Saturday, February 26, 2005

New Mersenne Prime Confirmed!

The cat was let out of the bag a little bit early, but it has been confirmed that 2^25964951 - 1 is prime. In binary, this would be a string of numbers containing 25964951 ones. In decimal (base 10), this is a 7816230 digit number.

I say the "cat was let out" because George Woltman (the founder/coordinator/programmer of the GIMPS project) was working to allow the hometown newspaper of the volunteer whose computer found the prime to have an "exclusive" story, including revealing the exponent's value. But, the exponent's value was released by mistake on (and it was actually guessed beforehand by examining the Primenet log files).

Article: Mathworld Link

GIMPS homepage:

Congratulations to George and the lucky volunteer!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


I stumbled upon Google Maps this morning (after it was slashdotted). First impression: WOW!

It seems to use the same type of client-side JavaScript service code that GMail does. This prevents the need for the browser itself to fetch a new web page with each request. Instead, the service code interacts with a webservice of sorts, and grabs only the data that it needs. This makes the requests lightning fast without bogging down their servers (because the server does not need to serve up redundant code that had already been given to the browser as part of the previous request).

It looks good, seems to be a little more accurate than other mappers (i.e., my home address usually gets plotted in the wrong block, but this at least hit the right block, but still not the exact location), and has a great search built in (i.e., try doing a search for all of the McDonalds in your town, or just put in Mexican, etc).

The sad thing is that right now, Google is still every geek's favorite underdog. But, as they establish more and more dominance on the web, they'll soon grow into another monopoly that people will grow to hate.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Thank you FoxNews

A big Thank You! to Fox News, the first and so far only major news outlet that I read that actually call Terrorist in Iraq "Terrorists" instead of "Insurgents".

Case in point: I'm perusing the various news websites this morning. One of the top headlines is:

MSNBC: 20 dead as Iraq insurgents launch new attacks
CNN: Insurgents kill 12 Iraqi army recruits
CBSNEWS: 20 Killed By Iraqi Insurgents
ABCNEWS: Insurgents Ramp Up Attacks in Iraq
FOXNEWS: Terrorists Kill 19 in Iraq

Mainstream media in the United States has this fear that actually acknowledging the true nature of those perpetrating violence would somehow validate President Bush's choice to invade Iraq. It's pretty clear that al'Qaeda is running the "insurgency" in Iraq. It is so refreshing to see a news outlet call it what it is.