None of the news you want - all the news you need!

Advertiser Feed
Star-Bulletin Feed
HI Headlines Feed
Pacific Business Feed
Bytemarks Feed
Hawaii Stories Feed
HI Music News Feed
HI Health Talk Feed
HI Kingdom Feed
State Reports Feed
Craigslist HI Feed
March 28 to April 3, 2005
< Prev PostPermalinkNext Post >
History, Patents, and You
A couple of weeks ago I gave a three-hour deposition involving the Soverain Software vs. Amazon shopping cart patent case:
What blows my mind is that many of the documents I examined and commented on came from the 1992 hypertext www-talk archives, which I helped archive in the first place, using software that I wrote (hypermail), for exactly this purpose (among others): to help people understand, find, and discuss history with enough context so that we don't repeat past mistakes, so that we can find better solutions. If these messages were in a proprietary format back then, or restricted in any way, they would have been near-impossible to retrieve and compare publicly today:
Obviously, patent systems around the world are not doing well at all at moving into the digital era or I would not have had to do this:
Meanwhile, open-source technology unencumbered by patents is allowing micro-startups to evolve better technology faster with less resources and funding. I hope new breeds of VCs come along to fill this niche:
Also, industry groups are trying to figure out just how long CDs and DVDs should last:
New Tech
Wow, wow. Go to Google Maps, go anywhere and then select the "Satellite" link to the upper right:
Need to sleep? Listen to the sleepbot environmental broadcast. They should license this service to hotels:
If you have an iPod, this well-designed guide to all things poddish - software, accessories, reviews - is a must-read:
Perpendicular recording likely marks civilization's mass transition from 2D to 3D storage technologies:
Use your cell phone to pay for parking. These systems greatly reduce cost, maintenance, and long lines:
Toshiba's popular "minute-charge" battery:
Also, info about the vanadium battery, which retains its energy indefinitely with 100% charge/discharge cycles:
For Web developers - this new simple PHP Bayesian filter allows one to develop spam filters, categorization tools, and technology that learns by example:
Very cool drag-and-drop sortable lists with CSS and JavaScript. Let's see a music playlist interface:
Here's a slightly new way to visualize large graphs - topological fisheye views:
Modern Life
A small fake survey led 94% of respondents to give enough information to allow a thief to empty their bank accounts:
Most streets in the U.S. named after Martin Luther King have turned out to be dead-end low-income crack alleys:
In 2001 Poland hired a marketing firm to rebrand themselves. Focus groups said Poland made them think of the words gray, cold, vodka, poor, white, unsmiling, sad, and car-stealing:
It's 2005 now, but the state's Web site is still a bit drab:
Today's college students are getting used to downloading high-speed movies and music on demand from their computers:
All the great hackers are switching to Macs, again mirroring the early growth of the Web (which was developed on an ancestor of today's Mac, the NeXT). We'll just see what happens:
Terrorism and You
Some Iraqi soldiers are wearing this:
Unfortunately, all the armor on their Strykers is causing tire pressure problems:
Derren Brown uses basic psychological principles to perform amazing "mind-reading" and mass hypnotism tricks:
This brilliant clip shows how the modern shopping environment puts people in a cow-like suggestible state:
This clip shows how you can steal anything from anybody if you distract them in just the right way:
Here's the full collection of video clips showing his tricks:
Homeland Security is now calling its RFID chips in U.S. passports "contactless chips" because it sounds safer. Unfortunately, without encryption they'll make it easier than ever for terrorists to find flocks of Americans overseas:
In 1993 Laurie Anderson shared some U.S. embassy tips about how to not make yourself seem like an American:

  • Don't wear a baseball cap.
  • Don't wear a sweatshirt with the name of an American university on it.
  • Don't chew gum.
  • Don't yell, "Our plane is leaving." How about adding, "Don't carry a U.S. passport?"
Did you know that McDonald's is on its way to being the largest corporate land owner in Russia? Perhaps I should get passports issued by McDonald's:
"The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Soldier"
A military recruiter tells a young pothead prospect how to get around the mandatory drug test:
1,360 scientists from 95 countries say that two-thirds of the world's resources are "used up" in a four-year $24 million U.N.-sponsored survey:
G.M.'s vice-chairman, on why he thinks people will still buy big SUVs: "Rich people don't care":
Meanwhile, high gas prices are affecting small businesses, farmers:
Meanwhile, "Sales of energy-efficient Japanese cars soar in U.S.":
Things to use when clean water gets scarce - the AquaPak costs a dollar to make, runs on solar, and can purify up to four gallons of water a day:
Need an industrial solution? Use new biological filters that mimic the natural decomposition of debris. In a successful test the sewage from 25 homes was used to irrigate a golf course:
Atkins Nutritionals admits its diet could be dangerous:
Meanwhile, Burger King rolled out a sandwich with 730 calories and 47 grams of fat:
A shortage of silicon is making solar cells scarce. A federal program could help, but funding for solar energy has gone from "pathetic" to "laughable and ridiculous":
A new solar-powered street trash compactor is only four feet tall yet can hold ten times more trash than an average garbage bin. It also signals when garbage pickup is needed, eliminating unnecessary stops:
Gory images of this year's Canadian seal hunt:
Did you know that the market for seal penises is a major driver for this? Buy Viagra, save a seal:
Here's a package for turning empty roofs into green ones:
The site for the prefab Flatpak house has been revised and is better than ever, with lots of nice pictures:
This new book provides a visual guide to sprawl:
The world's ugliest car, made in 1957, was restored from a pile of junk to a polished, functional car:
Sin City is the first true movie/graphic novel hybrid. Here's a comic-to-screen comparison:
Here's a crab-cracking tool that's well-designed due to looking at the problem from a novel perspective:
A small visual poem of a lonely Japanese street singer (may be down):
An interview with the most influential woman in rock, Patti Smith:
Remember, the goal of the revolutionary artist is to make revolution irresistible:
< Prev PostPermalinkNext Post >