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Sunday, August 13, 2006

geek request: thunderbird sendat extension

i was cruising around looking for this function, and couldn’t find it quickly, so i have to assume that if it does exist, it’s buried somewhere.

i’m looking for a thunderbird extension that will add a button to the message-composition window that will send the message at a specified date/time (and, if we’re feeling really fancy, add some conditions to the sending).

it’s a simple thing. where’s my h4x0rz at?

(it looks like the closest fit – sendtools – doesn’t work with versions post 1.0)

posted by roj at 12:15 am  

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

inviting the opposition

lessig (who has the distinct advantage of having a one-name name in certain spheres, though slightly smaller spheres than cher or britney or elton or dubya) has invited the opposition to dinner

personally, i think it’s a wonderful idea. i don’t see a lot of action on the wiki, but i’ve suggested that open debate might be a way to diffuse these issues a bit more, and this is, if still in the realm of the geeks, an invitation to debate.

can we find someone, rich of charisma, informed of issues, and sharp of rhetoric to champion this cause in a forum with more substance than a 30-second talking head segment?

is there such a forum?

posted by roj at 8:34 pm  

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

points for brobdingnagian from jaron

i just have to nod to jaron for the use of brobdingnagian in an essay.

hopefully that’s enough to focus your valuable attention over there for a few moments…

posted by roj at 8:03 am  

Monday, May 9, 2005

microsoft is behind the times

anyone that’s been paying attention knows that purple is the new red. so, it comes as somewhat of a surprise (now that the slashdotting has subsided a bit), that the new red screen of death as disclosed by michael kaplan and apparently popularized by joi is… well. red.

red is upsetting. aggressive. bad. bad, microsoft.

so who’s heading up the campaign to remake the RSOD into a PSOD?

posted by roj at 10:43 pm  

Friday, April 22, 2005

combinatorial problems

many, many years ago, i spent a good deal of my life trying to solve some really brutal combinatorial problems with every widget i could find in the geek arsenal – i hacked on trees and heuristics and neural networks and genetic algorithms and all kinds of strange combinations thereof to coax optimizations out of personal computers.

this was an affort to improve on human optimization of really large combinatorial problems, and do it interactively, so the “human intuition” could augment “brute force” (and vice-versa) to push the solution closer to a true optimization rather than letting it get stuck in a “local optimization.”

during this time, i ran into the amd 286zx and 286lx processors (i think that’s right), which were essentially systems-on-a-chip. these are now so ancient that they don’t even show up on amd’s site anymore. anyway i had some crazy idea about packing a whole stack of these little 10mhz parts into a desktop-sized box with a 386 playing arbiter and doing user-interface duty. i figured that asymetric multiprocessing would be an interesting approach to the problem, where some small piece of the problem was assigned to one of the “slave cpu’s” which would be allowed to grind away on it until the “master cpu” (perhaps prompted by the user) decided that it was spinning its wheels, killed it and gave it a new subproblem to chew on for a while. i figured i’d start with the 286zx’s since they were available, but could slip in any sort of optimized slave processor as it came along (say, chunk of silicon design specifically to run neural network simulations or whatever). it was fun to think about.

ultimately, though, i ran out of money and ideas and patience and never quite got to a functional solution (and couldn’t afford to build custom hardware).

i bring this up now, because it sounded errily familiar when i stumbled into this news release from cornell.

Mostly their approach is to have the computer do what a human being might do: stop, go back and start over and try something different.

these people are definitely smarter than i am, but it’s neat to see it crop up again.

one tip for the cornell team: it’s possible to get some really, really neat visualizations out of these problems, and if you tweak them a bit you can get some wicked user-interaction experiences.

i bet current graphics processors would be really good at this stuff – both the visualization and the actual problem-solving. a lot better than the 286zx’s, anyway…

posted by roj at 10:15 am  

Saturday, March 19, 2005

chipping the dead

rfid isn’t just for princes and kids anymore. maybe it’s good for cadavers too.

UC Considers Using Barcodes for Cadavers [ap via abc news, feb 4, 2005]

Officials are also considering putting barcodes or radio frequency devices in cadavers that could be read by someone walking past the body with a handheld device. Radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags already are used by cars passing through automated toll plazas. UC officials said that they are still working out the details but that any body parts that became separated from the corpse would probably be tagged, too.

posted by roj at 3:46 pm  

Thursday, January 13, 2005

t-mobile leaks social security numbers

A California man faces felony charges of hacking into cell phone company T-Mobile’s computer network to steal hundreds of names and social security numbers, according to court documents released on Wednesday.

because t-mobile has a lot of reasons to keep social security numbers?

is this a good time to propose that companies that keep and compromise data that they do not need for business be forced to pay for all the updates and upgrades that their customers will have to go through?

posted by roj at 3:01 am  

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

get those video games on your resume

the wall street journal says the faa will be hiring some 12, 000 air traffic controllers, 1000 per year, starting in 2006.

i didn’t dig deep enough to find out what the job qualifications are… but i imagine your video game experience is a good start.

posted by roj at 7:57 am  

Thursday, October 28, 2004

finally, an amp for my pitracer

electronluv has finally given us amplifiers worthy of the pitracer.

not that i have one, but… if i did, you can be sure i wouldn’t be playing a $25, 000 cd transport (dac not included) through anything less than a gorgeous electronluv amp. seriously. [obscure political message].

[thanks to boingboing for the tip]

posted by roj at 10:30 pm  

Friday, October 1, 2004

typeit4me sounds familiar

yeah…. i remember something like this – sounds like the mac came around to philippe kahn vintage 1985. turbo lightning and superkey? nahhhh.

[via boingboing]

posted by roj at 12:03 am  
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