Archive for April, 2006

 

Compression

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

This looks neat, if it works:

A Concord company called Euclid Discoveries says it has invented a video-compression technology that could spawn a lucrative new market for Hollywood or a major new crisis.

The firm says its EuclidVision system can compress digital images to make them much smaller than today’s most common compression technologies, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4,which were created by the Motion Picture Experts Group. MPEG-2 is the compression system used on today’s DVD movie disks. MPEG-4 is a next-generation system that can reduce the size of a movie even further.

I say it will spawn both.

Read more here.

 
 

All You Tony’s Look Alike To Me

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

So who Wrote the article, Tony Blankley or Tony Snow? No matter, it pretty much encompasses my sentiments on the whole Bush oil investigation. O, except for the end:

The president has been poorly advised to take this step down the path. He should return to the stout defense of the reliability of the marketplace for which we all know he stands.

I wish I shared his (their?) confidence.

 
 

Bush Is Conservative… NOT!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Check it:

The Bush presidency often is called conservative. That is a mistake. It is populist and radical, and its principal energies have roots in American history, and these roots are not conservative.[...]

Because Evangelicalism is sustained by no structure of ideas, and, beyond that, has no institutional support in a continuing church, it flares up in repeated “Awakenings,” and then subsides as the emotion dissipates. Because it is populist and homemade, its assertions tend often to be ridiculous, the easy targets for the latest version of H.L. Mencken.

If we recall Leo Strauss’s formulation that ” Athens and Jerusalem” — science and spiritual aspiration — are the core of Western civilization, American Evangelicalism is a threat to both, through ignorance of both.

Except for that major qualification, Evangelicalism would not matter much if it were a private superstition, a sort of hobby, except that the Evangelicalism of the Bush variety has real and often dangerous effects on the world in which the rest of us, and even they, live.

During the 2004 presidential election perhaps the most scandalous of these arose as an issue in the campaign, stem-cell research. In August 2001, Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for such research involving fertilized cells created after 2001. This severely inhibited research which had indeed proved promising. Bush claimed to have issued his order for “moral reasons,” but all the moral reasons seem to support the research.
Other Bush-inspired policies with severe implications for public health began to form a list as long as your arm. In fact, despite their potentiality for real harm, they possess a comical sort of zaniness. As reported in The Washington Post, they include [...] that book the federal bookstore at the Grand Canyon was obliged to carry, maintaining that the Grand Canyon was caused by Noah’s Flood. Geology shows that the canyon took millions of years to form by erosion. No problem. Geology is wrong.

Oh my… Read the whole thing here.

 
 

Keystroke Logging

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Every employer needs one of these. Especially Adam’s:

This wonderful little gadget is for sale over at Thinkgeek. It is colored an innocuous IBM grey so no one will notice when you attach it to their keyboard. It fits between the back of the PC and the keyboard cable. It needs no power and it can record 130,000 keystrokes. It works like a software keystroke logger. Once it is installed it just captures anything that is typed: usernames, passwords, URLs, email, banking info, everything. To access the data the owner of the device just types the password into any word processor and then you start to communicate with the device. It is very slick. Of course the primary difference between this and a software keystroke logger is that there is NO WAY to detect it and remove it.

Read more here.

 
 

Make Your Own Action Figure

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Wanna make your own action figure? Visit Herobuilders.com.

Send in a front and profile face shot and they’ll make an action figure based on you or your friend. Wow.

 
 

Guards

Friday, April 21st, 2006

WOW-Cops Mashup. Pretty funny.

 
 

Mexican Chop Suey

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Yummie!

A Mexican priest has confessed to strangling a woman with whom he had an 18-month-old child, before chopping up and dumping her body, authorities say.

Cesar Torres, 42, admitted killing his lover, 22-year-old Veronica Andrade Salinas, on Easter Sunday, a state attorney general said.

A row between the two erupted shortly after Torres had said Mass.

Yeah, mass can often get in the way of a relationship.

Read more here.

 
 

Milk is Money

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Here’s a venture for you: Camel Milk!

The future for camel milk is so bright that the FAO predicts that the dairy product could appear one day on European supermarket shelves.

But certain structural problems must first be overcome. Although demand from the Sahara to Mongolia is booming, the 5.4 million tonnes produced every year isn’t enough to go round.

The FAO is confident however that investment within the sector – not only at local level – can help camel milk meet demand and even move into lucrative markets in the Middle East and the West.

The organisation estimates there are an estimated 200 million potential customers in the Arab world and millions more in Africa, Europe and the Americas.

“The potential is massive,” said FAO dairy and meat expert Anthony Bennett. “Milk is money.”

They go on to discuss Camel cheese and chocolate.

MOO!!

Read more here.

 
 

Iran Again

Friday, April 21st, 2006

The WSJ chimes in, with an interesting but half-fearted editorial:

Our point today is not to advocate any specific course of action. But the Administration can’t postpone any longer a candid discussion about the nature and urgency of the Iranian threat. That discussion must include the Congress; this would be helpful not least as a way of smoking out exactly what Senator Lugar and his fellow-grand bargainers are really proposing as an alternative to sanctions or force. If they think an Iranian nuke is acceptable, they should say so.

Above all, the President must begin to educate the American public about what is at stake in Iran and what the U.S. might be prepared to do about it. Until he does so, he will be hostage to a series of increasingly distressing Tehran “announcements,” the pace and timing of which will be dictated by the clerics and zealots who wish us ill.

Read the whole thing here.

 
 

Machiavelli Test

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Take the Salon Machiavelli Test. Here’s how I scored:

The Machiavelli personality test has a range of 0-100
Your Machiavelli score is: 68
You are a high Mach, you endorse Machiavelli’s opinions.

Most people fall somewhere in the middle, but there’s a significant minority at either extreme.