Horrible stories of looting in New Orleans

31 08 2005

This is saddening





Drowning girl saved by computer!

31 08 2005

The Poseidon System has saved a potential drowning victim in Bangor Wales by using an algorithm to determine that she was unconscious underwater, from pictures.  It alerted the lifeguard, and they were able to save the girl!

One of the safety system’s four underwater cameras showed her sinking without any sign of a struggle into the 12ft 6in deep end.

Once she had lain motionless on the pool floor for three seconds, the computer sounded an alarm which also pinpointed which part of the pool the girl was in to the five lifeguards on duty.

For the full article, check out the BBC’s page.





Dogpile has a cool comparison tool

31 08 2005

Check it out:

In the same breath, I should mention a cool Yahoo! vs. Google comparison tool.





Looks like AP/Yahoo! is blinded by colour…

30 08 2005

In the wake of Katrina:

Black people loot, white people borrow.  In case the pages change – there are mirrors right here

Apparently AP sees black people as looting from their local merchants, while white folks are simply “finding” items at their nearby stores…. Someone’s gonna get fired.

Thanks to Metafilter for aggregating this info.





Google Talk

30 08 2005

So, I just installed Google talk.  Slick, simple, nice.  Now a few improvements would be nice:

  1. Don’t require a GMail email address
  2. Interoperation with other IM’s
  3. Display pics
  4. File transfer(?)
  5. Emoticons
  6. Time stamps!!!
  7. ALLOW MESSAGES TO PEOPLE WHILE THEY ARE OFFLINE ala. ICQ….

Keep the interface simple though…it’s nice and clean!





Photomontage broken down into its component parts

30 08 2005

Steve Caplin, an independent photo illustrator breaks down how he did a particular montage, and in the process explains the basics behind almost any sort of montage.

Excellent article.





Pictures from my Alpine Adventure

30 08 2005

Well, I got a quick smattering of pictures up from my trip to Russet Lake and Fissile Mountain.

Check ’em out.  You can even leave comments.

 

Edit – having lost my original blog, these photos are no longer available.  I will have to put them up on my gallery soon





Photo fakery!

29 08 2005

Here’s a cool article about how to detect fake photos (and of course, in the process helping you to figure out how to keep others from detecting your fakery!)





Just got back!

29 08 2005

I just got back from 6 days of hiking in the alpine behind Whistler BC.  In the coming days I’ll be posting some pictures from this incredible trip that included climbing to the peak of Fissile Peak, hiking on the Overlord glacier, and the panoramic views of Cheakamus Lake, Black Tusk, and the Spearhead range as well.  It was amazing.  I hurt now, but I’m sure it will feel better in a week or two 😉

I’m not dead, but I think I am getting too old for this.





Geez – Stories like this should come out of 3rd world countries…not Canada

23 08 2005

Panic buying sets in at gas stations around Canada

Sigh….





Friends don’t let friends operate computers in acidic environments!

19 08 2005

We recently pulled a PC out of one of the areas of our work because it died.  It’s not too hard to see why:

This is just from sitting near a container that holds HCl regularly.

Above is a close up of the back – you can see the blistering from the corrosion!

And internally, you can see that the cause of death was acute power supply failure, from inhaling too many acid fumes.  Yeeeach 😦

PC’s really need to be kept away from these things, unless it’s a simply a matter of a “business expense” to replace them periodically.





Worm vs. Worm

17 08 2005

OK – this is getting out of hand.

Here’s the pic of what each worm does to the other – according to F-Secure.

It’s a viral battleground, using PC’s as the fodder.





Kissing tips

16 08 2005

From eHow.com

  • Look for positive body language. Eye contact, uncrossed arms and a head tilted towards you are all good signs.
  • Maintain eye contact as you close in. Try not to close your eyes until after you’ve established that all-important lip contact.
  • Tilt your head. Avoid the nose bump!
  • At first, just press your lips gently against your date’s. Avoid sucking his or her breath. Or drooling on them. Now is not a good time to faint.
  • Release and look into your date’s eyes. If he or she looks away, you should probably stop right there. If they look back and smile? Well, then, vive l’amour!

More details at the link provided.

If you need these, you probably REALLY need these 🙂

Thanks to Lifehacker for the link.





Cheap Laptop sale turns ugly

16 08 2005

People threw themselves forward, screaming and pushing each other. A little girl’s stroller was crushed in the stampede. Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd.

Mass terror attack?  Riot in the streets?  No…  it was a used laptop sale.

People fought back others that they felt were cutting in line, and beat people back with lawn chairs.  All for a chance to buy a used 4 year old Apple iBook for $50.  

More than 1,000 people turned out at the Richmond International Raceway in hopes of getting their han ds on one of the 4-year-old Apple iBooks, which retail for between $999 and $1,299. The Henrico County school system was selling 1,000 of the computers to county residents.

So, they had a better than 90% chance of getting one, just by walking in the door, but greed, and human nature turned it into a riot. Sigh. 

All this for laptops that the school board didn’t think were good enough for their students any more.

Edit:  Apparently over 10,000 people showed up – reducing your odds to 1 in 10.

Slideshow 1

Slideshow 2

From the School Board’s site – not exactly a Screaming Fast Laptop:

• White iBook, Power PC G3
• Operating System 10.2.8
• Installed with AppleWorks version 6.2.9 only
• CPU Speed: 500 MHz
• Memory: 320 MB
• Hard drive: 10G
• CD-ROM drive
• Screen: 12.1 inches
• AC charger
• Built-in 10/100 Base-TX
• Wireless card — IEEE 802.11
• Fire wire 400
• Two 12 Mbps USB ports





N-Sane has some great Photoshop tutorials

16 08 2005

Wow.  Quite the colleciton of tutorials – from easy to expert

Thanks to the Unofficial Photoshop Weblog for the link!





Still liking Microsoft’s new Sandboxed "Start" Page

16 08 2005

I was just reminded of the new “Start” page again. Now they have Canadian weather, and degrees C! as well as being able put in your favourite feeds, and stock quotes etc. It’s a slick little site.  This whole dynamic javascript thing is really taking off!  Googles GMail has really spurred MS on to get some cool stuff going.  It will be interesting to see where it all ends up.

It’s in the Microsoft Sandbox, so you unfortunately don’t know if it will ever go “live“.  In the meantime, it’s fun and cool!





Is digital "retouching" too easy?

16 08 2005

In these days of digital cameras and photoshop what is and what isn’t real can be hard to determine.  PhotoshopNews has an interesting article about some of the “crossing the line” issues. 

At what point does digital cropping, dodging and burning become manipulation?





Last words coming from doomed plane are Eerie

15 08 2005

Sotiris Vontas said he received a cellphone text message from his cousin, a passenger on the plane, minutes before the crash.

“He told me the pilots were unconscious. … He said: ‘We’re all frozen, the pilot is blue. We’re going to die. Farewell,’ ” Vontas said.

These were pretty much the last words that came from flight Helios Flight 522 as it flew, unpiloted into a hillside near Athens.  Rescue crews reported the bodies of many passengers to be “Frozen Solid”

I suppose it might be better than dying in a fireball, but…..

Has today’s technology allowed us unprecedented views into the personal moments of people preparing for death?  The cell calls on 9/11 to say goodbye, text messages from doomed planes?  Should we know about this stuff?  Should it stay private?  Why do we have to know?

My prayers are with the families of the victims of the plane crash, and in particular of the 48 children whos lives ended before they even really got started. 

May God keep you forever

postscript:  Hoax on the SMS message 😦





Gilligan finally got of the Island

6 08 2005

Bob Denver – Dead at 70.  We’re gonna miss you little buddy 😦





Grizzlies being poisoned by Salmon

5 08 2005

Boy – the Globe is on a role today:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050805.wxbears05/BNStory/National/
From the article:
The coastal grizzlies, which eat spawning salmon almost exclusively from late summer through the fall, showed markedly higher levels of PCBs, organochlorine pesticides and a group of chemicals that are used as fire retardants in everything from foam cushions to building materials.
More “Man vs. Nature” 😦








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