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The ultimate geek network joke. Be warned, it's brief, yet painful. =:D

PBS's ScienceNOW recently covered epigenetics, a means by which genetically identical individuals may, through their environment, develop quite differently physically and mentally, leading to identical twins who nonetheless look quite different. The 13-minute segment's available on their site as a progressive stream, QuickTime and WM, as mycroftb noticed.

Cerberus has a new (to me, at least) Flash animation out: The Nut Job. Definitely not to be missed. ^_^

Anime for the week has to be Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei ("Goodbye Despair Teacher"), a remarkably stylishly animated show about a desperately suicidal teacher and his class, packed with dry wit and background jokes. (And the lead looks a lot like a human version of jirris_midvale, ne?) If you know the joy of depression, this may have a particular appeal.

Okay, who at Six Apart thought it would be fun to house both primary and secondary DNS at the same datacenter? Bad admins, no cookie. (Is all of LJ in one location, no automatic geographical distribution?) There's a little more information available regarding the generators' failure to start over here.

austin_dern found this photo of a heroic rabbit who chose to meet a tiger cub, and left unharmed.

mycroftb reminded me about the Asus Eee, a 2lb laptop coming in August, for around $200-250. Minimal spec, of course, and all subject to Chinese whispers and more: 900MHz Dothan, no optical drive, 4GB flash only, 512MB, 4 USB2.0, 10/100Base-T, 7" 800x480 (an additional 10" 1024x768 model in early 2008), Intel 910 chipset (GMA900 graphics). So, it might just about be okay for SL use - not something to go clubbing with, but at that price, who's complaining?

If you'd like to attend YearlyKos, but can't easily get to Chicago for the grand shindig, there's also YearlyKos in Second Life, with registration a modest $25. Sam Seder of Air America will be along for a pre-convention meet'n'greet on Thursday, 6pm SLT. ("Last week's chat with Glenn [Greenwald] was a lot of fun, especially because he found the intoxication of being able to fly hard to resist.")

foxymoonheart notes moves to block aerial gunning of Alaska's wolves: "Alaska's brutal practice of aerial gunning has already claimed the lives of at least 670 wolves, with state officials even proposing to offer a $150 bounty to increase the killing. And now even the Greater Yellowstone wolves could face this barbaric killing as Idaho and Wyoming propose aerial gunning programs of their own. A conservation champion, Rep. George Miller (CA) will soon introduce legislation -- the Protecting America's Wildlife (PAW) Act -- to restrict this awful practice. But his bill needs your support to win passage of this wolf-saving measure."

Via ristin, word of more US border jollity: "In a strongly worded document drawn up in response to the plan that will affect the 4 million-plus Britons who travel to the US every year, the EU parliament said it 'notes with concern that sensitive data (ie personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, and data concerning the health or sex life of individuals) will be made available to the DHS."

"Under the new agreement, which goes live at the end of this month, the US will be able to hold the records of European passengers for 15 years compared with the current three year limit. The EU parliament said it was concerned the data would lead to 'a significant risk of massive profiling and data mining, which is incompatible with basic European principles and is a practice still under discussion in the US congress.'

Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor, has written to the EC expressing his 'grave concern' at the plan, which he describes as 'without legal precedent' and one that puts 'European data protection rights at risk'.

Hustinx warns: 'Data on EU citizens will be readily accessible to a broad range of US agencies and there is no limitation to what US authorities are allowed to do with the data.'"

And some wonderful political snark in a superb ripost to Bill O'Reilly: "We shall not be defeated. Once the revolution comes, the American right will be crushed under the mighty weight of our agenda. We shall confuse them all by being nice to children and the elderly; we shall sap their resolve by allowing black people to vote unhindered. We shall confound them via our insistence that illegal actions even by rich people should be prosecuted. They will be wounded by our commitment towards health care for all, then we will double the injury by treating their wounds using the very same programs. Their lungs will burn from the oppressively clean air: their green, lush yards will be choked with our expanding forests. Freed from the toxic scourge of DDT, Bald Eagles will return to the countryside and crap on their cars. We will call it Freedom Crap, and it will contain fish bones of Justice and unidentifiable, jelly-like chunks of Liberty."
 
 
 
 
 
 
Owww... that WAS painful.

As for LJ, to add insult to injury, they apparently also hosted the "off-site" status page at the same data center. Naivity much? :P (Outside of the fact that you really have to wonder why they don't use more than one hosting facility in the first place...)

The laptop sounds nice, but I'm still not sure why stuff like the Panasonic R5K isn't sold outside of Japan (to my knowledge). I probably mentioned this thing before, but... seriously, that's a *full-featured* laptop weighing in at 999 grams, and it's been available for quite a while, too. *headshakes* As usual, Japan seems to be at least a couple of years ahead of everyone else, technology-wise.

And mmm, freedom crap. :) Joe the Liberal Eagle would approve. :)
I had to pass that on, as you see. =:) I do hope someone wears that as a t-shirt to the next USENIX. ^_^

I was really quite surprised - okay, LJ goes down, so you check the backup status page, which is on a different domain, so it shouldn't be affected. Except.. :-P Hopefully they've learned from that. But yes, I'd have thought they'd perform some kind of mirroring, or at least have multiple presences, so one point of failure doesn't bring the whole show down. Still, so it goes. Hopefully they'll be able to work out just why the generators failed to start up automatically, especially given they claim they do run monthly tests on them.

Mmm, Japan's been ahead in the cellphone game for a while, in particular, both with the phones themselves, and especially the range of services taken for granted. It's easy to see why Western manufacturers don't tend to have a huge presence in the Asian market, but it's more puzzling why the Japanese cellcos don't push their wares further afield, given the relatively simple state of European phones, or the positively primeval state of those in North America. (How many milliseconds would Motorola survive in Japan?) Wonder what Apple's thinking of for the iPhone's debut there.. very interesting combination of forces at work there.

Still, I suppose I'll just have to make do with Hyzenthlay's incredible bulk of 7lb. ^_^ Not bad, really, given it's a desktop equivalent (of its time, late 2005) - 2GB memory, 128MB Radeon 9700 Mobility, 17" 1680x1050 display, lovely feel keyboard with backlighting, FW400 & 800, USB 2, modem, gig-E, 120GB drive, dual-layer DVD-R, optical/electronic audio in/out, DVI, S-video.. and despite its size, the case feels remarkably solid, even when holding it just from one edge, no detectable flexing. One of Apple's best designs, I'd say, with the daft caveat of the case coating seemingly porous to sweat acids - I've got a cool array of dots where I've apparently managed to etch a nebula-like pattern where my right palm rests. =:D

Yay Joe! I'm surprised DCS hasn't been more active with IDT lately, given the wealth of material for new strips, such as Gonzales' remarkable performance the other day, or the White House's assertion that they won't permit the DoJ to pursue contempt proceedings against their staff. Should be interesting to see whether the civil contempt process is replaced by a motion for inherent contempt, which is purely under the jurisdiction of Congress, and enforced by the Sergeant-at-Arms, potentially spelling arrest and detention in the Hill's jail.

As for health care, I had to check the URL of this posting from coongt was or wasn't from the Onion..

Yeah, one can only hope that they learnt something and that they will actually host their "off-site status page", well, *off-site* now. :P Fortunately, it wasn't too much of a problem, and didn't last for too long.

As for the cell phone market... yes, true. I suppose part of the reason is that Japan is just much less inhibited when it comes to technology (especially new technology) in general; it seems that it's not something that's just restricted to "geeks" (or at least young people in general), which may be what keeps companies from seeing a real market opportunity elsewhere. (One thing I've always thought was rather cool was the fact that the Famicom - the Japanese equivalent of the NES - actually had a peripheral modem that, among other things, allowed you to access an online banking service. I have a hard time imagining the same thing in the mid to late 80s in Europe or the USA.)

And in the USA at least and with regard to cell phones at least, you probably do need a certain critical mass to actually be (financially) able to put up enough cell phone towers to get a decent coverage throughout the entire country (something that will be less of a problem in Japan). But I'm just guessing there...

As for your laptop.. damn, that thing's better than my desktop system. x.x Well, admittedly, that one was bought in 2001 already, and remains largely unchanged, except for a bit more RAM (although it's still not enough) and a new DVD writer. Of course, 7 pounds is quite a bit, and I'd still choose the Panasonic myself, but given that I have none at all, I certainly wouldn't say no to either. :P

And yeah, it's a bit of a shame that D.C. hasn't been more active there... he's still doing Ozy & Millie, so obviously he hasn't disappeared completely, but IDT seems to have stopped updating for the most part, and that's really a shame, especially since I just found it around the time when he apparently gave up. >_> And yes, it's definitely not as if there wouldn't be lots of material, either...

Ah well. Mmm, yeah, and that certainly could've come straight out of the Onion - I guess when Dubya is involved, truth is indeed stranger than fiction.