Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'm Getting Old...

Well, not that old. My birthday recently passed and that got me thinking. Recently, my life has been what I would determine as a large ball of confussion and uncertainty OK, so maybe that is just a permenant condiciton in grad school - just kidding. I have looked to see where I have been and where I am going. Trying to plan for the next year - which is proving to be difficult. And I won't even begin to mention the near future - I haven't got that worked out yet either.

However, I have decided to just roll with it. Forget about the short-term goals for the moment. I have been so caught up in the fact that I don't have a mid-term goals that I have forgot about the short-term goals and my long-term goals. Why am I writing this in a blog? I haven't the foggiest of ideas. My guess is you don't really care so I am going to stop rambling about it now. And it to the point of why I actually have a blog. Here are some links you may or may not like:

Space news: A star is born in the Carina Nebula. Did you know that as the star is created it causes havoc on the space around it? I hadn't really thought about it before. Something that is older than I am: Voyager (28 yrs old) is reaching the end of our solar system. It seems that there is a new telescope to scan the space to search for alien life - it's a SETI project and sounds a lot like something from that movie Contact. Calculation errors happen all the time. The Andromeda galzxy was a little bigger than we originally believed.

I am not sure what to say about this - so I am just not going to say anything at all.

Another day, another processor. AMD makes new processor callend the Athlon 64 X2. It comes in two flavors 1MB of L2 cache or 2MB.

Some people have way to much time on their hands.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"Forget your troubles..."

"Come on get happy
You better chase all you cares away
Shout halleuja
Come on get happy
Get ready for the judgement day"

- lyrics from the song Get Happy (sung by Judy Garland)

Hi! That's right, it's time for another blog - an extremely short blog.

Nokia is making a new handheld tablet. It is phone-less and its main purpose is web-browsing (wireless of course). It will be priced at $350. This is Nokia's attempt to compete with Apple's iPod (although, I see these a never different items - but whatever). The interesting part to me is that it has 128 MB of flash memory - instead of a hard drive.

Fun in space: Voyager 1 has been on a 26-year mission and is now 8.7 billion miles from the Sun in a area know as the heliosheath. For more information regarding Voyager 1 check on NASA's site.

Mission to Mars Update: "Opportunity now has been stuck or struggling in soft sand for the past three weeks" . Spirit, on the other hand, is have much better time explorering the opposite of Mars. What are Spirit and Opportunity looking for? Signs of life - or previous life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stephany Couldn't Think of a Title Blog

Today's Quote: "We can only hope that this is the last footwear to fall." - Thor (Stargate SG-1)
Music to Blog By: Under Rug Swept album by Alanis Morissette
GRE word of Today (in a sentance): Until I have had my first can of Diet Pepsi in the morning I often experience torpor.

IBM, Infineon and Macronix have begun a joint venture. They appear to be interested in studying a new idea phase-changing memory.

It appears that Apple stock jumped up in price yesterday. Why? It looks like Apple has been talking to Intel. As the article admits: "Apple's computers are widely considered first-rate but expensive". Which I totally agree with. Anyway, Apple is interesting in maybe making computers with Intel chips (and hence be cheaper). I personally have mixed feelings about this (which I blogged about earlier this month).

Lost a planet? A new planet has been found in the Milky Way by Tasmanian scientists. This planet they think is 1000 times bigger than Earth. Wow.

Microsoft related news: Microsoft has created MSN Virtual Earth to compete with Googles local search and maps. The war of the search engine appears to still be going strong. If you hadn't heard yet Microsoft has also release a nice little toolkit. Now developers can write applications for Avalon and Indigo which is Longhorn stuff.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Can't Believe It's Monday Already...

Latest news about Discovery: It's new redesigned fuel tank passed the test on Friday. It looks like they may be able to have it up and running in mid-July.

A really cool use of particle acceleration. Using X-rays to cause iron in the ink to glow people at Stanford can not read writings of Greek mathematician Archimedes.

Here is an article comparing Google to Mircrosoft. Also, there is an analysis of the recent actions of the company. The one thing to keep in mind is the fact that Google stock keeps going up. Plus, you have to figure it is difficult to be the clear front runner in the market because everyone is waiting for you to fall.

Apple is recalling iBook and PowerBook G4 batteries. For even more details regarding this check the Apple site. I am lucky to say that I don't believe my laptop battery falls into this category. I purchased mine well before October 2004.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Star Wars III - Movie

"Good relations with the Wookiees, I have." - Yoda (Star Wars III)

This afternoon I want and saw Revenge of the Sith. It really was a good movie. The fight scenes with Yoda in them were very good. There is even a scene where Yoda flattens out some of this hair - which I thought was interesting. From my limited understanding hair is difficult to render. So, I thought it was a nice added touch. Anyway, it was a good movie. I agree with many of the reviews I read - it is really good except the scenes with just Padme and Anakin. The scenes between the two were just not flowing as well as one might expect.

Although the movie had a PG-13 rate, I didn't think it was as intense as others of the series. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that anyone who had scene the other movies knew exactly what was going to happen. You know Yoda and Obi-Wan are not going to get killed and you know that Anakin is going to turn into Darth Vadar. I would compare it to a book series you happen to read out of order. If you have already read a later book, then you have a lot of knowledge of what is going to happen in the current book. Many of the surprises and the unknown are taken out of the equation. The book is still good and you enjoy reading it. Ok, so were was I - oh right - the movie was fast paced as well which I think made the intensity less during the movie. A lot happens and your brain doesn't fully process all of it or something. Afterwards you think a lot more about it.

So, yes I basically loved the movie. Lots of Yoda, lots of lightsabor fights, and lots of wrap up information. I felt it really explained the later movie. Did I mention there was lots of Yoda?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Dance Like A Chicken...

...Until the cows come home. Science isn't just for "promoting the welfare of un-caressed chickens". But it is things like this that really make me wonder about the world.

Of course, that is not the only odd thing I have seen recently, but you might think is fallacious (GRE word). Are you R2 obsessed? There is an R2 Builders Club. No I am not making this up. Nor am I mendacious (GRE word) when I say there is a site called Vader's First 501st Legion - "world's definitive Imperial costuming organization". OK, I am going to stop now because I am really weirded out.

In a recent turn of events Internet telephone carriers are now required to have 911 emergency calling services - well in the next 120 days that is.

Quantum computing and code break is back in the news. Looks like NIST has made some progress. For information on quantum cryptography see this article.

News on the Google Front: Google will be offering a new service - personalizable home page. In the article there is talk of Google Earth, a "new 3-D mapping technology". Ducky.

It appears that Nintendo's new console (still in development) is called Revolution. It is said that Nintendo is exhibiting a rather taciturn (GRE word) nature about the new gaming console.

By the way, yes I am planning on taking the GRE's again and I am working on the verbal stuff. So don't be surprised if you see a bunch of big words popping into my blog that I would never otherwise use. So it is really vexatious (GRE word) to you the readers of my blog not to mention prosaic (GRE word), but I think you will be able to tough it out - it's not like it will have a deleterious (GRE word) effect on you. Dictionary.com and I will become good friends before the summer is over.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

If you can't beat 'um - make a hybrid

"Well, we obviously can't leave you alone with that stapler." - George Wade (Two Weeks Notice)

Hello! Welcome to Thursday blog. I promise no Star Wars stuff (although the movie is out today but that is all I am going to say about it). No, I didn't go see it at 12:01 AM or anything. I am not that geeky - close but not quiet that level. Today there are some very interesting articles in tech news - I have picked out a few I found interesting (and thought you might too).

On the web browser front: Netscape 8 has come out. Why use Netscape 8? It's is what you get when you cross IE and Firefox - or so they say.

It's never nice to gang up on someone, but in business this does apply. IBM and Red Hat have joined up. They are trying to "grab market share from" Solaris (owned by of course Sun).

"Google Jumps on RSS Ads". Why? It allows for Google to have "more flexibility to its advertising programs" which is like 99% of how they make money. Did you know that the online advertising market has grown over the last year? Yep, by about 33%.

Kodak makes new slimmer camera. Their focus audiance for this little device - females. According to Mary-Irene Marek (a marketing manager at Kodak): women are "buying more than half of the electronic items sold in the United States".

Poor Microsoft, they are in court again. Their lawyers must always be busy. This time it appears that someone claims that "a technology that allows computer users to transfer data back and forth between Excel and Access by using a spreadsheet" was being used without premission.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wednesday's Rambles and Rants

Today's Quote: "Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel inside the tomb first?" - Riley Poole
Music to Blog By: Soundtrack to National Treasure by Trevor Rabin

A complete side note but National Treasure was a really good movie - I bought (and watched it) while I was on vacation. The historically aspects of this movie made it quiet interesting. Of course, it isn't a how-to guide or anything. I also highly doubt that there is a treasure map on the backside of the Declaration of Independance - but I don't know that there isn't either. The idea is cool - plus the clues they take from things like a 100 dollar bill make you want to believe that there is a treasure map and a hidden treasure.

To busy to go to the Apple store? Not you can settle your Apple cravings out of a vending machine.

Haven't read enough about Star Wars III yet? Here is an article you might try: "Lucas Talks About Anakin's Good Side". It appears that at the Star Wars III premire in London Lucus stated that he is working on/planning another Indiana Jones movie.

EMC is coming out with Invista. Invista "allows users to retrieve data without knowing exactly where in a storage network the information resides".

Lastest from Google: They are going to make Google Desktop Search for Enterprise. It will "includes administrative tools to ease corporations' security worries" and will be free. Can't get much better than that.

Wow, I was amazed by this headline. Can you imagine downloading TV shows and radio programmes. Sadly, it's just for Windows people.

You can get buy anything on the internet, because there is someone out there selling it. This is just odd. Of course, the bigger question is who would want one?

Internet Browser War Continues: This news is a few days old, but I just wanted to comment - yippee. Not that I have anything against IE or Microsoft...OK maybe a little. Oh just go read the article.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Count Down - 3 Days Until Star Wars III

"Never tell me the odds." - Han Solo

OK, so I am a fan of Star Wars. Not like that is a big surprise. I have recently entered all of my codes at the Call Upon Yoda site. This is a contest being run by Pepsi (look for specially marked packages of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and other Pepsi products). Don't have any Pepsi codes to enter? Just go to the site to check out the games or the preview of the Lego game.

Seriously, I don't have anything interesting to put in my blog. There isn't much news to report. Sony has said that they are going to make the Playstation 3 for next year. What did Microsoft counter with? Xbox 360 is going to be able to play the old Xbox games which was different than earlier announcments. Why all the gaming news? E3 is going on right now.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will find something interesting to put in my blog.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday, Monday (ba-da ba-da-da-da) Again

"Why do I get the feeling that we've picked up another pathetic life form?" - Obi-Wan Kenobi

Well, it's Monday and I have to return some what to the reality that my break is over. I say some what reality because I am not actually taking any classes or working this semester. However, I am trying to make head way with my project so I am going to set aside several hours each day for project work and working through the GRE booklet so I can re-take the GRE's (ugh). But today is Monday and I decided that I will ease myself back into the swing of things. But no need to fear, I am pretty sure that I will still have time to update my blog ;-) Well, onto the news you may or may not really need to know:

I just like the title: "Apple's new Tiger operating system turns up heat on Microsoft". I know everyone is tired of hearing about Tiger - but the title was just to tempting not to include it in my blog.

Want to learn more about time travel? Check out the Space Time Travel site. (And I bet you thought I was kidding).

This Washington Post article looks at the Future of NASA.

Do you collect toothpick holders? No? Neither do I, but if you did you can join the National Toothpick Holder Collectors Society for only $20 a year.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

"It's like a light of a new day"

"I'm not quitting my job. How am I supposed to eat? Go down to the welfare office and stand in the Superhero line?" - Ralph Hinkley (The Greatest American Hero)

I'm back! I have been on a great vacation in Amelia Island Florida. I new I was really on vacation when I was sitting in a beach chair sipping $3.50 diet coke with a lime in it. It is only when you are on vacation that you would ever cosider spending that much for a diet coke. It was beautiful weather while I was there and I got a light tan. Of course, it was a shock coming back to Michigan and the mild (upper 50s). I also have finally caught up on my sleep (and gotten my sleep patterns back to something that could be considered to be normal - well geek normal that is). One of the cool things to see was the house used as Pippi Longstocking's house in the movie.

Lots of space headlines: Weather satellite is going to be launched. This will help forecast and the monitor climate changes all over the world. On May 12th, the Mars Rover was having trouble. It appears that it got stuck in a sand dune and has been there for 2 weeks. Yikes. New discovery: NASA has a new theory massive x-ray emissions may have kept Earth from going into the sun.

This is just a shocking headline: "Robots May One Day Reproduce".

American Musuem of Natural History has a new exhibt. It's very old.

(Blog title from "Believe It or Not" theme song from the TV show The Greatest American Hero)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Star Wars III - Soundtrack

"I don't mind flying, but what you're doing is suicide." - Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones)

Tuesday I went to Target and picked up the Star Wars III soundtrack. It is excellent. The second track (Anakin's Dream) and several other tracks sound very similar to music from Schindler's List. Yes, I know that John Williams was involved in both movie scores. I am just making a comparison for you. (If you haven't heard the Schindler's List soundtrack you are so missing out).

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith soundtrack is ducky - just ducky. I totally recommend that you pick this CD up (Target has it on sale for $12) or download it from iTunes ($9.99).

Of course, I have recently watched the DVDs of Star Wars I and II in preparation of May 19th :-D

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Just in time for "Mummy" Day...

"You could fit every pyramid on Earth inside this thing and still have room to spare." - Daniel (Stargate SG-1)

Recently, a new mummy was discovered in Egypt just south of Cairo. The mummy is 2,300-year-old and well preservered. It was brightly painted and was wearing a gilded mask and blue wig. Ducky.

In related news, here is an article about how they are now using CT scans to better understand mummies.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

"When everything’s made to be broken"

(Title take from "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls)

Welcome to Tuesday's blog (well, really late blog). Ok, so nothing fancy today because I have to study for my exam on Thursday. Just a few quick links I found. Hope everyone is having fun - well as much as one can during finals (or whatever you are up to)!

Soccer fans beware - Sober.P is out there waiting for you.

Current Apple news: iMacs with G5 processors. Ducky.

Do you want some Xbox games? You should subscribe to Showtime.

Cisco Systems Inc. is making a new product. It will help "to manage networking systems in a simpler and cost-effective manner".

"Robot-toddler interaction study"

Cooling with liquid metals for my computer? Oh wait, it has been used for decades for nuclear reactors so it must be OK.

Love Star Wars? This is so the computer for you.

Monday, May 2, 2005

"Ooh this could be messy"

"But you don’t seem to mind
Ooh don’t go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime"

- lyrics from "Hands Clean" by Alanis Morissette

Looking to buy a new computer? Here is a useful guide about processors. It maybe slightly out dated, but there is some good information. (The article is a little hard on Intel, but most of the information appears to be truthful). What is the Pentium 4 really good for? Game playing and DVD ripping - not your everyday user.

Looking for a laptop? I highly recommend you get one with a Transmeta chip. Getting this kind of chip is suppose to get smart as you use it. Kid you not (a professor told me that). The battery life on laptops with this kind of chip are amazing. Although, they are not as powerful as other chips on the market. Check out the list of laptops (ok, notebooks same thing) that come with these chips.

Computer history: Cray-1 Supercomputer

Take time to look at the stars - you might just see a dog or two.

Trivia for today: What does Lewis, Clark, and Astronauts have in common? Find the answer here.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Queues, Jetpacking, and Lizards

Bruce McCandless was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. He has the first man to fly untethered in space using the jetpack he helped develop.

New FDA approved drug for type 2 diabetics which comes from the saliva of a Gila monster lizard. This drup (Byetta) helps people control their blood sugar levels.

"Sith a long, long time to queue" - just had to put this in my blog because of the title :-)

Well, that is just a quick little update for today. Happy weekend everyone. Now I have to get back to my regularly scheduled program - working on computer architecture take-home exam due Monday.

Just Toss it Out an Airlock...

"Malcolm's got this rule; you have to be taller than a gun to use it." - Commander Tucker (Enterprise)

Last night I watched the second half of the "Evil Twin" episode of Enterprise. It was very interesting and had a few surprises - especially the ending. I think the altered introduction was an excellent touch for these last two episodes. Parts of the intro are the same, but it shows a lot more distruction. I still think the "Kirk" era uniforms are just darn funny. They even included a t-rex type alien from the original series (which looked very much like the original show of a person in the suit. I will stop there, because I don't want to give to much away to those who have not seen it yet. Next week's episode looking interesting as well and look forward to watching it.

Here are some news items you might find interesting:
Giant burrito scare.

Hubble to be saved (hopefully).

It's a bird, no it's a plane, no it's a car. A Car?

Einstein ring - something to do with gravitational lens - used to "magnifying a distant galaxy with incredible clarity".

A sad day for video games: "Yamauchi Retiring from Nintendo Board".

I'm glad I don't like celery - it could be dangerous.

Discovery of new planet in the final frontier, seeking out new life, and all that jazz.

If they start putting Microsoft operating systems in cars, I am so going to stop driving. Seriously though, I didn't know he even came to Michigan. I think it is really cool that he gave money to the Henry Ford museum and village.

Did you know that Google has special university searches set up? For example BGSU. Some how I think I heard about it, but never bothered to check it out.