godless considers the eugenic effects of China's "one child" laws. In addition to reducing population growth (not to be confused with reducing population), and increasing the man/woman ratio, there appear to be other selective effects, like filtering of genetic diseases and even selection for IQ. A fascinating experiment only possible in a huge totalitarian country.
Thomas Scott: "On the shores of the United Arab Emirates, arguably one of the coolest (and certainly one of the largest) engineering projects in the world is taking place. 100,000,000 cubic meters of sand and rock is being formed into two huge, palm-shaped islands, each with about sixty kilometers of beach and big enough to be seen from space." Woa.
This happens to be just outside Bahrain, and I happen to be reading a 50-year old novel by Nevil Shute called Round the Bend which takes place in Bahrain... Things have definitely changed in that time. The book is terrific by the way - about aviation, and philosophy, and religion...
Philip Greenspun suggests California be split into six "reasonable size states". Despite all the many arguments for splitting up California (I've heard many for a North/South split), it will not happen; there are two intractable issues 1) water (North has, South needs) and 2) business tax revenue (South has, North needs).
Palm has introduced their latest handheld - the T2, featuring a "transflexive" display (whatever that means).
Halley thinks we should spend this Sunday with only one handheld device - a rock. I've got mine ready... P.S. Rocks can be used for remote communication over limited distances :)
Buy.com has launched an online music store to compete against Apple. Tracks cost $.79, and are in WMD format (incompatible with most MP3 players!) So close, but no cigar - MP3 player downloads are critical. On the other hand they've targeted Windows users instead of Mac users (much bigger base) and they claim to have more music. Interesting...
NYTimes considers micropayments... Of all the attempts made so far, only PayPal has been a success, and they are not really micropayment-oriented. But BitPass and PepperCoin are each making interesting plays...
Joi Ito: Thoughts on micro-content. "So what's going to happen? Microsoft will continue to dominate the desktop, but it will become less relevant as consumer electronics companies embrace open standards and use Internet web services and applications to make consumer electronics devices rich with content." Hmmm... I don't know if I agree with this. For sure Scoble doesn't!
Tour de Lance update: Tyler Hamilton wins stage 16, Lance remains 1'7" ahead of Jan Ullrich. Yeah, that is the same Tyler Hamilton who used to ride with the posties, and who broke his collerbone earlier in the tour. He won after a 140km breakaway! Wow. (That means he was riding alone at the front for 85 miles!)
[ Later: check out this report on Lance's site - what a stage! ]
Want a CD changer but feel they cost too much? Why not make one yourself - out of wood... Excellent! (I am not making this up.)
And while you're in homemade mode, you can do a cool casemod with plasma-plates... Amazing what people do with their spare time, eh?