Saturday, February 27, 2010

The first hard drive was not fueled by Bloom energy, but it was taller than William Wallace and Paul Ryan

- The first hard-drive.  You would have trouble fitting this into your garage:

- The real history of William Wallace:

- Any time I read an article about a new energy technology that will revolutionize the world, red-flags immediately go off in my mind.  Here's the real scoop about the Bloom Box energy cells:

- Continuing my series on future Republicans to keep an eye on, watch-out for Paul Ryan, congressman from Wisconsin.  Ryan has already announced that he will not run for president in 2012, but if Obama gets re-elected, I guarantee Ryan will run in 2016.  Pros and Cons...
- Telegenic
- Former Jack Kemp staffer
- From a purple state
- Policy wonk
- Relatively young

- He is a congressman, so he is not well-known
- Supports un-popular positions, like radically slashing medicare and medicaid (scares the jeepers out of senior citizens.)
- A deficit hawk, which seems to clash with his Jack Kemp, supply-side history.

More about Paul Ryan:,8599,1964754,00.html

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Miracle on Ice, eye color and 3G speeds

- Ten things about the miracle on ice.  Let me spoil one of them...I don't care what you remember, you did not watch the hockey game live.  Only Canadians watched it live.  The game was shown on American TV one hour after the actual game had ended.  However, in 1980 there was no internet, no cell-phones and no email to quickly share information, so very few Americans knew their hockey team had won before they watched the game:

- What color eyes would your children have?  The following website gives you the percentages:

- 3G cell-phone performance tests of the four biggest service providers in 13 major cities:

Friday, February 19, 2010

The 1939 World's Fair: No Twitter, Facebook, House or Fringe?

- How people predicted the future at the 1939's World Fair.  Some interesting insights:

- A website that dissects the medicine in the TV show House, the science in the TV show Fringe, and is devoted to comic books?  How did I not know about this website earlier?  Hat tip to my good friend Randy:

- Age analysis of users for all the major social networking sites:

- As you may have noticed from the programs on the right side of this website, I enjoy using twitter.  I particularly enjoy reading it from my Nexus One Android smartphone while standing in line or waiting for something to finish.  The Android OS market is flooded with twitter applications.  I have tried them all and some day I may write a comparison of each one.  Right now I am using a twitter app called Touiteur.  It's the best one I have stumbled upon so far.  If you have an Android OS smartphone, give it a try and let me know what you think:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Skinny Friday and dont watch the Oscars, I have the winners right here...

- Happy Fat Tuesday!  Everyone knows about Fat Tuesday, but let me introduce you to a lesser known day of celebration: Skinny Friday.  Skinny Friday is always the Friday following Fat Tuesday.  Many years ago on Skinny Friday, the venerable and absent-minded Saint Swithins (the patron saint of leaving all your eggs in one basket) led the swizzle sticks off of all international flights.  A truly momentous occasion!  I will certainly be celebrating Skinny Friday a few days from now, will you?

Besides Skinny Friday and Fat Tuesday, much of the world knows Fat Tuesday by another name: Pancake day!  Yep, I am serious.  Do me a favor today, every time someone says the word "pancake" near you, I want you to quietly say "bing."  Here's more about pancake day.  What a great week!  Mardi Gras, Pancake day and Skinny Friday!

- My Academy award picks.  Don't bother sitting through 3+ hours of dangerous, ill-informed, liberal egomaniacs giving speeches about how great their lives are.  I have your Oscar winners right here:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker.  Dear lord, please don't let James Cameron win.  Cameron makes movies for pre-teen morons who will see his movies over, and over, and over again.  Titanic is unwatchable (I have tried watching it on four different occasions.  I can't make it longer than 20 minutes without doubling-over in agony) and Avatar is even worse.

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow.  See above.

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges.  I had no idea he has been nominated five times!

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock.  Weak nominees this year.  Bullock wins it because Streep has won it too many times and the rest of the nominees don't deserve it.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz.  Lock of the night.  I saw this movie with my brother and a friend.  While walking out of the theater I said to my brother "that guy just won an Oscar."  One of the best supporting roles I have ever seen.  Waltz is going to be a busy actor the next few years.

Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique

For a whole chart of Oscar predictions, follow this link:

- I bought my Nexus One Android phone about a month ago.  It is already obsolete!  The market is now flooded with smartphones as good or better than my precious Nexus One.  Well, not exactly, but if you follow technology it can feel like your brand-new devices are obsolete the moment you purchase them.  The next time you buy a new piece of technology, I want you to wait one week, then go to the following website and realize that your shiny new hardware has already gone the way of the dodo bird:

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Buzz about Artificial Intelligence in New Vegas

- Fallout: New Vegas will get released this fall.  The Fallout games are one of the best computer roleplaying series I have ever played.  The Fallout world is set in an apocalyptic future, but this particular future is based upon how people viewed the future in the 1950s.  It gives the game a unique, eerie, nostalgic feel, even though the game is set a few hundred years from now.  Bethesda bought the rights to the Fallout single player franchise from Interplay a few years ago, (rumor has it that Interplay is developing an online multi-player Fallout) and created Fallout 3.  Bethesda's version ditched the top-down perspective and made the game into a first person perspective.  All three games are ULTRA-VIOLENT, especially the third game, but the violence really does enhance the overall mood of the games.  Fallout 3 was a very good game, but not quite as good as the first two games.  Fallout 3 was too short and lacked the sense of humor from the original two games.  The introductory cut-scenes to these games, whether they are made by Interplay or Bethesda, are a hoot to watch.  Here is the intro-cut scence for Fallout: New Vegas:

- A bunch of experts weigh in on when we will have human-level Artificial Intelligence:

- Twelve smart and memorable quotes about technology:

- Google released their attempt to conquer the social networking craze. It's called Google Buzz, and it seems more a threat to twitter than to Facebook.  Here is article explaining Google Buzz.  I have no idea at this point if I will use Google Buzz, but it's always fun to try new technology.  So far, I have been experimenting with Buzz more on my Nexus One Android phone than on my laptop:

- Five stories to follow during the 2012 Winter Olympics:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pioneers of Computer Science stay up late to watch Red Eye

- Grace Hopper, one of the first female computer scientists.  Next time you feel like you are having trouble fitting in at work, think about Grace:

- Red Eye celebrates three years on the air.  It's ratings are better than ever.  I am going to keep pushing this show on you people because basically it's the only comedy show we have on TV to counter the left-wing trash on Comedy Central. Greg Gutfeld crushing viewers' emails, Robot Theater, Pinch the NY Times correspondent, and an endless amount of news material to mock, what is not to love about this show!?!?  I aint messing around.  Watch it or record it!

This is an actual billboard posted along the Minnesota interstate.  Good lord yes, we miss you!!! Please come back!  It will be just like the old-days, I promise!

Friday, February 05, 2010

For Microsoft and Google, time passes quickly in the Uncanny Valley

- It seems like the older we get, the faster time flies.  Well, I got some bad-news for you.  Time really does pass by faster the older you get. There are several reasons why this happens. 

A child's five senses are new and tend to work better than an adult's senses.  That's why it's easy to accidentally scald a baby by putting the child in bathwater that may be too warm for the child, but feels just right to you.  Does your child have trouble eating certain foods, especially ones that do not taste great in the first place?  A child's sense of taste is stronger than yours.  Things that taste good to an adult will taste really good to a child; things that taste bad to an adult will taste really bad to a child.  Children can also hear higher frequencies than adults (ed. remember to write about this phenomenon and it's practical uses at a later date.)

Since children's senses are often stronger than an adult, a child takes in more information.  Taking in more information causes the world to pass by more slowly.  It's an abstract idea, so perhaps a small example will help make my point.  Have you ever flipped through a book containing roughly the same picture on each page, and as you quickly flip the pages, the picture begins to move?  It's a rudimentary form of animation.  Well, with children, their book (ie. their perceptions) has more pages than an adult's, so they flip through the book at a slower pace than an adult. 

Children also are not filled with memories, regrets, anxieties, expectations, etc., stuff that fills a person's brain as an adult gets older.  During times of boredom or "down-time" an adult will often retreat into their memories or worries to fill the time without even knowing they are doing so.  A child has no such mechanisms for time-passing, so they literally must sit and wait for time to pass.

So the next time you are in the waiting room of a doctor's office, and your child is bouncing off the walls while waiting to see the doctor, remember that for your child, time really is passing slower than it is passing for you.  Here is an article explaining some of the details I just mentioned:

- Comparison of Microsoft vs. Google vs. Apple.  Wonderful comparisons:

- The Uncanny Valley.  It's a term used to describe how realistic a human character can be in an animation or computer simulation without getting so realistic that it begins to creep-out the people watching the human character.  The movie Polar Express and Beowulf suffered from this phenomenon.  The characters in those movies seemed more realistic than typical animation characters, but not quite realistic enough to fool viewers into thinking they were actually human.  The characters from those two movies fell into the Uncanny Valley.  The Uncanny Valley theory has become quite popular in the realm of Human Computer Interaction.  It's a real problem for graphic designers and software animators.  This clip from 30 Rock does an excellent job of explaining the problem:

- A good friend of mine has started a non-partisan organization dedicated towards solving the school funding problems in Colorado.  A worthy issue and certainly worthy of your time.  Here is the website:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The death of voice-mail, join the empire, and how to shamefully buy influence on twitter

- A few weeks ago I posted a link to an article containing medal count predictions for the Winter games.  Here is  an article from the AP with predictions for each and every event:

- When I bought my Nexus One Android OS phone, it came with an invitation to Google Voice.  Google Voice is a website and application that will take over the voice-messaging on your smartphone.  It will capture your incoming voice mail, transcribe it, and then either email the transcribed voice-mail to you, send it to you via a text message, and post it on your google voice account.  Incredible technology.  The following link has a clever cartoon explaining how I felt about voice-mail before I started using google voice:

- In an earlier post I wrote about people dedicated towards stealing World of Warcraft accounts so they can farm in-game gold and then sell the gold for real money.  Did you know that people also sell their twitter accounts on ebay for basically the same idea?  There are all kinds of people who either have thousands of followers on twitter, or promise they can get you thousands of followers, and then sell those twitter accounts based upon a cost per twitter follower.  For example, if a twitter account has 10,000 followers, they may sell the account for $0.10 per follower, hoping to sell the whole account for $1000.  Good grief:

- Star Wars propaganda posters.  I got a kick-out of this one because Vader actually could do it alone, but having an almost limitless number of stormtroopers at your disposal helps speed up the process:

More Star Wars propaganda posters at the following link: