<< archive: july 8 2002 - july 29 2002 >>
it does raise the always-timely question, "is God punishing us?"
you...look like you...need a monkey.
man wanted to run around shooting blindly at things. experience at opening doors an advantage.
it's like writing the vatican and asking if they have an extra jesus.
lather, whup ass, repeat.
hey, this poison tastes great!
i'd sit back and enjoy the global warming, but i can't see the sun.
the very top part projects nightmares. the middle part and the bottom part shoot devils and famine, respectively.

approved links

A Miracle of Science

Angels From Another Pin


Talking Points Memo

Roger Ebert

The Institute of Official Cheer


ToastyFrog Jump!

Bob the Angry Flower


"Some thriller. Imagine 'Tora! Tora! Tora!' as depicted from the perspective of the sorting room at the Honolulu post office."
If you're a geek you've probably already seen the TCPA (Trusted Computing Platform Alliance) and Palladium FAQ: an analysis of Microsoft and Intel's scheme to replace all computer systems with fully remote-controllable devices, with copyright law built right into the CPU. The FAQ is well-written, non-technical, and non-hysterical -- I'd recommend that everyone who's using a computer (that would be you, hoss) read it and get up to speed on this issue before it runs everybody over.

I've come to an uncomfortable conclusion myself, though. While the TCPA scheme is indeed appalling, the worst part is that we need something like this. Everybody's mailboxes are overflowing with spam and Klez, to the extent that some people have given up on e-mail, and now the spam is spreading to wireless systems; a sufficiently malevolent virus would be capable of infecting and destroying all vulnerable systems on the 'net within fifteen minutes; hackers operate at will; operating systems are insecure and bug-laden, and nobody ever bothers to install their freakin' security updates, or consider that it's actually a bad idea to go clicking on e-mail attachments like a wild monkey. At this rate, the Internet is not likely to remain useful for a great deal longer -- at least, not in its present form. The right question is being asked, but TCPA and Palladium are not the answer.

I bet reading about the TCPA really made you want to shoot some people, huh? Fortunately, I can help you with that, too. The DOOM Collector's Edition has recently come out, including all episodes of DOOM that have ever been commercially released at a very low price. Once again, learn the joy of running around in mazes blasting away recklessly at everything that moves! But wait, it gets better. A few years ago, ID Software open-sourced the DOOM code in honor of the game's tenth anniversary. Since then, many well-intentioned coders have downloaded it and started working on improving DOOM and bringing it up to modern specs. As is the nature of open source and collaborative development, most of those projects have been failures. But this one very definitely isn't. Download it now, for God's sake; you can't afford to not be playing JDoom for one more minute!

While we're on the subject, here's the original DOOM design document as well as interviews with many of its creators. And if you're too cheap to play it on the PC, why not play DOOM on your Atari 2600?

Game design dept.: An insightful article from the player's point of view pointing out that the real problem isn't too little freedom in games, but too much.

Alexander Graham Bell was no one-hit wonder. He also invented tetrahedral kites, airplanes, the iron lung, and last but not least this elegant hydrofoil which so deserves to appear in a comic book or something. Lookit!

Badass fuel cell cars. I'd really like to believe that this article is true.

A New York City fire department truck was invited to lead French fire trucks in Paris on Bastille Day. Geez... that was really sweet. Thanks, guys.

Here you will find scans of a model kit for the ultra-sexy X-02 aircraft from Namco's Ace Combat 4.
At the bottom of this page you will find the SUPER SEKRET MATHEMATICAL FORMULA describing exactly how much energy is required to destroy a planet. (Quick precis: Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains it this way -- start picking up rocks and throwing them out of Earth's gravity well [hint: swing underhand.] Keep doing that until there's no more Earth. Congratulations, you disgusting vandal: you've destroyed our beautiful planet, and the energy required to do it was the energy needed to accelerate the mass of the entire Earth to its own escape velocity: 3/5 * G * mass^2 / radius.) Be sure to keep this out of al-Qaida's hands!

"Thank you for saving us with that magnificent blend of graceful athleticism and idiotic slapstick" is a quote from Jeremy Parish's Star Wars Episode I Thumbnail Theater. Glad to be of service!

An interesting little article on brainstorming the future society in the recent science fiction movie Minority Report.

The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope would put the Hubble to shame and be capable of not only detecting Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars, but analyzing their atmospheres as well (which, as everyone knows, is the next step in figuring out whether life exists outside our solar system -- the presence of oxygen in a small planet's atmosphere would be a dead giveaway.) Even more remarkable than OWL's awesome specifications and amusing acronym is the chance that it might actually get built.

The inner workings at the W32.Klez virus. It's a nasty one. So will the folks who keep sending it to me please get their machines disinfected already?

A satellite photo of the plume of smoke from Quebec that passed over Pennsylvania yesterday. The state government released health advisories and the fireworks show in Harrisburg was cancelled due to poor visibility. Clearly this is an act of revenge on part of the Canadian government for all that acid rain we sent up there in the '80s.

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