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n1vux (1492)

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Only started with Perl4 and Perl5 in 1995. I was doing AWK etc for 12 years before that, and resisted switching. I've been doing OO since before C++ hit bigtime, with Objective-C and SmallTalk, so I really like the (no longer new) Perl5 OO style; and the Lispish Map style is also an old friend. What do I hack with Perl? All data that passes my way; systems monitoring scripts at $DayJob, weather data at night, and I cheat on NPR word puzzles. Member: [] [] /. LinkedIn []

N1VUX is my FCC-issued ham radio callsign.

Journal of n1vux (1492)

Monday May 02, 2005
01:47 PM

Science News

[ #24494 ]
* Super-computer-based VLA HF-VHF radio-telescope under development in Europe;
* Solar Storms, Arctic Winds Swirl In A Double Dip Cone Of Ozone Loss;
* "3-Deep - New displays render images you can almost reach out and touch";
* Extensions of Benfords Law in new directions.
Super-computer-based VLA HF-VHF radio-telescope under development in Europe
«"The LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) telescope is a new IT radio-telescope which will use about 20,000 simple radio antennae when it's completed in 2008. At this time, it will cover an area with a diameter of 360 kilometers centered over the Netherlands. Its small radio antennae will detect radio wavelengths up to 30 meters, and because the ionosphere can bend some of these radio waves, the Lofar images might be somewhat blurry. So all the information captured by these antennae will be digitized and sent to a computing facility at a rate of 22 terabits/second today, and almost 50 terabits/second in 2010. This is the reason why Lofar needs Stella, an IBM supercomputer installed recently in Groningen, also in the Netherlands, to process signals from up to 13 billion light years from Earth. Stella consists of 12,000 PowerPC microprocessors and has a computing power of 27.4 teraflops. This overview contains more details and a picture about the Lofar-Stella interaction."»

- This is following the OSU Big Ear's SETI ARGUS spiral-fractal cluster-of-clusters design, an extension of Jim Bolinger's original "Argus" Imaging radio telescope or Radio Camera.

- LOFAR HF-VHF Radio Telescope
via New Scientist 's " Huge radio telescope boasts supercomputer brain ."
via Roland Piquepaille's
via /.

Solar Storms, Arctic Winds Swirl In A Double Dip Cone Of Ozone Loss
«A new study has shown that those late 2003 solar storms, which deposited huge quantities of energetic solar particles into Earth's atmosphere, combined forces with another natural atmospheric process last spring to produce the largest decline ever recorded in upper stratospheric ozone over the Arctic and the northern areas of North America, Europe and Asia.»
- JPL Via SpaceDaily
" 3-Deep - New displays render images you can almost reach out and touch "
«IEEE gives an update on progress in productization of real-image 3-D-swept volume displays and a new hybrid using stacked ultra-low-res LCDs and a projector. »
- (The article even mentions the old [Traub67] varifocal-mirror technique which is homebrewable. I wonder if Make will feature a Traub VFM-in-a-speaker virtual image projector?)
- IEEE Spectrum via DepthCube: 3-D without the goggles.
Extensions of Benfords Law in new directions
Benford's Law (actually first discovered by Newcomb, rediscovered by Benford and then by Nigrini) says that dimensioned numbers occur such that the leading significant (decimal) digit is distribributed logrithmically -- which is to say, "1" is the first digit 30% of the time, not 11% as one might assume. (10% would be naively assume.)  A more general principle is called "Zipf's Law" (*), whereby "the quantity under study is inversely proportional to the rank". These are both generalized under the category of "power laws" and self-similar scaling phenomena, which are the subject matter of Chaos, Fractals, and Dynamical Systems. This has lead to a recent advance in forensic accounting and auditing, to the extend that there is now a best-practice Auditor's guidance on Benford's Law. More recently, Benford Law on Leading two digits was applied to Venezualian electoral forensics.

The lastest studies in theoretical physics deconstruct the Frequency of occurrence of numbers in the World Wide Web as a sum of power-law distributions.

«The detailed statistics of numbers in the World Wide Web [show] that their distribution is a heavy-tailed dependence which splits in a set of power-law ones. In particular, we find that the frequency of numbers associated to western calendar years shows an uneven behavior: 2004 represents a `singular critical' point, appearing with a strikingly high frequency; as we move away from it, the decreasing frequency allows us to compare the amounts of existing information on the past and on the future. Moreover, while powers of ten occur extremely often, allowing us to obtain statistics up to the huge 10^127, `non-round' numbers occur in a much more limited range, the variations of their frequencies being dramatically different from standard statistical fluctuations. These findings provide a view of the array of numbers used by humans as a highly non-equilibrium and inhomogeneous system, and shed a new light on an issue that, once fully investigated, could lead to a better understanding of many sociological and psychological phenomena.»

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