Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cloud computing mysteries, via your smartphone

- A short video from IBM about cloud computing and one of the people who invented cloud computing:

- Can hot water really freeze faster than cold water?  It seems illogical, but in some situations, hot water freezes faster:

- Five of the most bizarre unsolved mysteries.  Not sure how much truth there is in each one of these mysteries.  I am shocked the first one hasn't yet been made into a movie:

- A chart showing the differences between my beloved Nexus One smartphone and the iPhone 3GS:

- A few of my friends have asked me why I spend so much time writing about smartphones on my website. The line between desktop, laptop and smartphones is becoming more and more blurred.  Smartphones are really just smaller versions of computers, so I am naturally fascinated by them.

 I bought my Nexus One in January.  At the time, it was the most powerful smartphone on the market.  It is now late March, and at least two smartphones have passed it, technology-wise.  Here is an article with five smartphones to keep an eye on:

Monday, March 22, 2010

The HCR bill causes Americans to Wilhelm scream!

- Apparently Iron Man 2 has the Wilhelm scream in it.  So did the original Iron Man movie.  Some of the greatest movies ever made have the Wilhelm scream in them.  What is the Wilhelm scream?  I just found out about it a few hours ago.  It's a running gag among the film/sound mixing community.  Follow this link to learn more:

- It happened.  It happened, and you are just gonna have to deal with it.  The House of representatives passed the diabolical HCR bill, and the senate will also soon pass it.  The courts will likely not touch it, and in the future it will be almost impossible to repeal it.

The next time someone says to you, "elections don't matter", simply tell them about what happened on March 21st, 2010.  Except for illness/death to you or a family member, NOTHING should be more important to you than elections.  Elections have a profound influence on your life.  Football has no actual effect on your life.  The next Star Wars movie has no actual effect on your life. The belt you are wearing that clashes with your shoes, doesn't have a real effect on your life.  Politics has a real effect on your life.  The next time someone says to you, "all politicians are the same", let them know what the democrats included in the HCR bill and how Republicans would have wanted something completely different.  There are HUGE differences between democrats and republicans.  The two parties believe in very, very different things.  Not since the Civil War has this been more obvious.

Alas, there are some rays of sunshine.  The National Review offers a few glimmers of hope.  Read the article, but let me summarize: get Republicans back in control of congress.  A republican congress can smooth the edges of this health care fiasco, and more importantly, stop Obama from punishing the American people with more anti-freedom legislation:

- Visualizing the internet:

-A few years ago I wrote about how to survive if you were suddenly flung 1,000 years into the past.  Take the following cheat-sheet along with you.  It should really help you impress the locals:

- How robots think.  Long, and mildly sprinkled with techno-jargon, but a worthwhile read:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Even Captain Solo strapped to a jetpack can calculate pi

- Happy pi day! (March 14 --- 03/14)  Hard to believe there is a number that occurs in the natural world that is infinite and never repeats itself.  That's the nature of pi.  If it did repeat itself, it wouldn't be a true circle. Here is an article explaining how pi works, and two articles about how you can easily calculate pi.  Neither article requires a degree in mathematics.  If you know how to add or multiply fractions, you can follow along.  We did the Monte Carlo method in my super-computer programming class a few weeks ago:



- Want to buy a jetpack for 86 grand?  Now you can, and you don't need a pilot's license or even a driver's license to use one in the U.S.  This sounds like the most legitimate personal flying device so far, but some obvious questions pop into my mind after reading this article...
1. How INSANELY dangerous would it be to actually use this thing!?!?
2. How fast does it go, and how far can it go?  The article only says it can fly for 30 minutes.
3. Can devices like this really become the future of personal travel?  Could we ever properly organize mass-travel using these contraptions and could we ever achieve a safety level high enough for the general public to accept this form of transportation?

- Ten best ad-libbed moments in movies.  Sorry, but the best one isn't even on the list.  In the Empire Strikes Back, Leia says to Solo, "I love you." and Solo immediately shoots back, "I know."  Harrison Ford was suppose to respond with, "I love you too", but convinced Lucas at the last moment to let him change the line.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tony Stark and Jack Donaghy ignore speeding cameras

- Arizona was the first state to install speeding cameras.  Arizona now leads the nation in speeding camera installations and Arizona has gone state-wide with its speeding cameras.  However, those cameras may get removed after November.  A ballot initiative will allow voters to get rid of the cameras.  I say good riddance!  Anyone who claims these cameras are more for public safety than to generate government revenue is a damn fool!  Speeding cameras = taxes.  It's the exact same principle:

- My favorite TV show 30 Rock, got picked up for another season, despite its horrendous ratings.  Shows like 30 Rock get renewed not for their overall ratings, but for the audiences they reach, and 30 Rock's core audience is a  gold mine for high-brow products:

- The second trailer for Iron Man has hit the net.  Here is a link.  Slightly better than the first trailer.  I still don't know what to make of this movie.  Trying to keep my expectations low:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Charts and graphs time!

- A chart, with accurate scaling, of the Mariana sea trench.  Make sure you click on the chart to zoom-in:

- Another big chart showing the demographics of World of Warcraft:

- Microsoft takes off the gloves against Google.  Apple did the same thing (in an indirect way) just today:

- A list of 100 very successful people who never earned a college degree.  It's not a truly homogeneous list: