Thursday, July 31, 2003

Cool: An Austrian specializing in daring stunt jumps donned a carbon fiber wing and flew across the English Channel on Thursday after being dropped from a plane (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Department of Homeland Security: New Department + Same Bureaucratic Process = Even More Bureaucracy (and more of the accompanying waste/inefficiencies)
The move to pull marshals from those flights was particularly disturbing to some because it coincided with a new high-level hijacking threat issued by the Department of Homeland Security. That warning memo said that 'at least one of these attacks could be executed by the end of the summer,' according to a source familiar with the document
(from MSNBC).
An odd 'collective mind' approach to prediciting the future - The Case for Terrorism Futures:
Projects similar to PAM, like the Iowa Electronic Markets, which speculate on election results, have been surprisingly reliable indicators of what's going to happen next.
The price of orange juice futures has even been shown to accurately predict the weather, noted David Pennock, a senior research scientist at Overture Services who has done extensive surveys on the reliability of such markets
(from Wired).
RIAA will take 2191.78 years to sue everyone:
Reader Michaela Stephens says that if the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is right and that 60 million US folk are file sharing, it's going to take the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) a mighty long time to get round to them all.
She said: 'I pulled out my calculator to see just how long it would take the RIAA to sue all 60 million P2P music file traders at a rate of 75 a day. 60,000,000/75 = 800,000 days to subpoena each person or 800,000 days/365 days in a year = 2191.78 years to subpoena each person'
Obviously the RIAA won't sue everyone, but the fact someone did the math, is kind of amusing (from The Inquirer).
Scientists bend sunlight to the operating theatre:
Israeli scientists have devised the ultimate in blue sky thinking - a beam of sunlight as a surgeon's scalpel. A team at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba report in Nature today that they used solar surgery to burn away a tumour-sized lesion on the liver of an anaesthetised rat
(from Guardian Unlimited).

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

More Flash Mobs:New Yorkers become a mob for fun: "In the latest occurrence, about 200 people converged on a Central Park ridge across from the Museum of Natural History on Thursday. Once in place, the mob tweeted like birds and crowed like roosters, chanted 'Na-ture,' and then dispersed" (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Monday, July 28, 2003

Napster Ready for Holiday Relaunch - 'The fallen song-swapping service, which was knocked offline last year after a prolonged legal battle with the record industry over copyright infringement allegations, will re-emerge as a legal paid music service Napster 2.0' (from PC World, via Yahoo News).
The Command Post - The Werewolf Principle: "Despite what the quagmire chorus would have you believe, this isn't the first time America has tried to rebuild a war-torn, formerly fascist state. "
Darwinian Poetry: Humans 'select' good poems and a computer attempts to 'evolve' the poems it generates into interesting poetry.
Fun Flash: Silly Cat Comix are silly.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Star Wars Kid Files Lawsuit:
The parents of the infamous 'Star Wars Kid' are suing classmates who posted a humiliating video of their son on the Net, according to Canada's Globe and Mail. Quebec teenager Ghyslian Raza was the target of worldwide mockery when a private video he made of himself practicing his lightsaber moves was uploaded to the Net by kids at his school. Now his parents are claiming damages of $160,000 from the families of the four classmates who digitized and published the video. Ghyslain's parents claim their son was so humiliated, he is undergoing psychiatric care and may be marked for life by the experience
(from Wired).
Reuters put Deanna Wrenn's name on a story she says she didn't write (from Opinion Journal).
Bill Clinton on Bush uranium line: 'Everybody makes mistakes' - Jul. 23, 2003: 'You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president,' Clinton said. 'I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That's what I think' (from CNN).
Cool Optical Illusion (click to see it).
Business lessons from the donut and coffee guy:
...this was the first business establishment I've ever been to that lets its customers make their own change... It's also apparent that Ralph [the owner] trusts his customers, and that they both appreciate and return that sense of trust (I know I do). Trust is one of the most difficult 'assets' for companies to acquire, but also one of the most valuable

RIAA Hit List has been made public

RIAA Hit List has been made public. Whether this will shame users who the RIAA plans to subpoena, or simply warn them to avoid the servers, remains to be seen (from Tech TV).

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Amazon plan would allow searching texts of many books (from The New York Times).
Remote backup: TransOrbital is planning backup systems based on the moon (from PC Magazine).
Michael Jackson says Congress should make no laws that could land music fans in jail for downloading songs illegally over the Internet. 'Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws ...,' he said. 'It is the fans that drive the success of the music business; I wish this would not be forgotten' (from CNN).
Uday and Qusay are dead:
On Tuesday, July 22, forces associated with the 101st Airborne Division and Special Operations Forces conducted an operation against suspected regime figures at a residence in Mosul, Iraq. The site is currently being exploited. Four Iraqis were killed in the operation. We have confirmed that two of the dead were Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay
(from Headquarters United States Central Command).

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

A Moscow court awarded the family of a man killed

A Moscow court awarded the family of a man killed in a rebel theater siege last year compensation totaling $50,000 in a landmark ruling following months of legal wrangling, the family's lawyer said Tuesday (from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

The movie industry might 'get it' more than the music industry does: The movie industry is trying a new tactic in its war against people who download pirated copies of films over the Internet - it's asking nicely. 'I don't expect anyone to have sympathy for me or for other executives,' said Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp, whose Twentieth Century Fox studio made the spots. 'What we are endeavoring to do is both communicate that it's wrong and also communicate that there are human stakes and that those stakes are not just millionaires making less millions' (from The Taipei Times).

Monday, July 14, 2003

Pentagon Alters LifeLog Project - and it is still big brother (from Wired). In five years, or however long it ends up, when the system goes on-line for the general population, and I disappear, it will be because right now I said LifeLog=Big Brother. If you are unfamiliar, 'Big Brother' is the identity of the head figure of the absolute totalitarian government in George Orwell's book 1984.
GPS, one of the greatest technological achievements of the 20th century, may change all aspects of life (from Fast Company).
Document links Saddam, bin Laden (from Tennessean).

Friday, July 11, 2003

Funny Flash: Sue All the World, satire at the RIAA's expense (but not monetary expense, I mean, I don't want them to start suing me now ;-).

Sunday, July 6, 2003

As I mentioned before, 'Flash Mobs' are forming all over 'Flash mobs are performance art projects involving large groups of people. Mobilized by e-mail, a mob suddenly materializes in a public place, acts out according to some loose instructions, and then melts away as quickly as it formed' (from Wired).

Friday, July 4, 2003

Ink for home printers is more expensive than champagne. 'The news comes as a Which? survey shows that many cartridges say they are empty long before they are. Some printers warn users that the ink is about to run out. Ignoring the warnings can nearly double the printing output' (from This is London from the Evening Standard).

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

A study of engaged couples suggests that finding a true 'soul mate' may be easier for women than it is for men (from Reuters, via Yahoo News). It seems that the study may not have been a proper double blind study; it may reveal more about the researchers conducting the study, three women, than the engaged couples it is supposed to examine.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix sold 5 million copies on it's first day, making approximatly $100 million dollars that day alone (from The New York Times).
Agent Smiths marching
In Tokyo, many people gathered as 'Agent Smith' from the Matrix. This reminds me of some of the mass gatherings that have happened in New York.