A computer program named Chinook vanquished its human competitors at tournaments more than a decade ago. But now, in an article published Thursday on the Web site of the journal Science, the scientists at the University of Alberta who developed the program report that they have rigorously proved that Chinook, in a slightly improved version, cannot ever lose. Any opponent, human or computer, no matter how skilled, can at best achieve a draw.
Gov. Ed Rendell said he was optimistic that he and the Legislature could soon break a budget stalemate that caused him to order a partial shutdown of government services Monday.
The furlough of about 24,000 state workers that Rendell announced just before midnight Sunday will have wide repercussions in the state, not least the closing of museums and parks at the height of the summer tourist season.
If a person suffers the small genetic accident that creates Williams syndrome, he’ll live with not only some fairly conventional cognitive deficits, like trouble with space and numbers, but also a strange set of traits that researchers call the Williams social phenotype or, less formally, the “Williams personality”: a love of company and conversation combined, often awkwardly, with a poor understanding of social dynamics and a lack of social inhibition. The combination creates some memorable encounters. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author, once watched as a particularly …… 2007-7-9 8:27:41
A panel of scientists convened by the country’s leading scientific advisory group says the hunt for extraterrestrial life should be greatly expanded to include what they call “weird life”: organisms that lack DNA or other molecules found in life as we know it.
“The committee’s investigation makes clear that life is possible in forms different from those on Earth,” the scientists conclude in their report, “The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems,” published yesterday by the National Research Council.