Monday, February 27, 2006


Will Machines Ever Think?

Turing’s paper claimed that suitably programmed digital computers would be generally accepted as thinking by around the year 2000, achieving that status by successfully responding to human questions in a human-like way.
Mark Halpern says, "In the deepest sense, the AI champions see their critics as trying to reverse the triumph of the Enlightenment, with its promise that man’s mind can understand everything, and as retreating to an obscurantist, religious outlook on the world. They see humanity as having to choose, right now, between accepting the possibility, if not the actual existence, of thinking machines and sinking back into the Dark Ages. But these are not our only alternatives; there is a third way, the way of agnosticism, which means accepting the fact that we have not yet achieved artificial intelligence, and have no idea if we ever will."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Nude photo site wins injunction against Google

A federal judge has ruled that portions of Google's popular image search feature, which displays small thumbnail versions of images found on other Web sites, likely violate U.S. copyright law.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


New Amazon.Com Patent

The US Patent office just awarded a patent for assisting a user of an item purchasing service in giving groups of related items to recipients." TechDirt asks: "How can this be patentable? It's a patent for link together a group of products so they can all be bought in a single bundle."

Friday, February 17, 2006


Shower light generated by water pressure

Look -- color fusion shower head! We’ve talked about showers that light up many times, but this shower is different. You see, it’s powered by the water coming through the head and changes color in response to the water temperature. No wires to run, no batteries to change—just sweet LED light bathing you while you bathe. It’s about $105 in Japan, and there it shall ever stay.
Shower light generated by water pressure : Color Fusion Shower

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Wired Girl

I typed Wire Girl into Google and found this image

Monday, February 13, 2006


Chinese Censors of Internet Face 'Hacktivists' in U.S.

The following is an ACM TechNews Summary of a Wall Street Journal (02/13/06) P. A1; Fowler, Geoffrey A.

While the Internet's growing pervasiveness in China has made it difficult to police the activities of an estimated 111 million users, the Chinese government is nonetheless attempting to reinforce its authority, requiring all bloggers to register with the state and continuing its block on objectionable content, such as Wikipedia and the BBC, as well as dispatching roughly a dozen state agencies to monitor Internet activity.

Chinese Web censorship, sometimes referred to as the 'Great Firewall,' has sparked an insurgent community of U.S.-based 'hacktivists' who have developed programs such as Freegate, which links computers within China to U.S. servers, enabling users to access prohibited sites. Other efforts mask the identity of Chinese Web users through multilayered host messages that obscure their trail, and adopt-a-blogger programs furnish Chinese writers with external servers to transmit their message. Practitioners of the Falun Gong--the banned Chinese spiritual group that has been persecuted for alleged subversion--have contributed substantially to the development of anti-censorship applications such as Freegate.

Voice of America and Radio Free Asia also contribute to Freegate, and a major boost in funding could come from the renewed congressional consideration of legislation to create an Office of Global Internet Freedom in response to harsh criticism of Google, Microsoft, and others for complying with Chinese censorship laws. Freegate, run by North Carolina-based programmer Bill Xia, cannot be blocked by Chinese censors because it constantly switches the address of its U.S. server. Freegate's effectiveness is limited in China, however, as it is employed mostly by technically proficient users, and many Chinese censor their own Internet use, consciously avoiding keywords and content that could be considered subversive. Meanwhile, the government continually devotes more resources to combating Freegate and other anti-censorship applications

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Submit a drawing, get one back

In Sketch Swap, you draw something on the screen, and when you're finished, you hit "Submit drawing"... to receive a random drawing from someone else. Sketch Swap was inspired by Markus Renschler's File Swap.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Anti-cartoon protests go online

Almost 1,000 Danish websites have been defaced by Islamic hackers protesting about controversial cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. The attacks typically replace home pages with pro-Islam messages and condemn the publication of the images.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Wild Input Devices

Some wild input devices on the market today, and it seems they get even kookier when they're ergonomic. Input devices like the RollerMousePRO, the vertical keyboard, and the vertical mouse may seem esoteric, but they prove that its users prefer functionality over beautiful form. A main driver for this is the desire to reduce the risk or pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome and other RSI disorders.

Read more.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Alien Animal Planet

Flying whales, walking trees, three-eyed killer birds - NASA and SETI imagine life on other worlds.

On Aurelia, an Earth-sized planet half shrouded in perpetual darkness, vast floodplains give way to groves of treelike stinger fans that use ambulatory roots to creep across the muddy surface. On Blue Moon, a lunar orb in an adjacent solar system light-years from Aurelia, winged skywhales gulp aerial plankton suspended in the dense atmosphere, while balloon plants float beneath the canopies of massive pagoda tree forests, buoyed by hydrogen gas-filled membranes like miniature Hindenburgs.


Blogosphere shows insane growth

The blogosphere is in the middle of a big bang. According to the blog trackers at Technorati, a company that indexes and searches blog postings, the number of blogs online is doubling about every five and a half months .
Read more here.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Spyware Poses a Significant Threat

A amazing, recent University of Washington study of more than 20 million Internet addresses has found that spyware is driving computer users insane. The researchers found that more than one in 20 executable files carried spyware, while one in 62 domains attempt to forcibly upload spyware for users who merely visit a site. Piggybacked spyware appeared most frequently on celebrity and game Web sites.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Google in the Year 2100

Ray Kurzweil and Stephen Wolfram predict what Google will be like in the year 2100!

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