31 Oct

links for 2009-10-31

30 Oct

links for 2009-10-30

29 Oct

links for 2009-10-29

28 Oct

links for 2009-10-28

27 Oct

links for 2009-10-27

  • "The banks are starting to charge fees to reliable customers in response to a slew of new credit card industry regulations that will limit when banks can hike interest rates. Cardholders who get a new annual fee notice in the mail will be in a no-win situation. Analysts say right now the banks are trying to figure out what their customers will tolerate. Many say they'd cancel cards with a high new annual fee." Can you say beyond stupid.
  • "Dunbar postulated that the typical human being can only have 150 friends. One hundred fifty people in the tribe. After that, we just aren't cognitively organized to handle and track new people easily. That's why, without external forces, human tribes tend to split in two after they reach this size. It's why WL Gore limits the size of their offices to 150 (when they grow, they build a whole new building)."
  • "The secret to a happy marriage for men is choosing a wife who is smarter and at least five years younger than you, say UK experts. These pairings are more likely to go the distance, particularly if neither has been divorced in the past, according to the Bath University team."
  • "For the rest of us “foodies,” now is the time for some deep soul-searching, to decide whether we will allow ideology to win out over evidence, particularly when the goals of biotech are increasingly aligned with many of the values the organic community allegedly holds dear." Another article detailing how organic food is a crock.
26 Oct

links for 2009-10-26

  • "Imagine if there were an easy way for digital media to be preserved indefinitely for nearly no cost. What gems might future hobbyists and historians uncover, digging through an infinitely large pile of images at a point when they become publicly available? Especially if the tagging systems of social networks like Facebook travel along with them? The Second Dark Ages (that of pre-Internet information gathering) has come to an end. We’re discovering, every day, works of cultural art from a time before the possibility of cataloguing existed. We’ve yet to build a system to allow such discoveries more easily in the future – but it will come. The picture you take on your iPhone today may be of the next Roosevelt or Lincoln – or, God forbid, the next Frank or Hitler. But we’ll only know if that picture can be re-considered in 100 years."
  • "It may not be a bad thing that almost no one in foreign policy circles is proposing anything new. Foreign policy is not modern dance; tried and true may be better than avant-garde and visionary. Still, in today’s world, marked by unparalleled threats and characterized by a striking division between elite ideas and broad public opinion, it’s hard to believe that America’s way forward is a return to the past."
  • Dealing with floats.
  • "If people want to argue for belief in God based on observation of the world instead of personal revelation, it’s difficult to get around this unpleasant truth – observations don’t imply that the world was made for us. We appear to have formed – poorly, I might add – from other species onto a difficult planet that is constantly trying to kill us in one way or another. We are a tiny speck in a universe that is vastly, mindbogglingly big. (I mean, you might it’s a long commute to work, but that’s just peanuts to space.)"
  • "Earlier today a pending non-provisional utility patent application assigned to Apple Computer published. This application, US Patent Application 20090265214, is titled Advertisement in Operating System, and covers exactly what the title implies; namely an operating system that is capable of displaying a variety of advertisements to users. "
  • "Still, the idea that the typical American’s retirement basically depends on the stock market is utterly wrong; that’s only true for a small elite."
  • "This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion. The above image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest. The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years. In the nebula's very center lies a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but with only the size of a small town. The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second. " Very pretty.
25 Oct

links for 2009-10-25

24 Oct

links for 2009-10-24

23 Oct

links for 2009-10-23

22 Oct

links for 2009-10-22

  • "They’ve come up with a number of their own solutions to solve a massive scaling problem, and sometimes we (the users) see bugs as a result of that. But, in a world where the much smaller Twitter goes down regularly, Facebook’s relative stability is pretty impressive."
  • "You now will be able to purchase songs as gifts for your friends. The "Music and MP3s" section of the Gift Shop, powered by LaLa.com, offers over 8 million songs for any music lover from artists such as Beyonce, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Imogen Heap and even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Web songs are 1 credit each, while full, downloadable, and digital rights management-free (DRM) MP3s are 9 credits each." Cool.
  • "You know what pisses me off? Getting a PR email from one of my favorite online retailers showcasing a buyers guide for “great gift ideas to pamper the women in your life,” including a pots and pans set, a hair dryer, and tons of gadgets in hot pink." Pink is not marketing to women.
  • "The Patriot Act does make “interferring with flight crews” a felony offense carrying a maximum 20-year sentence. However, using this law as a bludgeon to beat up a citizen who might simply have had a disagreement with a flight attendant over a glass of wine, is a monstrous abuse of federal law and federal power. It represents “overciminalization” with a capital “O.”"
  • "Springfield, Virginia resident Eric Williamson was arrested and charged with indecent exposure yesterday for failing to put on any clothes after getting up at 5:30 am to make some coffee. A woman and her 7-year-old daughter had cut across Williamson's front yard and saw him through his kitchen window."
    (tags: crime legal logic)
  • "I believe this is a first: The Chief Financial Officer of the City of Lubbock, Texas wrote to the Shire of Toodyay, an area in Western Australia and asked for permission to repurpose the Shire’s logo for Lubbock. The Shire of Toodyay agreed to the use and at no charge either. The City of Lubbock then proceeded to lop off a water-like appendage from the icon to now symbolize a windmill — as Lubbock has a strong windmill tradition and is home to the Windmill Museum — and then typed in their name." WTF is appropriate here.
  • "At this early date, these numbers tell us about as much what we'll see from the GOP in 2012 as a Variety story about a studio optioning the rights to a novel tells us about the eventual movie that may or may not get made from it. But it's interesting to me in that it suggests that, despite talk of the Republican party prioritizing economic concerns over social policy, their current top candidate is the one who's most squishy on economic policy and most known for his social conservatism." Indeed.