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  1. Observations above the 49th Parallel

    brian on 2003.03.31
    at 06:17 pm

    An interesting Canadian-authored essay, an open letter to America. It says what we all know: we are a great people who need to get back on track before we get out-of-hand, and go the way of the Roman empire.

    Posted in: Politics

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  2. Design at the Mayo Clinic

    brian on 2003.03.31
    at 06:07 pm

    Found this interesting story of how the Mayo clinic is using environmental design and other visual strategies to ease the stress and tension surrounding medical interactions. But why don't you see people in lab coats?

    Posted in: Design

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  3. 50 Best Pocket-sized Gadgets for 2003

    jake on 2003.03.31
    at 02:45 pm

    The Independent has a listing of the 50 best pocket gadgets. I only have one critique on this article. There are no pictures of anything. So you have to visit the web site of the maker and try and find the described product (which is even harder on some products, where there is no link, and impossible with others, when the product is not listed at all on the maker's web site.) Also, some of these products are specific to the UK, so finding them is difficult in general if you're looking at a web site for a global company.

    (from Gizmodo)

    Posted in: Technology

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  4. MSI releases small form factor pc

    jake on 2003.03.31
    at 02:11 pm

    Maybe I'm a bit too into these things... ;)

    Other companies are starting to compete with Shuttle's dominance in the market for SFF computers.

    MSITM has released the MEGA pc. The first model is a P4 based barebones unit.

    It adds some nice features, the front panel sports an LCM display. This displays things like the MP3 information of a file you're playing. In the plus versions there is also a TV tuner card and a 6-in-1 Card Reader.

    I'm waiting to buy another one of these SFF PCs for things like this. Adding features and dropping prices would be great for this market. I really want to build a DVR with one of these babies. :)

    Press release (from Gizmodo)

    Posted in: Hardware

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  5. Nvidia updates software for Linux video drivers

    jake on 2003.03.31
    at 01:32 pm

    cNet is reporting that Nvidia has new software that works with Linux to update video drivers.

    The new installation software detects relevant details about the system its running on and automatically installs the correct drivers. The goal is to make it as easy to keep a Linux installation up to date as a Windows-based PC, Fear said.

    This is great news for me, so far it works with only a few major brands including Mandrake, which is what I use on one of my machines at home. This machine is a Shuttle SN41G2.. Now I just need for the them to implement it for nForce2 also. Just to get the network and sound up I needed to play with a bunch of stuff after I installed Mandrake 9.0. It could have been a lot easier. ;)

    Update - Bjorn3D has some thoughts on this subject. (article)

    Posted in: Hardware · Linux

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  6. Coalition Building

    brian on 2003.03.30
    at 06:48 pm

    I forgot to post the link to this Washington Post article when I first read it a few days back. I thought you just might want to know the other countries participating in the "Coalition of the Willing." You probably know Britain, Australia; and perhaps you heard about the Polish special forces involvment or even about the Danish submarine. But that's a lot fewer than the advertised "40+ countries." Who are the rest? Look out Baghdad, here comes Palau.

    Posted in: Politics

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  7. Mr Fission can trade stocks, too.

    brian on 2003.03.30
    at 05:05 am

    From Yahoo News:

    NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

    I really can add nothing to this, you simply must read this article. It's very amusing. And the Mr. Fission remark was an allusion to Back to the Future...

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  8. EFF will deliver us

    brian on 2003.03.30
    at 04:08 am

    Court reverses decision after EFF files suit: truth does take precedent over copyright. MY LORD. Remind me when I get a full time job to donate to EFF. They may one day save my ass, too.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  9. Assorted Tidbits

    brian on 2003.03.29
    at 01:16 am

    The documentary film Revolution OS was released Friday on DVD.

    The maker self-financed the film and worked for years without a salary.

    In the spirit of open source, the DVD was released without CSS, the content scrambling system used on most commercial DVDs.

    In other news, a very long interview (discussion perhaps) on Daring Fireball with Brent Simmons, creator of NetNewsWire, and proprietor of Ranchero Software.

    Elsewhere, Soybo released an incredible piece of software that I cannot eloquently describe, but Steven Frank from Panic, Inc. can. But in short, it's a web interface to any program on your desktop machine, via web service. That's really quite phenomenal, if you think about it.

    Steven is also working on a project called green. Which means one day you may be able to have the quality of a five-year old, discontinued innovator of portable computing in your modern PDA, which has yet to surpass it. Don't believe me? Can your PDA do this?

    Posted in: Technology

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  10. Sex at 11?!?

    jake on 2003.03.28
    at 07:15 pm

    Over at Antipixel I saw a reference to an article from the BBC. Apparently in the UK kids as young as 11 are sexually active. This reminds me of that Southpark episode. I still believe that parents aren't doing their jobs. As is mentioned by the study, kids not only are "doing it" but also have no idea what their doing. Many of them don't understand the premise of condoms.

    When I was 11, most kids thought sex was gross, which made sense considering puberty hasn't really started yet, and mentally kids still mostly have same sex friends. No going out on dates, etc.

    While we should be teaching kids about safe sex. There is an age where it's just too young. Talk to your kids, let them know sex isn't about acceptance or popularity.

    Posted in: Rant

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  11. More robot stuff

    jake on 2003.03.28
    at 07:02 pm

    I noticed at I4U there is a Fujitsu humanoid robot. In the "research" stage he's not much to look at compared to Sony's and Honda's offerings...

    Also Wired is reporting that Sony is worried about how the heck their gonna get their cute little guy into your home. They still cost a lot and are based in entertainment. As opposed to Asimo, who helps around the house.

    Posted in: Technology

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  12. Batteries powered by alcohol

    jake on 2003.03.25
    at 04:34 pm

    Over at Boing Boing I found an article that discusses ethanol fuel cells.

    ... Ethanol is abundant and cheap to make, relying on the well-established corn industry for its production. It is also far less volatile than hydrogen, which has seen a great deal of interest as a potential alternative fuel for automobiles.

    This could be a very nice alternative to the more popular methanol fuel cells.

    Minteer and her colleagues are focusing on small-scale applications, with the preliminary fuel cells being no bigger than five square centimeters about the size of a postage stamp. "We've tested probably 30 to 50 of the ethanol cells," Minteer says. They have successfully run their cells with vodka, gin, white wine and flat beer ("The fuel cell didn't like the carbonation," Minteer says).

    Posted in: Technology

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  13. Cell phones and fires

    jake on 2003.03.25
    at 04:17 pm

    Thank God! I can still use my cell phone while filling up my gas tank. I get soooo bored standing around for those five minutes.

    Wired is reporting that the email that's been making the rounds for a while about cell phones causing bodily harm is an urban legend.

    "It is in fact an urban legend," Larson said. "We have not come across a legitimate news source that has reported that gasoline or gas fumes are being ignited by a mobile phone."

    I really enjoyed this statement. It just shows how little silly we can be when it comes to fear and understanding technology...

    "Likewise, the claim that a 'cellular-phone ringer uses more than 100 volts for excitation' is a curious artifact of the regular telephone era: Cellular phones don't have ringers. They produce audio tones that simulate the sound of a ringing telephone."

    found at Gizmodo

    Posted in: Technology · Service Announcement

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  14. Holoscreen for use in store windows.

    jake on 2003.03.24
    at 04:22 pm

    An article from the Canadien branch of the Discovery Channel speaks of a screen used to display an image from a projector.

    A projector inside the store projects an image from a DVD player onto a mirror, which then reflects onto the piece of glass in the storefront window.

    But how does the picture "stick" to the glass? Well, there's a thin film glued to the back of the glass, which is six nanometers thick - that's about half as thick as a human hair. Embedded in this film are millions of tiny prisms. These prisms refract the light from the projector and send it outward for pedestrians on the street to see.

    A neat idea, but probably only will be implemented in high end shops. A Hugo Boss store is the placement from the article. Not exactly an everyday store.

    Posted in: Technology

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  15. Sony updates their humanoid robot.

    jake on 2003.03.24
    at 02:38 pm

    Not to be outdone by Honda's Asimo. Sony will be unveiling a new version of their humanoid robot. It is called the SDR-4X II. It will be shown at Robodex 2003, this event takes place between April 3rd to April 6th.

    Japanese Press Release (Babelfish translation)

    Posted in: Technology

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  16. March of Death

    brian on 2003.03.24
    at 01:30 pm

    Not to be one upped by the Beastie Boys, Zach de la Rocha has risen from his self-imposed exile to post a free, downloadable track protesting the war. de la Rocha, late of Rage Against the Machine, has hooked up with DJ Shadow on a new project. The downloadable song is entitled "March of Death."

    Posted in: Music · Politics

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  17. High tech nausea stopper

    jake on 2003.03.21
    at 06:29 pm

    I think I'm ready to try Dueling Dragons again.

    CNN.com has a review of a new way to combat motion sickness.

    Though the trip ends up being about as exciting as watching a fishbowl (we saw just one tail and endured four hours of chilly sea spray), I'm pleased to know I can go thrill-seeking without losing my lunch.

    Next stop: the Matterhorn.

    The product is called the Relief Band and can supposedly stop many times of nausea. I might have to get one of these someday if it really works. As I get older, I find myself more susceptible to motion sickness. Guess that's what I get for making fun of my mom for all those years about her weak stomach. It is a bit expensive to buy on a whim.

    Posted in: Technology · Medicine

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  18. Amtrak + WiFi

    brian on 2003.03.21
    at 03:48 pm

    I suppose you'd have to consider me a geek. Today, I wrote Amtrak south to Connecticut. What was my first thought after I sat down in my seat? Well, to "war-train" of course. What the hell is that? Simple. If "war-driving" is using a stumbling device to find WiFi hotspots while driving, then I would do the same with my iBook and "MacStumbler." So far, I've found a number of networks. Unfortunately, the train moves much too fast to actually use any of them (if it didn't, I'd never get to Connecticut). There were rumors about Amtrak adopting WiFi somehow, as a service to their passengers, but I can confirm that that service is not yet available

    I can confirm, however, that way too many people don't creatively name their access point. My log is full of "linksys" and "default." Tis all for now from the rail. (PS- I actually posted this from X. It's not like I posted it from the rail, per se. Though, I did actually type it there.) (PPS- If I had a cell provider that offered GPRS data service, I could have had internet connectivity via that and a bluetooth phone. Unfortunately, my provider is way too slow to catch on, and I'm stuck in a contract.)

    Posted in: Technology

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  19. Best Headline of the Day

    brian on 2003.03.21
    at 12:48 am

    NCAA tourney moved to ESPN so CBS can broadcast #1 seed United States vs. #16 Iraq

    via FARK

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  20. 3D Game Boy Advance Engines

    jake on 2003.03.20
    at 07:40 pm

    What crazy things will they think up next?!? I read over at gamesindustry.biz that there are a couple engines that can push 3D on the GBA.

    Posted in: Technology

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  21. Opinion

    brian on 2003.03.20
    at 12:35 am

    Everyone has an opinion. Jason Kottke has some good ones.

    Posted in: Politics

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  22. Apple Welcomes Gore

    brian on 2003.03.19
    at 11:57 pm

    I would like to take a moment to welcome the newest member of Apple's Board of Directors, Fmr. Vice President of the United States, Mr. Albert Gore. MacCentral has more. Perhaps this will lead to more government contracts?

    Posted in: Technology · Politics

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  23. File trading may fund terrorism?

    jake on 2003.03.17
    at 03:25 pm

    Next? Parking in handicapped spaces funds terrorism.

    According to an idg.net article I found via Yahoo! file sharing could be a contributer to terrorism. While it could be possible that actual software piracy accomplishes this, where a copy is made of a piece of software and sold on the black market, there is no way to say that downloading mp3's off of Kazaa promotes terrorism. There seems to be a distinction, but as pointed out on Kur5hin it is lost on the congressmen involved.

    But when subcommittee chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, asked Malcolm for examples of cases where file trading was connected to terrorism, Malcolm said he couldn't give concrete examples. "It would surprise me greatly if the number were not large," Malcolm added. "This is an easy enterprise to get into; the barriers of entry are very small, and the profits are huge."

    I'm not even sure this came outta left field. More like behind the concessions stand, next to that little pile of goo that someone just stepped in.

    Malcolm also called the creators of "warez" file-trading networks organized criminals, although he admitted warez fans aren't motivated by money. Many warez groups, who distribute pirated commercial software over the Internet, operate in a very organized fashion, Malcolm said, with a hierarchy based on how much individual members contribute to the group. Much of the pirated material on the Internet comes from warez groups, Malcolm suggested.

    Of course people involved with warez groups aren't interested in money. The whole friggin' idea is to get something for free.

    I am at a loss as to what the deal is here. How is crashing a plane into an office building and downloading WindowsXP for nothing synonymous? The simple fact that stealing a piece of software can be compared to stealing a person's life is disgusting to me. Until there is solid proof that a warez group is giving money to terrorists, copyright issues should be left out of this whole discussion...

    Posted in: Rant · Music · Politics

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  24. MySQL making money

    brian on 2003.03.16
    at 11:51 pm

    Perhaps you knew that MySQL is a free, open source database. But did you know that it is made by a Swedish, for-profit company? Interesting, yes, but how's this: they're making money off of it, too. CNN has a story on how their free product is both a) taking market share from the big boys, and b) making the company profitable. Like the TIAA-CREF billboards say in Boston, "Money isn't evil. It just needs proper guidance." FYI, MySQL guides this very weblog.

    Posted in: Technology · Software

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  25. Sub-Urban Renewal

    jake on 2003.03.14
    at 07:10 pm

    Wired has posted some of the stories from their April issue. "Sub-Urban Renewal" discusses using the huge tracks of land below the surface. Many different points are touched on in the article.

    Among the first wave of tunneling projects under way are subway extensions, highway re-siting projects, and petrochemical repositories. These will pave the way to further standardization and automation needed for transnational, Chunnel-type digs. The East - which has never been shy about big engineering - will likely plow down first, linking Japan and Korea, China and Japan, and Taiwan and China. The West might follow by tunneling under the Gibraltar and Bering straits.

    The last stop on this train is the ultimate TBM megaproject: a supersonic world subway. Maglev trains running through depressurized tunnels are the logical successor to airplanes, at least between large cities. Magnetic levitation would eliminate rolling resistance, and the vacuum does the same to air resistance. The trains could "fly" down the tracks at many times the speed of the Concorde - without creating a sonic boom. In a couple of decades, we may see a world where major international cities are within a few hours' commute of each other.

    I don't know that I would enjoy living underground. But something like a mall, or a stadium could be nice to visit. And underground travel like referenced above would be an interesting alternative to flying.

    Wired Magazine

    Posted in: Technology

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  26. Natalie Merchant going it alone

    jake on 2003.03.14
    at 06:45 pm

    I saw over at Boing Boing that Natalie Merchant has decided to not renew her major recording contract (actually, she got rid of it last August.) Her new CD, "The House Carpenter's Daughter," will be out soon. :)

    Ms. Merchant paid for recording and packaging "The House Carpenter's Daughter," including the $3.50 manufacturing cost of an elaborate box for the first 30,000 copies. (The CD will sell for $16.95.) The special package "was printed in America for three times the price in Hong Kong," Ms. Merchant said.

    "It's just not in keeping with American business practice right now," she added.

    Even so, "The House Carpenter's Daughter" needs to sell only 50,000 copies to break even, less than 15 percent of what "Motherland," her last album for Elektra, sold.

    Although I like some of her songs I may just buy this CD purely to "stick it to the man." Even if I enjoyed one song on the album, it would be worth it for that. ;)

    NYTimes (registration required)

    Natalie's web site

    Posted in: Music · Politics

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  27. More abortion news

    jake on 2003.03.14
    at 04:49 pm

    On a similar note, a piece of legislation that Bush reinstated in 2001 may affect his proposal of aid to countries with HIV/AIDS epidemics.

    Now, the Bush administration is considering extending the Mexico City policy to include HIV and AIDS clinics in developing countries. That would restrict the $15 billion promised by the president in his State of the Union Address on Jan. 28.

    Let's hope this isn't some jerky way to save some money.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Politics · Medicine

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  28. Senate passes late term abortion plan

    jake on 2003.03.14
    at 04:36 pm

    The senate has ok'd a ban on late term abortions.

    The bill prohibits doctors from committing an "overt act" designed to kill a partially delivered fetus. Partial birth is described as a case in which the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the event of a breech delivery, if "any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother."

    The article seems to have a typo. It references many times that there is no exemption when taking into account the health of the mother. Like this...

    Abortion rights supporters have pledged a court challenge. "This bill is unconstitutional," argued Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) citing the lack of an exemption in cases where the health of the mother is in jeopardy.

    And right after, the odd line...

    The legislation includes an exemption in cases in which the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother.

    On a personal level, I find abortion to be terrible in most circumstances. And I realize this isn't all encompassing, but if you don't wanna have kids, use contraception.

    There are exceptions, like when the health of the mother is at stake. Which is why I believe that should have been added to this bill. I'm smack in the middle of the grey area that many people can not even see on this issue.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Politics · Medicine

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  29. Wi-Fi Memory Stick

    jake on 2003.03.13
    at 07:27 pm

    I really have no personal use for this technology. But that doesn't mean that it's not a nifty application of technology. brighthand has a post about a new Wi-Fi card that fits into the memory slot on certain incarnations of Sony PDA's.

    Sony Wi-Fi Memory Stick

    Posted in: Technology

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  30. True Americans

    brian on 2003.03.13
    at 03:33 am

    http://www.anotherposterforpeace.com

    The world's great visual marketers unite to sell a new message:

    Don't Buy It. War Is Not the Answer.

    And best of all, they're free for your consumption.

    Dissent Protects Democracy

    Posted in:

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  31. Local Free WiFi in Wired News

    brian on 2003.03.12
    at 05:09 pm

    Wired News is reporting on a local Free WiFi project here in Boston, namely the Newbury Open Net. NON is run by Tech Superpowers, a local Apple Specialist and all-around cool tech outfit.

    Additionally, that lead me back to the NON site, which I hadn't visited in a while, where I had found they added a bulletin board for WiFi info. Worth the trip.

    Posted in: Technology

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  32. Thursday Night Schedule

    brian on 2003.03.12
    at 01:05 am

    9pm: Men's College Basketball Big East Tourney, (east #2 seed) Connecticut vs the winner of the Wed. night (west #3) / (east #6) matchup, ESPN.

    11:35pm: Late Show with David Letterman, hosted by Will Ferrell and guests include Chris Rock.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  33. Links for today

    brian on 2003.03.11
    at 08:07 pm

    Sony CEO on Apple:

    We have the exact type of guy like Steve within Sony. His name is Ken Kutaragi. They respect each other. So maybe if we can get them both together then they could figure out how the PlayStation and the Mac can work together.

    Elsewhere, XvsXP.com

    X v XP for the creative pro. Seems pretty balanced. The lone forum post I read was a throwback to the "evanglelist" days of system flamewars which have mostly fanned out. Of course, it's hard to dispute the facts.

    Posted in: Technology · Software

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  34. Speaking out

    brian on 2003.03.11
    at 07:45 pm

    The Beastie Boys have released a single today, available from their website, for free, protesting the pending war on Iraq.

    "This song is not an anti-American or pro-Saddam Hussein statement. This is a statement against an unjustified war."

    This is their first publicly released recording in 5 years, according to MTVnews. (Guess they don't count "Alive" via their "Anthology." )

    Posted in: Music · Politics

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  35. Twins develop 3D face scan

    jake on 2003.03.11
    at 07:36 pm

    Israeli twins Michael and Alex Bronstein have developed a three-dimensional scanning system that can even tell the difference between them.

    The technology scans and maps the human face as a three-dimensional surface, providing a far more accurate reference for identifying a person than current systems, most of which rely on two-dimensional images, Kimmel said.

    This has applications relevent to security at airports and the like. But it can still be fooled by things like shaving or growing a beard. Perhaps if it is looking for someone in particular, they could lower the variables for a match. Bring a close match off for questioning, and further examination.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Technology

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  36. 404 Antics

    jake on 2003.03.10
    at 06:56 pm

    The 404 Research Lab was mentioned in the March 25th issue of PC Magazine. It has information about 404 Pages. It also has a repository of categorized pages including the 404 of the week. I found the site to be very ammusing, and I look forward to sifting through more 404's from around the net.

    Posted in: Design

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  37. Stem cells to the rescue!

    jake on 2003.03.07
    at 06:01 pm

    Wired reported this morning that Dimitri Bonnville was treated with stem cells to fix his damaged heart. His other option was a heart transplant.

    Other studies have suggested that simply injecting stem cells into a damaged area might be enough to instigate tissue repair. But most of the work has been done with younger stem cells taken from embryos or aborted fetuses.

    This appears to be the first piece of evidence that stem cells taken from someone as old as 16 have differentiated so effectively. Still, O'Neill says he's not sure the results could be duplicated in older people.

    It's too bad they don't know more about the procedure. There's references in the article that they're not positive how the miraculous recovery occured. But they sure are glad it worked. I just like the idea it may strike a blow for stem cell research.

    I'm not a fan of harvesting cells derived from abortions. But other techniques like this seem feasible. Perhaps, cells could be harvested at a young age in the case they are needed years later. Similar to how some people store their own blood for personal use.

    Wired News

    Posted in: Medicine

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  38. Wide spread WiFi

    brian on 2003.03.06
    at 11:24 pm

    Yeah, I post a lot on WiFi. I like WiFi. Anyhow, here's a very interesting overview of the "WiFi market" as it is shaping up in public spaces like coffee shops, airports and hotels. The pricing structure still irks me, although I myself have not really figured out a better alternative.

    Posted in: Technology

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  39. Just what we need... a hybrid SUV.

    jake on 2003.03.06
    at 06:52 pm

    Ford has decided to sell a hybrid Escape. I despise SUV's, and the current snow storm is a testament to why they're bad. People who drive them do not respect others. They also believe that their four-wheel drive gives them a license to speed in bad conditions. They promptly spin out and cause accidents.

    At least this will reduce emissions, but I still don't like it. ;)

    CNN

    Posted in: Technology

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  40. I've heard of a TV in the bathroom, but this is ridiculous.

    jake on 2003.03.06
    at 06:46 pm

    I noticed over at Gizmodo a nice little jacuzzi. Called La Scala it sports a media center. Personally I've been avoiding technology to an extent at home. But if I can get one of these in my apt I might actually use it.

    Posted in: Technology · Design · Hardware

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  41. What does it mean to be a 'geek?'

    jake on 2003.03.06
    at 04:35 pm

    Over the years I've fit into the category of geek pretty well. I never had a problem being called a geek nor have I denied it. I have a cluster of friends who adamantly argue that I am not. I say I am. In any event, I saw this interesting take on things in some other guy's rant.

    ConfigSys.boy!

    Posted in: Rant

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  42. Interesting chip going into the PS3.

    jake on 2003.03.06
    at 03:57 pm

    I have to excuse myself to start this post off. I am not a specialist at things like this. I understand it to be difficult, and I recognize the statements made over at Neowin.net that this is just marketing hype.

    But to bluntly put it, if Sony can pull off even half of this hyped up promise it'll be an amazing jump in technology. Although it could just be my affinity for modular things that makes me interested.

    With the PS 3, Sony will apparently put 72 processors on a single chip: eight PowerPC microprocessors, each of which controls eight auxiliary processors.

    Using sophisticated software to manage the workload, the PowerPC processors will divide complicated problems into smaller tasks and tap as many of the auxiliary processors as necessary to tackle them.

    Mercury News

    Posted in: Technology

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  43. Don't buy T-shirts and wear them

    brian on 2003.03.05
    at 03:15 pm

    Unbelievable, this story out of Albany, NY. A lawyer buys a T-Shirt in a mall. Puts said T-shirt (reads:"Give Peace a Chance") on, then takes son to food court. Then he's asked by mall security to remove said T-shirt. When he refuses, he is promptly arrested for trespassing. Are we entirely sure we're not living in the Soviet Union?

    Here's the story.

    Posted in: Politics

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  44. Lake methane could power entire nation

    jake on 2003.03.04
    at 04:32 pm

    Rwanda

    Lake Kivu produces three seperate gasses, including methane. It is hoped that this high gas content can be tapped and provide electricity for most of Rwanda. This would also limit tree killing.

    The gas reserve should be enough to supply the country's electricity needs for 400 years. Using it will mean far less logging since Rwanda currently gets 90 per cent of its energy from wood burning. And tapping the gas will reduce the risk of a massive gas explosion killing people who live near the lake.

    New Scientist

    Posted in: Technology

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  45. What am I talking about?

    jake on 2003.03.04
    at 03:28 pm

    Hooray, I am now twenty-four years of age. I had a nice party over the weekend, and I successfully pushed back a trip to the grocery store with leftovers. Thanks to everyone who attended.

    Today at work I was handed a coupon for Six Flags Great Adventure. Apparently they have a new ride, Superman-Ultimate Flight TM. The ride consists of you lying down. Although I imagine you're not perfectly horizontal. I only mention this becuase at Six Flags New England they have a sit down Superman coaster, and a Batman ride nearby where you lay down. I've been wanting them to make a ride like this for years. Though I imagine my weak constitution may preclude me from riding it. I've had problems on fast coasters blacking out.

    Posted in: Rant

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  46. FSO What?

    brian on 2003.03.04
    at 01:27 am

    FSO is an interesting alternative to radio-frequency wireless connections. Wired, ironically, has the story. Several companies are playing with modulated visible-spectrum light as an medium for the broadband transmission of data. Some links are over a mile long (line-of-sight, of course) and have throughput of a Gigabit per second. A company in New Zealand has demonstrated what's believed to be the first live broadcast of high-quality television images over visible light spectrum.

    Whether or not you'll be trading in WiFi for FSOptics anytime soon is yet to be seen (OK, highly unlikely), but competition and choice are key getting quality product in the market place. But the best part about this new technology?

    "There is no stray radiation here... We can send more data and you can put your hand right in front of it."

    In other related news, an interesting story about (RF-based) WiFi with regards to the First Amendment, community networks and on Native American Reservations, where government spectrum allocation and telco greediness don't hinder its progress.

    Posted in: Technology

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