Pic of the Week 20080331

I was just thinking how I'd not updated a pic of the week lately, and then this little nugget fell onto my browser.

This test on international politics taken by Dubya shows a somewhat less than satisfactory result.

Uncyclopedic Knowledge

Care for a trip down what would be an excellent waste of time? Go peruse the Uncyclopedia - an obvious spoof on the web-staple Wikipedia, but in this case without any redeeming nuggets of truth whatsoever. Uncyclopedia's stated goal is to "provide the world's misinformation in the least redeeming and most searingly sarcastic and humorous way possible, through satire". Pure comedic genius. Don't take my word for it, here's a few to start you off:
"I have never seen a plan designed so ingeniously to fail so completely"
~ Oscar Wilde on No Child Left Behind

Note: Not for the comedically challenged. You've been warned.


Does Your Laptop Need a Battery?

Posted on Truemors 2008.03.27

Because of a recent fire in one of the biggest battery manufacturing plants in Korea, there is going to be a worldwide shortage of laptop batteries. Both HP and Dell are already doing their best to provide their customers with batteries without increasing the price.

Blizzard Sues Creator of WoW Bot

Posted on Slashdot 2008.03.26 18:41

Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, are suing Michael Donnelly, the creator of the MMO Glider program, which performs key tasks in the game automatically. Blizzard says the software bot infringes the company's copyright and potentially damages the game. 'Blizzard's designs expectations are frustrated, and resources are allocated unevenly, when bots are introduced into the WoW universe, because bots spend far more time in-game than an ordinary player would and consume resources the entire time,' Blizzard wrote in its legal submission to the court. More than 100,000 copies of the tool have been sold while more than 10 million people around the world play Warcraft. Donnelly says his tool does not infringe Blizzard's copyright because no 'copy' of the Warcraft game client software is ever made. The two parties are now awaiting a summary judgment in the case.


Download Of The Day: Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy) Beta ISO / CD

Posted: 24 Mar 2008 nixCraft Linux Sys Admin Blog

The Ubuntu project has released beta version 8.04 and available for download from the official project web site.
The Ubuntu developers are moving very quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the open source community has to offer. New feature includes:

  • GNOME 2.22
  • Linux kernel 2.6.24.
  • Firefox 3 beta
  • PulseAudio
  • Vinagre VNC client
  • Brasero CD/DVD burning application
  • There is a new installation option for Windows users. Wubi allows users to install and uninstall Ubuntu like any other Windows application. It does not require a dedicated partition, nor does it affect the existing bootloader, yet users can experience a dual-boot setup almost identical to a full installation.

The final stable version will be released in April 2008. Download cutting edge version from official mirror.


Anything that grows 'can convert into oil'

Company finds natural solution that turns plants into gasoline

Posted: March 19, 2008, WorldNetDaily

After three years of clandestine development, a Georgia company is now going public with a simple, natural way to convert anything that grows out of the Earth into oil.

J.C. Bell, an agricultural researcher and CEO of Bell Bio-Energy, says he's isolated and modified specific bacteria that will, on a very large scale, naturally change plant material – including the leftovers from food – into hydrocarbons to fuel cars and trucks.

"What we're doing is taking the trash like corn stalks, corn husks, corn cobs – even grass from the yard that goes to the dump – that's what we can turn into oil," Bell told WND. "I'm not going to make asphalt, we're only going to make the things we need. We're going to make gasoline for driving, diesel for our big trucks."

Wood pulp is among the many natural materials that can be converted into oil and gasoline, according to Bell Bio-Energy, Inc., of Tifton, Ga.

The agricultural researcher made the discovery after standing downwind from his cows at his food-production company, Bell Plantation, in Tifton, Ga.

"Cows are like people that eat lots of beans. They're really, really good at making natural gas," he said. "It dawned on me that that natural gas was methane."

Bell says he wondered what digestive process inside a cow enabled it to change food into the hydrocarbon molecules of methane, so he began looking into replicating and speeding up the process.

"Through genetic manipulation, we've changed the naturally occurring bacteria, so they eat and consume biomass a little more efficiently," he said. "It works. There's not even any debate that it works. It really is an all-natural, simple process that cows use on a daily basis."

Naturally occurring bacteria used to convert biomass into hydrocarbons.

But does he think it will make environmentalists happy?

"They love this. We had one totally recognizable environmentalist from Hollywood say this is everything they ever had hoped for," Bell said. "This could be considered the ultimate recycling of carbon. We are using the energy of the sun through the plant. We're not introducing any new carbon [to the environment]."

The research has received strong support from the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture and committees in both chambers of Congress, and Bell plans further discussions in Washington, D.C., next week.

Read full article...

Sun To Offer Ubuntu Linux Based Servers

Posted: 19 Mar 2008, nixCraft

Good news for all Debian / Ubuntu Linux fans. Sun has started to offer Ubuntu Linux based servers. Sun has systems competitively priced for small and medium businesses. Ubuntu is based upon rock solid Debian core. Look like Red hat and Novell going to have some nice competition. Sun offers x64-based systems certified for Ubuntu Linux:
  • x64 Rack Servers
  • Blade Servers
  • x64 Workstations
  • Workgroup Disk Storage
  • Tape Automation

=> Sun SMB Product Page (Via Arun’s blog)


Chore Wars

When I first heard of it, I thought it was a cute idea to get kids motivated to do chores, but didn't think it would fly with them... however, the kids have really run with the idea of Chore Wars. It's like an RPG game around doing chores. Sound goofy? Well, go and check it out to see what I mean - it's been going strong since last summer, and I can see why. Both the girls are actually excited about doing chores, and levelling their characters up past Donna and I!

My Chore Wars character


Yep, still alive here...

So last Friday I developed a bit of a cough, which quickly turned into a hacking that lost my voice and the entire weekend along with it. I was out Monday, and worked from home yesterday when I started to get my voice back again. Still under the weather, wish I could get this congestion under control... but back at work again anyways.

Wish I could think of something insightful. I will say this, as sporadic as my updates have been lately, I may just end up taking a sabbatical from blogging and give it a rest, recharge my creative batteries.


The Politics Test

You are a

Social Moderate
(55% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid.com: Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test


Pic of the Week 20080306

Been pretty lax about these lately, but this just arrived in my inbox courtesy of my buddy Rob. Still complaining about gas prices here in the States? Here are the gas prices per gallon from around the world:

(Click on the image for full-sized.)


RIP E. Gary Gygax

Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax dies at 69

Associated Press - March 4, 2008 1:35 PM ET

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The man who co-created the game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon is dead.

Gary Gygax (GEYE'-gaks) died this morning at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, about 55 miles southwest of Milwaukee.

His wife, Gail Gygax, says he had been suffering from health problems for several years, including an abdominal aneurysm.

Gygax and co-creator Dave Arneson developed the role-playing game in 1974 and it went on to become 1 of the best-selling games ever. Dungeons & Dragons is considered the grandfather of fantasy role-playing games and has influenced video games, books, movies and inspired legions of adoring fans.

Gygax' wife says he always enjoyed hearing from the game's devoted fans about how the game influenced their lives.

I've come across two nice tributes from my daily webcomic roundup, Penny Arcade and Order of the Stick. And though I know the puns are rampant (yes, I'm wearing my Clock of Mourning +5 today) I feel as if an icon had truly left us. So much of what he created, what he left the groundwork for, made such an impression on me and my imagination. It made me who I am today. Thanks Gary, for helping so many of us believe in the possibilities.


Mobo maker builds 'powerless' processor cooling fan

Mobo maker MSI has come up with a novel way of keeping processors cool and conserving energy at the same time: the CPU to drive its own fan.

It's actually a new implementation of an old discovery. MSI's Air Power Cooler uses the energy inherent in the expansion of air as it warms up to drive a fan.

Read full article...