Joho the BlogMay 2006 - Page 2 of 9 - Joho the Blog

May 28, 2006

Blackberry USB charging – Annoyance #412

My new Blackberry 8700c can be charged via a plain old USB cable attached to a PC. Yay! But unless you install the 35MB of Blackberry desktop software onto your laptop, the device rejects the charge. Boo!

I’m guessing that the software somehow regulates the voltage going out of the USB port, which I suppose is reasonable. It’s too bad Blackberry won’t allow you to choose to risk it in case of emergency. And it’s too bad Blackberry won’t let you download a small file rather than the 35MB monster for when, say, you’re away for Memorial Day Weekend and only have a dial-up connection.

[Note to potential burglars: While we’re away, Chuck Norris is staying in our house, and he’s coming down off a sugar high so you do not want to mess with him.] [Tags: ]


Fessing up

When I was about five years old, Miss Francis of Ding Dong School showed a drawing I’d made of a fawn, among the set of drawings children submitted every day.

I’d made that drawing by tracing a picture on the show Winky Dink — a show that assumed you’d bought their protective plastic coversheet for your TV screen so you could draw right on it.

My earliest media lesson therefore: If you want to violate copyright, first you have to copy right.

Now vee may perhaps to begin? [Tags: ]


May 27, 2006

It’s not a war

“President Bush says, just as the United States persevered and ultimately won the Cold War against communism, America will emerge victorious in the war on terror”

This is a dangerously bad comparison…part and parcel of the overall flight-suit version of the “war on terror.” Unless, of course, we want to extend the comparison with the war against communism and say that, just as there are still communists and communist nations, there will always be people willing to use the tactic of terrorism against us. And if that’s the case, fighting those who would kill us will never be enough.

The way to lasting safety ultimately is through peace. IMO. [Tags: ]


May 26, 2006

Psychology of game AI

I’m sure people have studied this already and that some work is already well-known, but I think it’d be interesting to investigate the principles game designers use when creating AI for characters to see if we can learn anything about human psychology at the theoretical level. Game designers aren’t trying to model human intelligence; they just want to not have enemies be sitting ducks who don’t notice when the character next to them takes one to the head. Given the designers’ extreme utilitarian and behavioral intentions, what can we learn about human psychology? Quite possibly nothing, but it’d be fun to learn about. [Tags: ]


Bloggers need not apply

Denise weighs in on the NYT story on blogs being held against job applicants. (She points to the Slashdotting of the story.)

Jeez, do we need a norm of understanding, which isn’t possible without a norm of forgiveness. And we’ll have ’em. It’ll just take time. [Tags: ]


May 25, 2006

Me again

Brian Oberkirch has posted a podcast interview he did with me last week at Syndicate. We talked mainly about the way in which many things are miscellaneous, I believe. [Tags: ]

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Day of out(r)age video

Andy Carvin has posted video he shot for Rocketboom of the telco protests outside the Mass. State House. [Tags: ]

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This page is broken in IE

My switch from a tables-based layout to CSS has worked pretty well in Firefox but in Internet Explorer 6.0 the entire right-hand column is missingpushed down the page. Hmm. I’m stumped. But it doesn’t take much to stump me.

[Note: The following problem was fixed, thanks to Yaron’s comment, below.] Plus, in both Firefox and IE, clicking on the “archive” or “search” link right below the “Colorblind?” style links causes something very unpleasant to happen. Here’s a the default css style sheet.

I know I’m doing something obviously dumb, but it’s just not obvious to me. That’s the thing about what’s obviously dumb – the dumbness consists of the fact that the obvious isn’t.


New issue of WordWays

The print-only journal for crazed logophiles, WordWays, has a new issue out. In it are such delights as:

Jeff Grant updates the explanations of some of the words in his 10×10 word square, which includes the “word” “Alan Browne,” an American Bank consultant listed in the 1988-89 Who’s Who in America. Sorry, Jeff, it still seems like cheating to me.

Eric Chaikin finds a sentence in Entertainment Weekly that inadvertently contains all the letters of the alphabet in just 61 letters. Thank goodness for Joaquin Phoenix!

Anil invents anacrograms: “Take the initial letter of each word in a common phrase, saying or longer quote, rearrange them and form a word or phrase that summarises or relates to it.” He calculates the fequencies of first letters in Dickens, Melville, Twain and Ian Watson.

Mike Keith reports on the results of a program he wrote to arrange the 100 tiles in Scrabble into four 5×5 double word squares (i.e., different words going across and down), using only words accepted in Scrabble. In twenty hours, his computer found 121.

Rex Gooch invents and finds antidextrous words, i.e., a word whose first half contains letters only from the second half of the alphabet, and whose second half contains letters only from the first half. E.g., unsuppliable, unoutspeakable, pronunciable, and sunnyside egg. Examples of ambidextrous words include bladder-snout and ambidextrous itself.

Jeremy Morse analyzes the frequency with which letters are not included in the 25,000 crosswords run in the London Daily Telegraph since 1925.

A Ross Eckler, the editor, has a fun piece on books about words we need or words we don’t need. “Blurb” comes from a 1914 book on words we need. “Ucalegon” — “a neighbor whose house is on fire” — is a word from Webster’s Second Unabridged that we could probably replace with “Hey, get out of your freaking house! It’s on fire!”

WordWays so needs to be a blog! [Tags: ]


Global Voices voices

Global Voices has produced its first podcast, 17 minutes of voices from around the world. It’s an interesting melange, covering lots of places, topics, styles and, well, voices. [Tags: ]

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