Thursday, December 28, 2006

Blutooth Watch To Control Your Phone?

Review: Sony Ericsson MBW-100 Bluetooth Watch
When a call is received by the paired phone, the watch will vibrate and display the phone number or, if available, contact name of the party that is calling. The phone's ringer can be quickly silenced by pressing the watch's top button once, and the call can be outright rejected (and sent to voicemail) by pressing the top button a second time. When the phone receives a new text or MMS message, the watch will vibrate and display an envelope icon for a few seconds...
... But it only works with a select few Sony Ericson phones :(

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Do heavy things fall faster than light things?

Video of dropping a hammer and a feather on the moon to see which falls

Athlete fails gender test

1) reads:

"Santhi was subjected to a gender test in Doha and we have received the
report which says she failed the test," said Manmohan Singh, chairman of
the Indian Olympic Association's Medical Commission.

Soundararajan is refusing to comment. "I was not informed about the test
results and I don't know much on that. I do not want to talk about it,"
she told journalists.


KP Mohan, a sports journalist, said athletes were usually examined by a
team of doctors, including a gynaecologist, endocrinologist and
psychologist, and put through physical and clinical examinations during a
gender test.

2) reads:

[G]enetic tests in place in sport might unfairly single out some women as
men, IOC medical commission chairman Dr Arne Ljungquist [said].


The gender verification tests are based on chromosomes and sometimes a
sexual disorder results in the presence of male chromosomes in a female.
The athlete would then present male-like features, though without gaining
any undue advantage.


The IOC only allows the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique to
determine chromosomal patterns, a test that was reportedly not done on


AIS individuals are genetically male, will have 46,XY chromosomal (male)
pattern, may have male or female genitalia or predominantly male or female
genitalia, but will not have a uterus. Medically, if such individuals
compete against women, they will have no unfair advantage.

3) The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is used for duplicating DNA so labs
have a larger sample to perform tests on. I assume (but am not sure) the
sample is examined to find the X and Y chromosomes. Females have two X
chromosomes and males have one X and one Y.

It is possible for a human to be born with extra chromosomes. eg two X
and one Y is called "Klinefelter's syndrome". In cases of XXX, XXY, XYY,
or YYY there are a few known differences from the more common XX and XY
humans (eg height). See for
more information.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hidden Message

Apparently, this clothing company uses their labels for political expression.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Open-Source Car

"The idea behind open source development is to allow anyone to copy, modify and redistribute ordinarily secret information about a technology without paying royalties to the original developers."
Discovery Channel :: News - Technology :: Open-Source Car Project Gears Up:

Browser sniffing is [or should be] dead

"Sniff the right way

One solid alternative [to browser sniffing] is feature sniffing. This is the other solution mentioned by the “Gecko is Gecko” folks, and it’s vastly superior; instead of looking at the user-agent string and redirecting if it’s not in your “approved” list, you instead use JavaScript to test for the features you want (and, these days, browser sniffing is much more about JavaScript — particularly AJAX capabilities — than anything else). This is a concept that’s been kicking around for years, and which has had one or two high-profile articles written about it (including one by JavaScript guru Stuart Langridge, helpfully linked by the “Gecko is Gecko” site).

The nice thing about feature sniffing is that it’s almost completely foolproof: a browser will lie out of both sides of its mouth about whether or not it’s IE, but its JavaScript engine won’t lie about whether it supports getElementById. There are a couple of wrinkles in this rosy picture (notably Safari which, last I checked, exposes a method called preventDefault on DOM events, even though it doesn’t actually do what preventDefault is supposed to do), but I’d be willing to bet it’s as least as effective, percentage-wise, as sniffing for the “big four” (IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera) and it has the advantage of being future-proof: when the browser market changes, you have to adjust your sniffing scripts. But so long as you’re testing for actual features, you never have to update; getElementById isn’t going to get renamed any time soon.

And to really hammer it home, keep in mind that this is by far the most effective way to implement AJAX effects. Versions of IE prior to 7 expose XMLHttpRequest in a slightly different fashion from other browsers, so the browser-sniffing method relies on being able to absolutely differentiate IE so you can use the correct invocation. Of course, lots of other browsers like to masquerade as IE in their user-agent strings, so that’s out the window — trying to use IE-style invocation in non-IE browsers will just throw JavaScript errors at your users, and then they’ll complain (if you’re lucky) or take their money and their ad-viewing eyeballs somewhere else (if you’re not). Meanwhile, a few short lines of JavaScript which determine where the XMLHttpRequest object lives are all that’s needed to effectively work out how to do AJAX. "

The B-List: Sniffle:

17 years of accumulated strategy experience down to three items

  • Standardize - Agree on the standard, upgrade non-standard material, do not allow exceptions but always look for new ways to keep it best of breed. This has so many benefits unto itself that one could write a book on it.
  • Consolidate - Use a repository (doc, code, etc.), shutting down rouge or excess locations allows folks to locate and interact with the material better. It also saves a ton of money and drastically reduces confusion. I have found that it is always better to harden the central area than distribute it. This doesn’t work for everything (e.g. peer to peer, bazaar coding model (e.g. DARCS/BZR)) but it does for most things.
  • Automate - Queue up some simple tooling and automate as much as possible. Aside from saving money it allows you to focus your employees on things worthy of their attention instead of the mundane. It does wonders for productivity and can have a positive impact on communications.

Joey Stanford » Strategy: My Three Secrets

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Vibrating Corn Starch

Corn starch vibrating in a wide range of frequencies exhibits bizarre, finger-like formations.

Friday, December 15, 2006

PHP security team member gives up

Stefan Esser, PHP security specialist and member of the official PHP
Security Response Team has, he says, had enough - in his blog he has
announced his immediate resignation from the PHP Security Response Team.


He says that he had stopped counting the number of times he was called a
traitor when he published a bug report on a vulnerability in PHP.


While Esser feels that certain PHP functions are intrinsically unsafe (for
example allow_url_fopen/allow_url_include) and should therefore be
revised, many developers, including PHP specialists Zend, think that the
security problems in PHP applications have simply been caused by
inexperienced programmers.


In his view it is also irresponsible to cease proper support for the PHP4

Google as a Registrar? (Sorta)

Official Google Blog: Your easiest holiday task:

"we've made signing up for Google Apps for Your Domain much easier for those of you that don't yet have your own domain. We've partnered with and eNom, two leading domain registration services, to offer domains for $10 per year. And I like the fact that we're including private registration to protect your personal information"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

USA discussing allowing leaded gasoline.

I almost can't believe this news.

"The Environmental Protection Agency said this week that revoking those
standards might be justified "given the significantly changed
circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Map of the Inter-Web

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

Cringely interviews Englebart

This interview is interesting because Douglas Englebart talks about how he
had ideas he wanted to pursue and how he kept quiet because people told
him his ideas were too wild for the culture he worked in at the time.

"Doug Engelbart invented computer networks, time sharing, graphical user
interfaces, and the mouse--all while driving to work one day in 1951."

Microsoft redesigns iPod packaging

This was going around a while ago. I found it very entertaining in a "it's funny cuz it true" kinda way...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

interface that closely mimics a pencil-and-paper method of design

According to FreeDesign, the NSS technology allows FreeDimension to present a curve-based interface to the user that closely mimics a pencil-and-paper method of design, giving designers more freedom in generating 3D shapes for new product, virtual gaming, and entertainment applications.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

“Are you my friend? Yes or no?”

This question, while fundamentally odd, is a key component of social network sites. Participants must select who on the system they deem to be ‘Friends.’
Friends, friendsters, and top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

FBI turns on cell phone microphone remotely.

"Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr are especially
vulnerable to software downloads that activate their microphones, said
James Atkinson, a counter-surveillance consultant who has worked closely
with government agencies. "They can be remotely accessed and made to
transmit room audio all the time," he said. "You can do that without
having physical access to the phone.""

FoxTrot comic strip will go to a Sunday-only schedule.

FoxTrot will go to a Sunday-only publication schedule as of Dec. 31, 2006.

"After spending close to half of my life writing and drawing FoxTrot
cartoons, I think its time I got out of the house and tried some new
things", said Bill Amend.

"You-tube for data"

"the site allows users to upload data - any data - and display it to other
users visually. The number of page views your website generates. Or a
stock price over time. Weather data. Commodity prices."

"Uploaded data can be rated, commented and bookmared by other users,
helping to sort the interesting (and accurate) wheat from the chaff. And
graphs of data can be embedded into websites."

"You and other users can then compare that data to other data sets to
find possible correlation (or lack thereof). Compare gas prices to
presidential approval ratings or UFO sightings to iPod sales. Track your
page views against weather reports in Silicon Valley. See if something
interesting occurs."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wait staff scam. er I mean trick.

I found this on

Experienced waiters in high-end restaurants use a neat trick to gain trust
and credibility with customers. While taking orders, they point out that
whatever was ordered:

isnt that good tonight, may I suggest the (cheaper dish)?

This immediately gives the customer reason to believe that the waiter is
on their side, since he is willing to comment negatively about the
restaurants dishes and point to a better dish that is cheaper (which would
actually have the effect of decreasing his tip).

In the customers eyes the waiters credibility has increased considerably
because of this show of objectivity. Of course, the waiter then goes on to
leverage this increase in credibility by recommending more expensive
wines, appetizers, and deserts - thereby increasing his tip considerably.

Ten Guaranteed Ways to Screw Up Any Project

Michael Greer's Ten Guaranteed Ways to Screw Up Any Project

Strange yet Interesting


What is lojban?

Lojban is a carefully constructed spoken, as well as written, language designed in the hope of removing a large portion of the ambiguity from human communication. It was made well-known by a Scientific American article and references in both science fiction and computer publications. Lojban has been built over five decades by dozens of workers and hundreds of supporters.

melu la xrist. na.enai la pacrux. djica da li'u