Please enjoy these alarming optical illusions, but back off quick if you start to feel nauseous. The anomalous motion illusions are particularily weird and brain-breaking.
Ah yes: lasers. That is to say, good old American lasers! Have a taste of the Red, Light and Blue, Osama! Yee-hah! Etc.
For Atari 2600 nostalgia freaks only.
Elections here in the United States are today, so turn off the computer, go out right now and do your bit for democracy. Remember: federal statute (Public Law No. 102-585 1984) states that if you don't vote you have no right to complain how things go afterwards.
I suppose it's pretty obvious from yesterday's entry that I'm not exactly a pacifist. It's true, I am quite the warmonger, although that position has been reached more by default than otherwise -- at least where Iraq is concerned, the problem is that virtually every anti-war argument I've heard has been from mostly to completely brainless. (If you disagree, then go right ahead and tell me so. Seriously, please do. I've been itching to get into an argument about this for ages; it's hard to be confident in your viewpoint when nobody's really trying to convince you otherwise.) But be that as it may: agree with it or not, one cannot deny that this is funny.
Recently, I more or less by accident picked up an album by Amon Tobin. I hadn't heard of him; apparently he's a trendy rock/techno guy along the same lines as Moby and Fatboy Slim. I still haven't decided whether or not I really like the album. But I will say that this video to his song "Verbal" rocks the h0us3z0r. Use this link if you wish to direct-download the movie for later viewing at higher than postage-stamp resolution.
If you have an ultra-ninja PC with an Nvidia graphics card and broadband Internet access, you may want to try out the Earthviewer. Remember the "Earth" application from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash? It's a little bit like that; very handsome indeed. The creators seem to be under the impression that they're going to make money from this application, an idea which frankly I find hilarious. But their lack of business sense is your gain -- download and enjoy.
Finally, a few more entertaining takes on the Nigerian scam.
It looks like America's quest for global hegemony is going very well. Not only is the Army plotting to deploy nanotech "smart paint" -- capable of such prosaic feats as alerting the vehicle operator to corrosion or rust, and such remarkable ones as adjusting a tank's camouflage color without the need to repaint the vehicle, and perhaps even at a moment's notice while the vehicle is in use (the applications are obvious) -- but it also seems that laser weapons are coming along very nicely. The laser everyone's heard about is the theater missile defense laser to be mounted on a converted Boeing 747, but despite it being only a few years from deployment it may turn out to be the Betamax of lasers, because it's chemically pumped. Electrically powered lasers appear to be the wave of the future; the first step is for protecting naval vessels against incoming missiles and rockets, but from there -- who knows?
Now this is obviously great and all, and no one but a Communist would possibly think any other way. But the real reason I'm bringing it up is to quote this line from the article on lasers:
...Such technology is at the center of a major strategic shift underway at the Pentagon, where war planners are looking for so-called transformational weapons. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "is hot on ... the notion of zapping people," Pike said. "Lasers are in line with Rumsfeld's idea of transforming the military, which is to come up with wonder-weapons that other countries can't emulate."
Rumsfeld is "hot on the notion of zapping people."
I love that man. Let the zapping commence!
Previously on One Small Small Step, reference was made to the "Warhol Worm" which would be capable of infecting every vulnerable computer system on the Internet within fifteen minutes. Obviously, the next step is Curious Yellow, a cryptographically secure network connecting those worms. With a Curious Yellow system in place, the worm network could be updated by its creator to avoid anti-virus software and security patches. More proactively, with Curious Yellow in full control of the Internet, anyone who figures out how to stop it can simply be bumped off the network with one command. Things really start to heat up if multiple Curious-class worms are unleashed at once, their creators competing for Control of Everything!!! Calling Vernor Vinge, Vernor Vinge to the white courtesy phone please, your future is here.
Somebody get this freakin' duck away from me!
The holy trilogy of The Karate Kid.
Now to get serious for a moment: This is the Australian Red Cross. There, you can make a donation on-line to the victims of the terrorist attack in Bali. In fact, I just did. Your turn.