Archive for the 'math' Category

Work-to-rule?

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Last year (Jan 2017) there was a long essay in the german newspaper “Die Zeit” (“The time”) about how important a natural scientific evaluation could be for historical research. The essay: “Darum hatte Hitler keine Atombombe” (“That’s why Hitler had no nuclear bomb”) was written by physicist Manfred Popp. A very brief summary of his argumentation is that a lot of historical research about german nuclear research during Nazi times was more or less flawed due to missing knowledge or misinterpretations of physical facts.

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energy prospects

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Sende-Pentode RS289 from radio technology museum Königs-Wusterhausen

There was again a discussion with randform reader Oekologisch Interessierter about the development of nuclear energy production. The original post was in Oct. 2010 i.e. briefly before the Fukushima disaster in Mar. 2011 and the outlook cited there looked quite differently from what actually happened.

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About maldeformation in Fallujah

Saturday, April 30th, 2016


image from Wikipedia by Vincent de Groot.

In the context of the last post about the WHO and the assessment of health problems due to radioactivity I wonder about one citation in the BBC report Falluja doctors report rise in birth defects. The BBC report was linked to from the Guardians WHO critique which I had mentioned in the last post.

According to the BBC report the citation was by “British-based Iraqi researcher Malik Hamdan:”

Ms Hamdan said that based on data from January this year, the rate of congenital heart defects was 95 per 1,000 births – 13 times the rate found in Europe.

Malik is a male name, so I guess this is a misprint and who is probably meant is Malak Hamdan.

Why did I wonder about that citation?

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LeContest

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

We here at randform are superexcited to present our first reader randform mega contest – simply called LeContest !!

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Aimbottleneck

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014


Title: “Kreative Mode beim Bedrockabgrundste-in”, oil on canvas, artist: Mudda Prahler

There was recently a post on Gamasutra with the title: Titanfall: Why Respawn is punishing cheaters. The computer game Titanfall is a First person shooter that can be played with a couple of people in one environment. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Players fight either on foot as free-running “Pilots” or inside agile mech-style walkers called “Titans” to complete team-based objectives[2][3] on a derelict and war-torn planet[4] as either the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) or the Militia.[5]

I don’t know Titanfall (In general I have been playing first person shooters rather rarely) but what apparently happened was that there where too many people cheating in the game.

In the post it isn’t really described what exactly is implied by cheating, but what I refer from the “punishment” announcement, I think what was happening was that some people used game bots and in particular socalled aimbots, which are software solutions which make shooting easier in such a game. From the Titanfall announcement:

You can play with other banned players in something that will resemble the Wimbledon of aimbot contests. Hopefully the aimbot cheat you paid for really is the best, or these all-cheater matches could be frustrating for you. Good luck.

I was asking myself though wether this action is part of some viral marketing campaign. That is that some cheaters could think that it could be way cooler to “win the Wimbledon of aimbot contests” rather than the usual game. Given that Titanfall had however performance problems which as it seems where due to overloaded game servers and connections, it doesn’t though look as if this would improve with aimbot contests.

In this context:

In a citation about a report by a tech- and investment-advisory firm in the time article: The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy

In his report, Mills estimates that the ICT system now uses 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year. That’s about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation

The New York times article: Power, Pollution and the Internet remarks the following about e.g. US data centers:

Nationwide, data centers used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year, based on an analysis by Jonathan G. Koomey, a research fellow at Stanford University who has been studying data center energy use for more than a decade. DatacenterDynamics, a London-based firm, derived similar figures.

A summary of the last IPCC report about climate change and global warming.

and:

In Berlin there is currently the International games week Berlin.

secret service discussion

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014


numberlock: If you find all the mines at once and in the right order you may eventually get in.

There is currently an interesting discussion about secret services and their relation to mathematicians at the mathblog n-category cafe.

Generation Z: Renoise

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

IMG_0644.JPG

For Berliners and those who can afford to go to Berlin for a quick trip I would like to mention an absolute must see exhibition, namely the exhibition Generation Z: Renoise about the russian musical avantgarde in the 20s and later which is curated by L. Pchelkina, A. Smirnov, P. Aidu, K. Dudakov-Kashuro and E. Vorobyeva. The exhibition is unfortunately not as highly promoted as it should – given how fabulous it is! I hope that this post makes some more people visit it. It is definitely worth it! The exhibition is in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Kunstraum (unfortunately not so easy to find), it runs until Feb.23, 2014. It is free of entrance and open from 12:00-19:00 o clock.

The exhibition has the themes: Projectionism and Radio-ear, Revasavr, GIMN Institute, Theremin, Graphical Sound, Industrial Noise Machines, Amateur Noise Instruments and Destruction of Utopia. Below is a small excerpt from the respective themes. A lot of details can also be found in Andrei Smirnov’s book “Sound in Z“.

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DIY spring reverb

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

A new video of one of Tims recent music projects (a video about the ladder filter is here). In the video he explains the construction of a spring reverb:

A detailed description on how to build the spring reverb can be found on the astlab page.

A soundtrack on soundcloud of how the spring reverb sounds:

Tim and a bit of his music projects will eventually appear in a new film by film maker Ekaterina Eremenko. That is we had a film team from Moscow here at home. But it is sofar not clear wether the material will be used.

Ekaterina Eremenko, who has also studied math, received recently much attention for her film colours of math (trailer) featuring amongst others the rather well-known mathematicians Cedric Villani, Anatoly Fomenko, Aaditya V. Rangan, Günter Ziegler, Maxim Kontsevitch and Jean-Michel Bismut.

I don’t know if this is a new trend but I found incidentally more recent films where features of the life of mathematicians are documented. Like at the website of the “Higher Algebra section” at Moscow State University I found interviews with V. N. Latyshev talking About academic mathematics (in russian) and about Reminiscences of A. A. Markov (in russian) made by Andrei Verovkin who features a whole series of interviews with scientists.

In this context a short note for those who are in or are planning to go to visit Berlin: There were/are currently music festivals for more modern music taking place in Berlin, which enhance the usual club life or on the more classical level regular events like e.g. the weekly series “Unerhörte Musik im BKA”. One was the Ultraschall Festival and one is the ctm festival, which is in cooperation with the festival for art and digital culture “transmediale”. The transmediale theme of this year is “afterglow:”

The conference takes afterglow as a metaphor for the present condition of digital culture, examining the geopolitical, infrastructural and bodily consequences of the excessive digitisation that has taken place over the course of the last three decades.

Surveillance surfing

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013


Glowlum tapping along a dull wire, artwork by Hucky Finn, oil on canvas, inspired by a photography by Baertels, www.plainpicture.com.

There have been quite some discussions here in Germany about the revelations about the surveillance of ordinary citizens and the protection of ordinary citizens data in general.

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Φορολογία – Forologia in Hellas

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

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