Links for 26th February 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. What Is Time? One Physicist Hunts for the Ultimate Theory

    "So, Boltzmann understood that and he explained how entropy is related to the arrow of time. But there’s a missing piece to his explanation, which is, why was the entropy ever low to begin with? Why were the papers neatly stacked in the universe? Basically, our observable universe begins around 13.7 billion years ago in a state of exquisite order, exquisitely low entropy. It’s like the universe is a wind-up toy that has been sort of puttering along for the last 13.7 billion years and will eventually wind down to nothing. But why was it ever wound up in the first place? Why was it in such a weird low entropy unusual state?"

    Tagged with: physicstimerealitymultiversesciencephilosophycosmology

  2. Spy cameras won’t make us safer

    "The important question isn't whether cameras solve past crime or deter future crime; it's whether they're a good use of resources. They're expensive, both in money and in their Orwellian effects on privacy and civil liberties. Their inevitable misuse is another cost; police have spied on naked women in their own homes, shared nude images, sold best-of videos and even spied on national politicians. Though we might be willing to accept these downsides for a real increase in security, cameras don't provide that.

    Despite our predilection for technological solutions over human ones, the funds now spent on CCTV cameras would be far better spent on hiring and training police officers.

    We live in a unique time in our society: Cameras are everywhere, but we can still see them. Ten years ago, cameras were much rarer than they are today. Ten years from now, they'll be so small, you won't even notice them." Schneier for great justice.

    Tagged with: Bruce-SchneiersurveillanceprivacyCCTVsecurity

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