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Archive for September, 2006

Random idea: VoIP barbershop quartet

Posted September 24th, 2006 by Talin

Everyone likes to sing, but there’s so few opportunities to sing with other people. How about a web service that allows voice over IP sing-alongs? You’d see a list of “channels” where people are singing, and then you could join a channel and start singing along. There might be some latency issues – but you could probably overcome that by choosing to sing with people who were “nearby” (in network terms).

Repressed!

Posted September 24th, 2006 by Talin

I had to remove the little applet from Irrepressible.info because it was causing the site to be unviewable in IE browsers. (Speculation as to the possible collusion of Microsoft with repressive foreign governments is expected to follow shortly…)

Favorite Pixar Movie: The Incredibles

Posted September 24th, 2006 by Talin

I recently bought a DvD of Pixar’s The Incredibles, and so far I’ve watched it 5 times, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet. I’m not sure what it is about that movie – the characters designs are so disorted to be almost grotesque, and yet they are animated so gracefully and naturally that you almost don’t notice. Plus the characters themselves are very compelling and human…I want to know more about them.

“Accelerando” is fantastic

Posted September 24th, 2006 by Talin

Accelerando is a new science fiction novel by Charles Stross, which is just brimming over with ideas. Even the casual throw-away ideas are great. I mean, what other book would have characters speculating that perhaps the cosmic background radiation is irreducible computational noise left over from some really big calculation…?

The main theme of the book is: what happens when your children become so technologically advanced that you are no longer capable of understanding them anymore? And what happens when their children become so advanced that they can’t understand them anymore? And so on…

Some of the cultural references are daunting…for example, one of the main characters is a robotic cat names AiNeko. I laughed out loud when I read that…because its a play on words of “Aibo” (the name of Sony’s robotic toy dog they marketed a few years back, and “neko”, which is not only the Japanese word for “cat”, but also the name of a famous software program in which a kitten chases your mouse pointer around the screen.) There’s also the Free Genome Foundation, which is a reference to the Free Software Foundation. The goal of the Free Genome Foundation is to create an optimized version of the human genome (with various software bugs such as cancer and sickle-cell anemia edited out), but free of any patents or intellectual property encumerances, so that anyone can have a superchild without having to pay massive corporate royalties.

Fun stuff… :)