Critical Section


Sunday,  10/17/04  11:14 PM

The Ole filter makes a pass...

Mount Graham binocular telescopeThe University of Arizona's Mount Graham binocular telescope has been dedicated, in New Mexico.  "The LBT, largest of three telescopes in the Mount Graham International Observatory complex, will be used to explore never-seen things like planets the size of Jupiter in solar systems 20 to 30 light-years away.  The end result will be images about 10 times as sharp as the Hubble Space Telescope, enhanced by a technology called adaptive optics to adjust and correct for the Earth's atmospheric turbulence."  Excellent!

Interesting; looks like Gmail is starting to use Yahoo's Domain Keys to "sign" all sent email.  This proposed standard would give email servers an unambiguous way to verify email actually comes from the domain it says it does.  If widely adopted, this would be an important step forward to eliminating spam and phishing.  Google appears to be the first large email sender to use Domain Keys; even Yahoo themselves are not yet using it...

Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, "believes the virus causing AIDS was a deliberately created biological agent unleashed on Africans."  This is a woman who was trained as a biologist.  Words fail me.

Congratulations to all the folks at WorthWhile Magazine; they've shippedSubscribed! (in the old, paper arriving in the mail sense; I've been subscribed in the new, RSS feed sense, for quite some time :)

square bacteriaUh, square bacteria?  Apparently :)  "The microbe is also extremely tolerant of magnesium chloride.  According to (University of Groningen scientist Henk) Bolhuis, this makes it a model organism for studying what life might be like in extraterrestrial corners of the solar system, such as the magnesium-rich brines on Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede."  [ via David Pescovitz ]

Anil Dash notes eBay is no longer accepting signons via Microsoft's Passport.  It came in like a hailstorm, but went out with nary a whimper.  [ via Joi Ito ]

You would have to be a nerd to think this is cool, but then if you're reading this, there's a nonzero chance you're a nerd.  Tit for Tat has been defeated in a Prisoner Dilemma competition!  This has profound implications for philosophy in general, and the theory of Evolutionary Stable Strategies in particular.  What's cool is that the new winner is a cooperative strategy between two agents!  So, if two agents are better than one, how about "n"?  Maybe this is why we live in cities?  Who knows :)

Hey, I've got a new blog for you: Joe Kraus' Bnoopy.  Joe was a founder of Excite and has some great stories about "the old days" of the 'net.  See especially Persistence Pays, Part 1, Persistence Pays, Part 2, and Moons Over My Hammy.  Great stuff.

Netscape logoNetscape has turned 10!  Do you remember those early days when every week brought a new beta, with amazing new features?  I do, I would download those 10MB installers all night on my 14.4K modem, and then excitedly try it to see what was new.  Boy, those were the days.  In a very real sense, the start of a revolution.

Dungeons & Dragons has turned 30!  I remember playing D&D with graph paper when I was at college...  and making my own icosahedral die :)

Finally, Matt Webb has come to a compromise with the leopard.  You'll just have to read it...

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