Apple's alive, alive!
Posted by MacDood
Apple Computer's persistence defies the law of increasing returns, writes Bradford DeLong in a commentary from Wired magazine. [Wired News]
LinkDiscuss [Boing Boing]
The gene found in mouse ESCs and some human equivalents appears to be the "master gene", co-ordinating other genes to allow stem cells to multiply limitlessly while still retaining their ability to differentiate. It has been christened Nanog after the land in Celtic myth called Tir nan Og, whose inhabitants remain forever young.
"Nanog seems to be a master gene that makes ESCs grow in the laboratory," says Ian Chambers, one of the team at the Institute for Stem Cell Research (ISCR), Edinburgh, Scotland. "In effect this makes stem cells immortal."
Los Angeles-based digital artist and illustrator Sean Bonner of sixspace gallery created a number of items for the BoingBoing SARS folk art series. Here's the first of several from Sean that we'll post over the coming days. Link to complete image.
LinkDiscuss [Boing Boing]
Like a shotgun blast, "Harvey Birdman" explodes outward into postmodern reconfigurations. "The Dabba Don," referenced above, embroils the cast of "The Flintstones" in a mobster universe. Even minor characters, such as the various creatures that mundanely function as household appliances, are called to the witness stand to testify against Fred's illicit gambling and "white slavery" empires; "You're dead to me, can opener!" Fred shouts at one poor dinosaur that rats him out. Birdman himself, pressured by organized crime to defend Flintstone, ends up with more than one severed head at the foot of his bed; only one of them (Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw), however, is a horse. Meanwhile, in the fan favorite "Shaggy Busted," Scooby Doo and Shaggy are unmasked as stoners, nabbed at the beginning of the episode in a live-action "Cops"-like bust as they drive down dank streets in their smoky van (Cheech and Chong's "Up in Smoke" anyone?) while blasting the opening riffs to the Doobie Brothers' (get it?) "China Grove." And that's just the beginning segment. We haven't even gotten to Birdman's opposing counsel, Spyro, a literal drama queen who phrases most of his arguments in Shakespearean meter (his version of Shaggy and Scooby's pot bust is titled, "As You Smok't It"). Or Hanna-Barbera bit player Magilla Gorilla propositioning Birdman in prison. Or the heavy-lidded montage featuring Scooby and company's various pizza binges and herbal appreciations. Or the bizarre resurfacing of a decades-old Tab commercial spotlighting Birdman's more-than-platonic relationship with his favorite one-calorie soda.
Then there's "Death by Chocolate," an episode that would make even McCaffery (who argues that a "bleak, absurdist comedy permeates the epistemological skepticism" of postmodern enterprises in "The Metafictional Muse") blush, this time starring Yogi and BooBoo Bear. While the plot line confirms Richter's assertion that "Harvey Birdman" is interested in telling straightforward stories, the episode is one extended, hilarious hallucination. Yogi's trusty (and usually much brighter) companion has metamorphosed into a Ted Kaczynski-type radical called the UnaBooBoo, and is nabbed in a government sting reminiscent of the Waco and Elián González debacles. The Waco jab may be a sly one; the government gives BooBoo 10 seconds to come out -- before launching an explosive at the count of two. But the Elián jab is more like a haymaker, replicating Alan Diaz's famous Associated Press photo of the closet invasion, with Yogi and BooBoo in the starring roles.
Link, Discuss [Boing Boing]
One month ago, these peas were full of life and vivid green. Now they're brown and dry; they've "gone to seed." It happens in gardens on Earth all the time. These seeds are special, however, because they were grown in space, inside the Russian Lada greenhouse onboard the International Space Station (ISS). On May 16th, ISS commander Yuri Malenchenko took the brown plants (pictured above is just one of many) and stored them whole in ziplock bags filled with silica gel. Later they'll be taken out again, the seeds harvested and planted to grow a second generation of space-peas. If all goes well they'll become the first legumes to reproduce in Earth-orbit. This is the fifth "seed-to-seed" experiment conducted by Russian researchers. They've grown Arabidopsis onboard a Salyut spacecraft, turnip greens and wheat onboard Mir, and now peas on the International Space Station.
LinkDiscuss [Boing Boing]
Baycon is a very costume-based convention... everyone looks like a freak. Especially people like me, who don't dress up. We look like the weirdest freaks ever. Even the hotel staff look like fairly normal freaks by comparison, because they're dressed up in waiter and maid's outfits.
And some people, look like incredible, dressed-like-Lara-Croft-only-with-chains-on semi-naked babelicious freaks. Not that I stare. Or even look, or think about them, or anything ever. I only know about their existence because when these people walk into a room, all the straight boys nearby give out this universal telepathic deflatory pained sigh. It's like the sound of a wolf-whistle, only backwards, sucked in. Ooohhhhhh.
The sigh has a meaning. All my life, it says, I have been told by my superego that dressing like a Marvel superhero will not get me laid. And, here, here and now in this temporary saturnalia, surrounded by other males who are - at best - my equals in the ugly league division table: here is my perfect woman. But the world knows that this mad girl's flickering eyes craves just one thing. A man dressed as Galactus, Eater of Worlds. And not only have I left my Galactus costume at home. I never made it. Worse, I threw those biro drawings of me in the Galactus helmet away the moment I'd drawn them, ashamed to show them even to (say) Dave. And now I know: I'm not a virgin because I'm a geek. I'm a virgin because I have pursued geekdom with a less than pure, directed gaze...
Freedom to Breathe Safe Clothing makes neckwear -- ties and scarves -- that are suppposedly good enough to filter whatever terrornoia phobia (anthrax, smoke, dirty nuke fallout) you're worried about. They'll sell you these garments so that you can look smart and businessy and still be prepared for the bogeyman's Orange Alert atrocities, wrapping them around your mouth and nose while you belly-crawl to safety. Kind of a duck-and-cover tool for your face.
Jean Panke of Mobile Tech News wrote a fun tutorial on "picture spamming" with the Sanyo 8100 phonecam:
Link, Discuss (via Gizmodo) [Boing Boing]
We've been sending so many pictures with our new Sanyo 8100, we've started referring to them as "picture spams." With the 8100, we can set up an e-mail listing and select one person, a select few, or everyone on our list to "spam" with photos. Here's a list of fun and helpful things the Sanyo 8100 has allowed us to do the past few weeks: 1) send photos of a grandchild blowing out his birthday candles to an uncle out West and a great-grandmother in the Midwest. 2) emailed a photo of a complex engine problem on our airplane to our mechanic in Virginia, 3) took lots of pictures during a recent beach week-end and spammed everybody in the Midwest we could think of (this technology is really fun!), 4) took a picture of a visiting grandson and emailed it to my PC so he could view his picture instantly, 4) sent pictures of a prospective house we were hoping to buy to family for their feedback and approval, 5) got a picture of a friend's lunch (a plate of Chinese food accompanied by chopsticks and tea) with a fun audio message attached. This is great stuff!
Mr. Winkle, small dog and web celeb, now has a book. At left, he cross-dresses as Rosie the Riveter. From the publisher's notes:
"Mr. Winkle is a REAL dog, as genuine as the underdogs he celebrates in A Winkle in Time. He dedicates this book to all the world's underdogs who have struggled against long odds and high obstacles, and who have labored humbly in the shadows of others - not for fame or fortune, but for the love of their work, the faith of their vision, and the good of humanity."Update: BoingBoing pal John points us to some extremely cool vintage work in a similiar vein from Harry Whittier Frees, and says, "I scanned one little booklet of his here. I'm not sure if my favorite photo is the cat in pants riding on a hen, with reins and all, or the bunny with old timey headphones."
Navigating through the archives is easier, and you can navigate through forward and back buttons or by title and date. Anyone who visits the old link will be automatically redirected, but be sure to update your bookmark.
We have traced such stories as "Where is Raed?", "Microsoft iLoo", "war blogging", and "Second SuperPower", which actually divided into two additional stories "Googlewash" and "Googlewashed". Overall we have traced 45 stories that have developed in the blogosphere over the last three months. Each blogosphere story has a definite beginning, develops along quite predictable lines and comes to a predictable end.
Story one: Last month while visiting Charleston, three women went into a Starbucks. They were spending the weekend together and one of them had a disposable camera with her. To commemorate their time with one and other they decided to take round robin pictures while sitting around communing. The manager evidently careened out of control, screaming at them, "Didn't they know it was illegal to take photographs in a Starbucks. She insisted that she had to have the disposable camera because this was an absolute violation of Starbuck's copyright of their entire [OE]environment'--that everything in the place is protected and cannot be used with Starbuck's express permission.
Story two: At our local [North Carolina] Starbucks, a friend's daughter, who often has her camera with her, was notified that she was not allowed to take pictures in any Starbucks. No explanation was given, but pressed I would think that the manager there would give a similar rationale.
I wonder what would happen if hundreds of people from around the country experimented this holiday weekend by taking pictures at their local Starbucks [sigma]
The ideas stemmed from a rumor about a baby who
purportedly spoke immediately after birth and said
firecrackers and "green bean soup" could prevent
infection, said an official at Anhui Provincial Public
Hundreds of thousands of people in the province,
including the capital, Hefei, received the rumor via
text messages on their cell phones, the official said.
Different variations of the story, told in areas as
far-flung as Guangdong and the northern region of
Inner Mongolia, say the baby said the soup had to be
consumed by midnight on May 7 and that he died after
delivering the message, according to newspapers.
The rumor caused sales of mung beans and firecrackers
to skyrocket in Guangdong, Fujian and Guizhou.
This evening I will be going to see The Matrix Reloaded. I have no doubt I will enjoy it (at least as much as, say, X2), even though my opinion of the movie has already been irrepairably influenced by the (mostly negative) advance reviews I’ve read. Timothy Shey, for example, pointed out Adam Gopnik’s review in The New Yorker, which, in a tone of unremitting snark, demolishes the decade’s most anticipated film. So great is Gopnik’s antipathy that, even while praising the first movie, he can’t resist a savage (and hilarious) dig at the franchise’s star:
Even Keanu Reeves, bless him, played his part with a stolidity that made him the only possible hero of the film, so slow in his reactions that he seemed perfect for virtual reality, his expressions changing with the finger-drumming time lag of a digital image loading online.
Ouch! And that’s an example of when he’s trying to be charitable! My favorite part of the article is his description of Zion in the new film:
Like every good-guy citadel in every science-fiction movie ever made, Zion is peopled by stern-jawed uniformed men who say things like “And what if you’re wrong, God damn it, what then?” and “Are you doubting my command, Captain?” and by short-haired and surprisingly powerful women whose eyes moisten but don’t overflow as they watch the men prepare to go off to war. Everybody wears earth tones and burlap and silk, and there are craggy perches from which speeches can be made while the courageous citizens hold torches. (The stuccoed, soft-contour interiors of Zion look like the most interesting fusion restaurant in Santa Fe.)
I can certainly appreciate Gopnik’s sentiment, which, I would argue, is mostly a reaction to the ridiculous amounts of hype attending the movie’s release. Furthermore, as someone who has always been a little miffed at the widespread perception that the original Matrix was a wildly original, deeply philosophical work, I can understand his need to point out the Wachowski brothers’ debt to Philip K. Dick or William Gibson or the medieval Cathars. However, I think it is important not to lose sight of the fact that this is just a movie, and, most likely, a very fun one at that (14 minute chase scene? Hell yeah!). The press (and, honestly, the filmmakers themselves) may have made the mistake of taking the whole thing too seriously, but I fully intend to enjoy myself by recognizing the movie for what it is: an action movie with philosophical overtones—not the other way around.
I’ll let you know how it goes…[Sci-Fi Hi-Fi]
I got a copy of the "Frek" manuscript this week (nyah nyah nyah) and I got to reading it last night -- and couldn't put it down. I was up for hours reading it, laughing aloud and marking passages of language so fluid and funny that I wanted to stick them up on a cork board over my desk.
Frek and the Elixir is a profound, playful SF epic. The central theme is human individuality vs. the homogeneity of monoculture.
It's 3003 and the biotech tweaked plants and animals are quite wonderful -- but there are only a few dozen of the old species left. Nature has been denatured by the profiteers of NuBioCom. It's up to Frek Huggins, a lad from dull, sleepy Middleville, to venture out into the galaxy to fetch an elixir to restore Earth's lost species. At least that's what a friendly alien cuttlefish tells him the elixir will do. But can you really trust aliens?
Frek finds himself in the midst of a galactic struggle for humanity's freedom, accompanied by his talking dog Wow, the down-home mutant Gibby, and an asteroid-raised girl named Renata. The final liberation depends on freeing Frek's long-lost father from an all-seeing alien known as the Magic Pig.
Frek and the Elixir is an archetypal saga reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter books, and Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series -- enlivened by Rudy Rucker's trademark originality and wit.
Ages 12 and up. Length 166,000 Words. The novel will be published by Tor Books in Spring, 2004.
My favorite part: the "generate-a-Calvin-peeing" engine, where you select who he hates (la Migra? The Navy? Ford trucks? "Fat chicks"?), whether it's the real Calvin or not, then generates a sticker for you on the fly.
At left, the variant I probably see most often when I'm tooling down the freeway between L.A. and the border. OK, that and the "praying to Jesus" one, which actually does not involve peeing, rather, praying.
Link, Discuss, (Thanks, Steve)
[Boing Boing Blog]
CSPAN devoted their Friday morning Washington Journal call-in show to the use of blogs. View it here. I thought it was pretty good. The webcast should be available for 3 days.
Link to AP story, Discuss (via unwired listserv) [Boing Boing]
Paris could soon be among the first cities to offer Internet all across town, allowing e-mailing and Web surfing from the Left Bank to La Defence. Two technology firms and the agency that runs Paris' subway have launched a test run that, if successful, could lead to Paris becoming one massive "hot spot." In the trial, a dozen antennas were erected last month outside Metro stations lining a major north-south bus route, allowing anyone nearby to go online with a computer equipped to receive the signals.
What exactly is a "chickenhawk"? According to The New Hampshire Gazette, "a "chickenhawk" has three qualities: bellicosity (a warlike manner or temperament), public prominence, and a curious lack of wartime service when others their age had no trouble finding the fight."
Asimov's Link (Ian R. MacLeod -- Breathmoss; Charles Stross -- Halo; Gregory Frost -- Madonna of the Maquiladora; Ursula K. Le Guin -- The Wild Girls; Molly Gloss -- Lambing Season; Michael Swanwick -- The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport)
I note that construction has stopped of a Mark Twain Museum here in Hartford -- behind the carriage house of the Mark Twain House at 351 Farmington Avenue.
Work persons have been sent home from that site because American "conservatives," as they call themselves, on Wall Street and at the head of so many of our corporations, have stolen a major fraction of our private savings, have ruined investors and employees by means of fraud and outright piracy.
Shock and awe.
And now, having installed themselves as our federal government, or taken control of it from outside, they have squandered our public treasury and then some. They have created a public debt of such appalling magnitude that our descendants, for whom we had such high hopes, will come into this world as poor as church mice.
Shock and awe.
What are the conservatives doing with all the money and power that used to belong to all of us? They are telling us to be absolutely terrified, and to run around in circles like chickens with their heads cut off. But they will save us. They are making us take off our shoes at airports. Can anybody here think of a more hilarious practical joke than that one?
Smile, America. You're on Candid Camera.
Early on in the film, Morpheus whips the inhabitants of Zion, the underground city where the last band of human rebels have their stronghold, into a frenzy. The agents of the Matrix have finally located Zion, and a dreadful army of 250,000 Sentinels -- those scary, dreadlocked killing machines from the first film -- is burrowing down through the earth, on its way to destroy the city and annihilate the free survivors of the human race. But Morpheus does not rouse the citizens of Zion for battle, although a final battle is close at hand. He wants them to party. The machines have been trying to kill them for years, decades, he reminds them, longer than anyone living can remember: "But we are still alive!"
What follows is a thunderously exciting all-night multicultural rave, an ecstatic dance party the likes of which I've never seen on film before -- intercut with a hot 'n' sweaty interlude between Neo and Trinity, who've been struggling to find some Q.T. together amid the impending apocalypse and hordes of strangers who want Neo to bless their babies. One of the marks of genuine genius in the Matrix films, I think, is the way the Wachowskis manage to have it both ways so much of the time: They can make a box-office-busting action spectacular that is also an explicit critique of media-age capitalism and a lefty-Christian parable. They can turn a sex scene between two movie stars with fabulous bodies into a celebration of the sheer sensuous delight we all share (or should share, anyway) just at being alive, experiencing the world with our own bodies and our own minds.
Enoch rounds the corner just as the executioner raises the noose above the woman's head. The crowd on the Common stop praying and sobbing for just as long as Jack Ketch stands there, elbows locked, for all the world like a carpenter heaving a ridge-beam into place. The rope clutches a disk of blue New England sky. The Puritans gaze at it and, to all appearances, think. Enoch the Red reins in his borrowed horse as it nears the edge of the crowd, and sees that the executioner's purpose is not to let them inspect his knotwork, but to give them all a narrow [~] and, to a Puritan, tantalizing [~] glimpse of the portal through which they all must pass one day.
Boston's a dollop of hills in a spoon of marshes. The road up the spoon-handle is barred by a wall, with the usual gallows outside of it, and victims, or parts of them, strung up or nailed to the city gates. Enoch has just come that way, and reckoned he had seen the last of such things [~] that thenceforth it would all be churches and taverns. But the dead men outside the gate were common robbers, killed for earthly crimes. What is happening now in the Common is of a more Sacramental nature.
The noose lies on the woman's grey head like a crown. The executioner pushes it down. Her head forces it open like an infant's dilating the birth canal. When it finds the widest part it drops suddenly onto her shoulders. Her knees pimple the front of her apron and her skirts telescope into the platform as she makes to collapse. The executioner hugs her with one arm, like a dancing-master, to keep her upright, and adjusts the knot while an official reads the death warrant. This is as bland as a lease. The crowd scratches and shuffles. There are none of the diversions of a London hanging: no catcalls, jugglers, or pickpockets. Down at the other end of the Common, a squadron of lobsterbacks drills and marches round the base of a hummock with a stone powder-house planted in its top. An Irish sergeant bellows [~] bored but indignant [~] in a voice that carries forever on the wind, like the smell of smoke.
... [Jon's Radio]
It seems kind of unfair, doesn't it? First, developers have to understand and accommodate users' habits. Then we have to deliver solutions that add value while surreptitiously encouraging users to adopt better habits. Finally, we have to bring to the surface, examine, and modify our own deeply-ingrained habits. That's a painful and psychologically hard thing to do. But happy users are not the only reward. The habit of breaking habits will serve you well. [Full story at InfoWorld.com]
The suit, the first of its kind in the country, asks for an injunction ordering Kraft Foods to desist from selling Nabisco Oreo Cookies to children in California, because the cookies are made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, also called trans fat...
In particular, he mentions a school-based program called the Oreo On-line Project, which involves stacking Oreos as high as possible without toppling the tower. In 2002, more than 326 schools and classes around the country participated, according to the Oreo Web site.
Prophecy and prediction are not quite the same, and it would ill serve writer and reader alike to confuse them in Orwell's case. There is a game some critics like to play in which one makes lists of what Orwell did and didn't "get right". Looking around us at the present moment in the US, for example, we note the popularity of helicopters as a resource of "law enforcement," familiar to us from countless televised "crime dramas," themselves forms of social control - and for that matter at the ubiquity of television itself. The two-way telescreen bears a close enough resemblance to flat plasma screens linked to "interactive" cable systems, circa 2003. News is whatever the government says it is, surveillance of ordinary citizens has entered the mainstream of police activity, reasonable search and seizure is a joke. And so forth. "Wow, the government has turned into Big Brother, just like Orwell predicted! Something, huh?" "Orwellian, dude!"
"The 3.5-day (84-hour) exposure captures stars as faint as 31st magnitude, according to Tom M. Brown (Space Telescope Science Institute), who headed the eight-person team that took the picture. This is a little more than 1 magnitude (2.5 times) fainter than the epochal Hubble Deep Fields, which were made with the Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. It is 6 billion times fainter than what can be seen with the naked eye."
"T. granrojo is not just a new species and genus. It is so different from other jellies that it had to be assigned to a new subfamily (Tiburoniinae). Its large size and deep red color are distinctive. But what really sets T. granrojo apart is that, unlike most jellies, it has no tentacles. Instead, it uses its four to seven fleshy arms to capture food. Researchers were particularly surprised to find that the number of arms varies from individual to individual, because this is generally a diagnostic feature for determining different jelly species."
Writing that the iTunes Music Store flat out rocks, Ron Harris of the
Associated Press adds, The service offers unparalleled flexibility for legitimate music downloads, a beefy selection of musical genres and, best of all, no subscription fee and no limits on burning songs to CDs. Snagging music from the Internet hasnt been this simple since the Napster days. And now I no longer feel like a scofflaw. [May 9] [Apple Hot News]
Ben Hammersley's latest Guardian column challenges the received wisdom that the Internet is killing off good prose:
Writing is dead, they say. The internet killed it: kids r writing SA n txt, grown-ups rely on spell checkers and stylish grammar is punished by green squiggly lines. In fact, listen to the critics and you would be forgiven for thinking the internet is not so much a cultural wasteland, but a vacuum - sucking the very essence of civility and art out of its users...
Readers are getting a good deal. But why is this? Cost, mostly. Until now, a free press has been anything but: paper, printing, binding and distribution all cost money that niche publications would never be able to find or recoup. But with the internet, one can be read almost anywhere on the planet, contributed to by strangers and influenced by writers who, only a few years ago, you would have never had the chance to hear of.
The unveiling of good writing is one thing, but how do you become a good writer in the first place? The internet helps out there, too. Writers' communities, where people offer advice, encouragement and read and review each other's work, are becoming very popular. Sites such as Zoetrope, the Short Story Group and, while offering no critique, sites such as ABCTales, will publish anyone who wants to show their work to the world.
(Isn't it great that Wesley is STILL whining...)
Speaking of getting burned, I read a wire story (warning: pop-up and cookie hell) that talked about the explosion of "celebrity weblogs." In it, he mentioned me, failed to mention that I was doing this LONG before it became a marketing tool for Big Celebrities, and portrayed me in what I think itsn't a very positve light. [Wil Wheaton]
Imagine going through a weekend without electric lighting, TV, radio, computers or even books. Use candles and lamps sparingly, as if wax and oil were rare and dear commodities. Instead, rely mainly on a fire. If you can, do this at an isolated rural house, away from the distractions and noise of the city. You are replicating the common experience of humanity before the twentieth century. The outside world is darkness, full of the noises of unidentifiable animals and insects, the groan of creaking wood and the whisper of wind through unseen spaces. Out there is the unkennable realm of nature, indifferent or perhaps even hostile to mankind. As night falls, your family begins to huddle in the pool of light and warmth thrown by your fire; the light is to weak to do much work by, so mostly you sit and talk to each other. This was the nighttime world of virtually every generation before ours -- the place and time of the storyteller, the folk poet and singer. In between the outer world of darkness and the inner world of light, there is an third place, where things can be seen but only indistinctly; of shifting shadows, curling smoke and imagined shapes. This is the world of Faerie11. Faerie has been our constant nighttime companion from the earliest days of our species until light bulbs and electricity became common in the last century. [Kuro5hin.org]
In the fine tradition of E2's Books that will induce a mindf*ck, I present a list of authors and books that I think are more than worth the time required to read them. My main criteria here are that the books be interesting, gripping, etc. -- not necessarily of great "literary" value. [Kuro5hin.org]
From the Straight Dope, answers to the Mad Hatter's riddle, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"
* Because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes. (Puzzle maven Sam Loyd, 1914)
* Because Poe wrote on both. (Loyd again)
* Because there is a B in both and an N in neither. (Get it? Aldous Huxley, 1928)
* Because it slopes with a flap. (Cyril Pearson, undated)
A list of the least popular and sometimes weirdest search terms is compiled by net giant MSN. [BBC News | TECHNOLOGY]
At the top of the list is the phrase "walking with woodlice" perhaps occasioned by the BBC's series of programmes that give the viewer a new view of life during the heyday of the dinosaurs, cavemen and other ancient beasts.
Blinked and missed the movie but the DVD has appeared
From: 20th Century Fox - Year: 2003 - Rated: PG-13 - Release Date: July 29, 2003 - Features: Anamorphic * Widescreen * DD 5.1 * DTS * Extras! * - Recommended! I enjoyed Daredevil infinitely more than Spider-Man , in the theater as well as on DVD. The film offers a much darker and intimate look into the world of a superhero and is absolutely stunning in its production design and action sequences. The DVD is fantastic, offering an amazing wealth of extra features as well as what is quite possibly the best Dolby Digital and DTS mixes I have ever heard. In terms of big budget blockbusters DVDs, they do not get much better than Daredevil. Highly recommended. Amazon Compare [
digitallyOBSESSED.com DVD Reviews]
In the U.K., the BBC is known as 'Auntie Beeb' because of its safe, provincial values. But in October, the esteemed British broadcaster will launch a radical experiment in online democracy -- a website for turning ordinary citizens into grassroots political activists. By Leander Kahney. [Wired News]
Interesting weight-loss tech: a pill that expands in your stomach, making you feel full. The pill dissoves after a week, so you have to take one a day. It's an alternative to grody stomach-stapling surgery, and appears to be very much the lesser of two evils.
kauff writes "Slate has recently released a somewhat-inspired article about what the Matrix was. You have to read it for yourself. Good way to hype yourself up ... [Slashdot]
If you are new to this site, chances are that you found it through www.blogger.com. Blogger is a pioneer of the blogging community, and is one of the most popular tools that allows anyone to publish a blog. A lot of people, however, are still asking, "What is a blog?"
Blog is a cute abreviation for "web log". Basically, it is an online journal that can be used for any variety of applications. This blog focuses on computers, the internet, and related topics. Other blogs will cover a wide range of topics. Many are simply online diaries that provide a vehicle of expression. Blogs are used by individuals, companies, community organizations, and special interest groups.
What all blogs have in common is that they are updated regularly. New items appear on the top of the first page and are dated. Older items are moved into an archive.
Some of the most popular blogs can be found on this list.
Blogging, although still in its infancy, is catching on like wildfire. It has produced phenomena that has impacted culture, politics, news distribution, and internet activity. It has certainly impacted my life: I waste a lot of time to waste your time reading this. I find it quite rewarding, however, and I certainly encourage anyone with or without web design skills to consider blogging as a way to share your interests and ideas with the world.
Watch a great PBS report on blogging here.