Month: December 2011

My (computer science) book of the year
It wasn’t published in 2011 but The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing’s Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine is without doubt my computer science book of the year. If books can change your life then The Annotated Turing changed mine – because it showed me just how strong the link […]

Soviet computer science: once ahead of the west?
In my old blog I made a point that I still believe – that the key factor in the downfall of the Soviet Union was not pressure from the arms race but the complete failure of the system: once the country was led by leaders, like Mikhail Gorbachev and his team, who were open to […]

A little bit more on the Taylor expansion
Yesterday finished with: Can we expand this further? Well, applying the product rule And we know and So, Applying L’Hospital’s rule again: And This process can continue – delivering higher order derivatives on each iteration. It even starts to look like we might generate the factoral terms, as now we can see: Related articles Taylor […]

Taylor series expansions and L’Hospital’s rule
A brief diversion on to Taylor series expansions – partly based on the Wikipedia article on Taylor’s theorem. I have been working on this for a few days now (Fields medal always going to elude me, I’m afraid!) – and still not fully worked it all out, but it is close enough for me to […]

Filesystem works
Not much of a surprise really, as the old code worked too, but the updated VMUFAT filesystem code works with 3.2.0rc7. Just have to clean it up so it is of an acceptable standard. Update: In the unlikely event that someone is testing the code I should warn you that the above was overly optimistic. […]

Taylor expansion of a probability density function
To further improve my understanding of probabilities I am reading Data Analysis: A Bayesian Tutorial – which I thoroughly recommend for anyone with basic mathematical knowledge but wanting to grasp the key concepts in this area. But I have a query about one of the concepts it introduces: a Taylor expansion of a probability density […]

Death of a bridge
It looks as though my wireless bridge, which relied on equipment more than a decade old – a Ricoh pci pcmcia bridge and a 801.11b DLink card – has died. The network interface won’t come up on booting the system and lspci just lists the device as an unrecognised nonVGA card (interestingly the BIOS still […]

A broadband commons and economic prosperity
Much internet traffic in recent weeks has been devoted to efforts by US lawmakers to give the executive the power to “shut down the internet”, but other news shows that not all the ideas from the regulators over there are bad ones: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “With today’s approval of the first TV white […]

How random is random?
What is a truly random event? We are used to the idea that flipping a coin is likely to generate a random sequence of heads or tails but, of course, it is perfectly possible to predict, using the rules of classical mechanics, the outcome of a series of coin tosses if we know the values […]