Thursday, September 30

Nasty tricksy hobitses

I might have not quit piano

If my teacher had given me this to play.

Senate votes to turn down volume on TV commercials

WASHINGTON – Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

By day, I am Bud Wayne...

" night the cats, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me... Batpug."

Wednesday, September 29

The Google Blacklist

2600 has compiled a list of words Google Instant doesn't like.

Their disclaimer: "This page is NOT suitable for children, ministers, senators, or the mass media"

Habitable exoplanet discovered

This is cool.

Monday, September 27

Scamming the scammers

This 419 Eater from 2006 is pretty brilliant; he got a Nigerian scammer to write a Harry Potter book out by hand!
Bonus points for posing as Arthur Dent BSC. HHGTTG. PhD. with the client Cyberdyne Systems.

It's wabbit season.

A Digital Media Primer For Geeks

I really dug this video primer ... I now feel like digital audio and video make a lot more sense to me.

ESR reviews:
This is, hands down and no exceptions, the best instructional video I’ve ever seen. It takes a complex, dry, detail-filled topic and presents it with lucid clarity and a sense of fun.

They’re not kidding about the “for geeks” part; the exposition is fast and dense and assumes the reader is able to handle having concepts as complex as Nyquist’s theorem thrown at them in one go. But the exposition is also very clear and direct, and delivered with a keen sense of which details need most emphasis. The effect is only secondarily to impart facts; what they’re attempting, successfully, is to give the viewer a feel for the subject matter, an overall grasp of how the pieces fit together which can be filled in by later deep-diving into the pieces.

Full marks to Monty for his delivery, which is excellent on all levels. I’m no slouch myself at presenting technical ideas in accessible language, but I will cheerfully admit that this is as good as me at the top of my form, or possibly better. I know how much skill and effort is concealed in making a performance like this look casual; if you don’t, just trust me that what Monty has pulled off here is quite impressive just as an act of presentation-fu.

And yes, this is a video – not just an e-book narrated by a well-spoken talking head. The uses of props, whiteboard, and special effects are tasteful and understatedly clever. I particularly enjoyed the playful use of special effects to illustrate things like sample-rate compression, signal-clipping artifacts and how YUV chroma representation actually works. That was a very effective way to tie those abstractions to experiential reality so the viewer won’t forget them.

The material was ideal for my level of knowledge at start. That is, if you have (a) programmer chops, (b) a bit of basic knowledge of the physics of sound, and (c) you’ve heard of Nyquist’s theorem before and broadly grasp the relationship between sampling rate and cutoff frequency, you’re going to eat the rest of the video up like candy. Probably (c) isn’t necessary; what it meant for me is that I started getting new material at the point where Monty explained about sample rates above 44.1 being a way to get away with cheaper bandpass filters.

Brett Favre Apparently Undecided If He Will Return To Vikings This Season

MINNEAPOLIS—ESPN analyst John Clayton reported Monday that, after throwing four interceptions and just one touchdown in the first two games of the 2010-2011 football season, Brett Favre is still undecided about whether he will return to the Minnesota Vikings. "His lack of presence in either game shows that he has not yet committed to a yes or a no answer, though it would appear that he is leaning toward no," Clayton said on SportsCenter, adding that three veteran Vikings players traveled to Favre's locker last Sunday and begged him to return to the team during halftime of the week-two loss to the Dolphins. "With a cumulative QB rating of 56.1, his heart clearly isn't in it. Maybe he's sending a message to Vikings brass that he's ready to call it a career." Following his television appearance, Clayton reportedly received a text message from Favre, who said he would make a decision about returning when he is ready.
I guess he returned Sunday?

Monday, September 20

Headline of the Day

"O'Donnell: No Witchcraft Since High School"

Then and now

A cautionary montage

Saturday, September 18

Friday, September 17

This is not a tree house

It's more like a tree apartment complex. More here.

Thursday, September 16

Why do we care if China manipulates its currency in our favor?

Mark Perry has some editing fun with Harold Meyerson's article in today's Washington Post:
"This week, committees on both sides of Capitol Hill will plumb the conundrum of Chinese currency manipulation. The conundrum isn't that -- or why -- China is manipulating its currency: By undervaluing it, China is systematically able to underprice its exports, putting American (and other nations') manufacturing consumers and businesses that purchase China’ cheap imports at a significant disadvantage. The conundrum is why the hell the United States isn't doing thinks it should do anything about it.

There are certainly plenty of senators and congressmen -- and Main Street Americans U.S. producers that compete with China -- who'd like to see the White House place some tariffs taxes on American consumers and businesses who purchase the underpriced low-priced Chinese imports. If the administration doesn't act, Congress may just consider mandating some tariffs punitive taxes against American consumers and business on its own."

Meanwhile in the Neutral Zone

Monday, September 13

One way to go

Caturday at IKEA

An English IKEA decided to release 100 live cats overnight. Why? Why would you question such a thing? The video is the most amazing and life-affirming event. Ever. Embrace it. Watch it a thousand times. Watch it ten thousand times.

As far as I can tell, the team at the wooded dorm-furnisher extraordinaire just let the cats run around the empty store completely for the hell of it, and the results are simply wonderful.

Sunday, September 12

Classic Movie 'Avatar' Updated For Today's Audiences

LOS ANGELES—Paramount Pictures confirmed Monday the Dec. 23 release date for Avatar 2KX, a remake of the beloved 2009 sci-fi thriller Avatar that will bring the story into the modern era with faster-paced action sequences and cutting-edge visual effects. "Avatar was a true classic of its time, but today's audiences demand a state-of-the-art immersive experience that goes beyond the kitschy charm of the original," said Paramount CEO Brad Grey, who ordered producers to cut 40 percent of the original script's dialogue, simplify the moral so that the humans are now the protagonists, and add several Na'vi sex scenes. "Our hipper, bolder, and updated movie is sure to resonate with younger generations and older fans alike." Grey had no comment on speculation that Avatar 2KX would feature cameos from one or more of the original film's surviving stars.

Saturday, September 11

Quote of the day

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." —Ann Coulter, 13 September 2001

Friday, September 10

Dolphin sightseeing with Fidel Castro

...and Ms. Guevara. Jeffrey Goldberg gets all the interesting assignments.

Wednesday, September 8

Tuesday, September 7

Monday, September 6

For those who take life too seriously

1. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
2. A day without sunshine is, like, night.
3. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
4. I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
5. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
7. I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
8. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
9. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
10. Honk if you love peace and quiet.
11. Remember half the people you know are below average.
12. Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
13. Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.
14. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
15. He who laughs last thinks slowest.
16. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
17. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
18. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
19. I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
20. I intend to live forever - so far so good.
21. Borrow money from a pessimist - they don't expect it back.
22. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
24. Quantum mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.
25. The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
26. Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.
27. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane and going the wrong way.
28. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
29. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
30. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
31. For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
32. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks
33. Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.
34. No one is listening until you make a mistake.
35. Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
37. The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
38. The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the ability to reach it.
39. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
40. To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
41. Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life.
42. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
43. Two wrongs are only the beginning.
44. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
45. The sooner you fall behind the more time you'll have to catch up.
46. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
47. Change is inevitable except from vending machines.
48. Get a new car for your spouse - it'll be a great trade!
49. Plan to be spontaneous - tomorrow.
50. Always try to be modest and be proud of it!
51. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
52. How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand...
53. Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener.
54. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving isn't for you.

Thursday, September 2

Indian Superman

In case your day isn't awesome enough:

Not satisfied? How about a Turkish Superman.

You are here

The Earth and Moon viewed from the planet Mercury.

Survival of the fittest

There can be only one.

Wednesday, September 1

Programming as art

A redditor calls this mindblowing..I wouldn't go that far, but it's pretty cool if your address works. Some say it runs fine in Firefox and Safari in addition to Google Chrome.

Black tie beach

A bankrupt Finnish welfare state?

The 'greatest country in the world' may not be so great.


The taxi business could finally get some disruption.

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