Tuesday, January 30, 2007

PC World says farewell to floppy

news article:

The time has come to bid farewell to one of the PC's more stalwart friends - the floppy disk.

Computing superstore PC World said it will no longer sell the storage devices, affectionately known as floppies, once existing stock runs out.

New storage systems, coupled with a need to store more than the 1.44 megabytes of data held by a standard floppy, have led to its demise.


As for me, there will always be room in my life for the floppy disk... right next to my 8-track tapes.

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Good news for New Jersey residents

Good news for New Jersey residents:

"Following five hours of debate, the [New Jersey] state Assembly approved the centerpiece of the property tax relief effort Monday to cut most homeowners' taxes by 20 percent."


This will put some grocery money back into the wallets of New Jersey residents. The timing couldn't be better; New Jersey residents are now cautioned to eat Squirrel only twice a week:

"Squirrel has never really caught on as a popular diet staple, and now New Jersey officials are adding another, quite serious reason to shy away from eating the woodland creatures: lead contamination. ... A letter sent Tuesday to Ringwood residents advised them that children should not eat squirrel more than once a month, pregnant women should limit their intake to twice a month, and adults should not eat squirrel more than twice a week."


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Given the popularity of strange names for babies of celebrities, combined with the observation that the young generation sees email, the web and IM as a natural part of life...

How long before we start seeing baby names like...


LEET (or 1337)

or perhaps a name like "Colon Parenthesis Smith" ... which would be written as :) Smith

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Monday, January 29, 2007

More Moore

from Today's Papers:

Intel's new chip design means that Moore's Law, which posits that chips double their computing power every two years, will continue to be true, refuting skeptics who believed that engineers had recently hit a wall in making them any more powerful.

Silicon Valley's hometown paper, the San Jose Mercury News, quotes the eponymous Moore himself saying that the development "marks the biggest change in transistor technology" since the 1960s.

But what does this mean for the electronics consumer? The best the Times can do is that it will make it easier "for cellphones to play video at length -- a demanding digital task -- with less battery drain."

Moore's Law is the empirical observation made in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months. It is attributed to Gordon E. Moore, a co-founder of Intel.


"Cramming more components onto integrated circuits", Electronics Magazine 19 April 1965

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Maize markup

from Today's Papers:

The price of corn has risen 80 percent in the last year because of rising ethanol use, and the Post reports from Mexico in a front-page story that the price of tortillas, a staple food, has tripled or quadrupled as a result.

"Mexico is in the grip of the worst tortilla crisis in its modern history," the paper says without, unfortunately, providing any context of other tortilla crises.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's like making fun of the National Enquirer...

Martha Stewart has rendered her judgment on the decor of the International Space Station, USA Today reports.

In a segment on her television show to be aired today, "Stewart noted later that there are limited options for spiffing up the station, whose interior is a jumble of computers and research gear. 'You can't hang curtains. Everything has to be tied down,' she pointed out. 'It could be, maybe, modernized a little bit and made a little more sleek inside.'"

She also empathized with being cooped up and having to eat institutional food. "'I know just as well as anybody that for five or six months, you can get along with a limited diet,' says Stewart, who spent five months in federal prison for lying about a stock sale. 'You just have to go with the flow, I'm sure.'

Stewart was hoping to prepare some meals for billionaire Charles Simonyi -- Martha's current beau -- to take on his space flight, but Russian dietary and packaging rules got in the way. Luckily, Russian space officials had already approved some meals developed by French chef Alain Ducasse.

"There's a wonderful confit of duck, there's a puree of parsnip and celeriac, all kinds of elaborate desserts, and (Simonyi) is taking all of those things," she said.

The meals NASA provides are mostly dehydrated or freeze-dried and "don't look appetizing," Stewart said. She declined to criticize NASA's food, saying nutrition should be the agency's top priority.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

How White and Nerdy are you ?

How White and Nerdy are you ?

Tell the truth, now


A use for leftover floppy disks

How to Make a Starship Enterprise Out of a Floppy Disk


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How "American" are you?

Click on http://www.peterwhybrow.com/books/americanmania/quiz.html

Monday, January 15, 2007

: pithy paragraph

I'm reading "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. The principle character is Oskar Schell, a precocious nine-year-old boy, whose hobbies include: wearing only white clothes, playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" on his tambourine, and creating Edible Art based on Meteorological Phenomena.

You can tell you've got a good novel when there'a a passage that succinctly summarizes the way a character's mind works. At one point, Oskar Schell says:

"I read in National Geographic that there are more people alive now, than have died in all of human history. In other words, if everyone wanted to play Hamlet at once, they couldn't, because there aren't enough skulls."

Ue o muite arukoo / I Look Up When I Walk

"Ue o muite arukoo" (aka "Sukiyaki") by Sakamoto Kyu, was a novelty song that became America's #1 song in June, 1963.

Here's a website with more MP3s of the song "Sukiyaki" than you can shake a stick at.


Make that... shake a chopstick at.

Saturday, January 13, 2007



In early January each year, members of the American Dialect Society vote at their Annual Meeting for their
words of the year in various categories. The winners this time were:

Most Useful: "climate canary", an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe to come;

Most Creative: "lactard", someone who is lactose-intolerant;

Most Unnecessary: "SuriKat", the supposed nickname of the baby girl of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes;

Most Outrageous: "Cambodian accessory", Angelina Jolie's adopted child (who is Cambodian);

Most Euphemistic: "waterboarding", the US interrogation technique in which the subject is immobilised and doused with water to simulate drowning;

Most Likely to Succeed: "YouTube", as a verb, to use the YouTube Web site or to have a video of oneself posted on the site;

Least Likely to Succeed: "grup", a Generation-Xer who doesn't act his age (the word is said to derive from an ancient episode of Star Trek in which it was a mangled form of "grown-up").

The overall winner of the Word of the Year was: "to pluto" or "to be plutoed": to demote or devalue
someone or something (you may recall this happened to the former planet Pluto when the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet).

WORLD WIDE WORDS ISSUE 522 Saturday 13 January 2007
Editor: Michael Quinion, Thornbury, Bristol, UK

Friday, January 12, 2007

Live-Action Pac Man

Don't see the ball... BE the ball...


(if only i could play the live-action version of Leisure Suit Larry...)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

from a friend of mine:

Skanky Dick Morris points out an interesting fact: Of the four prominent Republican presidential contenders -- McCain, Gingrich, Giuliani and Romney -- only the Mormon hasn't had more than one wife.

Monday, January 08, 2007

two forms of "Beer Goggles"

Beer Goggles

Made by reusing empty beer bottles, these goggles are a playful take on eyewear.

Pick out your favorite beer, or even make the selection based upon and interesting glass (think Delirium), then either drink it down or send it to me and I'll take care of it, and the construction of Beer Goggles will begin.

Then I will fit any prescription or tint of lenses into the frames and they will be ready to wear out to your local pub.


...and here's a webpage which proposes a scientific formula for the famed "Beer Goggles" effect:


Fixing up the home? Live Search can help

Sunday, January 07, 2007

humor from The Onion

From The Onion's American Voices, a "man-on-the-street" parody:

Question: "President Gerald Ford, our nation's 38th President, died Tuesday at the age of 93 at his desert home in California. What do you think?"

Sherry Scott, Surveyor:
"When they're carrying him out in the coffin, in front of the press, I think it would be funny if they 'accidentally' drop him down the stairs."


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Uncomfortable coincidence

Last week, we saw the death of an ex-president (Gerald Ford), AND the death of a rhythm and blues superstar (James Brown)

In 2004, Ronald Reagan died on June 5th, and Ray Charles died on June 10th.

Perhaps Jimmy Carter and B.B. King should start checking up on each other.

5,000 years of religion in 90 seconds

How has the geography of religion evolved over the centuries, and where has it sparked wars?

Our map gives us a brief history of the world's most well-known religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism.

Selected periods of inter-religious bloodshed are also highlighted.

Want to see 5,000 years of religion in 90 seconds?

Ready, Set, Go!


Monday, January 01, 2007

Celebrity Death Beeper and more

Celebrity Death Beeper
Emails you when a celebrity or sports figure dies.
No bull.
Now checking for deaths every 10 minutes



And the Dead People Server has a new twist:

"Now, you can access the latest deaths list from your cell phone
at: "


The Dead People Server once broke up a party at my house.

Back in the mid-90's, my wife and I had several couples over for a get-together. At one point in the evening, someone mentioned Ella Fitzgerald.

One person commented on her passing. Another was sure she was alive. A third thought she was alive, but in critical condition in a hospital.

It was the early days of the World Wide Web, and I had access to it at home via my workplace computer account. I mentioned that I could look it up on the Internet. Most of my friends are bit-heads to some degree, so the prospect of surfing the web at home was novel, and irresistible.

So all of us guys went upstairs to my computer room. I called up the Dead People Server. We looked up Ella Fitzgerald, and then we guys stayed upstairs to surf the net, leaving our wives and girlfriends downstairs, effectively ending the party.