Parental Views on Video Games

April 13, 2008 | politics, technology
According to Ars Technica, parents would rather that their kids’ video games feature decapitations than sex. I don’t really have any commentary to add; just read the whole article.

A Poor Man's Time Machine

April 12, 2008 | programming, technology
One of the cool new features of Mac OS X Leopard is Time Machine, a really simple backup solution for Mac OS X that not only transparently backs up your data, but also does so with an amazingly ugly GUI that lets you quickly jump back to the way that your documents were at any given point in the past. Unfortunately, Time Machine doesn’t run on my Linux boxes, so I’m forced to come up with an alternative. The good news is that getting a 90% solution is ridiculously easy. On the back-end, all that...

Cold War II, Part 2

April 11, 2008 | politics, technology
Hacking isn’t limited to pro-Tibetan groups; the Pentagon notes that cyberattacks against US defense infrastructure has greatly increased in the last few years. Given the sad state of computer security and the increased use of consumer components by the military, I strongly suspect that the average American would be petrified to learn how many national secrets we’ve failed to protect. For the time being, at least ignorance truly is bliss.

Patent Hell

April 11, 2008 | politics, technology
I’ve been against software patents for a long time now, but when I read about stories such as satellites being turned into space garbage because the only way to fix the orbit is patented, I’m forced to question the wisdom of patents in general. I love the idea of patents; I’m just dubious that the current implementation actually works. More often than not, I see patents used not to protect a novel invention, but as a legal stick to bludgeon small competitors. That runs completely against the...

Windows Versions of NetNewsWire

April 10, 2008 | technology
Sadly, there’s no such thing as NetNewsWire for Windows, but today I downloaded FeedDemon, which is made by the same company and also offers synchronization with NewsGator, and was extremely pleasantly surprised. If you, like me, have a Mac at home and a PC at work, it’s definitely worth a look.

Nuclear Power, Continued

March 27, 2008 | politics, technology
As I indicated curtly in my previous post, I’m a huge proponent of nuclear power. Though there continues to be substantial political debate whether global warming exists—largely because responding to it would be economically damaging—the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is, and has been for some time, that global warming exists and is man-made. (See the IPCC statement, and a discussion of its significance in Nature—one of the top several scientific journals in the world, and...

To Crash or Not to Crash

March 24, 2008 | technology
I’m not quite sure how I feel about the following dialog I got in Interface Builder 3 when trying to load Copilot Mac Helper’s NIB file: I mean, I guess it’s nice to have a choice, but…is this really the best UI Apple could come up with?

MIDI on Crack

March 23, 2008 | technology
Devin pointed me to an incredible video. Apparently, German computer scientists have figured out how to split a musical recording into its component notes, allowing you to manipulate a digital recording of a piece as easily as if it were just a MIDI recording track. This means that you could generate a cappella versions of your favorite song, or make an artist sing in harmony with herself, or simply fix a one-note recording error, all without having access to the original master tracks or doing...

Google Android on Video

March 11, 2008 | technology
Electronista has a good video of Android running on a reference platform. The video gives a nice feeling for what a touchscreen-focused Android phone would be like. The result’s about what you’d expect: not nearly as smooth an interface as the iPhone, but significantly better than many existing smartphones. Personally, although I look forward to Android’s release and am extremely interested in what applications its fully open architecture will make possible, I’m inclined to wait for the...

The Face of Bach

March 2, 2008 | technology
Modern forensics experts have assembled a picture of what Bach looked like.