One Aging Geek

Monday, October 18, 2004

Compare the candidates at PriceGrabber Funny. No scary. No funny...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Court: War on Terror is no excuse to trample liberties

Light sez, "This is an exceptionally cool - the Federal Circuit Court unanimously threw out the Georgia government's attempts to force protesters through metal detectors because the terror threat is elevated."
"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War of Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over," Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote for the three-member court. "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country."
Link (Thanks, Light!) - Cory Doctorow [Boing Boing]

Very good. There is still some common sense in the courts.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Brain implants

A 24-year-old quadriplegic is now able to control a computer with his thoughts. This summer, the man was implanted with the Cyberkinetics BrainGate chip. The tiny device, containing 100 electrodes, was installed in the patient's motor cortex. Apparently, the connection is good enough that he can even play videogames and check email. From a article:
The BrainGate allowed the patient to control a computer or television using his mind, even when doing other things at the same time. Researchers report for example that he could control his television while talking and moving his head.
Link - David Pescovitz [Boing Boing]

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Live Streaming Election Coverage by Mobloggers

Live Streaming Election Coverage by Mobloggers

What's more powerful than all the broadcast and cable networks combined? Hundreds of moblogger*/pollwatchers reporting live and on-the-scene from the polling places of America on Election Day, November 2, 2004. Here's what we have in mind:

  • MoReporters: With cell phones, preferably on-site at polling places. Even better if you're an official pollwatcher.
  • MoBloggers: Planning you're own election-night blog? We'll try to follow it on the air.
  • MoAnchors: We need two on-air personalities, preferably with access to a college radio or NPR studio. (The IT Conversations studio is equipped with industry-standard ISDN hardware.)
  • MoProducers: Finally, we need people to coordinate the incoming calls and blogs and direct them to the anchors.

Interested in any of the above roles? Add a link to to the wiki pages or email

(* "Mobloggers" are mobile bloggers, i.e., with mobile phones and cameras.)

Spread the word

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Digital accordion

roland_fr7.jpg imageHoly smokes! Unless God himself hands down the Science Tuba from heaven, this new Roland FR-7 Digital Accordion is going to win best product of the day, for sure. Apparently they are using something called "Physical Behavior Modeling" to simulate the bellows action of a real accordion. You can also get all the standard keyboard sounds as well as, you know, pretty much anything else you want, since the Roland has a MIDI out. And of course, the FR-7 comes with built-in speakers, so you and your robot monkey can work moon base street corners from dawn 'til dark side.

Product Page [Roland via Dottocomu]

The digital world is now Officially Out Of Control.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Bookmark:Newsweek's interactive voter guide

Brian Braiker and the folks at Newsweek have created a fantastic online feature -- kind of like an "electoral college for dummies" app.
NEWSWEEK has compiled a state-by-state guide of what to watch for in the coming weeks. Click on your state to see how it voted in 2000 and what the key factors are in the remaining days before Nov. 2. And remember: Just because any given state may appear guaranteed to vote for one candidate over the other, that’s no excuse not to go out and pull the lever (or touch the screen) on election day—especially when you consider the many close races for the Senate, where the Republicans currently hold a precarious one-seat majority. If 2000 taught the electorate anything, it’s that every vote counts.
Link. Dig that UI.

BoingBoing reader John adds, "While doesn't describe the environment of each state as well, the site updates the probable outcome of the election daily based on polls. It provides all sorts or graphs and spreadsheets as well. It's got a nice, non-flash, interface to boot. Link. " - Xeni Jardin [Boing Boing]

Friday, October 08, 2004

Video Advantage - Turtle Beach Connected Audio

Video Advantage - Turtle Beach Connected Audio

Video Advantage PCI is an all-in-one video capture system for video enthusiasts and amateur videographers who want high-performance at a affordable price. Loaded with features and functionality, Video Advantage PCI supports both analog and digital video capture in a wide variety of standards and formats, making it easy to capture, edit and deliver video with professional results.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bookmark: Open source, no-plugin, rich GUIs for the Web

Yesterday, I caught a demo of Lazlo, a really bad-ass application development environment for the Web. Lazlo does was Java was supposed to do -- let you run desktop-app-like applications within a browser window. But Lazlo doesn't require any plugin on its own, or flaky, slow Java. Instead, the Lazlo compiler turns Lazlo code (which is written in very fast, flexible, human-readable XML) into Flash apps. Pretty much everyone has Flash installed, so users can run your apps without installing new software (but since the Lazlo code is compiled down to Flash, it could also be compiled down to something else -- IOW, if Macromedia gets to rank with you, you could compile your apps to Java, to C++, Mono or whatever).

But the big news is that Lazlo is now Free Software -- free as in beer and free as in speech, licensed under an open source license from compiler to server. To recap: I came for the eye candy, I stayed for the liberty. This is nice stuff. Link (Thanks, Tobias!) - Cory Doctorow [Boing Boing]

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bruce Schneier has a blog

I try to read everything Internet security consultant Bruce Schneier writes. The good news is, he now has a blog where he'll probably make links to his essays.

He has two recent essays available from his blog, which he describes thusly:

The first talks about terror threat warnings -- both the color-coded kind and the more specific ones -- and how they're both an ineffective security countermeasure and a political tool. It appeared in a magazine called "The Rake."

The second (published today in the "International Herald Tribune") discusses RFID chips in future passports, and how that endangers the security of people who carry them. The Department of Homeland Security is pushing them for both American citizens and foreigners, and the only possible reason I can think of is that they want surreptitious access to identity information.

Link - Mark Frauenfelder [Boing Boing]