Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cognitive Biases in song!

A list of cognitive biases in song, pretty cool:


Posted via web from John's posterous

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Miscellaneous Tuesday: Times Square, Polanski, E15, and more....

New York failed bombing

First of all, let's be clear: no-one prevented anything. Had this been a well engineered bomb, it would have gone off, with all the carnage that implies.But luckily, the idiot perpetrator(s) screwed up the bomb: http://tinyurl.com/2uuv3vh The device seems to have consisted of fireworks, propane and some fertilizer that, as configured, would have most likely burned up with maybe a couple of bangs as the propane tanks went off, but with no real damage outside the immediate vicinity of the vehicle. As it was, it fizzled. The bystanders that noticed something amiss, the police and fire department did a good job in containing the situation, and there appears to have been very little panic while it was further investigated. But, again, the media got in on the act. "How do we prevent this?" "How can this happen in a city like New York?" Preventing this kind of atrocity doesn't happen on d-day, but beforehand. A well engineered bomb would usually mean an organised cell -a bomb maker and support people -and they tend to leave traces. Telephone\internet chatter, unusual purchases of raw materials, these kinds of things may get noticed and put together can lead to a plot long before its execution. This seems to be how the London liquid explosives plot was caught before the conspirators ever got near an airport. Old fashioned police work: more here on that: http://tinyurl.com/l4ap29

Here are the thoughts of several specialists on the Times Square incident: http://tinyurl.com/33ys229

Ekman, Clarke and Schneier's comments sound best to me; the others, in varying degrees, smack of catching up with the last attack and an over-reliance on technology.

Polanski extradition

Roman Polanski can, apparently, remain silent no longer - his own words: http://tinyurl.com/2vrrhss

I don't get this: the guy was being tried for a serious alleged crime, had confessed to it and he jumps bail, but because he makes movies it suddenly becomes a big deal that he's being extradited? What if he were a butcher? He'd be back in the US quicker than you could say pot roast. This makes me sick. Either the law applies to everyone equally or to no-one: there can be no half measures.

Volcano kicking up again

Irish airspace closed for 12 hours because E15 is fuming again. Operations have restarted, but they warn of a summer of uncertainty: http://tinyurl.com/3747zw9

Guenter Wendt

Another part of space history is gone. Guenter Wendt finally, well, went.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guenter_Wendt

.....and:Happy Star Wars Day: May the fourth be with you :)


More miscellania next week!

Posted via web from John's posterous