Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tuesday Tech Digest

Dolphins may know each other's names. They're probably smart after all.

Sino-Big-Brother: an IBM researcher in China offers RFID for people tracking, but Wisconsin balks. Three students at the University of Toronto may have found a way around Chinese censorship anyway.

Medical progress. A man was kept alive after his heart was completely removed, and cancer was cured in mice. A gene linked to schizophrenia is also associated with intelligence. Nothing is free I guess.

The economics of prostitution was worked out, and one of Chomsky's theories appears to contradict the facts.

Get yer Windows XP power tools. Meanwhile SGI finally bit the dust. RIP
And, in a move which undoubtedly has Google quaking in its boots, Microsoft bought Vexcel Corporation. Oh, and Massive too.

Honeybees police air quality at German airports.

A proposed engine may be better than hybrids, and Scotland is proposing the world's largest windfarm.

Battle of the sexes: girls are better at timed activities and are more effective bullies.

All is not lost: take a trip south of the border for orgasm day.


truepeers said...

If those individually-distinctive signals the dolphins have were actually names, and part of a language, then the other dolphins could use them to invoke the presence of the named, when absent. And then they would have religion too... But how can it be a name if it is the named who first create their "name" and who are subsequently the only ones to signal it? Mom and Dad don't call me truepeers for nothin'.

David Thomson said...

"...take a trip south of the border for orgasm day."

This must be the number one Republican issue for the 2006 elections. Karl Rove is so brilliant. Yup, I can see it now: vote Republcian and experience better orgasms! Voting for a Democrat is bad for your sex life.

Syl said...

Over in one of the DAZ Forums was a thread where people were posting their renders of autos.

'vettes and caddies and the two-wheeler types too. Mostly with gorgeous babes.

But one guy posted his little animation of an SUV bouncing down the road with a gigantic spinning windfarm windmill attached to the roof. :)

I had to clean my keyboard after that one. :)

Syl said...


Yeah. Seems strange that the individuals are the only ones using the sound to identify themselves. Wait 'til these people meet meercats. I'd be interested to find an example of a shared word among dolphins that represents an object, uttered by more than one individual yet understood by all.

I think researchers will find it. They are being very very careful not to leap before the research is i-dotted and t-crossed. That's good. It just means I won't find out in my lifetime.

BTW, will somebody please send that article on prostitutes to Sean Hannity ;) I think a few lefties I know could benefit from reading it too.

Knucklehead said...

I am still trying to get my head around the concept of a group of people not being able to count to three. The dolphins can count to three. Trying to get a fix on Democrats is hard enough but this one is on the verge of causing me some short circuits. Does not compute... does not compute... sptzzzz... frtzzzz... phttwoop... boing!

Knucklehead said...

Prostitution Diminishes Marriage Chances

Developing the consequences of their mathematical model, Edlund and Korn argue that the primary reason for the income differential is not the risk sometimes associated with the practice of prostitution but rather that prostitutes greatly diminish their chances for marriage by virtue of their occupation. Men generally don't want to marry (ex)prostitutes, and so women must be relatively well-compensated in order to forgo the opportunity to marry.

I'm certain there's a great deal of mirth to be made of that but I can't quite get my hand on it.

Knucklehead said...

A man was kept alive after his heart was completely removed

Why does that link take me to the article about prostitutes vs. wives?

truepeers said...

Knuck, maybe the mirth is to be found in the pornographication of youth culture, such that it is now possible to make money selling your body and still be cool for marriage, partnership, or whatever. The market always gives some people what they want.

truepeers said...

Oh, BTW, regarding the Amazonian tribe that appears to contradict Chomsky (should not be a hard thing to do), it is thought by many that this story is a hoax, though as best I can tell from a quick Google, this is still being debated on the net. It seems to me the story has to be wrong in at least several areas.

chuck said...

I don't see that the Amazonian tribe would contradict anyone. As I understand it, the numerical abilities are found in a small part of the brain situated near the left ear. Perhaps it is missing or nonfunctional in that tribe. On the other hand, some birds have numerical abilities, so it is not like language or a big frontal cortex is required.

truepeers said...

Chuck, this guy is making a lot of claims, such as that this tribe can't lie and they don't have any creation myths. Unbelievable to me. He also says that the tribe are not isolated and that they share their women with Brazilian traders.