This is a very interesting history of the Internet. I'm not going to try to summarize it here -- read the article!
Monday, August 30
"If you care, buy my vote and you will have twice the power in the upcoming election!!!!" proclaimed an Ohio man desperate to cover his medical bills. He said he didn't know that this was illegal, but his eBay auction was taken down 12 hours after it was begun.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:21 AM
The Natural History Museum in London has begun using flesh-eating beetles to clean up animal carcasses before they are treated for display. These bugs are vicious enough to eat their own eggs if they aren't stored in exactly the right environment, so I'd imagine they do a good job getting every last bit of unwanted meat from the bodies.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:17 AM
Wednesday, August 25
This is note The Onion... a guy actually took a live cow into a Dairy Queen to take them up on their offer to provide free coffee drinks to those accompanying bovine livestock.
It's a new drink called a "Moolatte," DQ's version of a latte, and Skip Hougland was the only person to take them up on the offer.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 2:02 PM
This is awesome... the BBC are staging their own "flashmob." Flashmobbing is usually an Internet-coordinated event in which a group of people "agree to converge in a public area and join in a seemingly random act."
The BBC's flashmob is different, though... they're staging Flashmob - The Opera at an unnamed London railway station, using pieces of music from actual operas. Apparently they're trying to make the concept of opera much less foreign, and more attractive, to the masses -- especially young people.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 1:59 PM
Monday, August 23
Well, I actually decided to post a journalish-sort of thing today. I don't really know what to talk about, so it'll be a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing.
So... the Olympics. Kinda interesting to watch, I guess. I enjoyed the diving last night, but the commentator was horrible. I kept watching all of these really cool dives, and she just kept coming up with everything the divers did wrong. My wife wondered how she can keep finding 30 seconds of negative criticism for one second of action. She had a co-commentator, too, but she didn't let him get a word in even if it was folded, compacted, shrunk, AND edgewise. Personally, I've pretty much just been riding it out and waiting for Last Comic Standing 3 to start up next week.
Ah, Last Comic Standing. The best thing ever to come out of the whole "reality TV" fad. I particularly liked the 2nd series because I'd actually seen one of the guys live before he ever was on the show. He's from Massachusetts (Gary Gulman, if you saw the show), though, so I figure he was already selected to be in the first on-TV group and was just warming up for it when I saw him here in California. He was opening for Dane Cook at the Improv when we saw him, and that was actually when my sister-in-law and one of my best friends had their first date. My wife and I were kind of setting them up, but they both knew it at the time. It seems to have turned out pretty well... a few more months and they'll have been together a year.
One more thing: I just caught a quote today that I really liked and wanted to post here. It comes from partyingmypants.blogspot.com, one of the random blogs I got sent to when clicking on the "Next Blog" button in the new Blogger NavBar at the top of this page. It was posted there a couple of weeks ago:
"George Bush has done a lot to remind the rest of the world that America has a very long fuse, but at end of that fuse is a [gigantic] bomb." --Dennis Miller (I cleaned it up a bit, since my mom reads this)
Posted by augmentedfourth at 12:47 PM
To show you what an equal-opportunity blogger/computer nerd I am, here is a Microsoft story back-to-back with an Apple story. It seems that SP2 is rolling out rather well, despite the repeated delay.
In another article I read, university IT departments are complaining that the update came out at a bad time, as the network bandwidth is being taken over by students and teachers alike who are downloading the 250MB monstrosity of an update right as they're gearing up for the start of the fall term. Besides that relatively minor issue, Microsoft really seems to have covered its bases.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:33 AM
Apple is gaining marketshare with its laptop computers, especially among students who are already enamored with their Apple iPods. Go Apple!
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:30 AM
Wow. An experimental procedure to transplant mismatched-blood-type hearts into dying babies has proved a monumental success. Of course I don't need to reprint the whole science behind it right here, so go to the article for an amazing story and a nifty new scientific innovation.
How cool is this? A church in Tustin subsidized a $1.67-a-gallon gasoline day at a Shell station near their campus. No 'catch' was involved (though they did hand out tracts and pamphlets to those interested); they were just acting to "bless the community," according to one of the volunteers.
Over 12,000 gallons was pumped into an estimated 600+ cars over the course of the day. The church repaid the 40-cent difference per gallon directly to the station's manager, who is also a Christian.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:26 AM
Friday, August 20
Thursday, August 19
I don't have much time to spend blogging today, so here are today's news stories I thought were cool enough to link here:
Cyber Brawls Spilling Into Streets
America's Sweetheart Dumps U.S. For Some Douchebag (note: from The Onion = THIS IS SATIRE)
Porn Star Tells Military 'Bullets, Not Boobs'
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:34 AM
Posted to rec.humor.funny.reruns. This is pretty good.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 8:36 AM
Wednesday, August 18
Yeah, right... a new technology hopes to shove DVDs out of prominence. That's never going to happen, except for the weirdos who wrote this article who got excited that the high-capacity "Blu-ray" disc would be able to hold the "entire sixth season of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'"
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:39 AM
Pamela Anderson -- a "former gymnast" (I guess before she got the balloons inflated) -- wrote a check and started a foundation to help American gymnast Mohini Bhardwaj get to the Olympics. Bhardwaj was deep in debt, and she's very grateful for the help, but she mentions no plans to become a famous slut later in life.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:36 AM
Tuesday, August 17
Or, "32 Ways to open a Gaffel bottle." Gaffel is a beer in Germany.
It's not surprising that it's a group of Germans who took the time to take videos of various ways to open a beer.
Also, for those who want it all explained, "jetzt abspielen" means "play now." "Nochmal abspielen" (appears after playing once) means "play again."
Posted by augmentedfourth at 11:22 AM
Monday, August 16
A "best SF ever" list that only has 3 Asimov books on it? Pshaw...
Posted by augmentedfourth at 8:38 PM
Well, Finale 2005 has finally been announced. The new features look pretty cool (though some, of course, are marketing fluff). I hope the OS X version has some speed increases... even though it's not *too* bad as it stands, it could always use some optimization.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 1:32 PM
Friday, August 13
I would call myself a conservative (or at least leaning more in that direction than the other), but this "bedtime story" book is just a bit too radical, even for the most right-wing nutjob...
Oh yeah, go here too: jibjab.com.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 9:33 PM
Awww... Kilborn is leaving the Late Late Show. He's pretty funny, but usually if I'm stupid enough to be awake at 12:35am I'll be tuning in to Conan O'Brien on NBC's Late Night.
The cool part is that they're considering hiring Conan to replace Kilborn (after the last 16 months of his NBC contract run out, that is). If Conan takes the stage in LA, where the Late Late Show is currently filmed, I might actually be able to go to a filming some time.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 12
Finally... I can't believe it took six months for the courts, who were against the idea of gay marriages from the get-go, to officially ban them. That's called "due process," folks.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:40 AM
The headline says it all. But the first sentence of the article is even funnier: "A retired Italian man could face up to a year and a half in prison if found guilty of killing his six pet hamsters and one guinea-pig by throwing them off his terrace into passing traffic."
He "accidentally" swept the animals off the terrace; one landed on a car, damaging its windshield. Police found the man's apartment "by studying the trajectory of the pets' bodies."
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:37 AM
Wednesday, August 11
This article explains the major shortcomings that affected the spread of last fall's wildfires, as well as briefly describing what is being done to minimize the future impact of such disasters.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:25 AM
Windows XP Service Pack 2 has finally experienced its long-awaited final release. I haven't been able to try it yet; I'm on a Mac here at work, but I'll get it this evening on my Windows machine at home. It seems the biggest thing is the new Windows Security Center, and according to early reports it does a pretty good job of keeping things tight.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:18 AM
Tuesday, August 10
Windows XP SP2 - finally!
Though apparently the security patches have wreaked havoc with a few software programs... IBM has even asked its employees not to install the update.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:18 AM
Monday, August 9
I like this story, as I was following it long before it became national news. Radio hosts John & Ken (who can be heard throughout Southern California at 3-7pm weekdays on AM 640) are accusing Republican congresspersons from California of not acting in the public's interest in matters regarding illegal immigration. They've been hosting what they call the "Political Human Sacrifice" Summer Reality Game Show to oust one of them from office. They created a list of 13 Republican congresspersons in relatively safe districts, and by listener vote they whittled it down to 5 "competitors."
Read the article for more specifics, but it is worth noting that the link goes to the Washington Times, the #1 competitor to the liberal Post that also reports in DC.
In unrelated news, this is the 100th post to my blog! All hail Herr Theoretiker!
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:35 AM
This is pretty cool. Koko (you know... the gorilla that learned sign language) was able to communicate her intense pain to her trainers, and as a result she was treated by a barrage of doctors. Since they had to use anaesthesia to extract the tooth that was the source of the pain, her first full medical examination in about 20 years was performed while she was unconscious.
Saturday, August 7
Thursday, August 5
Further proof that you should never use software whose basic functions you don't understand: Many people with P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing programs like KaZaA are accidentally sharing private documents.
Learn what the heck you're doing, and don't just click buttons!
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:08 AM
Wednesday, August 4
Monday, August 2
Here's a much calmer, more level-headed look at the Apple/RealNetworks feud I brought up last week. It's still a problem, but Apple isn't portrayed in such a knee-jerk reactionary light this time.
Though I still don't like their unwillingness to share the technology market. The thing that has made technology (and all science for that matter) great is the willingness to collaborate and not to hoard; to share and not to exclude.
But what do I know? I'm just a 23-year-old guy sitting behind a desk at a company hardly any non-musicians have ever heard of.
There they go, down the line...
They're neck-and neck...
Wait, the deadline has passed... but they're still going!
And, ladies and gentlemen, WE HAVE A BUDGET!
Also, read this article to see one of the most egregious grammatical errors I've ever seen in a Reuters publication.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:24 AM
Merriam-Webster is including a lot of new words in the annual update to its Collegiate Dictionary. Among them are terms such as "MP3," "DSL," "Information technology," and even "pleather."
Usually it takes 20 years or so of common usage before a word is added, but the Internet and the high speed of change in the modern world has pushed these terms through that early stage of adoption.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:19 AM
Quite an interesting story. I agree with the premise, even though I would be prohibited from dining in this restaurant. They just don't like to have "screaming or crying children" and "irresponsible younger drinkers" in their establishment.
I'm not saying that I would be one of the second group, but I've known (and known of... just read the news) plenty who would fit there. Sure, it's discrimination, but it's plenty legal and it helps those who do patronize the esablishment to have a better time.
Posted by augmentedfourth at 10:16 AM
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-
The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
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+
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
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.