Posts about interesting (old posts, page 9)

What Business is Wall Street In?

The best analogy for traders ? They are hackers. Just as hackers search for and exploit operating system and application shortcomings, traders do the same thing. A hacker wants to jump in front of your shopping cart and grab your credit card and then sell it. A high frequency trader wants to jump in front of your trade and then sell that stock to you. A hacker will tell you that they are serving a purpose by identifying the weak links in your system. A trader will tell you they deserve the pennies they are making on the trade because they provide liquidity to the market.

NASA Orion Can Abort

NASA's Pad Abort 1 flight test, a launch of the abort system designed for the Orion crew vehicle, lifted off at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) near Las Cruces, N.M. The flight lasted about 135 seconds from launch until the crew module touchdown about a mile north of the launch pad.The flight was the first fully-integrated test of this launch abort system design. The information gathered from the test will help refine design and analysis for future launch abort systems, resulting in safer and more reliable crew escape capability during rocket launch emergencies.

Rundown Japanese Dorms

At the southern edge of Kyoto University's Yoshida Campus in Kyoto lies a tree-shrouded, sprawling and ramshackle wooden building. It is decrepit and sometimes even interweaved with overgrowth. But this building is no ruin. It's the Yoshida-ryo dormitory -- a bewildering anachronism in a city based on the idea of living history. Nearly a century old, and looking every day of it, Yoshida-ryo is very likely the last remaining example of the once common Japanese wooden university dormitory. This building was built in 1913. Organized from the very beginning to be self-administering through a dormitory association, the students themselves have been responsible for selecting new applicants for residency. This autonomy, however, came under full-scale assault in 1971, when the Ministry of Education began a policy of regulating or closing dormitories, which were seen as "hotbeds for various kinds of conflict." University authorities first tried to close Yoshida-ryo completely in 1979, and after failing to overcome opposition over the next 10 years finally closed the Western Yoshida-ryo across the street. While the facilities are sub-par by modern standards, the unbelievably low rent of Y=2,500 per month (technically Y=400 rent, Y=1,600 utilities and Y=500 to fund the Yoshida-ryo Residents Association) and bohemian atmosphere make it an attractive living place for financially challenged students (including a large number of self-financed students from China).

Rundown Japanese Dorms

Rundown Japanese Dorms

How the Soviet bioweapons program was revealed

When the Berlin Wall came down November 9, 1989, the decades-long division of Europe was over. But there was another event, just two weeks before, that also broke down barriers and changed the course of the Cold War. In the last week of October, the director of the Soviet All-Union Institute of Ultra-Pure Biological Preparations, Vladimir Pasechnik, was on a business trip to France. He used a phone booth in Paris to call the British Embassy and offered to defect. The British Secret Intelligence Service responded with alacrity, and Pasechnik was soon on his way to London. Over the course of several months, Pasechnik was debriefed at a safe house on the coast of England. The British were astounded at what he told them.Western intelligence agencies had long puzzled over whether the Soviets possessed a biological weapons program, but they lacked solid proof. Moreover, for many years, there had been debate among policy and intelligence analysts in the West about whether biological weapons made sense in the nuclear age. The thinking was that nuclear weapons were such an effective deterrent that germ warfare wasn't worth the investment. President Richard Nixon reflected this outlook when he decided in 1969 to abandon the U.S. offensive germ warfare program. "We'll never use the damn germs, so what good is biological warfare as a deterrent?" Nixon told his speechwriter William Safire. "If somebody uses germs on us, we'll nuke 'em." The assumption was that the Soviet Union had reached a similar conclusion.

Sculpture Sells Itself On eBay

t is a physical sculpture that is perpetually attempting to auction itself on eBay.Every ten minutes the black box pings a server on the internet via the ethernet connection to check if it is for sale on the eBay. If its auction has ended or it has sold, it automatically creates a new auction of itself.If a person buys it on eBay, the current owner is required to send it to the new owner. The new owner must then plug it into ethernet, and the cycle repeats itself.

Dance around the world

We humans are natural dancers - bodies in rhythmic motion completely alone, or in groups large and small, or in front of an audience. Dancers can communicate ideas, preserve cultural identities, strengthen social bonds, or just have a lot of fun. Collected here is another recent group of photographs of us, human beings around the world, professional and amateur, in motion for all of the reasons above and more.

Dance around the world

Dance around the world

Photos of my models

Our past is a powerful draw and in so many ways we try to capture it in order to explain it to ourselves. What started out as an exercise in model building and photography, ended up as a dream-like reconstruction of the town I grew up in. It's not an exact recreation, but it does capture the mood of my memories. And like a dream, many of the buildings show up in different configurations throughout the photos. Or sometimes, the buildings stay put and the backgrounds change. Visually, this is heading towards the realm of ART. NO PHOTOSHOP WAS USED IN THESE PICTURES. IT'S ALL STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA.

Photos of my models

Photos of my models

White House Proposes NASA Direction Change

On Monday, the White House announced its proposed 2011 budget for NASA, which calls for major changes in the agency's direction. New Scientist takes a closer look at what the changes mean.What exactly has the White House cancelled?The new plan, if approved by Congress, would axe the Constellation programme, which has been developing rockets and other hardware intended to return astronauts to the moon by 2020.

spirit

You did good, spirit. Real damn good.On January 26th, 2274 Mars days into the mission, NASA declared Spirit a 'stationary research station', expected to stay operational for several more months until the dust buildup on its solar panels forces a final shutdown.

Australia bans small breasts

The National Classification Code dictates that anything that describes or depicts a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not) in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult is Refused Classification.State Crime Acts are also similar. Victoria's Criminal Code includes the 'or appears to be' clause in its definition of child pornography and it doesn't need to cause offence to a reasonable adult for it to be illegal.Even if you are 18 years old but you look younger, taking a photograph of your breasts and uploading it to the Internet could land you or someone you know in serious trouble.