Friday, August 29, 2003
ObPoliticalSatire: "Mississippi Judge Ordered to Remove Twelve-foot Burning Cross From Courthouse"
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
ObPoliticalPiece: Where have all the human shields gone? (contains mild profanity).
"Ya know, with all the bombings and destruction in Iraq, especially with the attacks on the infrastructure, like the oil lines, the electricity, the water...(Quote from PNIM via Neoflux.)
Where the f-ck are the human shields? I thought they went there to make sure this kinda crap didn't happen. Where are the granola eating turdburgers who went bravely to pre-war Iraq and placed their bodies in harm's way so that a stray incoming round would hit them, rather than the baby milk factory?
I guess they just up and left, when they all survived the war. They need to turn right around, get their collective asses back, because someone's blowing up the water pipes and people are going thirsty. The infrastructure of Iraq is being destroyed! It's killing the chilllllllldren! Hundreds of thousands of innocents are at risk! Don't you CARE about the suffering of the Iraqi people from indiscriminant bombing and ruthless attacks? Come back! You are needed!
The real reason is, of course, that they stand a greater risk of getting whacked by some crazed thug than getting hit by US military fire....but they knew that going in, didn't they?"
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Tolkien movie marathon: Diana has posted a blog entry letting us know that extended editions of the first two Lord of the Rings movies will be re-released in theaters just prior to the release of the third and final film Return of the King. If you're a die-hard fan, you can also watch all three films back-to-back. I wonder what the odds are that I'll catch the flu that day and have to call in sick at work?...
Monday, August 25, 2003
"A man whose sight was restored after 40 years of blindness had to shut his eyes when he began skiing again". Although he became an expert skiier when blind, when he tries to ski with his eyes open his visual system gives him a sense of "imminent collision". (Via Fark.)
Sunday, August 24, 2003
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Friday, August 22, 2003
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Monday, August 18, 2003
Sunday, August 17, 2003
Saturday, August 16, 2003
Best Nigerian 419 parody so far:
DEAR SIR/MADAM:(Via GMSV.)
I AM MR. DARL MCBRIDE CURRENTLY SERVING AS THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE SCO GROUP, FORMERLY KNOWN AS CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, IN LINDON, UTAH, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I KNOW THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOUR BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD NO PREVIOUS COMMUNICATIONS OR BUSINESS DEALINGS BEFORE NOW.
MY ASSOCIATES HAVE RECENTLY MADE CLAIM TO COMPUTER SOFTWARES WORTH AN ESTIMATED $1 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS. I AM WRITING TO YOU IN CONFIDENCE BECAUSE WE URGENTLY REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE TO OBTAIN THESE FUNDS.
IN THE EARLY 1970S THE AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION DEVELOPED AT GREAT EXPENSE THE COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE KNOWN AS UNIX. UNFORTUNATELY THE LAWS OF MY COUNTRY PROHIBITED THEM FROM SELLING THESE SOFTWARES AND SO THEIR VALUABLE SOURCE CODES REMAINED PRIVATELY HELD. UNDER A SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT SOME PROGRAMMERS FROM THE CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF BERKELEY DID ADD MORE CODES TO THIS OPERATING SYSTEM, INCREASING ITS VALUE, BUT NOT IN ANY WAY TO DILUTE OR DISPARAGE OUR FULL AND RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP OF THESE CODES, DESPITE ANY AGREEMENT BETWEEN AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH AND THE CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF BERKELEY, WHICH AGREEMENT WE DENY AND DISAVOW.
IN THE YEAR 1984 A CHANGE OF REGIME IN MY COUNTRY ALLOWED THE AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION TO MAKE PROFITS FROM THESE SOFTWARES. IN THE YEAR 1990 OWNERSHIP OF THESE SOFTWARES WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE CORPORATION UNIX SYSTEM LABORATORIES. IN THE YEAR 1993 THIS CORPORATION WAS SOLD TO THE CORPORATION NOVELL. IN THE YEAR 1994 SOME EMPLOYEES OF NOVELL FORMED THE CORPORATION CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, WHICH BEGAN TO DISTRIBUTE AN UPSTART OPERATING SYSTEM KNOWN AS LINUX. IN THE YEAR 1995 NOVELL SOLD THE UNIX SOFTWARE CODES TO SCO. IN THE YEAR 2001 OCCURRED A SEPARATION OF SCO, AND THE SCO BRAND NAME AND UNIX CODES WERE ACQUIRED BY THE CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, AND IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR THE CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL WAS RENAMED SCO GROUP, OF WHICH I CURRENTLY SERVE AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER.
MY ASSOCIATES AND I OF THE SCO GROUP ARE THEREFORE THE FULL AND RIGHTFUL OWNERS OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARES KNOWN AS UNIX. OUR ENGINEERS HAVE DISCOVERED THAT NO FEWER THAN SEVENTY (70) LINES OF OUR VALUABLE AND PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODES HAVE APPEARED IN THE UPSTART OPERATING SYSTEM LINUX. AS YOU CAN PLAINLY SEE, THIS GIVES US A CLAIM ON THE MILLIONS OF LINES OF VALUABLE SOFTWARE CODES WHICH COMPRISE THIS LINUX AND WHICH HAS BEEN SOLD AT GREAT PROFIT TO VERY MANY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES. OUR LEGAL EXPERTS HAVE ADVISED US THAT OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THESE CODES IS WORTH AN ESTIMATED ONE (1) BILLION U.S. DOLLARS.
UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY EXTRACTING OUR FUNDS FROM THESE COMPUTER SOFTWARES. TO THIS EFFECT I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE MANDATE BY MY COLLEAGUES TO CONTACT YOU AND ASK FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. WE ARE PREPARED TO SELL YOU A SHARE IN THIS ENTERPRISE, WHICH WILL SOON BE VERY PROFITABLE, THAT WILL GRANT YOU THE RIGHTS TO USE THESE VALUABLE SOFTWARES IN YOUR BUSINESS ENTERPRISE. UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE NOT ABLE AT THIS TIME TO SET A PRICE ON THESE RIGHTS. THEREFORE IT IS OUR RESPECTFUL SUGGESTION, THAT YOU MAY BE IMMEDIATELY A PARTY TO THIS ENTERPRISE, BEFORE OTHERS ACCEPT THESE LUCRATIVE TERMS, THAT YOU SEND US THE NUMBER OF A BANKING ACCOUNT WHERE WE CAN WITHDRAW FUNDS OF A SUITABLE AMOUNT TO GUARANTEE YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS ENTERPRISE. AS AN ALTERNATIVE YOU MAY SEND US THE NUMBER AND EXPIRATION DATE OF YOUR MAJOR CREDIT CARD, OR YOU MAY SEND TO US A SIGNED CHECK FROM YOUR BANKING ACCOUNT PAYABLE TO "SCO GROUP" AND WITH THE AMOUNT LEFT BLANK FOR US TO CONVENIENTLY SUPPLY.
KINDLY TREAT THIS REQUEST AS VERY IMPORTANT AND STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. I HONESTLY ASSURE YOU THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% LEGAL AND RISK-FREE.
Friday, August 15, 2003
Thursday, August 14, 2003
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Monday, August 11, 2003
The Rubik's Cube is making a comeback. There's a lengthy discussion about "speedcubing" -- trying to solve a cube in the fastest time possible. My favorite quote from the article:
Indeed, a live speedcubing demonstration (there are dozens of videos online) can be almost too dorky to describe -- harking back to junior high and all those negative feelings toward the kids who blew the curve in algebra. A world-class speedcuber's skills are a wonder to behold, if you can suppress the urge to chuck an eraser at his head.(Via Linkfilter.) If you don't have your own Rubik's cube handy, you can practice with this online version.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
Saturday, August 09, 2003
Friday, August 08, 2003
Thursday, August 07, 2003
FBI Guide to Concealable Weapons: The FBI has issued a fascinating document for law enforcement officers demonstrating ways that someone could sneak a weapon past a security checkpoint, such as at an airport or courthouse. The document includes images of what these weapons would look like to the naked eye as well as with an x-ray machine. These are all commercially available. Many of these are legitimate tools, but some of the items are quite ingenious and clearly designed to disguise their true nature as weapons. (Warning -- lengthy .pdf file.)
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Whatever happened to HavenCo, the off-shore data haven based on the artificial island nation of "Sealand" which was featured in a Wired magazine cover story from July 2000? According to former chief technology officer Ryan Lackey, the company has since fallen upon hard times. Here's the latest update. (Via Techdirt.)
What time is it? Apparently, this is not as simple a question as one might believe because there is not a single universal agreed-upon standard. Instead, there are multiple standards including Coordinated Universal Time, International Atomic Time, GPS time, and Greenwich mean time that don't quite agree with one another. (Via Boing Boing.)
Monday, August 04, 2003
One of the coolest display technologies I've ever seen is this walk-through fog screen. The system generates a thin screen of dry fog which allows users to project images that appear to float in mid-air. Plus viewers can literally walk through the display "wall". (Via Metafilter.)
Sunday, August 03, 2003
Saturday, August 02, 2003
Friday, August 01, 2003
Virtual reality simulators can now replicate the taste and "mouthfeel" of food. This solves the classic problem posed in The Matrix -- "How did the machines really know what Tasty Wheat tasted like, huh?. Maybe they got it wrong. Maybe what I think Tasty Wheat tasted like actually tasted like oatmeal or tuna fish."
Yahoo! is looking for a new yodeler. They're hosting a nationwide talent search in which the winner will receive $10,000. The previous yodeler won a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Yahoo!, so the new yodeler will be a bargain by comparison. (Via Techdirt.)