Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Earthquake Lull?

Headline caught my eye, though this quote made me want to post it:

"Nature is very much like a 14-year-old boy; it's sloppy and lazy,"

L.A. in 1,000-year Earthquake Lull

Monday, August 27, 2007

When the hell are we?

So, exactly what time does a guy have to get up to see the lunar eclipse tonight?

SF Gate
For the wide-awake, a partial eclipse will start at 1:51 a.m. Tuesday and become total starting at 2:52 a.m. By 4:22 a.m., the total phase will be over, but then as the moon begins to emerge from Earth's shadow, another partial phase will begin. The eclipse will end at 5:24 a.m., just as the sky lightens at dawn.

The moon will start getting dimmer around 4am EDT, with peak shadow about an hour and a half later.

SF Examiner
The moon will just after 7:30 p.m. tonight but will not start passing through the weakest part of Earth’s shadow, or penumbra, until 12:52 a.m. Tuesday, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Voice of America
The eclipse will begin at 0851 UTC and end at 1224 UTC.

If you want to see the spectacular show, they say it will happen at approximately 1:52 a.m. and end at 4:22 a.m.

National Geographic
The eclipse will be visible in North and South America, Australia, and eastern Asia starting at about 3 a.m. PT on Tuesday...

Chico Enterprise Record
Just before 2 a.m. Tuesday the West Coast will witness an astronomical spectacle...

San Jose Mercury News
If you've got insomnia or the inclination to be awake about 3:37 a.m. - you should be able to see a coppery red hue on a shaded moon.

The partial eclipse begins at 4:51 a.m. ET. The moon edges gradually into Earth's shadow.
Total eclipse begins at 5:52 a.m.

LA Daily News
But the best view will be in the West, where it will be viewable from about 1:30-5:30 a.m.

Ventura County Star
...the total lunar eclipse that will be visible in Southern California in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Aug. 28, from just before 2 a.m. to just shy of 3:30 a.m.

And don't get me started on these next ones. Daylight Time! Daylight Time!

Imperial Valley News
Totality begins at 2:52AM PST, and mid-eclipse occurs at 3:37AM PST.

Orlando Sentinal
The viewing begins shortly before 5 a.m. EST.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time Travel Machine Outlined

Former coworker emailed this to me. Love being "time travel guy" in certain circles...

Time Travel Machine Outlined

Internet Knowledge Quiz

I got 82%. BoRyan will probably score better than me...

Mingle2 Internet Quiz - How Much Do You Know About the Internet?

(Also note how the code to add this widget at the end of the quiz tries to sneak in a secret advertisement. Wonder if it's a bonus question to be smart enough to remove it before posting...)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Is Google Becoming Evil?

This one surprised me:


"So much for Grand Central’s “one number for life” promise. The company is turning off customer phone numbers and giving them new ones following their acquisition by Google last month...[a user received a notice] advising him that in 8 days his Grand Central number would be canceled and that he would be required to immediately start using a new number allocated to him."

Even worse is the Grand Central posting on their OWN blog on July 12, saying:

"One of the foundations of GrandCentral is the “one number for life” concept. When creating the company we thought about all the pain points of having a new phone number or a number that switches every time your life changes. Go to college? Get a new number. Buy a house? Get a new number. Change jobs? Get a new number. Not only is this a pain for you as you need to now memorize another number for yourself, but its even worse for your friends and family who have to keep up updating their address books to keep track of you. With GrandCentral as your only number, these problems go away."

This follows on the heels of Google removing access to DRM'd videos that one purchased through Google Video. Granted they gave credits to their Google Checkout service, but is that really acceptable given that you purchased the rights to view a video indefinitely?

Is it really impossible to make profits AND be good?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sound Familiar?

Part of this article on the Netflix call center gave me a bit of a flashback...

At Netflix, Victory for Voices Over Keystrokes
"Ms. Funk, 36, said some people call because they are lonely. Her lengthiest call of that kind lasted 35 minutes. Others need basic help with their computers or with the Internet. Some people do not own a computer and call regularly to have a call center employee rearrange the titles in their queue."

The Truth About DRM-Free music?

Not sure I fully understand this, but interesting. Seems they'd be able to track popularity and how viral something is relative to it's original source, but getting it down to the individual user would be difficult and/or expensive.

Could Audio Watermarking Help Make MP3s Free?
Audio watermarking involves taking a song and manipulating it digitally to create an audio pattern that is unmistakable to the right software -- such as Activated's -- though undetectable by human ears.

The tracking technology allows advertisers to gather information about the consumer and the effectiveness of the ad. Such data, according to Silberstein, is so valuable that advertisers would be willing to pay five to 10 times rate of a regular ad for an watermarked ad. That data works particularly well with "call-to-action" type of ads, in which consumers, after listening to an ad, respond or click on a link to buy something or otherwise opt in to the advertiser's campaign, Silberstein said.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Towformian Tendencies Rewarded?

Both unbelievable and sad but true at the same time. Harkens back to the all too true (but presumably fake) quote: "All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Bad bosses get promoted, not punished?
In the study to be presented at a conference on management this weekend, almost two-thirds of the 240 participants in an online survey said the local workplace tyrant was either never censured or was promoted for domineering ways.

"The fact that 64.2 percent of the respondents indicated that either nothing at all or something positive happened to the bad leader is rather remarkable -- remarkably disturbing,"

The authors advocated immediate intervention by industry chiefs to stop fledgling office authoritarians from rising up the ranks.

"The leaders above them who did nothing, who rewarded and promoted bad leaders ... represent an additional problem."

"As with any sort of cancer, the best alternative to prevention is early detection," they wrote.

Power Nap Zap

How to Sleep 4 Hours per Night
Zapping your brain with an electromagnet could do the trick. A good night’s sleep just takes too long. Scientists may soon be able to cut those eight wasted hours down to three or four—by waving a wand, more or less. The technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation, involves an electromagnetic coil that emits pulses of skull-penetrating, neuron-activating magnetic energy.