Friday, April 17, 2009

Me, in the paper

Missed when this actually hit newsprint (assuming it did), but there's a series of quotes from me towards the end of this column in the Arizona Republic. Of course, if the inverted pyramid structure of newspaper writing holds true, the stuff at the bottom is that which is least essential and most easily cut :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New in Surveillance

First, apparently the NSA has been spying on Americans beyond the already lax boundaries set up by the Bush administration. Is anyone surprised?



And these oversteps included plans to wiretap (without a warrant) a member of Congress. To quote from the New York Times:

The official said the plan was ultimately blocked because of concerns from some intelligence officials about using the N.S.A., without court oversight, to spy on a member of Congress.

One would think such a plan would merit more than "concerns."

Second, apparently it is now illegal (or if not officialy illegal, greatly discouraged) to take pictures of anything having to do with public transportation in England, as an Austrian tourist found out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roller Coaster and Clazziquai

Roller Coaster is an acid pop group from South Korea. I've got several of their CD's, and just ran across this video on YouTube. Love this song.

Check out Clazziquai Project while you're at it. Or this video from them.

thought for the day

It seems that the only place in North America (at least) that we publicly debate (or at least engage) issues of technology, responsibility, and humanity (apart from the odd lecture hall here or there) is in popular science fiction films and television shows.

Backscatter to become the default?

From the most recent EPIC alert: apparently the TSA is planning on making Backscatter X-Rays the default security screen at airports rather than metal detectors.

Lots of links off of the EPIC page.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dave Arneson

Dave Arneson died. NYT obituary here. He was co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, along with Gary Gygax. Gygax died last year about this time. I thought I had gotten Arneson to sign one of my old D&D books, but I guess not. Gygax was more of a presence at the GenCon gaming conventions in the early 80s than Arneson.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Thought of the Day

Why does cat food always come in these bourgeois* flavors like Salmon Feast, Filet Mignon (not kidding--see here), and now this new line of Fancy Feast that is "Restaurant Inspired" (Tuscany?? Florentine??) and so on.

Shouldn't cat food come in, like, "Small Mammal Flavor" and things like that?

Update: Squirrel Flavor, Pigeon Flavor, Rat Flavor, and now, for a limited time, Vole Feast!

*Update: perhaps "Yuppie" would be more accurate than "bourgeois"?

Updated my spelling, too, which was really off in the initial post


This is a quick follow-up to my earlier post about my camera phone. When I checked it this afternoon it told me that I had 502 pictures saved in my gallery.

Yes, 502.

About 25 of those are pictures I took myself. The rest are ones the camera decided to take in my pocket.

Now I've got to delete 475 or so pictures of blackness off my phone.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Clickable World

Jennifer sent me the link to a fascinating video on new work introduced by Pattie Maes (who pioneered intelligent agent work back in the 1990s*).

I think this deserves a Keanu Reeves-like "Whoah!"

And it represents a big step forward towards the clickable world.

*Once upon a time (mid-1990s) I actually got a letter published in Wired which was a response to an interview with Maes. Intelligent agents, I argued, are always double agents. They work for you, but also for (e.g.) Microsoft.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


So, just got some old newspapers from my in-laws. Now I need to figure out how best to preserve them.

The future of malls

Interesting discussion in the NYT about the future of malls. Just started in on it, but fascinated to learn that no new enclosed malls have been built in the US since 2006.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Crying Nut

What does it mean that when you Google "Crying Nut," my blog is the 4th site on the list?