many players, but none more effective than angry voters like Monique Thibodeaux, who joined a nationwide campaign to derail it.



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AGASA v.s. AUGER

The 30th International Cosmic Ray Conference is scheduled for next month in Mérida, Yucatán, México.

A Japenese group has claimed very high energy cosmic ray particles above the energy calculated more than thirty years ago as a limit for these energies. AGASA has reported particles with energies bigger than 6x1019 eV. This if true, is a great discovery, because based on everything we know should not happen.

Nevertheless after more than one year of observations, the Auger International Collaboration has not seen any of these particles on their detectors in Argentina.

Which group is right?

It may be too soon to tell, very likely there will be some argumentation in Mérida, but for now I can say that finally, Argentina, México, and other Third World countries are making their voice heard in the international arena.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Science for the New Millenium

I am a scientist. The Universe makes sense to me more than it did thirty years ago. I am interested in politics, but my judgment in that area has not been good. I thought that neo-liberal policies were good for poor countries, I did not expect the collapse of those ideas as we are witnessing now in Mexico and South America. Instead of Mexico being more competitive due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, now China has more of the market planned for Mexico than Mexico does. Nevertheless I feel more satisfied with my understanding of the physical Universe now than I was in 1977.

Now I see that climate change is likely due to human intervention. I saw the rivers of Mexico turned into sewage channels. I see the importance and the uniqueness of the human history for the future evolution of the Earth. I hope I can act on this knowledge and do my part in saving the Earth.

John Perkins

I am reading "The Secret History of the American Empire"

In general I do not like conspiracy theories, because even if true, they are useless to promote change.

Nevertheless this seems better; his description of the Latin American recent history besides been true, does describe a situation of hope. This can turn the American conspirators into well known criminals in those countries, and maybe the American Indians there can get rid of them.

Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, give me hope that the needed changes in South America are starting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Is the World a Slow Burning Flame?

Yes.

What matters to me, and I guess my readers, is when does the flame go away?

This is the 64 million dollar question.

I do not know when our civilization will end.

From Lucent to Lucifer through a Slow Burnig Flame

Why was I let go from Lucent? Were the Masons the founders of the US? Am I a slowly burning flame?

The word Lucent has Latin roots, light in Spanish is luz. Lucifer has similar roots, and some Masons believe in more than one acting god in the Universe, one of them would be Lucifer. Lucifer is a Latin word meaning "light-bearer".

From Wikipedia we can read:

"Freemasonry and Luciferianism

Freemasons have been accused by various Christian organizations of worshipping Lucifer, despite the fact that Freemasonry does not consider itself religion, and has members from many religions including Christianity. This theory originates with the famous Taxil hoax perpetrated by Léo Taxil, who had himself been expelled from Freemasonry within months of joining. According to the hoax, leading Freemason Albert Pike had addressed "The 23 Supreme Confederated Councils of the world" (Taxil's invention), instructing them that Lucifer was God, and was in opposition to the evil god Adonai. Taxil also promoted a book by Diana Vaughan (actually written by him) that purported to reveal a highly secret ruling body called the Palladium which controlled the organisation and had a Satanic agenda. As described by Freemasonry Disclosed in 1897:

With frightening cynicism, the miserable person we shall not name here [Taxil] declared before an assembly especially convened for him that for twelve years he had prepared and carried out to the end the most sacrilegious of hoaxes. We have always been careful to publish special articles concerning Palladism and Diana Vaughan. We are now giving in this issue a complete list of these articles, which can now be considered as not having existed.[3]

Despite the fraud having been revealed for over a century, Pike's spurious address and other details of the hoax continue to be quoted by anti-masonic groups.[4]

Arthur Edward Waite wrote an exposé of this hoax, titled Devil-Worship in France. Waite produces evidence that this was what today we would call a tabloid story, replete with logical and factual inconsistencies.

[3] Freemasonry Disclosed April 1897
[4] Leo Taxil: The tale of the Pope and the Pornographer. Retrieved on 14 September 2006."

The burning flame metaphor in this note has to do with my belief that all of us are slowly burning flames. We are born, we slowly burn, and then we die, just like a flame disappearing.

From Lucent to Lucifer through a Slow Burnig Flame

Here I try to put these three disparate ideas together.

Lucent is no more. Now there is a French company called Alcatel-Lucent that took over. I was not needed anymore. I worked there for three years, and have not worked in telecommunications since 2001. Freemasons might have founded the US, and I do benefit from the privileges of a permanent US residency. I am still slowly burning and I hope to accomplish something before I puff away.

Lucent, the US, and I may disappear in this unstable Universe of us. Nevertheless I believe that something was there before we appeared, and will still be there once we are gone.

That something, for lack of a better name I call Information.

Secret History of American Empire (or Why They Really Hate Us)

John Perkins is back with a new book on the heels of his best-seller "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." Amy Goodman interviews him for the better part of the hour. It's a very informative discussion that I wish the average American would see and comprehend.



read more | digg story

Mexican Court’s Media Ruling Shows Support for Competition

In a defeat for Mexico’s television duopoly, the Supreme Court struck down crucial provisions of a media law on Tuesday, sending a clear message in favor of greater economic competition.



read more | digg story

Televisa

Yesterday these Mexican rich kids lost one battle. They think they own the country. Two names that come to mind are, Emilio Azcárraga Jean, and Bernardo Gómez Martínez. The Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional some of the main parts of the law recently enacted in the Mexican Congress and Senate, to regulate Mexican media.

Mexico is separated along economic classes more than it appears to happen here in the US. These officers of Televisa are as Americans or European as many in this country, but they do not leave Mexico because they own the place, almost. Azcárraga's mother is French, and he studied here in the US. The majority of Mexicans are of mixed race, American Indian and European.

Mexico demonstrated yesterday that it is a democratic country.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nostalgia

Today I went to a community college nearby to sign my contract to teach mathematics to high school students during the summer.

While I was walking through campus, the humid and fresh air reminded me when I was at Santa Barbara in the early seventies. Everything about the US was new to me and I liked it so much.

Today I felt a little bit as thirty four years ago when I first set foot in this great country.

No classes tomorrow. I will miss my students a little.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Grading

Finals were not successful. Only ten percent or less did as I expected. The rest were not into it. It was not different when I taught college, but somehow I feel more responsible for younger people, I had more power over them than I used.

Next time.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

I'm Going to Miss those Kids!

My class at the high school this year was a mixed bag. There was a student that aced the final, in a class with several bad students. I am glad that that student learned.
Some other kids do not have discipline, they could've done better.

I will miss them all!

I told a few, that they have to finish high school. I got an understanding look back. I hope they listen.

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