Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fox News funds terrorists

Or something like that. Thanks to ?reporting? by the Daily Show, I now know that the major funder of the controversial Islamic center in Manhattan is a major shareholder in Fox News.

Wow. That's inconvenient for their racist, bigoted narrative.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The web isn't dying. Although video is booming...

Wired published an article in their latest magazine discussing the possibility that the web is dying and that other sectors of the internet are replacing it.

However, if you graph the data accurately, the web is booming, not dying. Wired's chart makes it look like web is in decline, but that's only as a percentage of data. Video is a huge data hog, so people are downloading a TON of pages and many videos - it's just that as a share of bandwidth video has exploded.

You'd think a publication like Wired would be able to make that distinction. But I guess with the iPhone and Facebook, it serves the larger tech narrative to contemplate the idea that walled gardens are in ascension while the open web is in decline.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sufi Muslims didn't kill anyone on 9/11

I already thought that people should be allowed to build a mosque wherever they want. If the other 2 mosques in Manhattan are overflowing, a new one should be built. If you're upset because there are Muslims worshiping in lower Manhattan, you should meet some Muslims and get to know them as people and not cartoons who object to cartoons.

Today I learned that the group wanting to build the controversial mosque is Sufi. The mystical, liberal, peaceful branch of Islam. It would be like the Amish wanting to build a church next to a Holocaust memorial - yes, they're German, but they're pacifist Germans who abhor the evils that happened and actively work to prevent future evil.

It's sad that people can be so racist and hate someone they don't know just because they're different. And pathetic that Republicans will probably get votes by yelling about this to get us to forget that the deficit they're so upset about was created by their tax cuts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lou Gehrig may not have had Lou Gehrig's disease

Scientists have found that getting hit in the head can cause neurological damage that mirrors certain famous disorders. Because he got hit in the head by a baseball many times, Lou Gehrig may not have had Lou Gehrig's disease.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bad Google! Bad Verizon!

Google and Verizon are said to be about to sign a deal to make Google faster on Verizon. This is bad.

This is exactly why net neutrality is important, and exactly what we've been warning could happen. If Google's content has priority on the internet, then Google will get fat and lazy, because the next kid in a garage with a great idea won't be able to compete. Verizon will make garage kid's content super slow, and Google will start sucking.

The only way Google isn't being evil here is if they don't want to succeed, but are trying to get the government to get off their butts and create regulations to block this deal. But this is a weird way to make that happen.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Breast Milk contains bacteria food

Turns out that human breast milk has food for bacteria. Yes, humans have evolved to lactate a substance which contains large amounts of material that humans can't digest. But that's not all - that material is perfect food for a particular species of bacteria that protects our babies' intestines from infection and other stuff.

I'm sure Nestle is trying to synthesize it and claim that their evil, evil formula is just as good. But really: nursing is amazing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gas and Brake Pedal: Confusing

Remember all the TV news hoopla about Toyotas speeding out of control, not stopping?

Turns out most of those cases were people stomping on the gas, not the brake. Sometimes humans get confused by the whole "two-pedal" situation, and screw up. I've done it once myself, in the middle of a crash where I was rear-ended. Luckily, since I drive a stick, I floored the clutch along with the gas, and the car just rolled without speeding up.

The article linked above mentions inventors trying to redesign the whole pedal system for cars in a way that removes this possible hazard. I hope they figure something out, but the things they describe seem awkward and unlikely to catch on.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Black and white twins

All the unusual births I read about are in England. What's up with that?

Anyway, there's a white woman married to a black man who gave birth to twins, one black and one white.

Genetics are awesome.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The end of phone calls?

There's a commentary at Wired suggesting that we may someday soon stop calling on the phone.

I know I definitely prefer email - I know I'm not interrupting someone. I don't know when you're free to talk, but I can send an email when it's convenient for me. There are times - like scheduling something - when you need the true back and forth of conversation. And there are lots of examples of emotional conversation where text isn't sufficient. Face to face discussion is best for that.

But there's a lot of information I need to share with people that's purely factual, where email or text or whatever is just way more efficient. The cell phone is dead! Long live the portable electronic communicator!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Upgrade Complete ironic game

Following on the footsteps of "Achievement Unlocked", (parodying how video games now try to get you to replay it lots by giving you awards for stupid stuff) comes the game "Upgrade Complete".

It's a parody of all the little flash games where you unlock upgrades as you play the game.