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Archive for the 'Privacy' Category

Future Shock

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I read this article at InfoWorld on 10 future technologies which may be available in ten years. Number 8 is a little scary. I laughed at number 3. Everything works and you don’t have to wait. Some times I sit down to do something on my computer and by the time it boots and everything asks me if I want to upgrade it, I’ve forgotten what it was I was going to do in the first place. I guess I have thought about the idea of being able to capture all of your life and record it somehow. As much as it would be nice to be able to create a high resolution image of something beautiful you saw when you didn’t have your camera. I often think how strange it would be now to be a kid and have something stupid you did being posted to YouTube.

The idea of using a space elevator has been around for a long time. This article points out carbon nanotubes would only have to be 4 times stronger than they are now to accomplish that. This is one technology I thought was well off into the future but if you believe the article, the Japanese are planning to build one.

I’ve often felt like there should be a way to go play golf on an extremely hot day and stay cool somehow, especially if you rented a cart. This device sounds like the only real difference between it and sticking you hands in cold water is that it draws a vacuum on your palms to speed up the process. The part where the guy goes from 180 pull-ups to 616 in six weeks is pretty amazing.

First there was dark energy, then dark matter, now dark flow. Is there a cosmic vacuum cleaner sucking up the universe?

This is an ad for condoms which has an interactive visualization of the “beer goggle” effect.

I thought this came out kind of cool. A guy decorates his basement by drawing on the walls with a Sharpie.

Probably not safe for work, but if you can cross view, check out these photos from a bikini contest. If you want to learn to cross view, see my tutorial here.

TV on the web is really evolving. Now at Hulu you can watch shows which have not premiered on TV yet.

And finally, here is your funny animal picture.

Tasteful

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

One of my cats brought a rabbit into the house and let it go today. I think it is in a room we use for storage which means it’s full of stuff, and the rabbit could be anywhere. If any of my readers has a suggestion on how to catch it, I’d love to hear it. I might run out and buy one of those cage traps later.

There is a berry called Miracle fruit. For about 30 minutes after you eat it, it makes sour things taste sweet.

This article says the music you listen to can effect the taste of wine.

This is a pretty cool video about an optical illusion where it appears as though an image is animated as you move a sheet with vertical lines over it.

This is interesting. According to this article, the reason we see optical illusions is because our visual system is predicting future events.

Diatoms are tiny unicellular algae that have shells made of silicon dioxide. It’s possible in the future; Microbes Could Build ‘Iron Man’ Circuits.

I’ve been seeing a lot of news on the chemical Bisphenol A lately. In this article it’s linked to obesity. Even though the FDA won’t tell parents to avoid it, you wonder how they can sell this stuff anymore. How many parents would take the chance?

85% of Americans Want a Presidential Debate on Science. It’s nice to see members of both political parties agree on something.

Having less power makes you dumber.

By randomly assigning individuals to high and low-power conditions, they demonstrate that simply lacking power can automatically lead to performance that reinforces one’s low standing, sending the powerless towards a destiny of dispossession.

After reading; Report: Government’s Cyber Security Plan Is Riddled With New Spying Programs, I had the thought we could all save a lot of money and gain a lot of privacy if those of us who are not terrorists could get certified as such. No matter how many civil liberties we give up or how much we spend there will always be gaps in our protection.

If you don’t know what a trebuchet is, it’s one of those large wooden contraptions people used to use to hurl things at castles. In this video they hurl people into a net. I don’t think I’d try that.

Want more trebuchet videos? This guy hurls cars and flaming pianos.

A German street performer appears to be hanging in space with one hand against the wall. If you look closely at the last picture on the second page, you will see how it’s done. His left arm isn’t real and it is attached to a harness.

And finally, I’ll leave you with three nice photos; this striking city at night, this African setting, and whatever this cute thing is.

What if I eat like a terrorist?

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

As I sit down to write this I realize it’s my 42nd post. I thought I might run out of things to write about by now. I am surprised by the number of people who read this. Thanks for coming. Feel free to comment.

Lately I have been reading about what people think happened before the Big Bang. It’s one of those things I guess I didn’t think anyone would ever be able to discuss outside the realm of religion because the mathematics ‘blows up’ as you approach that time. In this article the scientists state before the ‘big bounce’ things were pretty much as they are now.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the concept of a multiverse. The idea of a multiverse is that anything than can happen does happen. You can think of it as a ‘foam’ of universes with each bubble consisting of a particular universe. I think the idea fits in well with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The idea being you can only know so much about the universe because it’s multiplying into many universes as you go along. Anyway, my friend seemed to have a problem with the idea of the multiverse and I pointed out he believed in an infinite universe so the idea of an infinite number of infinite universes wasn’t a big step.

OK, if I didn’t lose you in that last bit of nerdyness you might get this joke I ran across linking to Wikipedia.

In the well known joke: “Heisenberg is pulled over by a policeman whilst driving down a motorway, the policeman gets out of his car, walks towards Heisenberg’s window and motions with his hand for Heisenberg to wind the window down, which he does. The policeman then says ‘Do you know what speed you were driving at sir?’, to which Heisenberg responds ‘No, but I knew exactly where I was.’”

If you can’t decide whether global warming is real or not consider this; Beer lovers told to beware of global warming. Oh no, not beer!

I thought this article from Clive Thomson on civil rights was pretty interesting. I have read about the technology of beaming sounds into your head but I’ve yet to experience it. As for privacy rights, my guess is we are going the other direction very fast and it may be too late to do anything about it. I liked the comment at the bottom.

You know, George Orwell’s 1984 was meant to be a WARNING, not a PLAYBOOK

In Orwell’s book it required people to spy on people. It seems quaint in light of the capacity of today’s technology to track people. Here is an article where the author spent one week trying to remain anonymous.

One night that same friend I mentioned above was over and we were talking about Google. We Googled him and to my amazement he didn’t show up. You really have to tread lightly in this world for that to happen.

I have so far resisted my local grocery store’s attempt to get me to carry one of those tracking cards. It’s silly I know but I just find being tracked distasteful. Obviously I’m blogging so I have somewhat gotten over it. Part of it is I sit on my wallet. If I carried a card for every store that wanted me to, I’d lean to the right while I’m driving. You just know they are using that information for some evil purpose. They will have me so analyzed I will mindlessly buy stuff because they know me better than I know myself. What if they send that info to my health insurer who calculates my cholesterol level? What if I eat like a terrorist?

This chart displays the odds of you dying from any particular cause. I found it surprising you are more likely to die from a legal execution than getting hit by lightning.

Here is an article about using rice paddies to generate electricity.

I have four blueberry bushes which are still quite small in spite of being rather old. I just can’t seem to get the pH low enough in the soil. On top of that our local bunny was chewing on the bare branches this winter so I don’t think we will be getting a lot out of them this year. I’d eat blueberries even if they were bad for you but in this article they say they will help your memory as you age.

Holy Moley, check out the teeth on this fish!

I have taken to reading Dvorak’s blog. Today he had this story about a Bosnian man whose house has been hit by meteorites an incredible five times!

Finally, I enjoyed this collection of pictures entitled; Sights you may not see in a lifetime.