Monday, September 24, 2007

Many, many open source applications

Does not include security stuff, though.

Nuclear annihilation did not happen because of Lt. Col. Petrov

After all the tension from the shootdown of Flight 007, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov took the supposed missile launches from the U.S. to be a computer malfunction. It's not that unique a story, but Soviet command eventually punished him for not following protocol.

Neuroreceptor recycling plant considered to be memory unit

Sounds a little freaky, but

... it appears that in animal models of the early phases of Alzheimer's disease, often before any symptoms become apparent, the dendritic spines gradually lose their ability to transport and recycle the receptors.

Self-destructing, recallable, erasable, non-forwardable, non-printable, non-savable email

These are included with the free level.

Natural health hacks

A few. Like for smoking cessation, traveler's diarrhea, overeating.

The curse of knowledge: Mistaking your beliefs for those of others

Happens not only to three-year-olds, but adults as well.

Texas Instruments' cellphone projector

Orgoo -- email, IM, SMS, video mail/conferencing, etc. integrated in one spot

No downloads. Free.

From ad exec to Starbucks barista

From $160k per year to $10.50 an hour, and loving it, apparently. Grew up in privilege, then got fired and found a different way to see life.

Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling

The older adults seemed to know the social rules but failed to follow them, which is consistent with diminished frontal lobe functioning.

Cake Financial -- trading wisdom of anonymous crowd

Only Cake lets investors securely tap into the power of actual portfolios from leading online brokerage firms, providing unprecedented transparency without revealing any private information. And only at Cake can investors automatically track all of their online brokerage accounts, letting them see up to 10 years of historical activity to provide context into how their portfolio is actually performing.

Hand-drawn map of Zork world

Text-only game Zork is available for play online somewhere. If multiplayer is more your style, MUDs are still around, I think.

Population trend will turn back up

Simple premise: People who really want to have children have genes that make them want it that much. By having offspring, these genes flourish. The individuals with genes that don't care for children so much? Well, those genes are selected out of the gene pool, they die off.

Mr. PotatoMash

Different Mr. Potatohead mashups with various pop culture figures. This is Alex from A Clockwork Orange.

Hobbit species was human

Three feet tall. Has something to do with the wrist bones being the same as apes.

Cool New York Times archive stuff (no more subscription)

The New York Times no longer charges subscription. There's still some archive stuff that's charged per article, but as far back as 1851, there's the free stuff too. Kottke put together links to some interesting articles like those on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Titanic sinking, Custer's Last Stand.

In beta for now. A website devoted to helping people care for aging parents and other loved ones.

Best way to praise your child? Be specific

A recent post of the same thing mailed out before.
Do not praise identity ("You're a smart girl, Diana!"). They'll lie and cheat if necessary to preserve a good identity.

Hitler's secret Indian army

You know, to kick the British out, end the Raj.

Accounts of living with Asperger's

Kottke's post has a link to a not-too-long New Yorker piece. There's also a blog link from someone who responded to the NYer piece.

Paul Krugman starts blog at NYT -- politics and economics of inequality

The name was somewhat familiar and had a vague, good feeling about it. He seems to hold policy mostly accountable for economic inequality. The graph tracks the 10% richest Americans' percentage share of total income. That bottom trough is the lower 30s% when there was a middle class and much less inequality. It lasted from about 1942 to 1982.
Counter and questions at Marginal here.

Excessive enthusiasm for Tasers

Some cops hear "nonlethal" and they figure torturing is kosher. Well, in some cases the technology is too much and it does kill.
Concerns detailed at this blog.
Also, Daily Kos has excerpted some stuff from Amnesty International.

Mango beta out -- learn a language online

Uses Flash. Not so many languages yet.

Accidental transport of nuke warheads

The Washington Post story here.
The more conspiracy side here -- considers the possibility of missing nuke.
Then there's the story of six loading airmen and pilots working at the relevant air force base all having died last week. Back and forth on the conspiracy angle in the comments. The extreme conclusion is prepping to nuke Iran, or even using one on American soil to justify nuking Iran.
Can get lost in this, so did not read thoroughly.

Waking up speaking a foreign language perfectly, or at least upgrading an accent

In the yeah, maybe category: There's the Czech teenager who had just begun studying English and woke up in an ambulance post-auto accident not knowing he was Czech and speaking perfect English with a clear English accent. It did not last.
Then, there's this 10-year-old from York who got a more upper class accent after neurosurgery for meningitis. He couldn't understand why he was being stared at when he first spoke in this manner. Initially, he had lost his ability to read, write and recognize different objects. Eventually, he recovered.

Animated knots

There's a fast button, a slow button, or you can hover your mouse above a step number.

Lee Kuan Yew still fretting over Singapore

Yes, from 1965, it's been quite a turnaround. He credits ideas like this to its success:

... the government must protect the less affluent, less educated people from information that might upset or confuse them. These are people “who are not finding it so comfortable to suddenly find the world changed, their world, their sense of place, their sense of position in society.”
Well, if you're less educated, how does being denied information help? I recall not being able to get certain news periodicals because they were banned for unwelcome views.

Asian temples

Some really incredible-looking stuff. This one is known as Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, and is found in Thailand. It's actually modern and still under construction.

Completely replacing Windows with Linux

We follow some guy delving in trying to do everything in a Linux environment.
Reasons for getting into Linux here.

How to lose the client from hell

Divided into ten different types of client, from the bargain shopper to the one with 100 lawyers.

Interview with John Bowe, author of Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy

There is a very real cost to our comfort that we don't see.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Some Hitler facts

To excite the masses, he also uses American College football-style music during his speeches. His rallying cry - "Sieg Heil!" - was even modeled after the cheering techniques used by American football cheerleaders.

Speech-impaired woman hallucinates speech-impaired voices

A few months later she developed signs of epilepsy and started hearing voices that weren't there – at first the voices sounded like her own but from the outside, then she heard the voices of hospital staff. In both cases, these hallucinatory voices spoke in very simple and short sentences mirroring her own real-life speech deficit.

Renters getting squeezed

Overall, advocacy groups say there are 9 million low-income renter households and only 6.2 million units they can reasonably afford.

Sony PRS-505 ebook reader out soon

Improved from the original, but $300?

Indian doc engineers enzyme that can eradicate HIV

... Tre, the enzyme that Indrani constructed after a year and its 126 "cycles of mutation" totally deplete HIV in the human genome in three months in laboratory conditions.

Philip K. Dick's kids work to preserve legacy

It is surprising how Hollywood has taken so avidly to Dick's work. The family was not so happy with a couple of treatments, so they started the production company Electric Shepherd to be more involved in future projects.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut -- Ridley's intended version -- is due out 5 October 2007 in limited NY/LA release with the disc out 18 December.
Here is a Wired interview with Ridley Scott regarding this release.

Protocol with the police

Some Syracuse, NY guy's take on how to handle police who approach your home. Mostly, it seems like treating them as Jehovah's Witnesses, but with the firm line "I have nothing to say."

Tesla's tower of power

Just couldn't maintain funding in the end, but Tesla had visions of large-scale, wireless power transmission.

Marking to market getting creative

Then there's Level 3. Under Statement 157, this means fair value is measured using "unobservable inputs." While companies can't actually see the changes in the fair values of their assets and liabilities, they're allowed to book them through earnings anyway, based on their own subjective assumptions.

Children with autism are immune to contagious yawning

Past research has found that seeing the eye region of someone yawn is key to the yawn's contagious effects. So perhaps the fact that people with autism are known to focus more on the mouth region of people's faces, rather than the eyes, could partly explain the current findings.

Visualizing economics

Making the "invisible hand" visible. This is the poverty map for the U.S.

Hewlett-Packard's inkjet tech seeks to replace hypodermic needles

HP is licensing a medical patch it has developed to Ireland's Crospon that potentially can replace hypodermic needles or pills for delivering vaccines or other types of medication to patients. The patch contains up to 90,000 microneedles per square inch, microprocessors and a thermal unit.

Migrating data from Windows to Linux

A bit of a deal.

Will AIs keep humans around as pets?

Singularity talk and considerations of how AIs might behave.

Life Saver bottle filters viruses

It's finally been done. Down to 15 nanometres. Military interested.

Playing the nature markets

Catastrophe bonds -- insuring insurers? Black swan stuff involving arcane pricing of unlikely events like Hurricane Katrina. Too long for me at the moment.

Marine general says no to American coup plot

The U.S. is no stranger to fascistic tendencies: American industrialists plotted to rid of FDR with WWI veterans, using the very decorated and respected Major General Smedley Butler to lead. The Quaker general, long tired of helping big business use the military as a thug, spilled the beans. Echoes of Andrew Jackson's claim of bankers being behind his assassination attempt.

Napkin folding guide

Step-by-step photo guide. This one is the bird of paradise.

Scholars link success of firms to lives of CEOs

A continuation of that supermansion phenomenon logic.

Cult of bespoke

Tailoring is necessary for those who simply don't have a stock enough physique, but there are also the status-crazed:

Another area of obsession is the stitching. On the front buttonholes and the flower loop, it shouldn’t be too even; on the lapels, staggered “pick stitching” is a big plus. When laymen claim they can smell bespoke from a mile away, most tend to mean these little signatures.

Canterbury's ionic garments

Ionisation improves the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to bring more energy to the muscles, which increases your average power output, improving speed and strength.

Jitters over HPV vaccine

Very small rate for the serious side effects, and causation tough to determine, but bear in mind that a new tech is a new tech. There's also this article that skims over the money side of the push to mandate vaccination.

How humans became the swift hunter

Selection for the Achilles tendon.

Ways a competitor can sabotage your website

Not so much in the way of remedies.

Slim speakers

To the left is Altec Lansing's wireless SoundBlade for any Bluetooth device, including mobile phones.

On the right is 5.1 sound from the Individual Sound Projector from Loewe's. The thing is, you never see the speaker alone; it's always on this stand in any photos.

Sleeptracker watch

I guess it has an accelerometer or something to gauge your point in the sleep cycle and wakes you up in the lighter stages, provided the time range that you indicate coincides.

Installing Ubuntu on Windows

I hear Ubuntu is a fine first step towards Linux.

Aptistock -- free technical analysis of end-of-day data of stocks

The data doesn't cost anything?