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Jon Stewart answered the question of just how Ted Haggard was turned "completely heterosexual". =:D (Thanks to mycroftb for spotting that - I keep missing the Daily Show, unprompted)

rabitguy pointed out this killer piece of OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ: Chris Cunningham takes on Star Wars (FLV). From a camcorder at Electraglide 2005, so the quality's not wonderful, but who cares?

Sir Nicholas Stern meets Congress, furnishing details from his recent report on global warming, and the comparative economic effects of action now versus action later. It would seem the congresscritters were given a broad spectrum of useful information in the course of the hearing.

Memorable line: "[Party Girl] What is that green drink called that makes you hallucinate? [Party Boy] Oh! Abstinence!"

How was Primeval's debut? (I've not watched that yet, nor the opening episodes of the newly returned Life on Mars - no spoilers, please!)

Free language software: Before You Know It, for OS X, Palm, PocketPC, and Windows. (Hint: no apparent need for a registration email address, as it gives you a link afterwards. On the other paw, the downloader app they gave doesn't seem to work..)

The criminal genius for the week is described in this report from South Bend: "If you want to sell a block of wood, don't try to pass it off as a high-end TV. And if you ignore that first bit of advice, don't try to sell it to the police."
Caption suggestions?

kyootfox via rabitguy sent along rather a cool page of high-speed video clips, like "balloon filled with syrup shot with blowdart", "firecrackers exploding in water bottles", and a couple of hard-drive mechanisms. (WMV required)

Seems FUNimation are experimenting with offering some of their anime via the iTunes Store: Desert Punk, Speed Grapher, and Samurai 7. Pricing looks quite good compared to DVD releases - $2/ep, or $39 per series (26, 20, and 24 eps each). But, looks like they're dub only. :-P

Free Guitar Hero clone: Frets on Fire, available for OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and Windows, along with the source.

Super Mario mice!
It appears that AACS has been defeated, with the discovery of a "master key", with which all current discs can be decrypted - no need for the tiresome process of extracting each individual disc's keys. In theory, HD DVD players, which are mandated to have a network port, could be updated to remove the leaked key, but it's not difficult to see how smoothly that would run; and Blu-Ray has no such network requirement.

More Weebl! patch_bunny noticed Giraffe, and the less orthodox Animator vs Animation.

An amusing bit of Minnesotan legislation.

Here's a fun TV spot for macro lovers and skateboarders. =:)

From xlr8yourmac, note of a genuine cure for the GPU desoldering problem with ca.700MHz iBooks:
Hi Mike, I recently had my iBook 700MHz 14.1" suffer the classic, video goes crazy, freezes and reboot with no video. I could tell it was the GPU 'cause I could put pressure on it from below and make the problem better. So I called these guys. They were close to me west of Chicago: http://www.superiorreball.com/
Talked to a guy named Dale and he was very accommodating. A pull and re-ball of the GPU would cost $75 return shipping included. Reflowing was $38 but he pointed out many downsides to that.
I pulled the board and shipped it to him UPS. He called me the moment it walked in the door. The board came back after the weekend along with 8 X-rays of my GPU pulled and re-balled! Put the board back in my iBook and it works like new!
Dales says the problem is with these Ball Grid Array devices that tend to separate from the board as the board flexes. I've been working on it for a week now and it is very stable like it used to be. I expect this fix to be relatively permanent depending on how much flexing the board gets. Traveling and the like. I highly recommend these guys.

A look at Intel's 80-core CPU, pointing to one future of home computing, with highly parallel processing.

"Be aware that going on a major mission totally drunk out of your head will result in some truly spectacular artwork and at least one night in the cells." - Banksy, guerilla artist

The rare possumrabbit.
pixeltoys = <3

Where are the mooninite ones?

Also, for the caption, I suggest "HAY GUISE!"
They'd have to put stickers on them: "Packed with the latest, most devious Mooninite technology, these mice may not be shipped to the Commonwealth of Massachussetts."

I wonder if an Apple "puck" style mouse could be reworked into a Pac-Man. ^_^ (I actually liked those mice - I think many folks just held them like other mice, in which case they'd seem much too small, rather than beneath the fingers themselves)
Stardate 44012.3: technical glitches continue to mar Main Stage events at furry conventions - here, a transporter accident during the first Further Confusion to be held on Deep Space Nine.
"It would seem the congresscritters were given a broad spectrum of useful information in the course of the hearing." - How much do you want to bet they ignored that? :P

I'll give that language software a try - pity it's not available for Icelandic, though.

The AACS key is not a "master key" (no such thing exists), BTW - it's a processing key. And while it seems to be possible to decrypt all current HD-DVDs and BDs with the discovered process key, the same won't hold true for future releases (in fact, it's somewhat surprising that this is even true for the current ones; Hollywood has been sloppy, it seems). Ed Felten has more. (On a side note, IIRC, AACS also contains a key revocation mechanism which utilises the discs themselves, so no network connection is actually needed to update the players. I'm not sure if it's possible to blacklist process keys this way, though, or whether it would even make sense.) But it's still cool, of course. :)
It'll be interesting to see. It'd be easy to assume they'll only reinforce their existing perceptions, but perhaps aspects like India and China at least trying to turn their juggernauts around might help weaken the rather illogical sentiment of "well, they're more of a problem than us, so we shouldn't do anything". I'd like to see more companies pushing themselves as incubators of good jobs in the process of bringing up carbon-neutral energy industries - the switch will need to happen sooner or later, after all, even if there weren't a massive rise in CO2 being measured, well above that attributable to natural causes. It seems only sensible for a government to try to foster those nascent technologies, thereby giving themselves that valuable lead over others, aside from the necessity of establishing such tech somewhere.

I may drop that company a line, or see if there's a forum to consult - here, the downloader app (why? Did someone sniff the Adobe glue?) just gets stuck with "locating the application", rather than actually performing any downloading. :-P Still, I've got the Japanese and Vietnamese packs for Rosetta Stone, so I should prolly just go through those.

Well, "master" - close enough for my purposes. ^_^ Not a per-disc affair, but global amongst the existing set. Ah, it's all crazy. The DRM kool-aid seems utterly irresistible - then again, that's approaching the issue from the perspective of them wanting to reduce unauthorised copies in order to safeguard their revenue, when it seems evident it's more about wanting to extend the ability to charge for multiple copies of the same material on different devices/media. (With fair use being an unfortunate victim amongst it all)
Mmmm... yeah, I never understood that, either. Shouldn't governments jump at the opportunity to be able to master new technologies before others do? *headshakes* Just goes to show that they're not actually acting in the best interest of *everyone* again, I guess.

As for the downloader app... yeah, that's pretty stupid. I captured the whole process (for the PC version), though, and it turns out you can just grab the files on your own if you know the URLs, too:

GET /byki_update.pl?BUS=3&FLS_Descriptor=zPpwv1&Platform=PC&OSVer=5.1.2 HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept-Language: en
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: BYKI HTTP Reader
Host: www.byki.com
Connection: Keep-Alive

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 14:38:11 GMT
Connection: close

Name="Before You Know It Lite"
Description="Some description."
Installer = /download/byki_pc/Lite/BykiLiteWeb.exe

All those files are grabbed in a single HTTP/1.1 connection. And then later on this:

GET /reply_w_2.pl?fls=swedish&FLS_Descriptor=zPpwv1&BUS=3 HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept-Language: en
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: BYKI HTTP Reader
Host: www.byki.com
Connection: Keep-Alive

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 1046
Content-Type: application/octet-stream
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="listlist.txt"
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 14:38:59 GMT

BYKILISTS /FLS_Stat.pl?Language=swedish&FLS_Descriptor=zPpwv1&id=3658570
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Animals 1.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English At the Hotel 1.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English At the Hotel 2.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English At the Restaurant 1.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English At the Restaurant 2.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Beverages.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Colors.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Days of the Week.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Meeting and Greeting 1.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Meeting and Greeting 2.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Months.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Numbers_ Cardinal 1.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Polite Conversation 1.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Polite Conversation 2.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Sample Food Vocabulary.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Sample Verbs.b4u
/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Seasons.b4u

These files are all downloaded individually, and then acknowledged like this:

GET /FLS_Stat.pl?Language=swedish&FLS_Descriptor=zPpwv1&id=3658570&err=0&errmsg=OK&url=/FLSLists/swedish/Swedish%20-%20English%20Animals%201.b4u HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept-Language: en
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: BYKI HTTP Reader
Host: www.byki.com
Connection: Keep-Alive

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 14:39:05 GMT
Connection: close

zPpwv1, 3658570, /FLSLists/swedish/Swedish - English Animals 1.b4u, 0, OK
Ah, poop. I tried viewing /download/byki_mac/Lite/, hoping that would reveal the answers, but it's set up to disallow directory listing. :-P But! Today the downloader does seem to be playing nicely, so I now do have their Japanese offering. I started logging the network conversation, and then just cancelled it, letting it just go about its own byzantine routine.

Yay! It works. Bit of a pity it's implemented in its own way, rather than having a native appearance, but it's reasonably attractive nonetheless. So many portable UI toolkits seem to make for fugly apps - well, maybe not that bad, but quite clearly not native to OS X, such as Azureus, Firefox, and eMule. There's no question Firefox is tremendously capable, and rightly credited with helping force lazy webmasters to ensure their HTML and CSS does look good across a variety of browsers, rather than Ye Olde Virus Propagation Mechanism 6 or 7.

Heh! Always interesting seeing how different languages place more or less apparent emphasis on certain words, with brevity being something of an indicator of common usage. "Bee" = "mitsubachi". But then, it doesn't get much shorter than "I", which becomes "atashi" for a feminine speaker - three syllables rather than one. (Masculine is "boku")
*s* You can arguably get even shorter than "I" - you just need to get rid of the pronoun altogether and fold it into the verb form instead (as is done in Latin, for example, where "ego" is only used for emphasis IIRC).

But yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? I suppose it has a lot to do with the concepts and things you typically encounter; for example - one example I came across myself is the Eurasian Golden Plover (pluvialis apricaria), which in Icelandic is simply called "lóa" (three letters instead of 20, and that's not even counting the whitespace).

Good to hear the downloader worked for you now, though. :)
True, true.. of course, in spoken form, there's higher information density possible than English or Japanese utilise - Vietnamese is a good example, where phonemes can be of low, medium, or high pitch, being steady, rising, or falling. I admit, it's that strangeness (from an English perspective) that piques my interest in the language - vaguely similar to the concept of QAM, as applied to human communication, fitting more information in per time slot as a result.

I was, however, disappointed that their animals pack didn't include "rabbit". Hmph. I should drop them a line. =:) Still, I did enjoy the picture they use for "cat":

A gaze that can cut through steel..
*chuckles* Indeed - that picture sure made me laugh. ^^

And yeah, you can probably fit quite an amount of information into spoken language - ithkuil is probably an extreme example, although it's not a natural language of course. :)
Maybe you can use the above to grab the Mac version on your own. :)

Eh, and yeah, I agree - DRM seems to be designed with nothing but revenue in mind, and the whole "piracy" talk is just a smokescreen.

(On a side note, sorry for splitting this into three comments, but since LJ limits you to 4300 characters in one...)
Meanwhile, there was that recent study (linked from Ars, I believe) noting an insignificant effect of copying upon CD sales - but I doubt the RIAA will be trumpeting that quite as loudly as the bizarre claim, repeated ad infinitum, that if someone's copied 100 CDs, the industry has therefore lost ca. $1500. They never state where that money would magically have come from. And nobody seems to raise the issue, either - I'm disappointed so many journalists seem happy to accept the industry PR prima facie, with no perceived need to question it.

Meanwhile, the copying goes on, as it always will, and the industries thrive, as they also will..

Heh! Yep, I've run into that limit once or twice, just on typed replies. =:D
Primeval + LOM [See my LJ posts] both fully worth a watch
Oh, cool beans. ^_^ Just getting into LoM s2e1 now. (Who knew police officers made such a good chorus? =:)

Holy crap! That's some great OONTZ-OONTZ-OONTZ right there!
"If only you knew the powah!"

The rare possumrabbit.
"It's dead, Jim!"

I got the new issue of URB mag and they gave the new Air album a drubbing.
The subtitle of the review was "Fermez la bouche", and they complained it was a boring, tired effort.
Just FYI.

I've got buck$$$, finally, so I'm gonna grab BT's "This Binary Universe" this weekend.
And possibly a few more CDs that looked at me funny.

I wish there were a DVD of Electraglide available - that'd be a hell of a track to play through an appropriate sound system. =:D Inspired idea using the lightsaber sounds as bass.. works so well.

I was reasonably content with Pocket Symphony - perhaps moreso than with 10,000Hz Legend, actually, as whilst that was a very creative album, the overall tone was somewhat somber and melancholic, compared to PS' more optimistic nature. But if it were a contest between PS and Foley Room, the latter would win instantly - Amon Tobin's done an outstanding job there.

And yes, TBU's another easy decision. A bit uneven in places, and I don't care for the video for the final one very much, being all baby-themed (baby rabbits, yes, baby red pandas, definitely, but human babies? Ick. Ugly, noisy things), but another where the guy's really tried pushing himself into new ground.

If they happen to have them, you might give Ra's exceedingly catchily titled "Wxfdswxc2" a try, for heavily edited samplework, and Run_Return's "Metro North" for.. eh, vaguely Hybrid, but not. =:)

You know, you should head north for the Bunny Jam. I'm sure you can make up a tail and ears, ne? ^_^
The Intel 80-core CPU is amusing but they're in serious catch-up mode to Sun's Niagra and IBM's multicore CPUs which are more than just more CPUs on a die but new ways to make them collaborate and share data effectively. I was always interested in unusual architectures such as asymmetric processing (specalized computing elements working in parallel), and it's heartening to read that Intel's mesh network-on-a-chip is supposed to support such variations too. I recently completed my master's degree in computer engineering, so I had lotsa courses concerning CPU architectures. That article shows it's quite the active field. If only there were jobs for me on the east coast :"/
It's rather curious to see just how slowly the field's been developing! Still, we finally did see Knight's Ferry announced last year, and apparently they're now shipping devkits to their bestest friends.

Speaking of Intel, weren't they working on asynchronous CPUs a while back, where different parts of the chip could work at entirely unrelated clock speeds? Might you know if anything ultimately came of that? ISTR the intermediate results suggested quite large power savings might be possible that way.

And, of course, we've since seen the launch of OpenCL - finally, vendor-agnostic GPGPU, supported by Nvidia, ATI, Apple, and Intel, amongst others.