Myles Braithwaite

Litigation is serious business, and the App Store is one of Apple’s crown jewels. Right or wrong, Apple’s stance is that they’d rather err on the side of taking too long to respond than to risk making things worse by responding poorly too soon.

An interesting look at the worst algorithm in the world:

```python #!/usr/bin/env python import sys def fib_rec(n): assert n >= 0 if n < 2: return n return fib_rec(n - 2) + fib_rec(n - 1) if __name__ == "__main__": print fib_rec(int(sys.argv[1])) ```

Which when calculating to forty takes one minute and seven seconds. Verses the improved version:

```python #!/usr/bin/env python import sys def bits(n): bits = [] while n > 0: n, bit = divmod(n, 2) bits.append(bit) bits.reverse() return bits def fib_mat(n): assert n >= 0 a, b, c = 1, 0, 1 for bit in bits(n): a, b, c = a*a + b*b, a*b + b*c, b*b + c*c if bit: a, b, c = b, c, b+c return b if __name__ == "__main__": print fib_mat(int(sys.argv[1])) ```

Which when calculating to four hundred thousand takes four seconds.

Definitely worth the read.

The Tragedy of Sarah Palin

As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders. She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics. She did this in a way that seems wildly out of character today—by cooperating with Democrats and moderate Republicans to raise taxes on Big Business. And she succeeded to a remarkable extent in settling, at least for a time, what had seemed insoluble problems, in the process putting Alaska on a trajectory to financial well-being.

A [United States of America] federal judge in the case has agreed to allow the U.S. Copyright Group to subpoena internet service providers to find out the identity of everybody who had illegally downloaded (.pdf) the 2010 Sylvester Stallone flick — meaning the number of defendants is likely to dramatically increase as new purloiners are discovered. Once an ISP gets the subpoena, it usually notifies the account holder that his or her subscriber information is being turned over to the Copyright Group, which last year pioneered the practice of suing BitTorrent downloaders in the United States.

So it's not enough that you beat Scott Pilgrim in the box office now you want to go after the very people who didn't go to the movie theatres to watch Scott Pilgrim.

It looks like Chips and Orang-Utans (and humans of course) are not the only primates that pass on knowledge in a social group. A recent study now suggests that Gorillas do infract pass on knowledge in a social group.

Richard Byrne at the University of St Andrews, UK, and colleagues looked at how captive-bred gorillas picked apart stinging nettles to eat them. They noticed that the apes never detached the stinging leaf stalks and reduced their exposure to stings by squeezing nettles together.

"This fascinated us because, while wild gorillas in Rwanda also pick apart stinging nettles, they do so by removing stalks and folding, rather than squeezing, the nettles", says Byrne.

Gorillas by Thomas Widmann

Gorillas by Thomas Widmann.