Category: Science & Technology


Okay, what in the world is wrong with people?! Why would someone buy an iPad. Can you not see that it’s essentially a terrible design and literally just worthless?

I guess I’m just steaming about Apple’s undeserved (this time) success with the iPad after its international release. It may serve some purpose for a few.. and perhaps it’ll make a good piece of hardware for educational purposes but seriously, Apple needs to redesign the damn thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against Apple products in any way, shape or form. In fact I love my iTouch and the new nano with camera. I absolutely love macs because they are just wonderful machines. I also consider myself to be an iPhone developer, but the iPad just does not deserve the attention it is getting. I don’t feel like I need to critique it from a technical standpoint because enough smart people have taken the task upon themselves already. What I don’t understand is that why would a person actually buy an iPad… without doing some initial research and realizing it’s a complete piece of crap that could probably be turned into a gem.

Gah.. frustration at idiocy.

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You know, some of us might find this term worth a laugh but honestly, there are many of our fellow human beings who need some therapy.. or so think the Chinese. Although I might have qualified as an internet addict a few years ago, today I find myself looking a tech hiatus every once in a while… I guess it’s a good sign ūüôā

Well, anyway, so there’s an article on slashdot today stating how Chinese are sending their kids to boot camp therapy for web addicted relating to either… (hold your breath… ) World of Warcraft or Mortal Combat. Of course, I’m sure there are more games on the list but somehow these were the ones mentioned in the article.

“But.. but.. it’s more of a guy thing!”

Well, who said the internet is merely a gaming tool ūüėõ here comes into the picture the story of the many teenage girls who get addicted to chatrooms and chatboxes. I wonder where this technology is going to take us.. even though I chose to contribute to the computer science field. Me thinkz we’ll soon have a Internet Addicts Anonymous ūüėõ

Internet: The place where girls are men and boys are FBI agents!

Link: Click here for the original article

Strong AI, according to the famous philosopher John Searle, is the claim that a computer can be a complete parallel and equal to a human mind and can not just simulate human intelligence, but also explain it. Even though I am a computer science student and would love the notion of something of the sort taking place, I feel that it is important to note which kind of intelligence a computer can simulate.

It isn’t my “intelligence” per say that gives me feelings, beliefs and ideas. Although, they do play a big role in our decision making process. Of course, strong AI cannot be termed completely human because it is devoid of all human characteristics except computational intelligence. One such characteristic is the presence of emotions and non-computational reactions to input or, in the human sense, perception and response to perception. It lacks intentionality, emotions, random responses, thoughts about topics etc. It is basically a machine that spits out the answer by accumulation of enough information and execution of enough algorithms, but it does not UNDERSTAND what it’s doing.

As they often say, a computer is only as intelligent as the programmer who programs it. Thus, although the computational ability of a computer may just be enough to give the answers a human would give, it still lacks the human touch. My view on this is that a computer can simulate a human’s computational intelligence, but cannot explain it and it lacks any other kind of “intelligence” per say.

So, I agree and disagree with Searle.. I agree that there isn’t an entirely human computer, but I do believe that it can simulate (not explain) human computational intelligence.

I guess the title of the blog is enough to convey what this is about. For those of you who don’t already know this and have not already heard me being frustrated about it – My phone is in Canada¬†(Or on its way to SC) ¬†and I am in Columbia.

I have not been “phoneless” since 8th grade and so, this may just be a good thing because I am learning to live without my cell phone being¬†perpetually in close proximity. Since, 18th morning was the last time I took a glance at my cell phone… I must say I am realizing how technologically dependent I am. If I didn’t happen to have the internet working I would have felt cut off from the world and that is a hard situation for me to be in. I apologize to the ones I haven’t called after making my trip back to Canada/USA.. and hope you guys understand that I am not calling because I don’t have your numbers with me at the moment. I shall get in touch with most by next weekend for sure. So, next time you see me walking somewhere on campus and are too far away to yell a “hi”, don’t think I am ignoring you by not keeping in touch.

Anyway, here’s a suggestion for all of you people who are in the same boat and have trouble living without their phones and internet – Make sure you go at least on a 3 day long camping trip without your cell phone…

And, for those of you who have any chance of losing your cell phone or having to wait for it in the mail, try Skype because it’s my way of keeping in touch with my parents and my friends. Also, remember to back up the important phone numbers from your phone book – it does you a world of good sometimes! Of course, social networking websites seem to have one more advantage now!

                            

We’re currently in an age where you walk into Radioshack or other electronic stores and you see about 20-30 digital cameras on display… Most poeple just look at what the resolution is and pick the camera up.

After a good long time of being fond of new digital cameras, one thing I can tell you is¬†resolution is NOT all that matters. The pixels you see on the camera labels basically define was I referred to as resolution and pixels, in basic terminology, is just the number of dots that represent a single image. Now, of course, more the dots … clearer and more accurate the image.

What else matters? The zoom! We all know what zoom basically means, in a digital camera there are actually two kinds of zooms – optical zoom and digital zoom. The difference here is major. Sometimes, we try to pick up cameras with a very high digital zoom but we fail to realize, that after a certain point of zooming, the digital zoon really doesn’t matter… not unless you are planning to turn the picture into a 10 by 10 poster.

If I went out to buy a new camera, I would look at high resolution, a good digital zoom, but a better optical zoom. Optical zoom is basically the camera’s capacity to zoom in on an object. So, unless you are trying to enlarge your image into a wall sized poster, it seems like a better idea to get something with a high optical zoom and a medium to high digital zoom.

So my order of preference would be the following:

– high resolution (basically really high number of megapixels)

– high optical zoom (the capacity of a camera to zoom in on an object)

– medium to high digital zoom (a medium optical zoom is as good as a high optical zoom for regular photography, since the difference would really not be noticed unless the picture is being enlarged)

Just though I’d throw it out there because sometimes when I walk into a store and see people not knowing what exactly to get, it makes me want to walk them through this lol.

                                   

Umm… I think the puppy was cute.. *shrugs*… Okay, so yeah this post is about something that I studied in my Sociology class last semester and found funny, quirky and surprising…

In 1972, David Rosenhan conducted a famous experiment¬†about the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. It was published in the journal ‘Science’ under the title “On being sane in insane places”. There were 2 stages to this experiment which I’ll describe as you read further…

Stage one of the experiment:

Rosenhan being a doctor, gathered 7 more of his colleagues and all the 8 doctors went to different hospitals around the area. They all complained of “hearing voices” and all¬†8 were admitted in the psych wards and diagnosed with schizophrenia. They each made a stay ranging from 7 to 52 days and were released with a status of “schizophrenia in remission”.

Finally, Rosenhan told the hospitals that they were wrong and that diagnosis is NOT objective or certain – but subjective and no doctor could say with 100% certainty what was wrong with someone.

Stage two of experiment:

One of the very prestigious hospitals refused to accept that this happened and claimed that they were competent enough to avoid such misdiagnosis. At this point, Rosenhan told them he would send them more fakes over the next 3 months and they should spot the fakes and call him up everytime they find one. After 3 months, 41 out of 193 patients were labeled as fakes.

The twist here being that Rosenhan never sent any fakes in the first place.

This should be an interesting experiment for all of you out there to read lol. I know I don’t understand the personal implications of such happenings as I have never dealt with anything similar, but I think it proves a very important point here… it proves our minds are too complex for anyone to really be in complete knowledge of what is normal and what is not.

I think my posting this was a subconscious attempt to trash doctors hahaha… nahh, Just kidding… wanted to share it since I found it rather interesting and funny lol