Wednesday, October 20

U2, Apple in iPod Deal

This is pretty cool... some Apple iPods sold after the release of U2's next album (coming up in November) will have the new CD's tracks pre-loaded. Quite a marketing gimmick, I'd say. This will undoubtedly make the album sell better, but I don't know whether all purchasers will actually listen to the music.

Love-Making Couple Sparks Police Emergency

A London couple who were self-reportedly "messing around" accidentally dialed the emergency-respone number (in Britain it's 999) in the midst of their, um, play. A spokesman for the police said they were "relieved... the couple were clearly getting on very well together."

The Onion | Kerry: Stem-Cell Research May Hold Cure To Ailing Campaign

One of the best pieces of satire I've seen out of The Onion in quite a while.

There's not really much I can say. Just read it. :)

Jazz Finds a New Home in a New York Skyscraper

This looks really cool... the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra have created a new concert hall above a shopping mall in New York City. Wynton Marsalis, the JLC's Artistic Director, called it "the house of swing" as he welcomed guests to the inaugural gala performance on Monday night.

The main venue is ideally suited for the acoustics of jazz music, but opera, ballet, theater, and orchestra performances will all be showcased.

Tuesday, October 19

New Electronic Wallpaper acts a mobile phone blocker

Heh... if you don't want a $2000 cell-phone blocker, just wallpaper the desired area with this (see link) for a "Cone of Silence" effect.

Churches installing cell phone jammers

Hey! I'm back! I didn't post for a while, but that was because my wife and I were in the middle of moving. My breaks at work have been busy, while I change addresses and phone numbers with SBC, AAA, SDG&E, the U-T, BofA, and some companies whose names aren't catchy acronyms. I still don't have DSL set up at the new place, but if all goes well it'll be turned on by the time I get home from work this evening.

Anyway, the article for this post is quite interesting. I don't often get bugged by cell phones (the parishioners at my church are usually pretty conscientious about that), but I agree that there are many places at which a cell-phone blocker would be useful. I only wish it wasn't illegal here in the US.

Friday, October 8

Google SMS

This looks interesting... search Google from your cell phone!

City to Correct Einstein Misspelling

I'm very surprised that a California city claiming to be "a center of advanced science" misspelled Einstein's and Shakespeare's names on a $40,000 mosaic they just put up.

Culture, especially in America, is going downhill...

Vardalos, Cumming Light Up 'Neon'

This "modern-day ... 'Alice in Wonderland'" looks interesting. Though Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is in it, I hope she also had a hand in the writing. I think she's a better writer than an actor, but she does well acting in things she herself has written.

Wednesday, October 6

Tom Lehrer interview

I ran across this (pretty old; May 2000) article in The Onion's AV club by playing with Google's Personalized Search. I really liked it, as I have become a major Tom Lehrer fan within the last year or so. I even bought the Remains of Tom Lehrer boxed set recently, along with the songbook Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer (with Not Enough Drawings by Ronald Searle).

His stuff is satirical and sometimes offensive; there are a few tracks I usually skip on the CD. Also, though it's all funny, some of it is a bit dated since it was topical in the 50's and 60's. In general I like it all, though... especially the live recordings with Tom's patter in between.

Google Launches Amazon-Style Book Search Business

Unfortunately, I couldn't find this search technology available yet on Google or in Google Labs... but it seems like it'll be pretty cool once it's pubcly available.

Ultrawideband Heralds Zippier Wireless Connections

Ooh... faster wireless.

*rubs hands together maniacally*

Comic Rodney Dangerfield Dies in L.A. at Age 82

So... I guess he never ended up getting any respect. He'd been having a bad time with his health for a while, and he finally shuffled off this mortal coil yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, October 3

"New beta feature"

Well, that email subscription to my blog, having been tested, is now disabled. I got the kinks out of it (I think), and it's now a feature of my wife's blog, Verse of the Day. Basically, all of her posts get automatically sent to a Google Group, and subscribing allows you to receive the posts via email. Only the moderator is allowed to post, though... so it's just a mailing list, not a discussion group.

Friday, October 1

Microsoft appeals against EU order to strip down Windows

And back to the familiar territory of tech news...

I'm surprised that they're taking so much time on this inessential issue. Microsoft needs to package some sort of software which can play mp3s and audio streams out-of-the-box... it would confuse the not-quite-tech-literate (read: newbies) otherwise.

Can't the world's legal systems spend time on things that matter instead of clogging up the courts with relatively inconsequential issues?

Sorry, I started waxing political again.

NBC Picks Up New Sitcom 'Joey' for Full Season

And now a lighter article (who knew this would turn political?)...

"Joey" is an awesome new sitcom, and I'm pleased to see that it's been picked up for the full season. If you haven't watched it yet (my wife and i have seen every episode so far), watch it!

NBC, 8pm, Thursdays. It's a great show.

Focus Group Gives Slight Edge to Kerry

A New Hampshire focus group felt that Kerry was a better debater, but they all seem to have found justification for their previously-held stance in the outcome of last night's ordeal. According to an AOL poll I heard about on the radio (yeah, I know, who trusts the political opinion of AOL'ers?), most of its subscribers did not change their support as a result of the debate.

As I said in my last post... sure, Kerry was sleek and polished, but his content was insignificant. Also, his facial expressions during Bush's answers (CBS, which is where I tuned in last night, often showed both faces at the same time) seemed quite derisive as he smirked at our current commander-in-chief. Bush seemed much more introspective, considering Kerry's points and then responding while respectfully disagreeing.

Bush Rips Kerry on Iraq Following Debate

I don't know how many who might actually read this watched the debate last night, but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. I happen to be a Bush supporter, and I like the way he performed. Kerry, of course, was more sleek and refined, but his content was (in my opinion) pretty insubstantial. While Bush had several breaks in his speech as he paused to think, I feel that his answers were much more thought-out as opposed to Kerry's very-scripted diarrhea of the mouth.

I know Bush was pretty scripted as well, and I too soon tired of him talking about the "hard work" in Iraq and Kerry's "mixed messages," but I found him to be much more authoritative and in-the-know than his opponent.

Regarding the whole "waffling" thing... I think that a president should take more time to decide before coming up with an "official position," and then stick with it. Tactics can change, yes, but the official position should not waver. Kerry has had a variety of "official positions" as regards our involvement in Iraq, and that is the vacillation that I oppose.

I'm going to blog another debate article, so read on in my next post.

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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.