Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Who Goes There

Posted by cadsmith on May 29, 2010


When comparing models, measurement and ranking may involve complexity. There are various types, e.g. software, computational and process. Conceptually, user may consider the number of models necessary to cover phenomenon, length of time required to explain the system, or whether the latter can be captured in an intuitive diagram. During design or build, factors might be dimensionality, manufacturing difficulty, amount of software, fixing difficulty, price, sensitivity to environmental conditions or time to configure. Usage has amount of calculation, time for calculation or halting, difficulty of operation, and stability or failure rates. Scaling adds number of components and connections and types thereof. Automation may have tradeoffs between factors. There can be a composite derived from multiple methods. See computational complexity for discussion of metrics.

Recent Links (of about 27): visualization: latency heatmaps, semantic web: Saplo, crowdsource: Fluidinfo, local events, robotics: mind over machine, security: CERT fuzzing, marketplace: Facebook AppBistro, art.sy, disaster recovery: oil reporter, finance: bonds, technology: NanoProfessor, STS OCW, future cities, synthetic cell, space: duality of gravity, WISE star formation, tilted orbit, photography: Stock Photos, music: UJAM.

Book Reviews:

The Power of the Semantic Web to Transform Your Business, David Siegel, 2009

The author has addressed a book to an audience of business customers to acquaint them with who’s doing what in semantic web applications. The transition is expected to complete in a decade. Trends in digitization, availability, managing metadata, synchronization, syndication, and scalability lead to online data lockers which replace silos. Users specify a want which filters semantic queries. The data, products and services are then available anywhere, e.g. via cellphone screen login and browser. This lead to a conversion from current advertising. Realtime pricing is based on metadata. The fair tax legislation is recommended to eliminate income tax and simplify sales tax structures within transactions. Autonomy is expected to automate processes and increase efficiency. Collaborative design spaces replace data repositories, e.g. building information management (BIM) for 3D models, or science commons for protein designs.
The style is optimistic, visionary and direct with short paragraphs and lots of bold emphasis. There are three parts for seventeen chapters. A book ontology concept map shows how the pieces fit together. It has plenty of url’s to demonstrate existing businesses. Evri has acquired Twine since. It may be so wide-ranging that it could use a filter to find stuff that’s fits reader requirements.
Other issues would require additional sources, e.g. dominant vendors or monopolies compared to opensource, closed data (Newscorp blocking Google), closed ecosystem (Apple), sustainability, security, curated data (Wolframalpha), or privacy (Facebook).

The Philosophy of Science and Technology Studies, Steve Fuller, 2006

Science’s place in society is not as well understood by the public as other subjects. The author is a social constructivist; humanity is a goal. STS applies theories of humanities and social sciences to science and technology. This book covers the European and American history. It is descended from positivism and has field methods of research. Actor-network theory is the main one, e.g. Isabelle Stengers or Bruno Latour. This is a cross-disciplinary academic field sometimes likened to a scaffold for specialties. Technology studies is a subfield added in the mid-80s. The public is taught citizen science and ways to consider technical issues of consequence. Technoscience is an undifferentiated combination of science and technology. Scientific authorities are respected for extreme rationality and have their own interpretations of STS and its research. The Science Wars of the 90s pitted realists and critics of scientific theory against eachother. Science has social organization, politics, and control over public relations. Quality is affected by who it is that researchers are accountable to. Institutional science followed a strategy of colonization. Thought collectives were recognized in the 1930s. Kuhn described paradigms in 70s; philosophy of rational or irrational became normal or revolutionary phases of science. There is a Heraclitean dualism between constructivism and relativism. Ideological framework presuppositions can be disintegrated and reconsidered in newer context.
As far as style, there are thirty-three chapters in six parts; Technology follows science models here; utilitarianism is not distinguished. The term artifact is used as an effect rather than in a design sense. The latter is used for theoretical policy and institutions, rather than engineering. Internet and web are sources and not subjects, though there is a recommendation for an online futures market for science-based proposals. The computation trend is not discussed. Where the frameworks are tabular in two-dimensions, Eastern formulations might add spirals or helices, e.g. to show processes, scale of abstraction or detail, and relations, e.g. counterclockwise between actor-network theory in constructivism on left and theory in relativism on right. Exception cases for each category could be expanded upon. Scifi is not considered a factor, currently subsumed in techno-adventure. There is an extensive bibliography.

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, volume four, ed. Jonathan Strahan, 2010

Scifi anthologies are still published because editors have favorites. Editors still exist because publishers do marketing. In this book, an intro describes the status of the industry. There are twenty-nine stories. Each has its own intro. A section for recommended readings closes the volume. Kij Johnson has two entries. Some of the authors are in other anthologies, such as Dozois 2009, including Stephen Baxter, Michael Swanwick, Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. In terms of perspectives, the ratio is about 2:1 third person and first. Cover art is by John Berkey.
Specialized e-readers have changed things a bit, though they may be peaking since tablets are becoming popular. There are other references. Wikipedia has author info. Author’s often have own websites. There is no last.fm for scifi stories yet in addition to soundtracks. Some sites have rankings over all time and there are lots of separate blog reviews. There might be a demand for a personalized recommendation system as an improvement over Amazon. Readers can stream actual science reporting and real summaries. Writers can complement metadata with imaginary data which may also find its way into art or other media, e.g. on youtube or spacecollective. DIY Symphonic soundtracks may be around the corner, e.g. ujam. Studies or creation of space and matte painting are ways to develop sensitivity for these types of images, e.g. deviantart. It is hard to do something outlandish enough, yet true to the collective unconscious, that a real discovery won’t soon be reported in the news.

The year’s Best Science Fiction, 26th Annual, ed. Gardner Dozois, 2009

Scifi is being used more to get ideas across, science or futurist, where nonfiction may not reach the audience. Short stories are less of a stretch for twitter-types than novels. These readers are accustomed to extreme conditions or moods. Education and energy are an invention away. The editor of this book was originally from Massachusetts and the genre was a way to escape the local confines. This text includes a general summation of publishing for the previous year. There are thirty short stories, each having an intro. These are followed by honorable mentions. Paul McAuley and Ian MacDonald each have a couple of entries. Perspective is about even, 1st having thirteen and 3rd seventeen. Cover art is by Chad Beatty.
Scifi is the fantasy side of technology where scenarios can be explored that can sometimes turn into real movies or games. Of course, haven’t yet seen a blade writer, but animations are very realistic and it may incrementally develop from remixing and adapting existing content to originality from the likes of the machinima sphere, simplified for human enjoyment. Faulty industrial designs that almost made it to production may be the equivalent of cliff hangers or detective yarns in worlds of ruthless environments, corporations and governments. Globalized sources may reflect the local engineering mythos.

Blogs of interest:

Haque on institutional innovation


Marcus de Sautoy on mathematics of symmetry

Lee Rainie on internet usage changes

Documents of interest:

Measuring Test Execution Complexity (PDF)
Measuring model complexity with the prior predictive, Vanpaemel (PDF)

Seerability scifi by yours truly


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