mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Things I've seen on the web over the last two weeks that are far more important than either Kate & William's marriage or Osama Bin Laden's death. (Since when did the births, deaths, and marriages section become the headlines anyway?) Oh, alrght, I included the last two for fun, they're not really all that important. Though the Zombie proof house might end up being more important...

mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
The oracle offered up an interesting juxtaposition of songs this morning. First there was Garbage's Supervixen which ends with the repeated lines :
Bow down to me...bow down to me...
Which was immediately followed by Leonard Cohen's I'm Your Man, which starts with
If you want a lover
I'll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I'll wear a mask for you

He has a lovely voice. Makes me go all squishy inside.

Of course, this was followed by The Doors doing The End and Bon Jovi's Wanted : Dead or Alive, so I'm hoping the oracle isn't really trying to tell me something.

@jnicholson linked to this BBC article about the intelligence of corvids, and I found this interesting MIT article on interface technology somewhere and on Wired. this morning there was this interesting article about Feds potentially being caught by RFID sniffers at DefCon. It goes on to point out the massive security risk created by using RFID ID's and passports.

Now to waste more company time by going and getting a coffee. They're going to regret stopping supplying reasonable coffee. But then it seems HP's CEO Mark Hurd is actively trying to destroy the company and cause it to lose it's market position. I'm just glad I live in New Zealand where they can't force you to take 30% pay cuts just so that Hurd can get his $23 million bonus. But this publicity means no client will really trust that an HP/EDS team can deliver a project, because they'll know most of their good people will have already left.

I suspect Mark Hurd's days are numbered. Given the number of employees HP/EDS has, and how pissed off they are about him, the chances that one of them is driven enough to put a bullet in his head is quite high. Anyone who did so would definitely be cheered throughout the world as the saviour of the company. Isn't it about time that the workers of the world embrace assasination as a salary negotiating tool? It seems a reasonable response to multi-million dollar bonuses to me.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Turns out I should have said "Where's my HAL suit?" Where are the superheroes one wonders? And should we be worried thatt it's being produced by a company called Cyberdyne?
mundens: The Brain, from the cartoon Pinky & The Brain  (Brain)
MaximumPC builds a multi-touch surface from scratch, for far less then Microsoft's offering, as ell as explaining simply how they work. And that explanation makes me think that we'll be seeing a boom in this sort of tech in the areas where it provides utiity, because it's pretty damn simple!

When will we see the first example as a gaming table at KapCon I wonder?
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
When Will You Get Yours, and When Will You Connect It to the Internet?

Sex with robots

Yes. Of course we will. Some of us do now. We call them vibrators.

One step up is the implanted spinal cord stimulator:  It's been reported since 2004 that a device originally designed for chronic pain control and urinary issues can stimulate orgasm in women — even individuals who thought they'd lost the ability to have them. The appliance is no bigger than a pacemaker, can be wired into a woman's lower back in a physician's office under local anesthetic, is FDA approved (for "bladder problems"), and can be run by remote control. Ask your doctor.

Will you be prepared when she asks you to trigger this device over the Internet in a loving act of telepresent titillation? What happens when this "Orgasmatron" is triggered by intelligent software, in tandem with some fairly straightforward force-feedback actuators, and both are driven by, similarly simple, biometric sensors under some rather rudimentary fuzzy logic?

Answer: the romantic robotic partner.It's not much further along the technology curve to build this package into interactive machinery with humanoid appearance and, well, "feel." Or non-humanoid, if she's feeling adventurous.

Read more that would make the Unabomber mad, and David Gelerntner say "I told you so" at LiveScience
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
I have just found a reason to buy a Mac. This is exactly the sort of application I've wanted for years. Not just for what it does, but for how it does it, but waving the bar code of your book, DVD, CD, etc in front of your web-cam. Feck, for the first time I really wish I had a Mac.

Edit: Heh! And then a quick search determines there's a clone for Windows that's free called Libra. Will have to have a play.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Off The Backhas 1 Tera-byte Western Digital SATA drives for just $210. Shame I can't really afford one.

Looking forward to seeing [ profile] seraphs_folly this afternoon. It seems likely we may do what we did last time she came up, which is to head in to JJ's, and then go to TNC. Will try and confirm that later.

Update: No JJ's and curry for us this evening, my lady is now resting at home.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Yea thats what I thought too. But that's how The Register subtitled their article on Google's interest in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).

Have you noticed how often (or should that be easily?), I am amused?
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
It's about time the commerce commission started thumping Telecom for pretending that DSL is broadband ! Seems Christchurch has the country's worst internet (another reason to move love!) Here's an excerpt from the Executive Summary of the REPORT FOR THE COMMERCE COMMISSION ON NEW ZEALAND BROADBAND PERFORMANCE (pdf) prepared by Epitiro-IDC :
• TelstraClear Cable exceeded the industry average by between 22% and
41% on key measures affecting speed, time-to-connect and browsing.
• TelstraClear's DSL performance was between 6% and 14% better than
the industry average on key metrics. However its DSL performance was
highly variable: strong results in the three main centres were offset by the
lowest outcomes in Hamilton and Dunedin. Epitiro-IDC believes this
reflects where TelstraClear has its own cable or DSL network capability
and where it resells Telecom services.
• Orcon achieved consistently good results, particularly in metrics that
affect browsing such as synchronisation speed, time taken to access
local and international content (cached and non-cached HTTP download
speeds) and retrieving web addresses (DNS). A lower email score offset
this for Orcon this quarter.
• Telecom, Vodafone and Slingshot all scored average to below-average
outcomes on both geographic and key performance metrics. Of the main
ISPs, Telecom scored the lowest outcomes in Auckland, Wellington and
Christchurch, but was slightly above average in Hamilton and Dunedin.
Heather du Plessis-Allen, (who was in most of this evenings local news reports, but still hasn't got her picture on the One Network New Team page!) is totally trying to look like [ profile] jenni_talula playing Polly Perkins !
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Old Sisters in high rotation on the phone.

Saw something this morning on the train. Seems the Samoan Church wants to charge each member, including all babies, twenty dollars. Now the congregation of the Samoan church tends to be Samoan. Who tend to be at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Who often have large families. How can a church put that sort of load on their members?

I have no real issue with the overall goals of the Family Violence - It's Not OK campaign, though I do sometimes wonder what will happen when we're all spineless wimps and we get invaded by a country that hasn't emasculated itself. But I do take issue with the way it emphasizes males as perpetrators, with all four of the campaign "faces" being male, even though statistics show that the majority of child abuse is carried out by women, and that there are almost as many beaten husbands as there are beaten wives. So I'll add my own line to it : "It's Not OK to continue to propagate the myth that men are the only perpetrators of domestic violence". They need at least one female abuser to add to their line up of four males, if not more, to help represent the reality.

However, I find the idea of women sending used panties to the military dictators of Myamar extremely amusing. Of course, as Asylum points out, it may backfire, as there's a market for used panties in Japan and elsewhere.

There's a lovely NT times article on some old scientific books going up for auction at Christies, including a 1543 edition of Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) and a copy of the first ever telephone directory (Connecticut, 1897). Some of the contents of that are lovely to read through, and it contains, amongst it's instructions for using the phone, the gem : "When you are not speaking, you should be listening."

Our owners (HP) have just release this piece of lust-creating technology, a 30-bit colour accuracy, 1 billion colour, 1920 x 1200 pixel 24" wide screen LCD

House is remarkably clean for a week-day. Slept poorly. Woke up several times during the night. Not sure why. Got up late but still managed to squeeze all normal morning's activities in the reduced time, and leave earlier than normal. Even made bed. Far more cars are parking at the Silverstream station in the morning these days.

Tonight I play Corwyn of Jerbiton, somwewhere. Tomorrow lover arrives in town ! Squee! Then there will be Sweet Mother's Kitchen with French-speaking folk Friday, followed by flat-warmering and other stuff.

P.S. : Here's a little bit of technical education on the OO concept of polymorphism passed to me by a work colleague. Warning : It contains words of a sexual nature, thus making it easy for non-technical types to understand it.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
The following is very kewl. John Resig last month released processing.js, a Javascript implementation of the Processing language, an open source programming language for people who basically want to do what Macromedia Flash (and similar products) do without needing proprietary software tools.

John's code only works properly in Firefox 3, basically works in the latest I.E and Opera, and sort-of works partially in earlier versions of those browsers, primarily because only Firefox 3 really supports the new HTML5 Canvas API. It also kills your machine if you do anything complicated! But it does point the way forward for non-plug-in based graphics and such like without licensing fees.

Have a look at some of the demos! (but only if you're running a modern browser!)

And if you want to play with the language, try obsessing, which provides you an environment to programme graphics within the browser, and is now running on processing.js!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Cracked are once again amusing me with lists (yes, I know, I am easily amused) , this time with The 9 Most Obnoxious Memes To Ever Escape From The Internet. An excerpt that really tickled me was :
It charted in Europe and follow ups were released. By March 2008, the Crazy Frog had three complete albums, all of which serve as proof that music can be weaponized effectively.
Worse yet, a German production company called The League of Good People have made a sad mockery of their name by entering into talks with a production company to create a Crazy Frog TV show. A film is rumoured to be in the works, and is likely.

Unless, of course, it turns out that there is a just God.
I actually liked the Axel Foley theme once.

So I succumbed to temptation and bought the BattleStar Galactica set. I agree, [ profile] drowninghail, that after season four is finished, they'll release a full set, but it turns out that this box is merely the three season sets and the original mini series release, complete with all original packaging, put inside another enclosing box, and sold for a price that makes one season and the mini series effectively free. Even more amusing is that Whitcoulls are still selling the individual season's boxes next to the full set for $50! If they do a special collector's set at some point after the fourth season comes out, I may go there. Or I may not.

At lunch time I met up with an ex-IBM colleague from HP, to speak about a web site I'm helping him with, but talk turned to the merger and HP's Linux systems teams which he is involved with. This might get interesting. He also gave me a promotional HP / Red Hat USB vacuum cleaner! The mail this morning also delivered a key-ring laser pointer/LED flashlight. Right now I'm loading the Ultimate Boot CD onto my keyring 4Gb USB flashdrive following these instructions. Which makes today an officially geeky gadgety Friday!

Finally, have a look at this
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Thanks for everyone's suggestions on my previous post.

In the end, as [ profile] ferrouswheel had an install DVD of the latest 64-bit Ubuntu lying around, I thought "What the hell, I may as well try it out. After all I can always wipe it and install another one if it doesn't work."

Read more... )

As [ profile] repton_infinity pointed out that OSX can work on AMD chips, I am keen on playing with that one day as well, and seeing as [ profile] elfsmentioned it, Gentoo also (not one I'm at all familiar with, I'm afraid, being brought up in Red Hat, Debian, and Suse). I also agree with [ profile] tcpip & [ profile] lobelet that for best results around getting the thing similar to my server, Red Hat/Fedora would have been a better choice, but I was seduced by the shiny toys and the ease (especailly as there was a DVD available) of going with Ubuntu. Now, I have all the shinies working, and as [ profile] lobelet says, I'll have to install the development options on top. I'm thinking I may actually be able to work and play on this system, other than rebooting into XP for some games.

Tech Stuff

May. 1st, 2008 06:04 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
We've probably all heard of the guy who grew back a finger because his research lab brother gave him some magic stuff, but here's a BBC report on it with all the details and some graphic video. The "magic stuff" is referred to as "extra-cellular matrix". So there's your new bio-tech buzzword.

I've been enjoying the increase in solid state memories as EEPROM flash memory systems become large enough to replace hard drives (though at present their re-use capability for fast changing data is limited, so your EeeePC's, for instance, have a quite limited life-span), but now something more fundamental has happened. HP Labs have announced that they can show that the memristor is actually a basic circuit unit, like a capacitor, inductor, or resistor, showing fundamentally different characteristics than anything constructed from those other three basic building blocks.

Avoiding details, the result of this is that a memristor-based computer would retain its information after losing power and would not require the boot-up process, resulting in the consumption of less power and wasted time. Even more important (IMO) is the potential use of these devices in constructing human-scale neural networks that are not reliant on power to retain their learned information. Most practical neural-networks are software-based simulations of neural networks, as constructing real ones is difficult. The memristor has the potential to allow the construction of real neural networks that do not need to be constantly powered at low cost, leading to the potential of embedding true learning devices even in small household appliance.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
So if you read \. or Digg you'll have seen these, but

I guess we need robots for Ronny.
The interesting thing in the linked article, for me at least, is not that there are a lot of robots in Japan, but that it is government policy to replace their workforce with robots, and that the reason for this is the rapidly shrinking workforce as Japanese age. It makes stories like BubbleGum Crisis and Chobits even more interesting and it also shows the lack of research on the part of the author when he states that in Japanese anime and manga robots are normally portrayed as friendly helpers or the good guys. Sure, there are your Haro's and the like, but for every story with friendly helpers there's one where robots are vicious killers. Perhaps the balance is better in Japanese media, but there is no shortage of threat!

Mind control of PC's now commercially available
\^/007 !!! i c4|\| |-|45?
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
The answer seems to be "Have Sex!" Yes, I finally watched 300 today, after [ profile] panda_pitt gave up on Mortal Kombat 3., which seems to have been made by a Californian porn movie company, based on the cheap budget, the actors, the style of martial arts, the music, and the women in it.

Some of the visuals of 300 are wonderful, and there are some good lines. But why are the Immortals dressed as samurai? The Persian immortals have a well defined image that would have been much more believable than the pseudo-samurai in the film.

A Persian Immortal wielding a spear,
wicker shield, dagger, and bow.(from wikipedia)

Still I suppose making Persians look like Persians might have made the propaganda content too obvious even for U.S citizens.

And why the mutants? And why did the cripple betray them? I was so hoping in the temptation of the cripple that he would say "Yes, I want all these things you offer, but there's one more thing I want... Respect. And I can gain that by your Death!!" followed by a lunge at Xerxes with whatever weapon was available. Even if unsuccessful, it would have been a good way to die. Except, of course, as in previous Frank Miller works, he is implying that weak, crippled, or deformed is equivalent to evil.

I also thought the queen should not have offered herself to the councillor, the old guy helping her, said that she had two days to get him to not speak against her in council, and killing him when he first met with her would have served that purpose. Finally, the women in Sparta seem to have small breasts. Or is that just because I have become accustomed to such bounty in that department recently?

Fever dreams were odd.
I am a powerful, capricious lord, similar to Bowie's Goblin King, and yet in another age, one of pistols and khaki. A Mexican stand-off, pistols at heads, hers against mine, mine against hers. She is with family, but still trying to stop me, an enemy, but a good and honourable one. I know neither of us will give ground, and I don't want to kill them, they have some utility to me, so I do one of those frame-rate speed-up things, and switch my pistols to her young son's head before she can react.

I wring word from her that we will truce for 24 hours. All the time I need to complete my nefarious plans, but to her it seems I'm generous, because I could ask for so much more.
Then there is an odd scene as I try to balance a large and heavy table on it's edge, which may have been inspired by too much use of the gravity gun in Half Life.

Speaking of which, I shivered when I entered the huge toilet and shower block in Nova Prospect, because I have had dreams about such a place for years. I do not remember ever actually having been in one so big, but a repeated dream has been fleeing or engaging in combat in such a place. So, in at least one way, Half life has fulfilled my dreams.

I am sick at present, nose running, throat sore, woolly headed, so am doing nothing except playing with my new mobile, a Nokia 6288. I have read my GMail on it. I have played golf on it, and I have listened to Simple Minds on it. The interface takes a little bit of getting used to, and the connection plug is ridiculous, I reckon it's designed to make you want to buy a Bluetooth headset. Which I do. So I can listen to music on the train without having to use that plug.

Now Nick has put on Sin City, he's having a Frank Miller day. Last (and first) saw this film the night Ele left me. It's going to be interesting what it seems like to me this time.

Tech stuff

Jan. 31st, 2008 09:57 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Fight Climate Change by leaving your computer on : Run distributed climate prediction simulations for scientists.

I'm finally looking at getting a cell-phone. I'm considering this one, as it has all the features I'm interested in. The Vodafone franchise is suggesting one of these $40 account packages (which would take $200 off the cost of the phone). Independently I've determined that at least on Vodafone one really needs an account to be able to use the phone for web access, especially if you plan to hook your laptop into the phone, and a usable package is likely to be another $20 to $40. Mobile data charges seem to be like Internet charges ten years ago.

However I've been out of the phone market for a while now, so has anyone got any suggestions, tips, or advice? Or does anyone want to suggest a better choice of phone?

I'm also considering getting a Sony Bravia 32" D series LCD (KLV-32D300A) to go with the new Digital TV connection I've just had Telstra Clear install. My reasoning is that in the Bravia range anything less than D series does not handle HDMI very well at all, and there are some damn good reviews for this model.

The limitation to 32" comes from the place I want to put it, as on measuring and taking into account surrounds and stands, a 4-0" LCD would not fit and a 37" might still be too tight, though most ranges don't seem to have 37" monitors. Though also, various web people say that 32" is about the maximum you can go to without getting significant visual data artefacts from non-HDMI programming.

But again, I'm not the expert on these things, so advice and suggestions are welcome.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
are getting closer..

I have picked up a purple pirate jacket and a tricorne. I popped into Bling who were having a 50% of sale and got a gold medallion, and a pair of gold ear-rings. The shop assistants were right into the whole pirate dress-up thing, and the really friendly blonde one chose an eye-shadow that she claimed was the sort of colour that was used for Pirates of the Carribean, and then proceeded to show me how to use it. They were all seemed very happy for some reason, maybe because it was Friday, and were full of suggestions, and most of the suggestions weren't of the type that would require me to buy something from them.

Now the question is, will I get drunk tonight in Syn and get someone to pierce my ears in the bar, y'know, the way most blokes get their ears pierced, or shall I be wimpy and just tie cotton round my ears? :)

Either way, looking forward to a fun KapCon, and then to flying down to Christchurch for a week!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Death)
The 2007 Darwin Awards have been announced.

Sim City (or should I say Micropolis) has been open-sourced and it has even been compiled for the OLPC.

Our local PC tech actually managed to resurrect my work lap top, which is good coz it means I won't have to re-do some work or re-installor my development tools this week. Though that does mean I have little to do at work. Hmmm, I wonder how hard it would be to port Micropolis to Java....

Looking forward to a brief catch up with [ profile] seraphs_folly at the airport this evening.


mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)

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