predators and prey

The Google PageRank formula can be used to model changes to the structure of food webs in an eco-system.

Eco-systems often contain many different species which depend on each other in complex ways. Working out how population changes and extinctions affect the food web is difficult. But finding out which species are key predators and prey in these webs is vital if species or eco-systems are to be protected.

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Cuil search

Try searching Cuil for itself.

Cuil isn’t self-aware!

And some other strange results… neither by popularity nor relevance.

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Cool Cuil Knowledge

July 28, 2008

Cuil logo

Cuil‘s the new search engine on the block. Cuil claims it searches over 120 billion pages, “three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft”. Cuil says it uses relevancy, not just popularity.

Is it any good?

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Switched off thinking 2

February 12, 2008

smashed computer monitor

If whatever I did to my PC looked like this, I might know why it doesn’t work. I move the PC less than two miles, no problem; I move the PC less than two feet, argh!

All my files trapped. ūüė¶ Back next week!

[Image: “Broken Monitor“, Will Sherman, 2006]

SC Magazine reports that Authorities question alleged New Zealand botmaster.

New Zealand authorities are questioning an 18-year-old man who they say is the head of a gang of cybercriminals that infected 1.3 million computers worldwide and crashed servers at a U.S. university last year.

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Moon footprint [NASA]

ChinaView reports that pictures by Chang’e-1 will not show U.S. astronauts’ footprints left on moon. What they don’t explain is that this is because the footprints aren’t there.¬†After all, everyone knows¬†the Americans never made it to the Moon, except in their dreams and a TV studio.

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acid-free paper¬†symbolDiscussion and research continues on how to make digital archives available into the distant future. Meanwhile “old technology” still has much to offer. Paper, specifically acid-free paper, can last for hundreds of years.

Not quite an eco-symbol in the sense of being environmentally-friendly in material or production, but at least acid-free paper and permanent paper is made to last a very long time, which cuts down on long-term production and maintenance costs.

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Switched off thinking

November 13, 2007

Two days with no flash drive reduces work (and blogging) to a trickle, which it’ll take a few days to recover from. Yesterday I transfer a couple of important files by floppy. (Yes, I still have some… you never know when you’ll need one!) Today I buy a new drive. I hand the broken one I can’t write to to a friend at work. He hands it back fixed. Less obvious than the one in the photo, he’s moved the stupid write-protect switch. It works. He laughs. And laughs. Yeah, enough already, mate!

bridge in profile

Acid-free paper is intended for archiving documents for hundreds of years under ideal conditions, not building things. But there really are some significant – and magnificent –¬†examples of paper engineering.

Shigeru Ban’s Paper Bridge, built in 2007 at Remoulin, France, although it’s not an entirely paper construction, is just one of his paper tube structures¬†(and the rest of Shigeru Ban Architects‘ site is worth looking at too).

Oxford’s Paper House – which survived, inhabited for at least 60 years¬†– I wish I could find some pictures of this! This was the subject of two talks: The House¬†by Rob Kinchin-Smith and John Powel¬†(the builder) by Robert Sephton, of the Cowley Local History Society (in Oxfordshire, UK).

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Vampire Costume for iPod

“Vampire electronics” rise from the news grave in Time Magazine’s Nov 12 print edition. Is it some weird connection between Kirsty Swanson’s 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer role and her fight against a voltage-eating monster 2006’s The Black Hole?

No, it’s all about … “Unused appliances, like cell-phone chargers and coffeemakers, that quietly suck up electricity when left plugged into sockets. Constant consumers, they spike electric bills and put more strain on the nation’s power grid.”

The news content has been drained by time (see more), but at least it’s reminded me to switch my mobile charger off.

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