10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Applications for Simulated Worlds

Consider that applications of simulated worlds and simulated games to science and social science research are on the increase. Businesses build virtual worlds for commercial purposes. Scientists utilize video games to crowd-source solutions to protein folding, to invesfigate complexity theory and artificial life, to visualize the physics of black holes, and to research economic, social, and psychological behaviors. Call of Duty, Second Life, World of Warcraft—and the software that makes the...
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05 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Monte Carlo Method and Evolutionary Algorithms

Back then, I thought of one thing: Have you heard of the Monte Carlo method? Ah, it’s a computer algorithm often used for calculating the area of irregular shapes. Specifically, the software puts the figure of interest in a figure of known area, such as a circle, and randomly strikes it with many tiny balls, never targeting the same spot twice. After a large number of balls, the proportion of balls that fall within the irregular shape compared to the total number of balls used to hit the ci...
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06 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 A Worm's Mind in a Lego Robot Body

The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is tiny and only has 302 neurons. These have been completely mapped and the OpenWorm project is working to build a complete simulation of the worm in software. One of the founders of the OpenWorm project, Timothy Busbice, has taken the connectome and implemented an object oriented neuron program. The model is accurate in its connections and makes use of UDP packets to fire neurons. If two neurons have three synaptic connections then when ...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Computer Metaphors for Biochemistry

The metaphor of the computer represents in some crude fashion the chemistry of life. Nowadays one may assume that the average citizen of an industrialized country is at least as familiar with computers as with rain forests. The idea of using the computer as a metaphor is a natural one. A computer is a device for handling information according to a program which it is able to remember and execute. A living cell, to remain in control of its vital functions in a variable environment, must also p...
Folksonomies: metaphors
Folksonomies: metaphors
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21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 Feigned Surprise

he best developers I’ve worked with were willing to admit when they didn’t know something. Of course they could learn quickly. If you meet an arrogant developer who pretends to know everything, be careful. To them, their ego is more important than your software. An insecure person who mixes up their self-worth with their programming ability can be very unpleasant to work with. Sadly, some workplaces and development teams reward bombastic claims made with absolute certainty, even on comple...
Folksonomies: conduct professionalism
Folksonomies: conduct professionalism
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Being surprised that someone doesn't know something is denigrating and demonstrates that you don't know your field.

15 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 The Internet as a Brain

The brain is one of the most complex networks in the world, with more neurons than there are stars in the galaxy. Its hardware is a complex network of neurons; its software a complex network of memories. And so too is the Internet a network. Its hardware is a complex network of computers; its software a complex network of websites. There is a lot we can learn from the brain and it can tell us where the Internet is headed next. [...] In practice, the Internet is clunkier, slower, and smaller...
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The question for me is: How do you detect the intelligence? If we are only interacting with neurons, how to we see the big picture?

09 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Genes and Their Effect are Cybernetic

The software, the program. is responsible for organizing hardware, the organism. Yet throughout the process, it is the organism in its various stages of development that has to run the program. In other words, the hardware runs the software, whilst at the same time the software is generating the hardware.
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With the genes programming the biology, and the biology writing the genes.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Guy Steele: Computers are Too Complex to Know it All

I guess to me the biggest change is that nowadays you can't possibly know everything that's going on in the computer. There are things that are absolutely out of your control because it's impossible to know everything about all the software. Back in the '7Os a computer had only 4,000 words of memory. It was possible to do a core dump and inspect every word to see if it was what you expected. It was reasonable to read the source listings of tine operating system and see how that worked. And I ...
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It was once possible to know all aspects of the computer, but the system has grown too large and complex for that now.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 L Peter Deutsch on Software as a Capital Asset Versus Exp...

The problem being the old saying in the business: "fast, cheap, good—pick any two." If you build things fast and I you have some way of building them inexpensively, it's very unlikely that they're going to be good. But this s|s school of thought says you shouldn't expect software to last. I think behind this perhaps is a mindset of software as expense vs. software as capital asset. I'm very much in the software-as-capital-asset school. When I was working at ParcPlace and Adele Goldberg was...
Folksonomies: software capital
Folksonomies: software capital
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Sell software to customers as a capital asset, and as such, it requires maintenance costs, but not as a throwaway expense.