I want one

05/15/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.engadget.com/2008/04/25/electric-motion-systems-e-electric-bike-3-495-for-two-wheels/

Yeah, not that I can afford a $3500 electric bicycle but the geek-lust is there all the same.


Cookie Monster comes to terms

05/14/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2006/5/5bryan.html

McSweeney's with another fine piece of fiction.

(Via Kottke)


WhatSize: The OSX answer to TreeSize

05/13/08 | by Adam | Categories: Macintosh

Link: http://www.id-design.com/software/whatsize/index.php

On Windows boxes, there's a program called TreeSize that is an excellent tree-based representation of disk usage. When I migrated to OSX I looked for an equivalent. I'm glad to say I've found it: WhatSize. Looks good, works well. It's shareware but not of the ridiculously expensive kind at $12.99.

Take a look.


Expelled Blog Moderation On Hiatus

05/12/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

They are normally fairly timely with moderating comments over on the Expelled! movie blog but, unusually, the moderation has been out of commission there for over a week and a half so far.

Now it could be that there is just one guy and he went on holiday, but in the absence of any news in this regard, I wish to save my one post from moderation purgatory, and post it here instead...

One of the users was posting on the blog, complaining that nobody had answered his seven questions:

Now, I’m going to repeat a few questions everyone seems very comfortable leaving alone. I posted them earlier and it’s just a few of many I could ask you.

Now, he claims to be a "molecular biologist in the medical research area", which makes me wonder what classes he skipped... or where, indeed, he learned his biology, but fair enough :)

I answered him, but the answer is held, at this time, in moderation limbo.

So here it is, albeit in my obscure blog in a corner of the internet :)

Full story »


Word of the day: succestrophe

05/12/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://nedbatchelder.com/blog/200805/so_that_happened.html

This word initially appeared -- as far as I can tell -- in a comment on a blog posting about the effect of being Digged (dugged?) and Slashdotted and having one's website brought down under the awesome load of a fully armed and operational battlenet.

There are no Google hits on either "successtrophe" or "succestrophe" as of the writing of this note so I guess mubay gets credit for this one.

(Via Dr. V)


Throwaway comment of the day

05/11/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/04/tulsa-june-28-and-suchlike.html

This one's courtesy of Neil Gaiman's blog, er, Journal:

Obviously I'm still English. If I'd become American I would have stopped drinking coffee.



DRM Redux

05/10/08 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright

Link: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/04/22/msn-music-customers.html

Microsoft's shutting down their DRM validation servers for their retired MSN Music store, and thus rendering all music purchased through it unusable should the registered machine associated with the DRM license ever be altered or replaced. This reminded me that I actually had some DRM-contaminated music lying around that I'd never burned to CD.

Full story »


That's a lot of litter

05/09/08 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2008/05/05/cgy-cleanup.html?ref=rss

More than 1,600 volunteers scoured the banks of the Bow and Elbow Rivers and Nose Creek for litter on Sunday, collecting roughly 7,000 kilograms of trash.

The three-hour pickup, covering roughly 160 kilometres, was part of the 41st annual Calgary Pathway and River Cleanup.

Event organizer Kevin Forster, with the City of Calgary Parks Department, told CBC News that volunteers collected more than 3,400 bags of garbage, not counting oversized litter such as tires, wheel rims and shopping carts.

Wow. That's a lot of litter. Definitely the volunteers who did the cleaning up deserve a round of applause.


Baby Dos and Don'ts!

05/08/08 | by dena | Categories: Ramblings

Link: http://childtorture.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/babydosdonts.jpeg

Things have been hopping in our household since before our son was born, and in many ways the rush of "to-dos" seemed to snowball time and again with necessary project after desired lifestyle change, etc!

Axel is 7 1/2 months old now, and in that time since he was born we have (in rough order):

Full story »


Oopsies (patent invalidation)

05/08/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://gizmodo.com/387597/legal-snafu-makes-thousands-of-patent-rulings-since-2000-invalid

Apparently the judges that make decisions for the patent office in the US were not properly installed rendering their rulings invalid.

For *thousands* of patents.

I'm definitely interested in seeing how this one pans out.


The rumours of the recent death of "Common Sense" have been greatly overstated

05/07/08 | by Adam | Categories: Whining

Generic email forwards invariably annoy me. This recent one about the "death of Common Sense" was particularly nauseating. I had a bit of a problem with this reactionary screed and needed a new blog post, so hello there, fodder.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense,
who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

Oooh. Strawman alert! When you start a rant with an ad hominem, you can tell it's only going to get better.

Full story »


Backscatter Spam

05/06/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology


I'll have to concur with Stephen on this one: backscatter spam (wherein the source is forged (legitimate domain name plus random collection of user names) is incredibly annoying. For a while I had my domain set to put all email that had no real mailbox home into one account for verification; recently I went away for a weekend and came back to 11,000 bounced spam messages. That's eleven thousand replies from other mail servers refusing delivery of spam because it's spam or because the user it was being sent to doesn't exist. Just think how many others are correctly configured not to send out the acknowledgments on spam receipt and the sheer mass of emailed crap jumps out at you.

Full story »


Ugly, but functional

05/05/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.herringtoncatalog.com/t479.html

I like this idea: a screwdriver with a built-in light.

(Via Gizmodo)


Wirthless Expelled Review

05/05/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Religion, Science

Based on the misrepresentations in the Expelled! movie, reason tells me that a unilaterally positive review is liable to partake of a number of factual inaccuracies in the movie, and add its own bad conclusions.

Well, one out of one so far.

In a credulous and blithering post entitled Ben Stein is the Rosa Parks of Darwin Skeptics, Kevin Wirth lays out a positive review and some commentary on the Expelled pseudodocumentary.

Years ago Rosa Parks got on a bus and sat where she shouldn't have - a form of protest letting the world know she'd had enough. Ben Stein, about as unlikely a candidate as Rosa for similar notoriety, has now done much the same thing, only this time the issue isn't about racial prejudice, it's about prejudice against those who question any aspect of evolution.

Well, for an easy objection, Ben Stein is no Rosa Parks. He's no Ghandi, Galileo or Martin Luther King, Jr., either, lest someone be trying to reserve any more pedestals that Stein is most unfit to occupy.

The larger claim, though, "prejudice against those who question any aspect of evolution" is bullshit, unless you modify the phrase to have "by using the already-disproven Second Law of Thermodynamics argument".

Kimura's Neutral Theory did not get him Expelled, and neither did Gould get ejected for Punctuated Equilibrium. The most aggravating thing about this, of course, is that intelligent design luminaries know this, in part because they are constantly quoting these sorts of working evolutionary scientists.

(Instead of doing their own damned research, I might add!)

Full story »


Springsteen versus Manfred Mann's Earth Band

05/04/08 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary

I recently picked up the "Essentials" collection for Bruce Springsteen, mostly as it had some tracks ("Blinded By The Light", "For You", "Spirit In The Night") that I'd only previously heard as cover versions done by Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

Perhaps it's the curse of having heard the others prior to the originals but, um, wow, Springsteen's versions are almost unlistenable.


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