Tarry for the Nonce

September 29, 2005

To Infinity and Beyond

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:49 pm

I didn’t realize that Google was after Microsoft’s market.

Google Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it will build up to 1 million square feet of offices at NASA Ames Research Center and collaborate with the space agency on research surrounding topics such as supercomputing that could benefit everything from moon launches to online searches . . .

For Google, the new partnership comes at a time when the Internet search engine is expanding by leaps and bounds, hiring on average 10 people per day. Experts say the company, which now employs more than 4,000 people, has ambitions beyond Internet search and could pose a serious threat to Microsoft Corp. for supremacy in desktop consumer computing . . .

“Our planned partnership presents an enormous range of potential benefits to the space program,” said NASA Ames Center Director Scott Hubbard. At 1 million square feet, the new campus would be larger than filmmaker George Lucas’ new Presidio complex and nearly as big as the 52-story office tower in the Bank of America Center in San Francisco’s Financial District.

I guess San Francisco and San Jose lost out.

Got a Light?

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:43 pm

. . . then get online.

The common electric socket will serve as your home’s connection to broadband with a new chip developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. – doing away with all the Ethernet cables or the hassle of hooking up to a wireless network device . . .

The technology has been around for some time – including in the United States – but Matsushita’s system is unique in that it delivers fast-speed broadband information at up to 170 megabits per second, which is faster than Ethernet . . .

In the future home envisioned by Matsushita, people will be able to download and watch high-definition movies in any room of the house that has an outlet . . .

A network-connected refrigerator may allow users to connect from a mobile phone or laptop to check whether you’re low on eggs, for example. Or you may want to turn gadgets off or on, such as your washing machine or air-conditioner, from outside the home.

But for now, an adaptor when plugged into an outlet will allow gadgets with Ethernet connections – even those without the Matsushita chip – to receive broadband.

Spiffy.

An NEA Poster Child

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:38 pm

Shame on him for breaking the law, I guess, but I can’t help but feel an outpouring of sympathy for Ramirez-Mejia:

A 27-year-old Guatemalan man arrested for posing as an 18-year-old Pasco County high school student told authorities he enrolled because he wanted to learn English and get a good education . . .

Ramirez-Mejia was a good student and hadn’t caused any problems, [assistant superintendent Jim] Davis said . . .

Maximo Ramirez-Mejia of Holiday said his brother planned to finish high school, learn English and work in the United States for a few years before returning to Guatemala.

He said his brother came to the United States three years ago, and would work after classes at their Lake Worth tiling business.

The FBI told sheriff’s investigators that Ramirez-Mejia entered the United States illegally after being denied entry.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has begun deportment proceedings, Tampa-based spokeswoman Pam McCullough said.

Heck, at least someone has faith in the public school system. It seems to me that this is precisely the type of guy that U.S. Immigration would snap up.

Who Were They?

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:33 pm

Since a fetus is just a mass of tissue, I wonder why everyone is so disgusted and appalled by the Bogota incident:

Colombian police searching couriered packages for contraband made a chilling discovery on Wednesday: three human foetuses wrapped in plastic and concealed inside porcelain statues of Christian saints.

Anti-narcotics police chief General Jorge Baron said the four- to five-month-old foetuses were found at Bogota’s international airport, inside a cardboard box alongside crucifixes.

The package was being sent from the northern city of Barranquilla to Miami, he said, adding that its contents may have been for use in satanic rituals.

Some people are seriously twisted.

A Shrinking World

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:30 pm

Are emergency calls being routed to Indian call centers too?

Until last week, Madhavi Patel came to work each evening at a western India call center, put on her headset and American accent and spent the night taking calls from Americans about their credit cards. Then, Hurricane Rita happened.

The call center, run by Effective Teleservices of Lufkin, Texas, set up a hot line for victims of the hurricane, and Patel and more than 240 of her colleagues began long days and nights fielding thousands of calls from frantic, scared people affected by the storm half a world away . . .

In recent years, hundreds of Western companies have cut costs by farming out software development, engineering design and call center work to countries where workers are paid considerably less than their counterparts in the United States and Europe.

India is the undisputed king of outsourcing, receiving about 40 percent of the business _ a fact that has sown resentment in the United States and western Europe.

September 28, 2005

It Was Easy Though

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 11:37 pm

I also got 15/15 on one Pride and Prejudice quiz.

I got 25/25 on another Pride and Prejudice quiz.

I got 12/12 on yet another Pride and Prejudice quiz.

I think it’s safe to say I know a bit about Pride and Prejudice.

If you want some insight into how bad the upcoming movie will be, try the movie-specific quiz. Make your answers as melodramatic as possible. I am proud to say I only answered 6/10 correctly.

Universally Acknowledged

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 11:34 pm

In the spirit of my last post, I retook an old quiz and got a different result:

P&P
The Pride and Prejudice type: Truly an Austenite, this type is a Romantic at heart, but they always keep their head and are wary of melodrama. Lively, clever, and independent. These people are easily amused by their own foibles and the quirkly foibles of others. They lament society today, and dream of the time when guys were gentlemen and girls were ladies.

Jane Austen novel quiz.

Agog and Aghast

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 11:27 pm

Is there no end to Hollywood’s bastardly interpretation of Jane Austen?

As if it wasn’t loony enough to have Colin Firth soaking himself in putrid pond water before encountering a cranky Jennifer Ehle, now we have a Pride and Prejudice with a drippy-eyed, open-shirted, wind-whipped Mr. Darcy wooing a rebellious, licentious (and yet “modern”) Elizabeth Bennet.

I mean, come on! If I wanted to see a Bronte film, I would see a Bronte film. Jane Austen specifically deplored such nonsense.

Fay Weldon’s adaptation remains the best. Hands down. No contest.

Honestly. Forget the soppy moors and capes flailing about in slow motion. Austen is clever enough to thrive without such accoutrements.

A Wish Your Heart Makes

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 2:10 pm

I went and saw Disney Princesses on Ice.

What’s more, I enjoyed Disney Princesses on Ice.

I was probably the oldest non-mother person there . . . by fifteen years, at least.

Let the mockery begin.

Get Thee to a Nursery

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 12:46 am

It is unacceptable to be a single woman in some New York settings:

The Rivington Playground on Manhattan’s East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child. Forty-seven-year-old Sandra Catena says she didn’t see the sign when she sat down to wait for an arts festival to start. Two New York City police officers asked her if she was with a child. When she said no, they gave her a ticket that could bring a one thousand dollar fine and 90 days in jail.

The city parks department says the rule is designed to keep pedophiles out of city parks, but a parks spokesman told the Daily News that the department hoped police would use some common sense when enforcing the rule.

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