This lady is bat shit crazy and clearly off her meds. She seriously thinks that Obama and reptile aliens will kill us all (video link). If this lady watches the TV show V when it comes back on air, she may actually think it’s a news report.

After watching this video I am convinced that robots will rise up and kill us all someday. I mean just look at her! She looks like she’s planning some shiznit right now!! I am convinced that she’s about to step up and attack someone in that room.

Wired used the following graph to validate the assertion that the web is dead as a proportion of total internet traffic:

Wired's Web Graph

However, Wired failed to account for the growth of Internet traffic during the same period. There millions of web pages created every single day. Just because the size of these web pages is small in comparison to video doesn’t take away the fact that more web pages are created than videos posted every single day. Also, the idea that video is *not* part of web traffic is a bit silly, since YouTube is alas a website on the web and responsible for majority of the video traffic on the Internet.

Taking into account the growth in traffic, the graph should look like this:

Normalized Internet Growth Graph

Yeah, I don’t think we need to worry about the death of the web any time soon. The growth isn’t even slowing down yet. Perhaps in an alternate universe where publishing to the Internet is limited to a select group of people the Web is dead, but not here.

Via BoingBoing.

Wired did a great Q&A with the creator of Pac-Man for its 30th anniversary. Happy Birthday Packie! “I got a pocket full of quarters and I’m headin’ to the arcade…”

Here is a remixed trailer for the for the film Tron. It is much more exciting than the original 1982 trailer. If the original Tron were re-released with this new remixed trailer it may actually do really well at the box office. Never underestimate the power of a good trailer. Via BoingBoing.

Remixed trailer:

Original trailer:

The first dot-com domain was registered by Symbolics, Inc. on March 15, 1985. Symbolics, Inc. was a computer manufacturer that created machines that ran the LISP programming language and was in operation until July, 2005. After that a privately held company bought its intellectual property and assets and continues to operate under the name Symbolics but using the symbolics-dks.com domain name. The new Symbolics company sold the symbolics.com domain name to a domain name investment broker called xf.com in August, 2007.

Happy anniversary to dot-coms everywhere!

Coffee Inhaler

I always knew that man’s innovation and ingenuity would lead us to this point in human evolution. This coffee inhaler is perfect for those that need the caffeine without the time to drink a cup of coffee.

Each “whiffer” costs $3 and can get up to nine hits from an individual stick, depending on how hard the user inhales. “Coffee good to the last puff!” Thank you.

Via BoingBoing.

Google provides a very detailed apology to those with privacy concerns.

A girl is stuck overnight at the Pittsburgh airport with 10 hours to kill during the snowpocalypse. Does she sit alone and stare at her laptop answering email for 10 hours? No! She produces an epic video that rivals anything that Ferris Bueller would have put together in the same span of time. Totally awesome. Via BoingBoing.

Tech Support Cheat Sheet
Click for larger size. Via xkcd.

I am done providing tech support. Next time you are in a jam, please use this handy tech support cheat sheet. This is exactly what I do to help you every single time! It’s not that hard really. You know who you are.

A San Francisco Mission District local is the founder of Ambient Industries, a company that recently released an awesome iPhone application called Flook. Flook is described on their website as a location browser which allows you to bookmark and tag the real world around you. It has a cool user interface too! From the founder:

Flook is not about finding the nearest McDonalds but rather about discovering that this fire hydrant is painted gold each year to commemorate its part in saving the Mission from fire after the 1906 earthquake (http://www.flook.it/community/Jane/50524) or that there’s an Edwardian Ball on next weekend (http://www.flook.it/community/smiling-robot/71128).

It is pretty cool to have “an extra layer of information to the world around you.” You should definitely check it out when you get a chance.

Robot dance competitions looked like this, but now they look like this.

Great blog post on the economics of pinball and how the Williams company made sure that you lost as many quarters as possible to their pinball machines between 1986 and 1992. Via BoingBoing.

Tron was the first true feature film to feature computer animation even before Photoshop!  They had to create rotoscoped film transparencies to put each composite frame together frame-by-frame for every frame in the film.  Some simple frames had like 6 transparencies, but the more complex frames had like 25 transparencies.  The film was 100 minutes long! At 24 frames per second that meant 144,000 frames of film had to be created using this antiquated method.  Computers created the images, but they were put together the old fashioned way onto film.

Now fast forward almost 28 years.  I just managed to find an HD version of the Tron Legacy trailer that was shown at the San Diego Comic Con a couple of weeks ago.  It is simply awesome!  Clearly they maintained the original design aesthetic created by Syd Mead and Moebius for the original.  I am very excited to see what Steven Lisberger and his team can put together using modern methods of computer animation.


Hackers found that SF “smart” parking meters are not so smart.  They totally own the SFMTA parking meters right now and gave a detailed presentation at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas explaining their methods.  They didn’t give away the code to defraud the SFMTA in their presentation, but these guys are totally parking for free right now.  I am jealous.

A guy from website zug.com was pissed to find out that phone companies sell our private data to just about anyone.  So, he went to the home of Verizon CEO, stood in front of his lawn, and shouted the following:

“I’m here on behalf of Verizon customers. PLEASE DO A BETTER JOB PROTECTING YOUR CUSTOMERS’ CELL PHONE RECORDS! Everyone has the right to privacy, including you Ivan! When we don’t have privacy, then freaks with bullhorns start showing up on our front lawn.”

Absolutely awesome.  “Can you hear me now!?”  Indeed.  Via BoingBoing.

GE scientists have figured out how to fit 500GB in a DVD sized holographic disc!

If you actually go to the real-time twitter feed for swine flu and read it for a few minutes I think you will find that it is even funnier than this comic. Via xkcd.

Stephen Hawking, 67, famous scientist and author, is very ill and has been hospitalized near Cambridge University, England, where he is a tenured professor.  Hawking has Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS), which is usually fatal after three years. Hawking has survived for more than 40 years since his diagnosis.

Mathematics and physics geeks from all over the world are wishing Stephen a quick and spedy recovery.  Here’s a link to some of Stephen’s funniest and most insightful quotes.

Also, while most mere mortals may not be able to understand it, you should take the time to read A Brief History of Time.  Unless you are a theoretical physicist you will likely not understand it all, but it will change the way you look at the universe.

Google’s April Fool’s joke this year was the new Google Autopilot link in Gmail.  I captured a PDF of the page to save it for posterity.  Check it out.


AT-AT (Playtime) by NickIsConfused on Flickr

Awesome Flickr photo set for Star Wars fans. Click on photo for full set.

This kid from Ithaca, New York, decided to record his aracade experiences onto a Sony TCS-310 Stereo Cassette Recorder from 1982 through 1988. Luckily he had stored all fourteen audio tapes in a safe place and rediscovered them when he moved the rest of his stuff from his parents house in 1997.  Over the last several years he has digitized the cassette recordings and posted them online at CoinOpVideoGames.com.

I was surprised to find how similar the arcade ambience from this New York arcade was to the arcade I used to frequent in Southern California.  Some of the recordings are better than others, but that’s to be expected.  Being able to hear the kids playing the video games is what sets this site apart from others which feature only the video game sounds.  Some of the recordings brought back some great memories.  If you enjoyed visiting video game arcades in the 1980’s you will enjoy this site.

The Pirate Bay trial began today in Stockholm, Sweden and it is what every geek is talking about.  It is the hottest ticket in town!  The operators of the Pirate Bay website, which is the biggest BitTorrent torrent tracker site in the world, are facing charges of facilitating copyright infringement by operating their site.

The operators are facing up to two years in prison, fines of up to $143,500 and civil penalties of up to $14.5 million from copyright holders like Warner Brothers Entertainment, MGM Pictures, Columbia Pictures Industries, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal, and EMI.  All in the same trial!  It’s like a criminal and civil case all in one.  Crazy.

The trial is expected to last 13 days.

I just read this great article about the President’s BlackBerry and the security risks associated with its use.  It highlights different ways that spies, with simple equipment, can figure out the President’s real-time location.  Needless to say this would be bad.  However, I have to think that the NSA has thought about all of the possibilities already and are likely issuing new devices to all of the President’s staff at least every other day.  Also, I am sure the President does not roam on foreign network providers with his device.

Google Latitude allows you to track where your friends are on your phone (or computer) using Google Maps.  This is great for finding out where your friends are in relation to you pretty much at all times.  And when you don’t feel like being social, you can get a little “latitude” by turning off sharing your location.  It works with the GPS and non-GPS enabled phones using Google’s funky cell tower range approximation method.  Check it out!

Via xkcd.

Via xkcd.

New M-Lab tools were released by Google to “test your Internet connection” or more specifically, to test your ISP.  One of the tools called Glasnost will test to see if your ISP is blocking or throttling BitTorrent traffic.  A couple of tools are still being developed and one of them will test to see if your ISP is prioritizing packets.  It will be a Net Neutrality test if you will.  You may find these helpful if you are into that sort of thing.

A 13-year-old girl in Orange County sent 14,528 text messages in a single month! It was such a large and obscene number that her dad initially thought it was an error of some sort.  He then busted out the calculator.

“Assuming my daughter slept an average of eight hours during the billing period (she usually sleeps more), that works out to 484 text messages a day — or a text message every two minutes she was awake” said her father.

Luckily, the family had unlimited text messaging.  Otherwise at 20 cents each, the girl’s text messages would have totaled $2,905.60. I don’t have kids but can totally picture myself killing my daughter if I were to see a phone bill for that amount.  Crazy.

Ninja Style Magnets

A great holiday gift idea for the ninja in your life.

Nothing to Say

Via gapingvoid.com.

Spock and Kirk Ready to Kick Some Ass

If you have seen the Quantum of Solace, you probably have seen the new Star Trek trailer in the theatres.  Also, by now the trailer should be on TV commercials nationwide.  Let me just say that the JJ Abrams reboot of the franchise is exactly what it needed.  You know it’s going to be awsome when non-Trek fans are excited about watching this film!  Go check it for yourself.  It’s awesome.

The Presidential debate is going on right now and people are most certainly tweeting their feelings about the candidates.  Well, twitter’s servers are so hammered that they can’t keep up with demand.  Twitter.com is not responding as of this writing, but I hope that phone updates are working.

The Star Wars Gangsta Rap Special Edition flash movie is one of the coolest Star Wars fan films ever!  Big ups to Heather for the link.  Click on more for the lyrics.

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Beware of Google Maps
Via xkcd. During our camping trip to Clear Lake during Labor Day weekend,
Mama and I experienced some Google Maps shenanigans too.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was turned on earlier today and we are all still here.

At least for now anyway.  In the coming months, the collider is expected to begin smashing particles into each other by sending two beams of protons around the tunnel in opposite directions. There are some skeptics who claim that the smashing particles experiment could lead to the creation of a black hole capable of swallowing the entire planet.  Scientists believe that if a singularity, or black hole, were created that it would be too weak and unstable to do any damage before it would "dissolve."

I hope the scientists, and not the skeptics, are right about this one.  After these experiments, the world and the universe as we know them will never be the same.  Stay tuned and let’s hope that all of the scientific calculations are correct!

Tonight at the House of Shields, the crappy bar across the street from the Sheraton Palace Hotel on New Montgomery, there will be a tech pitch competition.  You cannot use a powerpoint: it’s just you, a microphone, a sharpie, and a blank flip pad.  The absolute worst pitch will win $50 and the plastic Calcanis Trophy.  It definitely should be good for a laugh.

However, that didn’t stop Bloomberg from accidentally running Steve Job’s obituary yesterday.  They retracted it, but surely someone is going to be fired at Bloomberg for the screw up.  Still it begs the question: How is Steve Jobs holding up?  People didn’t think Steve looked so good when he took the stage in June at the WWDC.  Someone should call Apple to check up on Steve just in case.

This is a Star Wars mockumentary fan film of Imperial Fleet Week in San Francisco titled “Death Star over San Francisco.”  If you have seen the real San Francisco Naval Fleet Week you will appreciate this short film.

The Problem with Wikipedia

Via xkcd.

"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."
— T. S. Elliot, The Hollow Men (1925)

A company claims to have developed and is ready to produce a microwave ray gun that is able to beam sounds directly into people’s heads silently.  The sounds produced can be loud enough to incapacitate people.  The device is called MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) and would be used as a new form of military crowd control since it can’t be blocked out.  You know, covering your ears won’t work.  Other researchers warn of brain damage risks associated with such powerful microwaves.

This device sounds like one of those things that James Bond villains would mount on a satellite to try and take over the world.  If any one government or person could incapacitate throngs of people without even making any noise that would make that government or person too big a threat for everyone else. Wouldn’t it?  It sounds to me that this could really be a doomsday device.  That is of course if the CERN Large Hadron Collider doesn’t evaporate Earth first.

MC

Almost two years ago I wrote about a small Nerdcore film seeking distributionNerdcore for Life will finally be shown in California with its debut here at the San Francisco Frozen Film Festival in a couple of weeks!

The Nerdcore For Life screening will take place on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 4:15pm at the historical, 300-seat Roxie Theater in San Francisco’s Mission district located at 3117 16th Street.  Tickets are $10 and will be available at the box office on the day of the screening or available now on-line at www.frozenfilmfestival.com.

Immediately after the film screening there will be a free after-party featuring performances by several of the most popular artists in Nerdcore including San Francisco native Doctor Popular and Stanford alum, MC Lars. The after-party will take place at the old-school hip-hop themed club, the Double Dutch. Located at 3192 16th Street, it is only 500 feet from the Roxie Theater. The performances will begin at 7pm. Check it out!

I want to be able to film HD home movies and play them on my HDTV right off my server, a Buffalo Terastation, without the use of the camcorder for playback.  The technology that would allow this live local network streaming to happen is UPnP.  Many devices are just now starting to have this technology built-in, but you can typically hack older devices to become a UPnP compliant server or client.

About a month ago, I hacked my Terastation and installed Twonkyvision software that allows you to stream media (movies, photos, and music) to a UPnP enabled client.  The only UPnP client I have is my Xbox 360, which only plays Windows media files and has an awful interface for accessing photos and music.  Since I don’t plan to hack the Xbox 360, I immediately started researching the possibility of using something else as UPnP client that would play all streamed video formats with ease.  Enter Apple TV.

Last week I picked a used 40GB Apple TV on Ebay for $150 plus shipping to see if I could hack it and have it become the new UPnP client on my home network for playback of movies stored on my Terastation.  While I still haven’t hacked the Apple TV to be a UPnP client for the Terastation, I am very impressed with the default out of the box functionality.

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Emperor Workstation Yes, you too can rule the galaxy with an iron fist in your very own Emperor Workstation by NovelQuest.  This workstation is an "ergonomic solution that enhances comfort, productivity, and gaming experience."  Surely this thing has Death Star controls on it somewhere.

The company that makes this chair also makes an interesting looking game called Mindball where players try to control a ball using only Alpha and Theta brainwaves.  The website says that the player that is most relaxed usually wins the game.  Clearly every office could use one of these.

A new iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs yesterday at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC).  The new version of the phone will feature faster 3G speeds, built-in GPS, and half the price of the current version ($199).  Wow, how bummed are the peeps that paid $399 less than a year ago!?  Very bummed.  Luckily, Apple and AT&T decided to give everyone who "bought their iPhone in a AT&T store" the chance to return it to for 90 percent of its value: 100 percent less 10 percent restocking fee.  It is still not clear if this deal is available for those that purchased their iPhone from a website or direcly from apple.

Most importantly though, is that the new iPhone will feature push email technology and a built in Exchange client called ActiveSync.  It is unclear from press reports what additional software corporations would have to purchase to make this work.  Most corporations run either GoodLink server (for Palm Treos) or BlackBerry Enterprise Server (for BlackBerry).  Some, like my company, actually run both of these for their integration with Microsoft Exchange.  Many large companies are leery of installing another set of servers to support iPhone users.

It can’t possibly be that difficult to code a GoodLink or BES client for the iPhone can it?  I don’t know the answer to that question, but it seems one that could be easily answered at the WWDC.  Still, nobody seems willing to talk to the media about the possibility of a GoodLink or BES option.  It may not matter though, because at $199 the iPhone just became affordable for corporate users and those users may demand iPhones by any means necessary, servers be damned.  Only time will tell if this new iPhone gets the corporate adoption that Apple is looking for.  Stay tuned.

I was sitting around looking at prices for gold and was curious about the difference in density between platinum and gold.  After a bit of searching, I found the best place for details about all of the known elements is this nifty dynamic periodic table.  I spent a couple of hours reading about elements that I knew absolutely nothing about.  When I went to high school there were only 109 elements on the periodic table and now there’s 118 of them.  You know you are getting older when the physical world is very literally "changing all around you."

Rocketman

This guy must have balls of steel.

A Swiss pilot constructed a home-made jet-powered wing, attached it to his back, and jumped out of a perfectly good plane to test his device.  The wing, which has an 8-foot wingspan and weighs 120 pounds, allowed him to fly at speeds of up to 186 mph.  After his test flight he landed with the aide of a parachute.

I just saw Iron Man last weekend and have to say that the video of the flight reminded me of the way that Iron Man flew in the film.  Clearly there may be military implications to perfecting this technology.  It’s hard to believe that this is real.  Oh, and the guy has a website dedicated to his exploits too, but it’s in French.

I have to say that I have gotten used to using twitter and receiving updates from my friend in Hawaii on an almost hourly basis (he tweets a lot).  So when twitter went down today I was a bit dismayed and shocked at how it slowed my front page load times to a crawl. Because of this, I have removed the twitter status from my blog pages until they get their act together.

BlackBerry Bold

This new BlackBerry is way faster than an iPhone.

The new BlackBerry Bold, also known as the BlackBerry 9000, has been launched and is expected to be available to consumers sometime later this summer in an exclusive deal with AT&T.  It has twice the resolution as the Curve and a darker brighter screen similar to that of the iPhone.  It has the following features, most impressive being the 3G compatibility and speed:

  • Tri-band HSDPA (3G Technology)
  • 624-MHz processor
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g)
  • Half-VGA (480×320 resolution) color LCD
  • 128 MB Flash memory plus 1 GB on-board storage memory
  • 2 megapixel camera with video recording capability, built-in flash and 5x digital zoom
  • 16GB microSD/SDHC card support
  • Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0 support
  • iTunes support via BlackBerry Media Sync
  • 5 hour talk time, 13 days stand-by

Compared to the Curve, it has much more internal memory, a glossy metallic look, and adds corporate-strength Wi-Fi capabilities to 3G cellular and Bluetooth radios.  I cannot wait to get one of these to replace my BlackBerry Pearl.

Thirty years ago the first spam email message (unsolicited commercial email) was sent to 393 researchers on the Arpanet network.  Nobody knew it was the first spam message and wouldn’t call it that until 15 years later, but it was a harbinger of things to come.  Now there’s formmail spam, comment spam, trackback spam, and every other form of spam imaginable.

HTML Tattoo

This tattoo means "end head, begin body"
in HTML markup

Here’s one of many nerd tattoos that you can find by Googling the terms nerd tattoo or geek tattoo.  Oh, and do not forget to Google nerdcore tattoo, because those nerdcore kids take the nerd hardcore and to a completely different level in my opinion.

My favorite of the bunch I looked at is one by the name of Mario Jedi, a mash-up of Donkey Kong’s Mario and a Star Wars Jedi Knight into one outrageously crazy nerdy tattoo.  Sure, Mario looks cool now on your bicep while wearing a Jedi Knight outfit but how do you explain that wrinkled mess on your arm to your grandkids.  How are they going to feel about grandpa then!?

"Ooh, that’s going to leave a mark!"