A Whale of a SETI Tale

first_imgDisney’s Fantasia 2000 had an episode that pictured whales gliding through the air as if in outer space.  Lawrence Doyle of the SETI Institute connected whales with space in another way.  His article discussed whale language as a sign of intelligence.  Appealing to information theory and entropy, Doyle discussed how scientists deduce the syntax and entropy of whale messages, even when we can’t figure out the meaning.  By entropy, he means the “number of choices in a given communication system.”  For instance, squirrel-monkey language does not have enough entropy for Shakespeare to be translated into it. An important measure of entropy is the highest “entropic-order” at which the communication systems peaks.  In measuring this, we ask how dependent the signals are on each other.  In human speech we have grammar and in human writing we have spelling (or brush strokes, etc.) that depend on each other.  If you made a copy of a written page, but the toner in the copy machine was low, you would find that you could nevertheless recover some of the missing words because there are rules of spelling and grammar superimposed on our language system.  It is these rules that allow error recovery – and this works in both vocalization as well as written communication systems (as well as any others, e.g., chemical signaling units, bee dances, visual facial features, etc.)   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Scientists are not yet sure if whale language has the entropy level anywhere near that of humans.  But he argued that observing correlations between language and sociality of whales can help us, when we find life in space, deduce something about the social structure of the aliens:And how might this apply to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence?  If there is a relationship between social complexity and vocal complexity, then the measure of one will be a measurement, to some degree, of the other.  If a SETI signal is received, and is a normal (i.e., un-coded) communication, it will have to obey the rules of information theory in order to transmit information.  Thus, a measure of the information complexity of such SETI signals could also be a first direct measurement of the social complexity of an extraterrestrial species, irrespective of the actual decipherment of the meaning of such a message itself.  Exciting prospect indeed!Until such a signal is detected, however, it remains only a prospect for the space-intelligence prospectors.Wait a minute.  We heard Seth Shostak say last month (12/03/2005) that SETI wasn’t looking for an information-bearing message, like the proponents of intelligent design claim, but only for a persistent narrowband whistle in an unusual context that they could claim was non-natural.  What’s all this talk about information theory?  Now the SETI institute is going even beyond the inference to intelligence to an inference about social complexity.  That’s a lot of inference from a persistent narrowband whistle.  Is it not more credible to infer an intelligent cause for a language with sufficient entropy to generate tens of thousands of precision protein machines, like DNA?(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How to Choose and Migrate to a Cloud E-Mail Provider

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#Communications#enterprise 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img Forrester released two reports on cloud-based e-mail this week: one on selecting a provider, and another on migrating to the cloud.Although Forrester doesn’t recommend any specific providers, the firm does cite three areas to consider when comparing providers.For the migration report, Forrester looked at the lessons learned by major companies that have moved to the cloud. For example, GlaxoSmithKline moved about 90,000 users to Microsoft Online.Choosing a ProviderForrester cites three areas to consider when differentiating providers:The Provider’s Service CatalogE-mail platformSupporting servicesMobile optionsAdditional collaboration toolsThe Provider’s Operational DetailsData center locationsIntegration methodsSecurity certificationsService-level agreementsMigration servicesThe Provider’s Market CharacteristicsCompany historyCustomer footprintTarget marketAccording to the report, vendors fall into four groups:Incumbent platform vendors, such as Microsoft, IBM/Lotus, and VMware/ZimbraNewer cloud pure plays, such as Google and CiscoCollaboration service providers, such as Apptix, Intermedia, and USA.NETDiversified hosting and telecoms, such as e AT&T, Connectria, NaviSite, Rackspace, Verio, and Verizon.Forrester doesn’t offer any specific recommendations about any particular company. Instead, it encourages decision makers to consider their organization’s needs and existing partnerships. The firm also recommends considering hybrid models.Planning a MigrationOnce you’ve picked a vendor, you’re ready to plan a migration. Here’s what Forrester suggests:Clean up your Active Directory or other access control system. Delete old users, stale records and unnecessary business unit structures. You don’t want to migrate a mess.Consider your bandwidth requirements. This can be easy to overlook because it might not seem uploading e-mail is that big of a bandwidth hog. Don’t underestimate your requirements. For example, Forrester cites Microsoft’s recommendation of 37 KB/sec per 100 users for e-mail migrations.Decide how much historical information to migrate. How many years of old Exchange calendar items do you want to pump out to the cloud?Have a demigration plan, if only as a last resort. It’s always important to have an exit strategy.Your ExperienceHave you migrated an e-mail system to the cloud? Did you hit any stumbling blocks? What was the experience like? Let us know. klint finley Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

File Sharers, Get Ready For Copyright Violation Warnings

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#copyright#web john paul titlow Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… After a series of delays, the Center for Copyright Information’s “six strikes” anti-piracy scheme has a launch date. Starting on November 28, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner and Verizon will start sending out warnings to users who download copyrighted material without authorization. But don’t quit those Torrent networks just yet.The CCI is a partnership between the Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, and the major Internet service providers in the U.S. Under the group’s Copyright Alert System, Internet users who download unauthorized material will receive a series of messages explaining that it’s illegal to do so and encouraging them to stop. Initial concerns that the system could lead to users being cut off from the Internet appear to be unfounded. It’s really about educating (okay, scaring) people rather than punishing them. “Alerts will be non-punitive and progressive in nature,” reads the CCI’s website. “Successive alerts will reinforce the seriousness of the copyright infringement and inform the recipient how to address the activity that is precipitating the alerts.”After six warnings, the provider may mete out penalties, although it’s not entirely clear what those would be. Slowing down, or throttling, customers’ Internet connections is apparently on the table, but users won’t be kicked offline permanently, according to the CCI. The most egregious offenders would be deemed “unreachable” by the program and subsequently ignored, according to TorrentFreak.  From the look of it, the system is largely toothless. While it might not stop hardcore copyright violators, though, receiving a scary-sounding warning from a service provider might be enough to stop casual downloaders in their tracks. If all goes according to the CCI’s plan, that may lead to a substantial decrease in copyright infringement overall.The system will arrive at a pivotal moment in what are often referred to as the Copyright Wars. Earlier this year, big content’s fight against piracy began to resemble literal warfare when New Zealand police raided the mansion of  Kim Dotcom. The Megaupload founder will stand trial for copyright infringement and related charges next year, but isn’t wasting anytime trying to get his latest venture – a music service called Megabox – off the ground. Dotcom’s arrest came within days of another watershed moment in the Copyright Wars. After overwhelming opposition from tech companies and the public, the controversial anti-piracy legislation known as SOPA and PIPA were effectively killed after losing support in the U.S. Congress. The Copyright Alert System is the latest weapon in the content industry’s war on piracy, having failed on the legislative front and gotten nowhere by suing consumers directly. With the CAS, they’re taking a decidedly less draconian approach, hoping to scare enough people away from illegal downloading to make a difference. Whatever the results are, they will no doubt help inform the next phase of this battle, which is inevitably on the horizon.   8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Resident Calls the Charges of Permanent Secretary of Finance Wrong

first_img Recommended for you MPs say they know nothing about pay raise Related Items:Atheena harvey, integrity commission, Permanent Secretary of Finance Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI’s Community College’s Dismercy Lugo wins Integrity Commission’s College Speak Off Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 7 Nov 2014 – One resident lashing out and calling the charges against the Permanent Secretary of Finance Athenee Harvey wrong and the Integrity Commission’s process a kangaroo court… saying this is an undemocratic system set up by the British and that it is terrorizing the best of the best in the country; speaking about the now instituted Integrity Commission. “Everyone who has dealt with Athenee knows she is gentle and kind and thoughtful. And now she is tarnished for no good reasons and so we are all tarnished and divided and the British can sit back as they have done for 100s of years, and see how their rules make us easier to control, even while it’s destroying innocent lives..” Harvey had apparently been under investigation by the Integrity Commission since August for allegedly refusing to pay customs duty on some items brought in on a cruise line to the Grand Turk Cruise Center. This writer, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained that this is all bogus and even if she did do something wrong, there are ways to deal with matter. I quote again: “Customs’ has many rules and penalties it can impose on anyone from the Premier down if they think there has been a breach of the rules. Why were these penalties not imposed if there was something wrong? We go all the way to arresting a woman who has never had a traffic ticket, and destroy her reputation? Why?” Harvey, who has been in the Ministry of Finance for ten years and has been PS of finance for two years, will have to face two counts of violating the integrity commission ordinance in court on December 1st. The writer concluded in that Thursday letter to media with encouragement for Athenee Harvey and a warning to the Integrity Commission to, “go lightly” as they put it. Governor lauds Bien-Aime & Integrity Commission at anti-corruption meetinglast_img read more