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RE: Changing Lanes
Topic: Society 7:34 am EDT, Aug  7, 2008

noteworthy wrote:
I've rarely felt compelled to award a Gold Star to a Comment in the New Yorker. But this latest piece by Elizabeth Kolbert earns it.

High energy costs are here to stay. People need to cowboy up and accept reality.

RE: The political slant of this article.

So it's John McCain's fault? I'm not sure why he's wrapped up in this piece other than to take pot shots. Considering Obama's recent change of heart with respect to offshore drilling, I'd say it's a moot point in deciding between the two now. That's politics during a campaign for you. What you may think a politician holds as a solid conviction can change between the time you write your article and once it has gone to press.

RE: The other point.

I've quoted the 25%/5% ratio to people for years now. I always follow it with "do you think the rest of the world will be able to consume like us? Something has to give, there's not enough to go around at that rate."

Blank stares ensue.

RE: Changing Lanes

RE: Binary Crop Circle?
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:19 am EDT, Aug  7, 2008

skullaria wrote:
"Okay, guys, let's end all of this xenophobic, fearful denial and get serious. Does anyone really believe that two old guys with rope and boards made the 1368-digit Crabwood CD message by hand, late at night while no one was looking, and contrary to all other eyewitness accounts of its creation? You might as well believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny!

Come on, all of you geeks and nerds worldwide: let's get to it! You can be even more famous than Jodie Foster in Contact if you succeed! (Carl Sagan used a wormhole there too, because his friend Kip Thorne told him they were possible.)"

If I look at Crop Circles as nothing but....performance art....I'm still amazed - the 'quality' and quantity of the art just gets better and better!

Tired, waking up, no coffee but my first impression was...

If this message is from aliens, why would they come all this way, go through the trouble to lay down a message like that, but fuck with us with things like "false capitalization?"

RE: Binary Crop Circle?

RE: Greenspan Says Housing Prices Not Yet Near Bottom
Topic: Home and Garden 1:33 pm EDT, Aug  2, 2008

possibly noteworthy wrote:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said falling U.S. home prices are "nowhere near the bottom" and the resulting market turmoil isn't showing signs of abating.

He said there are 12 million homeowners with negative equity. Many of those homeowners are likely to foreclose or just walk away.

Good exploration of how walking away from your mortgage is losing the stigma it once had:

RE: Greenspan Says Housing Prices Not Yet Near Bottom

The end of western civilization
Topic: Society 1:57 pm EDT, Aug  1, 2008

We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.

I was about to comment, but someone already stole my words from the comments on this article:

Submitted by Sidslang on Fri, 08/01/2008 - 08:01.

This article would be funny if it wasn't so astoundingly ridiculously misguided. Never mind the apocalyptic hyperbole; kids in keffiyehs are not about to destroy the world. The irony here is that Adbusters laments the very cultural climate they have worked so hard over their publishing history to create: a subculture of hip dissenters who don't care a whit for real, substantive social action and have been lead to think that going to indie rock shows and riding bikes and buying expensive clothes at somewhere other than the Gap makes them revolutionaries. Of course, all countercultural movements in capitalist economies have been about spending money, but it is only comparatively recently that spending money (ie. contributing to the capitalist system) has been figured as some kind of resistance to it. And who is the main proponent of this ineffectual "culture jamming"? Adbusters. If hipsterdom is a monster, Adbusters created it.

The end of western civilization

RE: Subprime lending not main trigger of real estate bubble
Topic: Society 11:29 am EDT, Jul 31, 2008

Decius wrote:

The researchers found that rising home prices up to 2003 could be explained by economic fundamentals, such as low unemployment rates, expanding household incomes and population growth. These factors fueled housing demand and, in turn, increased U.S. home prices. During this time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac actively issued and purchased conventional, conforming mortgage-backed securities.

But in 2003, political, regulatory and economic factors – including accounting irregularities that led to their senior officers’ resignations and the capping of their retained loan portfolios – forced the two entities to significantly slow their lending volume. Private funding in the form of asset-backed securities and residential mortgage-backed securities replaced conventional, conforming mortgage-backed securities as the prevalent source of mortgage capital.

The new credit environment allowed looser underwriting standards and increased tolerance for riskier, high-yield loan products. Such products included adjustable-rate mortgages with low initial “teaser” rates, Alt-A loans that did not require income verification and nonowner-occupied investor products. This borrowing climate provided previously marginal borrowers with additional access to credit.

Curious what your take is on this:

Ben Bernanke's Hush Money

RE: Subprime lending not main trigger of real estate bubble

RE: Online, R U Really Reading?
Topic: Society 8:12 pm EDT, Jul 30, 2008

possibly noteworthy wrote:

As teenagers’ scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading — diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books.

But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount.

Cringely wrote a similar article in March.

"...we've reached the point in our (disparate) cultural adaptation to computing and communication technology that the younger technical generations are so empowered they are impatient and ready to jettison institutions most of the rest of us tend to think of as essential, central, even immortal."


"Andy Hertzfeld said Google is the best tool for an aging programmer because it remembers when we cannot. Dave Winer, back in 1996, came to the conclusion that it was better to bookmark information than to cut and paste it. I'm sure today Dave wouldn't bother with the bookmark and would simply search from scratch to get the most relevant result. Both men point to the idea that we're moving from a knowledge economy to a search economy, from a kingdom of static values to those that are dynamic."


"Steve Jobs rejects the idea of Apple making or distributing e-books because he says people don't read books. He's right, book readers are older. Young readers graze. They search. Look how they watch TV. Steve didn't say people are stupid or we're all going to Hell in a handbasket. He just said we don't read books."

RE: Online, R U Really Reading?

RE: The Dark Knight
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:28 am EDT, Jul 19, 2008

Acidus wrote:
See this. See this right. freaking. now. The awesomeness is... awesome.

Except for the contrived conclusion that seemed bolted on out of necessity more than anything (I'm thinking more along the lines of "huh huh, BatRadar, huh huh") I agree wholeheartedly. What a fucked up Joker! Mad mad mad

RE: The Dark Knight

Nophest in Atlanta - Music and Arts festival 4/18 - 4/20 - Free Beer!
Topic: Recreation 10:22 am EDT, Apr 16, 2008

Bands, DJs, performers, bike races, workshops, art, movies, free beer! Nophest is this weekend in Atlanta.

@ Parkgrounds, 142 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA

A metric ton of arts and music. I'll be there with fellow Nashville electronic music operative Logickal. Hope to see/meet some of you out there! Feel free to forward on to anyone I missed, I lose track of how many Memestreams folks live in Atlanta.

More info at

Nophest in Atlanta - Music and Arts festival 4/18 - 4/20 - Free Beer!

New pro-sumer Casio camera does 60fps burst, HD video, 300 to 1200fps high speed video
Topic: Technology 2:06 pm EDT, Apr  3, 2008

A typical shirt-pocket camera, if you’re lucky, can snap one photo a second in “burst mode.” A $1,000 semipro model will get you 3 shots a second. But this Casio can snap — are you ready for this? — 60 photos a second. These are not movies; these are full six-megapixel photographs, each with enough resolution for a poster-size print.


The F1’s second trick is that business about photographing a moment after the fact. In pre-record mode, you half-press the shutter button when you’re awaiting an event that’s unpredictable: a breaching whale, a geyser’s eruption or a 5-year-old batter connecting with the ball. The camera silently, repeatedly records 60 shots a second, immediately discarding the old to make room for the new.

When you finally press the shutter button fully, the camera simply preserves the most recent shots, thus effectively photographing an event that, technically speaking, you missed.


Most stunning of all, this camera can film at outrageously high frame rates: 300, 600, or even 1,200 frames a second. The result is incredibly smooth, extremely slow motion, like something in an Imax nature movie. No still camera has ever offered anything like this feature.

* * *

I've been lusting after this thing ever since I saw the news from CES. Looks like it has a US release date now, according to this article, in two weeks.

Think I'll wait until the second generation tech. but this is a pretty exciting development in the consumer space.

New pro-sumer Casio camera does 60fps burst, HD video, 300 to 1200fps high speed video

RE: Music File Compressed 1,000 Times Smaller than MP3
Topic: High Tech Developments 1:51 pm EDT, Apr  3, 2008

possibly noteworthy wrote:

Researchers at the University of Rochester have digitally reproduced music in a file nearly 1,000 times smaller than a regular MP3 file.

The music, a 20-second clarinet solo, is encoded in less than a single kilobyte, and is made possible by two innovations: recreating in a computer both the real-world physics of a clarinet and the physics of a clarinet player.

The achievement, announced today at the International Conference on Acoustics Speech and Signal Processing held in Las Vegas, is not yet a flawless reproduction of an original performance, but the researchers say it's getting close.

Wow, Jonathan Sherwood was REALLY stretching for a good headline hook. This has nothing to do with compression!

Virtual instruments are nothing new. I think it's pretty cool how they're analyzing specific instruments and trying to reverse engineer the technicalities of how something was performed though, that's the real story here.

RE: Music File Compressed 1,000 Times Smaller than MP3

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