24 January 2008

Internet is not so bad and you know it

Are you fed up of people pish-poshing about the evil that is the net? Raise your hand if you also know anyone who would proudly state" "Oh, I rarely use the internet?", which, let's face it, can easily be equated to "Who needs vegetables anyway?". And let's not forget alarmists like Hillary Clinton who put on the scary voice when talking about children and the dangers of the INTERNET. Well, pass this article around to anyone who corners you into such a useless debate. It's an interesting piece that addresses the various unfounded fears of groups - i.e. Sexual predators hunting for victims online, unlimited access to porn through the net, bullying, you name it. Kudos to him for a fascinating read.


PowerSaver Clip and WOW

This is absolutely kewl. OhGizmo featured an awesome power saving (sorta) design. It's a Saverclip: you clip it onto the power cords and it tells you huw much power each one is using. We could get one for our landlord, he keeps complaining about electricity.

In other news
, Wow just hit 10 million subscribers! Wooohooo!


22 January 2008

Facebook under scrutiny in Uk

Another article by Gadgetell; Facebook is being investigated in UK. The controversy involves Facebook's tendency to hang onto user details long after users have said adieu to the network. There is a note saying that you can log on, delete your details and then Facebook will delete info from server if user asks them to do so. Er, go back to that bit about keeping it on the server. On another note, doesn't hotmail do the same thing?


Paper plane will fly to earth's surface

Gadgetell had this strange article about the joint collaboration of he International Space Flight Center and researchers from the University of Tokyo and the Japanese Origami Airplane Association to create a paper plane that is capable of surviving the flight from its base to the surface of the earth. It's about eight cms long and apparently it's strength and heat resistance is currently being tested. According to the site:

The University of Tokyo research group has successfully designed a special paper plane model that was able to withstand a Mach 7 (8,6000 kilometers or 5,300 miles per hour) high velocity stream for 10 seconds.

Maybe sci-fi movies / series will incorporate this idea - the ultimate weapon against replicators!

OLPC is Communist????

Global Nerdy covers this crazy article about the One-Laptop-Per-Child Program. Basically, it refers to OLPC as a communist endeavor and goes on to make accusations that sounds pretty preposterous. What next? The Ancient Greeks were really aliens? The author of why OLPC promotes terrorism has colorful comments:

It's not just their collectivist education philosophy, everything about the organization is rabidly communist

Like any communist organization, the OLPC suppresses dissent.

Most people can't even figure out how to open the box.

Note: It was pointed out, in the comments section of the article that someone bet the author a dollar to write a kinda of parody. Alright then, whew. It sounded pretty extreme if it was his real opinion.

21 January 2008

Fancy Surges

Check out this cool surge protector that OhGizmo is featuring. No need for twangly cable anymore; just clamp on the gadget. I suppose now all you gotta worry about is the ten foot power cord.


20 January 2008

Interview with Christopher Heyerdahl

Gateworld had this nice, lengthy phone interview with Christopher Heyerdahl. For a quick recap, he's starred in both SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis - was the lanky power station scientist in SG-1 and that brooding, spiritual spokesperon of Athosians on Atlantis. It's an interesting interview: contains some spoilers for Season 4 of Atlantis (yes, some of us has not seen it yet in our little JZ corner of the world); mentions his sudden disappearance after popping up now and then to wheedle Atlantian gossip out of Elizabeth Weir and Teyla. My favorite bit was his mentioning of Youtube; he's a fan of the site since it enables him to catch up on episodes long after it has stopped airing. Hear, hear! By the way, Thor Heyerdahl was his second cousin or something close and personal along the bloodlines. You wonder what they talk about at the dinner table during Christmas.


75 words every Sci-Fi fan should know

Global Nerdy had a fun list of 75 words every Sci-Fi fan should know. Included avatar, Clarke Ring, grok as well as some real tough ones. Must admit, I was not familiar with some of the words; that's right, the Dungeon Master bows head in shame.

17 January 2008

New Generation Flash Drives

OhGizmo had this kewl design concept for a flash drive. The number of dots represent the amount of free space; that would be really handy.


16 January 2008

Hi Tech Coffee

Check out this espresso Machine. BoingBoing featured this handy machine, equipped with a webcam and LCD screen. Nice!


15 January 2008

Douglas Adams Fan Letter

This is so cool. Douglas Adams had replied to a fan letter; this was somewhere in mid-80's. What's Biggles Flies South?

muteboy @ Flickr

How Internet can help you learn

What is it about Academic snobbery and the internet? Seriously? Check out this article, one of many I might add, about a teacher banning use of Google and Wikipedia and thus asking students to use old fashioned moldy books in the library.

According to Professor Brabazon,

“I call this type of education ‘the University of Google’. Google offers easy answers to difficult questions. But students do not know how to tell if they come from serious, refereed work or are merely composed of shallow ideas, superficial surfing and fleeting commitments,”

Where to begin?

1. Proper Research:
Perhaps the schools to teach students the fundamentals of proper research, both online and from textbooks. Hence looking for credible sources, peer reviewed articles and the whole caboodle. I remember being taught research procedure when I did my degree; the whole .org, .edu debacle. Or is this just another case of lecturer being unable to verify online sources? On that note, printed word is not exactly sacred. As one lecturer pointed out, woe onto anyone who cites anything from the fictional section in the history term paper.

2. Red Pens are there for a reason
For the love of all that you learn, just use that red marker pen; punish anyone who is a pockmark on the face of modern day research; penalize the deviants from academic style research; banish the pot holes from the highway of institutional progress. Having said that, just give a - D to the lazy bums who don't follow procedure.

3. Hello JSTOR
Something I don't get; online PEER REVIEWED journals are available to most universities and schools through the internet; scores of academic sources are available online as information sharing amongst nations. Why can't the teachers give a list of proper research site? JSTOR, Talk Origins, e-book versions of actual print versions. Has funding for libraries shot through the roof since internet became trendy? I mean, are there so many books available in educational institutions that teachers can proudly say everything you want is in this limited room half full of bound paper? What about cost of getting latest books? Cost of up keeping old books? There are many schools all over world; a lot of them struggle with funding for almost everything. Surely a true educator would embrace this opportunity, the means to finally provide credible info to their students?

Perhaps the teachers need to be taught a few lessons: a) what are the numerous credible sources on the internet; b) penalizing students who don't follow online research methods; c) learning about keyword searches

14 January 2008

Terminator: Love Machine 2008

Terminator is back to make more money. At least that's what it sounds like. Disguised as a new TV show called Sarah Connor Chronicles, it traces the life of the aforementioned Sarah Connor and her teenage son post-blowing up T-1000 and smelting Arnold in a pot of gold, sorry was that molten lava? The idea has some merits, if done well and with enough creative input. I'm still going to watch it so call me a wary fence-sitter. What got me worried was the possible teen school angle - Cameron Phillips was your average girl next door in John Connor's school. Boom, out comes a futuristic robot to vamoosh the Connors and suddenly we find Cameron's all bionic and metal on the inside, as opposed to the goey goodness typically found inside humans. So, she's a robot from the future intent on protecting John. I fear the love angles on this one. As for characters, remember Zach? Clarie's social reject friend from first season of Heroes? Guess who John Connors is? Lena Headey is the gun-toting mommy who was also Queen Gorgo in 300. The bodyguard / BFF in leisure time is Summer Glau; you've seen her as River in Firefly.

Fox Site

The Evil that is Facebook

Finally, someone else is pointing out the headache that is Facebook. Tom Hodginson from the Guardian talks about faces behind the infamous Facebook. He describes it as a ... some kind of extension of the American imperialist programme crossed with a massive information-gathering tool and berates it's cursed ability to breakdown face to face human communication. Here's where it gets into the nitty gritty. Hodginson takes an in-depth look at the 3 board members who are shaping Facebook as a world domination tool - Peter Thiel (who has been portrayed as dabbling in right wing, neoconservative pastimes), Zuckerberg and Jim Breyer ( shown to have indirect connections to CIA and thus the concerns over privacy). Very interesting read.

Electric Dreams

Check out this cool article from OhGizmo; it's about a Funky Forest where projectors and sensors create an interactive environment where kids can help "grow" plants, trees, flowers and other nature stuff. Who says you gotta go outdoors for the goodness of nature?


Modern replication of Nazca Lines

Remember the Nazca Lines? Situated somewhere in Peru, it dates back to the Nazca people who lived somewhere between the Big Era Initials, namely 200 BC to 700 AD. These were meant to be geoglyph depictions of animals; fish, lizards, monkeys, birds. It's been hailed as one of the great mysteries of the Earth; UFO runways, alien interaction and other fascinating theories have sprung forth.

Possible solution to the mystery? Read this article by Joe Nickell about the mystery of the Nazca Lines. He takes a scientific approach to analyzing the Nazca (hence several theories inquiring about the reasons for creation of the Nazca Lines) and then tries to replicate the lines using simple tools.

andre stern


11 January 2008

Nintendo Bonanza

How's this for supa kewl? OhGizmo featured these Retro Duo clone consoles that plays NES and SNES games. Woohooo! Plus Gen X console for Genesis stuff. According to this site, clones don't seem to violate any patent laws since they were based on expired patents. Check out their site for full details.


10 January 2008

Anti-Red Superman

Pic taken in East Berlin. They do make a point about American Foreign Policy though.

osterreich ungern @ Flickr

Fun Quiz

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Lost: Interview & Spoilers

There's an interview of Michael Emerson (Big Bad Ben) on BuddyTv; talks about his character from Lost, upcoming season and perhaps a bit of pondering about that elusive answer - is Ben good or bad?

As much as Ben has been portrayed to be nastier than a Nazi, I still wonder if there is a twist coming up. Especially if the new threat is off the island, as he's been claiming so far. There was talk that in the flash-forwards, Jake attends a funeral which might have been Ben's - never occurred to me until then but kinda makes sense doesn't it? Emerson states that he cannot imagine anyone going to his funeral ... refresh my memory but wasn't that the funeral that no one went to?

Also found in the same site was an interview with Mathew Fox (Reliable Jake). He vaguely confirms that they get off the island and hints at time travel... eh? Guess only time will tell.

Lost is scheduled to air in US on Jan 31. That explains the availability of all 3 seasons on HD streaming format till then, doesn't it?

Predictions for the Future

Check out this website. The site, Long Bets, contains predictions for the future submitted by users. There are predictions way back from 2002 to ones submitted this year. Here are a few extracts from the site:

Gregory W. Webster predicts: "That by 2020 a wearable device will be available that will use voice recognition capability and high-volume storage to monitor and index conversations you have or conversations which occur in your vicinity for later searching as supplemental memory."

Bob Rosenberg predicts: "By the end of 2012, more than 50% of the root servers on the internet will be located outside the United States."

marc s. sokol predicts: "In 2012, 75 percept of all revenue for enterprise software companies will be from subscription fees rather than license fees."

Alex K. Rubin predicts: "By the year 2150, over 50% of schools in the USA or Western Europe will require classes in defending against robot attacks."

Douglas C. Hewes predicts: "By 2025 at least 50% of all U.S. citizens residing within the United States will have some form of technology embedded in their bodies for the purpose of tracking and identification."

Interesting ... not so sure about the robot attacks though.

Fancy clouds

Okay, fine so it's not a real UFO but it's still an awesome pic. Better than seeing a Care Bear Cloud.

allyd23 @ flickr

08 January 2008

Lost online

I was checking up on Lost.com when I came across this kewl tidbit - apparently all 3 Lost seasons are available online (streaming HD) from ABC site until Jan 31. Woohooo! Now's the time to watch it if you've never seen Lost (a.k.a. the absolutely crazy events following the Oceanic Airlines Crash Saga involving Polar Bears ). Might just watch it all over again before it comes out this year.

07 January 2008

Stargate: Ark of Truth: Spoiler

Exciting news! Gateworld has updated it's info about Stargate: Ark of Truth. It's set to release in U.S. on 11 March 2008 whilst the rest of world has to wait just a bit longer for region specific DVDs to debut. As far as the story goes (SPOILER alert), the direct-to-DVD movie picks up where season 10 left off; SG team is still fighting Ori and they find hint of Ori's Achilles' Heel in the form of mysterious weapon in Ori's own backyard. Speed up the Odyssey over there and what do you know, enemies galore!

In related news, Gateworld also has links to final cover art for the upcoming movie.