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a hundred years of a.m. turing
The man who has had one of the greatest affects on modern society was born 100 years ago today. He could have achieved even more he had not been treated so despicably for his private life preferences.
At abelard.org, as well as Alan Turing’s two most important papers, are two papers by abelard relating to Turing’s work.
The first, The
Turing Test and intelligence , clarifies the meaning of the Turing Test, suggesting that meeting the Turing Test is already in the process of being achieved.
The second, Metalogic
B: Decision processes, is an analysis of the logic of decision-making, taking decisions in a clear and rational manner. This paper has glosses on Turing’s approach to the Entscheidungsproblem.
The Shard, London - artist's impression. Image: Renzo Piano
“The Shard will be the tallest building in Western Europe, its crystalline façade transforming the London skyline with a mixed-use 310 m (1,016 ft) vertical city of high-quality offices, world-renowned restaurants, the 5-star Shangri-La hotel, exclusive residential apartments and the capital's highest viewing gallery offering 360° views.”
“His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shard Funding Limited, announced that the official inauguration of Shard Tower in London will be on July 5th 2012. The tower will be inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and Prince Andrew Albert Edward, the Duke of York.”
“The 72-storey building in the London Bridge Quarter will contain premium office space, a world-class hotel, luxury residences, a spa, restaurants & cafes, retail space and a 15-storey public viewing gallery. On the ground level, public piazza, restaurants and cafes will be open to the public with places to rest and changing art installations. Access to public transportation via bus line, train and underground will be directly on site. Previously at that location was the 1970’s Southwark Tower building on Bridge Street, which has already been demolished to begin construction on the new tower.
“Renzo envisioned The Shard as a ‘Vertical City‘ – a mixed-use and dense development open and accessible to the public and yet luxurious , exclusive, and central enough to be a highly desirable address for companies and residents. [...] Each floor is multifunctional and contains 2 winter garden, which are naturally ventilated break-out and meeting areas surround in glass for stunning views and natural lighting.” [Quoted from
“A team led by Prof Adrian Bachtold, who heads
ICN's Quantum NanoElectronics Group, has fabricated
and tested the world's most sensitive nanomechanical
sensor, capable of detecting changes in mass of 1.7
yoctograms (1.7 x 10-24 grams)—roughly
the mass of one proton. Their work has been published
today in Nature
“The sensor is akin to a guitar string that vibrates
at a very high frequency (around 2 GHz): by comparing
the resonating frequency of the nanotube before and
after some additional mass has bound to the nanotube's
surface, the researchers can quantify the added mass.
“Not only did these experiments require an exceptional
level of control to obtain a sufficiently clean nanotube—achieved
by annealing it with an electrical current—they
also required extremely low temperatures (-269 °C),
ultra-high vacuum (10-14 bar), and an environment completely
free of mechanical disruption or electrical noise.”
“Bachtold hopes the scales could be used to distinguish
different elements in chemical samples, which might
differ only by a few protons. They might also diagnose
health conditions by identifying proton-scale differences
in molecular mass that are markers of disease.”
[Quoted from newscientist.com]
“Iran happens to be good, very good, at developing
what is known as “ultra-high performance concrete”
(UHPC). Because of its geographical position, the county
is under constant threat of earthquakes. [...] Iranian
engineers have developed – out of necessity –
some of the toughest and most rigid building materials
in the world.
“... unlike conventional concrete, Iranian concrete
is mixed with quartz powder and special fibers –
transforming it into high performance concrete that
can withstand higher pressure with increased rigidity.
What this all translates to is excellent building material
given the environment that has found peaceful applications
like the construction of safer bridges, dams, tunnels,
increasing the strength of sewage pipes, and even absorbing
pollution.” [Quoted from digitaltrends.com]
“Ali Nazari and his colleagues at Islamic Azad
University in Saveh have published several papers on
how to do that with different types of metal-oxide nanoparticles.
They have worked with oxides of iron, aluminium, zirconium,
titanium and copper. At the nanoscale materials can
take on extraordinary properties. Although it has been
demonstrated only in small samples, it might be possible,
using such nanoparticles, to produce concrete that is
four times stronger than Ductal [a French version of the product].”
“A study published by the University of Tehran
in 2008 looked at the ability of UHPC to withstand the
impact of steel projectiles. These are not normally
a problem during earthquakes....”
“Western countries, too, have been looking at
the military uses of UHPC. An Australian study carried
out between 2004 and 2006 confirmed that UHPC resists
blasts as well as direct hits.” [Quoted from economist.com]
Breaking the speed record for a legged robot, this headless
‘cheetah’, as it’s named, has managed
18mph/29kph on a laboratory treadmill. It is designed
by DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] contactor
Boston Dynamics, who previously made
“ "With faster than human speed, this is
a step in the development of a high speed killer that
could negotiate a battlefield quickly to hunt and kill,"
“ "The biggest concern about this is that
no artificial intelligence system can distinguish between
civilians and enemy combatants, and so if this was operating
on its own it would fall foul of the laws of war."
“In this video, 20 nano quadrotors demonstrate
movement in multiple formations. Each autonomous quadrotor
manages to hold their position in the formation perfectly
during movement. Formations can also transition between
many 3D shapes.”