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April 12 to 18, 2004
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AAGH! Tax time! A study shows that taxes are getting more complex, thanks to the rising popularity of sophisticated tax preparation software:
Remember, April 19 to 25 is "TV Turnoff Week"! A survey finds that people watch less TV after letting go of the boob tube for a week:
It's the 10th anniversary of unsolicited commercial email, aka spam. Yay, not. On my servers I got about 1,500 spams daily until I installed a custom filtering system. Now it's down to about 20, but still very annoying:
Modern Life
An extensive 20-year study of a baboon troop found a permanent, unprecedented cultural shift occurred when the most violent, dominant males died out from a tuberculosis outbreak:
Noisy cell phones are becoming a problem in national parks:
An undercover report of sororities found plenty of the usual suspects - drinking, drugs, puking contests, racism, and rapes:
A study finds that the average (Windows) PC has 28 spyware programs on it, each of which may send your private information to other parties without your knowledge:
The youngest writer ever to win an Agatha Award for a mystery novel collaborated with his uncle using Apple's new videoconferencing technology - this may be the first award-winning book ever made using videoconferencing:
New Tech
A9, Amazon's search service, launched. Search Google and books at the same time:
I've seen a lot of Web sites. This could be the worst-designed site ever made:
There's a lot of participatory art going on around the net these days. Here's the surreal result at the midpoint of one photoshop-fest:
A study shows that the most dangerous music to play while driving is "Ride of the Valkyries". Also, go light on the techno:
AT&T's new music identification service seems to work pretty well:
A scientist has been studying the sound of cells - they make noises and sound different when healthy or diseased:
The Pixies played together in public for the first time in about 12 years:
Some guy hooked up a music-generating apparatus controlled by six live hampsters. It's actually pleasant music:
Listen to it here:
This is the logical progression of, which took the net by storm five years ago, gathering over 60 million visitors worldwide:
Just by using a white-colored roof on your home, you can save up to 40% in air conditioning costs:
Urban planners can reduce costs by planting more trees and using lighter-colored pavement... heard of Curtiba, the city widely held as "a paragaon of urban planning excellence"?
Here's a project that removes toxins from mining sites with crops and makes a profit from gold harvested with the process:
Ben & Jerry's is installing new freezers in their stores that use sound waves instead of chemicals refrigerants for cooling. Commercial (domestic) use of such technology is still 5 to 10 years away:
A new firefighting chemical looks and acts just like water, but it doesn't get things wet:
The name for it is 3M Novec 1320, an "advanced halon replacement" - it also has "low toxicity and environmental impact":
Sony and TOPPAN Printing announced the development of a 25GB optical disc made of 51% paper:
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