An art installation about the Entscheidungsproblem

Last night all my BTEC class did art installations. Mine involved 16 PCs all running a Flash movie and was named the Entscheidungsproblem. The 16 computers all sit in a computer room, 8 along each wall. Its a long narrow room used for nothing else. The same Flash movie was set to loop endlessly on…

Back doors, complexity and the death of RSA?

Thanks to Financial Cryptography for a reference to Adi Shamirs work on ways of cracking RSA by a bug attack – using a deliberate or accidental bug in the PC processing chip itself. If this is true, “ANY key in ANY RSA-based security program running on ANY one of the millions of PCs that contain…

Quintuplets crying and journalistic integrity

The BBC has admitted adding a sound track to video news footage. Why is this so disturbing? The BBC showed images of the quintuplets born recently. “The original footage, distributed by an Oxford hospital of the five girls, had no audio. But when the story ran on BBC Breakfast the clips had sound, even though…

Boutique MMOGs – they can and do exist

Thanks to Cliffski for a link to an article about boutique MMOGs. The article, by Allen Varney in The Escapist Magazine, has some good figures for the cost of games. He quotes this interview with Dave Rickey: “The economics of MMOGs under the standard business model are pretty simple: For each $1M [million> invested, you…

US National Planning Scenarios and exercises

The US has a list of National Planning Scenarios for use in major exercises. Scarcely a day passes without some sort of exercise there, usually with a terrorist-based scenario. The document, “NATIONAL PLANNING SCENARIOS”, is a draft dated April 2005 and was written by “The Federal interagency – coordinated by the Homeland Security Council (HSC)…

Quintuplets and probability

The BBC has a story about quintuplets born in the UK last Saturday. On the radio news, they said the odds against natural quintuplet birth are 65 million to one. Which makes me think about our perceptions of probability A previous set of natural quins (ie without fertility drugs) was born in the UK in…

Forecasting dissent: forecasting anything?

Excellent posting on Naqniq about US government systems designed to forecast dissent. It tracks the history of ICEWS and includes some critical comments. According to Wired, Darpa believe that “increasing sophistication of agent based social simulations…[combined with the>…explosion of new data sources” means we are on the verge of breakthroughs in computational models for the…