15.9.08

How Crazy Can It Get?

Recently, a woman in Britain was arrested as a terrorist for walking along a cycling path:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article579334.ece

Do you have to show up for your life?

This is an interesting idea from Bruce Schneier:

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2008/09/securitymatters_0904

Basically, he conceptualizes that we could create identities for people that don't exist and live their lives for them.

Weird.

[edit]
Here is some interesting commentary on the paper:

http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-Liberties-Examiner~y2008m9d4-Im-not-myself-today-or-manufacturing-a-new-you

And here is an example of something similar happening in WWII:
http://www.themanwhoneverwas.com/

14.9.08

How To Erase a Hard Drive

For all of you worried about data protection, I have a solution for securely erasing a hard drive:

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/09/11/strongest-magnet.html

Yup.  I guess that would do it.

11.9.08

The Truth can sometimes sound mean

Last night I went to see Chistopher Hitchens debate Dinesh D'Souza at Powell Symphony Hall.  I used my wicked awesome Rhetoric debate-notetaking skills to take 8.5 pages of notes, so expect a few more posts on the debate, including a link to the digitized version of the notes.

Anyhow, the debate was on the topic, "Is it good to believe in the Christian God?"  Hitchens is the atheist who wrote the book titled, "god is Not Great".  D'Souza is a Christiand and wrote the book, "What's so Great About Christianity?"

I was struck by something Hitchens said towards the end of the debate to D'Souza.  D'Souza had explained that Christianity did offer a choice: you could go to hell or you could accept that Christ paid for your sins and go to heaven.  Hitchens responded, "I want you to realize, Mr. D'Souza, how mean you como across to so many people in this room.  You are saying that we can either burn in hell for eternity, or we can spend our lives groveling before a cold tyrant."

This interested me.  I had a desire (which I supressed) to stand up and tell Mr. Hitchens, "Mr. Hitchens, I understand that you do not like mean things, even if they are true.  Therefore, when you are ill and go to a doctor and he determines that you are terminal, I will let the doctor know that Mr. Hitchens does not like mean things, even if they are true, and so therefore you should not tell him he's going to die, but soften it up some, or maybe don't mention it at all."

Meanness is not a measure of truth; just because something is mean does not imply that it is false.  Just that you don't like it. But to reject the truth because you do not like it or it makes you uncomfortable or it does nto fit with your plans is utter stupidity.  I am reminded of II Timothy 4:3: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires..." 

Please remember to evaluate the truth, not by how it makes you feel, but by what you know. 

9.9.08

Oh Yeah: Chrome makes JavaScript a major competitor to Silverlight

Google's Chrome browser, which I covered earlier, offers major speed improvements to JavaScript. 

http://news.zdnet.com/2424-9595_22-219799.html

Microsoft developers think that this may make Javascript a bigger competitor to Silverlight than Flash.  This is a good thing--JavaScript is at least an open standard, whereas Silverlight isn't. 

Nice Lord of the Rings Macbook

This guy did something with his macbook that I've never seen done before:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=559184

It's pretty sweet, although it does lose points for being in English and not real Elvish or something =]

4.9.08

Google Chrome

Google is starting to develop their own web browser:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/fresh-take-on-browser.html

http://www.google.com/chrome

Basically, it moves each part of the browser into it's own process, with it's own memory allocation. A crash on one web page will not crash the browser, just that tab. And it should not have all the memory leak problems that Firefox has.

Looks neat--hopefully it will be able to take some of the good features of Firefox and integrate them as well.

My only problem? Why oh why did they make the first beta Windows only? I would have thought the Linux community a better place to put a first beta/alpha. Somewhere where people don't dismiss something because it's in development. Oh well.

Edit:
I forgot to point out that the system structure of Chrome reminds me of the structure of Android--except here it's tabs instead of programs. Interesting.

1.9.08

RFC 1149: A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers

An RFC, for those who don't know, stands for Request For Comments, and is a way for standardizing computer communication stuff and other things.

RFC 1149 is a way to transmit IP packets using carrier pigeons.
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1149

And, this has actually been implemented by a Linux user group in Norway. You can download the software from their site:
http://www.blug.linux.no/rfc1149/