Friday, July 30

Deployed Marine says 'I do' via video

What's the point of getting married if he's in Fallujah and she's in San Diego? Though this is a cute story, it's essentially pointless.

They won't be 'Biblically' married (and yes, marriage was created by God in the Bible) until they can consummate their union, and that's obviously impossible until they're together. I don't understand this long-distance wedding thing. Maybe she wants to be able to say she was married to a Marine just in case he dies in battle, or she wants to be able to draw some sort of military-wives' pension if that happens, but I just think it's silly.

NHV (New Hacker Version) Bible Transliteration-Christian Hackers' Association

I have nothing to say about this.

Microsoft Demonstrates New Hard Drive Search Tool

This is funny... people at Microsoft keep talking about searching "beyond the Web." The local drives aren't "beyond the Web;" if anything, they're "back home"!

Further proof that employees of M$ don't think before they open their mouths.

MGM Mum on Whether Brosnan Will Return as Bond

Pierce Brosnan said that he's done with Bond, but MGM has't written him off just yet...

Thursday, July 29

Programs: Beware of 'Spider-Man 2' for the PC

I was really wanting to get this game for my PC, but since the Windows version will be way different from the console version advertised in trailers and commercials I may not even bother.

However, a PS2 or Xbox might be cool...

Nokia, Schmokia: Meet the Low-Tech Pokia

Ha! A cell phone wired to a 1950's-style telephone handset! Why this guy did this I have no idea, but it seems that his invention sells well on eBay...

Apple accused RealNetworks of 'hacker' tactics in music war

There are at least 5 different stories on this subject today, so I figured I should post one of them. Apparently, RealNetworks has (according to Apple) "hacked" their way into communicating with the iPod. The newest RealPlayer software is capable of downloading songs to the iPod, which was originally only able to communicate with desktop computers by way of Apple software such as iTunes.

I think universality is a good thing... I hate being forced to use one piece of software. Making the "iPod sync" code available to be used with other products only enhances the usability of the music player, in my opinion. If somebody never gets an iPod because they (for some godforsaken reason) love RealPlayer software and can't sync it to the device, now there is a path to purchasing and using the Apple product.

However, according to Apple: "We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real's Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods."

Read this as: "You're going down, Real. Nobody messes with Apple and provides competition on our own turf!"

Blogging and Business Moving Mainstream

Huzzah for bloggers!

Crick, Nobel winner for cracking DNA code, dies at 88

Dr. Francis Crick, of the Watson & Crick who discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, died yesterday. His former partner, James Watson, said, "Being with him for two years in a small room in Cambridge was truly a privilege."

Man raises stink with pig pen

This guy wanted to get his property rezoned from agriculture to business, and his request was denied. To retaliate, he put a sty with 17 hogs in the yard. Neighbors are now irritated, and the property owner says he'll increase it to 500 pigs if his request is rejected again.

Wednesday, July 28

Report: No More Bond for Brosnan

Though Brosnan was a great bond, I don't really mind all that much that he's decided to move on. However, I have a BIG problem seeing Hugh Grant in the list of contenders for the next 007.

Oops, Wrong Car. Sorry.

A wife meaning to smash up her husband's car after a telephone quarrel accidentally caused more than $1,200 of damage to a neighbor's similarly-colored vehicle.


'Smart' Phones Include Digital Assistants

Smartphone sales are going up. It seems that predictions of cell phones and PDAs merging into one device are finally coming true.

PDA Sales Still Slumping

Standalone PDAs are starting to sell less and less. Sony even stopped selling the CliƩ in American markets. However...

'Jeopardy!' Continues Its Winning Ways

The show is still going strong in the ratings, but the 'Ken' season just ended last Friday. I thought that the reason for his going home was that he finally lost to somebody, but I guess it was just because they were finished filming the season. Can't wait to see him come back on the show whenever new episodes start running!

Tuesday, July 27

Now THAT was bright...

Ha! This is pretty funny. I got this sent to me at work. The guy who sent it wants a finder's fee since I'm posting it here... riiiight.

Speaking of security at the DNC, a friend of mine is a Demolitions expert with the Air Force, and he was a part of the team that scanned the convention site for bombs before the event was set up. I thought that was kinda cool, even though he was in effect working for the Democratic Party.

At last: Verizon rolls out the Treo 600

Finally! Verizon has a Treo that works on their network!

Their data plan is really expensive, though.

Olympic Athletes to Be Given Free Condoms

This just makes me laugh, but it seems that the story is pretty serious. Apparently, in the Sydney 2000 Games, every competing athlete was given 51 condoms as soon as they got there; still, more had to be ordered when supplies ran low.

Costly Fake Bank Notes Puzzle Police

Odd. It cost about as much to make these counterfeit bills as their face value implies. They were used in vending machines, because the counterfeiting is obvious to human eyes. It fools the reader inside some older vending machines, though: "Police suspect a techno-maniac is involved."

Bloggers Make Debut at Democratic Convention

Interesting story... Bloggers (albeit those with greater readership than me) have been admitted into the DNC like regular journalists. Make sure you read the quotes at the bottom of the article.

Monday, July 26

New Links

I just updated the Links on the left of this page:
Finale 2004 is my music notation software of choice; you should know that if you read the first few posts to this blog.
Real Life and PvP are webcomics that I read daily. If you like the kinds of articles I post in my blog, they might interest you as well. I recommend reading the full archives before attempting to read the daily strip; these comics reference their past quite a bit.
The HHGG movie site is still up, but I removed the link directly to the blog. It was cluttery, and I didn't need two links to the same thing.
Magrathea is the most up-to-date and factual page with information that pertains to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and other Douglas Adams (DNA to his diehard fans) books/radio series/etc. It's run By MJ Simpson, author of the most complete DNA biography around. Currently on the news section of the site, you can download the teaser trailer for the upcoming movie, due out next summer. The new pic in "About Me" is a cropped still from that trailer.
KoL is a free MMORPG; but if you've read much of my blog you already knew that.

For the Man Who Has Everything: Electronic Jackets

I knew these were coming, but Bavarian designer rosner just came out with the MP3-playing, Bluetooth-phone-connected, clothing item. It's a jacket designed in conjunction with German chipmaker Infineon.

Looks cool, but the price is still too high and the concept is still too futuristic for it to be embraced by the public.

Damon Supreme at Box Office, Berry Goes Astray

Well, I didn't end up seeing "I, Robot" this weekend after all. The projector at the theater we were in broke even before the movie started, so we sat around for half an hour before being herded out.

We decided that it would be foolish to try to catch the next showing of the Asimov-inspired film, because we'd have to try to find a seat in a crowded theater filled with fellow disappointed moviegoers as well as original ticket purchasers. My wife and I, along with a friend, went over to see "The Bourne Supremacy" instead.

It was an awesome movie! The story was as good, if not better, than the first one. Seeing No. 2 actually provides quite a bit of insight into the events depicted in the original Bourne film; some facts that were slightly hidden in "Identity" were forced into the light through the course of "Supremacy."

The only thing I didn't like was the cinematography and the directing. Paul Greengrass apparently really likes the shaky hand-held-camera look, and he jumps back and forth from shot to shot in the style of a confused fistfight throughout the movie. I got used to it after a while, but it was still pretty annoying. I really would have preferred seeing Doug Liman handle the Bourne thriller again.

Despite its few shortcomings, though, it was an excellent film. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Friday, July 23

Damon's 'Bourne,' Berry's 'Catwoman' Square Off

Well, these two may both be coming out this weekend, but I'll be seeing "I, Robot" on Sunday instead of either of them.

They both look pretty good, but I'm much more hyped up for the Bourne movie than for Catwoman.

Wednesday, July 21


I searched Google for "Herr Theoretiker" today, and my blog is the #1 hit! Even without the quotes! Also, on a search for just "theoretiker" I'm above the fold (with a desktop resolution of 1152x864, anyway).

BTW, for those not in the know (i.e. probably my mom if she reads this), "above the fold" is a newspaper term meaning what the consumer will see on the top of the front page, before he ever picks up the paper. On the Internet it means whatever you can see on a web page without scrolling.

Oh yeah, in case you were wondering... "Herr Theoretiker," my online name, is German for "Mr. Theorist." "Ich bin," for those of you who have never heard of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, is German for "I am." I consider myself a music theorist (in some sense), and I speak a bit of German (and an even smaller bit of Spanish, too, but that's beside the point), so there's the enigma of my page title all done and explained.

As long as I'm explaining some things about my Web presence, I might as well let non-musicians know what my subdomain name means. An "augmented fourth" is an interval in music that is considered to be the second-most-dissonant sound you can get out of two tones. However, I love the sound of it, and most of the music I've ever written uses it pretty prominently. Huzzah for the Diabolus in Musica!

State OKs Plan To Kill Coyotes In Oceanside

When I first saw this headline I thought it was about shooting the guys who traffic illegal aliens across the borders.

Turns out I was wrong. Darn.

Man Pleads Guilty to Keeping Tiger in Apartment

A 400-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger.
A New York taxi driver.
A seven-room apartment.

What do these things have in common? A bizarre news story about a guy who kept a tiger in his apartment in Harlem. "I never thought I put the public in harm's way," he said. Deranged? You be the judge.

73 Percent Of U.S. Livestock Show Signs Of Clinical Depression

This story is from THE ONION... so DO NOT take it seriously!

I just like the picture. It reminds me of the dairy farm that my wife grew up on. Err... the dairy farm on which my wife grew up.

I told you I was anal.

Lindows Settles with Microsoft, Sets IPO Terms

I feel slightly connected to this story, since once I met a guy that works for Lindows (I mean Linspire) at a party. I actually went to college with him, too, but I never knew him at school.

The cool bit is that MICROSOFT is paying LINSPIRE $20 million as part of the settlement. Of course, the makers of the Linux-based OS have to go through all of the corporate restructuring of the name change, so I think it's justified. I actually drove past the Linspire building the other day (my wife works in La Jolla, not far from their headquarters) and I seem to recall that they've already changed the name on the outside of the building.

AT&T Wireless Begins Selling Fast Data for Mobiles

Cellular broadband, which is what this idea boils down to, is an awesome innovation. It doesn't say how fast the connection will be, but if it will stream video it has to be at least mildly speedy.

An adaptation of this that I'd love to see would be car stereos that can play Internet radio stations in Real, Windows Media, and MP3 streams. That way I could get BBC7 in the car even though I'm nowhere NEAR Broadcasting House. Of course, I'm not even on the same continent, so proximity almost ceases to be an issue.

Eleven Afghans Killed in South's Attack

The only reason I posted this (I didn't even read the article) is that I read the headline as "Elven Afghans..." and I thought it was funny.

It's my birthday. Humor me. Oh yeah, the job thing? After I read the news.

It's my birthday!

Woo-hoo. Huzzah. I'm 23 now. Well, not until 5:51 PM, I guess. If you want to be anal. Which I am. It's my job. Speaking of my job...

Tuesday, July 20

Firefox - BlogThis! in Throbber

Whenever I recreate my Firefox preferences (it's now my default browser in both Windows and OS X), I have to navigate to this site to pick up the code to make a user.js file that allows me to click the Throbber, the little progress-animated icon in the top-right, to activate BlogThis!. Just so I have it in an easy-to get location, here it is for my own personal reference:

// Throbber Location point to Blog This:
user_pref("browser.throbber.url", "javascript:Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection){Q=x.selection.createRange().text;}else if(y.getSelection){Q=y.getSelection();}else if(x.getSelection){Q=x.getSelection();}void(''+escape(Q)+'&u='+escape(location.href)+'&n='+escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes'));");

If any readers (ha! do I really have readers?) want to use this code for themselves, copy it into a plain-text file called user.js, minus the hyphens above and below the code. Then, copy the user.js file into your profile directory. If you can't find your profile directory, search your system for prefs.js and place the file in the same folder. User.js is not created for Firefox by default, but it will automatically recognize it once it is placed there.

Monday, July 19

State Route 56 Opens


SR56 has been in production for two decades, and now it comes to San Diego with (hopefully) a decrease in traffic congestion county-wide.


Queen Knights World Wide Web Inventor Berners-Lee

This is pretty cool; a London-born scientist who invented the World Wide Web has been knighted by the Queen of England. He was given the rank of knight commander, the second-highest rank in the OBE.

For those not in the know, the WWW is the system of interconnected Web pages styled with HTML. Before the WWW, information was almost purely text, and navigating and downloading things on the Internet nearly required a degree in Computer Science.

Film Review: The Bourne Supremacy

Though it looks like it won't be quite up to par with the first Jason Bourne espionage thriller (2002's "The Bourne Identity"), "The Bourne Supremacy" will definitely be a must-see for me.

For a more in-depth look at the movie, read the article. I need to get back to work, and there are two other articles I want to post this morning.

Will Smith Topples Spider-Man 2 at U.S. Box Office

Despite bleak predictions, "I, Robot" managed to draw quite a large audience this past weekend. The (so far only projected at the time the article was written) take was $53.3 million, surpassing "Spider-Man 2" and Will Smith's previous best of $52.2 million in 2002 with "Men in Black II." I'll definitely be seeing "I, Robot," though probably not for a while as my wife has some great birthday plans for me this coming weekend.

She got tickets for us to see Harry Connick, Jr., at the Hollywood Bowl. That'll be awesome!

In other news about me, I finally saw "Spider-Man 2" this weekend. It was a GREAT movie; in my opinion, even better than Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man flick. That's saying a lot; I really liked number 1. Also, Danny Elfman's music was awesome; but that's kind of redundant. Danny Elfman = great music, from Spider-Man to Batman to even The Simpsons.

Friday, July 16

Sisters Find Bird's Head Inside Can Of Spinach

The headline says it all... that's disgusting!

Schwarzenegger to Take a Licking

Austrian postage stamps with Schwarzenegger on them.
US flag on his right.
Austrian flag (smaller) on his left.

Why? "He is one of the most famous Austrians... We can be very proud of him."


Film Review: I, Robot

This review paints the movie as a pretty feeble picture. Of course I'll go see it, since I'm a huge Asimov fan, but I'm a bit disappointed already. I was wondering how the I, Robot short story collection could be made into a decent movie, and it seems that it hasn't been.

Oh, well. At least Asimov finally made his way to the screen.

Thursday, July 15

Winning Streak Propels 'Jeopardy' Ratings

Ken Jennings, a software developer from Salt Lake City, has been walloping the competition in Jeopardy. Last night he won his thirty-first game, and his streak is inspiring a following that has increased the ratings of the always-popular trivia quiz show. Since the shows were filmed back in February and March he's back at home already, but because of non-disclosure agreements he can't let anyone know how long he lasted or how much money he eventually earned.

I've been watching Jeopardy! pretty consistently since he started playing, and all I can say is that I'm amazed at this guy who has such immense knowledge over such a broad range of subjects. Part of it is his strategy, though. If he is familiar with the category, he will buzz in almost immediately every time. Then he does his thinking during the few seconds he has to come up with his question.

I can't wait to see how far he goes, but I'll be incredibly disappointed when he loses.

Edwards Chooses Fast-Food Joint as Romantic Date

Um... OK. So John Edwards takes his wife to Wendy's on their anniversary. That's news that belongs in the Politics section of Reuters?

Museum Considers Excrement Power

This is an interesting idea... in England's Science Museum (London), hook up the museum's restrooms to generators. This sort of excrement-processing is already done with cow manure, but I admit it's kinda weird to think of doing that with human waste.

Tuesday, July 13

British Military: iPods Pose Security Risk

Interesting... iPods are now considered risky because of their huge hard drives and their USB communication. Apparently, when properly configured (read: hacked into) they can quickly plug into a computer and siphon information from it... without even having to log in with a password to the system!

File-Sharing Thrives as Net Users Find New Outlets

This just in! People are still swapping files via the Internet!

Like that's a breaking news story...

Moses Resurrected? Ten More Commandments?

Weird... Paramount is thinking of remounting The Ten Commandments again. I wonder who they'd get to play Moses this time... French Stewart? Ted Danson?

Of course those "suggestions" are tongue-in-cheek, but I would hope that any remake of that story would be at least as good as "Prince of Egypt." Though animated, I think that Dreamworks has produced the best telling of the story I've seen so far.

Will Smith Looks Beyond Hollywood for Direction

Will Smith has decided to play a greater part in international politics... though he stresses that any work he does will be from the private sector. He actually called Kofi Annan and offered his services.

This article also talks about the "I, Robot" movie premiering this Friday. It is a definite must-see for me... actually, since I first saw a preview, I've rediscovered Asimov and have read something like six of his novels (and counting).

Does anybody else think Will Smith looks a bit like Ray Charles in that picture? I'm sure it's mostly just the hat, but it's weird.

Thursday, July 8

Lead Trio Set for Broadway-Bound Monty Python Show

Heh. It seems that a new Broadway show, called "Spamalot," is set to run in Chicago this winter before it hits the "big" stage. It's being billed as "the musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture, 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail.'" What's really interesting to me is the fact that David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane!) will play Sir Robin.

Monday, July 5


Gmail is awesome. I really like it, and I will probably make it my full-time email address soon. There's no way I'm going to post my gmail address here, but if you want it and you know how to get a hold of me through other means, I'll give it to you.

There are a few things I think gmail needs (please send in feature requests if you've got a gmail account too!):

Contacts list
1. The ability to have multiple email addresses for the same contact.
2. Separate "First Name" and "Last Name" fields, and the ability to sort by last name.
3. A Palm conduit! It could be like an AvantGo-meets-IntelliSync kind of thing. I would gladly pay money to get software that would do this, and I would use it on both OS X and Windows XP.
4. The ability to browse the Contacts list to add email addresses to the To: field. This would include the ability to put a check mark next to multiple contacts and click a "Send to All" button.
5. Labels for Contacts, like the email labels. If #3 were implemented, these Labels would sync with Palm "Categories."
6. Search contacts. You can search emails, Google is a search engine, why not?

1. Gmail should have the option (actually, it should have had it from the beginning) of displaying all emails with a fixed-width font. People who use or view ASCII art in email messages (many people use it in .signatures; not that I condone this) see a VERY skewed version of the "text picture" if the columns do not line up.
1a. Once gmail includes fixed-width fonts when viewing, it should also include fixed-width fonts during email composition.
2. Along with fixed-width email composition, gmail should (like Yahoo!) allow a fixed number of columns in the "Compose" box. This would make cleaning up replies and/or forwards a lot easier, as you will be able to see how long the line and its accompanying ">" mark will stretch.
2a. Even better than a fixed number of columns would be support for format=flowed emailing, like Mozilla Thunderbird and Mac OS X Mail.

I know this is a long list, but I have sent all of these in as feature requests. If you agree, please tell Google that you want these added features as well. If you are unsure how to send in feature requests, just go to gmail's Help, find a Help article about something related to the feature you're requesting, and click the "contact us" link at the bottom of the article.

Thanks for reading this... if we all ask for the same things, we can make gmail even better!

Friday, July 2

Guinness World Records Recognizes Cisco Router

Guinness published its first "tech record," the 92-terabit router from Cisco. I think that this might speed the pace of tech development if the newest and greatest and fastest hardware start getting put in THE record book. Time will tell...

'Spider-Man 2' Grosses Opening Record $40.5 Million

Spider-Man 2 gets the opening-day record (set by Spider-Man 1), and shatters the opening-on-a-Wednesday record (set by LOTR: Return of the King).

It hasn't yet hit the most-in-a-single-day record (set by Shrek 2), but predictions for a $50 million day this weekend could very well be realized.

I'm glad I didn't try to see the movie on Wednesday...

Thursday, July 1

Film Review: 'Anchorman'

This flick looks like it'll be pretty good. Despite any "extra zaniness" of the surrounding cast, I can't think of anything Will Ferrell has been in that I haven't at least mildly enjoyed.

Academics Use Formulas to Predict Bush Win

Good news for Bush supporters: based on all kinds of factors, from foreign policy to economics, political science smart-guys have created a model that predicts a Bush victory this November. They have been fairly accurate in the past, but they cite the 200 election as a breakdown in the soundness of the predictions.

However, the predictions only count the two-party vote. I think they were probably pretty close in the 2000 predictions, since Nader took a lot of votes that Gore would otherwise have gotten. Not that I'm lamenting this fact...

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by emailing the author (use the link above).

The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.