Thursday, September 30, 2004

2nd SpaceShipOne Launch is GO FOR OCTOBER 4th:
Burt Rutan's Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team successfully reached an altitude of 337,500 feet with Mike Melvill (the pilot) onboard plus ballast (approx. 180 Kg). This flight was deemed by the Judges as a successful first flight for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE has just received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th
(from X Prize).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

US Economic Growth Better Than Thought:
The U.S. economy grew faster in the second quarter than previously thought as business inventories rose at the strongest rate in four years, the government said on Wednesday, a sign the soft patch was not as soft as feared
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).
Private Rocket Ship Lands After Space Flight:
SpaceShipOne landed safely on Wednesday in the California desert after a wild corkscrew-like ascent into space in a shot for a $10 million prize offered to the first privately funded, manned craft to reach beyond the atmosphere
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Monday, September 27, 2004

Online Video: LA to New York in four mintues - time lapse film of a cross country drive (family friendly). Quite cool.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Email filtering out of hand:
This e-mail filter thing may sound all fine and dandy, but it can interfere with getting the news out, especially when the big news is boobies. And I don't mean Janet Jackson, I mean the blue-footed booby which might now be found in the Chattahoochee Valley after hitching a ride with Hurricane Ivan. You may get lucky and see one, even without Justin Timberlake's help
(from Ledger-Enquirer).

Friday, September 24, 2004

The trinity of net annoyance: Spam, Spim and SPIT:
A new plague of unwanted messages threatens internet users, according to a US company. Spam and spim - spam by instant messenger - are about to be joined by "spit" - spam over internet telephony. Qovia, based in Frederick, Maryland, have recently filed two patent applications for technology to thwart spit
(from NewScientist.com).

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Dan Rather has apologized for the use of unreal 'memos' on the CBS program '60 mintues.' If you give them 60 mintues, they'll give you an hour.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Sept. 2004 campaign newsletters usability:
Both candidates for president of the United States offer email newsletters with much good content to excite supporters, but miserable subscription interfaces and several other usability problems
(from useit.com). A few percentage points in newsletter ease of use could become a few percentage points at the polls on election day.
Rather Odd:
Of all the loopy statements made by Dan Rather in the 10 days since he decided to throw his career away, my favorite is this, from Dan's interview with the Washington Post on Thursday:
"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story."
Hel-looooo? Earth to the Lost Planet of Ratheria: You can't '"break that story." A guy called "Buckhead" did that, on the Free Republic Web site a couple of hours after you and your money-no-object resources-a-go-go "60 Minutes" crew attempted to pass off four obvious Microsoft Word documents as authentic 1972 typewritten memos about Bush's skipping latrine duty in the Spanish-American War, or whatever it was
(from Chicago Sun-Times).

India launched an education satellite

India launched an education satellite:

India's space agency said it successfully launched the nation's first satellite for educational services on Monday, which is expected to boost distance learning in a country with a huge rural population

(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Cell Phone for Vision-Impaired:
A new cellular application promises to help vision-impaired people who can't read the screen of a mobile phone. It responds to spoken commands with voice recognition technology and reads back menu options, text messages, and other information to the user
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
In the better-late-than-never department:
CBS anchor Dan Rather acknowledged for the first time yesterday that there are serious questions about the authenticity of the documents he used to question President Bush's National Guard record last week on "60 Minutes"
(from The Washington Post).

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004

More on CBS and 60 minutes' bad journalism:
The only problem was the memo. Amazingly, this guy at the Air National Guard base, Lt. Col. Killian, had the only typewriter in Texas in 1973 using a prototype version of the default letter writing program of Microsoft Word, complete with the tiny little superscript thingy that automatically changes July 4th to July 4th. To do that on most 1973 typewriters, you had to unscrew the keys, grab a hammer and give them a couple of thwacks to make the ''t'' and ''h'' squish up all tiny, and even think it looked a bit wonky. You'd think having such a unique typewriter Killian would have used a less easily traceable model for his devastating ''CYA'' memo. Also, he might have chosen a font other than Times New Roman, designed for the Times of London in the 1930s and not licensed to Microsoft by Rupert Murdoch (the Times' owner) until the 1980s
(from Chicago Sun-Times).