links for 2009-02-04

  • (tags: quantum groups)
  • the discovery of an Earth-like planet around a Sun-like star in the constellation of Monoceros, at a distance of about 450 light years.
  • "We document widespread changes to the historical I/B/E/S analyst stock recommendations database. Across seven I/B/E/S downloads, obtained between 2000 and 2007, we find that between 6,580 (1.6%) and 97,582 (21.7%) of matched observations are different from one download to the next. The changes include alterations of recommendations, additions and deletions of records, and removal of analyst names." Got clean data?
    (tags: finance)
  • "When they analyzed these data-200 million of them-in exactly the same fashion that Bachelier had analyzed data almost a century earlier, they made a startling discovery. The pdf of price changes was not Gaussian plus outliers, as previously believed. Rather, all the data-including data previously termed outliers-conformed to a single pdf encompassing both everyday fluctuations and “once in a century” fluctuations. Instead of a Gaussian or some correction to a Gaussian, they found a power law pdf with exponent -4, a sufficiently large exponent that the difference from a Gaussian is not huge"
  • "In a paper appearing in Physical Review A, Panos Aliferis, who is at the IBM Watson Research Center, and John Preskill of the California Institute of Technology, rigorously establish a lower bound for the fault-tolerance threshold for one of Knill’s constructions that has relatively small overhead requirements. Their results indicate that fault-tolerant computation should definitely be possible with this scheme, if the error probability per logical operation does not exceed 0.1%."
  • "One intriguing idea getting shuttled around President Obama’s inner circle could end up pouring significant cash into the innovation hubs of Seattle and Boston. This idea, hatched at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., calls for building a national network of two dozen or more centers of excellence in cleantech R&D, with annual budgets of as much as $200 million from competitive research grants, to jumpstart innovation in alternative energy."
  • "As we reported last week, Woodman is the Microsoft solutions adviser who got a tattoo of the company's unofficial "Blue Monster" logo last year, only to find himself among the 1,400 people laid off by the company Jan. 22. Some Microsoft critics commenting on our post and on BoingBoing questioned Woodman's judgment for getting the tattoo.

    Here's the remarkable part: In a follow-up post, Woodman not only speaks glowingly about Microsoft but he goes out of his way to defend the past actions that helped shape its reputation. "

  • Via Roseblog. The name is not for me, but I'm all for crazy universities
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