Saturday, November 29, 2008

Meteor Video

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site linked to this video which was "captured by a dashboard camera of a police cruiser in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada" and shows what is presumably a desk-sized meteor from deep space".

Sunday, November 23, 2008

24 Returns Tonight

Set the DVR's.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Marketing Google Docs

Over the last year or so I've become increasingly interested in and aware of marketing. It is a topic engineers don't typically learn in school but is essential to successful businesses. I need to learn way more about it if I'm ever to start that company I've been dreaming about for far too long.

Many people still don't know that Google has an online office suite of products which offers near equivalents to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. How do you market a product as exciting as the spreadsheet? I think Google did a good job here.

They made a "cool" short video around the product but it feels like entertainment rather than a commercial. They sprinkle in the key features (document sharing, integrated chat) and the URL around the entertainment. No one is really going to use their spreadsheet as a paint program but people will pass the video around (like me now) and some will decide to give Google docs a try. Well done.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Most Expensive Stock in the U.S.

Was reading an article today about a certain company's stock price and thought it had to be a misprint.

Do you know what the most expensive stock in the U.S. is?

As of today November 14th, 2008, one Class A share of Warren Buffet's company Berkshire Hathaway will set you back $101,000! And that is a bargain price considering it is down from its 52 week high of $151,650.

See the current list of most expensive stocks here.

Monkey Skills

I don't think this monkey is using BCI.

Stop sending me this cr@p Bill.

Brain Computer Interface (BCI)

A few weeks ago I caught an amazing story on 60 minutes. It covered technology that allows computers to be controlled by brainwaves. Just one application will be for amputees to control bionic limbs.

Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) work by wearing a cap with electrodes or by implanting electrodes directly into the brain.

Here is a video clip of a monkey with implanted electrodes controlling a robotic arm:

If you haven't seen it go watch the full 60 minutes piece here (12 minutes long):

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Android Root Shell Bug

Quite a bug was found on Google's G1 phone this week.

Here is the back story that led to its discovery:

I was in the middle of a text conversation with my girl when she asked why I hadn’t responded. I had just rebooted my phone and the first thing I typed was a response to her text which simply stated “Reboot” - which, to my surprise, rebooted my phone.
It turns out that all text input was (is?) being read as input and executed as commands in a background shell running as root!


It was likely just configured this was for debugging purposes and someone forgot to undo it in the release build.

If Google can screw up like this so can you and I. A nice reminder to be paranoid with our releases.

Alternative to Election Recounts

From this article:

A coin toss has determined the winner of the mayor's race in the tiny northwestern Minnesota town of Goodridge.

Incumbent Bob Homme and former Mayor Dave Brown each got 22 votes. Instead of finding the ballots and recounting the 44 votes, they agreed to decide the winner with a coin toss.

Myself? I would have gone with a roshambo best of three.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Watch the NFL on Your Phone

Sprint just inked a deal to broadcast NFL football games to their phones.

For the first time Thursday, a National Football League game -- the Cleveland Browns vs. the Denver Broncos -- will be broadcast on Sprint mobile phones as part of the wireless company's exclusive partnership with the league. That partnership deal is valued at about $500 million over five years

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sick play

My friend Paul shared this video clip from a high school football game.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The End of Dog Racing

The vote is in on question #3.

The Massachusetts people have spoken.

This is the end of dog racing:

Bonus Ballot Question - The Commonwealth Jury

I got a surprise this morning when I arrived at the polls to discover that my precinct had an awesome ballot question I didn't know about. It read:

Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of amending the state Constitution to replace the state Legislature with 100 randomly selected adult residents of the Commonwealth, each serving a one-year term, to be called the Commonwealth Jury and to have all the legislative and other powers of the current Legislature?
This of course is reminiscent of the famous William F. Buckley, Jr quote:
I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.
Unfortunately the result of this ballot question is non-binding.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Vote in Election 2008

After much thought and careful consideration I feel it is my duty to share with you my decision on this important and historic vote. In keeping with my strong belief that a small and limited government is best I can not in good conscience cast a vote for increased legislation that would ban the harmless and entertaining family sport that is dog racing. No one after all seems to have a problem with people racing! So what gives? If you are in Massachusetts I urge you to vote No on Question #3!

Just kidding.

Hope your candidate wins. Unless of course you are voting for the other guy. Cheers.

Election Day!

The long campaign finally comes to conclusion tomorrow. I have to admit a bit of jealousy toward those living in swing states or states that offer proportional electoral allotment. One can't help but feel his vote is cheapened a bit when the outcome of the election in his state is all but guaranteed.

However I do get to look forward to the ballot questions! This year in Massachusetts we have three of them:

  • Elimination of the state income tax
  • Decriminalization of marijuana
  • Ban on greyhound racing

Well, actually .... we have already voted to reduce the state income tax (in a prior ballot question) but the state simply ignored that vote. Also the state can't really decriminalize marijuana because of existing and superseding federal laws.

So I guess the only real impact I could have tomorrow is in regards to dog racing!

I have a lot of thinking to do.

Happy voting.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Did You Know?

Check out this great presentation titled Did You Know?

It was made to stimulate discussion on how to rethink education in the face of the flattening world caused by technology and globalization.

A discussion forum was setup here by the authors.