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November 22 to 28, 2004
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I'm now working at zLab, the CommerceNet "center for decentralization" in Mountain View, California. It's been a while since anyone started a software research lab in the area - let's see what we whip up in 2005:
I just finished watching "The End of Suburbia", a great and disturbing DVD I mentioned here previously. You can watch one of the included bonus movies "In the Suburbs" for free at the Prelinger Archives. This 1957 movie targeted young adults moving to the suburbs and is a story of the generation that pioneered the malling of America. It's fascinating to hear how the suburbs were introduced as something entirely new in modern life; this short provides an illuminating perspective on how we got to the mess we're in:
Today a new blog is created every 5.8 seconds - here's the latest statistics on the state of the blogosphere. Over 90% of bloggers are 13 to 29 years old:
Meanwhile, here's an article on the democratic effects of the "blog revolution" in China. "...the information flow in the blogosphere has its own Way. The Way is our strategy: personal, fast, connected and networked.
New Tech
Introducing SolarLite, the $100 "environmentally-friendly"
PC, which can be run from solar panels, uses only 10 watts:
Brilliant! Blog Torrent, written in PHP, enables one to serve large files from their servers using BitTorrent:
Connect your iPod photo to a projector and show PowerPoint presentations with it, thanks to this new software:
Lost your key in the car? Knock a code on your window to open it:
New algorithms purport to tell real artwork from fakes:
New technology helps people from having their pictures taken by unwanted photographers:
Modern Life
Only 1/3 of Americans believe that evolution is well supported by evidence. 45% say God created humans, and 1/3 say the Bible should be taken literally word for word:
A ten-year-old toasted cheese sandwich said to bear the image of Virgin Mary sold for $28,000 on eBay:
The Roman Catholic Church probably won't recognize it though:
The chief economist at MorganStanley predicts that America has a 90% chance of an economic "armageddon", citing a number of "alarming facts":
The worldwide effects of the sinking dollar, now at a nine-year low:
Gold teeth, freaking, and baggy pants - teenagers these days are driving school principals nuts!
The story of Mr. Wu, a farmer in Tongzhou, China, who invents robots made with metal, duct tape, and second-hand batteries:
Terrorism and You
Did a plane or a missile crash into the Pentagon on 9/11?
Here's an excerpt from "Checkpoint", a documentary on the West Bank/Gaza Strip checkpoints that was readapted by the Israeli military for training purposes. This clip highlights the everyday tension and cultural differences:
How the government uses laser printers to track documents. Since about 1995, color laser printers have microencoded the printer's serial number on every printed document. Use a blue LED light to see the marking dots:
Enter your ZIP code and get a blast map that shows the effects of a 10-kiloton nuclear blast in your area:
Experts say the health of the ocean is linked to Hawaii's economic health, warn of problems:
"Pro-Bush Think-Tank Claims Climate Change May Be Good":
A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is now walking again, thanks to stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood:
More than 27% of U.S. babies were delivered by Caesarean section, the highest percentage since 1996:
Everybody reported on the dolphins that protected four New Zealand swimmers from sharks:
Unfortunately, these same dolphins may have already been killed by poachers:
Meanwhile, a mix of 80 whales and dolphins beached themselves off of Tasmania:
Combine color and astrology - colorstrology!
The best micrographs of 2002, only nanometers wide:
Cool underground pictures of the massive G-Cans project in Tokyo:
A description of the project at Boing Boing:
Build your own gramophone with these Japanese kits - etch grooves on CDs and plastic cups and play them back:
An account of the rough security screening at movie theaters these days:
Reality Literature
"A true love story that originated on a message board of a popular Web site has been released in book form":
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