Monday, July 28, 2003

L.A. to Vegas Robot Cars
I linked to an article on this earlier this year. Here's another article on the government-sponsored contest where people will try to create vehicles that can cross the desert from L.A. to Vegas without human help. Kinda cool. (

Friday, July 25, 2003

I suggested this a long time ago...
Mind you, I'm not taking credit for it. You'd have to have an IQ of 5 to not realize that if LeBlanc wanted to do it, that it had a good shot... Cheers spun off Frasier and now Friends will spin-off Joey. Although I'm hoping for a title change. I also hope they move his character to Los Angeles, as a way of explaining why the rest of the friends are gone. Of course, they say they have no intention of using the finale as the launching pad, but doesn't it make sense that it should be? It all started when Rachel burst into Central Perk in a wedding dress, why shouldn't it all end when Joey moves to L.A.? (
And go ahead and Avoid Sprint PCS in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, too... (

Space-saving parking
Click to enlarge
This is in Venezuela and the way it's written, it's unclear if a flood next to a freeway picked up all the cars and deposited them in a pile, or if people driving next to the flood were distracted and all ran into each other. I figure it's probably the former, but wow, bad writing!

Ooh... da big scary bear!
Click to enlarge
This polar bear is having a reaction to some medicine. Apparently it was expected and not harmful. But man is it cool. They should change all the animal's colors at the L.A. Zoo for the month of April each year. That would sure bring up attendance.
Wow... Sprint PCS is pretty darn lame in Minneapolis/St. Paul (

Also, I was listening to the radio on the way in and this excited guy is doing a Honda ad. And at the end of the ad he says "Drop by or give us a call at 1-866-POWER-HONDA!"

No, my friend, your phone number is 1-866-POWER-HO and if people want to dial the NDA, that's their own fault for being unable to count.

Monday, July 21, 2003

A cool picture
Click to enlarge
(from MSNBC's Pictures of the Week. I'd include a link, but they make that difficult and I'm feeling lazy.)

Friday, July 18, 2003

Patent this, buttmunches!
Pinpoint Incorporated is a lame company that has some really bogus, duh-worthy and just plain stupid patents. They've applied for (and received) business method patents for all manner of customization techniques (such as most frequently requested pay-per-view becomes available more-often through computerized statistical analysis) and now they're going after people like Amazon, just because Amazon shows you products related to the products you've searched for or bought in the past, which they say is covered by one of their patents. (
Older Drivers
So there's news now that the guy who killed 10 people by driving through a famer's market in Santa Monica may have been fleeing a hit-and-run accident involving a parked car. *sigh* There was a bill that would require old people in California to be re-tested every two years starting at age 75 to keep their licenses, but it died in committee. This article is a really interesting opinion piece from a woman who realized she needed give up her car. <newsweek via
Ah, the French.... le morons fantastique!
The Culture Ministry of France has declared that the word "e-mail" is no longer a part of the French vocabulary, but that instead people should use a new made-up word "courriel" which is the combination of "courrier" and "electronique" which is a long way of saying electronic mail, although they appear to not know how to spell "electronic" or "courier" either.

Anyhow, I have a question about the new word "courriel". I originally attempted to send a courriel to the Culture Ministry but the courriel addressique goes to a person who no longer works there, apparentlyique. So, I'll post my question here in case some French person who speaks English and who doesn't hate Americans and still doesn't hate them after reading my message might want to respondique. (Should it actually be the English and not us who are offended, since it's their language that the French are trying to get people to stop speaking? Long live the queen and whatnot, eh?)

Anyhow, my question... "E-mail" could be used as both a noun and a verb.

Verb: "I e-mailed her." or "E-mail me!"
Noun: "I sent her an e-mail." or "Did you get my e-mail?"

Can "courriel" be used in the same fashion, as both a noun and a verb?

Can you "courriel" someone? Or do you have to send someone a "courriel"?

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Dirty Little Secret
Big companies want spammers to stop sending spam so that their spam doesn't get lost... (
I'm curious as to why there aren't more hijackings of car carriers. It seems like you could hook up with a driver at a small roadside diner and disable the tracking system and be on the road in no time at all. You could offload the cars on the side of the road somewhere... I'm guessing the cars probably don't have gas in them and the driver doesn't have the locks to unload the cars, but it still seems like quite the doable plan. Especially with those vinyl sided BMW carriers. You ditch the cab of the truck, check the trailer (and cars) for transmitters, affix new vinyl panels over the BMW logo, remove the distinctive rounded back ramp section, pull in your own cab, hook up and drive straight to the dock. Quickly transfer the cars to the standard stolen-car container, get your fee and be gone.
What you do in your house is your own business...
But, according to some Australian scientists, a little alone time could help guys stave off prostate cancer... Teenage boys everywhere are now asking dad to pick them up a copy of Playboy for "medical reasons"... (
In New York, they're on their knees praying to God you won't get Sprint PCS (more compelling notes in the "comments" section) (
Is Sprint PCS just a bunch of Nazis? Some guy in Memphis thinks so... (

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Ahoy, matey
Ok, so Lori and I have already seen it twice (and we took Steve and Adrea the first time, Rich and Christi the second time). Tonight Lori, Adrea and Christi are having a girl's night out so they can drool over Orlando Bloom and see it again. Disney likes those odds and have announced that a sequel is in the works. (, courtest of Lori, natch)
Dirty Rotten Scum
The FCC now is mulling allowing AOL Time Warner to offer advanced Instant Messaging features without opening up their systems to other IM software. (And don't say that Apple's iChat or Earthlink's IM are competitors.) The ban on advanced features without interoperability was a component of the FCC's approval for the merger of a great company with a piece of dirt dishonest company that eventually led to my downsizing. But I'm not still bitter. (
Sprint PCS bites in Detroit/Grand Rapids... (

Sprint PCS is lame in Ft Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach... (
MIT builds snail
This is kinda cool... scientists are trying to build an artificial snail to try to understand how they work and how they move. (msnbc)

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

It is probably about 90 here in the office right now. On one hand, this is a good thing... the house we've put an offer on has no air conditioning. On the other hand, this is a bad thing. You sweat profusely. I should ask to have my chair steam-cleaned after the air conditioning is fixed. Anyhow, we had a sign on the door for awhile saying "Please do not tell us it's hot in here. We know." Our office was hotter than the rest of the offices and people would come in and point this fact out to us and it just made it feel even hotter. Well, we took the sign down because we thought it was too sarcastic. But, several people today have taken it upon themselves to come in and point out that fact.

Which totally reminded me of this quote.

"One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don't keep exercising their lips, he thought their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried about the terrible number of things they didn't know about." -- Douglas Adams

Monday, July 14, 2003

Hey, guess what? Apparently Sprint PCS stinks like dead fish in San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland...
Sprint PCS is appalling in Cincinnati and Dayton...

Friday, July 11, 2003

Click to enlarge
Tooling around on a spool
Peter Bergstrom, left, and Jaron Heard move along residential streets toward downtown Walla Walla, Wash., on July 8 on a pair of wooden spools. The two teens had practiced on the spools at Heard's house. They said they were headed downtown to "act like big bears in a circus."

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Incredibly Pointless Technology
An Asian company is marketing the ability to hear music instead of the "ring" sound that you now hear while waiting for the person at the other end to answer the phone. This is dumb for two reasons... (1) You might like the song and then it ends because they've picked up the phone and they get grumpy with you. (2) Phone companies will use it to play advertisements instead of music.
Hello, it's your favorite song calling | CNET
In Minneapolis/St Paul, avoid Sprint PCS...
Sprint PCS = worthless in Charlotte...

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Any day now, this guy will be able to dump Sprint PCS in Boston (
Sprint Stinks in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (
AOL adds new phone features
See? This is the stuff I've been looking for. Why does it have to come from AOL?
Wal-Mart cancels 'smart-shelf' trial
I'm a little bummed. My guess is that ultimately it came down to cost. The tags are still rather expensive (10 cents each). They are going to start by focusing on using them in the warehouse and they're still asking their biggest suppliers to start using them on inventory. But I do like the idea of a more automated store, one that can tell you when it's running low on something and also tell you where products have been left incorrectly to aid in the process of restocking and shelf straightening. Having never worked retail (I was a food service man), I don't know why this interests me so much. I guess I just like order and efficiency and hate it when stores are out of something I want to buy.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

My wife wants a dog. If they were all this cool, all the time, maybe I'd be less hesitant.
Click to enlarge
Barry White died tonight.
A man who's probably done more for sex than condoms.

Saw a great fireworks display tonight... in San Marino, presented by the San Marino Fire Department. A fire department setting off fireworks. Hmmm... does this lend to the 'all-firement-are-pyros' theory?

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Sprint PCS - the funny smell in Atlanta

In other news, our offer was approved for the house and we're just moments away from being in escrow.