Critical Section

Archive: October 23, 2003

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Thursday,  10/23/03  11:05 PM

Wow, big gap since my last post.  I've been busy.  Sorry!

FuturePundit considers whether being tall or being smart is more important.  Turns out having a high IQ correlates better to "success" than being tall.  What's interesting is that being tall is widely agreed to be mostly genetic, with a small environmental component, but having a high IQ is not...

If you stretch yourself everyday, yeah, you can make yourself a little taller.  Same with making yourself a little smarter.  But overall you're either tall or short, and you either have a high IQ or you don't.  It is what it is.

Robin Jones has an interesting proposal for solving the abortion mess.  This seems to have elements which would appeal to both sides (and others which would repel both sides).  My personal bias is to remove all obstacles; if someone doesn't want to bring a new person into the world, they shouldn't, but this position can't be sold to everyone.  Perhaps a compromise is better than a disagreement.

Wired: Regrow your own [organs!].  "It was a staggering discovery. 'People had been studying regeneration for years and had zero evidence it could happen in mammals'."  Fascinating stuff, if even not real-world.  Yet.

Kind of an interesting milestone, someone used my review of my Sharp DVD recorder in their eBay listing description (they're selling one of these recorders).  So much for pro vs. amateur "journalism".

time-lapse CrocusThis is really cool - Cory Doctorow points to Plants in Motion, a website with lots of time-lapse photography of plants growing.  Makes you realize it isn't just animals which can move; we just have different timescales from plants.  (And they have different timescales from rocks, which also move, which have different timescales from mountains, which move, which have different timescales from tectonic plates, which move, which have different timescales from planets...)

John Patrick, a visionary at IBM, thinks ENUM is a big deal.  This is a way to "map" phone numbers to IP addresses, via a DNS entry.  "The most exciting application is a streamlining of Voice over IP, in which telephone calls can be made over the Internet."  You know this will happen; someday analog phone lines will be as retro as analog music.

Naval reviews technically progressive Dartmouth: Ubiquity Breeds Utility.  "In the late 1980s, Dartmouth College was the most wired campus on the planet, running 10Mb Ethernet into every dorm room.  Today, Dartmouth is the most unwired campus on the planet, with 560 access points covering 200 acres."

Dell is going to start selling DirectTivo boxes.  Think PVRs aren't mainstream?  Wow.

And PVRblog reports AOL's mystro is still cookin'.

So, my Tivo's modem died.  Yesterday it finally ran out of program data.  It is a four-year old Series 1, so this is a buying opportunity, right?  Time for a Series 2!  Uh, no.  Time for TivoNet.  Yep, I finally hooked up my two-year old TivoNet board, and my Tivo is now happy on my home network.  Works great!  (And thanks, Nick, for the ISA ethernet board...)

Dave Winer wants Netflix to upload movies to his DVR.  So do a lot of people.  Making this happen will be a big business for somebody...

And the NYT surveys Drawing PC, TV, and Stereo into an Entertainment Loop.  A great introductory overview to the explosion of devices hitting the market.

Walt Mossberg compares online music services, Apple's iTunes, MusicMatch, and Napster 2.0.  "I'm sure all three services will evolve and get better, and others will enter the fray.  But, for now, iTunes is the best choice on Windows."

Looks like the MPAA will relent and distribute "screeners".  But they'll be personalized so a pirated copy can be tracked back to the source.  This seems really dumb; suppose movie X is found on Kazaa and tracked back to person Y.  They'll just claim the tape was stolen somehow (e.g. left in an open car), and nothing will happen.  Meanwhile imagine the coolness of having movie X personalized for person Y, especially if Y is "a name".  So this plan won't do anything but cause work and irritation.

Dutch Nuon Team solar carThe Dutch Nuon Solar Team have successfully defended their title in the World Solar Challenge, crossing the Australian continent from north to south in a record 30 hours.  This is most excellent, a true blending of design and art.  [ via Adam Curry ]

Scoble: How to Hate Microsoft.  Interesting, but Robert is too nice; this falls woefully short of the mark.  For a better effort, see Michael Robertson on the world's most dangerous virus...


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained