Monday, April 18, 2005

- I have Star Wars fever! I have it bad...real bad. It's deep in my bones, and I can't shake it. I don't think I want to shake it. It's more painful than Marburg fever, and twice as contagious. I have been debating on various SW-related messageboards about how much money Revenge of the Sith will make. I won't frighten you with an endless, manic diatribe. I will simply say that if ROTS is better than the first two prequels, I think it will make around 370 million. If it's the same quality as the first two prequels, it will make around 310 million. Here are links to websites that keep track of box-office totals. These websites will be fun to read during the summer blockbuster season:

- Remember the scene in Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford tests a person to find out if it is a replicant? For over fifty years, human beings have been devising tests that hopefully can determine whether something is a computer or an actual human. Here is an example of one such test. Some web-servers use this test to keep automated computer programs from registering with their websites:

- A few nights ago, I was watching an interesting program on the Discovery Science channel about future evolution on earth. The program showed clips of earth and it's animal life 5 million, 100 million, and 200 million years in the future. Obviously, such conjecture is pure guess-work, but nevertheless, it's fun to speculate. What fascinated me the most was the depiction of future tectonic shifts in the earth's crust. After watching this show, I decided to cruise the net looking for animations which show how earth's prehistoric crust (also known as Pangea), transformed into the current continents. This link is the best animation I could find. It's amazing how the continents kind of fit together like a jigsaw puzzle:

- I want to make a formal apology to anyone who is reading this blog. During my entries two weeks ago, I made a link to an online encyclopedia called Wikipedia. It's quite an exhaustive encyclopedia, and anyone can add or edit articles on that website. I thought the website had an editorial process, but I was wrong. Many of the articles, especially the ones dealing with politics or religion, are extremely biased. As with most websites on the internet, the people who hate something are much louder than the people who love something, so the articles tend to be very negative about the topics they explain. The article about George W. Bush, for example, reads like a pamphlet Michael Moore would hand to college students. I will keep the link to that encyclopedia on my web-blog, but if you visit it, take the encyclopedia with an extra-large grain of salt.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

- Ever heard of Moore's law? Its not about physics, chemistry, or any other physical science. It's a law regarding computers. In 1965 the co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, hypothesized that the speed of a micro-processor (your computer) would double every 24 months. This hypothesis, even forty years later, turned out to be correct (thus becoming a law.) Some computer-scientists feel that Moore's law may be coming to an end in the next ten years. These scientists believe that unless some brand-new, and completely radical way of building a computer is discovered, the acceleration of the computer's processing speed will dwindle, and eventually we will hit a wall regarding how fast a computer can function. Others feel that Moore's law will stay true for a quite a while. Here is an article about Moore' law, and what might happen to computers in the future:

- I am always looking for free online encyclopedias, and I finally found a really good one. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, that is also considered open-source. That means anyone can write an article for the encyclopedia, and even edit articles. The website does have an editorial process, and it seems rather professional. Here is a link to the encyclopedia. I was astounded at the number of the articles contained in Wikipedia.

- Not all search-engines are created equal. The term "google" has entered our daily vernacular as a way of asking someone to search for something. I use google several times a day, but Google isnt always the best search-engine to use. There are many search engines on the internet, and some are better at finding certain types of information that others. For example, if you want to find a picture of a particular place or thing, you have a better chance of finding it using Yahoo's image search, than Google's image search. Here is a webpage that tells you which search-engine you should use when looking for certain topics:

- Speaking of Google, the popular search-engine now offers the ability to search for locations using satellite pictures. I tried it last night, and found a picture of my home from outer space! When you visit the webpage, you will notice a link in the upper-right hand corner called "Satellite." This changes the webpage from a regular map viewer, to a satellite picture viewer. Try to find your home. It's fun to view your neighborhood from a top-down perspective. Here is the link: