Optimum prime

From the SMH…

“Mathematicians at the University of California, Los Angeles have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number, a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $US100,000 prize.

The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. The number was verified by a different computer system running a different algorithm.”

This number would be a 13mb .txt file on your computer.

From the ABC:

“Most people in Queensland don’t know what a prime number is”

…after SEVEN straight callers failed to answer the question in the afternoon quiz.

For those of you who forget:

“Primes are numbers like three, seven and 11 that are divisible by only two whole positive numbers: themselves and one.”

Out on bail

How bout that sub prime mortgage bail out – or not. I see the ASX is down 5.4% already after what I reckon is a good decision from Congress. 

My questions about the bail out are:

why is the government stepping in to assist failing companies rather than failing taxpayers and their mortgages?
why is the government responsible for the economy anyway? I know it’s universally accepted that that’s the case – but why is it so? Why aren’t businesses and industries responsible for the economy? Why is the government blamed when it tanks but ignored while companies take the credit when it grows?
who would be an executive of a global company now when a failure leads to mass losses – perhaps that’s why the salaries and payments are so high…
whose idea were NINJA loans (no income no job)? whose idea was it to call them that? Where did the “A” in the acronym come from?
why would congress pass a bill that the majority of the public think is a bad idea? who does this decision benefit politically?

Lots of questions, no real answers.

Obama meets Bartlett

A while back I suggested that Obama was the closest thing to Matt Santos (West Wing President number 2) running in this campaign.

Here Obama meets Bartlett in an interesting fact meets fiction interview with West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. 
Obama is creating a great degree of angst in some Christian circles because of his stance on abortion – I’m not going to enter that debate here. I just think his other policies (and there are many) are better than McCain’s – and Palin just plain (nice anagram use there…) scares me. Obama’s oratory skills are still enough for me to tip my ineligible vote in his direction.


I heart Annabel Crabb

I know I shouldn’t be saying that sort of thing on the first day of my second year of marriage – but I mean it in a platonic sense. Annabel Crabb is my favourite Parliamentary Press Gallery Journo – she provides obtuse analysis – with a beautiful turn of phrase – see her comments on Bronwyn Bishop at the end of this story.

clipped from www.smh.com.au

IT’S worse than we thought, this global financial crisis. At
2.14pm yesterday, Kevin Rudd ran out of euphemisms for “money”.

The PM blathered skilfully and at length about “loose change”,
“fiscal buffers”, “mortgage-related assets”, “increased liquidity”,
“collateral”, “stocks”, “aggregate exchange settlement balances”
and assorted other expressions that mean, loosely, moolah.

And then – clunk – there it was. Speaking about the United
States Federal Reserve bail-out, he talked about the Fed’s decision
to rescue US institutions with “$700 billion worth of … um
… US … errrrr … money.”

Bronwyn Bishop, for instance, has been relegated to the back
bench, and she did not look at all pleased as she stared down at
Turnbull from her new, non-prestige seat. Dressed in a jacket with
a jungly teal and brown design, she looked like a small but
malevolent armchair.

blog it

Speaking of coffee

The pump on my machine seems to be on the blink – so I’m about to fork out the first major bit of expenditure since I fixed up my machine. 

I realise I haven’t really gone through the refurbishment process here at length – and I should do that. But this pump will cost me somewhere between $100 and $250 to replace (depending on if I have to get the part  new or secondhand). Luckily, the machine made me $100 at a recent church car boot sale – I guess that pays for it. 


I’ve often wondered about chucking some loose leaf tea into my coffee machine’s basket (portafiller) and brewing tea using my machine. 

http://www.redespresso.com/ – seems it’s possible, and commercially viable. 

A day of microblogging continues

I’m using three new free applications that I think are worth sharing:

Rocketdock – creates a mac like doc for windows and is useful for uncluttering your desktop.
Launchy – is similarly useful – just open it and type the first few letters of any program you’d like to launch.
ProPhotoTool (requires Windows Validation) – newly launched Microsoft image metadata editor – useful if you have to manage an image library – like I do.