Monday, July 09, 2007

Military: Digital Camouflage Continues to Catch on

Strategy Page has an article about how the Chinese are the latest to adopt digital camouflage patterns for their combat uniforms. Digital camouflage differs from traditional color blotch patterns in that it looks more "pixelized." The digital patterns hide the wearer better against human observers as well as, get this, night vision gear.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Surveillance: Stop sign cameras

It is time to add a new type of "safety camera" to the list - a stop sign camera. The interesting thing about this system is that it detects if the car comes to a complete stop or not. Here is a brief news article about a deployment in California, USA.

Linguistics: Genetic component to tonal and atonal languages?

The Economist magazine (UK, center-left economics and news magazine) has an article on a statistical analysis by Dan Deidiu and Robert Ladd of the University of Edinburgh that shows a correlation between genetics and speaking a tonal or atonal language.
Aside: A tonal language is one where the pitch (tone) used when pronouncing a word changes its meaning.
Finding a correlation in itself is not surprising as most Asian languages are tonal. Where this study might lead, when combined with work by others, is to uncovering which came first - genetic differences that led to the development of tonal/atonal languages or language differences that became tied to genetics.

Admin: Three strikes and you're out

This is just an administrative post to say that the reason my blogging has been lighter than usual is that my computer died, again. This is the third major malfunction in the ten or so months since I bought it. I have contacted Toshiba customer service and it appears that I will be allowed to return it without any hassles.