Random observations, teachings and musings of a well trained cubicle superhero.

Friday, December 31, 2004

If I were King of the Forrrrrrrrrest.

why has no one registered http://washandbrushup.co.uk kudos to whoever nabbed the .com. I bow to your knowledge of the obscure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Unrelated linkatry Site: iusedtobelive Movie:Sin City

Ad free link to trailer.

FrankMillerFan wrote in to tell us that there is a Trailer for Sin City available on Apple's preview site. The film is being co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller himself. The video is kinda small but I gotta say that I'm pretty blown away- it really looks like they somehow took Miller's comic style and made it into a movie. High contrast, sometimes looks like line art, cool sparse use of color. This is a must-see trailer for any fan of the comic. Hopefully a higher-res version will be available soon.
jaysay: I have bested Slashdot with my source hacktronix.

From Mr. Ferg comes the following link.
i used to believe is a collection of ideas that adults thought were true when they were children. it will remind you what it was like to be a child, fascinated and horrified by the world in equal parts. the following pages will reassure you that the things you used to believe weren't so strange after all...

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Microsoft Patents Power/Data over Human

Abstract: Methods and apparatus for distributing power and data to devices coupled to the human body are described. The human body is used as a conductive medium, e.g., a bus, over which power and/or data is distributed. Power is distributed by coupling a power source to the human body via a first set of electrodes. One or more devise to be powered, e.g., peripheral devices, are also coupled to the human body via additional sets of electrodes. The devices may be, e.g., a speaker, display, watch, keyboard, etc. A pulsed DC signal or AC signal may be used as the power source. By using multiple power supply signals of differing frequencies, different devices can be selectively powered. Digital data and/or other information signals, e.g., audio signals, can be modulated on the power signal using frequency and/or amplitude modulation techniques.
jaysay: creeepy

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Crap I mentioned at the office

This is a roundup of random crap I have mentioned at the office. For you Gizmod'ians and Engadgeteers this might be review, but it will be on the final so study up.

Zipit Wireless AOL/MSN/ICQ/ Messenger
I bought it, I'm using it. It's going back very soon. Pathetically poor battery life, and quirky thumbpad. Great concept, great form factor, crapatronic implementation.
The new Zipit Wireless Messenger is a low-cost portable IM device that connects to 802.11b/g wireless home networks or free hotspots and enables teens to chat away with no service fee.
With a compact, clamshell design, the Zipit Wireless Messenger measures in at 4.25 inches wide by 3.6 inches long and .8 inches deep and only weighs about eight ounces, making it easily portable. It features a 320x240 LCD screen and a full QWERTY keyboard for fast typing.

The Un Fold Chair Design Contest
British designer and Creative Director Phil Nutley, accomplished furniture and brand designer as well as a frequent exhibitor at the ICFF, International Contemporary Furniture Fair sent nine contemporaries from nine cities around the globe an unparalleled challenge: to create a cost-effective, collapsible piece of furniture and ship it to New York inside a large FedEx box within 90 days of receipt of the project brief. What they created was strictly up to them, but the final product and construction had to adhere to the following:
• BUDGET could not exceed $200 (or equivalent)
• EACH DESIGN must support the weight of a person up to 200 lbs (90 kgs)
• CONCISE INSTRUCTIONS must accompany the design in order to assemble it for exhibition
Gizmodo a long time ago

Cruel coincidence befalls UPS driver
So the other day a UPS driver in New Hampshire was on his way to the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene to deliver some much-needed parts for a piece of medical equipment when he got into a crash. He suffered a head injury and was taken by ambulance to the very same hospital he was headed to, but they weren’t able to do any of the tests they needed because the brain scan machine was broken—and the parts needed to fix it were sitting in his wrecked truck on the highway. If only there were some word to describe situations like these…
Engadget a few days ago

NASA Scramjet reaches 10x the speed of sound.
NASA's X-43A scramjet-powered research vehicle broke the air speed record November 16 and showed that an "air-breathing" engine can fly at nearly 10 times the speed of sound.
Preliminary data indicate that the revolutionary supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine worked successfully at about Mach 10 -- more than 11,000 kilometers per hour -- as it flew at an altitude of nearly 34,000 meters.
The flight took place in restricted airspace over the Pacific Ocean northwest of Los Angeles. It was the fastest of three unpiloted tests in NASA's Hyper-X Program to explore an alternative to rocket power for space-access vehicles.
"This flight is a key milestone and a major step toward the future possibilities for producing boosters for sending large and critical payloads into space in a reliable, safe, inexpensive manner," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.
QT video:
NASA project page: http://www.nasa.gov/missions/research/x43-main.html

more soon, must be productive now...
also coming soon, the mindboggling complexity of the McDonalds internal worldwide network, and the limitations of Microsofts anti-piracy campaign in Canada

many days since my last post...

New job is keeping me rather busy, I apolagize for my lack of linkiness.
Indroduced to the Cliff Claven convention of blogging a random title with the stand-up routine inspired "What's up with that?"
If you get that, you'll be laughing hysterically right now at Pat's 1337 obscureitude.
Check out his blog portal at http://tribe.noizex.com

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Brain in a Dish Flies Plane.

direct from the Offices of Chistopher & Demerol comes this twisted tale originally posted to the register and cnn. This one is for the brain-goo loving J1 fanatics. Him and the new random Flickr Jtronforce fan
Florida scientists have grown a brain in a petri dish and taught it to fly a fighter plane.
Scientists at the university of Florida taught the 'brain', which was grown from 25,000 neural cells extracted from a rat embryo, to pilot an F-22 jet simulator. It was taught to control the flight path, even in mock hurricane-strength winds.
"When we first hooked them up, the plane 'crashed' all the time," Dr Thomas DeMarse, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida, said. "But over time, the neural network slowly adapts as the brain learns to control the pitch and roll of the aircraft. After a while, it produces a nice straight and level trajectory."
The brain-in-a-dish was DeMarse' idea. To produce it, 25,000 rat neurones were suspended in a specialised liquid to keep them alive and then laid across a grid of 60 electrodes in a small glass dish.
The cells at first looked like grains of sand under the microscope, but soon began to connect to form what scientists call a "live computation device" (a brain). Electrodes monitor and stimulate neural activity in this network, allowing researchers to study how the brain processes and transfers information.
The scientists hope that their research will lead to hybrid computers with organic components, allowing more flexible and varied means of solving problems.
One potential application is to install living computers in unmanned aircraft for missions too dangerous for humans. It is also hoped that further advances will help in the search for cures for conditions such as epilepsy, The Age reports.
"The algorithms that living computers use are also extremely fault-tolerant," Dr DeMarse said. "A few neurons die off every day in humans without any noticeable drop in performance, and yet if the same were to happen in a traditional silicon-based computer the results would be catastrophic."
The US National Science Foundation has awarded the team a $500,000 grant to produce a mathematical model of how the neurons compute.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Coral: The NYU Distribution Network

Some how I have neglected to blog this. Chris this is the site I was talking about.
Basically a distributed cache of web pages, spread over multiple zones. This service is of course uber-beta but useful nonetheless. There is a mozilla firefox plugin available to easily "Coralize" URL's to add the trailing ".nyud.net:8090" or you could just be lazy and do it manually. Notes done...sleep now

More info here:
OverviewThe availability of content on the Internet is to a large degree a function of the cost shouldered by the publisher. A well-funded web site can reach huge numbers of people through some combination of load-balanced servers, fast network connections, and commercial content distribution networks (CDNs). Publishers who cannot afford such amenities are limited in the size of audience and type of content they can serve. Moreover, their sites risk sudden overload following publicity, a phenomenon nicknamed the ``Slashdot'' effect, after a popular web site that periodically links to under-provisioned servers, driving unsustainable levels of traffic to them. Thus, even struggling content providers are often forced to expend significant resources on content distribution.
Fortunately, at least with static content, there is an easy way for popular data to reach many more people than publishers can afford to serve themselves---volunteers can mirror the data on their own servers and networks. Indeed, the Internet has a long history of organizations with good network connectivity mirroring data they consider to be of value. More recently, peer-to-peer file sharing has demonstrated the willingness of even individual broadband users to dedicate upstream bandwidth to redistribute content the users themselves enjoy. Additionally, organizations that mirror popular content reduce their downstream bandwidth utilization and improve the latency for local users accessing the mirror.
What Coral offersCoralCDN is a decentralized, self-organizing, peer-to-peer web-content distribution network. CoralCDN leverages the aggregate bandwidth of volunteers running the software to absorb and dissipate most of the traffic for web sites using the system. In so doing, CoralCDN replicates content in proportion to the content's popularity, regardless of the publisher's resources---in effect democratizing content publication.
To use CoralCDN, a content publisher---or someone posting a link to a high-traffic portal---simply appends .nyud.net:8090 to the hostname in a URL. Through DNS redirection, oblivious clients with unmodified web browsers are transparently redirected to nearby Coral web caches. These caches cooperate to transfer data from nearby peers whenever possible, minimizing both the load on the origin web server and the end-to-end latency experienced by browsers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Would you Marry this Man?

A certain Jenn Blooger would!!!!!
Congratulations soon-to-be Mr. And Mrs. Cott.
Holy freakin' crap on a stick.
I am so insanely geeked about this, I wish you all the joy and happiness your canine overlord will allow between walks.
Since "Bell Expresvu for condos" killed his internet until I can get over there to fix it. Mr.C doesn't know his Chrismas present domain name is up and running. please do not blab
By the powers invested in my by Krypton and Jolt cola....http://Cottagencies.ca ..... Internet....with this DNS configuration I thee wed.

Gmail now accepting UNINVITED subscriptions


I followed my own link, a practice I should follow more often. I was impressed with how very reactionary/wrong I was. Everything is ok, back off the ledge...
For those of you who told friends or filled prescriptions for a favorite seratonin reuptake inhibitor, uhh sorry.
Google 1 Jtron 0

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Wonka Trailer online / I heart Magic Pony

Check it out here. I love the Burton freakazoid spin on the classic esthetic. Having picked over it a few times everything seems in order, Agustus Gloop still goes up the pipe, so I'll be in line.
Thanks to the surprise Birthday/Non-Denominational gifting I attended Magic Pony's special signing of "Vinyl Will Kill" the mucho illustrated look into the artistry and process of producing vinyl toys. Nathan Jurevicius, contributing artist and creator of the "Scary Girl" series was on hand signing and illustrating copies....and generally making me feel bad about my scarfless non-australian speaking voice.

Having braved the sub-zero Queen streetcar's slow traversal of some sort of ambulance street party and whipping rain/snow/liquidnitrogen; warming teas and biscuits were delved out in a red-cross stylee by the loving and kind employees of Magic-Pony. Kudo's to them for patiently putting up with my enthusiastic freak-outism, and for signing the book's photo of them as well.

With signed booky goodness in tow, we rushed to the nearist ButterChicken eatery ignoring my new vego-tronic tendencies for the warm comforting Makhani. Huzzah!
Stefan, Jenn, Beth, Chris with the help of various Queen W. vendors you will be showered with material goods by Christmas. I just can't count on Santa coming through after he split rehab.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


new gig begins.
much to learn, set brains to on.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Lycos read my blog, admits dumbidity by pulling DDoS tool.

Just days after Lycos Europe's launch of an anti-spam DDoS tool raised eyebrows in the security space, the company appears to have scrapped the campaign.
Earlier this week, the company released a downloadable screensaver programmed to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against known spam sites, but the move sparked a shooting war with spammers and attracted condemnation from security researchers.
On Friday, Lycos Europe gave up the ghost, posting a "Stay Tuned" note on the MakeLoveNotSpam.com Web site it was using to distribute the screensaver. The Lycos Europe home page, which heavily promoted the screensaver all week, was also scrubbed clean of any references to the screensaver.
Company officials did not respond to requests for comment, but security experts were not mincing words.
"I find the anti-spam downloadable DDoS tool to be without a doubt irresponsible, possibly illegal, sets a really bad precedent, gives the wrong impression to users, and possibly the dumbest thing I have heard of this week," said Adrien de Beaupre, an incident handler with the SANS Internet Storm Center (ISC).
"I can summarize my thoughts into a single word. Dumb. With a capital 'D,'" de Beaupre told eWEEK.com.
Dan Goldberg, a senior security analyst with MADJiC Consulting Inc., described the Lycos Europe move as "vigilantism" and said the use of questionable tactics to deal with a security risk created more problems that it solved.
"In this case, it only causes traffic saturation. It's a noble gesture to fight back against spammers, but when you try to take down a spam site, a lot of innocent people get caught in the crossfire. As a big company, Lycos has to be more responsible than that," Goldberg said.
Click here to read about Microsoft's lawsuits against spammers who allegedly sent millions of sexually explicit e-mails to Hotmail users.
Evidence of a shooting war in cyberspace was uncovered by anti-virus vendor F-Secure. The company reported that one of the spam sites under attack by the Lycos screensaver simply added a Meta Refresh tag that redirected all incoming traffic back to Lycos.
"As an end result, depending on how the Lycos client works, the screen savers downloaded from MakeLoveNotSpam.com might be attacking the download site itself," F-Secure said in a notice.
Although the Lycos site is no longer offering the screensaver, MADJiC Consulting's Goldberg says it's likely the DDoS attacks against the spammers will continue for some time.
"The software is out there. People have downloaded it and shared it with their friends and family. It's being used and will continue to be used," he said.

The lament of the widgetless

Eagerly did I visit
wanting to join the hug in
but the only thing I saw was
Click here to get the plug in.

from here I was looking for results of them

I swear I need a tinfoil hat.

I had this idea like 3 years ago and even mentioned it to a few people. Now someone is making money off it. Accessory/Screw drawers in unused drive bays.
link from Eyebeam reblog

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Crazy ass Lycos actually launches DDoS spammer service

The much rumoured Lycos Anti-Spam screensaver DDoS service has launched. Im not sure combatting annoying email and higher internet congestion should be fought with...insanely higher bandwidth usage from screensaver using drones. I'd like to see some studies on how this will affect major routers if say 3 or 4 hundred thousand people decide to stick it to the spammers at once.
Before I load this up and unleash the pain of my jittery cable internet service, where's the data on each of the offenders. This activist renegade crap seems a little counter-productive to me. What we need is policies and procedures, laws and rules so these morons can commit well documented crimes, and attempt an appeal before we hit them with the bitchstick.
But if you want to install it, tell me how it works out for ya.

Update: supposedly someone took some screenshots of the MLNS website, defaced it and sent it around saying they'd hacked it, which Lycos denies.

MSN Blogging tool to be released soon

check out the babelfish translation of this Japanese only MSN page "spaces.msn.com" from back in August. From what I read on Mess.be this should be unleased on the West later this week. There are plans in the works to roll this into the next version of Messenger, Mess reports. I for one sincerely hope they don't force the upload like they did with 6.0. The last friggin thing tiny laptop drive owners need is a piece of M$ bloatware encroaching on their stolen music space. The Mess report includes mention contact cards, photo album and playlist functionality.
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