Thursday, October 20, 2005

MIT explains why bad habits are hard to break

Old habits don't die. They hibernate...

[full article]

Habitual activity--smoking, eating fatty foods, gambling--changes neural activity patterns in a specific region of the brain when habits are formed. These neural patterns created by habit can be changed or altered. But when a stimulus from the old days returns, the dormant pattern can reassert itself, according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, putting an individual in a neural state akin to being on autopilot.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Even a chatbot can turn nasty

"Many companies, including big names such as Coca-Cola and Burger King, have begun using chatbots to represent them on their websites or to build them into automated telephone services. The last thing these companies want is to find their corporate ambassadors insulting the customers..."

"Many of these programs are designed to learn from their interactions with their users, and use what they glean to converse in a more natural, human-like way. The trouble starts when they don't just pick up our conversational pleasantries, but insults and swear words too."

from NewScientist (subscription)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kixxnet is an online radio broadcasting from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Listen to pop rock radio. Contact animators live using Skype..

Worth spending some broadband ;)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Open Content Alliance

In answer to Google Print, many big players join in Open Content Alliance.

From NY Times:

In addition to Yahoo, its members include the Internet Archive, the University of California, and the University of Toronto, as well as the National Archive in England and others.

In a departure from Google's approach, the Open Content Alliance will also make the books accessible to any search engine, including Google's.