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Closed timelike Curves: Solving the "Grandfather Paradox" and foiling Quantum Cryptography.

•Entering a closed timelike curve tomorrow means you could end up at today. On June 28, 2009, the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking threw a party at the University of Cambridge, complete with balloons, hors d'oeuvres and iced champagne. Everyone was invited but no one showed up. Hawking had expected as much, because he only sent out invitations after his party had concluded. It was, he said, "a welcome reception for future time travelers," a tongue-in-cheek experiment to reinforce his 1992 conjecture that travel into the past is effectively impossible. But Hawking may be on the wrong side of history. Recent experiments offer tentative support for time travel's feasibility—at least from a mathematical perspective. The study cuts to the core of our understanding of the universe, and the resolution of the possibility of time travel, far from being a topic worthy only of science fiction, would have profound implications for fundamental physics as well as for practi…

Benford's Law: How Tax Frauds are caught...

If you list all the countries in the world and their populations, 27% of the numbers will start with the digit 1. Only 3% of them will start with the digit 9. Something very similar holds if you look at the heights of the 60 tallest structures in the world — whether you measure in meters or in feet. 

This phenomenon — called Benford's Law —helps auditors detect fraud in things like taxes and elections, but it also connects up in striking ways to modern physics and mathematics (e.g., power laws in statistical distributions, as well as ergodic theory).

Benford's Law often strikes people as unintuitive because it seems that every digit should have an equal opportunity to start country populations or heights of skyscrapers, like this:

(The delightful figures are from http://www.thecleverest.com/benf...)

This egalitarian intuition about leading digits turns out to be misleading. The situation where every digit is equally likely to start numbers is actually the anomalous one. 

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The fact…

Innovation Cycle: Divining reality from the hype

OVER the past few decades it has become clear that innovation—more than inputs of capital and labour—is what drives a modern economy. In the developed world, the application of technological know-how and scientific discoveries by companies, institutions and government establishments accounts for over half of all economic growth. Because of its seminal influence on wealth-creation in general and employment in particular, the manner in which innovation functions—especially, the way it comes and goes in Darwinian bursts of activity—has emerged as a vital branch of scholarship. What researchers have learned is that waves of industrial activity, first identified by the Russian economist Nikolai Kondratieff in 1925, have a character all of their own. Typically, a long upswing in a cycle starts when a new set of technologies begins to emerge—eg, steam, rail and steel in the mid-19th century; electricity, chemicals and the internal-combustion engine in the early 20th century. This upsurge in i…

A thousand robots assemble into shapes

The madmen at Harvard have finally done it: they’ve simulated real life swarms with tiny robots, thereby bringing the coming robot apocalypse that much closer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1t4M2XnIhI
Or maybe they just created some really cool proof-of-concept robotic self-assembly systems. Either way, what you’re seeing is a set of a thousand “kilobots” that can self-assembled into shapes and patterns. The first few bots create a seed and then the other bots fall into line, positioning themselves perfectly among their peers.
The process they use is actually quite amazing. The seed bots gather together and send out little blasts of IR light. The dimmer the light the further away, so the other robots begin moving towards the seed. Finally, once they get enough robots in one place, the robots communicate with each other to position themselves properly. These robots could also be charged via IR or an internet power network that activates when the robots chain up.

The robots can even tell …

Will 3D printing disrupt manufacturing?

Hard to believe that digitalisation might affect manufacturing to the same extent it has affected and changed media. Record shops did not survive the digital reproduction of music: the last Virgin Megastore in the US closed five years ago, following the earlier demise of many thousands of smaller retailers. Newspapers had to rethink their content and delivery systems—the New York Times  recently started to deliver summarised news directly to smartphones. What if 3D printing, also called “additive manufacturing”, goes mainstream and allows each one of us to reproduce tangible goods remotely?Conventional models of production rely on large, interlinked manufacturing facilities and the vast complex of supply and delivery relations that revolve around them.Digitalisation has potential to disrupt this system. It is already disrupting business-as-usual in certain niche industries, prosthetics and medical implants among them, because 3D printing makes customisation easier and design processes…

Hardware Is The New Software

Nest. GoPro. Beats. Jawbone. Oculus. All hardware companies and each of them accorded multi-billion-dollar valuations either in private investment transactions or acquisitions by some of the largest technology companies on the planet.When the deals first surfaced, more than a few people were puzzled. Hardware hasn’t exactly been sexy for the past decade or so. Until last year, VC and tech talent have been fawning over software companies, which attracted nearly $11 billion in venture capital and saw 1,523 deals in 2013. And how did consumer electronics makers do with VCs in 2013? A paltry $848 million and 31 deals.That’s because software, once expensive and complicated to make, has become relatively easy. Increased access to open-source services and the cloud mean that two guys in a garage can inexpensively create an application for accepting mobile payments at your new pop-up store or for finding a ride downtown. Access to massive global markets can be had almost overnight via iOS or…

Ex-IT services bigwigs engage with startups.

Former Wipro joint CEO Girish Paranjpe is an angel investor in Bangalore-based educational startup eDreams Edusoft. Paranjpe, who is an operating partner in Boston-based PE major Advent, is also the chairman of the board of eDreams. IT services bigwigs quitting a company would previously find a top role for themselves in another IT services company. But more and more of them are today turning to roles where they engage actively with startups — as angel investors, mentors or as part of private equity firms.Former Wipro joint CEO Girish Paranjpe is an angel investor in Bangalore-based educational startup eDreams Edusoft. Paranjpe, who is an operating partner in Boston-based PE major Advent, is also the chairman of the board of eDreams. The startup, founded by former Wipro executive Rajeev Pathak, has a solution for schools — using artificial intelligence, machine learning and speech processing — that enables teachers to give different students in a class different problem sets depending…

Food Startups are here to stay.

I was trying to understand why food startups are so hot when I ran across the following two charts.In the image, you’ll notice that I circled a line labeled “P/E.” In the language of finance, P/E is short for “price-to-earnings ratio,” which is the relative value of a company’s stock price to its profitability (aka earnings). When a company enjoys a high stock price yet barely turns a profit––like Amazon––it shows in the P/E ratio.This typically happens when investors think the company will grow and reap huge profits down the road at some later date (or that someone else will pay an even higher price later on). Generally speaking, having a high P/E ratio means that investors like you and believe that you have a bright future.The average P/E ratio on the major stock markets indices is 15. Google’s P/E ratio is 30. Chipotle’s P/E ratio is 56. Said another way: Chipotle’s profits are worth more than Google’s.Mind. Blown.Which brings me to the original inspiration for this post: Sprig.Gag…

Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries of Science

photo credit: NASA, ESA, CFHT, CXO, M.J. Jee (University of California, Davis), and A. Mahdavi (San Francisco State University)Despite what cable news may tell you, scientists don’t really squabble over if evolution is real (it is) or if the climate is changing faster than can be explained by naturally-occurring phenomena (it is) or if vaccines are regarded as safe and recommended for most children (they are). Sure, there may be fine points within those categories that are debatable, but not to the extent that is commonly described by talking heads on TV. However, that’s not to say that scientists perfectly understand everything about the ways of the Universe.Physicist Brian Cox once said: “I'm comfortable with the unknown—that’s the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them. And that's what science is. So I think i…

Everything Google I/O 2014

Google began the announcement the same way it does every year – by talking about Android’s growth over the past year. Senior Vice President at Google Sundar Pichai said Android now has more than 1 billion active users per month.Android OneGoogle kicked things off with the announcement of the Android Oneprogram to provide guidelines for a unified Android experience for those creating smartphones for the developing market. This allows Google to dictate the minimum hardware requirements for manufacturers around the world.The first devices will arrive in India brands like Micromax and Karbonn, starting at less than $100.➤ Google announces ‘Android One’ standard for affordable devices, arriving first in India at under $100L Developer PreviewAndroid’s upcoming L release features a new cross platform UI called Material Design, which offers app developers more precise tools to make customized typography, grid and color changes. Material Design also allows designers to add smooth animations at…

Shridharacharya: Solving Quadratic equations in the 9th Century.

SridharAcharya (c. 870, India – c. 930 India) was an Indianmathematician, Sanskrit pundit andphilosopher. He was born in Bhurishresti (Bhurisristi or Bhurshut) village in South Radha (at present Hughli) in the 10th Century AD.He was known for two treatises: Trisatika(sometimes called the Patiganitasara) and thePatiganita. His major work Patiganitasara was named Trisatika because it was written in three hundred slokas. The book discusses counting of numbers, measures, natural number, multiplication, division, zero, squares, cubes, fraction, rule of three, interest-calculation, joint business or partnership and mensuration.He was one of the first to give a formula for solving quadratic equations.He found the formula :- (Multiply by 4a)
Proof of the Sridhar Acharya Formula,let us consider,Multipling both sides by 4a,Substracting  from both sides,Then adding  to both sides,We know that,

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