Noise in a signal; any undesired data in a data stream, whether introduced intentionally by a malicious party or unintentionally by the environment or due to logical error.

Much of "pure" mathematics finds application in the detection, removal, or prevention of interference.

It also has some meaning in sports.

Interference is a two minute minor penalty in the game of hockey. Almost anytime a player impedes a player on the opposing team somehow, and the offended player does not have the puck and is not involved in the play or is in the process of obtaining the puck or making a play, interference is called. Interference is not called, usually, when the impediment is actually some other penalty, such as high sticking, tripping, roughing, spearing, etc. During the two minute penalty the offending team is shorthanded and the other has a power play. See those nodes for more information.

The problem with interference is, at least in the opinions of most rabid hockey fans, it is not clearly defined or consistently called. Sometimes it appears to be handed out too often or easily, and sometimes not enough. It has become an issue in the late 90's-early 21st century when it was decided that this would be called more often in an effort to reduce interference with talented, goal-scoring players and thus promote more offense. It seems really unfair when this is called when a player is hit cleanly right after he has given up the puck. Technically, he doesn't have the puck, but the hitting player was just finishing a check, as they like to say, meaning he was going in for a hit when he saw that that player had the puck and he wasn't going to stop. Calling interference in this situation draws boos because hockey fans feel that it's harming the physical aspect of the game, something most fans hold in high regard, and making players more skittish about hitting each other.

At one point in time in the late 90's there was a crease interference rule that basically said that any goal scored while a player was in the goaltender's crease area, or any part of that player (foot, hand, or even a toe - yes, a toe), the goal was disallowed. This was to reduce danger to goalies of getting hit in attempts to score. In the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, then-Dallas Star Brett Hull scored the cup-winning goal on Dominik Hasek in triple overtime in Game Six vs. the Buffalo Sabres (the game was in Buffalo). The goal was tainted because Hull's foot was in the crease and it should have been disallowed, but it was not. Buffalo fans are still sore about it.

That rule disappeared before the 1999-2000 season.

Thanks to avalyn for pointing out the now-defunct goalie interference rule.

Published in October 2019 by Tor Books, Interference is the second science fiction novel by American author and Spanish-English translator, Sue Burke, who previously published Semiosis, the first volume in the same series.

Interference picks up some time after the point where Semiosis leaves off, and unlike the previous volume, Interference takes place within a single subjective year for all of its point-of-view characters, with the sole exception of its final chapter, which observes events taking place back on Earth after the events of the core plot on the colony planet Pax.

Centuries after the Pax colony is established, global unrest, climate change, and warfare on Earth leads the world government to send an investigative team of human scientists to Pax, to determine if follow-up colonies should be sent, and to take stock of any natural resources which might be reaped from the colony. While this story is the second contact of humans with the sentient rainbow bamboo named Stevland, and the ant-like aliens known as Glassmakers, it is Earth's first contact with the Pacifist civilisation of humans, who are now living in harmony with the Glassmakers who had previously warred with them over territory and food.

The visiting Earthlings bring a lethal influenza strain to Pax, and several Earthlings die in attempts to wrest control over the Pacifist colony from its own inhabitants. The story follows the internal tensions and conflicts over leadership, both among the Earthling research team, and among the Pacifists in response to the invasive and deadly behaviour of Earthlings, whose language and culture are initially fully incompatible with those of the Pacifists. While all this is happening, forest fires and incursions of lethal "coral" at the edge of Stevland's forest are active existential threats to all characters we have met so far, though the Earthlings are not aware or convinced of the threat, having been kept in the dark about Stevland's sentience and importance to the Pacifist society.

As its title suggests, Interference is still about both linguistics and the growth and deterioration of civilisations, and the title refers to both radio signal distortion suffered by the Earthlings on their communication devices, and to the action of the Earthlings among the Pacifists.

Interference is a strong follow-up novel to Semiosis, but its tone is significantly different. By the time the reader starts sympathising with the Pacifists more strongly than with the Earthlings, the Earthlings begin having more point-of-view chapters in rapid-fire succession over very short spans of time within the narrative. Stevland's own perspective exists at a certain complicated objectivity over the rest of the action, as his ability to observe all other activity is quasi-omniscient across his vast root network. I recommend this novel, perhaps not as urgently as the one which came before, because I enjoyed it greatly and felt it did much to develop the world of Pax more clearly for the reader, but it raises as many new questions as it answers, and it does not appear the author intends to write a third book, leaving the ending somewhat open to interpretation.

Semiosis Duology
Semiosis (February 2018, Tor Books)

Iron Noder 2019, 27/30

In`ter*fer"ence (?), n. [See Interfere.]


The act or state of interfering; as, the stoppage of a machine by the interference of some of its parts; a meddlesome interference in the business of others.

2. Physics

The mutual influence, under certain conditions, of two streams of light, or series of pulsations of sound, or, generally, two waves or vibrations of any kind, producing certain characteristic phenomena, as colored fringes, dark bands, or darkness, in the case of light, silence or increased intensity in sounds; neutralization or superposition of waves generally.

⇒ The term is most commonly applied to light, and the undulatory theory of light affords the proper explanation of the phenomena which are considered to be produced by the superposition of waves, and are thus substantially identical in their origin with the phenomena of heat, sound, waves of water, and the like.

3. PatentLaw

The act or state of interfering, or of claiming a right to the same invention.

Interference figures Optics, the figures observed when certain sections of crystallized bodies are viewed in converging polarized light; thus, a section of a uniaxial crystal, cut normal to the vertical axis, shows a series of concentric colored rings with a single black cross; -- so called because produced by the interference of luminous waves. -- Interference fringe. Optics See Fringe.


© Webster 1913.

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