Updated: 5/16/2006; 11:11:47 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Saturday, October 25, 2003


Winning the War on spam: Comparison of 2 Bayesian spam filters: "

  • SpamBayes is currently the best solution to the spam problem. In fact, after I started using it I hardly notice there is a spam problem at all.
  • POPFiles' support for multiple buckets can actually be a very useful feature for sorting your normal mail.
  • both function as POP3 proxies "
  9:50:19 AM  permalink  

Can Aliens Find Us?: "they could spectroscopically sample the light reflected from our atmosphere, and learn that it has large quantities of oxygen and methane, tell-tale markers of biology. In other words, aliens -- even relatively distant aliens -- could make straightforward astronomical observations that would prove that the third planet from the Sun hosts life. .. [But intelligent life? The easiest way] would be to detect our military radars. The bigger ones typically boast a megawatt of power, and are focused into beams that are a degree or two across. There are enough such radars that, at any given time, they cover a percent of the sky or so. The signal from the most powerful of these could be found at 50 light-years distance in a few minutes time with a receiving antenna 1,000 feet in diameter. Indeed, these military radars are the only signals routinely transmitted from Earth that are intense enough to be detectable at interstellar distances with setups equivalent to our own SETI experiments.

Bottom line? With radio technology slightly more advanced than our own, Homo sapiens is detectable out to a distance of roughly 50 light-years. Within that distance are about 5,000 stars, all of which have had the enviable pleasure of receiving terrestrial television. And each day, a fresh stellar system is exposed to signals from Earth.

But even if you believe in highly optimistic estimates regarding the prevalence of cosmic intelligence, its unlikely that another civilization exists within 50 light-years. Thats too small a distance. Were no doubt listed in some alien grad students data tables as a world with life, but without the footnote indicating intelligent life. We are the new kids on the block, and so far its a safe bet that none of the other kids know were here."

  9:44:49 AM  permalink  

Uganda to Make Solar Panels: "Construction is expected to start by the end of the year on the $500,000 plant to be located in Kyambogo near Kampala.  It is funded by the Danish Development Agency (Danida) as a joint venture between a Ugandan company, RAcell Uganda and a Danish company RAcell Denmark.  Mr George Sizoomu, Executive director RAcell Uganda told BusinessWeek that the panels will be made using raw material imported from Europe. "We have to invest quite a lot to be able to produce. In about three months time, the factory will be operational and with the production in place, prices will definitely go down," he said."  9:30:46 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 11:11:47 AM.