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Saturday, September 25, 2004
Is Linking Queen?
If content is king, then linking is the queen that shares his throne, wrote Shawn Campbell. Everybody knows about adding content to one's site to give the search engines fodder to consume. But isn't the secret to luring the search engines is the links to one's site. Like stigmergic systems are a biological way to think about information, systems, people and collaboration, modern links are a new kind of stigmergic tools, where we have to understand how biological strategies can be applied to information technology requiring a completely new way of thinking.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Ivan devastated Gulf Coast in Alabama
Hurricane Ivan has slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast with devastating winds. Ivan's eye moved ashore at about 8 a.m. near Gulf Shores, Alabama, east of New Orleans and just west of Florida's panhandle. The wrath of the Texas-sized storm was felt over a huge stretch of the coast and inland in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. Thousands of people huddled in shelters and hundreds of thousands were without power. Ivan's top sustained winds ebbed to 80 mph just before its eye hit land, but it was a major hurricane capable of serious damage. Once the sixth most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record, Ivan killed 68 people during its rampage through the Caribbean. Authorities said it would be hours before they could assess the damage, and look for anyone left injured or stranded.
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Tens of thousands of residents fled the coast before Ivan arrived. Alabama Governor Rob Riley said on the CBS "Early Show" that in his state there were no reported fatalities from the storm as of Thursday morning but that a quarter of a million people were without power. "We know there's extensive damage along the coast, we know there's a tremendous amount of flooding," he said. "We have downed power lines all over the state, especially along the Gulf Coast." In Mobile, Alabama -- a city of 200,000 lashed for hours with torrential rains and vicious winds -- Mayor Mike Dow had sent his own family north. "I never play with these things. I didn't think twice about getting them out of here."
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Pensacola, Florida, east of Mobile, was pounded by huge waves, heavy rain and high winds. Power lines were down and buildings surrounded by water. Experts said Ivan could cause up to $10 billion in insured losses in the United States on top of the $1 billion to $2 billion in losses in the Caribbean. At 1 p.m., Ivan's eye was inland, about 90 miles west-southwest of Montgomery, Alabama, and moving at about 17 miles per hour, forecasters said. Its top sustained winds had dropped to about 80 mph. Ivan was expected to gradually continue to weaken as it moved over land, bearing up to 15 inches of rain. The hurricane centre warned that Ivan could cause major flooding over the southeastern United States in the coming days. At times during its passage through the Caribbean, Ivan, with sustained winds of 165 mph, had been a rare top-level Category 5 storm on forecasters' five-level Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.
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Robert Allen
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Reclusive Russian May Have Made Maths Breakthrough
A reclusive Russian may have solved one of the world's toughest mathematics problems and stands to win $1 million -- but he doesn't appear to care. Grigori Perelman from St. Petersburg claims to have solved the horrendously complicated Poincare Conjecture that tries to explain the behavior of multi-dimensional shapes in space, thereby making himself eligible for the prize offered by the Massachusetts-based Clay Mathematics Institute. But there's a snag. He has simply posted his results on the Internet and left his peers to work out for themselves whether he is right -- something they are still struggling to do. "There is good reason to believe that Perelman's approach is correct. But the trouble is, he won't talk to anybody about it and has shown no interest in the money," said Keith Devlin, Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University in California. "There won't be a golden moment when he is suddenly accepted as being right. There will just be a drift in that direction," he told the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Russians hold mass anti-terror protests
Russians massed in hundreds of thousands to denounce terrorism, tuesday at an evening rally near Red Square in the heart of the city. Chechen separatists killed at least 335 people in last week's school hostage siege. Rallies were held across the country following the siege at a school in the southern town of Beslan. Half of those killed in the operation to retake the school were children. Religious and government officials addressed the crowd from a makeshift platform at the foot of St Basil's. Putin had earlier rejected talks with Chechen separatists, and ruled out a public inquiry into the storming of the school. "Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?" he said. "You find it possible to set some limitations in your dealings with these bastards, so why should we talk to people who are child-killers?" he added in a meeting with journalists. Opposition politicians said the Moscow rally was intended to parry criticism of the Kremlin's handling of the crisis and Putin's failure to ensure security for ordinary Russians. Pressure on the media to toe the line increased on Monday with the sacking of the editor of the respected daily Izvestia, which splashed harrowing pictures in its Saturday edition. Putin appeared to be avoiding personal criticism for Beslan, with a survey showing most Russians blamed corrupt special forces for failing to prevent rising terrorism. Few held the president responsible. 54% said the security and police services were corrupt and 23% said they did not know how to do their job properly.
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John Kerry leads the wired campaign
According to Jemima Kiss at dotJournalism, Senator Kerry is winning the battle for UK web traffic, as latest figures from web analysts Hitwise show recording double the number of visitors than UK traffic to American political sites is increasing significantly as November's US Presidential election looms, with more than one in 50 UK web users on politics sites visiting the Senator John Kerry site for campaign and policy updates. California-based satire site has also recorded massive interest both sides of the Atlantic, claiming more than seven per cent of US politics traffic last week and nearly 8 per cent in the UK. Hitwise data also recorded that the most popular political site in the UK last week was the British National Party with 5.6% of the market share, closely followed by the Guardian and YouGov with 5.3% and 5.21%.
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