Friday, April 28, 2006

Stupid Decisions Part II


The Texans have lost it. It was a win-win situation in deciding between Reggie Bush and Vince Young. They choice neither. This is like being given the choice between a BMW and a Porshe and saying, "Nah, my Honda is doing just fine".

Now if they had chosen Bush there was always going to be part of the crowd that would say "See how well Vince is doing? We could have had him!". But at least you would have Bush. Now we get twice the effect; every great play by Reggie or Vince is going to illicit groans.

I was getting really excited for the Texans after the coaching change and the new direction they seem to be taking. But now i just won't care about the team. I don't wish them ill (unlike some people), but I won't care.

Stupid Decisions Part I

I'll try not to make fun of this. I think I will probably keep calling it the Nintendo Revolution. Nintendo Wii just sounds stupid. It really seems like Sony and MS are the serious businessmen whereas Nintendo is just happy to be in the game, sitting in the corner smoking a joint.

And as far as a maker of consoles goes, I'll take the businessmen. Leave the dope for the game developers. Most gamers like to get high anyway, right?

The only saving grace of this console is the cost. It's supposed to be 200 or lower. The wild card that the entire project depends upon is the controller. If it works well and is intuitive, then it really would be revolutionary.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

/* No Comment */

I'm not sure whether this affects CougarCS or not but I thought I'd bring it up.
Found it at thinkgeek. But I think it was an old idea anyway.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Patent Wars II

I can't even make sense of this lawsuit. Lucent has some kind of patent on displaying dvds. They are suing MS for the 360, but not the original XBOX because it can replay dvds. Because the original XBOX "used a dongle to enable playback of DVDs. The dongle was provided by a Lucent licensee. The current version of the Xbox does not use the dongle; therefore, it is decoding the video in the console."

This is what a dongle is if you're curious.

[Scratches head and quits thinking about it]

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NetFlix vs. Blockbuster

This is weird and alarming. Netflix claims they have patented their little wishlist/queue and blockbuster ripped them off. Still further they are suing saying that "dvd rental for unlimited amount of time without late fees" was one of their patented ideas.

As a Netflix user I am very weary of their policies. Their throttling practice really annoyed me when I had more time for movies. But how far can they take this suit? I also have a Gamefly account which does the exact same thing as Netflix/Blockbuster's Online service except it is for videogames. Will Netflix sue them next? And can you really patent a business model? Has that ever been done before?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Self Replicating Machines

Self Replicating Machines- what could be cooler? [link] .

I saw this last week on digg or fark or one of the usual suspects. The funny thing is it's not a surprise; this was going to happen one of these days. If you're not impressed by what they have already accomplished, just wait a few years.

Of course the ethical issues now warrant attention. . Personally, I'm thinking of 2010 (not 2001). Great book, subpar movie. The climax of the book had the monolith going into full blown Von Neumann mode, replicating so much that Jupiter caves in on itself making a second star in our solar system.

Grr. Must stop geeking out.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Funny stuff:

Americans apparently know more about “The Simpsons” than they do about the First Amendment. Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

...One in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected.

So George Washington was fighting the British so that he could have a pet?


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Live Local

Now this is cool. And useful.

Live Local

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Check this out. Earlier in the day we were joking in the lab about why they use an alcohol swab when they are about to perform a lethal injection. I guess it's so that they can anesthetize the patient (the victim? the condemned?) and THEN give them the lethal injection.

I totally love that they couldn't find anyone to do the job in the 24-hour window. But I'm sure now that it's getting some pub, there will be a lot of volunteers. "I'll do it. I'll anesthetize him. Heck, I'll kill him if you let me."

So, we'll wait 'til we find an anesthesiologist who will do the deed. I'm sure the second time around the executionee is going to go into it with some peace of mind because it's going to be painless. The death part, not so important. Whether he feels it as he dies, that's important.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I was just watching Bill Maher and he brought up something that has always bothered me: the hypocrisy of the world's nuclear powers.

By what right can the US and the other nuclear powers say Iran can't have nukes? We can have nukes because we are so good and would never use it (although we want that option) but you? You can't be trusted.

This is especially hypocritical in the case of the US. The most vocal nation on this topic, one that went to war on the possibility that Iraq might have nukes, is the only one that has used nuclear weapons. You may say it was necessary (I would disagree) and yet the fact of the matter is the US did commit two horrific acts using nuclear weapons.

So why does the US have the authority to rebuke Iran and North Korea and every country that tries to obtain nukes? Precisely because it is a nuclear power. Because of its military and economic power (which it owes at least partly due to its nuclear arsenal) the US can keep nukes away from the other kids.

But there's one nuclear power the US is ambivalent about. The exception is Israel. Because of all volatile situations in the world, Israel needed to have nukes. None of its enemies can have them, that would be dangerous.

Essentially the logic seems to be "I got this toy first, I'm not gonna share except with my friends". And this is a toy no one should have.

Disclaimer: Don't think I want Iran or N. Korea to have nukes. Quite the opposite. I want every nuclear country to disarm.

Monday, February 13, 2006


If this is how he treats his friends, I'm scared.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers by 10!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Good Guys in the Bush Administration

Saw a really great (though long) article on MSNBC that exposes the conflicts within the Bush Administration regarding the legality of torture and wiretapping. It's so easy to see the administration as one big evil entity but this article shows how there were guys who stood up for the law and paid the price for it. Sadly the Bush M.O. of getting rid of any dissenters continue.

[link to article]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tree falls in a forest...

Haven't posted in a while so I thought I would finally raise a philosophical issue. I'm reading George Berkeley right now for a class and like every other philosopher he's addressing the problem of senses - more specifically how easily they can be deceived.

So here's the question in many forms: Does an object need to exist before it can be perceived? Or can it be said to exist only after it has been perceived?
What if all of mankind has died out- does the physical universe still exist? What about the concept of "odor"? Does it exist if no one with a nose is around?

Update: If a post gets no comments does it mean no one read it? It is so ironic that as I question whether something needs to be perceived to exist, seemingly no one has perceived my question. Well my question does exist on this server so lets say it's been answered and move on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Arrested Development Is Dead

"It's highly unlikely the show is coming back, but no definitive final answer has been made on that". This is good. After the 2-hour finale on Feb 10, AD is gonna move on to greener pastures either at ABC or Showtime. No more of this Fox b.s. Showtime will totally be worth it, just for AD. [link]