Links for 19th November 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. History of Economic Thought

    Does what it say on the tin (complete with 1998-style webdesign!)

    Tagged with: philosophyhistoryeconomicstheoryresource

  2. Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains

    ""In bigger brains we often don't find more complexity, just an endless repetition of the same neural circuits over and over. This might add detail to remembered images or sounds, but not add any degree of complexity. To use a computer analogy, bigger brains might in many cases be bigger hard drives, not necessarily better processors."

    This must mean that much 'advanced' thinking can actually be done with very limited neuron numbers. Computer modelling shows that even consciousness can be generated with very small neural circuits, which could in theory easily fit into an insect brain."

    Tagged with: brainintelligenceneuroscienceanimalsinsectsconsciousness

  3. The ‘In Rainbows’ Experiment: Did It Work?

    "On what's essentially the two-year anniversary of In Rainbows' release, I'm struck by how safe it all seems now. Releasing a pay-what-you-wish album now is almost yawn-worthy. Major artists are experimenting with price points, novel distribution models and giveaways at a dizzying pace. But we aren't any closer to knowing what works or what will become a consistent model for the future.

    Today, with the increasing popularity of free (legal) music streaming, the music industry's core issues are more complex and much more urgent. Will fractions of pennies per play ever replace booming 1990s CD revenue? Will people even use digital tip jars if they can just press play to hear anything, any time, anywhere? In 2007, letting fans choose was "the most audacious experiment in years." Two years later, it's almost quaint."

    Tagged with: musicbusinessIn-RainbowsRadioheadmarketingfreemiummodel

  4. Dating sites use DNA to find your perfect match

    "The online services are based on the theory that people are attracted to partners who have different immune systems than their own. It is believed that this is a function of evolution with babies bred from parents with different immune systems having a wider variety of immune system genes, and therefore, more robust immune systems. For this reason the sites limit their DNA analysis to the genes of the immune system to make its matches.

    These genes, known as HLA (human leukocyte antigen) genes (also sometimes referred to as MHC for major histocompatibility complex) control how the immune system recognizes and fights off viruses, fungi and bacteria and is also the portion of the genome doctors look at when looking for compatible organ donors. Studies have indicated that people with different MHC genes will actually smell better to you than people whose MHC genes are similar to your own."

    Tagged with: DNAgeneticscompatibilityhumandating

  5. The Accessibility Paradox

    "In order to draw customer into their stores, Target and Wal-Mart are making ten bestselling author's books available for under ten bucks. […] The American Booksellers Association has even asked the Department of Justice to intervene. […] But I'm also taken aback by the horrified response of the book industry. I thought the big crisis was that nobody reads. Now it turns out the problem is that books are so popular with the masses they're being used as bait to draw in shoppers.

    Come on, guys, get your story straight! Which is it?"

    Tagged with: bookspublishingretaildiscountslibrariesinformationknowledgevaluefreeopen-source

  6. Scan Tailor

    "Scan Tailor is an interactive post-processing tool for scanned pages. It performs operations such as page splitting, deskewing, adding/removing borders, and others. You give it raw scans, and you get pages ready to be printed or assembled into a PDF or DJVU file."

    Tagged with: pdfscanningimageutilitysoftwarecleanbordersLinux

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