Re¢ently

  1. Camworld

    brian on 2003.06.01
    at 01:26 am

    Hey, for all of you blog readers out there, I just thought I might call your attention to the fact that Cameron Barrett is back and blogging it up at Camworld. He dissappeared for a while, and might again (although hopefully blogging it this time), but for the time being he's back and blogging.

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  2. AOL and Microsoft kiss and make up

    brian on 2003.06.01
    at 01:22 am

    So people are grumbling (and rightfully so) about the AOL/ Microsoft settlement. If you missed it, the settlement includes a free seven year license for the use of Internet Explorer. Now why would the owner of Netscape want an inferior browser? This stinks to high holy heaven. Also included: licensing of Windows Media Player 9. Joy.

    The above article is an interesting look into some involved that I actually care about: the guys (and gals, I suppose) of the Mozilla Project. Let's hope they weren't just a pawn in this whole deal

    Posted in: Technology

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  3. It's all in the genes for stem cells

    jake on 2003.05.30
    at 08:01 pm

    Scientists have isolated a gene in mice that keeps embryonic stem cells young. It has been dubbed Nanog "after the land in Celtic myth called Tir nan Og." This is great news for the scientific community as it's a promising new way to avoid political implications in harvesting stem cells.

    "This discovery is very exciting," says Austin Smith, who led the ISCR team. "If Nanog has the same effect in humans as we have found in mice, this will be a key step in the developing embryonic stem cells for medical treatments."

    New Scientist

    Posted in: Science

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  4. The Photographer's Right

    jake on 2003.05.30
    at 07:29 pm

    Kottke posted about this a few days ago. Bert Krages has posted a downloadable flyer about what to do if you're confronted by someone while taking pictures in a public place.

    The right to take photographs is now under assault more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples include photographing industrial plants, bridges, and vessels at sea. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.


    Posted in: Photography · Service Announcement

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  5. Finding Nemo and Pixar

    jake on 2003.05.30
    at 07:12 pm

    Today Finding Nemo is coming out in theaters. I'm waiting till Sunday to see it with a small group of friends.

    There's a review of it at CNN.com.

    In the past, the partnership of Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios has brought us the "Toy Story" films, "A Bug's Life" and "Monsters, Inc." Their latest collaboration, "Finding Nemo" continues the amazing winning streak.

    And there's also a tour recap at The Salt Lake Tribune. The article relates some of the ideas that make the whole operation tick. Things like, the "bathroom effect" theory.

    Here's the "bathroom effect" theory, as Greenberg explains it: "If you have bathrooms that are scattered throughout the building, you use the bathroom nearest to where you're sitting. If there was one bathroom, all kinds of people would come together and talk with one another all the time -- you'd meet different people if you were waiting in line. It would enhance communication, and you'd be talking about things outside of work."

    Posted in: Movies · Technology

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  6. Lessig on OpenEducation

    brian on 2003.05.30
    at 03:32 pm

    Lawrence Lessig has an interview with Open Education available online here. I've been reading more and more Lessig of late. An interesting twist on his normal crusade to prevent the corporate control of everything technological is its effects on the education community. Recent events like the launch of MIT's OpenCourseware must give pause to the industry since text book profits make up 75% of book publishing profits, according to some reports. Publishers love captive audiences (to gouge).

    Posted in: Technology

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  7. Jon Gruber Interview

    brian on 2003.05.30
    at 03:17 pm

    Jon Gruber, Mac pundit and author of the excellent Daring Fireball weblog has been interviewed here on Waferbaby. An interesting comment when asked about "The Cult of Mac..."

    no one claims you're in a "cult" if you prefer hamburgers from friday's over those from mcdonald's, even though there are a lot more mcdonald's restaurants and their food is cheaper.

    Posted in: Apple

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  8. The Big Ten (media)

    brian on 2003.05.30
    at 03:12 pm

    Not a post about collegiate sports, this is all about the media. Ten major corporations control a huge amount of what you see daily.

    This is along the lines of They Rule and a post from about a week ago, here.

    Posted in: Politics · Technology · Television

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  9. University powered music service?

    brian on 2003.05.30
    at 03:04 pm

    In an attempt to stem colleges from being a hub for entertainment piracy, some colleges are considering running their own download services, which may even be paid for under a student's tuition.

    Posted in: Music · Technology

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  10. 20,000 x $1 books

    brian on 2003.05.27
    at 02:42 am

    The bookmobile will make you a one dollar book while you wait. 20,000 books in the public domain availible now, millions more await scanning.

    Posted in: Technology

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  11. Red vs. Blue

    jake on 2003.05.27
    at 01:00 am

    Red vs. Blue is Halo video captures with some hillarious dubbing. [from Boing Boing]

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  12. Bookmarklet For Encoding HTML Entities

    jake on 2003.05.27
    at 12:50 am

    A bookmarklet has been released that changes characters above 127 into their HTML Entity. Works in certain text input types.

    Steve Minutillo [from Antipixel]

    Posted in: Design

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  13. CSS Generator

    jake on 2003.05.26
    at 10:57 pm

    Strange Banana has a script that automatically lays out a page and sets up styles. Needs some refining but is an interesting idea. [from Scriptygoddess]

    Posted in: Design

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  14. Women's World Cup Coming To US

    jake on 2003.05.26
    at 10:06 pm

    Because of the SARS outbreak in Asia Fifa has decided to move the Women's World Cup to the US. It will take place around the original time span at the end of September.

    BBC Sport

    Posted in: Sports

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  15. Castlevania Name Generator

    jake on 2003.05.26
    at 07:58 pm

    Blue's News posted this link recently. It's a script that randomly generates titles for Castlevania games. A few silly results...

    "Septet of Depression"
    "Hexagon of Destitution"
    "Square of Terror"

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  16. Playstation is serious work

    brian on 2003.05.24
    at 11:03 pm

    Playstation is serious work... at least if you've wired 65 of them together in a cluster, using Linux, for scientific research. Click on for more.

    Posted in: Linux

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  17. iTMS experience

    brian on 2003.05.23
    at 07:38 am

    Apologies to any actual readers out there, I chose to be distracted on a week when the other half (of this weblog!) was in Ireland. My bad.

    So I'll tell you one thing I've done this week, bought my first two albums from the iTunes Music Store. Experience was positive. So much easier than "file-sharing networks." Cheaper, no. But as a musician I can appreciate paying for music. If you made cars, and late at night the neighborhood kids came by to "share" your work, how would you feel? That said, I value record companies slightly less than used-car salesmen.

    What'd I buy? Well, James Brown's Foundations of Funk, 1964-1969 and Audioslave's Audioslave (that is to say 'self-titled release'). Yes, I was on a personal quest to mess up iTMS's "People who bought 'x' also bought 'y'" functionality. If you missed the memo, Audioslave is Rage Against the Machine minus Zach de la Rocha and plus Soundgarden's Chris Cornell. I'll come back to add the appropriate links, but it's too early in the morning to do that right now.

    I'd rate the James Brown compilation at 4.75 stars (out of 5). It's a double disc set, 27 tracks in all, which stand out because they aren't radio cuts. They maintain all the timeless jams from the JBs' all stars like the young Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, et al. Some tracks are up to 9 minutes long, with much of the second halves consiting of James encouraging certain soloists "Blow your horn." "Give the drummer some" "Your horn is just too big!" and countless others worthy of mentioning...

    Audioslave receives a strong 4. It was a 3.5 until I gave it a better listen than just while on the noisy T.

    Posted in: Apple

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  18. Greetings from Ireland

    jake on 2003.05.22
    at 06:44 pm

    Ahhh... the first time I've sat in front of a keyboard in what seems like forever. I'm fairly tired, I've been many places, and I'm enjoying about 70% of the trip. The other 30% is driving. I seem to be affected by diesel more than the average human. I'm glad I didn't buy a tdi. I might have trouble driving to work everyday. Anyone else notice nausea and headaches from breathing even the slightest fumes?

    Like I said I've been many places. I'm staying in Cashel, right now I'm visiting relatives across town. They have three cute kids, one of them bit me.

    Posted in: Rant

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  19. You will get your news here from now on.

    brian on 2003.05.21
    at 02:01 am

    In perhaps the scariest move of all time, the FCC is about to drop all laws that prevent one company from owning all media outlets. If you, too, see something really, really wrong with this, now is the time to speak up. The plan is to "deregulate" on the 2nd of June.

    Of course, this revolution will not be televised. Here's Zeldman's take...

    In any other western democracy, it would be the subject of intense public debate and 72pt newspaper headlines. But this revolution is not being televised, and even the best newspapers barely give it a (column) inch.

    Speak up! NOW.

    Posted in: Politics

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  20. Bush adding to the Nuclear Problem

    brian on 2003.05.20
    at 02:13 pm

    Not content that Iraq has no nuclear weapons, George Bush is asking Congress that we should make more. That's right, seeing that we already have large nuclear weapons, the Bush administration is asking the Congress to overturn a ban against the creation of so-called "Low Yield" nuclear weapons. They are mini-nukes, with approximately one-third the microwaving power of the Hiroshima nuke. Of course, along with the ban-lifting would come the return of nuclear testing.

    Am I the only one who thinks a) we have plenty of Nukes, b) this is a bad idea? Aren't we deathly afraid of suitcase nukes already, yet now we want to make more, small ones our selves? I have one simple mantra that covers this topic: The more nukes the world has, the less safe we really are.

    How many schools could we build with the cost just one of these mini-nukes? We know each cruise missile that struck Iraq could have built nearly an entire new school. What size school are we nuking now? Remember, George Bush is "the education president."

    Please contact you Senator now.

    Posted in: Politics

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  21. Lieberman recalls Democratic roots

    brian on 2003.05.16
    at 02:19 pm

    All jokes about Senator Joe Lieberman (D, CT) being a Republican in disguise aside. He's cracking down on using the Department of Homeland Security for the political use of Texan Republicans... Go Joe.

    Posted in: Politics

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  22. Random links

    brian on 2003.05.16
    at 01:01 pm

    Been a little behind the posting this week, so I'll put both these links into one post:

    Posted in: Cool Info · Politics

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  23. Geckos, a bridge to Spidey

    jake on 2003.05.15
    at 06:52 pm

    We could make super-grip shoes for athletes and [tires] that hold the road better in all weathers, for example. And in Hollywood, actors playing superheroes like Spiderman or Neo from The Matrix could climb walls and walk on the ceiling without the studios resorting to computer graphics.

    This of course also requires that Keanu can actually walk up a wall with gravity pulling him down. With wires weight is lessened.

    Scientists have isolated the mechanics for the gecko's ability to stick to objects. The contact between the fine hairs on the gecko's feet and surface is helped by "very weak intermolecular attractive forces."

    The hairs on a gecko's feet - called setae - are the key to its remarkable grip on just about any surface, rough or smooth, wet or dry. The tips of the setae are so sticky that geckos can hang from a ceiling with their entire weight suspended from a single toe.

    New Scientist

    Posted in: Science

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  24. Conan in Clay

    brian on 2003.05.13
    at 08:00 pm

    NBC's late, late night show hosted by Conan O'Brien will air a rerun this Thursday, but not in the typical sense. The show will be a 100% claymation recreation of an October 2002 show. I'll be tuning in.

    Posted in: Television

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  25. Neanderthal not linked to humans

    jake on 2003.05.13
    at 07:47 pm

    Sorry Storm, A recent study found that there is no residual mtDNA from ancient neanderthals in us.

    When the Cro-Magnon mtDNA was compared with existing mtDNA data from four Neanderthals dating between 29,000-42,000 years ago, virtually no similarities were found.

    Discovery Channel News

    The is some more info over at National Geographic has more info on this. They have a quote that points out where the science may be faulty. Considering mtDNA is passed down by the mother, the following could be one hole in the study.

    Typically, if there is interbreeding between two groups of unequal status, it often occurs between the males of the more developed culture and the females of the less developed culture.

    Posted in: Science

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  26. New tiny Seahorse

    jake on 2003.05.13
    at 07:27 pm

    The new little guy will be referred to as Hippocampus denise and lives among coral. It is usually only 16 mm long.

    H. denise lives in the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean, between 13 and 90 metres beneath the surface.

    It is often found attached to coral seafans, primitive animals resembling short, flat bushes.

    BBC News

    Update: Discovery Channel News

    Posted in: Science

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  27. New 20 dollar bill revealed

    jake on 2003.05.13
    at 07:21 pm

    Apparenly the news I got yesterday wasn't all correct. The new bills use three colors. There are also some cosmetic layout changes. I read on one page that there's a size difference, but I could not see it in the pictures provided. They look similar to me.

    BBC News
    Washington Post

    Posted in: Politics

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  28. New 20 dollar bill to be revealed tomorrow

    jake on 2003.05.12
    at 07:38 pm

    Amazingly enough the only major change is the color. "Subtle" color to be exact. Where's the fancy stuff that other countries have? Besides the layouts they have now didn't help curve counterfeiting with the last redesign.

    The Secret Service says the percentage of counterfeit bills produced digitally has grown from 1 percent of bogus bills in 1995 -- before the last redesign -- to a whopping 40 percent in 2002.

    CNN.com has an article about this.

    Posted in: Politics

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  29. Verizon to put WiFi on the street?

    brian on 2003.05.12
    at 02:41 pm

    According to a Yahoo News (Reuters) article, Verizon is investigating the placement of WiFi hot-spots in public pay phones for use by their subscribed broadband customers on the go. Pay phones have been somewhat obsolesced by the cellular phone, but this is an interesting idea of how a phone company could revive worth from their installed base of eqipment. Additionally, the story speculates that Verizon may not charge extra for the service, rather using it to increase their broadband product's value.

    Posted in: Technology

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  30. eBay scammers stopped by Mac community

    brian on 2003.05.12
    at 01:10 pm

    This story is a little out of date, and seeing how it got national press coverage (NYT, ABC, CNN) I'm not sure how I missed it. Never the less, the story is downright fascinating, and you should read how one angry Mac user turned to the Mac community for help when the FBI, Secret Service and Chicago PD turned their backs on him. Apparently the movie rights have been sold, so perhaps we'll see this on the silver screen soon...

    Posted in: Cool Info

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  31. Indiana Jones Trilogy on DVD

    jake on 2003.05.10
    at 12:17 am

    The Indiana Jones Trilogy will be released on DVD November 4th. View a trailer with this information at apple.com.

    Posted in: Movies

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  32. Baghdad for next art field trip?

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 05:11 pm

    New Scientist is reporting that a bunch of artifacts have been returned to the National Museum of Baghdad. We mentioned about how the art was stolen a few weeks ago after the initial taking of Baghdad.

    It is difficult to know exactly what has been returned and what is still out there. Many artifacts were never catalogued or photographed.

    Posted in: Art · Politics

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  33. The blind shall see

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 04:18 pm

    Independent (from Gizmodo) and BBC News (from Blue's News)have reported on a clinical trial where they allowed a blind person to make out basic objects and light and dark. It uses electronics to pass information to a chip fitted over the retina. The subjects wore special glasses fitted with the video cameras that took the image that is sent to the chip. Guess I should stop saying I'm blind without my glasses.

    Posted in: Science

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  34. My name is popular

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 03:59 pm

    Usa Today reports that in 2002 my name topped the list for most popular boys name. Of course that means even more moms calling out my name in department stores and confusing me.

    Jacob has been the most popular name for boys since 1999, when it ended Michael's impressive 35-year run in the top spot.

    Take that Michaels!!

    Posted in: Rant

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  35. Muppets are coming home

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 02:09 pm

    The family of Jim Henson has put in a successful bid to get back the rights to the majority of his creations. Sold to a German firm in 2000 called EM.TV the properties were threatened when the company began collapsing.

    article (from Boing Boing)

    Posted in: Art · Cool Info

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  36. Disney Electronics

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 01:40 pm

    Boing Boing mentioned this yesterday. I noticed the phones a while ago, and saw the DVD (or) player and TV (or) last week in the Circuit City flyer. What I had no idea about, was that the premier design group Frog Design helped in designing these products.

    Posted in: Design · Technology

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  37. Finding Nemo

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 01:24 pm

    Inside Computer Graphics linked to this very interesting article about the new Pixar movie Finding Nemo and the technology involved in making it. It is apparently the cover story to the May issue of the magazine.

    The article discusses some of the creative aspects of the film. Such as having a 25-gallon fish tank with tropical fish nearby during production.

    It also goes into depth about the technical process and some of the new software and tweaking the developers did during production.

    [Oren] Jacob and his team first needed to create a suite of tools in the water arena. The most complex was the 3D water simulator, which allows water to interact with itself, such as when it crashes or crests, and also creates the necessary viscosity. "[For this], we expanded and modified Fizt, the fur and cloth simulator used on Monsters, Inc.," Jacob says. Martin Nugyn, John Anderson, David Baraff, Andy Witkin, and Apurva Shah were instrumental in writing the suite of tools for the 3D water simulation.

    I cannot wait for this movie to come out in a few weeks. It's even more complex than Monsters Inc. was.

    Posted in: Technology

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  38. DNS Issues wreaking havoc

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 12:42 pm

    Yesterday the site started having problems because the DNS provider for our host screwed things up. I'm trying to resolve issues with this domain and default files, right now I will be posting all the things from yesterday I missed.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  39. epaper making headway

    jake on 2003.05.09
    at 12:31 pm

    Wired and MsNBC both have an article that stemmed from nature.com. The article showcases a flexible screen from E-Ink. It's fairly small and only does black and white. But it's a nice step forward.

    I mostly liked the electronic paper use in Minority Report, which I saw last week, for newspapers. I'm more interested in taking the ebook I've been reading mobile without printing it. And not on a tiny pda screen thanks, give me A4 or paperback size and that'll make me happy.

    Posted in: Hardware · Technology

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  40. Jellyfishing, Jellyfishing

    jake on 2003.05.07
    at 10:36 pm

    Scientists have clasified a large peculiar jellyfish discovered in the Pacific Ocean. New Scientist's article reports that the jellyfish was originally discovered in 1993. There is still much to learn about this creature. Someone grab me my net.

    Tiburonia granrojo was discovered using video cameras on deep-diving remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Its colour and shape set it apart from its other gelatinous relatives, but it has another unusual characteristic -- a complete lack of tentacles.

    Instead, the jelly has four to seven fleshy arms that it uses to capture food. While jellyfish species normally can be distinguished by the number of tentacles they have, the number of arms differs between individual big reds.

    Also Yahoo! News (Science) has an article about it too.

    Posted in: Science

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  41. Jhai Laotian Wireless Update

    brian on 2003.05.07
    at 02:42 am

    Wired has published a follow up on the Jhai project we mentioned months back. The Jhai group has built a Linux (actually, Laonux- a Laotian language-based Linux build) powered, wireless connected computer designed to to be run on bicycle power in remote Laos. Unfortunately, the project has met some major set backs, but they are continuing on, and hope to have it running before June.

    "Jhai" is Laotian for "hearts and minds working together."

    Posted in: Linux · Technology

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  42. Masked man stops small time crime

    jake on 2003.05.05
    at 06:27 pm

    CNN reports, in England a man has been seen running around in a cape and mask, scarying off "hooligans."

    The Kent and Sussex Courier said it had received letters from "stunned residents" of the town of Tunbridge Wells, southeast of London, who saw the man in a brown mask and cape scare off hooligans and return a woman's dropped purse.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  43. Crossbreading Coral

    jake on 2003.05.04
    at 11:51 pm

    The Discovery Channel has an article about how coral may be more resilient than previously thought.

    Madeleine van Oppen of the Australian Institute of Marine Science said her study of the Great Barrier Reef off northeastern Australia found evidence of crossbreeding in the major Acropora genus of coral species.

    With crossbreading the coral can hopefully adapt to environmental changes.

    "The high level of genetic diversity provides an evolutionary advantage to this group of corals because the more genetic diversity there is within a population or species the more likely it is to be able to respond to environmental changes," she said.

    Posted in: Science

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  44. Another article on the benefits of tea

    jake on 2003.05.04
    at 10:51 pm

    National Geographic has more information about the benefits of tea on the immune system. Some info is similar to our previous post because it's based on the same study.

    The findings "add to the enormous body of evidence that tea can make a contribution to a healthy lifestyle," commented Bill Gorman executive director of The Tea Council, an independent tea-promotion body based in London, England.

    Other studies have shown that antioxidant chemicals in tea—produced from the aromatic plant Camellia sinensis—can help minimize the risk of developing stomach and other types of cancer. One study showed that drinking one cup of tea a day could also reduce heart attack risk by up to 50 percent.

    Apparently it also helps with your skin.

    Hsu has this week published his own study, in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, revealing that other chemicals found in tea are able to reactivate dying skin cells. "If we can energize dying skin cells, we can probably improve the skin condition," he said.

    Posted in: Science

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  45. The Doe Network

    jake on 2003.05.04
    at 09:04 pm

    I saw this a couple weeks ago. I really need to stop leaving bookmarks for stuff and reading it weeks later.

    Wired had an article about this web site. They post information involving John and Jane Doe's for the public to hopefully identify.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  46. Apple Music, part 2

    brian on 2003.05.03
    at 12:18 am

    I guess you can say it's been a successful launch for the first week of Apple's iTunes Music Store and the new line of iPods

    At the Apple Store "LIVE!" launch party Friday night, fans were lined up hundreds deep to get their hands on the new iPods. At least four registers were non-stop iPod customers for two straight hours after the store re-opened at 6pm. Many bought more than one. Also available was this hot new accessory from Timbuk2 which I'll be picking up tomorrow.

    In other news, Billboard is reporting...

    The service, which went live Monday, sold an estimated 275,000 tracks at 99 cents apiece in its first 18 hours, according to major-label sources.

    Our friends at As the Apple Turns (who have magically resurfaced this week) are ciphering that...

    Figure first of all that the iTunes Music Store was maybe ten times more active at its launch... an average day...27,500 songs sold in 18 hours, or 36,667 a day... conservatively estimate that Windows support will increase Apple's customer base, say, eightfold, and international support will double it. That comes out to roughly 586,000 songs sold per day (@ 99¢ each)

    While Crazy Apple Rumors is reporting on the rumored iTunes for Windows...

    ...based on strict adherence to Windows interface guidelines it will be required to suck 43.5% more than the Macintosh version.

    Posted in: Music · Software · Technology

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