Synaesthesia, tetrachromats, and auras.

Neurophilosophy has a post about synaesthesia, plus a link to a paper, which make clear that this phenomenon is genuine. Synaesthesia is the tendency to combine different senses – eg to see numbers, or hear sounds, as colours. It was described in 1880 by Francis Galton, but seems to have been largely ignored until recently,…

The cyber attack on Estonia

A Guardian report analyses the apparent cyber-attack on Estonia this month. On 27 April the Estonians removed the Soviet Bronze Soldier war memorial in Central Tallinn. This led to rioting by ethnic Russians, and threats from Putin. Apparently the cyber-attacks came in three waves: 1. from April 27, when the Bronze Soldier riots erupted, peaking…

Two articles on modelling.

One misplaced polemic, and one interesting statistical analysis of long tails which offers a statistical demonstration that search engine algortihms are biased. Why Mathematical Models Just Dont Add Up in the Higher Education Chronicle by Orrin H. Pilkey (emeritus professor of geology at Duke University) and Linda Pilkey-Jarvis (manager of the preparedness section of the…

On the simulation or representation of spaces

I spent Thursday evening drawing the South Bank Centre as part of a BTEC project on the representation of places, and thinking about the role of art in an urban environment and in my own life. The South Bank is a strange area. According to a hand-out our tutor gave us, Bernard Levin once said…

told you so….

Grateful to Marc Garrett for drawing my attention (via the Netbehaviour mailing list) to Hasan Elahi, who after a brush with the FBI has put his entire life on his website. (The story was also carried on OReilly Radar last year.) According to a Wired interview, Elahi was put on the US terrorist watch list…

Magical thinking in the Home Office.

Interesting repot on the BBC of Home Office proposals that “Council staff, charity workers and doctors could be required by law to tip off police about anyone they believe could commit a violent crime.” Signs that someone was about to commit such a crime would include: “heavy drinking, mental health problems or a violent family…

Simulation game business models: micropayments vs subscriptions

My sons have recently started playing War Rock, which has a what it claims is a new business model: basic level free, plus micropayments for enhancements. According to the blurb for the OGDC confrence in Seattle last week, “Armed with a unique business model, K2 Network’s strategy is changing the gaming industry. Games are expanding…