Raids take place as enquiry into failed UK bombings continues

Friday, July 6, 2007

Australian police have questioned four more people in connection with the failed bombing attempts in London and Glasgow, seizing computers and other evidence in several raids.

The four being questioned are all doctors, working in hospitals in Perth and Kalgoorlie. They are reported to be of Indian origin, and have all been linked to the UK’s National Health Service. Two of the men arrested in the UK have similarly been linked to Western Australian hospitals, to which they had applied for jobs, receiving multiple rejections.

Police have been granted an extra 96 hours to question Mohammed Haneef, who was arrested at Brisbane International Airport on July 3. They will be examining several thousand files stored on Haneef’s laptop and a mobile telephone SIM card which had been left with a suspect.

Raids have also taken place in Cambridge, UK, at which four of the arrested suspects are believed to have lived and met in 2005.

The four men being questioned in Australia have not currently been placed under arrest, but are described as having links to the UK by the Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty.

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Brechin thrown out of Scottish Cup after dispute

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Brechin City, a Scottish football team, was today ejected from the Scottish Cup following two separate disputes over two cup-tied players.

Hamilton Academical filed a complaint about the incident to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and they decided to stage a replay of the match. However upon hearing of the second player, the SFA decided to remove Brechin from the competition and fine them £10,000. Hamilton will go through to play Aberdeen in the now delayed Sixth Round at Pittodrie.

Brechin secretary Angus Fairlie said: “It’s certainly a big blow. It was an oversight but a very expensive mistake. We thought we would have a big pay day against Aberdeen but still have to pay win bonuses.”

The replay match was won by Brechin 2-1 in extra time, after a 0-0 draw in the first encounter.

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Raids take place as enquiry into failed UK bombings continues

Friday, July 6, 2007

Australian police have questioned four more people in connection with the failed bombing attempts in London and Glasgow, seizing computers and other evidence in several raids.

The four being questioned are all doctors, working in hospitals in Perth and Kalgoorlie. They are reported to be of Indian origin, and have all been linked to the UK’s National Health Service. Two of the men arrested in the UK have similarly been linked to Western Australian hospitals, to which they had applied for jobs, receiving multiple rejections.

Police have been granted an extra 96 hours to question Mohammed Haneef, who was arrested at Brisbane International Airport on July 3. They will be examining several thousand files stored on Haneef’s laptop and a mobile telephone SIM card which had been left with a suspect.

Raids have also taken place in Cambridge, UK, at which four of the arrested suspects are believed to have lived and met in 2005.

The four men being questioned in Australia have not currently been placed under arrest, but are described as having links to the UK by the Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty.

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Men isolated to mimic Mars flight

Monday, June 7, 2010

Following a similar experiment in 2009, six men entered an enclosed room in Moscow last Thursday to simulate a flight to Mars. The Mars-500 team consist of a Chinese man, a Frenchman, an Italian, and three Russians. Only the Chinese man, Wang Yue, is a trained astronaut. The six waved goodbye, crying “see you in 520 days’ time!”.

According to Wang, not being able to see their families and friends was one of the greatest challenges, although e-mail is allowed during the experiment. Both Wang and the Frenchman, Romain Charles, expressed pride to be part of this experiment. Wang said, “it will be trying for all of us. We cannot see our family, we cannot see our friends, but I think it is all a glorious time in our lives.”

The joint-effort project is being organised by the Russian Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) and the European Space Agency; the goal is to study physical and psychological effects on would-be astronauts. All six men speak reasonable English; however, as Russian is another primary language for the simulated trip, Russian crew member Sukhrob Kamolov said body language will be used should they fail to understand one another.

Food for the volunteers will be rationed as it would in a real Mars mission. All supplies were supplied by China and loaded into the ‘simulated spacecraft’ prior to the beginning of the experiment. For backup, China is sending three mission support staff to Russia.

No women are included in the crew, excluding issues relating to a mixed-sex crew from the study. During a similar experiment in 1999, a woman complained that the captain attempted to kiss her.

Following 250 days of “travelling” to Mars, the group will split. Three will stay in the “spacecraft”, the other three going to the surface of “Mars”. Only two will actually leave the “spacecraft” to study the surface of “Mars”. After a month, the group will go through the return journey simulation, a 240 day trip. The men will follow a strict timetable, with 8 hours each of sleep, work, and leisure each day.

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US adds 173,000 jobs in August; unemployment rate drops to seven year low

Monday, September 7, 2015

The US economy added 173,000 jobs in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The unemployment rate fell from 5.3 to 5.1 percent, the lowest since April 2008.

Although August job gains were lower than most economists forecast, job growth numbers for June and July were revised upwards by a combined 44,000. Average job gains over the past three months stand at 221,000, compared to March-May’s 189,000 monthly average. Over the past twelve months, job growth has averaged 247,000 per month.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent, or 8 cents, marking the largest increase in earnings in seven months. Hourly earnings had risen by 6 cents in July. Wages have risen by 2.2 percent over the past year.

Job growth in August was primarily concentrated in the health care and social assistance, financial activities, and professional and business services sectors. Those three areas of the economy added a combined 108,000 jobs. Food service and drinking places employment increased by 26,000 over the month, and other economic sectors saw employment hold steady. Manufacturing, on the other hand, saw employment decline by 17,000 in August. A stronger dollar and worldwide economic weakness make US exports less desirable, leading to a flattening in manufacturing employment so far this year after steadily rising in the early years of the US economic recovery.

The solid overall job gains led analysts to slightly raise expectations for a decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this month. Investors raised the likelihood of a September rate increase from 26 percent before the jobs report to 30 percent, and stocks dropped by over one percent on Friday. “The payrolls data is certainly good enough to allow for a Fed rate hike in September,” said Deutsche Bank’s head of currency strategy, Alan Ruskin. “The big question is still whether financial market volatility will scupper the plans.”

“This is the first time the market has looked at a Fed meeting and really has no idea what the Fed is going to do,” said Mark Kepner, a New Jersey equity trader with Themis Trading. “Right now you’re looking at the overall uncertainty and that’s what’s hanging on the market. I don’t think this number in and of itself changes how somebody’s going to vote.”

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U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on constitutionality of lethal injection

Monday, January 7, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the constitutionality of the use of lethal injection as a method for the imposition of the death penalty in the United States. Two men, Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr., who were convicted of murder in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and sentenced to death, sued the state in 2004 arguing that the use of lethal injection as a method of imposition of capital punishment violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Thirty-seven states and the Federal Government have capital punishment for some crimes, all except Nebraska (which uses electrocution) use lethal injection. The process uses three chemicals in a “cocktail”, which, by the procedures that are used to apply them to the condemned, (three injections given consecutively) allegedly “create a significant and unnecessary risk of inflicting severe pain that could be prevented by the adoption of reasonable safeguards”, their lawyers said in court papers. “Kentucky seeks to execute in a relatively humane manner and has worked hard to adopt such a procedure,” Kentucky Attorney General Gregory Stumbo has said. The state has also argued in its brief against supporting the plaintiffs’ appeal that it will lead to “an endless road of litigation. … Condemned inmates will never run out of ideas for changes to the procedures, drugs or equipment used during lethal injection.”

Baze was scheduled to be executed on January 8 after Governor of Kentucky Ernie Fletcher signed his death warrant, but the Kentucky Supreme Court suspended his execution on September 12, 2007, arguing it needed more time to examine arguments he had made in a separate appeal. He was convicted of killing Powell County Sheriff Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe in 1992 while the lawmen were trying to serve him with arrest warrants. Bowling was convicted of killing Edward and Tina Earley in Louisville in 1990.

According to the article on lethal injection in Wikipedia, the three chemicals used are Sodium thiopental to render the offender unconscious; Pancuronium/Tubocurarine: to stop all muscle movement except the heart, causing muscle paralysis, collapse of the diaphragm, and would eventually cause death by asphyxiation; and Potassium chloride to stop the heart. The chemicals apparently cannot be combined together as they could precipitate into a solid and be ineffective. It is argued that thiopental is a very short-term anesthetic and may wear off during the procedure, causing anesthesia awareness and excruciating pain from the effects of the other drugs.

In oral hearings today, the justices seemed skeptical that the chemical concoction causes extreme pain or that a better method was available. A lawyer for one of the plaintiffs argued that if insufficient anesthetic is given, when the inmate is given the paralyzing drug, they will experience agonizing pain, but be unable to react, and that it is even illegal in Kentucky to euthanize animals in this fashion. Some of the justices have considered sending the case back for further hearings to determine if a single barbiturate would be superior to the current method.

While the Supreme Court has examined the application of the death penalty many times over the past 40 years, this is the first time the court has reviewed the issue of the method of execution in 100 years, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. A ruling is not expected until June. There are about 3,000 people on death row in the United States, and about 60 are executed each year. Since the case was accepted by the Supreme Court, all executions in the United States have been temporarily suspended pending the decision.

The case name is Baze v. Rees.

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British computer scientist’s new “nullity” idea provokes reaction from mathematicians

Monday, December 11, 2006

On December 7, BBC News reported a story about Dr James Anderson, a teacher in the Computer Science department at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. In the report it was stated that Anderson had “solved a very important problem” that was 1200 years old, the problem of division by zero. According to the BBC, Anderson had created a new number, that he had named “nullity”, that lay outside of the real number line. Anderson terms this number a “transreal number”, and denotes it with the Greek letter ? {\displaystyle \Phi } . He had taught this number to pupils at Highdown School, in Emmer Green, Reading.

The BBC report provoked many reactions from mathematicians and others.

In reaction to the story, Mark C. Chu-Carroll, a computer scientist and researcher, posted a web log entry describing Anderson as an “idiot math teacher”, and describing the BBC’s story as “absolutely infuriating” and a story that “does an excellent job of demonstrating what total innumerate idiots reporters are”. Chu-Carroll stated that there was, in fact, no actual problem to be solved in the first place. “There is no number that meaningfully expresses the concept of what it means to divide by zero.”, he wrote, stating that all that Anderson had done was “assign a name to the concept of ‘not a number'”, something which was “not new” in that the IEEE floating-point standard, which describes how computers represent floating-point numbers, had included a concept of “not a number”, termed “NaN“, since 1985. Chu-Carroll further continued:

“Basically, he’s defined a non-solution to a non-problem. And by teaching it to his students, he’s doing them a great disservice. They’re going to leave his class believing that he’s a great genius who’s solved a supposed fundamental problem of math, and believing in this silly nullity thing as a valid mathematical concept.
“It’s not like there isn’t already enough stuff in basic math for kids to learn; there’s no excuse for taking advantage of a passive audience to shove this nonsense down their throats as an exercise in self-aggrandizement.
“To make matters worse, this idiot is a computer science professor! No one who’s studied CS should be able to get away with believing that re-inventing the concept of NaN is something noteworthy or profound; and no one who’s studied CS should think that defining meaningless values can somehow magically make invalid computations produce meaningful results. I’m ashamed for my field.”

There have been a wide range of other reactions from other people to the BBC news story. Comments range from the humorous and the ironic, such as the B1FF-style observation that “DIVIDION[sic] BY ZERO IS IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE MY CALCULATOR SAYS SO AND IT IS THE TRUTH” and the Chuck Norris Fact that “Only Chuck Norris can divide by zero.” (to which another reader replied “Chuck Norris just looks at zero, and it divides itself.”); through vigourous defences of Dr Anderson, with several people quoting the lyrics to Ira Gershwin‘s song “They All Laughed (At Christopher Columbus)”; to detailed mathematical discussions of Anderson’s proposed axioms of transfinite numbers.

Several readers have commented that they consider this to have damaged the reputation of the Computer Science department, and even the reputation of the University of Reading as a whole. “By publishing his childish nonsense the BBC actively harms the reputation of Reading University.” wrote one reader. “Looking forward to seeing Reading University maths application plummit.” wrote another. “Ignore all research papers from the University of Reading.” wrote a third. “I’m not sure why you refer to Reading as a ‘university’. This is a place the BBC reports as closing down its physics department because it’s too hard. Lecturers at Reading should stick to folk dancing and knitting, leaving academic subjects to grown ups.” wrote a fourth. Steve Kramarsky lamented that Dr Anderson is not from the “University of ‘Rithmetic“.

Several readers criticised the journalists at the BBC who ran the story for not apparently contacting any mathematicians about Dr Anderson’s idea. “Journalists are meant to check facts, not just accept whatever they are told by a self-interested third party and publish it without question.” wrote one reader on the BBC’s web site. However, on Slashdot another reader countered “The report is from Berkshire local news. Berkshire! Do you really expect a local news team to have a maths specialist? Finding a newsworthy story in Berkshire probably isn’t that easy, so local journalists have to cover any piece of fluff that comes up. Your attitude to the journalist should be sympathy, not scorn.”

Ben Goldacre, author of the Bad Science column in The Guardian, wrote on his web log that “what is odd is a reporter, editor, producer, newsroom, team, cameraman, soundman, TV channel, web editor, web copy writer, and so on, all thinking it’s a good idea to cover a brilliant new scientific breakthrough whilst clearly knowing nothing about the context. Maths isn’t that hard, you could even make a call to a mathematician about it.”, continuing that “it’s all very well for the BBC to think they’re being balanced and clever getting Dr Anderson back in to answer queries about his theory on Tuesday, but that rather skips the issue, and shines the spotlight quite unfairly on him (he looks like a very alright bloke to me).”.

From reading comments on his own web log as well as elsewhere, Goldacre concluded that he thought that “a lot of people might feel it’s reporter Ben Moore, and the rest of his doubtless extensive team, the people who drove the story, who we’d want to see answering the questions from the mathematicians.”.

Andrej Bauer, a professional mathematician from Slovenia writing on the Bad Science web log, stated that “whoever reported on this failed to call a university professor to check whether it was really new. Any university professor would have told this reporter that there are many ways of dealing with division by zero, and that Mr. Anderson’s was just one of known ones.”

Ollie Williams, one of the BBC Radio Berkshire reporters who wrote the BBC story, initially stated that “It seems odd to me that his theory would get as far as television if it’s so easily blown out of the water by visitors to our site, so there must be something more to it.” and directly responded to criticisms of BBC journalism on several points on his web log.

He pointed out that people should remember that his target audience was local people in Berkshire with no mathematical knowledge, and that he was “not writing for a global audience of mathematicians”. “Some people have had a go at Dr Anderson for using simplified terminology too,” he continued, “but he knows we’re playing to a mainstream audience, and at the time we filmed him, he was showing his theory to a class of schoolchildren. Those circumstances were never going to breed an in-depth half-hour scientific discussion, and none of our regular readers would want that.”.

On the matter of fact checking, he replied that “if you only want us to report scientific news once it’s appeared, peer-reviewed, in a recognised journal, it’s going to be very dry, and it probably won’t be news.”, adding that “It’s not for the BBC to become a journal of mathematics — that’s the job of journals of mathematics. It’s for the BBC to provide lively science reporting that engages and involves people. And if you look at the original page, you’ll find a list as long as your arm of engaged and involved people.”.

Williams pointed out that “We did not present Dr Anderson’s theory as gospel, although with hindsight it could have been made clearer that this is very much a theory and by no means universally accepted. But we certainly weren’t shouting a mathematical revolution from the rooftops. Dr Anderson has, in one or two places, been chastised for coming to the media with his theory instead of his peers — a sure sign of a quack, boffin and/or crank according to one blogger. Actually, one of our reporters happened to meet him during a demonstration against the closure of the university’s physics department a couple of weeks ago, got chatting, and discovered Dr Anderson reckoned he was onto something. He certainly didn’t break the door down looking for media coverage.”.

Some commentators, at the BBC web page and at Slashdot, have attempted serious mathematical descriptions of what Anderson has done, and subjected it to analysis. One description was that Anderson has taken the field of real numbers and given it complete closure so that all six of the common arithmetic operators were surjective functions, resulting in “an object which is barely a commutative ring (with operators with tons of funky corner cases)” and no actual gain “in terms of new theorems or strong relation statements from the extra axioms he has to tack on”.

Jamie Sawyer, a mathematics undergraduate at the University of Warwick writing in the Warwick Maths Society discussion forum, describes what Anderson has done as deciding that R ? { ? ? , + ? } {\displaystyle \mathbb {R} \cup \lbrace -\infty ,+\infty \rbrace } , the so-called extended real number line, is “not good enough […] because of the wonderful issue of what 0 0 {\displaystyle {\frac {0}{0}}} is equal to” and therefore creating a number system R ? { ? ? , ? , + ? } {\displaystyle \mathbb {R} \cup \lbrace -\infty ,\Phi ,+\infty \rbrace } .

Andrej Bauer stated that Anderson’s axioms of transreal arithmetic “are far from being original. First, you can adjoin + ? {\displaystyle +\infty } and ? ? {\displaystyle -\infty } to obtain something called the extended real line. Then you can adjoin a bottom element to represent an undefined value. This is all standard and quite old. In fact, it is well known in domain theory, which deals with how to represent things we compute with, that adjoining just bottom to the reals is not a good idea. It is better to adjoin many so-called partial elements, which denote approximations to reals. Bottom is then just the trivial approximation which means something like ‘any real’ or ‘undefined real’.”

Commentators have pointed out that in the field of mathematical analysis, 0 0 {\displaystyle {\frac {0}{0}}} (which Anderson has defined axiomatically to be ? {\displaystyle \Phi } ) is the limit of several functions, each of which tends to a different value at its limit:

  • lim x ? 0 x 0 {\displaystyle \lim _{x\to 0}{\frac {x}{0}}} has two different limits, depending from whether x {\displaystyle x} approaches zero from a positive or from a negative direction.
  • lim x ? 0 0 x {\displaystyle \lim _{x\to 0}{\frac {0}{x}}} also has two different limits. (This is the argument that commentators gave. In fact, 0 x {\displaystyle {\frac {0}{x}}} has the value 0 {\displaystyle 0} for all x ? 0 {\displaystyle x\neq 0} , and thus only one limit. It is simply discontinuous for x = 0 {\displaystyle x=0} . However, that limit is different to the two limits for lim x ? 0 x 0 {\displaystyle \lim _{x\to 0}{\frac {x}{0}}} , supporting the commentators’ main point that the values of the various limits are all different.)
  • Whilst sin ? 0 = 0 {\displaystyle \sin 0=0} , the limit lim x ? 0 sin ? x x {\displaystyle \lim _{x\to 0}{\frac {\sin x}{x}}} can be shown to be 1, by expanding the sine function as an infinite Taylor series, dividing the series by x {\displaystyle x} , and then taking the limit of the result, which is 1.
  • Whilst 1 ? cos ? 0 = 0 {\displaystyle 1-\cos 0=0} , the limit lim x ? 0 1 ? cos ? x x {\displaystyle \lim _{x\to 0}{\frac {1-\cos x}{x}}} can be shown to be 0, by expanding the cosine function as an infinite Taylor series, dividing the series subtracted from 1 by x {\displaystyle x} , and then taking the limit of the result, which is 0.

Commentators have also noted l’Hôpital’s rule.

It has been pointed out that Anderson’s set of transreal numbers is not, unlike the set of real numbers, a mathematical field. Simon Tatham, author of PuTTY, stated that Anderson’s system “doesn’t even think about the field axioms: addition is no longer invertible, multiplication isn’t invertible on nullity or infinity (or zero, but that’s expected!). So if you’re working in the transreals or transrationals, you can’t do simple algebraic transformations such as cancelling x {\displaystyle x} and ? x {\displaystyle -x} when both occur in the same expression, because that transformation becomes invalid if x {\displaystyle x} is nullity or infinity. So even the simplest exercises of ordinary algebra spew off a constant stream of ‘unless x is nullity’ special cases which you have to deal with separately — in much the same way that the occasional division spews off an ‘unless x is zero’ special case, only much more often.”

Tatham stated that “It’s telling that this monstrosity has been dreamed up by a computer scientist: persistent error indicators and universal absorbing states can often be good computer science, but he’s stepped way outside his field of competence if he thinks that that also makes them good maths.”, continuing that Anderson has “also totally missed the point when he tries to compute things like 0 0 {\displaystyle 0^{0}} using his arithmetic. The reason why things like that are generally considered to be ill-defined is not because of a lack of facile ‘proofs’ showing them to have one value or another; it’s because of a surfeit of such ‘proofs’ all of which disagree! Adding another one does not (as he appears to believe) solve any problem at all.” (In other words: 0 0 {\displaystyle 0^{0}} is what is known in mathematical analysis as an indeterminate form.)

To many observers, it appears that Anderson has done nothing more than re-invent the idea of “NaN“, a special value that computers have been using in floating-point calculations to represent undefined results for over two decades. In the various international standards for computing, including the IEEE floating-point standard and IBM’s standard for decimal arithmetic, a division of any non-zero number by zero results in one of two special infinity values, “+Inf” or “-Inf”, the sign of the infinity determined by the signs of the two operands (Negative zero exists in floating-point representations.); and a division of zero by zero results in NaN.

Anderson himself denies that he has re-invented NaN, and in fact claims that there are problems with NaN that are not shared by nullity. According to Anderson, “mathematical arithmetic is sociologically invalid” and IEEE floating-point arithmetic, with NaN, is also faulty. In one of his papers on a “perspex machine” dealing with “The Axioms of Transreal Arithmetic” (Jamie Sawyer writes that he has “worries about something which appears to be named after a plastic” — “Perspex” being a trade name for polymethyl methacrylate in the U.K..) Anderson writes:

We cannot accept an arithmetic in which a number is not equal to itself (NaN != NaN), or in which there are three kinds of numbers: plain numbers, silent numbers, and signalling numbers; because, on writing such a number down, in daily discourse, we can not always distinguish which kind of number it is and, even if we adopt some notational convention to make the distinction clear, we cannot know how the signalling numbers are to be used in the absence of having the whole program and computer that computed them available. So whilst IEEE floating-point arithmetic is an improvement on real arithmetic, in so far as it is total, not partial, both arithmetics are invalid models of arithmetic.

In fact, the standard convention for distinguishing the two types of NaNs when writing them down can be seen in ISO/IEC 10967, another international standard for how computers deal with numbers, which uses “qNaN” for non-signalling (“quiet”) NaNs and “sNaN” for signalling NaNs. Anderson continues:

[NaN’s] semantics are not defined, except by a long list of special cases in the IEEE standard.

“In other words,” writes Scott Lamb, a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Idaho, “they are defined, but he doesn’t like the definition.”.

The main difference between nullity and NaN, according to both Anderson and commentators, is that nullity compares equal to nullity, whereas NaN does not compare equal to NaN. Commentators have pointed out that in very short order this difference leads to contradictory results. They stated that it requires only a few lines of proof, for example, to demonstrate that in Anderson’s system of “transreal arithmetic” both 1 = 2 {\displaystyle 1=2} and 1 ? 2 {\displaystyle 1\neq 2} , after which, in one commentator’s words, one can “prove anything that you like”. In aiming to provide a complete system of arithmetic, by adding extra axioms defining the results of the division of zero by zero and of the consequent operations on that result, half as many again as the number of axioms of real-number arithmetic, Anderson has produced a self-contradictory system of arithmetic, in accordance with Gödel’s incompleteness theorems.

One reader-submitted comment appended to the BBC news article read “Step 1. Create solution 2. Create problem 3. PROFIT!”, an allusion to the business plan employed by the underpants gnomes of the comedy television series South Park. In fact, Anderson does plan to profit from nullity, having registered on the 27th of July, 2006 a private limited company named Transreal Computing Ltd, whose mission statement is “to develop hardware and software to bring you fast and safe computation that does not fail on division by zero” and to “promote education and training in transreal computing”. The company is currently “in the research and development phase prior to trading in hardware and software”.

In a presentation given to potential investors in his company at the ANGLE plc showcase on the 28th of November, 2006, held at the University of Reading, Anderson stated his aims for the company as being:

To investors, Anderson makes the following promises:

  • “I will help you develop a curriculum for transreal arithmetic if you want me to.”
  • “I will help you unify QED and gravitation if you want me to.”
  • “I will build a transreal supercomputer.”

He asks potential investors:

  • “How much would you pay to know that the engine in your ship, car, aeroplane, or heart pacemaker won’t just stop dead?”
  • “How much would you pay to know that your Government’s computer controlled military hardware won’t just stop or misfire?”

The current models of computer arithmetic are, in fact, already designed to allow programmers to write programs that will continue in the event of a division by zero. The IEEE’s Frequently Asked Questions document for the floating-point standard gives this reply to the question “Why doesn’t division by zero (or overflow, or underflow) stop the program or trigger an error?”:

“The [IEEE] 754 model encourages robust programs. It is intended not only for numerical analysts but also for spreadsheet users, database systems, or even coffee pots. The propagation rules for NaNs and infinities allow inconsequential exceptions to vanish. Similarly, gradual underflow maintains error properties over a precision’s range.
“When exceptional situations need attention, they can be examined immediately via traps or at a convenient time via status flags. Traps can be used to stop a program, but unrecoverable situations are extremely rare. Simply stopping a program is not an option for embedded systems or network agents. More often, traps log diagnostic information or substitute valid results.”

Simon Tatham stated that there is a basic problem with Anderson’s ideas, and thus with the idea of building a transreal supercomputer: “It’s a category error. The Anderson transrationals and transreals are theoretical algebraic structures, capable of representing arbitrarily big and arbitrarily precise numbers. So the question of their error-propagation semantics is totally meaningless: you don’t use them for down-and-dirty error-prone real computation, you use them for proving theorems. If you want to use this sort of thing in a computer, you have to think up some concrete representation of Anderson transfoos in bits and bytes, which will (if only by the limits of available memory) be unable to encompass the entire range of the structure. And the point at which you make this transition from theoretical abstract algebra to concrete bits and bytes is precisely where you should also be putting in error handling, because it’s where errors start to become possible. We define our theoretical algebraic structures to obey lots of axioms (like the field axioms, and total ordering) which make it possible to reason about them efficiently in the proving of theorems. We define our practical number representations in a computer to make it easy to detect errors. The Anderson transfoos are a consequence of fundamentally confusing the one with the other, and that by itself ought to be sufficient reason to hurl them aside with great force.”

Geomerics, a start-up company specializing in simulation software for physics and lighting and funded by ANGLE plc, had been asked to look into Anderson’s work by an unnamed client. Rich Wareham, a Senior Research and Development Engineer at Geomerics and a MEng. from the University of Cambridge, stated that Anderson’s system “might be a more interesting set of axioms for dealing with arithmetic exceptions but it isn’t the first attempt at just defining away the problem. Indeed it doesn’t fundamentally change anything. The reason computer programs crash when they divide by zero is not that the hardware can produce no result, merely that the programmer has not dealt with NaNs as they propagate through. Not dealing with nullities will similarly lead to program crashes.”

“Do the Anderson transrational semantics give any advantage over the IEEE ones?”, Wareham asked, answering “Well one assumes they have been thought out to be useful in themselves rather than to just propagate errors but I’m not sure that seeing a nullity pop out of your code would lead you to do anything other than what would happen if a NaN or Inf popped out, namely signal an error.”.

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Virginia reports suspected monkeypox case

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Virginia Department of Health today reported its 27th suspected case of monkeypox in the US state as part of an ongoing worldwide outbreak.

The patient identified, an adult male in Northwest Virginia, is currently in isolation and Department officials are monitoring his close contacts. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported July 8 of the 8,238 cases recorded in 57 countries, 790 were in the US.

The virus carries with it a particular type of rash, and also fever, headache and muscle aches, exhaustion and the swelling of lymph nodes. Symptoms begin appearing six to fourteen days after first exposure through close contact, and last for between two and four weeks; three deaths have been announced worldwide.

Those at high risk, including men who have sex with men, those who have had close contact with someone that has symptoms or rashes, and those who have traveled to areas with confirmed monkeypox cases, are eligible for two vaccines. The inoculations, available through the national government, act as post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent the disease’s transmission.

There is no approved treatment for monkeypox in the US, and treatment is relieving symptoms and supportive care.

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Hollywood Real Estate Diamond Of The Gold Coast

By Hector Lesende

Hollywood, Florida might share its name with the famous Hollywood, California, but it is no way less illustrious than its well known cousin. Tucked away in the Southern tip of Florida, the city of Hollywood is on of the top ten largest cities in the state of Florida. This city is spread over an area of about eighty square kilometers and is home to approximately one hundred and fifty thousand residents. This city, also known as the Diamond of the Gold Coast, has over ten kilometers of pristine Atlantic beaches. Various fresh water bodies cover about ten square kilometers of inland area.

The city is relatively young, having being founded in 1925. However, the decades of 50s and 60s witnessed strong growth rates in economy as well as population. As of the year 2000, the city was home to real estate property valued at more than a massive six billion dollars.

As of the last census, the city population of about one hundred and fifty thousand was spread over approximately thirty five thousand families housed in sixty thousand households. A back of the envelop calculation tells us that the population density of this city is touching 2000 per square kilometer. With about 70,000 housing units spread over eight square kilometers, the real estate density turns out to be just more than 950 housing units per square kilometer.

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The population consists of primarily English speaking whites- about 78 percent of the population are Whites, and for about 67% of the entire population, English is the First language. Other important minority groups in this city include Spanish speaking citizens (a touch more than 20%) and African Americans (about 12% of the entire population). The city has a vibrant social life, and that perhaps stems from that fact that the city population is relatively young. As much as 60% of the population is less than 45 years old, and the median age of the population of the city of Hollywood, Florida is 39 years.

Hollywood scores fairly high on the infrastructure matrix. The city is served by the 23rd busiest airport in US, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The city is also home to a large number of public elementary, middle and high schools. All these factors make Hollywood a great city to live in. The economy of this city is fairly vibrant. If you have been planning to relocate to Hollywood, you will be in good company. The population of this city has grown fairly fast between 2000 and 2005, and this growth is largely attributed to the steady flow of immigrants from other regions. With its salubrious weather, vibrant civic life, low cost of living and a relatively low crime rate.

Hollywood Real Estate is precious and elegant. There are now 4,000 homes and condos for sale in Hollywood. Median price of a home in this city is about $347,000 dollars and some are priced over $3,000,000 dollars. Foreclosed properties are at an all time high as the banks readjust their adjustable rates and end a real estate boom that lasted for about three years. The no money down and 1 percent teaser rates deals are gone and so are many of the homes that were financed in this manner. Savvy investors are buying selected properties in Hollywood. The Hollywood real estate market is still thriving and will continue to grow in coming years.

About the Author: Hector Lesende is Owner/Licensed Real Estate Broker in South Florida Real Estate Please visit Miami Real Estate and search Hollywood Pines Real Estate We will sell your home from only 1% commission. We provide a free South Florida Foreclosure and MLS list.

Source: isnare.com

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