* Posts by Steve Martins

79 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Sep 2007


Mozilla slams Microsoft for using dark patterns to drive Windows users toward Edge

Steve Martins

they want it too much

Given the actions of Microsoft, it comes off as creepy and desperate in their efforts to coerce me into using edge. For that reason alone I will never use it.

Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Steve Martins

Re: dogs cannot become cats

Technically, yes, many generations down the line you could end up with a dog-like animal which has the heritage of a cat, its DNA would still be cat, and it would retain cat-like aspects and wouldn't be identical - it would reach a local maxima that makes it fit for purpose to the environment. I'm only going by the facts i know, of people who modify genes for a job, build gene sequences one nucleotide at a time, who use reproduction experiments to track the propagation of an altered genetic sequence through generations. Also having researched genetic algorithms for solving complex polynomial problems with multiple solutions - every time a genetic solving approach is far more powerful than a design process. Its as astounding to me that people don't believe in evolution as it is that there are some people who still believe the earth is flat. The research and information is all out there if you take the time to look at it and understand it.

Steve Martins

dogs cannot become cats

Adhering precisely to the (now accepted as irrefutable fact) process of evolution, you cannot get from Dog to cat, because each represents a local maxima of the environment. Think wave peaks on the ocean, each represents a local idealised state - evolution will take the DNA towards a peak every time, but to go from Dog to Cat, you would have to move away from a local maxima, and survival of the fittest would eradicate those furthest from a peak (where the environment has scare resource). If there are no resource scarcities then the unfittest (e.g. fat americans) don't get eradicated. Its nice to know that there is now experimental evidence allowing evolution to go from being a scientific theory (experimentally shown to be accurate and peer reviewed for professional consensus) to fact (actually demonstrated in a lab)

iPhone case uses phone's OWN SIGNAL to charge it (forever, presumably)

Steve Martins

Its quantum...

Surely for this to work it would have to use some fancy kind of quantum trickery, so I guess that so long as it inside the kickstarter enclosure it can simultaneously be thought of as both fully functional and complete hokum.

Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Steve Martins

no such thing as bad publicity

I would have probably paid no interest in this movie and let it slide by pretty much unnoticed, but as a direct result of the actions of these hackers, I'm now intent on watching this movie the first opportunity I get...

I wonder if this was the hackers intention? to launch a film that would have been pretty run of the mill into the spotlight where eventually the viewing figures will go through the roof! If so its one of the most effective cunning ploys i've seen to boosting film viewing figures massively.

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Steve Martins

win8 needs the internet...

to find out how to use it.

Its the first UI i've not been able to figure out completely by playing with it. i mean, "Close a metro app by swiping down"... But i already tried that, look, I swipe down and it reacts! what? don't stop? but its already responded to my input!, nope, ignore that keep going, further, further, yes, all the way to the bottom of the screen... oh, there we go... sheesh.

Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

Steve Martins


Is it me or does this smack a little of cryptolocker?! Give us money or risk losing all your data...

just saying.

Prof Stephen Hawking: 'There are NO black holes' – they're GREY!

Steve Martins

I'm amazed...

at how many people there are who fail to appreciate the importance of the work of these physicists. A brief trawl through some of the life saving medical devices that are available to us today is proof enough that gaining a deeper understanding of the universe can have a real impact on peoples lives - as a for-instance our understanding of radio isotopes has become an essential tool in diagnosis and treatment.

I can only surmise that there are those who are intelligent enough to understand the scientific method, and understand that it is possible to maintain a set of incomplete conflicting theories whilst benefitting from the objectives those theories present (they may not be perfect, but they can be used for predictive analysis for instance), and encapsulate those ideas in their thoughts without their heads exploding. Then there are those for whom that is too much mental effort, whose heads may possibly explode, and for whom it is easier to explain the unexplainable by 'its gods will' or some other catch all thinking which removes the need for further thought or analysis.

Build your own WORKING Sonic Screwdriver... for a UNDER A FIVER

Steve Martins

How do they fit all that functionality in?

My money is on the hypothesis that the screwdriver is bigger on the inside...

If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans

Steve Martins

because it can solve problems the company's own researchers can't

Sounds like this tech is desperately needed over at the research labs for climate change... maybe then we can finally get a straight answer!

First the Yanks, now us: In-flight mobe use WON'T kill us all, say Eurocrats

Steve Martins

"No it has to be powered off properly"

followed by the passenger (again) just pressing the power button once to turn the screen off, this time not seen by the host/hostess. Maybe we will need something akin to the "speed awareness course", a "mobile device flight-mode/power off awareness course" because this task seems to beyond the technical capabilities of many passengers - and that's just those who speak one of the two languages in which the instruction is announced.

I think this battle was lost a long time ago, so its about time they relaxed the rules - same reason they should be raising the motorway speed to 80mph (unless you think they should be booking 90% of motorists for speeding...)

Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Steve Martins

But what will it taste like?

From the things I've read I like to think that rather than requiring a perfect recipe, life will simply exist wherever the environment isn't too harsh to prevent it, even it if is a simple primitive bacteria or spore. When you consider local maxima of genetic algorithm mathematics chances are that the genetic solutions for species might not be too dissimilar to that of earth (as an example both humans and octopus developed the same eye design through different evolutionary routes). But as others have said timing is everything, we may not be the first humanoid intelligent life in the universe (in fact statistically speaking it would be pretty amazing if we were!) but we may not coincide with the existence of any other species within reach (speculatively speaking).

Of course if we do find life, we all know one of the first questions to be answered will be "what does it taste like?!!" (those that found the colossal squid - apparently ammonia tasting and not very nice, but those who discovered tortoises found them quite tasty...)

Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof

Steve Martins

science fiction becomes science fact...

You know how much of the future tech portrayed on telly (like the tablet devices in star trek, gesture computing in minority report...) become reality... well maybe Hollywood was on to something with cars that explode spectacularly in a collision...

I look forward to the Crash test videos, popcorn at the ready :-)

Modular smartphones floated by Dutch designer chap

Steve Martins

Re: Compromise....

Yes, this is the idea I keep ending up at. Once you put the "phone" radios into a separate module with a battery, you basically end up with an extended sim, which can hook to any screen interface / processing unit - run out of battery (screens are notoriously hungry), pick up another device and make that life saving call. Also I carry 2 phones constantly, but i need 2 sims / radios, not 2 screens / processors.

The modularity of the rest is a nice idea, but it will never be cost effective.

PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Steve Martins

google - taking parenting to the web

"What if I want my child to visit learningaboutsexualissues.com"

yes - you are right, the internet should replace you as a parent and take all responsibility for educating your child away from you and serve it up through a web search.

For those who want to be involved in their childrens upbringing there are plenty of other resources, and I'm sure these filters will still allow useful content through.

Anyone who opposes this move obviously thinks its fine for young children to see an inappropriate pop up - it only takes a non-tech-savvy horny adult to click a few links on an unpatched machine and a child will soon be crying at a picture they are too young to deal with emotionally.

Oi, Google, you ate all our Wi-Fi keys - don't let the spooks gobble them too

Steve Martins

Lost control

I was slightly unnerved by the fact that I purchased a new device that then instantly connected to my WiFi... yes convenient perhaps, but I don't recall opting in to having a secret of mine sent across to the web to be stored somewhere I have no control over.

I am currently looking into evaluating all the data the google has slurped and attempting to turn off what I want to keep private (i say attempting because all of a sudden now photos I take are also alutomatically being uploaded!!! arrggghhh!!!)

Anonymous 'plonks' names, addresses of far-right EDL types on web

Steve Martins


BRIAN: Are you the English Defence League?

REG: Fuck off!

BRIAN: What?

REG: English Defence League. We're the Defence League of England! English Defence League. Cawk.

FRANCIS: Wankers.

BRIAN: Can I... join your group?

REG: No. Piss off.

BRIAN: I didn't want to sell this stuff. It's only a job. I hate people with different race/religion/nationality as much as anybody.

JUDITH: Are you sure?

BRIAN: Oh, dead sure. I hate the people with different race/religion/nationality already.

REG: Listen. If you wanted to join the DLE., you'd have to really hate the people with different race/religion/nationality.

BRIAN: I do!

REG: Oh, yeah? How much?

BRIAN: A lot!

REG: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the people with different race/religion/nationality are the fucking English Defence League!.

P.F.J.: Yeah...

JUDITH: Splitters.

you get the idea.....

Hot new battery technologies need a cooling off period

Steve Martins

charging times not the only practical issue

People will run out of charge, guaranteed. these days a friendly passing driver or a long walk to the nearest pump, fill up a can and recover car is inconvenient but works. Fast forward and it'll be an iAA(tm) truck with a white lead that needs plugging to your iCarriage for an hour before you're on your way again.

Batteries are an environmentally unfriendly technology when thought of at this kinda scale, but as long as we're not producing carbon at the wheel people can engage their smug mode for saving the planet. Electric vehicles will come, but I still feel a piece of the puzzle is missing and producing tonnes upon tonnes of lithium batteries with a 3-5 year shelf life doesn't seem like an environmentally positive scalable solution to me.

My money is on hydrogen fuel cells - yes there are problems here too but imho lead to a much better overall solution.

CURSE you, EINSTEIN! Humanity still chained in relativistic PRISON

Steve Martins

The point is...

I had a point to make, but as soon as I evaluated it, it changed...

iPhone too heavy? Volkswagen brings out motorised ride-on dock

Steve Martins

portable dock

A friend of mine bought an Ipod dock recently. Nice looking device, quite nippy around town and not bad on fuel economy. Unfortunately VW don't make a dock for my phone, so I'll be shopping elsewhere...

'Close to one in three - sorry, one in eight - SMEs are software pirates'

Steve Martins

Startups need to stay lean

When I was running a startup I had three choices, Spend a fortune on software and lock myself into ever increasing costs going forward, piracy or open source. I went open source :-)

Review: Sony Xperia Z

Steve Martins

I miss my xenon

I had a satio cybershot, and then fell for the ol' exmor R is much more sensitive in low light hype and got myself an Xperia S. Yes, it is more sensitive and can take pictures in low light, but the overall quality is much less appealing that the satio cybershot, which I still pull out of retirement for gigs/concerts (or at least I did until i decided to just give up on camera phones and buy a real camera). so yes YOU DO NEED A XENON (or at least I do). I like Sony products, but please PLEASE PLEASE can I have a xenon flash black??!

I won't be bothering with the xperia Z as my xperia S still does me proud, but I may be adding a tablet Z to my shipping list.

Microsoft Surface Pro will land in UK in WEEKS*

Steve Martins

terrible design

I simply don't get it. Why would I want a tablet that requires a flat surface in order to be used with a keyboard? Half the time I use a laptop due to its portability, held in one hand, or on my lap (or occasionally balanced precariously on something else). If I want to use a keyboard with a tablet why wouldn't I just use bluetooth? Why would I limit myself to the support structure included in the device itself instead of using one of a multitude of cases that can add this functionality (and keyboard if desired). If I wanted a tablet why would I choose one that is so fat and weighty when there are so many more svelte and lighter options on offer?

I'm not even going to touch on aesthetics as I am a designer, know what i am talking about and have an opinion (that probably differs from yours).

I'm not even going to touch on operation systems as win8 has been damned by many many people who can express their dislike much more eloquently than me.

Mind-melded rats could herald organic BRAIN-COMPUTERS

Steve Martins

The obvious application...

... so when can I order my miniature Counterstrike maze complete with mice with frikkin' lasers attached to their heads and the obligatory halflife-mindmeld interface. Let rodent warfare commence!!

Take that, freetards: First music sales uptick in over a decade

Steve Martins

What people want...

IMHO Spotify finally fulfills a consumer need, but its not the whole picture. I don't necessarily want to own every single track I want to listen to (I am a musician and often listen to stuff for inspiration or to learn but not something I would choose to own) , and I also discover many more artists through the service.

I read an interesting piece on the fact that music lovers want a relationship with the artists they are into, not with the record label they are signed to. This is where the value lies and some people who understand this are using social media to give fans just this. I now see much more fan art,opinions and reactions of other fans than ever before. This leads to higher revenues for the musicians and I for one have attended more gigs as a result of this. I still rarely buy CDs because it has to be something I want to own and add to my collection, and these days the low standard of new music rarely peeks my interest (new artists only get money if they bend over and do what the record companies tell them to do...).

Of course the masses will continue to buy whatever they've heard played incessantly on the radio like the mindless sheep they are - and this is what the music industry really wants (and has gotten very good at manipulating), creativity and uniqueness doesn't line their pockets. If you want evidence, go to Europe and see the diverse and interesting music they have compared to the over produced rehashed tripe that constantly comes out over here.

Survey: Bosses are DESPERATE and GAGGING for Linux skills

Steve Martins

How to become "Experienced"?

I've set up quite a lot of Linux systems over the years... Unfortunately because they don't tend to break i haven't had as many real world hours on them as windows. In fact if they go wrong I'm screwed because my memory no longer extends back that far!! dammit!!!

Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

Steve Martins

3 strikes rule for patents...

To stop all this patent trolling there should be a system where if you try and patent 3 obvious ideas in a row you are banned from patenting anything for a year. Retrospectively that should keep apple out of the game for the best part of a century!

Cambridge boffins fear 'Pandora's Unboxing' and RISE of the MACHINES

Steve Martins

Re: Seriously

To compete for resources doesn't require any intelligence. If you apply genetic algorithm theory to this, then the machine code that runs is whichever survives. This has a natural ordering effect without applying intelligence, and the 'survivors' in the genetic algorithm reproduction are the ones that compete best for the resources available - this starts off as just software, but allow mechanisms to interact with the physical world and the whole game changes. In fact that gives me an idea for a few experiments...

4chan founder Moot threatens site for using his handle

Steve Martins

Re: @AC 22:10 In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

American English is dumbed down english, as demonstrated so well here. Indeed "moot" does mean irrelevant when pertaining to a specific point within an argument that in itself is open to debate and thus rendered inadmissible to the argument.

'We invented Windows 8 Tiles in the 1990s', says firm suing Microsoft

Steve Martins

oh crap...

Yet another patent I've violated by developing a UI component I thought was bleedin' obvious... so you mean it's not bleedin' obvious? OMG - i've just realised this is surely unequivocal proof that I'm a genuis!

APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us

Steve Martins

accurate description not required for patent protection...

a thin rectangular slab with four slightly rounded corners, a screen that went to the rim of the device, and an "overall design of extreme simplicity"


is this the apple device in question... and when did they get into silk screen printing? (slightly rounded corners, to me a 2mm rad is slightly rounded... - scroll to the photo)

The Big Debate: OK gloomsters, how can the music biz be FIXED?

Steve Martins

music industry is not music culture

The industry got big on a bubble, congrats to those who rode that wave and made lots of money. I listen to the radio these days and get frustrated at the terribly low quality and low variety of music. This situation has been created by the INDUSTRY. I neither want to pay for or receive their services, but the channel to getting new and interesting music has become very narrow - almost squeezed out of existence by the corporate bigwigs who want to peddle what ever drives their profit margins.

I'm not against copyright, I'm massively against "copyright" being used to strong arm music lovers into parting with cash for a second rate product.

If you like music, support all the small gigs and events happening in your area, where the artists get paid directly, rather than the 2% that is left after the sharks have a go. Music culture will never die, but if the music industry died I would dance on its grave.

'Stop-gap' way to get Linux on Windows 8 machines to be issued

Steve Martins

wild speculation...

But no worse than the rest of you!

My assumption is that Win8 *requires* UEFI secure boot so if you want to dual boot linux / win8 (on x86) you can't disable the windows key. Can anyone tell me how wrong i might be?

Russian Christians boosted by Pussy Riot law spank 'sinful' Apple logo

Steve Martins

Why are you offended?

It seems some people go out of their way to find things that offend them, or don't adhere to their view of the world. If you feel offended by something, as yourself this: is your faith or belief so weak that it is so easily threatened by such things? if so I suggest either you grow a pair and accept we all need a thick skin in life, such that we can coexist, or give up the religion you clearly have so little faith in that you need a government to defend your position.

All i've ever asked of people who hold strong beliefs is acceptance and tolerance of those whose views of the world differ from yours, If your faith is strong this will be easy for you, if it is weak you will feel the need to attack those who don't agree with you.

Crazed Microsoft robot accuses BBC kids' channel of Win8 piracy

Steve Martins

Using it for what thought?

Perhaps you would enlighten us as to what you actually use it for?? I personally upgraded from windows 7 to a pencil and pad for note taking, my productivity went through the roof, and my data loss fell to almost zero!

Steve Martins

search accuracy

Microsoft are able to get such a highly accurate hit rate due to their use of product names that are completely unique product identifiers that don't match commonly used words of the English language such as Office, Word, Excel, Access, Metro, Outlook ... oh wait...

it seems the Outlook for Access to my websites which seem to Excel in the use of the odd Word which could get the into trouble is not good!

I'm of to my Office to rewrite all my websites to avoid a M$ DCMA takedown!!!

Error found in climate modelling: Too many droughts predicted

Steve Martins


I understand the difficulty in designing a hypothetical model that seems to most resemble the observations of the climate. Humans are naturally very very good at spotting patterns in random behaviour however (we see faces in clouds all the time...). What I don't understand is how easily it seems that these scientists apply positive feedback, which we all know can only exists for a short period of time (unstable period) before a system falls into a stable (negative feedback) state. Thermodynamics, entropy, control theory, common sense... there are many approaches to this understanding. I don't deny the negative impact that humans are having on the planet, but for me each positive feedback mechanism I hear about discredits an otherwise sound scientific approach. If you must identify a positive feedback mechanism, at least consider the tipping point at which positive feedback can no longer be sustained (unless you have a design for a perpetual motion machine that can solve the worlds energy needs!)

Facebook sued by Chinese firm over Timeline

Steve Martins

Patent Law Dicktionary

Its difficult being a sane person in this world, so to help others like me I think its time a dictionary was compiled, only one entry so far but its a start:

Non-Obvious: an idea that your pet hamster on a balance of probabilities would be unable to conceive of unaided*

(* unaided implies said hamster is kept in a cage away from any visual, audio or textual information which could otherwise lead to influence of thought)

Microsoft: It was never 'Metro,' it was always 'Modern UI'

Steve Martins

to stand out in a crowd...

Glad to see mikkysoft is continuing its tradition of choosing product names that will stand out against the backdrop sea of of search terms on the internet... the joy of searching for specific information using terms like .net, word, com, SQL server, office to mention a few. I can see how "modern UI" will easily appear at the top of the search list and be relevant, being such a unique product name. At the very least they could have chosen a random lowercase letter of the alphabet to prepend to all their products! ( 'i' as in "idiot" has already been used however)

Study: Climate was hotter in Roman, medieval times than now

Steve Martins

Re: positive feedback

I can completely understand and see the validity of amplification within certain constrained limits and individual systems as you describe. I would expect this amplification to continue to a point, however that is a long way from a scenario of uncontrolled runaway positive feedback as eventually each localised amplified system will start to bear influence, or be influenced by another part of the overall system. This is where it becomes extremely difficult to predict. Historic large swings is consistent with different parts of a complex system becoming dominant, and then receding.

I think the AGW debate is very important and necessary, I have no idea who is right as I don't have enough information, however humans are notoriously bad at being objective and quickly become dogmatic in their points of view regardless of new information. Its good that we enjoy stirring it up to try and get to the truth.

Steve Martins

positive feedback

I have to wonder how many climatologists who talk of positive feedback have studied control theory and s-domain mathematics? Just because you can see a logical arguement against a few simplistic parameters doesn't make it a sound hypothesis. Feedback control systems have a habit of becoming very complex very quickly with only a few influencing factors. I'm not saying I disagree, I would just like to see the formally peer reviewed mathematics that supports these claims, and exactly how many assumptions are made for each contributing parameter. When we can successfully predict the motion of a double pendulum (http://www.chaoticpendulums.com/chaos-theory-a9.html) which only has two moving parts I will start to believe that the scientists *know* what the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere will be.

In any case I support the reduction of consumption of finite and polluting resources regardless of the AGW arguement.

Why I love Microsoft’s vapourware tablet

Steve Martins

Promo video magtastic

Is it just me, or while watching the 'surface' promo video did anyone else get the impression that they're really excited about the fact that they've used magnets?

Ballmer says 500 MILLION 'users' to 'have' Windows 8 in 2013

Steve Martins

Not Once...

Not once did i think "I want to use Win7"

Not once did I look at purchasing Win7

Not once did I say "XP doesn't work for me I need to upgrade"

Not once did I think Win 7 was necessary, or even desirabe

Not once did I ask to have Win 7 on any machine of mine

... so how the hell did I end up using it???

I assume i will have the same level of choice with Win 8

Third of Blighty stuck on snail-speed broadband

Steve Martins
Thumb Down

*(up to) snail speed more like

According to those statistics, i think i fall in the 3.2MB/s category, because that is what i get, when it works right. Of course thats only about 5% of the time, other times struggle to get a tenth of that! I wonder what the true snal speeds would be like if we actually got rid of the "Up To" prefix for real?

Angry Birds boss: Piracy helps us 'get more business'

Steve Martins

Most digital content companies...

Would rather have 1000 customers paying £100 each than 1,000,000 customers paying £1 each. Some execs are realising that freely distributable digital content leads to much greater exposure and familiarity, naturally leading to greater market penetration and secondary revenue streams. Familiarity also gets some higher value products into the hands of up and coming professionals who will soon decide which solution they prefer (e.g. photoshop). Alternatively you can continually try and piss off your potential consumers until they go elsewhere...

"Piracy" should in many instances be looked on as an alternative marketing strategy - the cost saving in marketing alone is probably not to be sniffed at (compared to traditional methods of getting people to know about/familiar with your product)

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’

Steve Martins
Thumb Down

Pressing a key combination...

so that will be moving your finger in a predefined pattern across a (discrete) touch sensitive array

Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

Steve Martins

Debate rages on

I for one am glad that this topic is being so fiercely debated. Its clearly important that we make the right decisions in light of potentially damaging pollution for the sake of future generations. Its just a shame that so many involved seem to think their efforts are best served by bereating those whose opinions differ from their own. This report is a step towards answering the questions that simply cannot be conclusively answered at this time, and many many more steps are still required.

The situation that I cannot deny is that it is foolish to continue to deplete finite global resources at the rate we are doing regardless of whether it is causing AGW. I was skeptical about the global warming measurements, and in light of new information happily adjust my understanding as all good scientists do. However there are many many things that are irrefutable facts that we have caused serious damage to the planets ecosystems, such as a floating mass of plastic the size of france in the atlantic. perhaps we should be putting more effort into the things we DO know about. Should we eventually find sufficient evidence that AGW is real and significant, it simply adds to the many things we need to sort out before its all too late.

Sorry, time travelers, you’re still just fiction

Steve Martins

My limited understanding...

leads me to believe time slows near the speed of light, and stops at the speed of light (thus IMHO light is a wave of fixed energy quanta frozen in time and so acts like a particle, but i digress...) so theoretically we can travel vast distances and not age, our relatives however would be long since dead by the "time/space" we reach our destination, having effectively travelled forward in time... now travelling backwards in time, well...

CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

Steve Martins

Those who shout loudest

Who on earth actually downvoted this?! Its been well established that in a large group concensus typically follows those who are the most dominant, influential or loudest. In fact so strong is the social desire of conformity that in many cases individuals will act against what they know to be true in order to conform. A so called skeptic can, and often is, someone who both knows better and has the confidence and independence to speak out against the majority knowing full well they will be shouted down.

Some people should learn more about human nature then perhaps take the time to re evaluate the ideas they align themselves with. Believe me, coming to your OWN conclusions takes a hell of a lot more work than people believe.

ARM daddy simulates human brain with million-chip super

Steve Martins

Brains aren't synonymous with storage

It sound like they are trying to replicate the synchronous firing of neurons as a result of data, rather than the synchronous firing of neurons resulting in data. I've found the best way to think of it is an event driven cascade resulting in further events.

As a cascade moves through the brain, the neurons along the paths it follows fire. If there are sufficient firing in synchronicity the electric potential in that localised area raisies, and at a certain level causes a reaction with an enzyme which makes that path stronger, so in the future an impulse is more likely to take that path. Each pathway represents information that may or may not be correlated. Over time the correlations form patterns so they fire in synchronicity, leading to associative memory (which is why the best learing techniques use association).

Maybe I'm wrong, but i believe mimicking the brains activity will need a drastic step change in the design of processors before they can truly replicate such behaviour!