Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shatner as Palin

This is an absolute classic. Up there with Jesse Jackson reciting Green Eggs and Ham.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bye bye Barcode

Researchers have come up with another replacement for the barcode, called "bokodes."  It's the little circle at the center of the attached picture surrounded by the current suite of barcodes.  It can be read by mobile phones, leading to a whole range of new ways to shop.  By the coolest new thing is how it could be used with Google maps:

Dr Mohan said they could also be used to augment the information incorporated into Google Streetview, a service which allows users to browse a selection of pictures taken along city streets.

At the moment the images for Streetview - accessible through Google Maps - are collected by trucks and cars fitted with several cameras.

"Shop and restaurant owners can put these Bokodes outside their stores and as the Google truck is driving down the street it will capture the information in that."

For example, a restaurant could put menu information inside the tag.

When the data is uploaded to Google Maps, it would automatically be displayed next to the image of the restaurant, said Dr Mohan.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bill Gates Predicts the Future

In a speech in New Delhi, Bill Gates talked about some of the next breakthroughs in technology.

Mr. Gates spoke of cellphones that would recognize people around them or be used to test for diseases, computers equipped with voice recognition and an Internet that was used for much more than Web pages.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gates v. Crowley

Here's my view of the incident in Cambridge. Whichever of the protagonists I was, I would respond the same way.

If I was Professor Gates, I'd be royally pissed that a cop was hassling me in my own home. If I was the cop, I'd be pissed that this elitist jerk was hassling me for doing my job.

I could play both parts and it would end up the same way. In fact, it probably would have been worse because there would have been violence.


Here's the headline on the afternoon notice I get from CQ everyday:

House Leaders Say They've Met Concerns of Dissident Democrats

My spirits lifted.

Here's the headline you get when you click through:

House Dissidents Still Not Satisfied on Health Bill

It's going to be a long, ugly debate.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the Loop - Movie Review

I saw a screening last night of the movie, In the Loop, in advance of its U.S. opening on Friday. It has already opened in the UK. I loved it! It is smart, very funny, cynical and very, very profane.

Set in Washington and London, it's a behind the scenes look that the bureaucratic machinations when two governments are scheming to go to war. It is clearly inspired by the run up to the war in Iraq and some of the incidents depicted will be very familiar to those paying attention to the maneuvers that were engaged to build the case for war in 2002 and 2003.

It is a dark comedy and the characters are larger than life. Peter Capaldi, apparently Scottish by his accent, is one of the great political characters I've ever seen in a movie. I've never heard of him before this movie, but I'll never forget him now. He is belligerent and arrogant and utters the most colorful curses you will ever have heard. James Gandolfini makes you forget, to some degree, about Tony Soprano, playing a tough general trying to avoid war. And, finally, there is Tom Hollender, playing the wimpy, cowardly British minister at the center of the action.

The script is brilliant and look for collections of the best quotes from the movie. It reminded me a bit of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids. And it moves so fast, I'm already anxious to see it again to catch some of the lines I might have missed.

Sadly, I don't expect the movie to be a massive hit. It doesn't seem to have the ingredients for wide popular appeal. For instance, there are no heroes. Everyone is either clueless or corrupt or both. But I do expect it to become a cult classic, particularly among political junkies.

Next year, at this time, I imagine there will be packed midnight shows in London and Washington.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Jean Gaetjens on Sailing

My friend, Jean Gaetjens, talks about sailing on a Hobie Cat in Montego Bay, Jamaica, July 3rd, 2009.