August 2005

Spotted this on a list I subscribe to and thought to pass it on.

Want to get some new IT qualifications? Why not attend an IT Certification Bootcamp in Goa, India?

Koenig is now the # 1 choice for Boot Camp training in the world. We offer the world’s longest duration Boot Camps (our MCSE Boot Camp runs for 50 days). We offer one-on-one training which will allow you to have individual attention of an expert trainer for the entire Boot Camp. We also offer exotic locations for training – Goa Beach and Himalaya Mountains.

The cost of our training boot camps is less than 50% of what these certifications cost in the USA, Europe, Australia, and other countries (including cost of travel).

We provide boot camp training programs for MCSE, MCSA, MCDST, MCAD (C#,and Vb.net), MCSD (C# and Vb.net), MCDBA, RHCE, CCNA, CCNP, Pix Firewall, Citrix CCA, CCEA, CISSPÆ Sun Java SCJP, SCWCD, J2EE, SCBCD, SCDJWS, Java Struts, Oracle OCA, OCP, CompTIA A+, Network+, Project+, Security+, Novell CLP and Check Point CCSA & CCSE NG Certifications & EC-Council CEH. New certifications are being added every month.

…Our boot camp packages include course fee, exam fees, Hotel stay, all meals, airport transfers, and other amenities during the class.

Worth a look if your seeking a bootcamp experience.

[Update: Spotted this recently: Geek Cruises. Apparently you can go on a cruise whilst enjoying classes on Photoshop and OSX etc etc].

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A line for you Watson?

by Limbic on August 23, 2005

J. Thomas Dalby explores Sherlock Holmes’s Cocaine Habit.

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Menezes madness continues

by Limbic on August 23, 2005

Islamists massacred 50 Londoners last month but you would not know it from reading the UK papers.

They are too busy maintaining the hysteria surrounding the shooting of Mr Menezes, the Brazilian mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot by the police.

Finally the families of the bomb victims are speaking out about the hysteria generated over this clearly accidental killing of an innocent man whilst the press – who created the hysterical atmosphere of the post bombing London – both ignore those victims and hamper the police who are our best and only defence agaist these fascist killers.

The BBC report:

The sister of a woman killed in the 7 July attacks has said the row over Mr Menezes’ death is undermining the fight against terrorism.

“We are hampering the police investigation by crucifying the police and the chief of police, who has been trying to do his job,” said Dania Gorodi, of Mill Hill, north London.

“It was a tragic mistake what happened to this family but it was a mistake.”

Her sister Mihaela Otto, 46, was killed in the Piccadilly Line blast near Russell Square.

Mrs Gorodi, 48, added: “We need to support the police now. It’s the fight against terrorism that should be the focus.”

Shadow minister for homeland security Patrick Mercer also called for support for the police.

“Nothing must distract the Metropolitan Police from preventing further attacks against the capital or indeed against other major cities in this country, ” he told the ITV News channel.

Spiked also tackles this idiocy:

Self-loathing over Stockwell – Behind the fallout over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by Brendan O’Neill

After Stockwell: the threat of fear and defeatism – The response to the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes suggests that we are losing the ability to have a rational debate about terrorism.

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Sex ban lifted in Swaziland

by Limbic on August 23, 2005

From BBC NEWS

Swazi girls burn sex-ban tassels

A pile of thousands of woollen tassels symbolising chastity has been set on fire in Swaziland to mark the end of a sex ban imposed by King Mswati III.

The secret ceremony took place at the crack of dawn. Men were banned.

After the tassels were burnt, some 40,000 Swazi girls went off to get washed in a river, in a symbolic cleansing ceremony.

The ban was started by the king in 2001 to fight the spread of HIV/Aids. Some 40% of Swazi citizens are HIV positive.

However, the ban was ended a year early amid strong criticism. No official reason was given.

Just two months after imposing the ban, the king fined himself a cow for breaking the ban by taking a 17-year-old girl as his ninth wife, sparking unprecedented protests by Swazi women outside the royal palace.

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The Financial Times reports on efforts to prevent Bird Flu striking Europe.

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A shark strangled by an octopus

by Limbic on August 22, 2005

Here is a rare vidoe of a shark being strangled to death by an octopus.

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From Mindhacks

A classic Daniel Dennett article considers a curious chapter in AI history, where researcher Kenneth Colby used the Turing Test to see whether psychiatrists could distinguish between delusional patients and his natural language paranoia simulator ‘PARRY‘.

PARRY was designed by Colby, who was both a psychiatrist and computer scientist, in an attempt to simulate the psychology of paranoia. In particular, the programme was designed to replicate paranoid delusions about being persecuted by the Mafia.

Dennett’s 1990 article, entitled “Can machines think?”, discusses whether the Turing Test is an adequate test of machine intelligence.

Dennett notes that PARRY is the only programme known to have passed the Turing Test – psychiatrists were unable to distinguish between real patients and simulated ones.

Ironically, PARRY was based on the ELIZA programme, which was designed as a text-only parody of a therapist.

Colby’s programme was the first attempt to produce a computer simulation of psychosis, a project which now typically involves artificial neural network simulations of information processing models of the mind, rather than conversational interaction.

Link to article “Can Machines Think?” (seems to have a few scanning errors).

PDF of same article.

Link to article “Simulating Psychosis”.

Superb post.

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The 'English Corners' of Shanghai

by Limbic on August 20, 2005

Book of Joe has a great story.

All over the great metropolis are dedicated areas and times where people come to speak and improve their English.

It’s nothing new: such loci of lingual lyricism have existed for years now.

New to me.

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Ikea's Camouflage Chair

by Limbic on August 20, 2005

From Coolhunting

IKEAcamochair.jpg

“Office chair design seems to lag about 50 light-years behind everything else. Somehow form rarely balances function and most seating options succumb to the same set of boring standards. Leave it to Ikea to make something as democratic as the office chair a little bit fun and edgy. While their Svenning chair isn’t revolutionizing the traditional shape of work perches (nor is it necessarily the most ergonomic of choices), it does update the usual black or grey upholstery with a classic camo pattern, adding a dose of humor to another day in the trenches.”

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From Open Loops:

  • Sit up straight.
  • Go for a brisk walk.
  • Breath deeply and forcefully.
  • Change to a more physical activity.
  • Work standing up.
  • Move to a different work area where you are not as comfortable.
  • Turn the lights up.
  • Change to a more uncomfortable chair and desk.
  • Turn the temperature down.
  • Do some quick exercise.
  • Take a break to play a sport (Im envious of those of you whose employers provide a gym or exercise room and the time to use it).
  • Go for a swim.
  • Move to an unfamiliar office or area.
  • Work in the library.

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