You do a discredit to yourself and to the dignity of your office by engaging in these dishonest smear tactics. You should be ashamed.Go gettim, George! 52k PDF Link (Thanks, Raypride!)
For the Speaker of the House of Representatives, even in the midst of an election season, to descend to a level of political discourse where innuendo and slander replace reason, truth and argument is unacceptable.
This past Sunday, on national television, you suggested that I might be a criminal simply because I have exercised my First Amendment rights to dissent from the policies of the Bush administration...
I must respectfully insist that you either substantiate these claims -- which you cannot do because they are false -- or publicly apologize for attempting to defame my character and damage my reputation.
"We are closer to answering the question, 'Are we alone in the universe?'" said Anne Kinney, director of NASA's Universe Division, Science Mission Directorate. "We aim to answer that question by looking for planets, eventually imaging them and ultimately diagnosing the presence of life on those planets."One of the planets is 41 light years from Earth and the other is about 33 light years away. UC Berkeley's star planet hunter Geoff Marcy was a member of one of the teams that revealed their discoveries at a NASA press conference this afternoon:
"If you look at the 135 or so extrasolar planets found so far, it's clear that nature makes more of the smaller planets than the larger ones," he said. "We've found more Saturn-size planets than Jupiter-size planets, and now it appears there are more Neptune-size planets than Saturn-size. That means there's an even better chance of finding Earths, and maybe more of them than all the other planets we've found so far."Link
Mr. Doohan, who played the character "Scotty" on the famed scifi series, was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (Link to more info, thanks Paul)
Link to Jason's photo gallery, which includes some wonderful snaps of other Star Trek cast members in attendance
“This man preys on the strong desires of the most vulnerable people in society - giving them false hopes,” says Robin Lovell-Badge, head of developmental genetics at the UK's National Institute for Medical Research. Other scientists argue that, even if cloning a person were possible, the risk of major birth defects is huge.Zavos's claims have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Link
This sort of causal relationship may explain why people are willing to discipline a stranger even when there is no immediate gain in it for them. "Emotions play a proactive as well as reactive role," remarks Brian Knutson of Stanford University who penned an accompanying commentary (to a paper about the study in the journal Science). He notes that "passionate" forces may need to be included in economic models because, as this research shows, “people show systematic deviations from rationality."Link
blog of death
celebrity death beeper
dead or alive
who's alive who's dead
a strange ghost
ready teddy death
Image: The death mask of English poet John Keats. web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank).
Update: Bonus round -- Tuscan deathblog from Bruce Sterling. Link
As some of you know, I'm currently writing The Rough Guide to Science Fiction Film, which will be a general overview of the history of Science Fiction in films, with chapters on some various themes (science in science fiction, SF film icons, crossover subgenres, etc) and so on. The heart of the book, however, will be the Science Fiction Film Canon: The 50 classic Science Fiction films. In my own brain, I see this list as the list of the most significant science fiction films, as opposed to the "best" or the most financially successful. This gives me latitude to, say, include films that are influential on science fiction filmmakers, but not necessarily the audience (or, vice versa, as the case may be).Link
(You rightly ask: And why do I get to choose the Science Fiction Film Canon? Well, because someone paid me to, basically. But also, I'm both a professional film critic of more than a dozen years standing, and I'm also a professional science fiction writer. If someone's going to compile this list, it might as well be me.)
I of course already have a preliminary list of 50 films ready to go. BUT! Even with my rather extensive knowledge of science fiction, film and science fiction films, I am more than willing to entertain the notion that my list has gaps: Films that should be on the list may not be there -- films that I have on the list may not deserve to be there.
So, this is where you come in: Suggest me some science films (one or more, as many as you like) which you feel are especially significant. If you want to jot down a sentence or two as to why you think they're significant, that'd be swell (to be clear, any comments you make on films are for my personal edification -- I won't cut and paste into the book. I do my own writing). Any films you might care to think of are appreciated...
My only complaint about this thing is the storage: 512k? I know that's a whole novel and then some, but geez, flash-RAM is so cheap now -- why not just give it a SD slot and I could use an old 64MB card from my last camera? Link (via Engadget)
Update: Chris Taylor points out that AlphaSmart has a model that supports memory cards -- and it comes with WiFi and PalmOS.
In a letter sent today in response to a grand jury subpoena issued by the Secret Service, the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union said they are representing a web hosting service and administrators of an independent media website regarding the anonymous posting of publicly available information about delegates to the Republican National Convention. The groups said the investigation is but the latest example of government agencies using law enforcement powers to chill free speech and intimidate protesters. (...) Beeson added that the posting did not include anything remotely threatening, but involved political speech fully protected by the First Amendment.Link to Declan McCullagh's politech law-tech resource, where this news item was first spotted. Link to Washington Post story, Link to CNN's, Link to NYT story.
Update: Micah of Indymedia says, "I'm one of the four system administrators for indymedia that is involved in this... The wonderful ISP we have -- who protects its client's privacy and rights without caving -- Calyx, was forced to turn over any contact information they had for Indymedia... turns out they only have our email addresses, so I expect an email from the SS (Secret Service, not Sicherheitsdienst) any day now. I thought I'd point out this url for more information (including a scanned copy of the subpoena). Link"
LinkIt may be possible to so infect a movie with some kind of circuitry that allows people to copy to their heart's content, but the copied result would come out with decayed fidelity with respect to sound and color. Another would be to have some kind of design in a movie that would say, 'copy never,' 'copy once.'Even ignoring the technical non sequiturs ("stuff ... algorithms into a movie"; "infect a movie with ... circuitry"), this is wildly implausible. Nothing has happened to make the technical prospects for DRM (anti-copying) technology any less bleak. We can only hope Valenti's successor stops believing in "technological magic" and instead teaches the industry to accept technical reality. File sharing cannot be wished away. The industry needs to figure out how to deal with it.
Screen Goo is a specially formatted, highly reflective acrylic paint, designed specifically for the video projection industry. Screen Goo acrylic paint allows one to transform any smooth paintable surface into a high performance projection screen.Link (via Red Ferret Journal)
Update: Fred sez, "Sony has created a new black screen material that rejects ambient light other than red, green, blue. This means that the Achilles heel of front projectors -- rejection of ambient light -- may soon be eliminated. So before you go painting your room in reflective acrylic or blow dough on a plasma screen, you might want to wait until this hits the market. I'm guessing that within a year, you'll have 3 lb. DVD-quality projectors for sub-$1k capable of throwing 90in images onto your hot new roll-up black screen. The TV-in-a-box could well start disappearing from the American living room by decade's end if this technology works out."
"If we can't ban bad behavior and we can't ban bad technology, what is it we're supposed to do, stand back and let people steal our product?'' Attaway said.Jason's response:
[T]he quote reveals the MPAA approach to every problem: either pass laws to ban behavior or pass laws to ban technology. Innovation, ingenuity, competition -- those are for suckers. More laws and more lawsuits, that's the Hollywood way. Cut past the consumer and go straight to Congress. Oh well, at least they're finally being honest.Link
"We are very pleased to be working with Cinea to give our members the opportunity to receive secure screeners. The British Academy takes the threat of piracy very seriously, and we welcome any solution that can reduce the risk of unauthorized copying." said David Parfitt, Chair of BAFTA's Film Committee.Nice: if you can't sell DRM to users, you can convince paranoid studio execs to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to buy it and shove it down cinephiles' throats. Link (Thanks, Simon!)
Variety is reporting that it will cost studios US$25,000 (€20,650) per film, plus a license fee to Cinea, to secure the screener disks with the S-VIEW system. Cinea will pay for the players and encoding themselves, and is in discussion with studios for further uses of the S-VIEW technology to secure the post-production process for film makers. It can be used for the secure distribution of dailies and other works in progress, ensuring that digital copies don't end up being leaked onto the internet. Something that was almost impossible with 35 or 70mm film.
Each sv300 player is individually addressable, allowing distributors to decide exactly who views their content, from large groups of thousands to a single individual.
“...And now, the man you loved to hate, the man you loved too late, the man everyone loves to second-guess, America's own Tricky Dick!” Applause, and the strains of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” A tanned, well-groomed man in a blue blazer and grey slacks walks between the curtains.Link
He raises his hands above his head in the familiar double V-for-Victory salute to acknowledge the applause, then gestures for quiet.
“Thanks for the hand, folks.” His voice is deep, quiet, and sincere. “You know, I needed that applause today.” A catch in his throat. “Right before the show, I was on my way down here to the studio...” He shakes his head slightly, as if contemplating the role that Chance plays in Life. “An elderly lady came up to me, and she introduced herself, and then she said, 'Oh, Dick, I'm so pleased to meet you, you know you were my all-time favorite presidential candidate...” He lets the compliment hang there a second, as if savoring it. “...after Jack Kennedy, of course.” The audience laughs, appreciating the host who can tell a joke at his own expense. When the laughter has diminished, but before it stops completely, he continues.
"You know, I don't know where George Soros gets his money. I don't know where -- if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from," Hastert mused. An astonished Chris Wallace asked: "Excuse me?" The Speaker went on: "Well, that's what he's been for a number years -- George Soros has been for legalizing drugs in this country. So, I mean, he's got a lot of ancillary interests out there." Wallace: "You think he may be getting money from the drug cartel?" Hastert: "I'm saying I don't know where groups - could be people who support this type of thing. I'm saying we don't know."Link (via Electrolite)
You just caught me. I'm off to Atlanta in 36 hours or so; jumping from British Summer Time to Eastern Daylight Time for something called Dragon*Con, where I'm a special guest (and also cultivating the Freak Vote in prep for my first prose novel, published next summer).Link
I travel light. I'm the guy whose bag hits the luggage carousel last. I'm the guy who's still there at three in the morning in an empty hall, with tumbleweed blowing past, sitting there next to horse skeletons and starving vultures, waiting for the airport workers to finish their smack break and grub around in the back of the airplane for my bag. Which usually comes out looking like they've been having group sex on it. So, five or six years ago, I decided that if it didn't fit into a carry-on bag, I wasn't taking it.
Lighting was smooth, though there was a little channelling (caused, I fear, by my own cackhandedness rather than any rolling fault, but easily rectified). Impressively firm ash, with the typical Nicaraguan whiteness to it, and solid to at least two inches. It’s a medium smoke, a good newspaper and coffee smoke, with non sense of bitterness at all. Indeed, once up to cruising speed, it’s rather blissful: it draws very well, doesn’t linger on the palate, but it calls to you from your hand. Fruity, perhaps, with a slight hint of spice, but nothing too post-prandial. The Sumatran wrapper gives some sweetness, and the ligero filler the complexity and the ummmph. In all, bloody nice.Link
[I]t's especially ironic because Friendster, of course, is a company that is all about getting people to reveal information about themselves...Link, Link to Jeremy Zawodny's instructions for resigning from Friendster (Thanks, Jeffreyp!)
Hanging out around the convention, I've encountered a number of the Republican faithful who aren't delegates. They warm up to me when they don't find horns or a tail. Talking to them, I discover they're like many people who call themselves Republicans but aren't really Republicans. At least not in the radical-right way that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and Co. have defined Republicans.Link (Thanks, Alfie!)
I asked one man who told me he was a "proud Republican," "Do you think we need strong laws to protect our air and water?"
"Well, sure," he said. "Who doesn't?"
I asked whether women should have equal rights, including the same pay as men.
"Absolutely," he replied.
"Would you discriminate against someone because he or she is gay?"
"Um, no." The pause — I get that a lot when I ask this question — is usually because the average good-hearted person instantly thinks about a gay family member or friend.
Manipulation technique found in the Diebold central tabulator -- 1,000 of these systems are in place, and they count up to two million votes at a time.Link (Thanks, Michael!)
By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location, a second set of votes is created. This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks.
This program is not "stupidity" or sloppiness. It was designed and tested over a series of a dozen version adjustments.