Friday, January 20, 2012

Balanced ternary

Balanced ternary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: For example, a classical "2-pan" balance, with one weight for each power of 3, can weigh relatively heavy objects accurately with a small number of weights, by moving weights between the two pans and the table.

Solution to a common puzzle problem.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thoughts on copyright

  • Loaded words: piracy, stealing, vs copyright infringement.
  • Physical vs intellectual property: I don't lose something (other
    than potential revenue) when someone copies my work.
  • By definition of the law copyright infringement is as much theft
    as stealing Cable TV.
  • Artist as a beacon of light vs artist as a mirror reflecting society.
  • Why not to steal: right and wrong defined by law, or defined by
    some other ethics. Break the law if the ends justified it?
  • Ignore motivation for infringement: easier, priced too high,
    monopolies prevent fair competition, etc.
  • Copyright as motivation (limited monopoly) vs artist has
    intrinsic "rights" to their work.
  • No intrinsic value: "value" of intellectual works determined by
    consumers. Does this lead to long tails (few win everything)?
  • Perpetual copyright: 1790 - 14 years, 1831 - 28 years, 1909 - 28
    years (28 year renewal), 1976 - 75 or life plus 50, 1992 - no need
    for renewal, 1998 - 95/120 years or life plus 70, DMCA, SOPA.
  • Can't sing birthday song in restaurants.
  • If intrinsic right to property does exist, why let copyright
    expire, ever?
  • Flip: creative works property of "the people" who postpone their
    right to the work to encourage additional creation.

Monday, January 16, 2012 Profile For Viktor Blasjo: Reviews Profile For Viktor Blasjo: Reviews: This book is utterly worthless in every conceivable way. It is a mystery to me why Springer have brought disgrace upon themselves by publishing this inept drivel. A complete account of Anglin's incompetence would require a review as thick as the book itself, but hopefully a few deterring examples will suffice.

Wow. This person dislikes a lot of books.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Berkeley math humor

Chicago undergraduate mathematics bibliography: Narasimhan, Complex analysis in one variable

As we might expect from the famed freshman-eating Narasimhan, this book is much quicker-paced and covers more topics than either of the two above (including a chapter on several variables). Sadly, there are no exercises, but the book is a good reference work.