$140,000 gem-encrusted Hot Wheels diecast

02/28/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://www.dailystab.com/nick-lachey-helps-out-with-hot-wheels-40th-anniversary-celebration/

Sometimes think that I need an "obscene" category when "silly" just doesn't cut it.

I suppose I should be glad they they didn't deface one of their decent-looking models while creating this hideous monstrosity.

(Via Gizmodo)


The apostrophe: victim of poor programming practices

02/27/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://news.wired.com/dynamic/stories/A/APOSTROPHES_IN_NAMES?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2008-02-21-18-20-25

Interesting article on how poorly constructed code makes a hash of legitimate names.

On the other hand, xkcd has a nice example of when you really should filter your input data...


The English, she is hard.

02/26/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

I recently received an email with the following sentence:

No one seems to want to say the "R" word out loud, but there are irrefutable signs that a recession may be looming

When things are "irrefutable," one doesn't qualify them with a "may."


Fired for posting a comic strip

02/25/08 | by Adam | Categories: Calgary

Link: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080220/NEWS/802200382

Wow. It's sad when real life not only imitates Dilbert but appears to be instigated by it.

(Via Nodwick)


Logo evolution

02/24/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.neatorama.com/2008/02/07/the-evolution-of-tech-companies-logos/

Link is to a neat illustration of how some tech companies' logos have changed over the years.

(Via Gizmodo)


It'd go well with the hidden room

02/23/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Link: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/19/library-built-into-a.html

A staircase/bookshelf/reading spot. I love this design!


Calgary Transit's Sonic Assault

02/23/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense

Well, well.

I just had to blog about high-frequency young-person annoyance devices, didn't I?

Just this past week, Calgary Transit has been piping in a rising and falling very high pitch tone at McKnight station...


It's pretty much constant, except for when they play the jungle bird sounds (I kid you not), but this respite is all too brief.

This is all great fun sitting on the LRT platform, waiting for a train to arrive (our bus driver has been several minutes late most of this week, just making us miss the usual train), with nowhere else to go with this bloody high-pitched siren noise, with no loiterers anywhere around to justify playing the sound. I wouldn't mind it so mind if it were driving roving gangs of yobs away, but to just leave it playing in a bloody loop!

It penetrates the train car when the doors are open, leaves my ears ringing for a good 10-20 minutes afterwards, and has made me cranky all this week.

Time for that great Canadian tradition: the written complaint letter!


Contemporary Playmobil

02/22/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://gizmodo.com/353731/tsa-apologizes-for-being-douches-about-gadgets-hooray-bloggers

Forget the Gizmodo story (although it is a follow up to something I linked to earlier); just look at the associated photo and try not to think "I want that set."


Why the Apple G4 Cube failed: cats!

02/21/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, Macintosh

Link: http://www.friday.com/bbum/2008/02/16/the-cubes-fatal-flaw/

Too bad he de-emphasized it as the reason in favour of cabling, but blogger bbum felt that one of the principal failings of Apple's G4 Cube was that of:

having a flat topped, conveniently sized, surface on top of which things will be placed, will fall, and — yes — may choose to nap.

In context he was actually talking about the design of the cooling system being very dependent on clear airflow. I liked the cat angle though.

It's a much more interesting rationale than the difficulty of having to connect cables to a box where the mounting location is on the base.

(Via Daring Fireball)


Terrible box art for graphics card and motherboards

02/20/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

Link: http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/02/18/somebut-not-allof-th.html

Anyone who has been into a computer components store in the last five years has seen these monstrosities: poorly rendered or airbrushed genre art (typically fantasy or science-fiction) placed prominently on a cardboard box that has nothing more interesting than silicon chips in it.

Naturally BoingBoing has put together a gallery of their favourites.

(Via Wired)


Starbucks quick-ordering system mockup for iPhone

02/19/08 | by Adam | Categories: iPhone

Link: http://gizmodo.com/343686/iphone-starbucks-ordering-screens-look-like-the-real-thing-precede-apple-patent

I have a sneaking suspicion I know at least one person who would buy an iPhone specifically for this app were it ever realised...

(Via Engagdget)


On customer service

02/18/08 | by Adam | Categories: Potpourri

Recently I've had two minor complaints that were dealt with in a way I felt was wrong. It's not that the people involved were rude or difficult but simply that their initial reaction was not what would have been easiest or most appropriate.

Full story »


UPnP isn't all really that universal

02/17/08 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Recently I got my hands on a Freecom MusicPal, a rather cool little internet-radio aware alarm clock. I'll probably get around to writing a review once I've had it running for a few weeks and worked through its idiosyncracies.

Full story »


In Which Ben Stein Shows His Edumacation

02/16/08 | by Nimble | Categories: Thoughts, Common Sense, Religion, Science

I've been a little preoccupied answering and posing questions over on the Expelled! blog. It's a blog related to the upcoming movie, Expelled!, which purports to show how "mean Big Science" is "unfairly oppressing" "noble truth-seeking Intelligent Design proponents". That's a lot of scare quotes to put around something, but that's because the movie is by all credible reports is little more than an exercise in swiftboating. It was projected to be such a movie, the blog entries and trailers led credence to it being such a movie, and Dan Whipple's review clinches it.

With all the protestation from the main personalities associated with this movie about "free speech", when really, as university and college employees, it should be all about doing your job, which also includes academic and intellectual integrity, it is funny to me that their press conferences are all about softball pre-screened questions.

Even there, with a chance to make sure that Ben Stein comes out looking good, he managed some total howlers. Dan Whipple lets us in on the story again.

To quote from the media extravaganza (all the quotes that follow are from the Expelled staff's transcript of the phone call):

Paul Lauer: You mentioned that Darwinism appears to be lacking on certain fronts. From your research, and your travels, and interviews with many different scientists, what are some of the areas that scientists are, perhaps, increasingly saying are problematic with the theory of, Darwin's Theory of Evolution?

Ben Stein:Well, just a couple of them, I've already hit one is: Where did life come from? Second one is: How did the cell get so complex? Third one, which I think is overwhelming, and just sort of blows the whole theory of Random Mutation out of the water, is, at least, let me say, raises big questions, that is. Assuming it all did happen by Random Mutation and Natural Selection, where did the laws of gravity come from. Where did the laws of thermodynamics come from? Where did the laws of motion and, of heat come from? Where, I guess that's the same as thermodynamics. Where did all these laws, that make it possible for the universe to function, where did they all come from? Why isn't all just chaos and everything collapsing in on itself and killing everything? I think that`s where the universe works. Who created these perfect laws, that keeps the planet in motion, keeps the blood pumping through our bodies? So, I think, all these are giant questions that need answers.

Assuming it all did happen by Random Mutation and Natural Selection, where did the laws of gravity come from??!???? .. ?!????

That's not just stupid. That's napalm stupid. The stupid, it burns, and it doesn't stop.

Ben Stein, you may be trivia smart, but your pretensions to knowledge outside your field are inexcusable. Evolution is a result of other natural laws. Nobody in their right mind claims it's the other way around, and that's not even a good argument against those physics oddjobs who claim spawned universes with different laws of physics... and it still wouldn't be an argument against biological evolution.

Mind you, this whole escapade could end up being a Visine-for-the-brain learning opportunity for the entire country for those who realize what a gaffe-a-pa-looza this is, and might be able to shake religious moderates out of their reverie.


Transparent desktop pictures

02/16/08 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/w00kie/sets/180637/

The concept is cool: take a picture of the space behind your computer, place it appropriately onscreen, and then take another photo of the result so that it looks as if the screen isn't there.

It's entirely impractical, but it does look great.

(Via Gizmodo)


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