Monday, June 30, 2008

He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died

Yesterday I came across a slightly mysterious website — a collection of Polaroids, one per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. There’s no author listed, no contact info, and no other indication as to where these came from. So, naturally, I started looking through the photos. I was stunned by what I found...

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Bacteria evolve; Conservapedia demands recount

The folks behind Conservapedia have taken issue with the work behind a publication by a prominent evolutionary biologist and demanded he produce the data it's based on. Accidentally, they've created an enlightening demonstration of the challenges of providing the public with access to the scientific work their tax dollars have paid for.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hold the line on FISA? Is it already too late?

A constitutional attorney spells out the case why we missed the boat for 4th Amendment rights when the Patriot Act was passed. We very well may be arming the walls of the fort when it has all ready been sacked, raided, and the pillagers have moved on for awhile now.

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NIN Releases Album Download Numbers via Google Earth

Nine Inch Nails has released download data for their recent free album The Slip in a very unique way: A Google Earth KML file that maps exact download numbers according to geographic region.

Score another one for Trent & Co. I always liked NiN, I've only really been picking up my appreciation for the group the past couple of years to be a pretty big fan. But this, this is true trailblazing. You may not care for what kind of music they play, but you have to hand it to them, they are breaking new ground daily on how the artist and the fan base are able to interact together. Sure, their have been plenty of innovators in this space, but they have mainly been smaller groups and bands.

This is something that NiN didn't have to take on. Trent could have remained oblivious to the plight of the fans as they dealt with an out of control industry mad with power and out of touch (don't believe me, when was the last time Ford tried to modify your car to prevent you from driving somewhere they didn't want you*?) Trent had made it, he has more than enough money and fame to retire off in the sunset and show up on some "Where are they now?" special ten years down the road. What was going on was fundamentally wrong in his mind, and I happen to agree 100%.

A colossus group like NiN brings with it a global following, and creditability. When Radiohead released their "Rainbows" album under they pay what you like model, industry insiders were able to play devils advocate and blow it off as a stunt when they kept the numbers to themselves.As I said before, this is a trailblazing effort, and their are going to be mistakes and disappointments along the way. When Trent released "Niggy Tardust" by Saul Williams, they followed up later with the percent of people who paid $5, and those who downloaded it for free. With only around 18% paying for the album, the results were disappointing. But, what I would point out is that this is happened in a market, where people are of a certain mindset. The audience is pretty used to be taken advantage by the music industry, and I'm willing to bet, most snagged the free lunch and ran when they saw the chance. The audience it's self isn't familiar with the model that is being put forth. Eventually it will dawn on music fan's on what is really being offered here. Its not a pre-packaged one way ticket for a sterilized individual consumer experience. This is an offering for a collaboration between musician and fan. When it dawns on the audience that its no longer going to be static interaction, and they will need to carry some water for this to work, THEN we will be on the the planes of a new world. One where the dinosaurs of industry past will be left behind to die if they refuse to follow.

Rock on Trent, Rock on!

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* - Confused? Read up on the Sony Root kit scandal

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin has died

Legendary comedian George Carlin passed away Sunday night at the age of 71. He will be missed, but never forgotten.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt? 2008

Incredible video sequel to Where the Hell is Matt, as he dances around the world!These vids always make me smile. Really capture's the human spirit and how deep down we are really all connected. I dare you to watch this and not smile :D

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Two wheelin'

I finally got my bike back from the shop, it had a few things that needed to be taken care of. The biggest element was probably my chainring, which had worn down and needed to be replaced. I decided to go with an Ultegra chainring, since the rest of my components are Ultegra. I played around with getting the Dura Ace for about two seconds, but I personally wouldn't be able to take advantage of it, I'm nowhere near the point where I have to start worrying about shaving off some grams for better results. Ordering the ring put an extra day on the tune-up, but I can tell it was well worth it. Very nice, crisp shifts this morning. I still need to take care of two more things on my bike, but I think I will take care of those next month, if not a little later. The chain is ready to be replaced and when I do that, I think I will go ahead and get a new cassette. With a new chainring, the chain and cassette replacement will last me a very long time. I also had the headset cleaned out, and reset. All and all, the tune-up provided a very smooth ride in this morning.

Which brings me to my next goal, I'd like to bike into work more than I use my car. I already limit my car use on my days off, and driving to work consititues as the majority of my car use these days. Its about a seven mile bike to work from my house, and I've got a combo of bike lanes and a bike path to follow. The only dangerous part is the final .5 -> 1 mile of road to work. The bonus is that since I have to be on the road by 5:30am, the roads are relatively clear. I also miss the rush home, since I head out after 6:00pm. I'll try to keep everyone up to date on how this works out, but so far so good!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why You Should Download Firefox 3 Right Now

Firefox 3 — available for download at 10am PDT Tuesday — is the culmination of a two-year quest to build the best browser ever. And while it’s not perfect, it comes pretty close.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Put a Little Science in Your Life

Science is a language of hope and inspiration, providing discoveries that fire the imagination and instill a sense of connection to our lives and our world.

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