Saturday, April 30, 2005

"I know now, just quite how"

My life and love might still go on
In your heart, in your mind
I'll stay with you for all of time

If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high, or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

- Lyrics from "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling.

Edit: And I thought grad school was life/death - thought we could all use a little humor. Happy Weekend. Hope those of you working on graphics that it goes well. Now I better go work on my take-home exam which is due on Monday. Yippee the semester is almost over!

Last night, Mac OS X Tiger went on sale. It's grrreat! :) (or at least I hope so). Apple also owned a second store in UK.

High priced security: A new type of "unhackable" security? A must read for anyone interesting or taking a class in security.

The Internet related news: Firefox downloads hits 50 million times - yikes that is a lot of downloads (i.e., the web browser war continues). Yahoo! has changed there site and is now offering new features - one major place of changes is the News section (i.e., the war between Google, MSN Search, and Yahoo! continues).

Microsoft in the news: No big surprise, Mirosoft's profit has nearly doubled. However, this is below the Wall Street estimates. Bill Gates is also predicting great things for the future or so he said in his keynote at WinHEC.

Space continues to be big in the news: Titan 4B was launched from Florida. This will be the last Titan launched from Cape Canaveral. You can also read about the Mars rover. You can view the panoramic view of "Lookout" point. Unfortunately, Opportunity is caught in a sand trap on Thursday. The Deep Impact spacecraft photographed Tempel 1 (a comet).

Friday, April 29, 2005

More Gadgets

"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still". - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Did I mention cell phones yesterday? Is it a phone or a computer? Seriously, when it starts having a 4 GB harddrive, I don't think it's just a cell phone anymore.

One of these days they will launch the shuttle - just not any day soon. NASA has pushed back the date once again because of "concerns over fuel tank debris". Specking of space, the earth appears to be "'out of balance'" in the engery area. According to satellites, studying the oceans, and a bunch of computer models "more energy is being absorbed from the Sun than is emitted back to space" by our planet. When is what they believe is causing the global warming.

The thing we all wished they had covered in high school science: desktop nuclear fusion.

By the way everyone has a blog or is getting one. No really everyone is getting their own blog. (Even fictional characters with a huge movie trilogy).

Thanks for stopping by a reading my blog. I have to get back to trying to edit my take home exam (due at 3 PM). Oh and trying to ignore all the people who are outside celebrating the end of classes - exams begin next week. Wednesday was my last offical day of class for this semester. Yikes, that went by fast.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"With the monsters in your head..."

"When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can’t face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You’re not alone"

- Lyrics from "Crash and Burn" by Savage Garden

Alternate Title: Is computer science as a field dying? Or is it just the hype?

Current stats about the computer science world seem to be make it look grim or maybe I currently just have a grim out look. It was recently the 40th anniversary of Moore's Law and as a professor pointed out in my class today the industry is currently stuck. Most people feel they have enough computing power to do what they need to do (and they really don't want to pay any more for it either).

You know that the industry is losing its hype when less students are interested in computer science as freshmen. (Yes, this is the same article I pointed out this weekend). Although, companies like Pixar, Weta, and others in the movie industry are creating waves. More and more people are interested in using computers in ways no one has done before. So maybe the industry isn't dead yet. It probably is just taking a nap.

The cell phone market is one of the things that I don't think are going to make it any bigger. Camera phones aren't going anywhere. So maybe they will take video next, but after that? Several companies are working on/have a cell phones that play music (mp3 and the like). Still, I think that market is coming to a close. There will still be improvements in battery life, range, and size - but otherwise I think they have featured themselves out. Practically everyone has a cell phone now and getting people to buy the latest and greatest is just going to become more and more difficult. There are always those who buy the latest technology thing, but they only make up a very small percentage (something like 5%) of the market. It's getting the other 95% to buy it will be the challenge.

After a lot of thinking about it - I think just the hype. We are going through a stage - the calm before the storm.

What do I think will be the future of computer science? Things that come out of places like the one discussed in this article. Oh and of course quantum computers. I believe the future of computers is out there. I had a professor as an undergraduate who told us what the key to making it big in the computer industry. Making the next "have to have" product before people realize what it is. That is how people made money on the Internet business. They had the forsight to see that it was the next big thing.

So all we need to do is either realize what the next big thing is or invent it ourselves. What do you think the next big thing is? Another Internet? Graphics? Transporters? Halo-decks? Some other cool gadget?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

"Things can get pretty strange..."

"In a New York minute
Everything can change
In a New York minute
Lying here in the darkness
I hear the sirens wail
Somebody going to emergency
Somebody's going to jail"

- From the song "New York Minute" by The Eagles

The above song is one of my favorites (and was featured on a West Wing episode, but I am sure you already knew that). Anyway, yesterday was uneventful - the only cool thing is I can say one of the many things I had to finish up for the semester has been turned in! Yippee. Now I just have to finish those two take home exams. The other reason Tuesday was uneventful was the fact that it rained all day. That's right all day it poured rain - to the point that in many places there was standing water in BG. Anyway, I don't have anything important to ramble about so I will move on to the links:

I found yet another article trying to explain quantum computing. However, you are going to want to check out this article called "Future Computer: Atoms Packed In An "Egg Carton" Of Light?". Note: the research is done at Ohio State University.

I know one of my readers will like this article. Cough...Rob...cough. Seriously, I think you should print it out and put it on your office door. Better yet, give it to your students.

What is George Lucas going to do after Star Wars? Read the article and learn about the man behind Star Wars.

Microsoft is right, this is so true. Speaking of Microsoft, The next Xboxs are going the have chips from NEC Electronics in them. The chip has embedded DRAM and will work with the graphics processor made by ATI Technologies.

Listen to free music offered by RealNetworks.

Cassini flyby could help figure out the mystery of life on Earth. It appears that Saturn's moon Titan has complex organic material in the atmosphere.

Not to worry, you can now get your Yahoo! anywhere.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"and the silence bring the night"

By the way, today's blog title is from this song by Beth Waters. If you have never hear her songs you are so missing out. They are available via iTunes.

I have a busy, busy week. I have two take-home finals to finish up this week and both have an in-class part as well for next week. However, the semester is almost over. Yippee. My plans for after I am done with classes (short term):
  • Get my hair cut (and hopefully sent it to one of those charities)
  • Buy a new pair of sandles
  • Got to the northern part of Florida for a few days
  • Work on my masters project
  • Read a bunch of books I have saved up

  • That's my current list. The list keeps getting bigger as I am getting closer to vacation time :) Tomorrow over lunch the ITS department at BGSU is giving a lunch thingy for the student empolyees (i.e., free food). It should be kind of fun actually and will help break up the day. Well, enough about me. Let's move onto what you really can to read - the links:

    This title really caught my attention: "Tiger's Out This Week. No Bull.". There are three more days until Tiger comes out. Both Apple and Microsoft have been in the news a lot recently. Microsoft is bring out some new stuff for IE 7 - finally. Some of these elements I thought were kind of important - I am glad to see that they are taking steps to make it better. Acrobat is trying to take on Microsoft in the world of "Web publishing and document management software".

    Not only has IE been in the news, but so has Opera 8 and it's 1 million download news. Just another part of the whole Browser War.

    Own the new PSP? If you answered yes this will interest you. If you answer no go to the next article. (Seriously, I have spend to much time recently programming. Those last two sentances were more like programming logic than really sentances. Anyway...)

    I can't decide if this is really cool or just plain scary. I'll just give you the title and you can decide for yourself: "Brain Scans Helps Scientists "Read" Minds".

    A wireless rating system is being worked on. This is one of those sticky issues. It not like I want to see adult entertainment on my cell phone, but that pesky issue of freedom starts to come into play. I don't want to see that kind of stuff, but they are restricting what I view. I also know that children shouldn't see that kind of stuff either. I can understand why some people argue for it. Ugh. I think I will sit this arguement out.

    "Hong Kong Broadband Launches 1 Gbps Home Service for US$215/month". I can't image what you do with 1 Gbps. They say it gives you "166x faster downstream" and "1,950x faster upstream" that DSL. Ducky. Simply ducky.

    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Security Chip 'n Dip

    Microsoft's new plan for security: hardwire it into the chip. Well, it's something different anyway.

    Russian space capsule has landed back on Earth. It carry three people back safely from the international space statation.

    Happy 15th Birthday Hubble. Unfortunately, Hubble needs to have its gyros and batteries replaced. Repairing the telescope would be extremely dangerous. However, it is still being debated what to do.

    For those who haven't heard enough about Longhorn yet.

    Sunday, April 24, 2005

    "Isn't it ironic...don't you think?"

    "It's like rain on your wedding day
    It's a free ride when you've already paid
    It's the good advice that you just didn't take
    Who would've thought... it figures "

    From lyrics of "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette

    Stargate SG-1 fans: Check out Stargate Alliance.

    Watched Meet the Fockers yesterday (while eating lunch and dinner). OK, so it was my one fun thing for the weekend. I didn't even live my house on Saturday. My parents did buy we some assorted computer books on Saturday from Media Play on clearance for $0.99. However, I am getting off topic - back to the movie thing. The movie is extremely funny. Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman are excellent along with the rest of the cast. Meet the Parents was funny and this is equally as funny. Dustin Hoffman is playing a character totally different from anything I have ever seen him in - or course he was good in Finding Neverland as well. But, I am getting off topic again. Great movie - if you haven't seen it you should. I probably shouldn't have taken time to watch this movie yesterday, but I figured I should have a little fun since it is the weekend.

    Currently, it is snowing in Michigan. And by snowing I don't need some random flakes. There is like two inches on the ground. Unfortunatly, this is going to be very hard on the plants. However, I did get to wear my new grey winter hat that I got on clearence several weeks back. I could have waited for next season, but figured what the heck. I am still having a hard time believing that it is snowing in April. Anyway, being stuck inside doesn't seem as bad. My parents did take me out to lunch today so at least I can claim to have left the house. My mom also made cookies last night and I have my supply of Diet Pepsi so I am all set :-D

    Alright, I better get back to work. Lots and lots todo before the week begins. Hope you are having less snow then I am. Thanks for stopping by.

    Saturday, April 23, 2005

    "Don't Turn Away"

    "Don't give in to the pain
    Don't try to hide
    Though they're screaming your name
    Don't close your eyes
    God knows what lies behind them
    Don't turn out the light
    Never sleep never die"

    Lyrics from the song "Whisper" by Evanescence

    Edit: For those who really love Stargate SG-1. Honestly, I like the show, but probably not that much. Of course, I am putting it my blog, so what does that say about me? I am just not going to think about it.

    Yes, I did watch the new Enterprise episode on Friday night. I thought it was actually a good show and that the actors did an excellent job playing the evil twin role. I only had one problem with the episode - again the clothing choices. Only the female characters were dressed in extremely lacking of actual material uniforms. Like somehow the females are going to do better while wearing less clothing? Of course, many video games have this same problem. Why don't they put the male characters in similar outfits? Anyway, I thought the episode was good anyway and look forward to seeing the second part next week.

    HP has announced that it will make servers with x86 dual-core processors. HP is going to put AMD's new Dual-Core AMD Opteron™ processor into the server. They believe that this could increase application preformance by 75%. Yikes, that would really be a jump.

    What's big in the news? Space. Today there ismore about the space shuttle safety factors and stories about who's going to fly the shuttle. Also, this article is about the new asteroid belt that has been found near out sun's "twin". Cool. If you haven't read enough about space, check out this article about computers used in space.

    This has the makings of a sci-fi movie. Seriously, this is really interesting. The medical uses are just amazing - leading "to new ways to treat cancer and prevent injury and death from insufficient blood supply to organs and tissues".

    I wish I had been this person. Why is Intel interested all the suddend? Recently, it was the 40th anniversary of Moore's Law. Of course, that caused articles about supercomputers and quantum computers. Still fuzzy about quantum physics? Aren't we all!?! Here is an article you might want to glance over - and by glance we know I mean read maybe more than once until me actually get it.

    The glaciers "continue their retreat". What does this mean to us? The sea water level will increase. Cause? Global warming. Speaking about Nature, there are these ants...

    People interested in major in computer science seems to be dropping.

    I know you'll want one of these. No need to thank me. What everyone wants to know how to control iTunes via the PSP.

    Well, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I have a busy weekend so I better get to it. Happy Weekend everyone.

    Oh and Rob - the song was "One & One" by Robert Miles that you were asking me about.

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    "How about me enjoying the moment for once..."

    "How about how good it feels to finally forgive you
    How about grieving it all one at a time
    Thank you india
    Thank you terror
    Thank you disillusionment
    Thank you frailty
    Thank you consequence
    Thank you thank you silence"
    - lyrics from "Thank U" by Alanis Morissette

    Edit: I just had to add a link to this very, very funny article. Best part: "'Guess it worked, but police don't really recommend this method'". OK, well I think it was funny anyway.

    Someone asked me about Egyptian Hieroglyphs the other day. Here is a nice list of equivalents. Want to know the Egyptian eqivalent? Try this one or you might try this one.

    There are still rumors about iTunes software for mobile phones. If rumors are true it will be coming out in June. Of course, that's a big if. Speaking of iTunes, Star Wars is releasing one song as a single. Have you heard it yet? If you haven't you can get it at iTunes.

    New from Google: Ever find something on Google and then can't locate it again? Google's solution is offering password-protected search history storage. Wow. If you have a gmail account you can check out the service here.

    Mazda, Ford, and Changan join together to build engine plant in Jiangsu Province, China. The joint venture has a name I am sure you could all guess: Changan Ford Mazda Engine Company Ltd. Nothing like namig it what it is - I guess they could just use the initials (CFMEC).

    It appears that International Respect for Chickens Day is just around the corner (May 4th). The event was started by the United Poutry Concerns. (And I bet you think I am kidding). Chickens are even in the news (unrelated to the holiday).

    I always new it was OK to make fun of Hoosiers, but gives me even more reasons.

    Scientist make new state of matter. At high speeds the researchers clided gold ions with each other. For more information, I recommend this article.

    Thanks for stopping by. I have a lot of homework to work on :) It was significantly cool in BG today - low 60's. What a change from the other day were it was 80 and sunny. .

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    To Sell or Not to Sell That is the Question...

    At dinner a friend mentioned he had posted an article on about a bill that restricts the sale of violent video games to minors. It is quiet a popular topic (and my friends I was having dinner with have completely different ideas on the matter. You can see the whole article here on Yahoo! News. I even posted a comment. Here is my comment on the issue:

    "I think both sides have excellent points. Playing a violent video game doesn't make a person (regardless of age) do bad things. As shown in many studies there are many other factors that play a role in behavior. Can the game be one of these factors - absolutely. But so can many other things cartoons, other siblings, friends at school or even the 6 o'clock news.

    I don't believe that one law is going to make a huge difference either way. They have had laws about selling cigarettes to under age persons and they keep cigarettes out of their hands. Under aged people who really wanted them could still get them. So, yes it helped. However, the biggest help was campaigns about the dangers of smoking and celebrities tell people that cigarettes were a health risk.

    What really needs to happen for video games is similar to that of cigarettes. It needs to be pointed out the youth that what they see and do in video games isn't neccessarily OK in the real world. There should be a greater focus on these efforts and less over who can buy them at the store.

    Maybe these laws are a first step, maybe they aren't - I really don't know because that is an extremely hard call to make. If Cookie Monstor had to change his image (cookies are for sometimes) maybe it's time for other changes as well. However, I am quiet sure when people started working with 2D graphics they never imaged them becoming as realistic or life-like as they are now. I am sure they never would have believed that we would be seeing complete movies on the topic either."

    Thursday's Blog (that I can't think of a title for)

    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

    Today is a very short blog because quiet simply the end of the semester is approaching and I have a ton of work to finish up. I have a take home exam that I am still working on and a paper that needs to get done.

    I just thought this article title was very funny: "Ballmer grins and bears Linux--a little". I have a weird sense of humor I know.

    NASA has already delayed the launch of Discovery for atleast a week. Sony and Toshiba want HD DVD standards, others want the Blu-ray disc standard.

    Nothing is safe anymore. 52 cellphone viruses have been identify. I won't be surprised that we will start hearing about toaster viruses. AMD announced dual-core chips. Their focus? Desktops and notebooks.

    Come and get it: Google Mini. For only $2995 companies get "the shiny blue server" that allows them to do Google-like searches on all of there documents and webpages.

    To see a very funny article read this one. I really think someone is making this up.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    "For What It's Worth"

    "There's battle lines being drawn
    Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
    Young people speaking their minds
    Getting so much resistance from behind
    I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down"

    - (part of) Lyrics from "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield

    As someone (who posted it as Anonymous but I so know who you are) nicely pointed out this article. Thanks for posting a comment! It appears that (a music Russian site) that offers songs for only 2 cents per megabyte of downloads. However, I am still going to stick to my iTunes since today I was able to download "Battle Of The Heros" by John Williams a pre-release of a song from the Star Wars III soundtrack. But that's just me ;-)

    It is a wonderful sunny warm summer day here at BG. (Although, it is suppose to rain tomorrow and I am currently couped up in my office but still). I think today is totally going to be an ice cream for dinner kind of day. It doesn't really feel like Tuesday. Ever have that feeling? I don't know what day it would be otherwise, but it doesn't seem like a Tuesday. Maybe because I have spent so much time inside doing homework (or falling asleep while doing homework is probably a more correct description). Anyway, I digress. Here are some links you might find interesting:

    Blackberry to get face lift. Blackberry's may end up including both IBM's Lotus Instant Messaging and Web conferencing software. A really cool device just got even cooler.

    Cisco just announced a new series of routers. What is so cool about that you ask? It allows you to "configure a single XR 12000 router into separate physical and logical routing domains".

    This article is about Symantec and an anti-spyware tool being integrated into Norton Internet Security AntiSpyware Edition. But that's not really a huge surprise or anything.

    The Great Wall really can be seen from space. Watch out for people putting their aging car out of it's misery. No one else was hurt, but the car is no longer among the living.

    Microsoft related news: "Microsoft to license test software for real-world use" (another pay to test our software first type thing). Also, new features in both Tiger and Longhorn sound similar. I am not sure if I should be impressed or appalled.

    I also have to post a link to this very funny article because I promised Chad I would. He found the article and hence is somewhat to blame for it being here. But it is my blog and therefore the blame really lies on me. If you like funny maybe you want to read about flying cars too.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    "The sky isn't always blue"

    "The sun doesn't always shine. It's alright to fall apart sometimes..." (Lyrics to song One & One by Robert Miles)

    Welcome to Tuesday's "Graduate Student Burn Out Week" blog. Hehe :-) Yes, I am partly joking. However, from personal experience (and talking to other graduate students) that is what it feels like right now. Why? Because there are two weeks of classes and finals week. Added part: it's spring and we have been in school since what August?

    It has been pointed out in studies that graduate school falls somewhere between level of stress as occur with people going through divorces and that of the death of a spouse. Yikes (of course graduate school eventually ends, the other two are more life long events). Here are some helpful tips. Not your style? There are a bunch of other articles that might help you out.

    My personal stree reduces include:
  • Eating a candy bar or ice cream just for fun
  • Taking 1/2 hour to watch part of a movie each evening
  • Buying a new pair of shoes or clothing for the new season
  • Writing a blog (or diary if you want it to be personal)
  • Eating out with friends and discuss stuff other than school
  • Taking a walk as a study break
  • Listening to a few songs and relaxing for 15 minutes (for a little break time)
  • Take a bubble bath

  • That's my list of things I like todo to relieve stress. Of course, I stick to only one or two of these each day. Even though you are really super busy it is always a good idea to get some sleep. I suggest taking a short nap and then resuming work. Your mind will be fresh and will be better able to function - saving you time in the first place. I found a little diet pepsi on occasion didn't hurt either. Important thing to remember: keep fighting 'till the end. Or in someone else's famous words (Yogi Berra to be exact): "it ain't over till it's over".

    Well, enough of my rambling here are some links you might like:
    Today's big tech news: Space shuttle has "new role as an emergency refuge for a damaged NASA shuttle". Wow.

    What I think is the worst news of the day: Adobe purchase Macromedia. Augh! Now it is all going to go to the dogs.

    Danger Will Robinson! Danger! (I really shouldn't laugh, but there is an element of humor in it). Of course, this you can laugh at.

    It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a wholphin . Speaking of nature, it appears "Early Universe Liquid-Like".

    Key words from this article: Univerisity of Michigan, Macs, and stem cell research. And people wonder why I like Macs.

    If you are looking for a diversion sometime, may I suggest this one?

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    "Out on your corner in the pouring rain..."

    (Look for the girl with the broken smile)*

    I started writting this blog on Sunday so that I could have something to post on Monday. At the time I was listening to songs I had purchased with my Diet Pepsi caps on iTunes. Nothing like some good free legal music. So what did I possible have to write about at the time? Well, you are right - not much. The content of the blog was mostly done closer to the post date. It's the title and stuff that get written before hand. Now if I could just figure out how to make this blog into a best selling book, then I could spend more time on it. Hmm...maybe I should start offering advice or something. No one would take advice from me, what was I thinking ;-) Alright, enough of my silly rambling - here are the links you really came to look at:

    Microsoft has a new marketing scheme...ummm...thing. All the details they are currently giving out is that it the ads will be "generally about Windows". I am hoping that was a simplifcation made by the author of the article and not what anyone from the company said. Because if it is, they really need to hire some better PR people.

    Not that this is at all surprising: more people are switching to Firefox. Proving that there may be hope for browsers - other than Internet Explorer. I am a Safari person myself, but I often us Firefox and really not a huge fan of IE. It's not a bad browser. I started using the others because they had tab browsing way before IE. But enough about my opinion that's not what you come here for...

    Some people have way to much time on their hands (where to I sign up for having this kind of free time?) I don't know what to make of this either - it's just well, there.

    This "allows viewers to see three-dimensional images" and you don't need any special glass or anything. Ducky! Yes, I used that as a term of excitment like Yippee only better. Oh and Justin it really is a word and I am using it correctly. Totally unrealed but isn't this just ducky too. OK, yes I am a huge Yoda fan and he is going to be in the Episode III! I swear it can't get any cooler (or duckier) for that matter.

    Google has jobs open (who wouldn't want to be the Executive Director, Google Foundation?) It appears they are hiring all kinds of people.

    *Part of the lyrics from the Maroon 5 song "She Will Be Loved"

    Sunday, April 17, 2005

    "Tell Me on a Sunday"

    I know I said I was only going to post one blog this weekend. However, I got some homework done faster than I thought and I decided it was high time for a short break. And I decided I just had to post another blog. So yeah, that whole "only one blog" thing went totally out the window. So for a short blog (which I will seriously try to stick to) here are some links you might want to take a quick look at:

    Space Station gets deliveries - including some pregnant crickets. NASA is also in the news because of recent agreement to have heat-resistant "black boxes" on space probes called Reentry Breakup Recorders (REBRs) developed by Aerospace Corporation and NASA. Not to mention that fact that it's the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission.

    Intel's introduces it's newest and greatest - a chip called Wimax for broadband wireless. Ducky! Apple introduces a new product called Soundtrack® Pro that allows users to create and edit audio files. While Microsoft proposes new interface for handheld devices.

    On a side note: Quantum wires are here.

    Completely off topic: This is really ducky. Can you believe they found it in what they believed was a trash pile in Egypt? Ok, so I find this really cool. I would so like to apply technology to the study of classic civilizations. So have to figure out how to work in that field...

    Thanks for stopping by and reading my links. I have a post partly written for Monday, but probably won't get around to posting it until late Monday. Hope your weekend was as good and productive as mine. Until next time.

    Saturday, April 16, 2005

    Buried Message

    Click here for a little fun.

    (Isn't the internet just so cool - combining fun and education).

    You can also plan for your afterlife - but that one is a little more weird.

    "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night"

    Saturday has finally arrived. Last night I watch the new episode of Enterprise. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would give it a 5 or 6 - mostly because slave girls in very little clothing just aren't my thing. I thought the interesting part was some of the character development that occur in this episode - but I really can't tell you what it is since it would give away to much. A friend sent me a link to this amusing article (thanks Chad) about the final Enterprise episode.

    This weekend will be like one several weeks back - I will probably only post one blog entry instead of 2. Why? Because I have a bunch of school work to finish up - acceptance tests, neural network project, and a take home exam (Hamming codes, (4,2) computer, and other fun). Hope your weekend is as warm (low 70's) and sunny as mine is. Hmm...I wonder if my wireless router broadcasts to my back porch. I will have to test that out later. Thanks for "stopping by" and reading. Here are some links. So take a break from your homework and "educate" yourself ;-)

    Ohio must be so proud.

    All you really wanted to know about Einstein and then some.

    NASA launched a robotic spacecraft the other day. Unfortunatly, it didn't go so well.

    Maybe this phenomenon is occuring because everyone has one already, but that could be just me. By the way (and total change of topic), it appears that "Reuters Squashes Worm, Restores IM".

    Look what you can get for $125 million. Maybe instead they should share it with the schools who lost their field trips. Then they can grow up to be just like these students and get paid like this comic implys.

    It appears to be a good year to be a duck.

    If you haven't hear enough about Tiger yet then check out the 200+ features from the Apple site.

    I don't even know what to make of this. Of course, this article is along the same lines. And this is just too funny (but fitting). If you really want funny read this Dave Barry column on "how you can be killed by breakfast snack food".

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    "Friday on My Mind"

    Its Friday! Hip-hip-horray. The weekend begins in just a few hours, which of course is a good thing. Yesterday, I went to hear a speaker discuss their research about pair programming - well more accurately collaboration. However, it was an xp group, so the focus was on pair programming. It was very interesting. The speaker made one point that stood out (to me anyway) - that often this kind of research can not be assigned a value. You can look at trends and common behavior, but you can't give it a say a value of 4. How well people pair and why some pairs work better than others really falls in this category.

    Here are Friday's Links:
    Would make a really good movie plot: Dinosaur eggs found.

    Microsoft reveals details about the long await Longhorn.

    Intel is going to show off their Dual-Core Pentiums on Monday.

    Russians take off for the International Space Station.

    Cisco is going to purchase Topspin Communications.

    NASA has a new person in charge.

    Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Happy weekend!

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    Like A Summer Thursday

    Wow. It's Thursday already? Yikes, I need to get out more. I don't know where the week has gone. Here are some links that I put together and am going to call a blog:

    Microsoft TechNet Blogs (I kid you not).

    "Super-fast downloads bring on quick lawsuits" - this article is a must read for any computer science student.

    Check out the Tiger preview if you haven't already. (I haven't made up my mind if I am going to buy it yet or not. It looks so cool so most likely I will).

    This is why I don't tell people were I spent my undergrad.

    Oh and Rob, maybe this is why you see so many people smoking around here.

    An interesting turn of events. All I have to say to the Windows users - "Resistance is Futile".

    I didn't know he was going to be in this movie.

    No Chad, I didn't write this at midnight (I know what you are going to ask-hehe). Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    "Tuesday's Gone"

    "I am making a mental list of those who are snickering, and even as I speak I'm preparing appropriate retribution." - Leo McGarry (The West Wing)

    This is probably one of the shortest blogs I have written in a while. School work has keeped me extremely busy for the last few days. However, after today my work load will lighten up considerably! I can't wait for cool stuff like that to happen. Well, I better get back to school work. Here are some links you might want to check out:

    Is there anything Google is not going to get involved in? Now you can find local listings and even get driving directions via your cellphone from Google's cellphone services.

    Mark your calanders April 29 the Tiger ships. Cool.

    Microsoft is still big in the news today. 5 security bulletins were released Tuesday.

    Not that you probable care, but Bush has an iPod.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    A side of Microsoft with that?

    "Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you." - Kurt Cobain

    Today's news seems to be filled with stuff about Microsoft (and more so than usual). Microsoft has announced that they are going to show off the new Xbox on May 12 on MTV. They appear to be going all out since Elijah Wood will be hosting the show. Microsoft also announced that they filed 8 lawsuits (in 7 states) for "software resellers and system builders for distributing counterfeit and unlicensed computer programs". Yikes, that is a lot of lawsuits. At the same time they are paying Gateway $150 million. Which then will cause Gateway to "release all antitrust claims against Microsoft based on past conduct." Of course, "Microsoft denies any wrongdoing".

    Oh and on a significantly lighter note, I thought this was kind of funny. Oh and you know it is a slow news day when articles like this one slow up. No home should be without one of these.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    "Some Days Are Better Than Others"

    "The trouble with unknown enemies is that they are so difficult to identify." - Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody series)

    The weekend is over and we all have to return to our day-to-day lives. Not that this is always a bad thing, but not always the most enjoyable. This weekend my parents and I went for our normal spring ritual - getting ice cream for dinner. Yummy. It was in the upper 60's on Sunday in Michigan and it was for a change sunny. Monday I will be return to BG for the last few weeks of the semester. I have even looked up my finals for this semester - I have one on Monday (computer architecture) and one on Thursday (software engineering). My parents are talking about going on a small vacation after the semester is over (and before I begin classes this summer) which has been fun planning and discussing our options. Going to the beach in Florida is high on the list.

    I have also finished sorting through all my tax stuff. One thing I want to state: it is a pain to work in one state and live in a different state. I can get my state taxes back from Ohio and I have to turn around a pay for Michigan taxes (which are higher than the Ohio state taxes). Ugh, it was confussing. Michigan tax forms are not the easiest things to fill out. You have to do a lot of looking up to figure out what goes where and what counts for what. I also thought it was interesting how many people wanted you to donate money to various things on the state tax forms. But, that's just my opinion. Anyway, I am just rambling now. Here's some news you may or may not find interesting:

    In a Flash, things are going to change. Flash 8 promises interface changes and "eye candy for end users". Ducky.

    Ready, set, go! The race for the "best" desktop search begins. The contestants: Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

    Robots building houses - what will they think of next?

    Mammoth bones found in California about 30 miles from LA.

    Want an iBook? Want a iMac? Apple offers new deals on refurbs. Check out the special deals from Apple. (OK, so it's not cheap, but still some discount is better than no discount).

    Something new: "Non-acoustic sensors detect speech without sound".

    Happy National Library Week!

    On Monday Gateway is going to show off a new line of desktops and notebooks (i.e., Gateway takes on HP).

    It appears that people will steal anything. OK, who doesn't think this is just plain odd?

    Sunday, April 10, 2005

    It Always Rains on Sunday

    "Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence." - Morris Kline

    Hope everyone is having a fine weekend. I know I am. Although I have a bit of work to do (presentation, paper, project, etc) I am actually making head way. I have gotten my project "un-stuck" for the moment. I still have a weird problem with calculations being made by Mathematica. The results being calculated by Mathematica are correct. However, when I run the matrix through the neural network it chokes on the calculations. However, if I copy and paste the results into a new file and read that to the neural network it runs just fine. This is absolutely and completely baffling me. I even tried to crop the values and that didn't work (to get rid of unwanted rounding problems). At least now that I know the problem I can work around the problem.

    Here are some links for today:
    Oldest piece of Earth on display.

    Jobs gets yet another job.

    I thought this looked interesting.

    Monkey's seem to prefer Windows. (Better give "Shakespeare's Monkey's" some computers with XP on it).

    Well, hello (if you are a Windows user).

    The Tiger is coming. If you haven't yet, check out the preview tour.

    Watch out for your camel suit, it just might get stolen.

    Watch out for fake Microsoft security sites. "The scam uses e-mail messages that appear to come from Microsoft to get recipients to visit a Web page that uploads the malicious program". (This is so why I love my Mac).

    Sometimes robbers get what they deserve - absolutely nothing.

    Well, that's what I have for Sunday (which, no I didn't write at 1:32 AM on Sunday morning. I actually wrote it at 10:30 PM Saturday night. Yes, I knew you were going to ask - hehe. However, I am grateful that you read my blogs and notice those types of things). Actually I am grateful to everyone who "stops by" and reading my blog - all three of you. Heck maybe there are more of you and I just don't know about it :) Anyway...

    Happy Weekend Folks! Hope the sun is shining where you are and you were able to enjoy little bits of spring this past week. Now I have to get back to my "regular" programming (yes, bad pun was intended).

    Friday, April 8, 2005

    The Saturday Night Swing Club

    "If I cook the stuffing inside my turkey, can I kill my guests? I'm not saying that would be a deal breaker." - Bartlet (The West Wing)

    On Friday I got the new issue of Lucky in the mail. It is a magaizine all about shopping. I always enjoy looking at all the pictures and stuff. Which I am sure seems a bit unusual for a geek, but there are small numbers of geeks who are into shopping. I could ramble on and on about shopping, but I won't. However, I am going to mention the gray winter hat I purchased (on clearance) today at my favorite department store Von Maur. So moving on to more geeky things:

    Many local businesses are hoping that the Shuttle launch will bring more people to Cocoa Beach, FL.

    All about Longhorn security. Of course, the article doesn't really pin-point any one thing, but it is clear they are going to make some changes from the old way.

    Tired of your surrondings? Check out Google Sightseeing.

    Just news (not geeky in nature):
    Price to send (snail) mail might increase by $0.02.

    In the land of no consumer laws and a newspaper called the "freep" (e.g., Michigan): "House Dems want to repeal Michigan law that protects drug makers". It appears that "Michigan is the only state in the country to strictly limit lawsuits against producers of FDA-approved drugs". Wow. No wonder there is a huge Pfizer research center in Ann Arbor.

    Something Funny:
    I have never seen the movie Seven however this is a very funny version of one of the scenes.

    His Girl Friday

    "'I think you're begging the question,' said Haydock, 'and I can see looming ahead one of those terrible exercises in probability where six men have white hats and six men have black hats and you have to work it out by mathematics how likely it is that the hats will get mixed up and in what proportion. If you start thinking about things like that, you would go round the bend. Let me assure you of that!'" - Agatha Christie (The Mirror Crack'd)

    Welcome to Friday's Blog! This has been one of the warmest weeks this spring. It rained a lot on Thursday (but if it means we will have warm weather - I will take it). Three weeks (+ finals) remaining in the semester. Yikes. The weeks are going by fast (maybe a little bit too fast). This weekend I have a bit of school work to do. I need to read some articles (there is this presentation for a class two of us have to give on Wednesday) and find a bug in my code for my project.

    Why is it that it takes one programmer to write the program and at least 3 other programmers to debug the code? I think the average computer science students spends 30% of their time writing code and the other 70% trying to figure out why their code doesn't work. However, my judgement might be flawed do to the fact that I am currently trying to find a bug. Anyway...

    The "geek" related headlines:
    Thanks for stopping by and reading today's blog. Hope you have a great weekend!

    Thursday, April 7, 2005

    It Happens Every Thursday

    Alternate Title: "Hamming 1 Will Get You 2"

    "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." - G. K. Chesterton

    In my Wednesday night class we discusses Hamming Codes invented by Richard Hamming. (For even more on Hamming Codes I recommend you take a glance at this paper). Hamming codes are pretty cool and simple. For every 4 bits of data you need 3 check bits - which gives you a total of 7 bits. With these 7 bits you can correct 1 error and detect 2 errors. Hamming codes are using in databases and even in servers with redundant data.

    Of course, this wasn't the first time I had seem Hamming codes. A year ago I had taken a class about reliable computing (which was actually taught by the same professor as the one I have now for computer architecture). If you are interested in cryptography, then I recommend this article. There is even an application of Hamming codes for quantum computers. Here is a recent article about Raid.

    Other stuff in the news:

    They have been able to show that Sahelanthropus tchadensis does belongs to the human branch. This is one of those cool applications of computers onto other fields of science. (Hmmm...I wonder how you get jobs in that field).

    NASA's been in the news a lot recently, it appears that now they have extended the Mars rover mission by 18 months.

    Does 'Geek Speak' confuse you?

    Wednesday, April 6, 2005

    Wednesday Night at the Ritz

    "I want to go out but everything that I own is beige." - Lavinia (The Banger Sisters)

    Tuesday was in the 70s and sunny. The perfect weather - not to hot and feels great to just be outside. It is also the perfect weather to do a bit of pondering. With everything going on, I feel extremely rushed. Everything is on a tight schedule and I feel a little behind (at times). This morning I took a moment to think and evaluate what was remaining. It's not so much that the next four weeks are going to be smooth sailing - but there isn't a need for panic. I have things under control and moving forward. I feel a lot better coming to this realization. Now if I could just decide about the next step...but that could be a topic for a whole new blog.

    Today's blog is just random news (and mostly because that is what I normally do, plus I can't think of anything better). Well thanks for visiting my blog. Sorry it wasn't more exciting. I didn't have much of a chance to work on it - there are what like 4 weeks of classes left. (Yippee). Of course, the downside of this is the work load involved (tons and tons). However, I got one of the big "project fixes" done for one class. Of course, there are a bit of a "hack" involved in getting it to work - but we just won't go there...

    Tuesday, April 5, 2005

    If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

    "I was waiting for the universe to dispense some justice but sometimes the universe is just too damn slow. The effects of putting Nair in someone's styling gel, however, only take a few minutes." - Murphy (Murphy Brown)

    I have decided to begin a new theme for blog titles. I am now going to use movies with days of the week in them. Today's title really is from a movie from 1969 staring Suzanne Pleshette (who is most know for her role as Emily on the The Bob Newhart Show).

    In my class on Monday we discussed an intereest concept - FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). A concept that has never really taken off as much as one might think. They are extremely useful when your system does a lot of repeated computations/actions and you want to customize the chip. Why not just build a chip? Because unless you are going to build millions of chips the cost is just too great. There is even a journal for FPGA stuff. Just recently Texas Instruments and Avnet have put together a presentation about FPGA and you can see the live webcast on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. CDT (18.00 hrs CET). However, I am guessing that it is way more effort then you really wanted to put in, so never mind.

    In the world of computers, Hitachi annouced their goal of 1 TB hard-disk drives for computers by 2007. Wow, 1 TB - that's a lot of hard-drive.

    In the big, big world of the internet, people will now be able to compare hospital quality online. The site is up and working.

    Monday, April 4, 2005

    (Just Another) Manic Monday

    "Amazing. This is what was missing from the dig at Giza. This is how they controlled it. It took us 15 years and three superconductors to MacGyver a system for the gate on Earth. Look how small it is!" - Carter (Stargate SG-1)

    Have sleeping problems? Blame it on your parents (and those genes they gave you).

    Yeast cells have sex lives? According to this article they do. Oh and the same things is pointed out in this article as well.

    A bunch of "experts" determined that the PSP is "not a sell-out". By the way, the PSP came out last week and cost $250. This cool gadget plays movies, music, and games.

    A very, very funny Dave Barry column from 1996. You can also read his views on coffee.

    West Wing Fans: Wednesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show John Spencer will be appearing (4 PM in Michigan and Ohio).

    I am a member of Biography Club. You can get free posters and stuff by answering survey questions and taking the weekly quizes about upcoming biographies. Plus, they send a free magazine 4 times a year to your house. Ain't that cool? Join now - what are you waiting for?

    Sunday, April 3, 2005

    Easy Like Sunday Morning

    "Oh, I wouldn't worry about that - it's probably not important information." - Bartlet (West Wing)

    Today is Sunday. The day I realize how much work I should have gotten done this weekend, but haven't. There are like 4 weeks of classes left in the semester and 1 week of finals. That also means that I have 5 more weeks of for the ITS office. After that I have 1 more class, finishing my project, and presenting my project. Wow. Then they are going to give me a piece of paper that states that I earned a master's degree. The thought is actually a little scary when I think about it. OK, it is a lot scary. Well, enough of my rambling. Here are some links you just might enjoy:

    Having trouble waking up in the morning? Maybe you need one of these. Some people really liked Clocky and decided to create Bloggy. You can read Bloggy's Blog.

    For those who don't like iPod Shuffles being all white.

    Is there anything that Google can't do? (Beware, the ride finder isn't supported by Safari yet - but it does work with Firefox). Source: Google Blog

    Have an iPod Photo? Have a digital camera? This article is for you.

    Have you always wondered why there are so many names on most research papers. I believe I have found an answer.

    Saturday, April 2, 2005

    Saturday Night

    (Yes, that really is a song title, The Eagles and many others recorded that song).

    "A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." - Walter Winchell

    The news of the day - Pope John Paul II dies.

    Other news:
    Recently, a group of scientist measured a cluster of Xenon atoms. They how to one day adapt this technology to make early diagnoses of diseases.

    Lesson of the day from the US government: When you run out of excuses, just blame the last guy.

    Want to know more about motherboards? Here is an article about the Gigabyte Factory.

    Low on cash? Just start looking for bugs for Mozilla.

    April is: Math Awareness Month.

    Sony is trying to make an iTunes like service, only for movies.

    NASA has scheduled launch of robotic spacecraft for April 15th.

    Microsoft has released service pack 1 for Server 2003. The sevice pack makes Server 2003 more security, reliability, and includes some performance enhancements. It even includes a security configuration wizard. Of course, now we just count the days before some one breaks it - again.

    On a complete and unrelated side note:
    So I have spent Friday evening working on homework, which included looking for some software for the Mac OS X that will allow me to edit some MIDI files. So far the programs I have looked at/tried aren't working or don't do what I need. Ugh! I know how to use a Windows machine to edit wav files, but MIDI seem to be a little more challenging. Anyone know any good programs (that are either free or have a demo I can download)? I know that is a tall order. Doesn't have to be for Mac (at this point I am willing to try things for a Windows machine).

    I have found one program: Audacity. The program is really good at editing wav files and is freeware. It can convert mp3 to wav. Just doesn't play MIDI files yet. But, it served it's purpose and did what I needed.

    Friday, April 1, 2005

    Friday On My Mind

    "Are you sure this water's sanitary? It looks questionable to me!" - Tantor (Tarzan, 1999)

    Have you been Google Gulped yet? (hehe - talk about going all out for the holiday - read the Privacy statement)

    Today is Gmail's 1st birthday. They have announced new features. There are tons of articles, like this one about Gmail's new features.

    I have always wondered why there are so few females in computer science, I guess the same is true of political columnists.

    For the impaired parent - but only if you are a right wing republican. I didn't read everything on the site, but I agree it does seem at bit one sided. I am sure that it is difficult to write the informaiton about these types of topics and there is a lot of good information (although, it is kind of scary to think they need to tell parents some of this information). However, I can see why people don't agree with everything written here - but it won't matter what had been written some people would be against it.

    The big news story of the day are all about the Pope's health.

    The internet has everything including the Crazy Apple Rumors Site.

    Super Tangent which looks like an iPod shuffle, but whatever.