Friday, January 31, 2003

NASA will be switching to machines running Red Hat Linux in order to communicate between Earth and the space shuttle.
The Pope should be naming a patron saint of the Internet by Easter.
Disguised guns: This cell-phone gun looks like an ordinary cell phone but can fire four rounds of .22 LR when the user presses the keypad numerals "5" through "9". If that's too bulky, then there's always the Stinger pen gun which holds a single .22 round. (Via Linkfilter.)
Windows that double as a home entertainment center. As the article describes, "A low-voltage current runs through the window. When the current is on, the window is clear. Turn the current off and the glass goes opaque for use as a projection screen for television or DVDs. Flanking casement windows become the speakers... 'The transformation is pretty startling,' said Sandy Isenstadt, a professor of architecture at Yale University. 'One minute you're looking out your bay window at your neighbor's backyard, and the next you're watching Tom Cruise and Top Gun.'"
I confess that I sometimes play games on my PDA during boring meetings. However, a member of the Norwegian Parliament was caught on national television playing the war game Metalion on his PocketPC during a debate on the possibility of a real war in Iraq, much to his chagrin. Here's the news photo. At least he turned off the sound...

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Dutch scientists have invented a unique organic LED that can glow either red or green.
"If you're an enterprising dictator who wants to build his evil empire from scratch, you should check out Home Despot for all your evil needs." (Via Memepool.)
The Reverse Tinkerbell Effect: David Post writes about the interesting phenomenon of self-imploding prophecies.
Bootleg DVD copies of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers are starting to circulate. One Asian bootleg has some pretty bad captioning. (Via Metafilter.)
This is not your grandfather's steam engine: The underwater steam-powered jet engine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

"Smart Dust" is coming soon, with prototypes being tested at over 100 centers around the world. (Via GMSV.)
Earthlike planets may be rarer than previously thought.
Don't sit in front of a computer screen for too long lest ye get e-thrombosis and die. (Via Techdirt.)

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Recipe for lembas, aka Elvish waybread. (Via BBspot.)
What if Abraham Lincoln has delivered the Gettysburg Address via Powerpoint? You can download the full PowerPoint file.
"Royale with Sarin": Jules and Vincent (from Pulp Fiction) talk weapons of mass destruction. (Via VodkaPundit.)
"Gulf War 2": Although I disagree with its conclusions, this short and well-done Flash animation does vividly state one of the better arguments against a war with Iraq. (Via Metafilter.)
The Oracle of Starbucks will determine your personality type based on what you order at Starbucks. Based on my limited survey of my co-workers, it's cruel but accurate. (Via Herman Brown.)
Anti-roller coaster health warnings debunked: Modern roller coasters may indeed temporarily cause more g-forces on riders than a trip on the space shuttle. But that's still less than what people experience during normal coughing or sneezing.
The Civil War inside Sony: "Sony Music wants to entertain you. Sony Electronics wants to equip you. The problem is that when it comes to digital media, their interests are diametrically opposed."

Monday, January 27, 2003

Notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick had never actually surfed the internet because he was arrested in 1995, and banned by the federal government from using computers until 2003. Now that the ban has expired, he was introduced to websurfing by Steve Wozniak (formerly of Apple) and Emmanuel Goldstein, publisher of 2600. According to the article, "'Don't be freaked out by advertising,'' Goldstein told Mitnick. 'It's everywhere. So is pornography.' Mitnick looked dazed by the concept of a pop-up ad." (Via Obscure Store.)
"The Protection Racket": Business 2.0 has an overview of the latest advances in condom technology. (Via Megarad.)
ObPoliticalPost: Bill Whittle has the clearest analysis I've seen so far as to why war with Iraq is justified.
The history of the monowheel. (As Boing Boing says, "I spit upon your puny Segway!")
Quiz of the day: "Which OS Are You?"
Evil supervillain explains why you should switch to Linux. (Via Instapundit.)
"Digital Dilemmas": The Economist has an excellent set of articles predicting continued major changes in society as internet use becomes more widespread. I especially liked the articles on privacy, copyrights, and the effects on political systems (both democracies as well as repressive regimes).
New twist on computer viruses: Anti-virus viruses. Unfortunately, they still crash your machine.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Dave Barry has a new blog!
Twelve University of Maryland students have reportedly been caught using their cell phones to cheat on exams. From the article, "In some cases, professors had posted answer keys on their Web sites, and officials believe that students may have used cell phones equipped with Web browsers to look up the answers themselves, while still in the exam room." Although the students were clearly acting unethically, the professors' lax security didn't help any. (Via Fark.)
The full uncut version of the notorious Miller Lite "Catfight" commercial: Who wouldn't want to watch this uncensored extended version? As one reviewer noted, "The sexiest catfight since Catwoman vs. Batgirl. This 'extended cut' leaves almost nothing to the imagination. Is that legal??? If so, I'm quite proud to be an American". (Oops, Diana is glaring at me now...)
Whew -- well, that's a relief! Scientists at NASA and Kansas University have decided that the chance of a supernova exploding nearby and destroying the Earth's ozone layer leading to mass extinction are less than previously thought. I can sleep nights now.
Handy guide to Conversational Terrorism

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Your Logo Here: CafePress has created a successful business model for selling personalized swag.
Everything you wanted to know about making string figures such as the "Jacob's Ladder". This brings back memories from elementary school... (Via Metafilter.)

Friday, January 24, 2003

Master Key Copying Revealed: Matt Blaze, a computer security expert at AT&T, has applied the principles of computer cryptanalysis to physical lock and key systems and devised an algorithm that allows a cracker to generate a master key for a building if all he or she has access to a working key for a single lock, a file, and a few blank keys. According to the article, this technique only takes a few minutes and it "leaves no evidence of tampering. It can be used without resorting to removing the lock and taking it apart or other suspicious behavior that can give away ordinary lock pickers". Blaze's research has been submitted for publication in a computer security journal, and AT&T has already posted an alert to law enforcement agencies to warn them that some may try to use this information for criminal purposes. Although I understand the ethical quandry associated with the dissemination of this sort of information, I firmly believe that in the end it's best for these things to be publicized. Bad guys are going to learn about these techniques sooner or later, and it's best if the good guys also know about it as well so they can take appropriate countermeasures. Here's a related article. Interested readers can also download a preprint of his paper in .pdf format. (Via Techdirt.)
"Can the Mac Become the Unix Workstation of Choice?"
The online porn industry loves online file sharing. Their (IMHO much savvier) approach to this issue is almost the exact opposite of the music industry's.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

E-mail as the new foreplay. (Via Metafilter.)
"South Korean scientists have reportedly adapted a navigation system from Cruise missiles to build a robot vacuum cleaner that can find its way around a room day or night." (Via Fark.)
Japanese emoticons. (Via Madville.)
"New Economy Wistfully Recalled As Tiny Dot-Com Promotional Object Found In Drawer". (Satire)
My favorite quote from this Onion story:
As part of their compensation packages, Noyce and his fellow dot-com employees were often issued stock options, which have come to be known in the financial world as "pretend Internet money." This pretend money, now estimated to be of slightly less value than the multi-colored paper bills used in Monopoly, was considered extremely valuable at the time. A great deal of this imaginary wealth was actually used to purchase Time Warner, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Inkjet printers have been successfully modified to print tubes of living tissue. According to the article, "The work is a first step towards printing complex tissues or even entire organs."
A pet cat and its genetic clone have identical DNA but very different personalities. This should help dispel the misconception that cloning an animal (or a person) will result in a duplicate of the original.
Virtual keyboards: An overview of upcoming products.
More on HPM bombs: Noah Shachtman wrote in to say that they might not be all that they're hyped up to be. On his website, one of his reader notes, "while an e-bomb might have some use in knocking out Iraqi communications, it probably wouldn't do much good against Saddam's air defenses. Why? The gear is old, old Soviet stuff, without integrated circuits, most likely -- and therefore, immune to electromagnetic pulses". Plus another reader notes that they are probably not as powerful as claimed in the Time article. (See his 1/19/03 links.)
This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time: "U.S.-Led Iraq War Slated For Super Bowl Halftime Show" (Via BBspot.)
San Diego, Calif. -- Hoping for a simultaneous marketing and military coup, the Bush administration today officially set a war date, announcing that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq will be part of the Super Bowl XXXVII halftime show.

Pentagon and ABC Sports officials said the halftime festivities, slated for the intermission of the Jan. 26 game between the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will be a boon for all involved, with the possible exception of Iraq.

"If you look at the facts, the Super Bowl is immensely popular, but the proposed war with Iraq is not," said show co-producer Carl Rockne. "At the same time, televised bombing is immensely popular, but halftime shows are not. Put them together, and you've got serious potential."

"Viewers might walk out on Shania Twain singing, but I can't imagine anyone getting up to go to the bathroom while F-16s are firing sidewinder missiles," added ABC Sports Vice President Mickey Holmes. "If we have some real pounding going on in the first half, and we segue right into our military pounding the enemy during halftime, I think people are going to hang out and hold it in."

Particularly important, said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, were demographic statistics showing that the event's television audience, expected to be 800 million worldwide, is also an ideal combat audience.

"When you're watching an NFL game and there's about to be a big hit, you don't have time to think, 'Is this right or wrong?' You just want to see the hit," said Rumsfeld. "These are the people we want watching our war."

Rumsfeld added that the "U.S.-Led Invasion of Iraq Super Bowl XXXVII Halftime Show" also satisfies two consistent Bush administration goals: appealing to American populism while simultaneously infuriating the international community.

To that end, nations across the Middle East immediately denounced the plan, demanding that America wait until U.N. weapons inspections were completed before taking action. In Iraq, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan called the proposed show "typical United States arrogance," adding, "This halftime lasts only, what, 30 minutes? The Americans cannot possibly believe they will defeat the entire invincible army of Iraq in 30 minutes."

Rumsfeld acknowledged time could be an issue, but said the U.S. was willing to stretch the invasion out to last the entire half hour.

In Europe, meanwhile, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warned that America's "misguided strategy" only "reinforces the international stereotype of the beer-swilling, football-loving, war mongering American."

Mindful of that reaction, Miller Brewing Co. has already filmed a new version of its controversial Miller Lite "catfight" commercial. In the new 30-second spot, instead of a pair of beer-drinking men dreaming of scantily clad women fighting it out, American service personnel are seen chanting "Tastes great!" while Iraqi officers shout "Less filling!" Eventually, U.S. warplanes and armored vehicles are shown bombing and shelling Iraq. The camera then cuts to a bar where George W. Bush says to Rumsfeld, "Man, who wouldn't want to watch that?" The two then toast with bottles of Miller Lite as, nearby, their disgusted wives roll their eyes.

In a racier version of the commercial that will only run on cable, Joyce Rumsfeld turns to First Lady Laura Bush and says, "Let's make out."

Perpetual motion machine being sold on eBay. (Via Metafilter.)
Are our elite colleges hotbeds of anti-intellectualism? (The picture of the University of Maryland Chess Team cheerleaders is not bad, BTW.)
Birth control pills can change women's taste in men.
Clueless tourists who apparently can't tell the difference between fact and fiction have been signing onto the Yahoo!Travel website, trying to book vacation trips to Rivendell and Mordor. Now I can understand Rivendell, but Mordor?? (Via Madville.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The Miller Lite "Catfight" commercial apparently includes background music inspired by the theme from the Kirk-vs.-Spock fight in the classic Star Trek episode, "Amok Time". More info in this Metafilter post.
Don't you dare play any of these practical jokes. (Via Linkfilter.)
America's next secret weapon may be the HPM (high powered microwave) bomb. Here's a related story. Given the degree of (?orchestrated) publicity, I guess it's not such a secret any more...
Front line combat troops are disproportionately white, not black. From the article:
The American troops likeliest to fight and die in a war against Iraq are disproportionately white, not black, military statistics show — contradicting a belief widely held since the early days of the Vietnam War.

In a little-publicized trend, black recruits have gravitated toward non-combat jobs that provide marketable skills for post-military careers, while white soldiers are over-represented in front-line combat forces...

"If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites," says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
(Via Linkfilter.)
"It's Eagles v. Titans as NFL Reverses Playoff Results" (Satire)
(2003-01-20) -- The National Football League has reversed the results of yesterday's conference playoffs, clearing the way for a Super Bowl between the Tennessee Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the game scores were reversed based on the same principal that the University of Michigan uses in admissions, granting extra "points" for black applicants.

Although the Oakland Raiders trounced the Titans 41-24 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Eagles 27-10, the quarterbacks of both conference-winning teams are white, and the QBs of both losing teams are black. Therefore, each team led by a black quarterback was granted 20 additional points, retroactively reversing the outcomes of both games.

Philadelphia won the NFC title 30-27 over Tampa Bay and the Titans upset the favored Oakland team 44-41.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will perform the coin toss at the Super Bowl.
The first commercial nudist air flights will begin in May 2003, but the flight attendants won't be serving any hot beverages in case of a mid-air spill.
Could the Pentagon disable the Internet in the event of a war? Noted computer security guru Bruce Schneier has an interesting analysis of the question.
I hate it when a giant squid attacks my yacht.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Would you take a pill to enhance your memory or intelligence? Excellent article on the ethics of artificial brain enhancements. It's amazing how some of the arguments against this technology sound similar to the arguments raised against powered flight, anesthesia, and recombinant DNA technology -- all of which are now staples of modern life.
Are the X-Men human? Eugene Volokh tells us about the recent court decision.
The mysterious Arctic stone circles are just natural phenomena.
Excellent user interface for public urinals.
Gun geeks are debating which weapons would work best against cave trolls and Uruk-hai orcs. There's a related thread on how best to arm yourself in Middle Earth if you could carry only one person's worth of modern weaponry. (As one of the participants said, "Do I have too much time on my hands or what?")
Strict password security: I hate it when I get this Microsoft error message. (Via Linkfilter.)

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Invention of the day: This credit card with a built in breathalyzer lets you know if you've had too much to drink and therefore probably shouldn't be spending money right now. (Via Boing Boing.)
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Ron Jones have written an article advocating space tourism and space hotels.
If you're looking for a job, it helps to have a "white"-sounding first name like Brett or Jill rather than a "black"-sounding first name such as Rasheed or Tamika. (Via Linkfilter.)
Saunaab: Saab 900 converted into a sauna/barbecue. (Via Metafilter.)

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Robotic neurosurgeon.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a technique in which scientists can alter your brain's electrical activity by subjecting it to strong magnetic fields. According to the article, there are a lot of potentially interesting medical and military applications. Of course, scientists need to be careful with these machines given that they generate "up to a whopping 3,000 volts and produce peak currents of up to 8,000 amps - powers similar to those of a small nuclear reactor." (Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, January 17, 2003

One of the early classics of computer ASCII art is the Digital Mona Lisa. Here's more background information on its history.
"A computer browser that is said to least quadruple surfing speeds on the Internet has won the top prize at an Irish exhibition for young scientists..." (Via David Lull.)
Discarded hard drives that have supposedly been erased still have all sorts of juicy information on them. According to the article, "Simson Garfinkel and Abhi Shelat, graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, analysed 158 second hand hard drives bought over the internet between November 2000 and August 2002. They were able to recover over 6000 credit card numbers, as well as email messages and pornographic images."
The NYTimes has a nice article about Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit.
Scientists in my old stomping grounds of La Jolla, California have created the world's first artificial organism. This artificial bacterium also uses an amino acid that no other organism on Earth uses in protein synthesis.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

MIT vs. Spam: My old friend David D. Lewis notified me about the first MIT Conference on Spam Filtering. Here's a list of the invited speakers, including a lot of famous names.
Update on the Nigerian e-mail scam story: Brett Bellmore was sharp enough to notice that the numbers cited in the article imply that the average scammer received $342,000 from his multiple victims, not that each individual victim lost that much money.
Tether Applications is developing a "space sheepdog" to move space junk safely out of the Earth's orbit.
Sales of cell phone ring tones are worth nearly $1 billion annually to the music industry.
Spyware warning: If you use the new edition of TurboTax, you'll also install the C-Dilla spyware Trojan on your hard drive. More information is available here and here. Uninstalling the TurboTax program apparently does not remove C-Dilla. As a result, many loyal TurboTax fans are forgoing it this year.
Here in Colorado, geeks are considered hot. Yeah, right.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Toy of the day: Cuboro is a system of wooden blocks with channels cut into them that you can assemble to create marble runs. Looks like lots of fun! (Via Boing Boing.)
Portable bathrooms are getting awfully fancy. As the Kohler company asks, "Why should you have to settle for a lesser bathroom experience when you're away from home?" (Via Obscure Store.)
What the heck is "leetspeak"? Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope has written an excellent summary, including a link to the Wikipedia article on Leet.
The Brazil Nut Effect: Scientists have determined that when you shake a box of mixed nuts of different sizes, the larger ones will counterintuitively tend to settle to the top. Except when they settle on the bottom, that is.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

But don't threaten your computer in public with your gun lest you bring down the wrath of the Boulder, Colorado SWAT team. (Via Daily Rotten.)
Great Britain needs more guns.
"In future wars, robots may drop from the sky by the hundreds from unmanned aircraft, swarming like giant insects over battlefields in coordinated, terrifying assaults."
The average victim of the various Nigerian e-mail con schemes has shelled out approximately $342,000. There's a sucker born every minute... (Via Fark.)
Secrets of the airplane emergency exit door. (Go to the very end of the article.)

Monday, January 13, 2003

Gary Starkwell is working on large-screen curved displays for your computer. Kind of like having an IMAX on your desk. Some pictures of his prototype are available in this .PDF document (pages 15 and 18)
Palm erases "Graffiti": Because of a lawsuit filed by Xerox against PalmSource (the software arm of Palm), the Palm company will no longer offer the Graffiti handwriting recognition software for its PDAs. Instead, they will offer a different handwriting recognition program known as Jot, which they claim is simpler and easier to learn.
Scenes from the third Lord of the Rings movie, LOTR: The Return of the King. Only 11 more months to go! Note -- the web pages contains several spoilers. (Via Linkfilter.)
The US government is spamming Iraq with thousands of e-mail messages as part of a psychological warfare campaign. I wonder how many of the Iraqi scientists and military will sign up for opportunities to enlarge their penis size, or help out struggling exiles from Nigeria?
Haiku error messages. (Via Mitch Berkson.) Update: A kind reader wrote to point out that these are from a Salon contest from 5 years ago.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Astronomers have discovered a planet so hot that it rains molten iron.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Who would pay $41 for a hamburger? Apparently over 200 people would, including James Gandolfini of The Sopranos, at the debut of "The World's Most Decadent Hamburger" at a high end NYC restaurant. (Via Linkfilter.)
Is Atlas shrugging in Venezuela? (Via Transterrestrial Musings.)

Friday, January 10, 2003

Don't Leave Earth Without It: "In case of alien abduction these dog tags may save your life. The crucial data an alien will need to get you back to Earth is die stamped into these dog tags." In fact, the manufacturer guarantees that if you're ever abducted by aliens while wearing these tags and then not returned to Earth, you're eligible for your money back. All this for only $12.99! (Via Boing Boing.)
The biggest drain on American productivity may be Microsoft's computer Solitaire game. (Via Techdirt.)
InVision is making gobs of money. Too bad it's the InVision that makes airport scanners, not the Invision that I work for.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

The RIAA owes me $20. If you purchased an audio CD between January 1 1995 and December 22, 2000 then you are also eligible for the money as part of an antitrust lawsuit settlement. To claim your money, fill out the form on this website (hit "Click Here to File a Claim"). At first, I was a bit leery about giving out personal information, but the folks at Boing Boing did a pretty good job of checking out the legitimacy of this information. Or you can call in the information via the toll-free number provided. (Via Ars Technica.)
Make your own simulated Bose-Einstein condensate with this physics web applet.
What if Lord of the Rings had been written by someone else? The Dr. Seuss version is especially good: "'Gandalf, Gandalf! Take the ring! I am too small to carry this thing!' 'I can not, will not hold the One. You have a slim chance, but I have none. I will not take it on a boat, I will not take it across a moat. I cannot take it under Moria, that's one thing I can't do for ya. I would not bring it into Mordor, I would not make it to the border.'" (Via /.)
Ultimate backup medium: Scientists have taken the lyrics to the song It's a Small World, encoded it into DNA, then inserted it into a bacterial genome. After 100 replications, the data survived intact.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

One of the coolest tatooes that I've ever seen. (Via Madville.)
Miranda rights (e.g. "right to remain silent", "right to an attorney", etc.) apply to all of a person's multiple personalities. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)
Quantum theory breakthrough? A Dutch physicist has proposed a deterministic underpinning to the apparent chance elements in quantum mechanics that does not involve troublesome "hidden variables".
A robot that can sense human emotions.
"Tolkien Fans Outraged over Addition of Jar-Jaromir in The Return of the King" (Via Donald Heath.)
Practical joke of the day: "Two Miami radio-show hosts known for playing outrageous pranks on the air got Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on a private line this morning by pretending that Cuban leader Fidel Castro was calling him from Havana." (Via Obscure Store.)

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

The speed of gravity has been measured for the first time, and the results confirm that gravity does indeed travel at the speed of light (actually "0.95 times light speed, but with a large error margin of plus or minus 0.25.")
Norwegian court rules in favor of teenage DVD hacker. Another sensible legal decision!
The Carribean island of Thatch Cay is up for sale on eBay. Here's the listing. Interested buyers can find more information about the island here.
Diamond-based semiconductors. (Via Ars Technica.)
The Milky Way galaxy has a ring of stars around it shaped like a giant doughnut. ""Mmmmmm... doughnuts... Woohoo!"
More life imitates Minority Report: Movie posters that talk to you.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Magician Penn Gillette (of Penn & Teller) recently had his crotch grabbed without permission at the Las Vegas airport security checkpoint. Although what he endured is incredibly offensive, he wrote up a great account of the incident. (Via Boing Boing.)
Miami high school students can skip regular PE (physical education) class and take the online version instead. (Via Obscure Store.)
Practical quantum computing is one step closer.
Asteroid 2002 AA29 shares the same orbit as the Earth "sometimes ahead, sometimes behind, but never quite touching".
Jonah Goldberg has written a scathing review of some of the bad politically oriented reviews of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Because of a recent electricity crisis in Finland, the Finns are being told to turn off their saunas and computers. The government has urged them to instead use wood for heating and to play card games and board games for entertainment.
Einstein's Theory of Relativity in words of four letters or less

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Friday, January 03, 2003

"Tolkien's Eleventy-first: Today would've been JRR Tolkien's 111th birthday. According to the Tolkien Society, the proper thing to do is to raise a glass at 9 pm and say 'The Professor.' Mary-Ann was not available for comment." (Via Metafilter.)
Your TiVo remote control has an unadvertised "30 second skip" Easter Egg command. (Via BBspot.)
The MAVAV website (Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence) was an elaborate (and successful) hoax. Here's the inside story.
Lord of the Rings parody movie clip: The MTV Movie Awards created this hilarious parody movie clip of the "Council of Elrond" scene from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with the permission and cooperation of director Peter Jackson. If you don't have access to the DVD (which includes this clip as an Easter Egg) you can watch it here. (Via Linkfilter.)
Online sperm banking.
Gambling on the Super Bowl? Recent academic research show that sports bettors are no more rational than stock investors and are prone to many of the same fallacies.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Do teaching hospitals use dying and newly deceased patients as medical training dummies for young physicians to practice their invasive procedures? This article claims that this is fairly routine practice, and that this is done without obtaining consent from the patients' families. I personally never saw this when I was in medical school (University of Michigan) and residency (Washington University of St. Louis), but then my particular specialty doesn't involve doing a lot of the procedures listed, such as endotracheal intubation or placing catheters in deep central veins. (Via Plastic.)
Water-powered network protocol (Via B3TA.)
Game of the day: SpamWars. Kill Sid the Evil Spammer!
Political site of the day: "40 Reasons for Gun Control". Makes a lot of my favorite pro-gun arguments with satire. (Via Rachel Lucas.)
Does acupuncture really work?
If you move at close to the speed of light, you can create quantum entanglement in particles with respect to properties that weren't previously entangled. This abstract has more information, noting that "spin and momentum entanglement separately are not Lorentz invariant, the joint entanglement of the wave function is".

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

"Happy Birthday, Dear Internet": Today is the 20th anniversary of the switch from Network Control Protocol (NCP) to Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). And Happy New Year from GeekPress!