Monday, September 30, 2002
Sunday, September 29, 2002
It doesn't matter if you're in outer space -- you still have to fill out the damned census form. According to this article, "A Russian spaceship carrying census forms is on its way to two cosmonauts so they can take part in Russia's first post-Soviet population head-count... Russia's Valery Korzun and Sergei Treshchev on the orbiting International Space Station will fill out the questionnaires and send them back to Earth, joining millions of their land-based compatriots in the exercise planned for October 9-16."
Saturday, September 28, 2002
Friday, September 27, 2002
Michael Malone muses about life, the universe, feedback loops, and the Segway scooter.
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Science fiction writer David Brin makes "The Case for a Cheerful Libertarianism". In this thought-provoking speech, he skewers a number of libertarian sacred cows, yet reaches a very optimistic conclusion. Well worth reading. (Thanks to Andrew Breese for this excellent link.)
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Monday, September 23, 2002
Sunday, September 22, 2002
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Friday, September 20, 2002
Local Denver police officers recently participated in a double-blind scientific taste test comparing the relative merits of products from two donut stores. As the article notes, "Not even a minor traffic accident within sight of the doughnut table distracted the judges from their tasks..."
Vocera is marketing a new system of hand-free voice-activated communication badges that allow anyone on the network to contact anyone else by tapping the badge and speaking the recipient's name. As one analyst notes, "The only thing that I can really compare them to is Star Trek:The Next Generation..."
Thursday, September 19, 2002
"Memo to employees: The dot-com boom is over so everyone has to wear formal business attire again". Translation: we were forced to let you wear what you wanted for a couple of years to keep you from quitting, but now the market has changed so suck it up! (Via Plastic.)
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Airline ticket pricing is now so screwy that it is practically impossible to devise an efficient computer algorithm that can work out the cheapest fare between two cities. As the article states, "the more specific (idealized) problem of finding an optimal fare for a particular route, while theoretically solvable, turns out to very similar to a classical mathematical problem known as boolean satisfiability, which has long been known to be NP-complete -- which means it could take the fastest computer longer than the lifetime of the universe to find the solution." (Via Linkfilter.)
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Monday, September 16, 2002
"Equipment found in any college science department can be used to transmit electric signals at four times the speed of light." Buried at the bottom of the article is the disclaimer:
"While the peak moves faster than light speed, the total energy of the pulse does not. This means Einstein's relativity is preserved, so do not expect super-fast starships or time machines anytime soon.Signals also get weaker and more distorted the faster they go, so in theory no useful information can get transmitted at faster-than-light speeds..."
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Saturday, September 14, 2002
Friday, September 13, 2002
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Buzz Aldrin punches out lunar landing skeptic: According to this article, "Authorities are investigating a complaint that retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin punched a man in the face, because he was asked to swear on a Bible that he had been on the moon... Bart Sibrel says he was socked by the Apollo 11 astronaut after confronting him about the 1969 lunar mission. The 37-year-old from Nashville says he does not believe Aldrin or anyone else has ever walked on the moon."
As Boing Boing says, "You the man, Buzz."
As Boing Boing says, "You the man, Buzz."
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
A pair of interesting articles on using the internet to plagiarize school papers: Although students are more frequently using Google to help them plagiarize term papers, teachers can also use the website to catch cheaters. Plus some teachers are adopting a novel approach -- they're assigning papers that require the students to think for themselves.
Monday, September 09, 2002
The US Navy is using software designed to detect breast cancers on medical images to help it detect camouflaged military targets hidden on battlefield images.
Sunday, September 08, 2002
Saturday, September 07, 2002
Friday, September 06, 2002
Online begging has really taken off spurred on by the financial success of sites like savekaryn.com, who racked up $20,000 in credit card debt and is asking for donations to help pay them off. (Hmmm... Maybe I should put up an Amazon tipjar or something like that on this page...)
Thursday, September 05, 2002
And now for something completely different: The Financial Times interviews John Cleese, of Monty Python fame. Apparently Cleese is quite the entrepreneur -- as the FT notes: "'Capitalism,' says Cleese with a let's-get-this-straight tone, 'is the best system.'" (Via PostPolitics.)
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
The latest computer security device is a special LCD screen that looks blank unless you're an authorized user wearing special glasses. The article also notes that this $1600 system could be easily defeated by someone wearing cheapo 3-D movie glasses.
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Monday, September 02, 2002
Sunday, September 01, 2002
A grizzly bear attacked a group of animal rights activists from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), mauling one of them. As Rand Simberg notes, "She's obviously not a member of BETH (Bears for the Ethical Treatment of Humans). Or then again, perhaps she is..."