Based on the title to this post, at least half our loyal readership should know that I am going to talk about Sam Fisher and the superb game Splinter Cell. If they didn’t, shame on them. In the game Splinter Cell, Sam Fisher has many tools at his disposal to carry out the fifth freedom. One of the most useful is the sticky camera, a controllable camera (fired from the SC-20K) that sticks to whatever it hits (except people, for some reason). The sticky camera is an invaluable tool to gather intelligence from a safe position.
Although this technology doesn’t exist yet (that we know about), it appears research is heading in that direction. Lockheed Martin is providing funding for a “smart bullet”, currently under development at the University of Florida. The bullet would be fired by compressed gas within the gun and would therefore be reusable, just like the sticky camera. It would wirelessly transmit information back to a computer up to 70m away. Although they haven’t found a specific use for it, detecting traces of TNT and counter-surveillance were discussed.
Looks like the California State Senate followed through on their previously reported efforts to limit Gmail, overwhelmingly approving (24-8) a heavily amended SB 1822:
The bill by Democratic state Sen. Liz Figueroa would require Gmail to work only in real-time and would bar the service from producing records.
The bill also would bar Gmail from collecting personal information from e-mails and giving any information to third parties.
Considering the bill in its original form would have severly restricted Gmail, the approved bill is not that bad. I’m glad not everyone is an idiot…
We’re now running WordPress 1.2. Check the release announcement and the changelog for more details.
We use CVS to manage the source code for supercrime.org. It allows all of us to make changes simultaneously and greatly eases the difficulty in upgrading to new versions of WP. To give you an idea how easy this makes things, here’s a listing of all the commands needed to upgrade our site from 1.2-rc2 to 1.2-mingus (the final release version):
$ wget http://wordpress.org/latest
$ tar zxvf wordpress-1.2-mingus.tar.gz
$ cd wordpress/
$ cvs import -m \"WordPress 1.2-mingus\" supercrime/web WP_DIST WP_1_2
$ cd ..
$ cvs checkout -jWP_1_2_rc2 -jWP_1_2 supercrime/web
$ cd supercrime/
$ cvs ci -m \"Merge 1.2-mingus\"
$ cd ..
$ rm -rf wordpress*
We all know the stories about ridiculous legislation that is still on the books in varying cities, counties, and states for reasons long forgotten which has now been relegated to nothing more than quaint trivia.
However, Ron Lewis, U.S. Representative from The Bluegrass State hopes to change all of that. Representative Lewis recently introduced House Resolution 3920, euphemistically titled “Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004″, which would allow Congress to reverse judgments of the Supreme Court with a 2/3 vote in both houses.
I don’t want to go off on a rant here, and for once, I won’t. Thank you Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate for writing one for me.
I saw this mentioned on Slashdot and checked for myself. Gmail now appears to offer 1 TB (1000000 MB) instead of 1 GB (1000 MB):
Some say this is in response to a recent announcement by Lycos, but most likely it’s just a decimal point error. Regardless, I can now boast that I have a terabyte email account…
If binary prefixes confuse you, check out this entry over at Wikipedia.
Update (noackjr @ 01:44 am 06/09/2004): Looks like it was just a goof; it now says 1000 MB again…
I still haven’t decided how I feel about the failed attempt by a group which attempted to steal $70 million in gold bullion from Heathrow airport this morning.
Now we know active supercrime groups exist; they aren’t terribly successful, but they exist. I guess if anything this is a lesson in what not to do.
That’s right, it’s been a week since I lasted posted something about the site. While I recognize this is a rather long time, I’m trying to get into this whole “post content” thing. We’ll see how I do. In the meantime I updated the site to WordPress 1.2-rc1. Read more at the WordPress Dev Blog.
I was originally planning to use Movable Type for supercrime.org. Turns out Movable Type didn’t play well with Yahoo! Web Hosting, so I was forced to look for alternatives. I eventually found WordPress and have been quite pleased with it. Given the recent developments with MT 3.0, I must say I was very fortunate with my (eventual) choice of WordPress. WP is released under the GPL, so I don’t have to worry about licensing fees…
Behold, I give you the Keg Wrap:
Case student to brew up solution to keep beer kegs cool
Adam Hunnell receives $20,000 grant to develop Keg Wrap prototype
This is outstanding. I am nearly at a loss for words, but not quite. If he actually succeeds in bringing the Keg Wrap to market, I predict keg sales will rise 20% while the price will drop 10%. Think about it: what do you usually get with a keg?
- a tap
- plastic cups
- a trash can
- bags of ice
Assuming it is designed to minimize condensation, the Keg Wrap eliminates numbers 3 and 4! The added convenience will boost sales, and not having to deal with trash cans or ice will reduce costs.
Cyrus Taylor, Armington professor of physics and director of the Physics Entrepreneurship Program, said “If this turns into the kind of market Adam has identified, it will be enormously exciting.
“We often think of inventions as having world-changing potential. But if you can use this kind of technology for a consumer product that makes people’s lives better, that’s fantastic,” Taylor said.
Let me tell you, this would make my life better:
Me: Only two things scare me, and one is nuclear war.
You: What’s the other?
Me: Excuse me?
You: What’s the other thing that scares you?
Me: Warm beer.
Me: Warm beer. It’s flat you know. Smells like urine. No head.
The best part about the whole article:
A native of Washington, Pa., Hunnell conceived of the idea with some friends one evening while a sophomore at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Aren’t most sophomores too young to drink?
I desperately wanted this site to refrain from all things political when I helped found it. Unfortunately, the recent events at Abu Gharib and now the execution of Nick Berg have cut me to the core and I can’t hold back anymore. The political is the personal, and for me the political has fallen away and I am left so profoundly saddened that I have to say something.
Neither the photos of American soldiers denigrating Iraqi prisoners nor the video of Al-Qaida fighters beheading an American citizen shocked me. I have learned of and scene enough examples of human atrocity to know the baseness that man is capable of, and my eyes are long scarred with images of suffering and loss I fear I will one day see in person. In Abu Gharib and Nick Berg I see two cultures of people expressing their hatred of the other in the most poignant way possible. Male sexual humiliation strikes the heart of Islamic values in the same manner that the murder of innocents bites the soul of Americans. Both acts are so horrible that “worse” cannot be applied to either. Dante’s Hell has no level for this vulgarity and the shame of these actions is all of mankind’s to bear.
Hatred begets itself and certitude leads to nothing but violence. The world is snowballing out of control and the brinksmanship of violence shows no signs of slowing. Nobody is right anymore. There are no terrorists. There are no liberators. We are simply a people who have wandered so far from the path that we have forgotten we are lost.
I was told by a friend last night that the problem with religion is that it separates the sacred from the human, setting us apart from what we aspire to be. That, to me, is the essence of what makes the sacred desirable, for when I see what I am capable of in the actions of others I can only dream of a sacred that has abandoned man’s imperfections. All that separates us from it is a reluctance to let go of our hate; I pray for this realization.
When I was growing up I always wanted to work in the local Mom n’ Pop video store, which went by the name Video Venture. I have Pete to thank eternally for my overexposure to B-Horror and 2-bit action films of the 80’s. My dreams of becoming the next Tarantino were shattered when I learned that I would need to be 18 to work in the store because of the adult video section in the back. Aspirations thwarted for years I have finally discovered just what it is that I was missing. True Porn Clerk Stories by Ali Davis, an underemployed actress/improv comedian in Chicago, chronicles the year and a half she spent as a clerk at a “we rent all ratings” establishment. The journal was written in 2002 and Ali has moved onto a brighter porn free future, and as per usual I am a year behind the times in finding her story.
If this was a shitty movie review I would probably say that the journal is “laugh out loud funny” or to quote Brian Gallagher “One Hell of a ride!” I won’t taint your perceptions with a review, but I will say that you shouldn’t start reading it until you have a few hours on your hands because you won’t be able to stop scrolling. That just doesn’t have the same ring as saying you won’t be able to put it down. Ahhhh….another idiom lost forever to Shub-internet.