Simulation by birds. (Not a bird flu simulation, for once)

The British Library has released a CD of birds mimicking a surprising range of sounds: hammering, sawing, even modems. Samples can be downloaded here. Nobody is quite sure why they do it but it seems to be a social thing According to an article in the Times, a Canadian researcher has shown that “birds with…

Manipulating Underdetermination

HPB, a blog on the “history & philosophy of biology, etc.”, has an interesting piece on underdetermination – the idea that “when faced with contravening evidence, its always possible in principle to save some favored hypothesis by making enough revisions in other parts of the system associated with it.” HPBs theory is that scientists manipulate…

Games as hard work

An article in the new journal Games and Culture argues that some computer games are transformed into work platforms with players often working at the games for as long as they work at their real jobs. The Labor of Fun: How Video Games Blur the Boundaries of Work and Play by Nick Yee of Stanford…

The 3D market

According to Tekrati, spending on 3D visualisation, simulation and training will increase by 50% over the next five years A $2,995 report, called “Opportunities in Visualization, Simulation, & Training 2006-2011”, by the Acacia Research group (you can request a summary here or find a preview here), says that total world spending on hardware, software and…

Direct brain control of a PC

Rebang reports the demosntration, at a trade fair, of the Berlin Brain-Computer Interface, a device which allows you to control a computer just by thinking about it. At the moment its a messy cradle of sensors and wires that you wear like a helmet: “The crucial requirement for the successful functioning of the BCI is…

The World Economic Forum and pseudo-Simulation

The World Economic Form has set up an Energy Crisis Simulation. Not a simulation really, just a discussion. Had it been a simulation it might have been more realistic. The two stage scenario, presented in January, involved two rounds of simultaneous terrorist attacks. The first puts the price of oil up to $120, the second,…

Buncefield: exercises before the incident.

After my earlier postings here and here, I emailed the authorities to ask what the exercise was that John Prescott mentioned. They have now confirmed that this was a water mains test exercise held on 18 November. The Resilience Manager in the Government Office for the East of England (GO-East) kindly replied: “The information I…