Links for 2012-07-16

  • Science funding doesn’t add up – The Irish Times : ‘[Science Foundation Ireland] said it was continuing to support basic research, but there are a number of leading scientists here who were refused funding despite having qualified for it in the past. Dr Mike Peardon of the School of Mathematics was recently been turned down, having been “administratively withdrawn”. This means the application for funding was rejected at the first post during initial consideration and before it had a chance to be assessed by external experts. Several others in his department suffered a similar fate. “The school of mathematics at Trinity is ranked the 15th best maths department in the world and now we are not fundable by Science Foundation Ireland,” he said. “The cases I heard of have all been in pure maths,” said Prof Lorraine Hanlon in UCD’s school of physics. “All reported that the people in pure maths were returned unreviewed.” She believes other areas may also come under pressure. “Pure maths is the thin end of the wedge. The Government says mathematics is fundamental, but on the other side says we dont really care enough to support it. That is a schizophrenic approach,” she said.’
    (tags: mathematics ireland science research academia funding tcd ucd sfi)

  • Microsoft’s ill-chosen magic constants : ‘Paolo Bonzini noticed something a little awkward in the Linux kernel support code for Microsoft’s HyperV virtualisation environment – specifically, that the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor was “0xB16B00B5”, or, in English, “BIG BOOBS”. It turns out that this isn’t an exception – when the code was originally submitted it also contained “0x0B00B135”.’ me, I prefer my magic constants less offensive and more Subgenius-oriented: “0xB0BD0BB5”
    (tags: constants via:kevin-lyda oh-dear microsoft fail magic-numbers boobs linux kernel)

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