Posts matching the query string: OrderBy=PostForDate&Desc=Desc&Dtm1=20090401&Dtm2=20090501.

My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).

  1. A New Breed of Netbook? TAGS: Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Open Source. Software. TECH.
  2. Looking at the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) TAGS: Apple. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. My Stuff. TECH.
  3. More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops TAGS: Atheism. Culture. Faith.
  4. My Vices TAGS: Atheism. Faith. Food. Introversion. MARTIAL. My Stuff. Psychology. Ramblings. Relations. Self Improvement.
  5. A New E-Paper Competitor TAGS: Books. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Hardware. Reading. TECH. Text.
  6. BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science" TAGS: Chill. Cool. Crude. Food. Funny. Gadget. Pyro. TECH. Videos.
  7. Intel's Ct software will make ordinary code work on forthcoming many-core processors TAGS: Computers. Cyber Tech. Hardware. Programming. Software. TECH.
  8. The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money? TAGS: Conditioning. Health. Training.
  9. Signals and the Shared Road TAGS: Atheism. Faith. Introversion. My Stuff. Philosophy. Psychology. Ramblings. Relations. Thoughts.
  10. Netbook Chips Create a Low-Power Cloud TAGS: Computers. Cyber Tech. Hardware. TECH.
  11. The 10 Coolest Foreign Words The English Language Needs TAGS: Cool. Culture. Funny. Language.
  12. 13 things that do not make sense TAGS: Cool. Inspiring. Mind. Science.
  13. "Tea Parties Forever" by Paul Krugman TAGS: Politics. USA.
  14. Gmail Sidesteps the App Store TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Programming. TECH.
  15. One Number to Rule Them All TAGS: Audio. Communications. Cyber Life. Google. TECH.
  16. Did You Know TAGS: Culture. Cyber Life. News. TECH. Videos.
DateTextLinkSourceTagsNote
20090430 193449 Z Triumph vs Star Wars Geeks www.milkandc … ink/2536/detail/ Mary Crude, Culture, Funny, Live Action, Science Fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars, Tolkien, Videos An oldie but it's still funny every time I see it. Just for kicks, here's Triumph giving a weather report for Hawaiian TV.
20090429 191956 Z Cliff May Unedited Interview Pt. 1 www.thedaily … edited-interview www.reddit.c … ain_as_a_gifted/ Ethics, Funny, Jon Stewart, Journalism, Live Action, News, Politics, TV, USA, Videos, War Cliff May and Jon Stewart debate the recent torture issue. It's good to see folks who come from such opposites sides of an issue, but who are able to do an actual exchange. It's not pretty but it seemed sincere. BTW: I'm with Jon Stewart on this issue.
20090428 213123 Z Cornify http://www.cornify.com/ Chill, Cute, Cyber Life, Funny, Images, Quirky Note to self: Cornify.
20090428 211726 Z New Page 3 http://www.lolworld.com/ www.reddit.c … e_of_a_clueless/ Culture, Cyber Life, TECH The real humor is in the reddit comment thread about the older folks who just don't get computers and the Internets [sic].
20090428 203501 Z Best Video I've Seen Today Will Make You Smile gizmodo.com/ … l-make-you-smile digg.com/mus … l_Make_You_Smile Chill, Culture, Inspiring, Live Action, Music, Videos, World Folks at playforchange.com recorded street performers around the world to make a mixed recording of "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King. Well executed.
20090420 163109 Z Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009 www.youtube. … ch?v=Z19zFlPah-o www.reddit.c … u_will_ever_see/ Chill, Cool, Inspiring, Live Action, Play, Sports, Videos Mad skillz! My balls hurt just watching some of his moves.
20090420 162610 Z Anybody else waiting for the old generation to die so that we can legalize filesharing, marijuana, gay marriage, etc. and then get on with our lives? www.philipbr … ocoum.com/?p=588 www.reddit.c … d_generation_to/ Ethics, Legal, Politics Controversial. It's good to see contrary comments in the post and in the reddit thread.
20090420 162256 Z Operating System Interface Design Between 1981-2009 www.webdesig … tween-1981-2009/ digg.com/des … etween_1981_2009 Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Images, Software, TECH Oddly exciting to see the screen shots of old GUI operating systems. Looking at stuff that was new when you were younger makes you feel old and young at the same time.
20090420 004246 Z Paleo in a Nutshell Part 1: Food www.youtube. … ch?v=uCFZoqmKf5M www.windycit … 09/04/41509.html Food, Health, Nature, Sustainability, Videos My wife and I have been doing roughly the Paleolithic diet, but we do make exceptions for milk. Free range meat is expensive though. And I'm still a sweet tooth and a saltaholic. The recent different diets like Zone/Sears, Atkins, Mediterranean, South Beach, etc. aren't too far different from each other in general.
20090417 180628 Z We Didn't Start the Flame War www.collegeh … om/video:1907543 digg.com/com … _War_Music_Video Chill, Crude, Cute, Cyber Life, Funny, Live Action, Videos Good job! Sadly, many of us have seen almost everything in the video.
20090414 183849 Z Stop motion with wolf and pig www.youtube. … ch?v=rmkLlVzUBn4 digg.com/art … ith_wolf_and_pig Animation, Chill, Cute, Funny, Kids, Live Action, Videos Creative and funny. I'll be sure to see this with my kids.
20090414 180557 Z Stars by scale via Hubble img19.images … /2706/spaceb.jpg digg.com/spa … _we_re_small_Pic Beauty, Cool, Inspiring, Science, Space, TECH I've seen variations of this before, but this one has photos via the Hubble telescope.
20090414 020532 Z Hakuho vs Asashoryu - the real SUMO fighting 8 www.youtube. … ch?v=OV5LF8dwd-8 www.reddit.c … d_this_way_just/ Chill, Cool, Fighting, Funny, Japanese Martial Arts, Live Action, Standup Fighting, Videos, Wrestling I hope the video from the recent Chicago Swordplay Guild (Csg) [Chicagoswordplayguild.Com] prize play that I did has special effects like these.
20090414 020240 Z Disney's templates www.youtube. … ch?v=zL6FYxIuJlA Animation, Disney, Kids, Videos Filing here for my kids.
20090414 013635 Z LOON WATCH: Right-wing bets against U.S. in pirate standoff www.dailykos … tv.com/w/001151/ digg.com/pol … _pirate_standoff Journalism, Live Action, News, Politics, TV, USA, Videos To the dicks at Fox: No thanks, you can keep your lousy trash talk. Obama and US military did an awesome job dealing with the pirates!
20090413 173537 Z The Pursuit of Laziness blag.xkcd.co … uit-of-laziness/ www.reddit.c … _to_read_in_bed/ Amazon, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Kindle, Reading, Text I'm afraid that if I show this to my wife, then she'll want me to make it for her and her Kindle. If on the other hand I had my own Kindle, then I'd make it just for kicks.
20090412 150109 Z Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009 www.youtube. … ch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY digg.com/mus … ain_s_Got_Talent Beauty, Inspiring, Live Action, TV, UK, Videos One of the most uplifting videos I've seen in a while. Wonderful.
20090412 033515 Z Single-finger text input blog.makezin … OTC-0D6B48984890 www.reddit.c … nger_text_input/ Cool, Cyber Life, Free Gratis, Free Libre, Software, TECH, Text, Videos Cool! I downloaded Dasher and I made this post entirely by using one hand and a mouse.
20090410 135931 Z The Secret To Chimp Strength www.scienced … 090330200829.htm digg.com/gen … o_Chimp_Strength Biology, Fauna, Mind In light of my having gone ape at the CSG prize play --climbing up to hang the banners (What? Were you thinking something else?) -- here is an article about why the other apes are stronger than humans.
20090410 125648 Z Changing a Non-IDENTITY column to IDENTITY and vice versa www.sqlserve … les/T-SQL/61979/ Databases, Microsoft, Programming, SQL, TECH Maybe useful later.
2009-04-30t15:52:10 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Open Source, Software, TECH
A New Breed of Netbook?
A New Breed of Netbook? [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22561/?nlid=1991]

It's a netbook running on a cell phone chip thus it's cheap, energy efficient, and it runs on Google's free (libre and gratis) Android operating system.

Currently, many netbooks use Intel's Atom processor, which is built using the x86 architecture found in most of the company's desktop, laptop, and server chips. Most netbooks get about an hour of power per battery cell. On an ARM-based notebook, Solis says, it could be possible to get eight hours from a three-cell battery. Of course, while long battery life is appealing, there is a definite trade-off. "If you're looking for a powerful speedy laptop, then these netbooks aren't for you," Solis says. "But if you're looking for something that can last you all day without recharging, and that's at an even lower cost than most netbooks, then these might work."
2009-04-30t15:47:13 Z | TAGS: Apple, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, My Stuff, TECH
Looking at the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1)

My phone contract is up for renewal this May. I'm either going with a minimal phone that can phone, text, and takes pictures, or I'll go with a full smart phone.Here's the most in-depth look at the T-Mobile G1 phone: THE DEFINITIVE IN-DEPTH REVIEW: Optus HTC Dream with Google Android [http://apcmag.com/australian-review-htc-dream-optus.htm].

I've also gathered basic stats to compare the G1 against the Apple iPhone:

FeatureiPhoneG1
Price200180
Height4.5"4.6"
Width2.4"2.16"
Depth0.48"0.62"
Weight133 g158 g
Display3.5" 480x3203.2" 480x320
Camera2 Mpix3.2 Mpix
KeyboardSWHW
Trackballnoyes
CPU620 MHz ARM 1176528 MHz ARM 11
RAM128 DRAM192 DDR SDRAM + 256 MB Flash
Storage8 or 16 GB built in1-8 GB microSD
Data Port30 pin dock connectorUSB
Audio Port3.5 mmUSB or USB with 3.5 mm dongle
RechargeDock to USBUSB
Battery Talk5 h5 h
Battery Standby300 h130 h
Battery Replacementdealer onlyyou or dealer

The G1 is appealing because I make heavy use of Google for email and calendar. Since my name is George, having a phone called "G1" has some ego appeal. It is also a pleasing coincidence that the G1 was released on my birthday in 2008.

2009-04-28t21:21:33 Z | TAGS: Atheism, Culture, Faith
More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops
More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27atheist.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1240952429-7pY1rNpIH2sa3VdtvbXweQ] [VIA: http://digg.com/arts_culture/More_Atheists_Shout_It_From_the_Rooftops]

Come out into the sunshine! -Your Friendly Neighborhood Atheist

Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Identification Survey [http://livinginliminality.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/aris_report_2008.pdf], a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years. Nationally, the “nones” in the population nearly doubled, to 15 percent in 2008 from 8 percent in 1990. In South Carolina, they more than tripled, to 10 percent from 3 percent. Not all the “nones” are necessarily committed atheists or agnostics, but they make up a pool of potential supporters.
2009-04-27t20:42:29 Z | TAGS: Atheism, Faith, Food, Introversion, MARTIAL, My Stuff, Psychology, Ramblings, Relations, Self Improvement
My Vices

A co-worker of mine recently mentioned that I had no vices. I quickly and instinctively replied that it was a false statement because I like my salt, I like my sweets, and I procrastinate. That little exchange got me to thinking about my vices.

I've explored and written about the seven deadly sins [W], virtue [W] and variations before and I may go over them a little bit today, but my emphasis for now is to cover just a little corner of the topic from my perspective, as opposed to covering the topic in general.

The Seven Deadly Sins (in Latin & English) and their corresponding virtues:

  • Luxuria = Lust v Chastity
  • Gula = Gluttony v Temperance
  • Avaritia = Greed v Charity
  • Acedia = Sloth v Diligence
  • Ira = Anger v Patience
  • Invidia = Envy v Kindness
  • Superbia = Pride v Humility

The Four Cardinal Virtues of the Ancient Greeks (and their corresponding vices):

  • Prudence v Folly
  • Temperance v Lust
  • Justice v Venality
  • Courage v Cowardice

Some Christian vices of the spirit:

  • Blasphemy (holiness betrayed)
  • Apostasy (faith betrayed)
  • Despair (hope betrayed)
  • Hatred (love betrayed)
  • Indifference (scripturally, a "hardened heart")

GLUTTONY and folly. While I don't really drink alcohol, eat too much, eat too many simple carbs, smoke, or do drugs, gluttony is still indeed a vice of mine. I'm a saltaholic and I have a fair sweet tooth, but they are also not out of control or ruining anybody's life. My blood pressure, my weight, my teeth and my budget are all good, but in the long run I will probably want modify my diet.

SLOTH and folly. I have certain concrete slothful behaviours. I play WarCraft a bit too much --I've quit and restarted several times. I procrastinate on taking the trash out --Yes, I let it pile up in our back porch before I take it out. Those are all fairly small things. Having sloth and procrastination means that I don't live up to my potential in small ways (EG: Getting out of bed sooner) and big ways (EG: I don't "save the world" as much as I could). Sloth is probably my biggest vice. There are many causes for sloth: There is a fear of failing to live up to the potential, there is a fear of admitting the limits of ones potential, there is the fear of change or making decision, there is the fear of imperfection or incompleteness, etc. etc. Ignore all the noise. Screw the butterflies. Don't be too worried about mistakes or failures or looking good. Encourage action or progress no matter how small.

LUST. When I was younger, my thoughts and hormones pushed that way quite a bit. Thankfully things have settled down somewhat. Every body is different so we'll see how my changes as I get older. As a species we need some lust to reproduce. Lust is spicy and natural, and there will always be some folks who will over do it, but usually some temperance fixes it. The Lust/Chastity pair is overrated.

INTROVERSION. I'm on the fence on this one. People are born with physical and personality traits like black hair or introversion. While, people can easily change their hair color, it is harder to adjust a person's degree of introversion. I don't think introverts should consider themselves to have vices like sloth, folly, cowardice, despair, and indifference just because they're introverted. However we introverts do need to practice in order to increase our comfort level and our skills because communicating is important, prevalent, and often necessary. I've been thinking about Signal-to-Noise Ratio recently and an introvert is like an absence of signal, which can be disconcerting for some, and could inadvertently pass the wrong info along.

MARTIAL ARTS. I do not consider martial arts to be a sin of any sort. I'm perfectly capable of doing and enjoying violence, but there is no anger or malice in it. Even ants will defend themselves. Martial arts is good fun exercise that involves diligence, patience, humility, prudence, a sense of justice, courage, hope. The physical, tactical, and strategic skills and plays involved are wide and deep, and so are the social, cultural, historical, and scientific components.

ATHEISM. I do not consider atheism to be a sin of blasphemy or apostasy, any more than noting that 1 + 1 = 2, or that at standard temperature and pressure, most gases behave like an ideal gas. If I thought I was a better human being just because I'm an atheist, then that would be pride. (Although some atheists might say that we should be proud that we don't need divine wrath to make us nice to others.) If I thought everyone should be forced to immediately become atheist, than that would be folly and indifference.

2009-04-27t15:00:17 Z | TAGS: Books, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Reading, TECH, Text
A New E-Paper Competitor
A New E-Paper Competitor [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22545/?nlid=1979&a=f]

Real ink and paper has a reflection rate of 85%, but it can't be changed electronically or do video.

The E Ink technology, used by devices like Amazon's Kindle, moves black and white microcapsules in a liquid medium. Resulting in reflection rates of 40% and a refresh rate of tens to hundreds of milliseconds. See How It Works by E Ink.

CRT, LCD, plasma, etc. technology emits light but are not as portable and are not as good in settings with lots of background light. LCDs have a refresh rate of a few milliseconds.

This new technology draws out actual ink from ink wells resulting in reflection rates of 55% and a refresh rate of less than a millisecond. Faster than LCD! Furthermore, the resolution is 300 dpi, and it should be able to do color which E Ink can't.

This electronic inkwell technology, led by Jason Heikenfeld [http://www.ece.uc.edu/devices/] seems very promising. I look forward to the technological and economic feasibility testing.

In their pixels, the researchers use aluminum layers that reflect light and carbon black ink for a deep black color. First, a polymer layer is patterned with wells that contain the black ink. An aluminum film is deposited on the polymer and topped with an indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent electrode layer. A voltage applied across the aluminum and the ITO electrode pulls the ink out of the well and spreads it over the entire pixel area.
2009-04-21t16:01:11 Z | TAGS: Chill, Cool, Crude, Food, Funny, Gadget, Pyro, TECH, Videos
BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science"
BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science" [http://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/15/bb-video-the-flaming.html] [VIA: Oscar]

They have discovered but one portion of my fire-breathing technique! Yes: I consume the bacon/prosciutto and store it about my waist. (Krispy Kreme will do as well)

However they missed two key parts: I have learned special breathing techniques that allow me to expel pure oxygen, and I am also able to generate a spark in my mouth by using strawberry flavored Pop Rocks. Thus I can, upon command, combine the bacon with the pure oxygen in my sinuses, then I light it with the Pop Rocks spark as I rapidly expel it.

The effect is almost as good as laughing while chocolate milk is coming out of my nose.

2009-04-21t15:27:39 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Tech, Hardware, Programming, Software, TECH
Intel's Ct software will make ordinary code work on forthcoming many-core processors
Intel's Ct software will make ordinary code work on forthcoming many-core processors [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22517/?nlid=1961&a=f]

Nice. I was recently mentioning to some folks that we can't really take advantage of hi-core, hi-memory, hi-processing, hi-width, hi-parallel, etc. because the ease of use isn't there yet.

When it comes to writing computer software, there is a huge difference between "multi" and "many." Mere humans can write good software for the current breed of multicore processors that have two to four processing units inside a single chip, although this still requires extra skill and patience. The next step is many-core processors with sixteen to hundreds of cores--too many for any programmer to efficiently command. That's why later this year, Intel will release from its lab a research project called Ct ("C for Throughput") that will automatically make standard C and C++ compilers work with many-core processors, starting with Intel's first new graphics processor in many years, code-named Larrabee, which is scheduled to ship in early 2010.

It'll be like automatic garbage clean up.

Larrabee will not be a separate graphics chip in the same sense that an nVidia or ATI GPU is. Yet if Larrabee and Ct work as predicted, the days of discrete graphics processors may soon be over.
2009-04-19t23:54:28 Z | TAGS: Conditioning, Health, Training
The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money?
The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money? [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1170253/The-painful-truth-trainers-Are-expensive-running-shoes-waste-money.html] [VIA: http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/8dno5/the_painful_truth_about_trainers_are_running/]

Yep. I switched to the running by landing on the forefoot months ago. It is definitely much easier than landing on the heel.

Running landing on heel
Running landing on forefoot

The Pose method also focuses on using gravity with the forward lean, and lifting the foot instead of pushing backwards.

2009-04-17t17:00:53 Z | TAGS: Atheism, Faith, Introversion, My Stuff, Philosophy, Psychology, Ramblings, Relations, Thoughts
Signals and the Shared Road

This post is one of my occasional "brain dumps". I do it because thoughts float around in my head and if I don't do something specific with them, then they disappear, decay, or clutter up my head. So in lieu of doing something specific with these thoughts, I dump them out of my head by writing them down quickly without worrying too much about parsing them. A brain dump is about recording the "data" without worrying about distilling the "info". That is I'm supposed to be concerned about improving the signal-to-noise_ratio (SNR) [W] ("the level of a desired signal (such as music) to the level of background noise. The higher the ratio, the less obtrusive the background noise is").

Signals

Speaking of SNR, some of my recent thinking has to do with "the signal". One of the reasons I do my brain dumps is because my head has become too noisy, but I know that there must be some signal in there, so a brain dump may help to distill the signal. However I'm just one person: There are billions of other heads on this planet, and hence billions of SNR situations. Also it's not just about thoughts, the signal may refer to any chunk of "data" that is "info". The signal is any data that is info, beautiful, or true. The idea is partially a variation of John Keats' line: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.".

The signal may be an idea. The signal may be physical beauty. The signal may be a performance. The signal is both a class/concept and an instance/execution. I like using the word "signal" because there is not only the concept of the the signal (as in the info, the beauty, the truth), but also the concept of persisting, perpetuating, reproducing, permutating, sharing, and strengthening the signal, as well as the opposites: ending, reducing, hiding, and weakening the signal.

Parents who miscarry only just became aware of the signal of the child before they lost the signal. Parents who lose a young child only enjoyed the new signal for a short while before it went out. When someone dies that you didn't know, it is the loss of a signal that you never heard. When someone dies that you knew well, it is the loss of a familiar signal. When someone bright and dear dies, it is the loss of a beautiful signal.

We all have SNR. Some are able to share their signal externally by expressing themselves through speech, touch, writing, art. Some are able to persist their signal by the written word, photos, videos, monuments, memes. Some strengthen their signal (or the signal of others) by perpetuating, sharing, promoting, protecting, or permutating the signal. Some hide their signal. Some don't know to share their signal. Some have signals with great potential. Some have redirected signals. Some share their signal with a select group. Groups are strongest with a common signal or cause, that all in the group want support. Some blacken signals, do graffiti on signals, or diminish signals.

There are signals in nature. The beauty of a bird or a cat is a signal. The wonder of a sunrise or the stars at night are signals.

We seek out signals. We compare them and find ones that we attune to our own signal. We chose signals. A break up, a divorce, a separation, is a rejection of a signals, of non-harmonious signals, a devaluing of a signals.

I think this usage of the word "signal" is similar to the word "soul", but the word "signal" is secular, more flexible, and yet less abstract.

Shared Road

A friend of my recently left my company. We worked together for around 7 years. It got me to thinking of life as a shared road. The concept of life as a road or a river isn't new. Possibly the most famous usage comes from J.R.R. Tolkien who had at least 3 walking songs that start with "The Road goes ever on". See The Road Goes Ever On (song) [W]. While Tolkien's road focuses on the adventures on the road and coming home, my recent thoughts on the road have to do with sharing the road.

We can make some choices on the road. Perhaps we can choose which road to start on, or who we'll travel with. But often we don't have a choice about where we get set on the road, or about the random things that may happen on the road, or who we might randomly meet on the road, or who we might have to travel with on the road. Most of the people we meet on the road are strangers. Some we have to talk with to get groceries and such. Some we have to talk with because they're classmates or co-workers or neighbors. Some of us are more extroverted and want to talk with more on the road, while some of us are more introverted and want to talk with fewer on the road.

Let's assume that there are various causes for sharing the road that range from having a common "signal" (school, job, locality, political interests, etc.), to satisfying human social needs, to being attuned to the specific signal in an individual. The thing is we all get born, live, and die. that is metaphorically we all get on the road, we all travel on roads that we share with others, then we get off the road. I'd think that most people would want that shared road time to be meaningful at the least. Some may have additional requirements for that shared road time. Some may want it to be pleasurable, safe, sincere, adventurous, restful, productive, warm and fuzzy, and so on.

In any case, our personal time on the road of life is finite. We spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years at a time as if time was cheap. That time you were "forced" to spend with a "nobody" or nobody? Well guess what? It cost the same time as the time you "chose" to spend with a "somebody". Some people may interpret this as "Let's hurry this up because I don't want to waste another second with a nobody". I prefer to think that regardless of what part of the road I'm on, I want to be mindful of myself, the road, and anybody (if any) that I'm sharing that road with --even if they are a "nobody".

Another aspect of the shared road I've been thinking about has another temporal/spatial aspect. If you share the road with someone, and you never meet them again, then it's as if that person died. When someone dies, you never see them again in person. It's like they've permanently moved to another dimension or you permanently moved to another period in time. In one sense all the people in your past that you'll never meet again, have died. This sort of thinking can be depressing, because you might realize that all the people through out history that are dead, and that all the people in the future that you'll never meet are in a sense dead, and that all the people that you won't meet because of geography are in a sense dead, and that even in the same city all those strangers you don't meet are in a sense dead. If you don't receive a fairly regular signal from a person, then the probability is that their signal will fade to nothingness, and hence they are effectively dead.

When people move away or fall out of touch, then it is as if they have died. What's sadder is a loveless relationship where you can physically get their signal, but they're not sending you a real signal, the signal you knew, so it's as if they died. The silent treatment can be very harsh. Sometimes we may be giving people the silent treatment, and not be totally aware of it. I tend to be introverted and task focused so I'm almost certainly guilty. Anyhow the point of this shared road thought is not to make you or me depressed, but to make us mindful of the shared road and to earnestly live it. It's best to physically intimately directly get their signal by taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. However in lieu of that a phone call, a video call, a text, an email, a letter, a note in facebook, can do wonders.

2009-04-16t14:23:28 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Tech, Hardware, TECH
Netbook Chips Create a Low-Power Cloud
Netbook Chips Create a Low-Power Cloud [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22504/?nlid=1955&a=f]

I love leaps in performance!

[fast array of wimpy nodes] FAWN, which is described in an as-yet-unpublished paper by David Andersen and his team at Carnegie Mellon University, tackles this problem with a combination of relatively slow processors (the kind used in netbooks and other mobile devices) and flash memory (the kind that stores data in digital cameras and USB drives). The somewhat counterintuitive result is an architecture whose performance per watt of energy is a hundred times better than that of traditional servers, which use faster (but much more energy-hungry) processors and disk-based storage. There are two ways to get around the memory wall: the first is to increase the performance of a system's memory, and the second is simply to slow down its CPU. FAWN does both: flash memory has much faster random access than disk-based storage, and FAWN's slower processors require less power and waste fewer transistors trying to guess what's coming next.

A key to to performance gains is finding the bottle necks.

One way that FAWN replaces software like memcached and Dynamo is by conquering what computer scientists call the memory wall, which is the huge disparity between the rate at which disk-based storage can feed data to a CPU and the rate at which a CPU, which is much faster, can chew through that data. (Andersen points out that modern CPUs use an enormous number of transistors trying to guess what data to expect, fetching data in advance or caching it in memory to make sure that the chip always has a steady supply of bits to process.)

I also love creative counter-intuitive or non-obvious solutions. A slower CPU sounds wrong but it's cheaper, greener, and in this case more powerful (more work in less time).

There are two ways to get around the memory wall: the first is to increase the performance of a system's memory, and the second is simply to slow down its CPU. FAWN does both: flash memory has much faster random access than disk-based storage, and FAWN's slower processors require less power and waste fewer transistors trying to guess what's coming next. FAWN is composed of many individual nodes, each with a single 500-megahertz AMD Geode processor (the same chip used in the first One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop) with 256 megabytes of RAM and a single four-gigabyte compact flash card. The largest FAWN cluster built to date, consisting of 21 nodes, draws a maximum of 85 watts under real-world conditions.
2009-04-14t18:28:38 Z | TAGS: Cool, Culture, Funny, Language
The 10 Coolest Foreign Words The English Language Needs
The 10 Coolest Foreign Words The English Language Needs [http://www.cracked.com/article_17251_10-coolest-foreign-words-english-language-needs.html] [VIA: http://digg.com/comedy/The_10_Coolest_Foreign_Words_The_English_Language_Needs]

Who knew that Cracked would come up with decent words and concepts and put them together with decent explanations and pictures? It's actually revealed in the digg thread that the words came from this link: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1621546/posts.

  1. Bakku-shan (Japanese). "A beautiful girl... as long as she's being viewed from behind."
  2. Espirit d'escalier (French). "When you think of the perfect verbal comeback... much too late."
  3. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan). "A look between two people that suggests an unspoken, shared desire."
  4. Backpfeifengesicht (German). "A face badly in need of a fist."
  5. Nunchi (Korean). "The art of not becoming a Backpfeifengesicht."
  6. Shlimazl (Yiddish). "Somebody who has nothing but bad luck."
  7. Tatemae and Honne (Japanese). "What you pretend to believe and what you actually believe, respectively."
  8. Sgiomlaireachd (Scottish Gaelic). "When people interrupt you at meal time."
  9. Tingo (Pascuense). "To borrow from a friend until he has nothing left."
  10. Desenrascanco (Portuguese). "To pull a MacGyver."

The thread has a few other nice ones like callipygian, and lagum (Swedish for the perfect amount).

2009-04-14t18:17:30 Z | TAGS: Cool, Inspiring, Mind, Science
13 things that do not make sense
13 things that do not make sense [http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524911.600-13-things-that-do-not-make-sense.html?full=true] [VIA: http://digg.com/space/13_things_that_do_not_make_sense_11]

I've seen a bunch of these but a cool list anyway.

  1. The placebo effect
  2. The horizon problem
  3. Ultra-energetic cosmic rays
  4. Belfast homeopathy results
  5. Dark matter
  6. Viking's methane
  7. Tetraneutrons
  8. The Pioneer anomaly
  9. Dark energy
  10. The Kuiper cliff
  11. The Wow signal
  12. Not-so-constant constants
  13. Cold fusion
2009-04-13t17:51:41 Z | TAGS: Politics, USA
"Tea Parties Forever" by Paul Krugman
"Tea Parties Forever" by Paul Krugman [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/opinion/13krugman.html?_r=2] [VIA: http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/8c0ie/krugman_republicans_have_become_embarassing_to/]
Today's G.O.P. is, after all, very much a minority party. It retains some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats, but has no ability to make or even significantly shape policy. Beyond that, Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesn't feel right to make fun of crazy people. Better, perhaps, to focus on the real policy debates, which are all among Democrats. But here's the thing: the G.O.P. looked as crazy 10 or 15 years ago as it does now. That didn't stop Republicans from taking control of both Congress and the White House. And they could return to power if the Democrats stumble. So it behooves us to look closely at the state of what is, after all, one of our nation's two great political parties.
2009-04-13t15:46:12 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Programming, TECH
Gmail Sidesteps the App Store
Gmail Sidesteps the App Store [http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/22424/?nlid=1943&a=f]

The article is about mobile apps and the blurring distinction apps on mobile devices and web apps on mobile devices. I can see my company, ICLOPS [iclops.com], making mobile web apps in the near future.

This paragraph summarizes the technologies involved:

These features include a graphics tool called Canvas, "persistent storage," and an "application cache," explains Shyam Sheth, product manager on Google's mobile team. Canvas is something of an alternative to the popular Adobe Flash software that's commonly used to create graphics and animation on the Web. Persistent storage provides a way for data, originally on a remote server (such as Google's e-mail servers), to be stored locally, on the device. The HTML 5 application cache keeps important information about an application on the device that allows it to open quickly, as if it were running directly on the hardware instead of remotely. The iPhone version of Gmail uses only HTML 5, whereas Android uses a combination of HTML 5 and Gears (a Google software add-on that enables its Web apps to run offline).

This paragraph explains a major reason of why to do it. Cross platform programming is annoying!

Sheth says that there are a number of advantages for developers who build mobile applications via the Web. While there are only three major operating systems for desktops that developers need to learn, there are tens of mobile-device platforms with various different requirements. Applications can be built on the Web and need to be modified only slightly for different mobile devices. "Given the number of platforms we have in the mobile space," says Sheth, "we really need a unifying platform . . . That's why Google is so heavily investing in the Web becoming the common platform."
2009-04-02t16:16:29 Z | TAGS: Audio, Communications, Cyber Life, Google, TECH
One Number to Rule Them All
One Number to Rule Them All [http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/22380/?nlid=1908&a=f]

The best explanation of Google Voice that I've seen so far.

Users will soon be able to register, sign up for a phone number in a local area code, and add multiple landline and cell-phone numbers to an account. When someone calls a Google Voice phone number, all the registered phones ring at the same time.
It's the voice equivalent of an e-mail address. Once you register a number, the idea is that you never have to worry about which phone you are using, even if you switch offices, homes, or cell phones.
Google Voice is also largely about unification. No matter which phone you use, there is one portal for all voice-mail messages. You can play them on the Web, save them as MP3 files, and even post a voice-mail message on a website using an HTML embed feature. Conference calls are also easy: just answer an incoming call to add it to the current one.
When a caller leaves a voice mail, Google Voice automatically records and transcribes the message, then sends the transcription to you via e-mail.
Google Voice lets you send and receive text messages--again, by routing them between existing carriers. You can view a list of every SMS message you have ever sent, which is a highly useful feature. It's easy to review a history of placed, missed, and recorded calls. You can also import contacts from various address books. And you can easily disable one or more phones using a feature called Do Not Disturb.
2009-04-01t18:23:49 Z | TAGS: Culture, Cyber Life, News, TECH, Videos
Did You Know
Did You Know [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIDLIwlzkgY] [VIA: http://digg.com/gadgets/Did_You_Know_It_Will_Blow_Your_Mind]
A good video for folks that don't know or at least sense signs of Skynet or the Technological singularity [W], or the growth of China and India. The original "Shift Happens" video from Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod was made in 2006. Here is the 2007 update: Did You Know 2.0 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U].

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