Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Electrical Engineering vs Computer Science

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Seeing as I am a computer science major I could not help but laugh and share this with you. I managed to find this little story of what would happen if a electrical engineer and a computer scientist ended up in the medieval times, and the king asked them for advice. Here is the link.

If you don’t know much about computer science then you probably won’t understand the story, but the world of computers can get very complicated at times. But i’ll vouch for it and say it gets complicated for good reason, the more complicated the programming of things is, the more user friendly the end product… of course, simple is best sometimes… like in the case of this poor scientist, whose fate I would not wan’t. Enjoy the story!

Anti-Terrorist Measures Getting Out of Hand?

Friday, December 1st, 2006

These news are fresh out of the oven and I’m sure all of you have already heard of it, it’s simply outrageous. It turns out that everybody traveling into the United States has been subject (and of course this will continue on) to a special kind of profiling. Everyone coming into America by plane is being rated on how likely they are to be terrorists.

The Automated Targetting System is a score generated by a computer that rates you (well, your terrorists self), on how dangerous you are, based on… How you paid for your plane ticket, what country you are coming from, previous flights, and even the food you ate on the plane. Now how bad can it get, how can we be considered terrorists for eating a ceirtain kind of food on a plane?

This shouldn’t only worry people and Civil Liberties activists, it should worry the whole travel industry as a whole. After all “America‚Äôs share of the growing worldwide travel market dropped by 36 percent between 1992 and 2005” [source] already, and it will keep declining. After all, who wants to travel to a country where they will be unfairly labeled as terrorists (by a computer algorithm) because of some silly things?

For further reading check out Yahoo!

Sleep is Important!

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Any age you may be, you can’t forget one important fact in life. Sleep is important, no matter how old you are. Some young adults that attend college seem to forget this very often it almost scares me. I have had people comment to me that becuase they were studying for an insignificant quiz, they stayed up until 4-5am (and the quiz was at 8am). Leaving them with what, 1 hour of sleep?

When fellow students tell me proudly that they have stayed up all night studying, I feel sorry for them. Although they have no idea why they are subject to pity, the reason is very clear. Missing sleep hours is definetly worse than not reviewing for the test. The facts are plain and simple, according to The National Sleep Research Project “Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%”, although 0.05% might not be that much, these students are giving up one disadvantage (not studying properly) for another one, taking the test while a little drunk, and still not studying properly (you are supposed to study much earlier than one night before a test after all). Not to mention that even if you had 6 hours of sleep and you may feel ok, it still might not be enough for your best performance level, since even proper adults (24+) need a recommended 8 hours of sleep per day.

Nowadays, very few people manage to get the right amount of sleep. Every single one has their own excuses. Too much work, too many responsabilities, too much of everything. Well, maybe if these people started getting a little more sleep they would be able to get over everything they have to do quicker, instead of daydreaming in their job or taking naps at random times in the day. Use your time efficiently, get some sleep.

Freedom of the Press?

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Supposedly in the US everyone has freedom of speech and expression, freedom of the press. However, the international version of Al-Jazeera launched recently, looking to provide an alternative point of view to CNN, BBC and other major news channels. Al-Jazeera is known in the East for providing the news as they are. Which is what made it popular. Images and news that get censored in the US are shown how they are by Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera claims that within half a year they will be able to get to Britain and within a year to the US. Let’s hope so as otherwise, Freedom of Press has to be re-defined in the constitution, since blocking the channel out is nothing but violating the first constitutional right of Americans. If you really can’t wait to watch the channel, private satellite dishes seem to pick up the channel just fine.

Freedom Tower Construction Begins

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

I live in NYC so I have to mention this today. The construction of the Freedom Tower was officially started today and it makes me very happy to know that we are on our way back to recover the most beautiful skyline in the world (ok, i am biased, after all i am a New Yorker). The construction is expected to be completed by 2012, can’t wait.