Monday, April 19, 2010

Wired Article On Geek Power

This is a good article from Wired;
But behind the inventiveness was something even more marvelous — all real hackers shared a set of values that has turned out to be a credo for the information age. I attempted to codify this unspoken ethos into a series of principles called the hacker ethic. Some of the notions now seem forehead-smackingly obvious but at the time were far from accepted (”You can create art and beauty on a computer”). Others spoke to the meritocratic possibilities of a digital age (”Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position”). Another axiom identified computers as instruments of insurrection, granting power to any individual with a keyboard and sufficient brainpower (”Mistrust authority — promote decentralization”). But the precept I perceived as most central to hacker culture turned out to be the most controversial: “All information should be free.”

Stewart Brand, hacker godfather and Whole Earth Catalog founder, hacked even that statement. It happened at the first Hackers’ Conference, the week my book was published, during a session I moderated on the future of the hacker ethic. “On the one hand, information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable,” he said. “On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.” His words neatly encapsulate the tension that has since defined the hacker movement — a sometimes pitched battle between geeky idealism and icy-hearted commerce.
It is worth a read.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tetris anyone?

This is cool;
There are two things that are universally true about Tetris: that Russian-style theme music is impossible to get out of your head, and everybody loves Tetris. Which is why we had to take a moment to highlight the Tetris-Bot, a simple PC gaming robot patched together from a digital evaluation module (EVM), a web cam and a Lego Mindstorms robot kit.
The cam is positioned in front of the screen, where it gathers visual data that it feeds to the EVM. The EVM -- the brains of the operation -- puts those data inputs through a series of algorithms, providing an output command to the Mindstorm assembly positioned over the keyboard. It's not perfect, but who's ever played a perfect game of Tetris?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Whole World in My Palm Pre

I got a new toy and I must say after 24 hours I still love it. I got a Palm Pre to replace my Samsung Windows Mobile touch screen. The old phone was ok, I liked the features, but it never performed well. Sounds like Windows doesn’t it? I would like to try an iPhone, but as long as they are only on AT&T, no thanks. So long story short, there was a sale and offering free hotspot functionality, so I couldn’t say no.

So I am in the process of pimpin out my new phone with apps, wallpaper and ringtones. I also ordered the cordless charger and will review it when it gets here. I did make some wall paper for it out of a desktop wall paper and thought I would share. I will review the phone more once I have kicked it around a little more, but the Amazon reviews are a good place to start.
Wall paper below is 320 x 480.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Katgrrl

Happy Birthday to our eldest.  She helped dissect a shark for her birthday.  It was a spiny dog fish shark.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Bee A Problem

Honey bees continue to die off;

The 2010 prognosis for honey bees doesn't look good, according to Jeff Pettis, Research Leader at the USDA Bee Lab.

Although hard data won't be available until April, preliminary surveys of our nation's beekeepers suggest that at least as many bee colonies have died off over the winter as they have the last few years -- and possibly even more than in years past -- thanks to Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD.

I last spoke with Pettis in 2007, when I visited his lab as they researched the cause of CCD. Back then, they were pretty optimistic about finding the cause, but three years later answers are still elusive. I spoke to him this week about the state of the investigation.

Jeff Pettis: “We obviously think it’s more complicated than we first believed as in we don’t believe that we’re looking for a single virulent pathogen, although that can’t totally be ruled out. At first we were thinking that we’d find a single causative agent, a virulent pathogen sweeping through the bee population, and that doesn’t appear to be the case.”

I do know that lemony pays alot for honey, and if this keeps up so will the price of honey.