Hearing and Facial Muscles

Interesting; how you hear is linked to how you move your facial muscles.

Testning Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

I think I have to accept the fact that this blog has turned into one with very few posts per month, and not containing very much pertaining to the blog’s subject. Nevertheless, science is still progressing, doing cool things! For example, some researchers have been able to test Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to the extent that they have actually been able to make things move by just observing them. Also, seems that you can make small objects colder by observing them.
So, just observe this blog, and it might turn into a software blog again. ;-)

Complexity of Songs

Scientists have analyzed the complexity of the songs of the humpback whale. It’s quite advanced, they found! I’m sure you already know of the corresponding analysis of human songs, as demonstrated in Donald Knuth’s seminal paper.

Gravitomagnetic Fields

Researchers have been able to measure the gravitational equivalent of a magnetic field, called a "gravitomagnetic field". Not that I understand what this really means, but they believe that their results are in contradiction with Einstein’s general relativity, and could be useful for unifying that and quantum mechanics. Cool!

Jupiter’s Got a New Red Spot

You know Jupiter’s great read spot, don’t you? Now, a new red spot has formed!

Mars Express

Could this possibly true, or is someone joking with us? It’s been published in New Scientist, and it’s not April the 1st.

Visual Thinkers Ignore Stuff

My suspicions have finally been proved: people thinking visually do it by ignoring more stuff! I’ve always thought that people who always wants to draw a diagram about everything are missing all the important stuff. But now it’s been proved!

Via BoingBoing.

Spam and Evolution

I often catch myself trying to find what’s positive even about the most negative things. Take spam and phishing, for example. Bad, bad. But due to those, we’re getting good things like systems for handling digital identity, so that we can safely keep track of our digital secrets, like our credit cards. That’s not useful only for stopping spam and phishing, it makes us trust the net more, so that people will use and make more services, and the net will grow.

And those hackers exploiting security holes in Windows, commanding armies of zombie machines to send spam all over the planet. Bad. But didn’t that make Microsoft finally focus on security? And it isn’t good only for stopping hackers, it will make the OS more stable and better functionally partitioned (I hope).

A parallel from evolution: if the climate had been always hot everywhere on the planet, the dinosaurs wouldn’t ever have gotten feathers. But it wasn’t, and feathers enabled them to evolve into birds, since feathers could be used not only for keeping them warm.

Over and over again, you see lots of examples where an evolutionary pressure causes something to evolve, that can be used for something else later. The same things are happening on the net, only quicker. But people are still complaining that finding a solution to the spam problem takes a long time!

So in the long run, spam is good. Just trust (and join!) the internet evolution.

Quantum Computers One Step Closer

Many, many tiny steps together towards understanding quantum computers seem to be required to actually produce one. Now researchers have found how "qubit rings" can be linked together. I’m happy as long as the progress doesn’t stop! Remember the fusion reactors?
If you want to understand quantum computers in a more intuitive way (no, don’t read the research papers!), I suggest that you read David Deutsch‘s book "The Fabric of Reality". An eye-opener!

No Dark Matter

I guess you’ve heard about the problem of finding the "dark matter" that cosmologists fuss a lot about. Without that kind of matter, they haven’t been able to properly explain how the galaxies are behaving, and for the matter, how the universe itself is behaving. That is, until now. Some researchers in Canada have found that we don’t really need the dark matter after all. But note: this paper isn’t published yet, so don’t believe in until then. (Then you can believe it until it’s falsified!)

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