Archive for the 'science' Category

New random()

A new advance on a method known as a randomness extractor makes it easier for machines generate truly random numbers by harvesting randomness from the environment.

The new randomness extractor combines two independent sources of weakly random numbers into one set that is nearly random, with only minor deviations. Then the researchers use a “resilient function,” a method of combining information, to turn the string of numbers into one truly random bit — a 1 or 0.

Compared with the previous state-of-the-art randomness extractors, which required input that was already very close to random, the new method can mine sources that are “much, much, much, much weaker,” says computer scientist Avi Wigderson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. The new extractor is a “substantial improvement over the previous results, and it’s very close to the best you can hope for.”

The origin of trees

The great  Richard Feynman was a nobelist, a philosopher and a great teacher. In this video he explains how trees are created from thin air!!



This is not intuitive but it is -of course- absolutely true, and a wonderful example of the difference between learning (that trees get their material from CO2) and understanding (*Air* is transformed in to a living tree). Also a testament of how, the beauty one can see in the cosmos, is enhanced with the better understanding of it….

Just a matter of time.

Multi-planet-systemThe Kepler mission has been a great success up to now.  The Kepler space telescope was created to search for solar systems with multiple planets, and the results have been astonishing so far. According to Ian o’Neil’s article on :

“The number of known multi-planetary star systems has just tripled. What’s more, the Kepler space telescope science team has just announced that they have doubled the number of confirmed exoplanetary sightings made by the observatory.”

“Prior to the Kepler mission, we knew of perhaps 500 exoplanets across the whole sky,” said Doug Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “Now, in just two years staring at a patch of sky not much bigger than your fist, Kepler has discovered more than 60 planets and more than 2,300 planet candidates. This tells us that our galaxy is positively loaded with planets of all sizes and orbits.”

It seems that it’s only a matter of time before we find the first habitable planet – like earth- in a nearby star system. This could very well be the greatest discovery of all times !

Dogs intelligence

According to the telegraph dogs are as intelligent as 2-year old children. They can understand up to 250 words, they can understand gestures, they can add 1+1 and they can deceipt you in purpose. I have a dog, and somehow i knew all of this. As anyone who has a dog already knows, they are very easy to communicate with as they have a very human-like intelligence,  apart from all this sniffing around of course. Still it’s nice to have proof 🙂