Critical Section

Monday,  10/26/09  10:26 PM

back to normal...Somewhat back to normal around here; although it is yet another busy week; I'm in Vista today and tomorrow, then flying to back to Washington Wednesday for a two-hour meeting on Thursday.  Yeah.  I did get in a little ride tonight (yay) and a little coding earlier today (yay) so that's why I say back to normal. 

And of course, it's ALL happening...

Amazon PayPhraseAmazon have introduced a new way to identify yourself online: Amazon PayPhrase.  The idea being, you enter a phrase instead of hard-to-remember numbers like your credit card number and expiration date (and CCV code), and the phrase is linked to your account.  Unfortunately you also have to enter a PIN, which takes away from the elegance of this approach.  We'll see if this gets any traction; it's an interesting idea, but probably won't get them much traction against PayPal.

The Utah Department of Transportion have been experimenting with an 80mph speed limit, and have not found any safety issues.  Excellent.  The California Highway Patrol have been doing an unofficial experiment on route 73 between Newport Beach and Mission Viejo, as the average speed of traffic there seems to be about 80mph as well...

HP monitor special at - 24" for $185Wow, check this out: have an HP 24" monitor on sale for $185, with free shipping.  If you needed any further evidence how Moore's Law has affected monitors, here you go.  This same monitor probably would have cost $5,000 five years ago, and would have been completely unavailable at any price ten years ago.  This is one of the external factors (disk storage being another) which has driven the adoption of digital pathology...

XKCD's tribute to GeocitiesBye bye Geocities...  Yahoo have officially stopped the site as of today.  Cory Doctorow notes XKCD's eye-watering tribute.  I never had a Geocities page, but it was MySpace before MySpace, and Facebook before Facebook.  BTW Yahoo! bought Geocities for $3.5B in 1999.  Hard to say it was a good deal; the half-life of Internet properties seems to be about five years...

I loved reading about this; the same article mentions @Home's purchase of Excite.  Remember them?  The analyst's take was that Yahoo! needed to do this to compete against Excite, AltaVista (remember them?) and Infoseek (remember them?) and AOL (remember them?  okay, okay, I do too...)  Not a mention of Google, of course!

instant replay?So where do you stand on instant replay for sports?  In general I'm in favor, and I like the college football system where there's a separate official upstairs who reviews "everything".  That whole challenge thing in pro football makes for a little theater, but the net is that it wastes time and doesn't really correct all the bad calls.  Yesterday I watched Iowa play Nebraska, and for some reason it just turned into a flag bowl, with penalties on every play and reviews on every other play.  Maybe the teams were just that undisciplined and maybe there were just a lot of close plays, but it sure made for bad watching.

automatic pitch trackerThe place where instant reply would do the most good - and where it is least likely to be adopted - is calling balls and strikes in baseball.  Everyone knows umpires aren't consistent, even within one game, let alone between empires or games, and yet there doesn't seem much energy around replacing umpires with computers.  I don't think it would be a good thing myself.

ZooBorn: Harpy Eagle chickZooBorn of the day: a Harpy Eagle chick.  I will spare you the usual comment about being a sucker for cute chicks... 

...have a great week!

About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
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
the big day
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?