Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Recommended Add-ons :: Firefox Add-ons

I've already been using a lot of these for a while and I really like them. I want to try out a few more of them.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Linked list - Google Patents

Linked list - Google Patents

A computerized list is provided with auxiliary pointers for traversing the list in different sequences. One or more auxiliary pointers enable a fast, sequential traversal of the list with a minimum of computational time. Such lists may be used in any application where lists may be reordered for various purposes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Science Creative Quarterly » MSG: MORE THAN MEETS THE TONGUE: "In spite of the detrimental effects of MSG, the FDA approves of MSG in our food products based on its “naturally occurring” ingredient. Because glutamate is also found in nature, MSG is a safe food additive. Many manufacturers rename the monosodium glutamate ingredient to euphemistic terms such as, malt extract, corn syrup, cornstarch, or hydrolyzed “anything”.

So why do food companies and restaurants add MSG to foods in spite of the problems it causes? MSG fools your brain into believing you are consuming nutritious and tasty food, stimulates appetite, and reduces costs for the food processors."

"Hillary 1984" Video Creator Steps Forward

Many experts feel that the Hillary 1984 video marked a change in political campaigning. Now that voters have the ability to produce their own ads in support of their favorite candidate - or against politicians they oppose - many will.

Mr. de Vellis commented "This ad was not the first citizen ad, and it will not be the last. The game has changed."

Friday, March 16, 2007

JSON is not as safe as people think it is - Joe Walker's Blog

JSON is not as safe as people think it is - Joe Walker's Blog

Interesting post. As we move more and more towards web based applications I suspect that this will have to be fixed. I wonder why each javascript session isn't completely sandboxed? IE - why isn't there a different instance of the javascript interpreter with no shared memory for each web page's session?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In an effort to reduce my monthly phone bill, I went searching for an alternative long distance provider for cell phones. I found It gives cell phones a 3.5 cents per minute long distance rate with no monthly fees.

Does anyone know of anything better?

Even if I pre-pay for 300 minutes of long distance with Fido, it still costs me 8c per minute! I'm also switching to the "family plan" with me and Anita. It gets unlimited incoming calls, unlimited between members of the family and unlimited weekends and evenings. It only comes with 300 outgoing weekday minutes, but (to be honest) I don't need my phone much during work hours, except to answer incoming calls.

An interesting option is to add other people for only 15$ a month. I think they must share the 300 weekday minutes. I wonder if groups of friends can sign up?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Two steps closer to The Singularity?

Jeff Hawkins (inventer of the Palm Pilot and the Treo) has turned to work on neuroscience full-time and has published On Intelligence describing his memory-prediction framework theory of the brain.

In a recent interview with Wired Magazine, Hakwins, claims to have something quite significant to contribute to the study of artificial intelligence. The Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing.

Wired 15.03: The Thinking Machine: "Hawkins joins a long line of thinkers claiming to have unlocked the secrets of the mind and coded them into machines. So thoroughly have such efforts failed that AI researchers have largely given up the quest for the kind of general, humanlike intelligence that Hawkins describes. “There have been all those others,” he acknowledges, “the Decade of the Brain, the 5th Generation Computing Project in Japan, fuzzy logic, neural networks, all flavors of AI. Is this just another shot in the dark?” He lets the question hang for a moment. “No,” he says. “It’s quite different, and I can explain why.”

... Hierarchical Temporal Memory, or HTM ...

An HTM consists of a pyramid of nodes, each encoded with a set of statistical formulas. The whole HTM is pointed at a data set, and the nodes create representations of the world the data describes — whether a series of pictures or the temperature fluctuations of a river. The temporal label reflects the fact that in order to learn, an HTM has to be fed information with a time component — say, pictures moving across a screen or temperatures rising and falling over a week. Just as with the brain, the easiest way for an HTM to learn to identify an object is by recognizing that its elements — the four legs of a dog, the lines of a letter in the alphabet — are consistently found in similar arrangements. Other than that, an HTM is agnostic; it can form a model of just about any set of data it’s exposed to. And, just as your cortex can combine sound with vision to confirm that you are seeing a dog instead of a fox, HTMs can also be hooked together. Most important, Hawkins says, an HTM can do what humans start doing from birth but that computers never have: not just learn, but generalize."

The article didn't go on to explain HTM's to my full satisfaction but Numenta's Community Wiki did a much better job.

... but wait, there's more! ...

In another, entirely separate Wired Magazine interview, Douglas R. Hofstadter (Author of Gödel, Escher, Bach and I Am a Strange Loop), makes some interesting points about self awareness.

Wired 15.03: PLAY: "WIRED: How is your new book different from Gödel, which touched on physics, genetics, mathematics, and computer science?

HOFSTADTER: This time I’m only trying to figure out “What am I?”

Well, given the book’s title, you seem to have found out. But what is a strange loop?

One good prototype is the Escher drawing of two hands sketching each other. A more abstract one is the sentence I am lying. Such loops are, I think anyone would agree, strange. They seem paradoxical and even strike some people as dangerous. I argue that such a strange loop, paradoxical or not, is at the core of each human being. It is an abstract pattern that gives each of us an “I,” or, if you don’t mind the term, a soul."

I realize this is a stretch, but my imagination immediately jumps to pictures of the vast information of Wikipedia, and the Internet in general, all wrapped up with a friendly personality. Then make it self aware and, BOOM, One strange looped Singularity coming right up! I think they should name it "Singleton". It has a nice ring to it. "Thanks for explaining the meaning of life to me, Singleton, your a pal!".

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hello, My name is Mike. I saw LittleBigPlanet and i liked it...

Penny Arcade! - Karma Sucks: "in place of a six hundred dollar game, I will accept a six hundred dollar idea."

Clips: LittleBigPlanet - Kotaku: "This is the biggest thing to come out of GDC07. Hyperbole? Yes, probably. Is the game worth it? Yes, probably"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Picasa Web Albums Is Getting Really Cool

Picasa Web Albums: "What's New on Picasa Web Albums?

Some on my favorite features so far include:
  • The free storage quota has been upped to 1GB (and counting).
  • Photos uploaded through Blogger appear in My Photos.
  • You can upload videos using Picasa.
  • Order prints and photo products
  • Email notifications and RSS feeds
  • Easy Upload from Google Picassa or from iPhoto

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ink-less Printers?!

Since Ink Costs More Than Human Blood, I'm pretty excited about this Zero ink printer from Zero Ink Printer from ZINK!

It won't be available until late 2007 (and I'll believe it when i see it) but it would be really cool to have printers that don't require ink! How much would you pay for an ink-less printer? $300? $1,000?