Monthly Archives: February 2011


Several weeks ago, on the morning after the first winter storm here in the Boston area, I wrote about some peculiar snow geometry on porch railings. Now, following another storm (which I wish I could believe might be the last … Continue reading

Posted in problems and puzzles, science | 4 Comments

Give me that good old-fashioned AI

It is said that to explain is to explain away. This maxim is nowhere so well fulfilled as in the area of computer programming, especially in what is called heuristic programming and artificial intelligence. For in those realms machines are … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 6 Comments


Two weeks ago my wife told me about her new Googling strategy: She ignores the top-ranked items and immediately clicks through to page six of the results. All the earlier pages, she says, are larded with SEO spam—links whose ranking … Continue reading

Posted in modern life | 3 Comments

How I didn’t invent the memristor

The memristor is a new electronic component, an addition to the family of “passive” circuit elements—a family that for well over 150 years had just three members: the resistor, the capacitor and the inductor. Enthusiasts for memristor technology argue that … Continue reading

Posted in science, technology | 3 Comments