martes, 28 de septiembre de 2010

Noticias del proximo mundo

Tratare de escribir esto con la mayor neutralidad posible, a pesar de mis comentarios a los de FP.

En Inglaterra los servicios de impuestos, tratando de optimizar la recaudacion, han elaborado una idea magistral, por que el empleador debe pagar al empleado y este a su vez pagar impuestos? mas facil es, el empleador gira la plata al servicio de impuestos y este, una vez hechas las deducciones correspondientes, deposita el resto al empleado.

The paper says: "Under Centralised Deductions the employer would send the gross payment through the electronic payment system to a central calculator where the deductions calculated by HMRC would be made automatically. The resulting net payment would then be sent to the individual's bank account and the deductions would be paid directly to the Government."

en fin, otro avance mas

el link del diario con los links correspondientes a los documentos oficiales

Brazil, alla vamos

martes, 7 de septiembre de 2010

Todo termina al fin

Internet, Internet era un paradigma de libre circulacion de ideas, de informacion, de conocimiento, pero, aparentemente, todo termina
La proliferacion de ecosistemas cerrados y pagos, los diarios pagos, las barreras como en China, los servicios lmitados geograficamente, y un sinfin de cosas indican que los dias de ver cualquier cosa en cualqueir lugar a cualquier hora estan terminandose, sin incluir aquellos lugares donde la gente va y se queda.

La nota de tapa de Economist, gentileza de la cache de Google, es bastante ilustrativa al respecto.

The web's new walls
How the threats to the internet’s openness can be averted

WHEN George W. Bush referred to “rumours on the, uh, internets” during the 2004 presidential campaign, he was derided for his cluelessness—and “internets” became a shorthand for a lack of understanding of the online world. But what looked like ignorance then looks like prescience now. As divergent forces tug at the internet, it is in danger of losing its universality and splintering into separate digital domains.

The internet is as much a trade pact as an invention. A network of networks, it has grown at an astonishing rate over the past 15 years because the bigger it got, the more it made sense for other networks to connect to it. Its open standards made such interconnections cheap and easy, dissolving boundaries between existing academic, corporate and consumer networks (remember CompuServe and AOL?). Just as a free-trade agreement between countries increases the size of the market and boosts gains from trade, so the internet led to greater gains from the exchange of data and allowed innovation to flourish. But now the internet is so large and so widely used that countries, companies and network operators want to wall bits of it off, or make parts of it work in a different way, to promote their own political or commercial interests (see article).

Three sets of walls are being built. The first is national. China’s “great firewall” already imposes tight controls on internet links with the rest of the world, monitoring traffic and making many sites or services unavailable. Other countries, including Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, have done similar things, and other governments are tightening controls on what people can see and do on the internet.

Second, companies are exerting greater control by building “walled gardens”—an approach that appeared to have died out a decade ago. Facebook has its own closed, internal e-mail system, for example. Google has built a suite of integrated web-based services. Users of Apple’s mobile devices access many internet services through small downloadable software applications, or apps, rather than a web browser. By dictating which apps are allowed on its devices, Apple has become a gatekeeper. As apps spread to other mobile devices, and even cars and televisions, other firms will do so too.

Third, there are concerns that network operators looking for new sources of revenue will strike deals with content providers that will favour those websites prepared to pay up. Al Franken, a Democratic senator, spelled out his nightmare scenario in a speech in July: right-wing news sites loading five times faster than left-wing blogs. He and other advocates of “net neutrality” want new laws to stop networks discriminating between different types of traffic. But network operators say that could hamper innovation, and those on the right see net neutrality as a socialist plot to regulate the internet.

Thus the incentives that used to favour greater interconnection now point the other way. Suggesting that “The Web is Dead”, as Wired magazine did recently, is going a bit far. But the net is losing some of its openness and universality.

That’s not always a bad thing. The profits which Apple harvests from its walled garden have enabled it to provide services and devices that delight its customers, who may be happy to trade a little openness for greater security or ease of use; if not, they can go elsewhere. While some parents welcome Apple’s policy of blocking racy apps from its devices, for example, anyone who dislikes it can buy a Nokia or an Android phone instead. And existing antitrust laws can always be brought to bear if any company establishes and then abuses a dominant position in, say, mobile-phone operating systems or advertising platforms—something that has not happened yet.

Restrictions imposed by governments are more troubling, and harder to deal with. There is not much that outsiders can do about China’s great firewall. But Western governments can at least set a good example. Australia’s plan to build a Chinese-style firewall in an effort to block child pornography and bomb-making instructions, for instance, is daft and should be scrapped. It will be easy to evade, and traditional law-enforcement approaches are a better way to handle such problems than messing with the internet’s plumbing.

Governments inclined to censor might be swayed by arguments that focus on the economic benefits of openness. Duy Hoang, an American-based campaigner for democracy in Vietnam, has suggested that foreign critics stress the internet’s role in fostering trade, development, education and jobs. Similarly, China could be reminded how much more its scientists could achieve if they had unfettered access to information.

What about the risk that operators will fragment the internet by erecting new road-blocks or toll booths? In theory, competition between providers of internet access should prevent this from happening. Any broadband provider that tries to block particular sites or services, for example, will quickly lose customers to rival firms—provided there are plenty of them.

Why net neutrality is a distraction

But that is not the case in America. Its vitriolic net-neutrality debate is a reflection of the lack of competition in broadband access. The best solution would be to require telecoms operators to open their high-speed networks to rivals on a wholesale basis, as is the case almost everywhere in the industrialised world. America’s big network operators have long argued that being forced to share their networks would undermine their incentives to invest in new infrastructure, and thus hamper the roll-out of broadband. But that has not happened in other countries that have mandated such “open access”, and enjoy faster and cheaper broadband than America. Net neutrality is difficult to define and enforce, and efforts to do so merely address the symptom (concern about discrimination) rather than the underlying cause (lack of competition). Rivalry between access providers offers the best protection against the erection of new barriers to the flow of information online.

This newspaper has always championed free trade, open markets and vigorous competition in the physical world. The same principles should be applied on the internet as well.

lunes, 6 de septiembre de 2010

Variaciones - nerd only

La constante de estructura fina es una de sas cosas que parecen absolutamente esotericas, pero que gobiernan en lo basico como tenemos luz por ejemplo.

La constante de estructura fina o constante de estructura fina de Sommerfeld, normalmente representada por el símbolo α, es la constante física fundamental que caracteriza la fuerza de la interacción electromagnética. Es una cantidad sin dimensiones, por lo que su valor numérico es independiente del sistema de unidades usado. de wiki:

donde e es la carga elemental, \hbar = h/(2 \pi) es la constante reducida de Planck, c es la velocidad de la luz en el vacío, y ε0 es la permitividad del vacío.

Ahora bien, pareceria que no es tan constante como parece, y esa es una de las sorpresas que siempre da la busqueda del conocimiento

The fine-structure constant and the nature of the universe
Ye cannae change the laws of physics

Or can you?

Aug 31st 2010

RICHARD FEYNMAN, Nobel laureate and physicist extraordinaire, called it a “magic number” and its value “one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics”. The number he was referring to, which goes by the symbol alpha and the rather more long-winded name of the fine-structure constant, is magic indeed. If it were a mere 4% bigger or smaller than it is, stars would not be able to sustain the nuclear reactions that synthesise carbon and oxygen. One consequence would be that squishy, carbon-based life would not exist.

Why alpha takes on the precise value it has, so delicately fine-tuned for life, is a deep scientific mystery. A new piece of astrophysical research may, however, have uncovered a crucial piece of the puzzle. In a paper just submitted to Physical Review Letters, a team led by John Webb and Julian King from the University of New South Wales in Australia present evidence that the fine-structure constant may not actually be constant after all. Rather, it seems to vary from place to place within the universe. If their results hold up to the scrutiny, and can be replicated, they will have profound implications—for they suggest that the universe stretches far beyond what telescopes can observe, and that the laws of physics vary within it. Instead of the whole universe being fine-tuned for life, then, humanity finds itself in a corner of space where, Goldilocks-like, the values of the fundamental constants happen to be just right for it.

y el articulo completo

miércoles, 1 de septiembre de 2010

Siempre hay uno peor

Y sino vayan a preguntar a Saint Pandelon

El día que cayó caca del cielo

Hombre con paraguas bajo una inminente tormenta

A los pobladores sólo les queda esperar que no se avecine una tormenta.

Jean-Pierre Boiselle miró al cielo sin nubes sobre Saint-Pandelon y declaró: "Está lloviendo mierda".

Para llegar a Saint-Pandelon, en la región de Aquitania, en Francia, hay que ir a Burdeos y viajar a Dax, cambiando trenes en Morcex, y de ahí en autobús por Angoumé, Bénesse-Lès-Dax, Candresse, Gourbera, Herm, Heugas, Mées, Rivière Saas-et-Gourby, hasta el pueblo famoso por sus aguas curativas y sus lodos milagrosos, al pie del río Adour, en los Pirineos, no muy lejos de Bayona. El olor indica dónde es.

Todo iba bien en este poblado donde se puede ver el castillo Ducros, construido por los romanos hace siglos y residencia oficial de los obispos de Dax casi desde entonces, y se puede visitar otra media docena de castillos, jugar tenis, andar en bicicleta o pescar, que es lo que más se parece a no hacer nada.

Y en eso estaban un día de mayo cuando comenzó a caer caca. Los otros setecientos treinta y cinco habitantes de Saint-Pandelon están de acuerdo en la fecha y tal vez la hora en que se inició la lluvia infame, pero ninguno pudo describir cómo fue.

la nota?