Critical Section

Monday,  07/28/03  11:22 PM

Sony GlasstronAnyone understand why the Sony Glasstron didn't become a huge hit?  Why aren't they everywhere and being used for everything?  I don't get it.  (Although curiously, I have no desire to get one :)

This category might end up being like PDAs.  Before Palm a bunch of companies tried to make "palmtops", but none found the right formula.  Then Palm did - they became a huge success - and suddenly we have dozens of companies in the space.

The SETI@home people have published a skymap of the most promising signals found so far.  No E.T.I. yet...

The U.N. has released their 2003 Human Development Reports.  A great mine of information.  I can't believe how high the life expectancies are - in Japan, the average child born today can expect to live to be 81!  To maintain that average, there must be a lot of people over 90, and even over 100...

Here's a fascinating article: Johnny can't add (but Suresh Venktasubramanian can).  "Here is a pattern I've noticed in countless organizations at the high end of the research spectrum.  In the personnel lists, certain groups are phenomenally over-represented with respect to their appearance in the general American population: Chinese, Koreans, Indians, and Jews."  It isn't politically correct to notice, but it sure rings true.  Meanwhile BusinessWeek notices The Gender Gap, which I've written about before.  "In every state, every income bracket, and every racial and ethnic group, women reign, earning an average 57% of all BAs and 58% of all master's degrees in the U.S."  Among other effects, these highly educated women will of course - on average - delay child rearing, thereby slowing their effective birth rate and exacerbating Unnatural Selection.

Wired reports: "Engineers at the University of Calgary have developed a pill that, once swallowed, will determine how healthy or ill the patient is, and will release just the right amount of medicine accordingly."  Wow.  Sounds like something out of a movie.  Oh, yeah, it was.

Apple CubeRemember the Apple Cube?  Well apparently it is alive and well, and still being sold!  The little boxes are loved by their owners and coveted by collectors.  Apple "only" sold 150,000 of the cubies, so it was a commercial failure, but everyone who's seen one agrees it was an artistic success.

Mitsubishi engineers have unleashed their latest creation: a beer glass which signals it is empty using RFID.  (Okay, now do you believe me that RFID is everywhere!)  "It is a common problem – you are in a bar or restaurant with your drink almost gone and you are desperately hoping that one of the staff will notice and offer you a refill."  I am not making this up.Lindows Webstation

Lindows has announced a $169 PC!  No hard drive, it boots from a CD.  Probably a pretty decent machine if all you do is surf and do email.  And this price brings PCs into a whole new market.

virtual putt-puttCheck out virtual putt-putt golf.  This is really cool! 
[ via Silflay Hraka ]

Probably only of interest to three [nerd] readers, but...  I *finally* changed my RSS feed to contain absolute URLs.  This matters to some aggregators which can't resolve relative URLs, so if you're using one of them, you'll be happy.  I also incorporated the "Dublin Core" namespace for some fields (like <dc:creator>) which don't have baseline RSS 2.0 analogues.  If you don't know what any of this means, don't worry; that's probably healthy :)

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About Me

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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
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Moving Mount Fuji
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IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
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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
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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