01

2006-01 posts.

  1. Happy New Year!. RE: Friends. Conservation. Economy. Family. Life. Martial. My Creation. Politics. Rambling. U.S.A. (America). World.
  2. Ultimate Showdown. RE: A10+. Flash. Funny. Video. Violence.
  3. Free audio books. RE: Audio. Free Gratis. Words.
  4. How to be productive. RE: Flow. How To. Productivity.
  5. Bayesian for the young. RE: Flow. Google. Life. Microsoft. Programming. Rambling.
  6. Ten commandments of c. RE: Funny. Programming.
  7. LOTR x WOW. RE: Animated. Culture. Funny.
  8. Photography legal rights. RE: Photography. Images. Law.
  9. Chuck Norris tall tales. RE: Funny. Martial. Violence.
  10. Bush jumps the shark. RE: Politics. U.S.A. (America).
  11. Bill Gates at Consumer Electronics Show. RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Microsoft. Video.
  12. Webcams and Google Maps. RE: Cyber Life. Google. Video.
  13. text-image.com. RE: Art. Cyber Life. Free Gratis. Images. Text.
  14. Everyone's a scientist. RE: Science.
  15. Manifesto of Forbidden Truth. RE: Rambling.
  16. 10 most beautiful experiments. RE: Art. Science.
  17. 'I just went to sleep'. RE: Death. Faith. Life. News.
  18. Since Bush is in Chicago today. RE: Politics. U.S.A. (America).
  19. 10 commandments for ethical atheists. RE: Faith. Philosophy.
  20. Cartoon Epistemology. RE: Philosophy.
  21. Best of 2005: Fark Photochopping. RE: A14+. Images.
  22. Surviving sex among male prisoners. RE: Sex. Violence.
  23. Parenting nuggets. RE: Parenting.
  24. Pillars of good social software. RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Web 2.0.
  25. ARGH!. RE: Funny. Google. Programming. Words.
  26. HOW TO link to your Amazon wish list. RE: Shopping. Amazon. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. My Creation.
  27. Mouse vengance. RE: Funny.
  28. More cuteness. RE: Cute. Images. Science.
  29. Google Video Store. RE: Cyber Life. Google. Video.
  30. True math urban legend. RE: Math.
  31. Fast intro to photography. RE: Photography. How To. Images.
  32. Google DRM. RE: Culture. Cyber Life. Google.
  33. Javascript misunderstood. RE: Programming.
  34. Classic statement on the state of comics. RE: Comics.
  35. Article on the CSG in the Chicago Journal. RE: Chicago. Martial.
  36. So sue me!. RE: Cyber Life. Legal.
  37. LEDs brightening. RE: Economy. Engineering.
  38. Select top and sum the rest. RE: SQL. Database. Google. Programming.
  39. Frank's top 10 short quotes. RE: Flow. Quotations. Words.
  40. Learing from failure in programming. RE: Productivity. Programming.
  41. Lying about food. RE: Food. Funny. Sex.
  42. Whole Foods sails. RE: Conservation. Economy.
  43. What's an Intel chip doing in a Mac?. RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Mac.
  44. Get your 773-588-2300. RE: Chicago. Cyber Life. Funny. Google.
  45. 9 year old draws his way to the PSP he craves. RE: Flow. Images. Play.
  46. Richard Dawkins gets grumpy. RE: Faith. Philosophy. Popularity. Science.
  47. HOW TO: Improve a logo. RE: Design. How To.
  48. DL videos. RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Star Wars. Video.
  49. How many poor are there?. RE: Economy. Politics. World.
  50. Naked News. RE: A18+. Cyber Life. NSFW. News.
  51. Mini-AJAX tutorial. RE: Web 2.0. AJAX. Cyber Tech. Programming.
  52. Rectal work and play. RE: Medical. NSFW. Play.
  53. Dragon Skin scale armor. RE: Martial. Politics. U.S.A. (America).
  54. New CSG site goes live. RE: CSG. Cyber Tech. Martial. My Creation.
  55. Exercise reduces risk of dementia. RE: Health. Science.
  56. Backup on the cheap. RE: Cyber Tech. Free Gratis. Hardware.
  57. Color v word brain teaser. RE: Mind. Play.
  58. Bullets passing thru photos. RE: Images. Martial. Photography.
  59. nsfw.reddit.com. RE: Cyber Life. NSFW. Play. Popularity.
  60. BSG killed broadcast TV. RE: Cyber Tech. Show Biz. TV.
  61. College absenteeism. RE: Cyber Life. Education.
  62. Viking teeth. RE: Archaeology. Culture. History.
  63. The Last Question is out. RE: Science Fiction.
  64. The August hiccup. RE: Measurements. My Creation. Quirky.
  65. Migrating to my new laptop. RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Hardware. My Creation. Software.

2006-01-03t18:46:36Z | RE: Friends. Conservation. Economy. Family. Life. Martial. My Creation. Politics. Rambling. U.S.A. (America). World.
Happy New Year!

What a New Year's weekend!

12-30 Friday. My brother John married Catherine. Great wedding and reception. My daughter Connie was a flower girl, and my son York was a coin bearer. 100s of people including my brother Neil and his son Trevin; Andrea and Tony; Joe and Sheila (hmm.); Nikki was showing off her skillz [sic] on the dance floor. John and Catherine have a considerable history and it is remarkable that they are together and going strong. John goes off to Afghanistan for the U.S. Army in around a week.

12-31 Saturday. Saw King Kong with the kids. New Year's Eve party at Mike's house. Mike was a 40ish bachelor but now he's marrying into a family with two kids and a third in the oven. Plus he's had to sell his house, sell her house, and buy the new house together. Over the past several days I've been having discussions with different people about China and the U.S.. Everyone seems to agree that the U.S. should spend more per soldier, and that the U.S. should stay on top of the technology. Everyone also seems to agree that while there is a threat from China, Russia, terrorists, etc., that the U.S. should maintain its hegemony and super power or world policeman status. I feel that we did a good job of outspending instead of outfighting Communism during the Cold War and that the true path to world peace is to spend more on world economy and education and less on the military, thus encouraging others to do the same.

Here are the basic China and U.S. Facts

  China Russia U.S. World
Population (e9) [ref] 1.30 0.14 0.29 6.45
Population % 20.2% 2.2% 4.5% 100%
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [ref] (e12 USD) 1.65 0.58 11.73 40.89
GDP % 4.0% 1.4% 28.7% 100%
GDP (world rank) 7 16 1 -
Avg GDP Growth in past 20 years [ref] 9.5%   3% -
GDP per capita (GDP PC) (USD) [ref] 1,272 4,087 39,935 6,411
GDP per capita (% world) 20% 63% 623% 100%
GDP per capita (world rank) 110 68 7 -
Military Budget [ref and ref] (e9 USD) 29.9 - 419.3 896.2
Military Budget (% GDP) 1.4% - 3.7% 100%
Military Budget (% world) 3.3% - 46.7% 100%
Military Budget (world rank) 2 - 1 -

The military budgets of China is also estimated as high as 90.0e9 USD (or 4.2% GDP). Russia's military budget is mysterious.

01-01 Sunday. My family found itself suddenly hosting a party for all the relatives. This was sort of impromptu but everyone brought food and everyone had a blast. Note to self: Move bookshelves downstairs and add more seating all over. Also real estate in the Philippines is booming: Some spots are now valued in USD and some property has gone up 20 times in value. John did radial keratome/RK/laser and now his eyes are better than 20:20. Hmm. Attending:

  • Tito Joe, tita Vette, and their sons Nino and Rico from California. Villamores.
  • Tito Ramon, tita Angie, and their kids Nicole and Nikki. Angelina too.
  • My mom and dad.
  • My sister Helen and her daughter Andrea.
  • My brother Larry and his wife Milet
  • My brothers Herb and Joe.
  • My brother John, his wife Catherine, and his kids Arie Rose and Michael.
  • My cousin Joy, her husband Polo, and her son Julian.

01-02 Monday. Another impromptu activity: We started a fish tank! When we got to PetSmart, I had to do some quick reading of obviously well used store copy of Aquariums for Dummies. We got a 20 gallon (75 L) tank kit (which came with tank, power filter, heater, thermometer, fish net, de-chlorinator, hood, and light. We also got a gravel, an air pump, air splitter, air tubing, under gravel filter, a fake coral, a submerged man who lifts up the lid of a treasure chest, plant food gravel and several plants. Various notes:

  • Rinse the plant food gravel separately from the regular gravel. The former is very dusty, whereas the latter barely needs rinsing.
  • Luckily we had a bucket that we havededicated to the aquarium.
  • Don't break off pieces from the tank lid until after you've installed everything. I broke off more than I needed.
  • I spent a lot of time setting up the power filter simply because one part needed to click into place.
  • Need to get: testing kits (for pH, Ammonia, nitrates, nitrites), timer for the light, fish food, and a floating thermometer.
  • Tomorrow we get fish!

I've never done an aquarium before but it's a remarkable activity for my family. There's a Chinese saying: "What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. And what I do, I understand." This should really get us to learn about ecosystems, the Nitrogen cycle, responsibility, biological indicators, etc. The amazing thing about reading all the literature are the many different ways your fish can die! An aquarium points out just how fragile an ecosystem is. We forget how important microorganisms are, and yet an aquarium can only persist if you take care of the microorganisms in the system too. We ourselves are extremely dependent on microorganisms: Within the human body itself, human DNA is outnumbered ten-to-one by non-human DNA. Many of our micro- symbiants are only found in humans, thus they have co-evolved with us.

Here's hoping that the rest of the year is also a bang!

2006-01-03t19:16:11Z | RE: A10+. Flash. Funny. Video. Violence.
Ultimate Showdown

The ultimate showdown using men from recent pop culture. Perhaps they'll put some badass women in version 2. What about Xena? Sailor Moon? Princess Leia? Trinity? Joan of Arc?

The Ultimate Showdown [~3.5 min; media.putfile.com/ultimateshowdown]. Flash animation.

2006-01-04t21:19:56Z | RE: Audio. Free Gratis. Words.
Free audio books

The last time I listened to an audio book, I was so engrossed that I almost ran out of gas. Here are some sites that make and store free audio books. Most of the books are public domain. Many of the amateur readings are good because of the enthusiasm.

2006-01-04t21:21:00Z | RE: Flow. How To. Productivity.
How to be productive

Nice and simple

HOW TO: Be more productive [aaronsw.com/weblog/productivity]

There are a lot of myths about productivity -- that time is fungible, that focusing is good, that bribing yourself is effective, that hard work is unpleasant, that procrastinating is unnatural -- but they all have a common theme: a conception of real work as something that goes against your natural inclinations. ... But if you're trying to do something worthwhile and creative, then shutting down your brain is entirely the wrong way to go. The real secret to productivity is the reverse: to listen to your body. To eat when you're hungry, to sleep when you're tired, to take a break when you're bored, to work on projects that seem fun and interesting.

2006-01-04t22:18:50Z | RE: Flow. Google. Life. Microsoft. Programming. Rambling.
Bayesian for the young

Ouch. I am so very much in danger of thinking I know something. We all need a Socrates to slap us around now and then. I also love a good "aha!"
 moment. It makes sense that our brains naturally do Bayesian inference [W] (probabilistic inductive reasoning).

 I'm not young enough to know everything [braithwaite-lee.com/weblog/2005_10_01_raganwald_archive.html]

When you're twenty-two this isn't much of a problem because you know you don't know. You're "consciously incompetent." So you're far more likely to find something unfamiliar and try to understand it, to change your way of thinking to match what you learn rather than applying a "bozo filter" to it in advance. But at forty-two (or three!), it's easy to think you know things. You're at incredible risk of thinking you know things when you've achieved some measure of success, no matter how modest. You become "unconsciously incompetent." You don't know, but you don't know you don't know.

I also like this quote on Bayesian filtering that he quoted:

A very senior Microsoft developer who moved to Google told me that Google works and thinks at a higher level of abstraction than Microsoft. "Google uses Bayesian filtering the way Microsoft uses the if statement," he said. That's true. Google also uses full-text-search-of-the-entire-Internet the way Microsoft uses little tables that list what error IDs correspond to which help text. Look at how Google does spell checking: it's not based on dictionaries; it's based on word usage statistics of the entire Internet, which is why Google knows how to correct my name, misspelled, and Microsoft Word doesn't.

If Microsoft doesn't shed this habit of "thinking in if statements" they're only going to fall further behind.
 

and his comment on the quote:

I've known about Bayesian classification for years. And I've always thought of it as a specialized tool. It's incredibly disruptive to think of it as an every-day tool, as a general-purpose tool, as something that can replace the if statement. Yet when I step out of my comfort zone, I realize that I've seen this before (experience can be handy at times). ... There was an "aha!" moment for me when I suddenly grokked polymorphism. When I understood that switch statements were junk. Maybe Bayesian inferences can change programming the same way that polymorphism changed programming.

2006-01-04t22:19:42Z | RE: Funny. Programming.
Ten commandments of c

Very geek but you can feel the love and sincerity.

The Ten Commandments for C Programmers (Annotated Edition) [lysator.liu.se/c/ten-commandments.html]

3 Thou shalt cast all function arguments to the expected type if they are not of that type already, even when thou art convinced that this is unnecessary, lest they take cruel vengeance upon thee when thou least expect it.

7 Thou shalt study thy libraries and strive not to reinvent them without cause, that thy code may be short and readable and thy days pleasant and productive.

2006-01-04t22:25:03Z | RE: Animated. Culture. Funny.
LOTR x WOW

Lord of the Rings mashed with World of WarCraft [recoil.org/~avsm/wow-remash.gif]. Pretty funny animated GIF if you know both LOTR and WOW.

2006-01-04t22:36:27Z | RE: Photography. Images. Law.
Photography legal rights

This is essential legalistic information for anyone who takes pictures.

New digital camera? Know how, where you can use it [usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-12-29-camera-laws_x.htm]

Aside from sensitive government buildings (e.g., military bases), if you're on public property you can photograph anything you like, including private property. There are some limits — using a zoom lens to shoot someone who has a reasonable expectation of privacy isn't covered — but no one can come charging out of a business and tell you not to take photos of the building, period.

Further, they cannot demand your camera or your digital media or film. Well, they can demand it, but you are under no obligation to give it to them. In fact, only an officer of the law or court can take it from you, and then only with a court order. And if they try or threaten you? They can be charged with theft or coercion, and you may even have civil recourse.

You can take photos any place that's open to the public, whether or not it's private property. A mall, for example, is open to the public. So are most office buildings (at least the lobbies). You don't need permission; if you have permission to enter, you have permission to shoot.

You can take any photo that does not intrude upon or invade the privacy of a person, if that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Someone walking in a mall or on the street? Fair game. Someone standing in a corner, looking at his new Prozac prescription? No. Using a long lens to shoot someone in an apartment? No. Note that the limits have nothing to do with where you are when you take the shots; it's all about the subject's expectation of privacy. You can be on private property (a mall or office-building lobby), or even be trespassing and still legally take pictures. Whether you can be someplace and whether you can take pictures are two completely separate issues.

Revealing private facts about someone is a no-no. As the American Law Institute put it, "One who gives publicity to a matter concerning the private life of another is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the matter publicized is of a kind that A) would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, and B) is not of legitimate concern to the public."

You also can find yourself in civil court if you publish a shot that places a person in a false light. That might be more of an issue with the caption than with the photo; running a shot of the mayor and his daughter labeled "Mayor meets with porn star" could land you in hot water. (Assuming his daughter isn't a porn star.)

Finally, you can't use someone's likeness for a purely commercial purpose — using a photo of someone in an ad, for example. That isn't to say you can't publish a photo in a commercial environment, such as a newspaper or a blog that accepts ads. If the photo is being used in a news or artistic sense as opposed to a commercial one you're OK.

2006-01-05t16:10:26Z | RE: Funny. Martial. Violence.
Chuck Norris tall tales

Tall tales are fun regardless of who they're about.

I am CHUCK NORRIS' Number One Fan. Go Walker! [intrawebnet.com/chucknorris/]

A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw, was a fatal roundhouse delivered by Chuck Norris.

2006-01-05t17:44:07Z | RE: Politics. U.S.A. (America).
Bush jumps the shark

I've been waiting for Bush to say something like Nixon's "I am not a crook".

Bush, VP in 2-front attack on war critics [chicagotribune.com/...]

Following a private meeting with top war commanders Wednesday at the Pentagon, Bush asserted that terrorists from Al Qaeda and its affiliates are fighting to claim Iraq as a permanent "safe haven from which to launch attacks." "I'm not making this up," added Bush, underscoring the urgency of a credibility challenge that the White House faces. It started with the repudiation of prewar intelligence used to justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and has intensified with recent revelations that Bush secretly authorized eavesdropping on suspected terrorists in the U.S. communicating with Al Qaeda or its affiliates abroad. The credibility of the president's claims will be essential to regaining public confidence in the war in Iraq as well as securing congressional willingness to renew the Patriot Act.

With public approval for the president's handling of Iraq holding below 40 percent in the latest Gallup Poll, 55 percent of Americans also told Gallup they do not view the Iraq war as part of the war on terrorism that started after Sept. 11.

2006-01-05t18:38:14Z | RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Microsoft. Video.
Bill Gates at Consumer Electronics Show

Hard to believe I'm saying this, but there's some pretty cool stuff coming from Microsoft. Bill Gates himself did a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas [zdnet.com/...].

It's amazing that computers have moved from having their own conventions, like COMDEX, to participating in the CES. Clearly this is a sign of computers becoming mainstream.

Bill Gates' view of the digital future  [~2 min video; zdnet.com.com/...]. This is a Bill's home and office of 2010. Having a big interactive touch screen monitor is neat. Personally I think a lot of little ones scattered around the house would work too. I liked the app that show the location of family members on a map in real time. I also liked his huge desk wide panoramic monitor, but I'm sure that might seem like a big barrier to some people. The fingerprint logon is still questionable.

Bringing Vista to life [~2 min video; zdnet.com.com/...]. Demos of the Vista OS in action. I liked the "preview" capabilities of items in taskbars and tabs. The 3D interface is interesting but I can't really evaluate it without trying it. Google like searching of stuff was expected but we'll see how well it implements.

All documents should allow user editable metadata via tags and attributes. Not just audio files (EG: MP3s have ID3 [W]) and image files (EG: Digital camera images have Exif), but most files. I'm not sure if structured data like XML is needed, but at least simple attribute:value metadata for starters. If files have self-contained metadata (as well as content), then the files themselves form "databases" that can be consumed by but are independent from operating systems and applications.

2006-01-05t22:32:33Z | RE: Cyber Life. Google. Video.
Webcams and Google Maps

These webcams are everywhere! Someone can be watching  you pick your nose right now.

GooCam [butterfat.net/goocam]

This is a Google map of unprotected/open camera streams obtained from Google searches. The IP addresses for each camera's url has been mapped to it's Geo-location. Here is a del.icio.us tag with the best cameras found so far. The pr0n cameras are easter eggs.

Some examples:

2006-01-05t22:33:12Z | RE: Art. Cyber Life. Free Gratis. Images. Text.
text-image.com

Text-image.com generates text images online. Cute.

2006-01-05t22:39:22Z | RE: Science.
Everyone's a scientist

More science nuggets but with a aroma of madness.

everyone's a scientist [metafilter.com/mefi/48037]

The sun is solid (this has beautiful images, btw). The earth is fixed, or maybe growing; relativity is wrong, and so is most of current thinking... For the intriguing as well as the insane, visit the fringes of science.

2006-01-05t22:46:51Z | RE: Rambling.
Manifesto of Forbidden Truth

The truth is only forbidden if you make it so.

The Manifesto of Forbidden Truth [forbiddentruth.8k.com/index.html] [via metafilter.com/mefi/48040]

This is The Manifesto of Forbidden Truth, the most unique and dangerous web site on planet earth. Here, within these pages, all of your most sacred societal Myths, Dogmas, Doctrines, Delusions, Derangements, and Brainwashings will be stripped to the bone and torn asunder, to be replaced by the Forbidden Truths that I shall graciously reveal.

2006-01-05t22:54:11Z | RE: Art. Science.
10 most beautiful experiments

The link leads to other sweet science nuggets too. Part of the beauty of the experiments are the stories behind the experiments —the human foibles and dramas.

Science's 10 Most Beautiful Experiments [physics.nad.ru/Physics/English/top10.htm] [via metafilter.com/mefi/48044]

2006-01-06t19:19:55Z | RE: Death. Faith. Life. News.
'I just went to sleep'

The story of the twelve coal miners is a sad one. They were trapped by an explosion on 2006-01-02 Monday in West Virginia. There was false hope when they announced that the miners had survived, but, in fact, only one did and he's in a coma.

This latest article has finally gotten me to post about it.

'I'll see them on the other side' [chicagotribune.com/...]

Some of the 12 coal miners who died in the Sago mine disaster scrawled farewell notes assuring their loved ones that their final hours trapped underground amid toxic gases were not spent in agony.

"Tell all I'll see them on the other side," read the note found with the body of 51-year-old mine foreman Martin Toler Jr. "It wasn't bad. I just went to sleep. I love you Jr."
[PHOTO: Last words on the back of an inurance application form]

That note rings with such sincere sweetness and thoughtfulness. I assume it was written in total darkness. There is something very endearing about deathbed notes. I think everyone hopes they could say something significant instead of just gibberish. Just a few poignant last words:

  • "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." -Nathan Hale
  • Mi Último Adiós [W] by José Rizal.
  • "Swing away". From Signs (movie, 2002).
  • "Both the victor and the vanquished are but drops of dew, but bolts of lightning - thus should we view the world." -Ouchi Yoshitaka (1507/1551).

My sincere condolences to the friends and family.

2006-01-06t19:21:17Z | RE: Politics. U.S.A. (America).
Since Bush is in Chicago today

If a movie gets 1 to 2 stars out 5, most people would agree. Bush stinks and I am bewildered that it isn't as obvious to just about everyone. This link will obviously get many comments in the MetaFilter echo room.

american fascism [metafilter.com/mefi/48062]

The Hidden State Steps Forward by (infamous Nation author) Jonathan Schell. A quote says it best: The danger is not abstract or merely symbolic. Bush's abuses of presidential power are the most extensive in American history. He has launched an aggressive war ("war of choice," in today's euphemism) on false grounds. He has presided over a system of torture and sought to legitimize it by specious definitions of the word. He has asserted a wholesale right to lock up American citizens and others indefinitely without any legal showing or the right to see a lawyer or anyone else. He has kidnapped people in foreign countries and sent them to other countries, where they were tortured.

King-George-gate: Myths v. Realities [theleftcoaster.com/archives/006455.php]

As most readers here know, the Shills for Republican-Dictators Coalition (SRDC) have been producing the expected voluminous stream of unmitigated lies in the form of talking points, in order to defend the illegal domestic spying program authorized by their Dear Leader-King George Bush. As always, when the internets and airwaves are filled with fakery, it becomes "hard work" to keep track of it all. So, I thought it was time for a post to consolidate the well chronicled responses to the cornucopia of nonsense from the SRDC.

2006-01-06t20:09:27Z | RE: Faith. Philosophy.
10 commandments for ethical atheists

Not too shabby.

The Ten Commandments (of the Ethical Atheist) [ethicalatheist.com/docs/ten_commandments.html] [via monkeyfilter.com/link.php/10772]

NOTE: Freethought and tolerance obviously prohibit these from being "commandments"! Just consider them "suggestions".

  1. Thou SHALT NOT believe all thee art told.
  2. Thou SHALT constantly seeketh knowledge and truth.
  3. Thou SHALT educate thy fellow man in the Laws of Science.
  4. Thou SHALT NOT forget the atrocities committed in the name of god.
  5. Thou SHALT leaveth valuable contributions for future generations.
  6. Thou SHALT liveth in peace with thy fellow man.
  7. Thou SHALT liveth this one life thy have to its fullest.
  8. Thou SHALT follow a Personal Code of Ethics.
  9. Thou SHALT maintain a strict separation between Church and State.
  10. Thou SHALT support ye who follow these commandments.

2006-01-06t20:09:51Z | RE: Philosophy.
Cartoon Epistemology

Interesting but nothing more than philosophical self-stimulation. You're better off reading Solipsism [W]. However I'll archive it here for the pictures.

A Cartoon Epistemology [cns-alumni.bu.edu/~slehar/cartoonepist/cartoonepist.html] [via monkeyfilter.com/link.php/10773]

2006-01-06t20:30:26Z | RE: A14+. Images.
Best of 2005: Fark Photochopping

I sometimes forget that there is good content at fark.

Best Photoshop edits of 2005 [fark.com/...]

Bible warning:

Freedom from want:

2006-01-06t21:31:43Z | RE: Sex. Violence.
Surviving sex among male prisoners

I'm sure some of you will giggle over this article, or find yourself too squeamish to read it, but it has important survival knowledge. If you go to jail and you don't know the concepts and distinctions between jockers, queens, punks, and catchers ahead of time... then I guess you'll find out fast. The article also provides insight into "primitive" maleness.

Sex among American Male Prisoners and its Implications for Concepts of Sexual Orientation [spr.org/en/stephendonaldson/doc_01_lecture.html]. By Stephen Donaldson.

Of the self-described heterosexuals, 12.8% reported they had experienced penetrative oral sex and 8.3% penetrative anal sex more than ten times since coming to that prison; 10% were currently hooked up. Married heterosexuals who received conjugal visits were more, not less, likely to participate in sex with other prisoners. Nine per cent of the heterosexuals had been raped; 7.8% of them had been anally and 5.7% orally penetrated, but white heterosexuals were 2 to 3 times as likely to have been penetrated than black heterosexuals.

All of the self-described bisexuals and homosexuals reported sexual activity in that prison. Of the self-described homosexuals, 63% had been pressured for sex while there (breaking down into 82% of white homosexuals, 71% of Hispanic homosexuals, and 49% of black homosexuals), and 41% had been violently raped while there. 88% were currently hooked up. The homosexuals indicated that 71% had been charged with sexual activity under the prison disciplinary code, and 35% were involved in prostitution. An eyeopener for some gay consumers of pornography featuring jailhouse sex may be the report by 77% of the homosexuals that they had better sex "on the Street" and by 78% that they were "looked down upon and treated with disrespect by other inmates."

As R. W. Dumond noted last year, "prison slang defines sexual habits and inmate status simultaneously." This classification system draws a rigid distinction between active and passive roles. The majority, which in this case is on top in all senses, consists of the so-called "men," and they are defined by a successful and continuing refusal to be sexually penetrated. A single instance of being penetrated, whether voluntary or not, is universally held to constitute an irreversible "loss of manhood." The "Men" rule the roost and establish the values and behavioral norms for the entire prisoner population; convict leaders, gang members, and the organizers of such activities as the smuggling of contraband, protection rackets, and prostitution rings must be and remain "Men." It is important to realize that whether a Man is sexually involved or not, his status is sexually defined. A Man who is sexually active (in both senses) is called a "jocker." (A note here: although the term "man" is universal in prisoner slang, other terms vary considerably from one region to another and in some cases with time. Since I do not have time tonight to go into linguistic usage, I will pick the most commonly understood prisoner term and use it here to the exclusion of all others. The term "jocker" was well established at San Quentin in 1925.)  If he engages in sexual coercion, he is a "booty bandit." Men almost always identify as heterosexual (in a few cases bisexual) and the overwhelming majority of them act heterosexually before and after confinement.

The sexual penetration of another male prisoner by a Man is sanctioned by the subculture, is considered a male rather than a homosexual activity, and is considered to validate the penetrator's masculinity. "Manhood," however, is a tenuous condition as it is always subject to being "lost" to another, more powerful or aggressive Man; hence a Man is expected to "fight for his manhood." Before the AIDS crisis, Men (especially blacks and Hispanics) under middle age traditionally were expected to be jockers; if they showed no inclination to demonstrate their manhood through sexual conquest their status as men would be questioned, which would make them targets for demotion. Certain groups, such as Mafiosi and the devoutly religious, could escape such suspicion. Since AIDS awareness has become widespread, Men who are not inclined to be jockers have acquired another excuse.

Below the class of men in every way is the very small class of "queens." These are effeminate homosexuals. In jails, many of them are street transvestites charged with prostitution. They seek and are assigned the role of females and referred to exclusively with feminine pronouns and terms. They have "pussies," not "assholes," and wear "blouses," not shirts. They are always sexually passive, and in prisons are unlikely to make up more than 1 or 2% of the population. They are highly desirable as sexual partners because of their willingness to adopt "feminine" traits, and are highly visible, but the queens remain submissive to the "men" and in accordance with the prevalent sexism may not hold positions of overt power in the prisoner social structure. They are often scapegoated, involved in prostitution, and are frequently viewed with contempt by the Men and by the staff, assigned to the most undesirable jobs, kept under closest surveillance by guards, and harassed by homophobic keepers and kept alike. In some institutions, including Rikers Island, queens are segregated from the general population and placed in special units, often called "queens' tanks." There they are often denied privileges given to the general population such as attendance at the recreation hall, exercise and fresh air on the yard, library visits, chapel attendance, hot food, etc. Jails may put them in full-time lockdown, the equivalent of solitary confinement.

At the very bottom of the structure is the class of "punks," to which I was assigned. These are prisoners who, to use Wooden and Parker's defintion, "have been forced into a sexually submissive role," usually through rape or convincing threat of it. Most frequent in urban jails and in reformatories but still common in prisons, gang rape (and the common threat of it) is the principle device used to convert Men into punks, and thus rape has an important sociological aspect. The vast majority of punks are heterosexual by preference and history, though some are gays or bisexuals who rejected the "queen" role but were forced into a passive role anyway. They are for all practical purposes slaves and can be sold, traded, and rented or loaned out at the whim of their "Daddy." The most extreme forms of such slavery, which can also apply to queens, are found in the maximumsecurity institutions and some jails.

Although both groups suffer at the hands of both the Men and the keepers, relations between queens and punks are often tense, as the queens tend to look down on the punks as weak while trying to recruit them into their own ranks, a process which the punks resent, though some may succumb to it over the years. Punks desperately try to hang on to vestiges of their original male identity and thus resist the feminizing process promoted both by the Men and by the queens; upon release they usually revert to heterosexual patterns, though often with the disruptions associated with severe male rape trauma syndrome. Longtime punks undergo an adaptation process which may leave them functionally bisexual after release; some "come out" or surrender to the feminizing pressure and become queens. An umbrella term encompassing both queens and punks is "catcher."

In ongoing sexual relationships, a Man is paired or "hooked up" with a catcher; no other possibilities, such as a reciprocal gay pair, are tolerated. But This one relationship is not only tolerated but sanctioned by the prisoner subculture, and virtually all catchers are required to pair off for their own protection. Vulnerable prisoners commonly learn this fact of life in jails or juvenile institutions before they first arrive at prisons and seek to "hook up" as soon as possible after arrival in order to preempt further gang-rapes. This fact is vital to interpretations of incidence studies of rape in prisons. These relationships are taken very seriously, as they involve an obligation on the part of the Daddy to defend his partner, at the cost of his life if necessary, and on the part of the catcher to obey his Man. Catchers are required to engage in "wifely" chores such as doing laundry, making the bunk, keeping the cell clean, and making and serving coffee. Due to the shortage of catchers, only a small minority of jockers succeed in entering into such a relationship, and the competition for available catchers is intense, sometimes violent.

"Freelance" or unpaired catchers are uncommon, since they are usually unable to protect themselves and are considered to be fair game for any booty bandit. Usually, a rape or two is sufficient to persuade an unattached catcher to pair off as soon as possible. A catcher who manages to break free from an unwanted pairing is called a "renegade," and he is usually quickly claimed by another jocker.

Other motivations are not as directly sexual: deprived of power over his own life by the regime of incarceration, a jocker often seeks to stake out a small arena of power by exerting control over another prisoner. The existence of such an island of power helps the jocker retain a sense of his own masculinity-the one remaining social asset which he feels the administration cannot take from him-because of his identification of power and control with masculinity. For an adolescent prisoner, this motivation is often even stronger, as he has few other means of acquiring "manhood." Furthermore, involvement in prohibited sexual activity is an act of rebellion against the total institution, hence a demonstration that the institution's control over that person is less than complete and that he retains some measure of autonomy. Finally, sexual activity serves to demarcate other power issues: a gang or ethnic group wishing to assert its dominance over another may do so by seizing one of its rival's members and turning him into a punk for their own use. This is most commonly done by blacks against whites, and forms a symbolic attack on the manhood of all whites, who are said to be "unable to keep their bitches;" it is thus the source of much of the racial conflict and tension in confinement.

The application of middle-class concepts of homosexuality to prisoners produces much absurdity and little understanding. It leads writers who ought to know better to designate males who rape males as "aggressive homosexuals" and to argue that conjugal visiting programs would have no effect on prison rape because these "aggressive homosexuals" would obviously have no interest in sex with women! It causes Nacci and Kane to ask the wrong question, Kinsey's statistics to be misread, and other writers to engage in fruitless theorizing over the astonishing number of homosexuals in prison. It produces verbal atrocities such as the term "homosexual rape" for an offense virtually no incarcerated homosexuals commit. It leads even such a supposed authority as Peter Buffum to lament the damage inflicted on young inmates who are, and I quote, "the victims of aggressive, sex-driven prison homosexuals" and who later even goes on to call these punk victims "made homosexuals." The salient fact that the overwhelming majority of young males in confinement, freed from the fetters of social disapproval, will seek sexual gratification from members of the same sex, strongly implies that the capacity for male homoerotism is nearly universal, its suppression a matter of cultural mores and the availability of women. If this be so, and there is abundant data from outside confinement to support this conclusion, what are its implications for our understanding of sexual orientations and their causes? For concepts of gay identity and homosexuals as a minority group? These questions remain on the table even if we choose to ignore them as too uncomfortable for our currently fashionable ideas.

Another area where current dualistic concepts based on legal distinctions fail to address actual prisoner sexuality is that of coercion and consent. Writers divide all sexuality into that which is coerced-rape and other forms of sexual assault-and that which is "voluntary." But for the passive prisoner in most acts and relationships, the punk, neither term usually applies. I have coined the term "survival-driven" as an intermediate category, and suggest its applicability in other contexts, including heterosexual ones, as well. From the typical punk's point of view, none of his passive sexual activities are truly voluntary, since if he had his own way, he would not need to engage in them. Many continuing and isolated liaisons originate in the aftermath of gang rape, or to counter the ever present threat of gang rape. Prison officials and researchers label such behavior as "consensual," and I, too, would treat it legally the same as consensual activity, but fear on the part of the passive partner is certainly the prime motivation. On the other hand, when a punk hooks up with someone, forming a long-lasting relationship with a protector, often selected by him from among multiple contenders, we are clearly dealing with something other than rape or sexual assault, something which exists only because to the punk it is dramatically different from, and greatly preferable to, rape and sexual assault. Thus we need a third category.

2006-01-06t21:33:49Z | RE: Parenting.
Parenting nuggets

I'm sure there are thousands of parental nuggets. Here are just a few.

2006-01-06t22:11:41Z | RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Web 2.0.
Pillars of good social software

Interesting how the pillars are not so much technical but social.

Notes on making good social software [web2.wsj2.com/notes_on_making_good_social_software.htm]. By Dion Hinchcliffe.

I've been studying the mechanics of social software quite a bit recently.  Now that I've begun writing a book about Web 2.0 for publication in summer, 2006 (details on that in a future article), I'm trying to get a handle on why it took so long for many of the "planks" of Web 2.0 to go mainstream.  Particularly the powerful two-way social software that we now see all around us today, which are best exemplified by blogs and wikis but also by hundreds of other applications right now, today.  In his absolutely wonderful essay, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy, Clay Shirky makes the observation that it was eight long years from the first forms-capable browser and blogs finally getting off the ground. 

The Web is now packed with numerous examples of useful, potent, and widely used social software including well-known examples like Wikipedia, del.icio.us, digg, and Wordpress.  There is also a growing body of next-generation social software exemplars such as AllPeers, RubHub, Squidoo, and Wink.  For a fairly new and more objective top 10 social software list, see here by Ross Mayfield.

Pillars of Social Software

1. Establishment of Handles: Anonymity doesn't really work well with social software, but users want their privacy.  Allowing them a handle to use lets people start tracking who said what and for people to find each other and form groups.  In general, switching handles must be penalized to encourage constructive behavior.

2. Allow for Members in Good Standing: Permit users that contribute well or do good works to get recognized.  This can be as simple as associating their handle with their social activities or it can be much more sophisticated.  There just needs to be a connection between the handle and the social behavior for others to observe.

3. Barriers to Participation: This seems counterintuitive to social software, but it isn't.  The history of social software has time and again pointed to the need for certain controls in a social system to be harder to access.  Anonymous users get lower credibility and abilities than identified users, and even fewer users have the power to moderate or exercise central control.  Without this, the core group won't have to tools necessary to maintain order and defend the overall social group, and chaos would eventually reign.

4. Protect Conversations From Scale: With the Web, the numbers of users in a social setting has no practical upper bound, but most social activities are groups of two-way conversations.  In a setting of thousands of people, no one can track the conversations and get involved.  Forget about the social software sites that have tens or hundreds of thousands of people.  Finding way for people to self-organize, split up and reform dynamically, and form affinities with groups is one way. There are many others.

2006-01-07t21:27:01Z | RE: Funny. Google. Programming. Words.
ARGH!

I just noticed that "GH" is at the end of "ARGH!". I've also noticed that I personally spell some words the "British" way (EG: behaviour), but not others (EG: color).

Aargh! [osteele.com/archives/2005/12/aargh] [via http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/48098]

It’s clear that a wide range of spellings are acceptable. What’s the most common?

At this time, the most popular spellings are as follows:

  1. Argh with 3,670,000
  2. Aargh with 704,000
  3. Aaargh with 615,000
  4. Arrgh with 512,000
  5. Arrrgh with 421,000
  6. Aaaargh with 328,000
  7. Arrrrgh with 131,000
  8. Aaaaargh with 106,000
  9. Aarrgh with 55,800. The first with double duplication.
  10. Aaaaaargh with 53,300.

2006-01-08t00:36:02Z | RE: Shopping. Amazon. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. My Creation.
HOW TO link to your Amazon wish list

Here's how to make a link to your own Amazon wish list or wishlist. (I'm surprised Amazon doesn't make this easier. And I'm also surprised that how to do this wasn't answered via Google.)

  1. Go to amazon.com. If you're already signed in, then sign out.
  2. Find your wish list. EG: I clicked "Wish List" in the upper right and then under "Find a Wish List", I entered "George Hernandez". (There are around a thousand George Hernandez's with Amazon wish lists!) I refined the search by also looking for "Chicago". (I'm the only one in Chicago or Illinois!).
  3. The URL you get should be something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/registry.html/002-2549639-7172028?%5Fencoding=UTF8&type=wishlist&id=3MBVGAQ8TI2OL. Note the id at the end.
  4. Copy that URL and reduce it to something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/3MBVGAQ8TI2OL. Note the id at the end.

If you don't use Amazon's wish list, then why would you? They sell many things at Amazon so you can go there to "window shop", scope prices, compare items, get ideas, etc. Also it's centralized and your friends can access your list too. You don't have to buy it through Amazon either.

Now if you liked this tip, then it would be very nice if you bought me a little something from my Amazon wish list! Ha ha!

2006-01-09t19:37:48Z | RE: Funny.
Mouse vengance

Justice!

Mouse Thrown Into Fire Sets Home Ablaze [chicagotribune.com/...]

FORT SUMNER, N.M. -- A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire. Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it. "I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

2006-01-09t20:24:12Z | RE: Cute. Images. Science.
More cuteness

The power of cuteness! (Excuse me for over quoting, but NYT articles tend to go offline,)

The Cute Factor [nytimes.com/2006/01/03/science/03cute.html?pagewanted=all] [via metafilter.com/mefi/48108]

The 6-month-old, 25-pound Tai Shan - whose name is pronounced tie-SHON and means, for no obvious reason, "peaceful mountain" - is the first surviving giant panda cub ever born at the Smithsonian's zoo. And though the zoo's adult pandas have long been among Washington's top tourist attractions, the public debut of the baby in December has unleashed an almost bestial frenzy here. Some 13,000 timed tickets to see the cub were snapped up within two hours of being released, and almost immediately began trading on eBay for up to $200 a pair.

[PHOTO: 6 month old panda Tai Shan]

Scientists who study the evolution of visual signaling have identified a wide and still expanding assortment of features and behaviors that make something look cute: bright forward-facing eyes set low on a big round face, a pair of big round ears, floppy limbs and a side-to-side, teeter-totter gait, among many others.

Except for the ears, that exactly describes my baby Amy!

Cute cues are those that indicate extreme youth, vulnerability, harmlessness and need, scientists say, and attending to them closely makes good Darwinian sense. As a species whose youngest members are so pathetically helpless they can't lift their heads to suckle without adult supervision, human beings must be wired to respond quickly and gamely to any and all signs of infantile desire. The human cuteness detector is set at such a low bar, researchers said, that it sweeps in and deems cute practically anything remotely resembling a human baby or a part thereof, and so ends up including the young of virtually every mammalian species, fuzzy-headed birds like Japanese cranes, woolly bear caterpillars, a bobbing balloon, a big round rock stacked on a smaller rock, a colon, a hyphen and a close parenthesis typed in succession.

Cuteness is distinct from beauty, researchers say, emphasizing rounded over sculptured, soft over refined, clumsy over quick. Beauty attracts admiration and demands a pedestal; cuteness attracts affection and demands a lap. Beauty is rare and brutal, despoiled by a single pimple. Cuteness is commonplace and generous, content on occasion to cosegregate with homeliness.

Cute cuts through all layers of meaning and says, Let's not worry about complexities, just love me," said Dr. Dutton, who is writing a book about Darwinian aesthetics. "That's where the sense of cheapness can come from, and the feeling of being manipulated or taken for a sucker that leads many to reject cuteness as low or shallow." Quick and cheap make cute appealing to those who want to catch the eye and please the crowd. Advertisers and product designers are forever toying with cute cues to lend their merchandise instant appeal, mixing and monkeying with the vocabulary of cute to keep the message fresh and fetching.

Whatever needs pitching, cute can help. A recent study at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at the University of Michigan showed that high school students were far more likely to believe antismoking messages accompanied by cute cartoon characters like a penguin in a red jacket or a smirking polar bear than when the warnings were delivered unadorned. "It made a huge difference," said Sonia A. Duffy, the lead author of the report, which was published in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. "The kids expressed more confidence in the cartoons than in the warnings themselves."

Human babies have unusually large heads because humans have unusually large brains. Their heads are round because their brains continue to grow throughout the first months of life, and the plates of the skull stay flexible and unfused to accommodate the development. Baby eyes and ears are situated comparatively far down the face and skull, and only later migrate upward in proportion to the development of bones in the cheek and jaw areas. Baby eyes are also notably forward-facing, the binocular vision a likely legacy of our tree-dwelling ancestry, and all our favorite Disney characters also sport forward-facing eyes, including the ducks and mice, species that in reality have eyes on the sides of their heads. The cartilage tissue in an infant's nose is comparatively soft and undeveloped, which is why most babies have button noses. Baby skin sits relatively loose on the body, rather than being taut, the better to stretch for growth spurts to come, said Paul H. Morris, an evolutionary scientist at the University of Portsmouth in England; that lax packaging accentuates the overall roundness of form. Baby movements are notably clumsy, an amusing combination of jerky and delayed, because learning to coordinate the body's many bilateral sets of large and fine muscle groups requires years of practice. On starting to walk, toddlers struggle continuously to balance themselves between left foot and right, and so the toddler gait consists as much of lateral movement as of any forward momentum.

The metafilter link also has some nice gems:

2006-01-09t22:28:57Z | RE: Cyber Life. Google. Video.
Google Video Store

There's so much chatter about Google Video Store that I'm waiting for things to settle down. I hate relying on rumors. One of the key difference about watching videos on a computer versus on TV is that on a computer you can search, organize, and watch it on your own time. The next step for Google would be to provide access to real live TV!

Google entering video-on-demand business [news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6021998.html?tag=zdnn.alert]

With Google Video Store, which the company said will be "available soon" at video.google.com consumers will pay $1.99 to download and view, for an unlimited time, episodes from last season's "Survivor" series, as well as episodes of 300 older TV programs like "I Love Lucy," said Peter Chane, senior business product manager for Google Video. The announcement was made in conjunction with a keynote address by Google co-founder Larry Page at the Consumer Electronics Show here.

Also for $1.99, people will be able to rent, for 24 hours, recent episodes of popular TV series from CBS like "NCIS," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "The Amazing Race," Chane said. National Basketball Association games shown on TV can be downloaded for permanent purchase within one day of broadcast for $3.95, he said. Classic NBA games will also be available.

When they say that you get something permanently or for an unlimited time, I assume that it's still streamed, therefore they must have some online app that stores and organizes what you've purchased. I can see that Google Video is starting to have "play list" capability but it's not in yet. That would be a nice thing for storing free video links too.

Google has avoided the stumbling blocks that have kept video-on-demand from the PC, including developing a monetization model and methods that protect copyrights and prevent piracy, Chane said.

Google Video Store Announced [slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/07/027224&tid=217&tid=1]

2006-01-09t22:29:12Z | RE: Math.
True math urban legend

A true math fantasy true.

The Unsolvable Math Problem [snopes.com/college/homework/unsolvable.asp]

Claim: Student mistakes examples of unsolvable math problems for homework assignment and solves them.

Status: True.

George Dantzig recounted his feat in a 1986 interview for the College Mathematics Journal:
It happened because during my first year at Berkeley I arrived late one day at one of [Jerzy] Neyman's classes. On the blackboard there were two problems that I assumed had been assigned for homework. I copied them down. A few days later I apologized to Neyman for taking so long to do the homework — the problems seemed to be a little harder than usual. I asked him if he still wanted it. He told me to throw it on his desk. I did so reluctantly because his desk was covered with such a heap of papers that I feared my homework would be lost there forever. About six weeks later, one Sunday morning about eight o'clock, [my wife] Anne and I were awakened by someone banging on our front door. It was Neyman. He rushed in with papers in hand, all excited: "I've just written an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so I can send it out right away for publication." For a minute I had no idea what he was talking about. To make a long story short, the problems on the blackboard that I had solved thinking they were homework were in fact two famous unsolved problems in statistics. That was the first inkling I had that there was anything special about them.

A year later, when I began to worry about a thesis topic, Neyman just shrugged and told me to wrap the two problems in a binder and he would accept them as my thesis.

The second of the two problems, however, was not published until after World War II. It happened this way. Around 1950 I received a letter from Abraham Wald enclosing the final galley proofs of a paper of his about to go to press in the Annals of Mathematical Statistics. Someone had just pointed out to him that the main result in his paper was the same as the second "homework" problem solved in my thesis. I wrote back suggesting we publish jointly. He simply inserted my name as coauthor into the galley proof.

This legend is used as the setup of the plot in the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting.

2006-01-09t22:38:05Z | RE: Photography. How To. Images.
Fast intro to photography

Aww but I want it even easier! Nice quick summary of photography plus some Photoshop tips.

Taking Professional Looking Photos Without a Professional [theswitchboards.com/articles_professionalphotos.html]

When taking your own photos, you want lots of light - but not direct light. Direct light will cause harsh shadows, which you don’t want. DO NOT USE A FLASH! Flashes wash out colors and details – and even the entire photo if you are taking close up shots. Professional looking product photos have soft shadows and a subtle background. To achieve this effect, you want soft, diffused light.

2006-01-09t22:48:00Z | RE: Culture. Cyber Life. Google.
Google DRM

With Google Video Store comes Google's digital rights management (DRM) system. What their DRM exactly we may never know (or want to know?). But what does the average person know about Microsoft's DRM or Apple's DRM? Do we have a choice? Does the average person care? Like, Wal-Mart, all we care about is that we get exactly what we want for cheap.

Memo to Doc: Don't worry, the 5 year old's got it covered [ricksegal.typepad.com/pmv/2006/01/memo_to_doc_don.html]

“Mommy, Johnny got 135 songs off of Limewire for free, can I have that on my computer?” (kid was no older then 5) 90 seconds later Mom is giving in to buying some Britney Spears stuff but not CDs.

So to all those big shots running around Las Vegas in the VIP cars. All of you music, video, whatever execs, pressing flesh and telling everybody about new content this, distribution rights that, go talk Jeremy. It’s over. The 5 year old gets “free” and is doing free. The minimum wage employee at Wal-Mart is giving ad-hoc lessons on how to deal with media property that people actually understand.  Make it cheap, people buy it and don’t steal it, whoduh thunk that!.

Is Google DRM crippling culture as great as it seems? [theregister.co.uk/2006/01/08/google_drm_question/]

Google has a long history of keeping its technology mechanisms and intentions private. It won't say a lot about how Page Rank works. It's never provided a policy on how it picks Google News stories. Heck, it won't even let Register reporters visit the company's campus, and one of our staff lives right down the street. Having one of the world's largest and currently most powerful IT companies announce that it has constructed a new DRM system and then not reveal a single detail about the technology is just plain unacceptable.

2006-01-09t23:12:33Z | RE: Programming.
Javascript misunderstood

Yeah, that's right! Don't nobody go puttin' down my boy Javascript!

JavaScript: The World's Most Misunderstood Programming Language [crockford.com/javascript/javascript.html]

JavaScript's C-like syntax, including curly braces and the clunky for statement, makes it appear to be an ordinary procedural language. This is misleading because JavaScript has more in common with functional languages like Lisp or Scheme than with C or Java. It has arrays instead of lists and objects instead of property lists. Functions are first class. It has closures. You get lambdas without having to balance all those parens.

Is JavaScript object-oriented? It has objects which can contain data and methods that act upon that data. Objects can contain other objects. It does not have classes, but it does have constructors which do what classes do, including acting as containers for class variables and methods. It does not have class-oriented inheritance, but it does have prototype-oriented inheritance.

The two main ways of building up object systems are by inheritance (is-a) and by aggregation (has-a). JavaScript does both, but its dynamic nature allows it to excel at aggregation.

Some argue that JavaScript is not truly object oriented because it does not provide information hiding. That is, objects cannot have private variables and private methods: All members are public.

But it turns out that JavaScript objects can have private variables and private methods. (Click here now to find out how.) Of course, few understand this because JavaScript is the world's most misunderstood programming language.

Some argue that JavaScript is not truly object oriented because it does not provide inheritance. But it turns out that JavaScript supports not only classical inheritance, but other code reuse patterns as well.

2006-01-09t23:17:00Z | RE: Comics.
Classic statement on the state of comics

Transcript of a 1989 speech by Bill Watterson, maker of Calvin and Hobbes.

"The Cheapening of the Comics" [hobbes.ncsa.uiuc.edu/comics.html].

Suppose you're a painter and you go to an art gallery to see if they'll represent you. They look at your work and shake their heads. But, since you show some basic familiarity with a paintbrush, they ask if you'd like to continue Rembrandt's work. After all, you can paint. Rembrandt's dead, and some buyers would rather have a Rembrandt forgery than no Rembrandt at all. It's an absurd scenario, but this is what goes on in comic strip syndication.

Suppose you're a painter and you go to an art gallery to see if they'll represent you. They look at your work and shake their heads. But, since you show some basic familiarity with a paintbrush, they ask if you'd like to continue Rembrandt's work. After all, you can paint. Rembrandt's dead, and some buyers would rather have a Rembrandt forgery than no Rembrandt at all. It's an absurd scenario, but this is what goes on in comic strip syndication.

2006-01-10t15:54:37Z | RE: Chicago. Martial.
Article on the CSG in the Chicago Journal

A very nice article in the Chicago Journal about the Chicago Swordplay Guild [chicagoswordplayguild.com] (CSG), of which I am a proud member. I have also recently taken the role of Webmaster for the CSG, so the site is going to have a new look, blog, etc. soon.

The art of battle, lost and found [chicagojournal.com/main.asp?SectionID=25&SubSectionID=55&ArticleID=1161&TM=60969.29]

Guild members say they believe they have, for the most part, accurately reconstructed Western martial arts techniques, though some methods—including fighting on horseback—are hard to revive. Scott Baltic, a member of the guild for four years, says purchasing and training horses is both logistically and cost prohibitive. Mele adds, however, that although not everything can be perfectly resurrected, part of the draw of Western martial arts is an ability to "romanticize" battle. "There’s no way to romanticize modern warfare," he says. "There’s nothing less romantic than pushing a button so something blows up 200 feet away." Overall, Baltic says it’s a challenge to impart to the curious how seriously the group takes its work. "Sometimes we’re at pains to explain we’re not a reenactment group," Baltic says. "We don’t do theatrical work. There are no back flips. What we’re trying to do is resurrect a martial art."

2006-01-10t20:36:47Z | RE: Cyber Life. Legal.
So sue me!

After years of people saying "So sue me!" in chat rooms, someone has finally done it. One of the funniest lawsuits ever.

Man sues over chatroom humiliation [theregister.co.uk/2006/01/10/aol_sue_chatroom] [via monkeyfilter.com/link.php/10819]

An Ohio man who claims that he was humiliated by two other participants in an AOL chatroom has sued the two men for causing emotional distress and the ISP for failing to stop the alleged abuse, according to a report from Law.com.

The monkeyfilter thread has some funny comments like this:

If he wins, I'll see you all in court.

2006-01-11t15:56:38Z | RE: Economy. Engineering.
LEDs brightening

Good news but it seems like it's still taking forever.

Turning on LEDs [technologyreview.com/NanoTech/wtr_16135,318,p1.html]

When the Christmas tree at the U.S. Capitol was illuminated this year, it shone with the light of 10,000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs). And next year the giant New Year's Eve ball in Times Square will also be festooned with LED lights. Such milestones are another indication that the use of solid-state lighting made from semiconductor chips or organic polymers is advancing rapidly.

According to projections from Sandia National Laboratories, the energy-saving benefits of LED lighting would be impressive: If the technology can be improved so that half of all lighting is solid-state by 2025, it will cut worldwide power use by 120 gigawatts, saving $100 billion a year and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 350 megatons a year.

Moreover, lighting experts say, semiconductor LEDs and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) would change the way people think about lighting their homes. Rather than static fixtures holding single-color bulbs, solid-state lighting will be more flexible, allowing for glowing ceiling tiles or accent lights whose colors can be digitally adjusted at the touch of a button.

Before that can happen, however, plenty of technological hurdles need to be overcome. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lighting Technology Roadmap calls for LEDs to be able to produce 150 lumens of illumination per watt of input power by 2012, up from just 25 lumens/watt in 2002. That’s 10 times the efficiency of an incandescent bulb and substantially more than the 50-100 lumens/watt from a fluorescent bulb.

Nadarajah Narendran, director of research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center, isn’t worried about hitting that target. “Three years ago a lot of people were skeptical that that could happen, but now when you look at the numbers it’s not an issue,” he says. In fact, researchers have already demonstrated 110 lumens/watt in the lab. If anything, Narendran says, scientists may be ahead of the DOE's goal.

2006-01-11t20:25:18Z | RE: SQL. Database. Google. Programming.
Select top and sum the rest

This SQL code gets the top twelve and sums the rest. I was disappointed that I had to come up with this code myself. Come on people! Any common problem that's been solved should be blogged about and findable via Google.

if object_id('tempdb..#temp') is not null 
    drop table #temp
create table #temp (ProcedureID int, CPT nvarchar(308), Charges money)

--This is the top 12
insert into #temp (ProcedureID, CPT, Charges)
select top 12 
Fsvc.ProcedureID as ProcedureID, 
[Procedure] as CPT, 
sum(ChargeAmount) as Charges
from fact_Service as Fsvc
join dimension_Procedure as Dpro
on (Fsvc.ProcedureID = Dpro.ProcedureID)
group by [Procedure], Fsvc.ProcedureID
order by sum(ChargeAmount) desc

--This is the rest
insert into #temp (ProcedureID,CPT,Charges)
select 
cast(0 as int) as ProcedureID, 
cast(
    cast(
        (select (count(distinct fact_Service.ProcedureID)-12) from fact_Service)
        as nvarchar(308)
        )+
    ' Other CPTs'
    as nvarchar(308)) as CPT, 
sum(Fsvc1.ChargeAmount) as Charges
from fact_Service as Fsvc1
where Fsvc1.ProcedureID not in (
	select top 12 Fsvc2.ProcedureID
	from fact_Service as Fsvc2
	join dimension_Procedure as Dpro
	on (Fsvc2.ProcedureID = Dpro.ProcedureID)
	group by Fsvc2.ProcedureID
	order by sum(ChargeAmount) desc
)
select * from #temp

2006-01-11t22:26:48Z | RE: Flow. Quotations. Words.
Frank's top 10 short quotes

This must have been a good exercise. I'm pretty sure I would choose differently myself.

Inspiration: "The World's Best Quotes in 1-10 Words." [careerlab.com/comments.htm]. By William S. Frank.

I'll summarize just the quotes here, but see the link for his comments.

  1. Love. —The Prophets
  2. Know thyself. —Socrates [or possibly Thales]
  3. Inches make champions. —Vince Lombardi
  4. Nothing gold can stay. —Robert Frost
  5. Work is love made visible. —Kahlil Gibran
  6. No great thing is created suddenly. —Epictetus (A.D.200) [Actually this should be 0055/0135]
  7. Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin
  8. No wind favors he who has no destined port. —Montaigne
  9. Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. —Seneca
  10. Do first things first, and second things not at all. —Peter Drucker.

2006-01-11t22:28:26Z | RE: Productivity. Programming.
Learing from failure in programming

A wee bit pedantic but pretty decent. I wonder how my own writing sounds?

 What I've learned from failure [braithwaite-lee.com/weblog/2005/01/what-ive-learned-from-failure.html]

Success in software development is at least as much about avoiding failure modes as it is about "best practices." I conjecture it's because software development on a commercial scale is so hard that almost any mistake will sink a project if left uncorrected or even worse, actively encouraged.

The first thing I've learned from failure is that the four things which matter most are:
  1. The quality of the people doing the development
  2. The expected value of the product to its stakeholders
  3. The fitness of the proposed solution
  4. The quality of project management and expectations communication

2006-01-11t22:35:43Z | RE: Food. Funny. Sex.
Lying about food

Sad, on so many levels.. [reuters.com/...]

[Ah, screw it, I'll quote the whole thing.]

Almost a third of young Britons have passed off a ready-made meal as their own creation in order to impress someone, according to a survey by the Department of Health. Women were the worst offenders, with 40 percent saying they had claimed food bought in a shop as their own, compared to 22 percent of men. And seven percent of the 1,000 16-24-year-olds questioned said they regularly claimed credit for food they had bought.

The research, conducted as part of the department's 5 A DAY campaign to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables, also found that one in 10 had never cooked a proper meal for themselves because they "don't know how."

It also discovered that women were more impressed by a man's cooking ability than whether they owned a flashy car.

That last line about women being impressed by a man's cooking than his car is pretty cool. And yet I'm sure men will persist on doing things that they think will impress women. And that's why the Johnny Bravo cartoon show is funny.

2006-01-11t22:42:33Z | RE: Conservation. Economy.
Whole Foods sails

Way to go Whole Foods!

Whole Foods Commits to Wind Energy [news.yahoo.com/...]

Natural-food grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. said Tuesday it will rely on wind energy for all of its electricity needs, making it the largest corporate user of renewable energy in the United States. The Austin-based company said it is purchasing 458,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy credits a year — enough to power 44,000 homes annually — from Renewable Choice Energy of Boulder, Colo.

2006-01-12t15:32:16Z | RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Mac.
What's an Intel chip doing in a Mac?

Mac said they'd use Intel chips and now they've done it. Such an event cannot be passed without noting it. I liked how they're also the first maker to make a notable use dual core too. Now others can start copying.

BTW, I also love their new line: "What's an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it's ever done in a PC."

MacIntel [technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16141,294,p1.html]

Ouch. I hope the phrase "Macintel" is not adapted because "Wintel" is frightening enough.

The change is so radical that existing Macintosh software could have become obsolete -- if not for some near-wizardry. CEO Steve Jobs, always the showman, came to the Macworld Expo this week and unveiled two new Intel-based hardware products that have enthusiasts -- and Wall Street -- salivating. Analysts and rumormongers had been anticipating an Intel-based Mac since June, but it came as a surprise when Jobs announced not one, but two such products: a new iMac and the MacBook Pro laptop, the latter already shipping.

And there was more to Jobs' announcement. The switch to Intel had raised serious questions about backward compatibility for Apple software that runs on the former PowerPC architecture. So Jobs also unveiled an application called Rosetta, which offers interface-free emulation to translate PowerPC code into Intel code on the fly. This application was vitally important, because the fundamental differences between Intel and PowerPC architectures mean no Mac user's library of existing software would run on an Intel-based Mac. Apple's solution, at least until developers reconfigure their applications into Intel-native versions -- a process that could be little more than a recompile or, for massive projects like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office, a mammoth undertakings -- is to use Rosetta.

"Rosetta" is a great name too.

Even without a computer-to-computer network, Apple has a potentially killer front-end for content playback -- something Intel has never managed to create. Apple has also debuted Front Row, which replaces the Mac OS X interface with a screen that can be viewed from across the room, and which serves to navigate and play movies, music, and other digital content. Indeed, Front Row, which ships with the new iMacs and MacBook Pros, includes a remote control. Some have looked at Apple's ability to stream and sell videos, extensive and extending content partnerships, Front Row, and QuickTime standard -- and seen a computer that can replace the need for a TiVo-like device.

Yes! It is important for an entertainment device to look cool and function simply. Perhaps I will one day have a Mac again!

2006-01-12t15:47:53Z | RE: Chicago. Cyber Life. Funny. Google.
Get your 773-588-2300

I recently received this email:

Good Afternoon,

I was wondering if you would let us know if and when you give up your 773-588-2300. As you probably are aware, we are Empire Today at 800-588-2300 and would like to get your 773-588-2300.

Thanks so much!

[Employee name hidden for privacy. -GH] | Empire Today, LLC | 333 Northwest Ave | Northlake, IL 60164
[Email, phone number, and fax number hidden for privacy. -GH]

[CARTOON: Drawing of the moustachioed Empire guy]At first I thought this was some sort of spam. I have never had the phone number "773-588-2300". Nor would I want to because everyone in Chicago knows that "588-2300" is the phone number of Empire Today [empirecarpet.com]. They've been playing their jingle on Chicago TV since for decades: "5-8-8, 2-300, Empiiiire!" [5 sec audio]. I've watched the moustachioed Empire guy grow gray over the years. If I had their phone number, I'd get a million wrong numbers asking for carpeting!

So I thought I'd Google "773-588-2300" and, well, what do you know? I'm the number one find! No wonder Empire emailed me.

[SCREENSHOT: I'm #1 for 773-588-2300]

It's odd that Empire doesn't even show up on that Google search given how much Empire has put into their jingle. Sadly enough, Empire doesn't even turn up for the other major Chicago area code: Google "312-588-2300". At least they turn up second on their toll-free number (Google "800-588-2300")and first on their number without an area code (Google "533-2300").On the other hand: Do people Google such a thing?

I've noticed that I turn up #1 for other searches but usually it's a technical search. In this case I'm guessing my page on DB Structure must be relatively popular and I just happened to use their phone number as a "fake phone number" three times on the page. After all, if any phone number is etched into my brain, it's theirs.

Here's the email I just sent them:

Dear [Employee name hidden for privacy. -GH]:

I'm guessing that I "have" 773-588-2300 because I am the first result when you Google "773-588-2300".

1. I had no intent to have that honor. I merely came up with some "fake phone numbers" to use in some examples and "588-2300" popped into my head after years of listening to your jingle.

2. I could remove the number from my page but that wouldn't solve the problem because anyone else could also put that number on their page and then they'd turn up on a search. The "solution" would be for Empire Today to put 773-588-2300 (as well as 312-588-2300) a few times on your own website.

In the mean time, you may want to advertise on my page for a minor fee.

Sincerely,
George Hernandez
www.georgehernandez.com

P.S.: What is the name of the Empire guy? Many Chicagoans and I have watched him age with us over the years and it would be nice to know more about him.

2006-01-12t16:54:53Z | RE: Flow. Images. Play.
9 year old draws his way to the PSP he craves

In one sense when I'm really into something I do all sorts of little activities related to it: I'll make drawings, maps, charts, write on it, build it, research it, explore it, etc. In one sense the craving and desiring is more important than the having. I'm waiting for my kids to beg for a video game system before I get one. (Then I can play it too!)

Hooptyrides Corporate Art Collection (aka Gimmie) [hooptyrides.blogspot.com/2006/01/hooptyrides-corporate-art-collection.html]

My friend Jose Luis Junior, age 9, wants a PSP so palpably, it reminds me of my intense desire at the same age for an Atari 2600. Though he doesn’t have the games he dreams of, he reads game strategy guides like they were novels. In great detail, he explains the Grand Theft Auto cultural minutea at a level that I can’t follow. And I have played a lot of Grand Theft Auto though Junior has not jacked a single car.

Junior’s obsession far eclipses mine. He has a folder full of stock photos that he has clipped from Target and Toys R Us flyers. He has clipped photos of the PSP backside so that he has source material to correctly render the battery door. You see, Junior draws PSPs to scale, cuts them out and sells them to his friends! For a quarter! I bought two! 50 cents plus a 50 cent tip! Naturally, all he wanted for Christmas was a PSP but it didn’t happen due to finances.

[DRAWING: Life size PSP drawn by eager 9 year old]

So, I am taking up a collection to buy Junior a PSP. Just send Paypal money to MONEY RAISED - THANKS ANYWAY! As soon as the PSP purchase price has been met, I will shut down the Paypal account. If there are a few bucks extra, Junior and I will spend it on candy and soda pop. In addition to Junior’s gratitude, the most generous donor will receive a photo of Junior with PSP in grubby mitt. Additionally, I will send you one of Junior’s original PSP artworks from the Hooptyrides Corporate Art Collection. Then you will have a paper PSP, just like me and eight of Junior's schoolmates. I keep mine with me and kids are literally horrified when you sit down next to them in a waiting room and they look over from their real PSP to see you playing your paper PSP. Think of me as Sally Struthers and the PSP as a bowl of rice.

Way to go Mr. Jalopy!

2006-01-18t19:47:56Z | RE: Faith. Philosophy. Popularity. Science.
Richard Dawkins gets grumpy

A pretty decent article on Richard_Dawkins [W] (science popularizer and humanist) that includes recent comments by Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins: Beyond belief [education.guardian.co.uk/higher/profile/story/0,11109,1682655,00.html]

There were two key parts to The Selfish Gene. The first was Dawkins's inversion of the process of natural selection. Instead of trotting out the established view that organisms use genes to self-replicate, Dawkins made the revolutionary suggestion that genes use organisms to propagate themselves, an idea that immediately answered many of the difficult questions of Darwinism, such as the apparent selflessness of some animal behaviour. The second important theme was the rehabilitation of memes, self-replicating cultural transmissions - "viruses of the mind" - that are passed on both vertically and horizontally within families. And it is the meme, or rather one particular meme, that is the prime cause of Dawkins's current grumpiness.

Religion offends every bone in Dawkins's rational, atheist body. "You can see why people may want to believe in something," he acknowledges. "The idea of an afterlife where you can be reunited with loved ones can be immensely consoling - though not to me. But to maintain such a belief in the face of all the evidence to the contrary is truly bewildering." If individual faith is, for Dawkins, an expression of an ignorance, collective faith and organised religion embody something much more pernicious.

The evidence is moot. People want to believe. Parents let their children believe in Santa Claus because it is comforting, beautiful, and truthful (if not true). And so they also let themselves believe in religion.

What angers Dawkins most is the way religion gets such an easy ride. "We treat it with a politically correct reverence that we don't accord to any other institution," he says. "Even secularists talk about Jewish, Catholic and Muslim children. There's no such thing. Children aren't born with a particular religious gene. What they are is children of Jewish, Catholic and Muslim parents. If you started to talk about monetarist or Marxist children, everyone would consider you abusive. Yet for religion we make an exception. We are incapable of distinguishing between race and religion. There is some statistical correlation between the two, but they are very different entities and we shouldn't allow them to be confused."

"I think the figures are somewhat overstated in this country," he says tersely, "as it's generally the same three scientists making their voices heard. Most scientists use the term God in the way that Einstein did, as an expression of reverence for the deep mysteries of the universe, a sentiment I share. "In the US, the picture is rather different. Coming out as an atheist can cost an academic his or her job in some parts of America, and many choose to keep quiet about their atheism. In a recent survey, 40% of US scientists said they believed in God; however, when the sample was narrowed to those in the National Academy [the US equivalent of the Royal Society] the figure was down to 10%."

Opponents have claimed that Dawkins offers a bleak view of humanity, something he categorically denies. "The chances of each of us coming into existence are infinitesimally small," he argues, "and even though we shall all die some day, we should count ourselves fantastically lucky to get our decades in the sun." But even he expresses regret at our long-term prospects. "Within 50 million years, it's highly unlikely humans will still be around and it is sad to think of the loss of all that knowledge and music."

"I did used to be addicted to computer programming," he admits. "In the early days, there was no off-the-shelf software and I wrote everything, from my own word-processing programmes to more complex programmes simulating cricket sounds that were necessary for my research. However, I now view programming as a vice, so I don't allow myself to do it."

He he. Programming is a vice, but a necessary one at times, and at other times it's just for looking geek good.

2006-01-18t19:48:43Z | RE: Design. How To.
HOW TO: Improve a logo

No tricks, just common sense and experience.

How to improve your logo [fizbang.com/1-3-06.php]

2006-01-18t20:21:17Z | RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Star Wars. Video.
DL videos

Nice, but what I really like is his link to the Star Wars Freecks [youtube.com/watch.php?v=v1SWXsTTfQY; 00:10:29] video.

Download videos from Youtube, Google Video and iFilm directly to your computer (and how to convert .flv files to other formats) [javimoya.com/blog/download-videos]

Download any Youtube video directly….with no installation of anything (no Grease Monkey scripts), compatible with all operative systems and computers. I have also added the possibility of download, equally, videos from Google Video and iFilm. And, as an special gift, I explain how to do something quite requested: How to change format of those videos (.flv or .mov) to other types like .wmv, .mpg, .avi or .mov

2006-01-18t20:29:33Z | RE: Economy. Politics. World.
How many poor are there?

This is an amazing entry in Ask Yahoo! [ask.yahoo.com]. It's important enough that I'm going to copy the whole thing.

How many people in the world live in extreme poverty? [ask.yahoo.com/20060111.html]

According to NetAid, over a billion people, or roughly one in six, live in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than US$1 a day.

The World Bank goes on to define moderate poverty as basic subsistence living, on $1 to $2 a day. All told, nearly half the world's population lives in poverty -- that's 2.8 billion people living on less than two dollars a day.

Some other facts to keep in mind:

  • Each year over 8 million people die because they are simply too poor to stay alive.
  • More than 800 million people go hungry every day.
  • The gross domestic product of the poorest 48 nations is less than the wealth of the world's three richest people.
  • Thirty-thousand children die every day due to hunger and treatable illnesses.
  • 6 million children die every year before their fifth birthday, as a result of malnutrition.
You can find detailed poverty assessments of specific geographical regions on the World Bank's PovertyNet. And if you're interested in learning how the World Bank comes up with its poverty statistics, take a look at PovcalNet.

The goal of the Millennium Campaign is to reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. And the aim of the One Campaign is to direct an additional 1 percent of the United States budget towards eradicating global poverty.

When I visited the Philippines, I had the opportunity to drive by kilometer after kilometer after kilometer of the poor living in shacks near Manila —it seemed to go on forever. And yet if I look at the List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita [W], I see that the Philippines is #118 with a GDP per capita of $1010 USD. The list doesn't get below $1 a day until Cambodia (#159 with a GDP per capita of $346 USD). That level of poverty is almost unimaginable.

So what can a person who lives in the U.S.A. (#7 with a GDP per capia of $39,935 USD) think or do? Stats like these are almost crippling.

2006-01-18t21:15:11Z | RE: A18+. Cyber Life. NSFW. News.
Naked News

I took a moment to check out Naked News [nakednews.com]. They may offer up news, but having the news delivered by a person disrobing is entirely distracting. The anchor people somehow do it entirely professionally and powerfully. I wonder if they could use this technique for educational purposes?

Naked News breaking in Japan market [today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyid=2006-01-11T154637Z_01_EIC153573_RTRUKOC_0_US-NAKED.xml]

Since making its debut in Canada in 1999, Naked News has become available via the Internet, television and mobile phones in North America, Australia and Europe.

Another area being tested concerns the degree of nudity of the presenters. Initially, newscasters will strip to their underwear, but Uchikawa indicated that he hopes to be able to see how far Japanese obscenity broadcasting laws can be bent before they are broken.

Canadian-born presenter Lily Kwan has been peeling off her work clothes for five years and described the experience as "liberating." "I love being able to go out onto the streets and take my clothes off," she said. "While we have been in Tokyo, people have been very surprised to see us with no tops on, but they're very happy and interested in talking to us."

[SCREENSHOT: blurbs from Naked News]

2006-01-18t21:25:59Z | RE: Web 2.0. AJAX. Cyber Tech. Programming.
Mini-AJAX tutorial

A nice programming nugget.

AJAX Tutorial with Prototype [petefreitag.com/item/515.cfm]

The article itself is chockfull of links to other nuggets:

2006-01-18t21:38:33Z | RE: Medical. NSFW. Play.
Rectal work and play

What is the appeal of potty humor?

set includes one jar of vaseline [metafilter.com/mefi/48336]

Having a filthy mind, I'm able to come up with several non-medical uses for the Digital Rectal Examination Simulator. However, when I noticed that the company selling the device was Japanese, I realized that the intended use is most likely as a way to hone your skills away from the arcade for the video game Boon-Ga Boon-Ga.

2006-01-18t21:41:42Z | RE: Martial. Politics. U.S.A. (America).
Dragon Skin scale armor

Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits [sftt.org/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpDefense&htmlCategoryID=30&htmlId=4514] [via metafilter.com/mefi/48338]

Two deploying soldiers and a concerned mother reported Friday afternoon that the U.S. Army appears to be singling out soldiers who have purchased Pinnacle's Dragon Skin Body Armor for special treatment.

Googling "dragon skin armor" turns up interesting links.

SOV Flexible Body Armor [pinnaclearmor.com/body-armor/sov.php]. From Pinnacle, the manufacturer of Dragon Skin.

Developments in body armor over the last thirty years are numerous, but very few actually have revolutionized the industry. The last two major developments were the introduction of Kevlar and Spectra products which significantly lowered weights compared to ballistic nylon. Now, Pinnacle Armor presents a revolutionary technology called DRAGON SKIN®, the first practical, FLEXIBLE BODY ARMOR that defeats rifle rounds.

 [military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_PArmor,00.html]

Flexible hard armor systems, with the weight of a soft armor vest but the stopping power of hard plate armor, thanks to a combination of highly advanced ballistic ceramic and titanium composites, and ballistic fiber technology. 

Ceramic Stopper: Section of SOV-1000/Dragon Skin disc/panel with 7.62x51mm (.308 Win.) M80 ball round stuck in it. M80 ball is a Level IV ballistic threat, and Pinnacle's SOV-1000 Level III "+" system has stopped it. Backface Deformation Signature is only 9mm (just over 5/16").

Politics aside, scale armor made out of overlapping disks of composite ceramic and titanium is pretty cool.

2006-01-20t16:51:40Z | RE: CSG. Cyber Tech. Martial. My Creation.
New CSG site goes live

I can finally say that I'm the new Webmaster for the Chicago Swordplay Guild [chicagoswordplayguild.com] because I finally uploaded my rendition of the site. Right now none of the database, RSS, XML, and app stuff have been implemented yet.

Here are some of the changes:

  • A new look. (Yes, we use CSS [W] now.)
  • We got rid of frames. (That means now you can bookmark pages on the CSG site and Google can spider us.)
  • All posts will now be dated and name the author. (D'oh!)
  • You can search our site. (Thank you Google! Give them time to spider our stuff.)
  • We have an FAQ. (Or is that a FAQ?)

One of the fun things was I tried to sneak ISO 8601 as the standard date format all over the site, but the board members and instructors choked on it. Oh well. I think I'll have better luck with "sneaking" in the metric system because I'll provide both metric and U.S. units for everything.

I also narrowed the columns to 640 pixel. This is so common on the web even though I personally prefer wide columns to make use of all that real estate.

[IMAGE: CSG logo with name circling]

And yes I could tweak the spacing on the letters more but it gives the eye something to play with. On the other hand if people tell me it's annoying, then I'll tweak it.

2006-01-20t19:09:05Z | RE: Health. Science.
Exercise reduces risk of dementia

I just love studies that reveal what we already knew (EG: Exercise is good for you.) but actually attempt to quantify or empirically justify that belief.

Exercise linked to big drop in dementia risk [newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8589]

After six years, 158 people in the group had developed dementia, and 107 of these had Alzheimer’s. But those who had exercised at least three times a week were on average 38% less likely to have developed dementia than those exercising less than three times a week.

2006-01-20t19:09:48Z | RE: Cyber Tech. Free Gratis. Hardware.
Backup on the cheap

It's almost too bad I already have backup set up. The neat thing about this is that it uses freeware and can backup to a remote site.

Geek to Live: Automatically back up your hard drive [lifehacker.com/software/geek-to-live/geek-to-live-automatically-back-up-your-hard-drive-147855.php]

What you’ll need:

  1. A Windows PC. (Sorry Mac folks, you’re another article.)
  2. An external hard drive.
    I’ve had great luck with a LaCie FireWire drive, which of course, requires your computer has a FireWire port. When choosing size, go for 4-5 times the amount of data you want to back up (i.e., 4 times the size of your My Documents folder.)
  3. An FTP server.
    This is optional, but if you want off-site backup, it’s a must. See previous post, Ask Lifehacker Readers: Web hosting provider?, for recommendations on companies that provide not only web hosting, but FTP-able disk space.

Here’s how to get your backups up and running.

  1. Set up your hardware and software. Download and install the most excellent free software, SyncBack Freeware v3.2.9. SyncBackSE version 4.0 is also available to buy at $25. This tutorial will use v.3 for the cheapies and those of you giving SyncBack a try for the first time. Once your external drive is connected to your computer and turned on, name it “Backup” and browse to it in Explorer. (On my computer, it’s the F:/ drive.) Create 3 folders named “Nightly,” “Weekly” and “Monthly” We’re going to store our backups into these folders.

2006-01-20t19:15:50Z | RE: Mind. Play.
Color v word brain teaser

Just some brain teasers, but note that they did it almost entirely as images. That way scoundrels like me can't just copy and paste their text!

Brain Calistenics [time.com/time/covers/20060116/puzzles/index.html]]

I liked #1 the best:

Say the color the word is printed in, not the word itself. Try to say all 10 without a mistake within 15 seconds.

Blue Yellow Red Green Yellow Green Blue Red Yellow Red

I wonder if people who work with text and colors often (like Web programmers) would do better on it?

2006-01-20t20:05:05Z | RE: Images. Martial. Photography.
Bullets passing thru photos

In case I ever want hi-speed photos of things getting shot.

Bullet Pictures [web.mit.edu/Edgerton/6.51s/2003]

[PHOTO: Bullet passing thru card]

2006-01-20t22:03:57Z | RE: Cyber Life. NSFW. Play. Popularity.
nsfw.reddit.com

OMFG! That's it, that's it, life has changed. Now you only need four sites on the Web:

  1. Wikipedia.org. For the basics.
  2. Google.com. For the details.
  3. digg.com or reddit.com. For the new cool stuff that's SFW.
  4. nsfw.reddit.com. For the new cool stuff that's NSFW.

2006-01-21t01:53:20Z | RE: Cyber Tech. Show Biz. TV.
BSG killed broadcast TV

The future is coming faster than we think. The article doesn't mention the quality of this "free" content, but that will change. I (ahem) haven't watched any pirated copies of Battlestar Galactica, but I do love the series and I do intend to buy a copy of it on DVD.

Piracy is Good? How Batllestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV [mindjack.com/feature/piracy051305.html]

October 18th, 2004 is the day TV died. That evening, British satellite broadcaster SkyOne — part of NEWS Corp's BSkyB satellite broadcasting service — ran the premiere episode of the re-visioned 70s camp classic Battlestar Galactica. (That episode, "33," is one of the best hours of drama ever written for television.) The production costs for Battlestar Galactica were underwritten by two broadcast partners: SkyOne in the UK, and the SciFi Channel in the USA. SciFi Channel programers had decided to wait until January 2005 (a slow month for American television) to begin airing the series, so three months would elapse between the airing of "33" in the UK, and its airing in the US. Or so it was thought. The average viewer of the SciFi network is young and decidedly geeky. They are masters of media; they can find ways to get things they shouldn't have. Thus, a few hours after airing on SkyOne, "33" was available for Internet download. No news there.

While you might assume the SciFi Channel saw a significant drop-off in viewership as a result of this piracy, it appears to have had the reverse effect: the series is so good that the few tens of thousands of people who watched downloaded versions told their friends to tune in on January 14th, and see for themselves. From its premiere, Battlestar Galactica has been the most popular program ever to air on the SciFi Channel, and its audiences have only grown throughout the first series. Piracy made it possible for "word-of-mouth" to spread about Battlestar Galactica.

Now we have a paradox: the invention of an incredibly powerful mechanism for the global distribution of television programming brings with it a fundamental challenge to the business model which pays for the creation of the programs themselves. This is not at all BitTorrent's fault: the technology could have come along a decade ago, and if it had, we'd have stumbled across this paradox in the 1990s. This is a failure of the value chain to adapt to a changing technological landscape — a technological desynchronization between producer and audience. Once again, there's no need to find fault: things have changed so much, and so quickly, I doubt that anyone could have kept up. But the future is now here, and everyone in the creative value chain from producer to audience must adapt to it.

The advertiser is looking to lower costs in advertising; if those advertisers are paying between $250,000 and $500,000 for thirty seconds of advertising (in the United States), just a handful of advertisements would cover hyperdistribution costs. It's a numbers game: if enough viewers watch a hyperdistributed television program, it is cheaper for advertisers to work with producers, and handle the distribution themselves. Furthermore, if the program is widely popular, it is far, far cheaper to do so. In other words, the higher your ratings, the cheaper the advertising. That's precisely the reverse of broadcast television, and one big reason that advertisers will find this model so appealing.

Although no formal surveys have been conducted, it's reasonable to assert that at least four percent of Australians, two percent of Britons, and one percent of Americans are already using broadband hyperdistribution to get some percentage of their TV programs. Based on my own research, I have found television downloading to be widespread among men 18 to 25 years old, precisely the demographic most coveted by advertisers. In other words, the prime audience is already there, already waiting and already willing to receive. All that remains is to put the components of this new value chain into operation.

1 % of Americans? As in 3 million Americans using hyperdistribution? Does that include those who use not-as-hyperdistribution like usegroups?

2006-01-23t17:49:32Z | RE: Cyber Life. Education.
College absenteeism

People learn in different ways.

  • Text:
    • Read the stuff.
    • Write about the stuff. This is usually making notes that put it in your own words and your own structure as opposed to taking notes while someone talks.
  • Audio: Hear the stuff.
  • Video: Watch the stuff.
  • Interactivity: Work/experiment/play with stuff. Just do it.
  • Social:
    • Hash it out with real people in real time. EGs: Face-to-face, phone, IM.
    • Hash it out with real people in asynchronous time. EGs: Email, message boards, blogs, comments.
    • (Besides the academic topic, people go to school to learn to interact, to socialize, to network, an attitude, character, etc., but that's almost another topic.)

Skipping class means you miss another way of learning (or networking, etc.). But if there is an increase in undergrad absenteeism when the class notes are online, then could it mean that the students aren't missing what they got from the traditional methods? If a professor is giving a lecture where he just drones on, then for me that was always an incentive to skip class because I could just read the stuff myself or interact with people outside of the lecture. The only incentives in that case might be pop quizzes or announcements. On the other hand if a teacher  provides actual conversation, actual interaction, that is worth going to class. A teacher should not be demoralized if he is teaching a small group because there is something very human, sociable, and intimate about that.

People should be free to choose how they learn (or socialize), as long as they can demonstrate that they have learned what the class was supposed to teach.

More undergrads playing hooky when class notes go online [chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-0601230142jan23,1,5920089.story]

By visiting the course's Web sites, the 200 students could download audio recordings or watch digital videos of the lectures, as well as read the instructor's detailed lecture notes and participate in online discussions.

If other teachers follow suit, that might make a difference to students such as Julia Bui, 23, a single mother on track to graduate from Cal State Long Beach this spring. This last semester, for the first time in her college career, Bui frequently skipped one of her lecture classes. Bui ditched for the kinds of reasons that many undergraduates say they do: She found the course boring, and she had other demands on her time. Perhaps the clincher in her decision was that her professor posted his lecture notes online.

Statistics on class-skipping are scarce. But a UCLA survey of freshmen at 142 schools found that 33 percent said they skipped at least occasionally. The survey, conducted last fall, also found that 43 percent frequently were bored and 58 percent had fallen asleep in class.

2006-01-24t15:31:09Z | RE: Archaeology. Culture. History.
Viking teeth

It was all part of the Viking bling bling.

Study: Viking Teeth Were Groovy [dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20060123/vikingteeth_arc.html?dcitc=w01-101-ae-0000]

Viking warriors filed deep grooves in their teeth, and they likely had to smile broadly to show them off, according to new finds in four major Viking Age cemeteries in Sweden.

Caroline Arcini of Sweden's National Heritage Board analyzed 557 skeletons of men, women and children from between 800 and 1050 A.D. They discovered that 22 of the men bore deep, horizontal grooves across the upper front teeth.

"The marks are traces of deliberate dental modifications ... they are so well-made that most likely they were filed by a person of great skill," Arcini wrote in the current issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

[PHOTO: Grooved Viking teeth]

Traces of teeth mutilation have been found in all parts of the world except Europe, with the practice reaching its peak from 700 to 1400 A.D., during the height of the Viking Age. The Viking were the first European people to have displayed this custom, perhaps because they picked it up during their travels. "This discovery is important as it shows that signs of cultural contact may happen between people over vast distances," Arcini told Discovery News.

The marks were cut deep into the enamel and occurred often in pairs or triplets. "To show their furrows, the individuals would have had to smile quite broadly," Arcini said.

2006-01-24t16:32:42Z | RE: Science Fiction.
The Last Question is out

Isaac Asimov is one of my all time favorite authors. I have around 3 dozen of his books. Some of his works have been made into movies in the past few years (most of them were unfortunately fairly badly executed). The neat thing is that the copyright on some of his stuff is expiring.

The cool thing right now is that his 1956 "The Last Question" [adin.dyndns.org/adin/TheLastQ.htm] is now a popular link. There is even a cute modified version "The Last Query" [interconnected.org/notes/2003/05/last-query.html], where "Multivac" is replaced with Google.

One nice thing about getting older is seeing such lovely things fall into the public domain.

2006-01-24t16:57:41Z | RE: Measurements. My Creation. Quirky.
The August hiccup

This is a neat little link on the length of the days of the months.

Calendar Reform [projects.csail.mit.edu/gsb/archives/old/gsb-archive/gsb1997-02-14.html] [via reddit.com/info?id=zdd]

Now even if the above link isn't factually true —as suggested by a reddit comment that points out Julian calendar [W]— I am, none the less, thankful for the link for finally giving me a mnemonic for remembering the length of each month: Starting long, the days alternate from long to short, except for the August hiccup.

2006-01-31t17:50:12Z | RE: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Hardware. My Creation. Software.
Migrating to my new laptop

I'm almost done migrating to my new (actually refurbished) laptop. Here are the basic changes:

  old Dell Latitude C600 new Dell Inspiron 6000
CPU Pentium III-750/600 Pentium M, 1.86 GHz
Hard drive 20 GB 100 GB
RAM 500 MB 2 GB
Windows 2000 Server, SP 4 XP Professional, SP 2
Screen 1400 x 1050
True Color = 24 bit = 2^24 = 16,777,216
1680 x 1050
Highest = 32 bit = 2^32 = 4,294,967,296
Disc CD & DVD read CD & DVD read & write

[SCREENSHOT: A look at my desktop today]]

Here are the problems I encountered:

  • For a short while I could connect to the Internet at home but not see the other machine but I had simply forgotten that the other machine had a firewall up.
  • The biggest change was the upgrade from Microsoft SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 —this is the biggest change in SQL Server since v6.5.
  • At home I back up my laptop to an external hard drive. Before I just temporarily shared the c drive for back ups. But now it seems I also have to share My Document, wwwroot, and (most annoyingly) specific sites under wwwroot. Security is definitely tighter in Windows XP.

Here are all the apps and stuff I've been rebuilding with. Some of the stuff I'm trying out. In the following italics indicates installed; Bold indicates important and to be done; Regular indicates previously installed but not this time.

  • Internet
    • Browsers
      • Firefox by Mozilla.org. A free (gratis) browser.  Extensions at: https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/ and http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/
        • Bookmarklets
        • Extensions must haves
          • All-in-One Gestures. Navigate and stuff with mouse gestures.
          • Colorful Tabs. As it says.
          • DownloadThemAll!. Aka dTa. A download manager.
          • FirefoxView. View pages and links loaded into IE in Firefox.
          • Greasemonkey. 'lets you to add bits of DHTML ("user scripts") to any webpage to change it's behavior.'
          • IEView. Open pages is IE via Firefox menus.
          • Leet Key. 'Transforms typed or static text to L337, ROT13, BASE64, HEX, URL, BIN, Morse code, DVORAK keyboard layout and to lower/to upper case functionality.' See the User Manual [leetkey.mozdev.org/user-manual.html].
          • PDF Download. 'Allows to choose whether you want to view a PDF file inside the browser (as PDF or HTML) or you want to download it!'
          • Resize Search Box. Sweet!
          • Split Screen. Adds context menu entries to open the current page in a new split window.  --> Alas! Not available for Firefox 1.5 yet.
          • Tabbrowser Preferences. Search bar can open in new tab, etc.
          • undoclosetab. As it says. --> Official version not available for Firefox 1.5 yet, but you can get one that works at http://mozilla.dorando.at/undoclosetab.xpi.
          • xscroll. Enables horizontal scrolling by single mousewheel.
          • Zoomy. Toolbar buttons to increase, decrease and reset the text size. --> Alas! Not available for Firefox 1.5 yet.
        • Extensions optional
          • DerBrowserTimer. timer/clock/alarm.
          • FlashGot. Download manager. Support at flashgot.net. Requires a download manager: I tried leechget.net.
          • Gmail Delete Button. Awesome but the button is so very close to the "Archive" button. --> I just noticed today (2006-01-30) that Gmail finally made a Delete button available (probably influenced by the extension).
          • gspace. 'This extension allows you to use your Gmail Space (2 GB) for file storage. It acts as a remote machine. You can transfer files between your hard drive and gmail.' via http://www.rjonna.com/ext/gspace.php
          • miniT. Tab drag and drop. Wheel through tabs. Double-click on tabs opens new tab. Only Dorando's original miniT is compatible with Dorando's undoclosetab. --> 2005-11-30: Became unnecessary with Firefox v1.5.
          • Mozilla Archive Format. Save web pages as single files (like MHTML).
          • My IP Tool. View local & public IP (in lower right).
          • Sage. A lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator.
          • Save Image in Folder. Reduces all that "Save As..." navigation.
          • Sunbird. Aka Mozilla Calendar.
          • Tab X. Adds a close button to each tab. --> 2005-12-16. No need since middle click closes tabs. Plus Tab X makes the X all the way on the right disappear.
          • Wikipedia. Wikipedia.Mozdev.org. 'The Wikipedia extension makes editing of Wikipedia pages easier by adding a new toolbar to your browser and by providing new menu items in the context menu (right mouse key).'  --> 2005-11-30: Alas! Not available for Firefox 1.5 yet.
      • Internet Explorer by Microsoft.com. A browser.
      • Plugins
        • Macromedia Flash Player.
    • IM
    • zMisc
      • BitTorrent by BitTorrent.com. A peer-to-peer file distribution application.
      • FileZilla by FileZilla.SourceForge.net. A gratis and libre FTP client for Windows with a GUI. Supports supports FTP, SFTP, and FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS). Acquired 2005-11-14.
      • (FTP Explorer by ftpx.com. For FTP. See ftpx1010(1).zip in DLs dir.)
      • Outlook Express by Microsoft.com.
  • General
    • Development
      • DameWare. Or some other remote takeover app like PcAnywhere.
      • MySQL by MySQL.com.
      • Java by Sun.com. The JDK (of the J2SE) includes the JRE (JVM), compiler, documentation, debugger, interpreter. Get the NetBeans IDE for Java too.
      • SQL Server 2005 by Microsoft.com. Even if you ask for AdventureWorks (the example database) during the install, you still have to attach it yourself.
      • Visual Studio 2005 by Microsoft.com.
    • Office
      • Office by Microsoft.com. Office productivity suite, esp.: Access, Excel, FrontPage (Set editors: Ultra Edit (xml, xsl, rss, js, inc, .)), PowerPoint, Visio, Word.
      • OpenOffice by OpenOffice.org. Office productivity suite.
    • Text Editor
      • UltraEdit by Ian D. Mead at UltraEdit.com. Super text and hex editor.
      • Vim by Bram Moolenaar at Vim.org. vi-like text editor.
      • jEdit by jEdit.org. Advanced text editor. No cost, open source. Acquired 2005-07-12.
    • zMisc
      • GenoPro. Genealogy software from GenoPro.com.
        • Evaluation key for v 1.99: A9K-2AM-AFZ-FJM-TMP.
        • Evaluation key for v 2beta: 872-V2M-AGB-GC5-TMP. You must open the beta app first, then use it to access the file.
      • Google Earth.
      • (Now You're Cooking by ffts.com. A cooking app.)
      • Skype from skype.com.
      • (Quicken by Intuit.com. A personal finance app.)
      • WarCraft III by Blizzard.com.
  • Media
  • System and Utilities
    • Archiving
      • WinRAR by rarlab.com. Archiver.
      • WinZip by Nico Mak Computing, Inc. at WinZip.com. App for zipping and unzipping files.
      • 7-Zip by Igor Pavlov at 7-zip.org. GNU LGPL. Open source.
        • Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR. 7z can self-extract.
        • Unpacking only: CAB, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM and DEB
    • GH made
      • AutoTyper by GH.
      • Timer by GH.
    • zMisc
      • Ad-Aware SE. Part of Google Pack.
      • Symantec Antivirus SW or the like.
      • DS Clock by DualitySoft.com/dsclock/. A pseudo systray datetime app. --> Not needed with Windows XP since the sys tray can show date, day, and time.
      • Fonts:
        • MS: Georgia, Times New Roman, Arial, Arial Black, Impact, Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Andale Mono, Courier New, Comic Sans, Webdings, Arial Unicode MS.
        • zMisc: Code2000 by James Kass at home.att.net/~jameskass/.
      • Google Desktop.
      • Printer drivers, etc.
      • Rname-it by Kent H. at angelfire.com/ca/kent/, for renaming many files.
      • TaskArrage by Elias Fotinis at http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/efotinis/. 'a simple utility that lets you rearrange the buttons of the Windows taskbar.'
      • Windows by Microsoft.com. An operating system.
        • Quick Launch toolbar items
          • Admin
            • Bat.wsf
            • Command Prompt
            • Computer Management
            • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
            • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Documentation
            • DameWare Mini Remote Control
            • SQL Server Management Studio
            • SQL Server Books Online
            • Ad-Aware SE Personal (part of the Google Pack)
          • Docs
            • 0.txt
            • 0.xls
            • 0.cvx
            • web g
            • web h
            • web c
          • Media
            • Windows Media Player
            • VuePrint Pro
            • Real Player
            • Quicktime
            • iTunes
            • foobar 2000
            • Google Video Player
            • Picasa
          • Net
            • Mozilla Firefox
            • Internet Explorer
            • Outlook Express
            • Yahoo! Messenger
            • mIRC
            • Trillian
          • Utilities
            1. Calculator
            2. Character Map
            3. Ruler
            4. Rname-it
            5. AutoTyper
            6. Timer
            7. Desktop
            8. Windows Explorer
            9. TaskArrange
        • Sys tray items:
          • Trillian
          • Local Area Connection
          • Volume
          • Power Options
          • Picasa
          • Google Talk
          • Google Updater
          • WinZip Quick Pick
          • Google Desktop
          • Quicktime
          • Symantec AntiVirus
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