Thursday, June 23, 2005


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The online search engines have their computer algorithms but so do we. Read this article on search algorithms and computer semantics analysis.

However, we use algorithms everyday in our lives too — our minds.

Our lives are based on decision making and step by step problem solving. An algorithm is a procedure for problem solving or an ordered step by step process for coming up with a solution.

Sometimes the problems we face are simple in nature. For instance deciding what you are going to have for dinner or what show you want to watch on television. Your mind absorbs all the variables and spits out an answer based on likes and dislikes or what a friend or spouse would like also. Other times, problems are much more complex and difficult because of lack of experience, lack of education, or variables beyond your control. But even then the mind takes into account what is at hand, and delivers an answer based on the inputs.

Mathematical algorithms are routines that can be run as computer software programs to come up with a answer based on a given set of variables.

Now imagine taking this to another level. Suppose we develop a software training program to train individuals based on a given set of variables. Actually we do having training programs that as a person responds in a positive or negative way the software will then branch out to the next level or go into more detail for the application. Online gaming and other computer games throughout the later part of the 20'th century we're and still are very popular for getting to the end of a quest. Each level gets harder and harder, but skills are improved and tools are acquired along the way in your ever quest to become victorious.

There is a great game called mastermind.

In this game of mastermind, one player builds a pattern of 4 or 5 pegs with 8 potential colors and/or blank spots. Then another player tries to figure out the pattern in the least amount of tries as possible. This second person builds a pattern and then the other player gives indicators on the number of right colors and the number in the right spots. This game is a great logical problem solving lesson because the person has to learn from the previous patterns.

Personal learning algorithms function in the same way as mastermind. This can be applied to any part of our lives. There could also be some amazing outcomes using algorithms for teaching without a student actually aware of this going on. A program could be built to not only train a person, but by building into the program a means of self learning, one could improve the underlying foundation of the program itself, while also training the individual using it.

Another example of a learning algorithm is the yes no game, where an individual tells a story without giving any details and then asks the audience how did it happen. The story teller can only give yes or no answers with the person having to logically figure out what happened. Sometimes it may require giving occasional tips to help prompt the thinking process. This game was adapted to the small hand held gaming device called twenty questions. Radica 20Q Artificial Intelligence Game

So, how do learning algorithms really affect us in our everyday lives?

First off, as the technology world becomes more and more complex, it requires individuals and businesses to develop their skills at problem solving. Sometimes the only way to advance dramatically, is to probe and move forward in a direction and make a decision. The fastest way to get an answer is not by standing still, but by trying a move and see what the results are. Doing things exclusively the old way may be the safe way, but will not be as rewarding as a new move, with the potential for even better business results. Sometimes new thinking in 3d can achieve exponentially more than 2d.

3d thinking in Internet marketing and online advertising along with creative copy writing at Professional Web Services, Inc.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The First Solar Sail Spacecraft

Cosmos 1: First Solar Sail Launched June 21, 2005

Image Courtesy of The Planetary Society
Picture shows the spacecraft with the sails deployed.

In what would once be considered science fiction out of some Jules Verne novel is now a reality.

The first solar sail was launched today on a mission to orbit the earth. The project is a joint venture from the Americans and Russians. The craft will be pushed along by a steady stream of photons from the sun which will propel the craft on its mission.

Future spacecrafts will be able to do interplanetary travel by adjusting the angle of the sails in relation to the sun.

The acceleration will be very slow but at a constant rate of acceleration. As the speed increases over a period of days, weeks, and months the speeds that can be attained will be much faster than any conventional means, propelling a spacecraft out of orbit onto other planets.

Go to the Planetary Society for current solarsail updates.

An additional interesting note is the spacecraft should be visible to the naked eye. It will be orbiting the earth about every one hundred minutes.


NASA spacecraft on a collision course for comet Temple 1 rendezvous on July 4, 2005

NASA's Deep Impact Posted by Hello

This is a two module spacecraft with one module colliding with the comet Temple 1 surface causing a large crater to be formed. As it collides with the comet surface, another spacecraft will be doing a fly-by while collecting data.

Photo Courtesy of NASA