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compos mentis. Concision. Media. Clarity. Memes. Context. Melange. Confluence. Mishmash. Conflation. Mellifluous. Conviviality. Miscellany. Confelicity. Milieu. Cogent. Minty. Concoction.

United States Patent: 7032166 | Method and apparatus for protecting data
Topic: High Tech Developments 8:38 pm EDT, May 22, 2006


In one aspect, a technique is provided for protecting a data set with a parity set defined by a bipartite graph having a degree distribution that includes no parity symbol having a degree less than three. In another aspect, a parity set defined by an irregular bipartite graph is transmitted along with the data set, and corruptions in the data set are decoded using the data set and the parity set. In another aspect, a particularly useful degree distribution for the parity symbols is defined.

And it only took 3.5 years.

United States Patent: 7032166 | Method and apparatus for protecting data

Heavy Trash
Topic: Music 12:13 am EDT, May  5, 2005

Fans of Jon Spencer will be interested in his latest side project. It's no classic, but it's still a lot of fun. Recommended.

As a kid growing up in Canada, Matt Verta-Ray used to argue with his pals that Johnny Cash was cooler than KISS. When he moved to New York, he put his theory into extreme practice by thumping the bass with Madder Rose and then creating a stabbing electric guitar style with Speedball Baby.

The Rhapsody reviewer wrote: "This greasy celebration of the early sounds of rock 'n' roll dips its stained fingers into rockabilly and early '60s frat rock. Spencer and Verta-Ray take turns putting the mic in their mouths and then hollering and generally acting like feral beasts."

Heavy Trash

Aimee Mann | The Forgotten Arm
Topic: Music 12:06 am EDT, May  5, 2005

Aimee Mann's new album is in stores now. (The iTunes Music Store has an exclusive bonus track.) You can experience the multimedia version at her web site.

The Forgotten Arm is the new studio album from the Grammy and Oscar nominated singer/songwriter Aimee Mann. Aimee's songs have a literary quality to them — sharp, spare short stories set to music — so it was probably inevitable that she would one day make a concept album, the musical equivalent of a novella. The Forgotten Arm , her fifth solo release, is exactly that: a dozen songs that tell, rather loosely, the story of John and Caroline as they meet, fall in love and road trip across America.

If you'd like to read some reviews, check Google News. You'll find articles from MSNBC, Boston Globe, and many more.

Aimee Mann | The Forgotten Arm

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
Topic: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature 11:42 pm EDT, May  4, 2005

This book is a must read. It is absolutely worth the time.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller.

Elegant, witty and utterly compelling, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell creates a past world of great mystery and beauty that will hold the reader in thrall until the last page.

Here are some of the reviews:

Neil Gaiman: "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years."

Time magazine: "A chimera of a novel that combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien."

Washington Post: "Many books are to be read, some are to be studied, and a few are meant to be lived in for weeks. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is of this last kind ..."

Kirkus: "An instant classic, one of the finest fantasies ever written."

In March, it was announced that New Line Cinema (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is adapting the book for a feature film production.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

The Great Leveling
Topic: International Relations 3:23 pm EST, Apr  2, 2005

"It's not about ruling anybody. That's the point. There is nobody to rule anymore."

"The most important force shaping global economics and politics in the early twenty-first century" is not the admittedly important war on terrorism but a "triple convergence -- of new players, on a new playing field, developing new processes and habits for horizontal collaboration."

Friedman offers an engrossing tour of Flat World, but he sometimes overestimates its novelty.

It's not at all clear we'll like the long-term geopolitical consequences of having emerging powers reliant on scraps from the American economic table.

In a sense, The World Is Flat serves as a sort of bookend to this spring's other blockbuster economics book, Jeffrey D. Sachs's The End of Poverty.

While The World Is Flat is not a classic like From Beirut to Jerusalem, it is still an enthralling read.

The Great Leveling

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
Topic: International Relations 3:12 pm EST, Apr  2, 2005

Tom Friedman's new book is in stores on April 5.

When scholars write the history of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?

In this brilliant new book, the award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists.

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

A Film Offers Buckets of Blood in Three Designer Colors
Topic: Film Noir 8:25 am EST, Mar 31, 2005

If Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" shocked audiences with up-close gore, and his "Kill Bill" movies racked up record numbers of spurting arteries and flying body parts, his pal Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City," which opens in 3,300 theaters nationwide tomorrow, may set a new mark for its stomach-churning versatility.

Try this for range: cannibalism, castration, decapitation, dismemberment, electrocution, hanging, massacres, pedophilia, slashings and lots and lots of torture.

A Film Offers Buckets of Blood in Three Designer Colors

Recommender Systems, Collaboration, and Social Good
Topic: Technology 9:14 am EST, Mar 25, 2005

The whole intuitive idea is word of mouth.

Recommender Systems, Collaboration, and Social Good

Meme Maps for 'Jeremy', 'Decius', and 'Rattle', September 2001 - March 2005
Topic: MemeStreams 6:51 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

These are histograms of the timestamps for all entries posted to three MemeStreams:

Jeremy, from the first post on October 8, 2001 through the post previous to this one on March 12, 2005;

Decius, from the first post on September 5, 2001 through the latest post on March 11, 2005; and

Rattle, from the first post on September 8, 2001 through the latest post on March 8, 2005.

You'll notice significant differences among the three graphs.

The X axis shows time of day (in Pacific time). Each day of the week is shown in a different row and color along the Y axis. The height of each bar in the Z axis represents the cumulative number of posts bearing a timestamp of the corresponding day and time.

Meme Maps for 'Jeremy', 'Decius', and 'Rattle', September 2001 - March 2005

Topic: Movies 4:12 pm EST, Mar 12, 2005

Long-retired gunslinger William Munny (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes one last job -- and even more reluctantly accepts a boastful youth as a partner. Together, they discover how easily complicated truths are distorted into simplistic myths about the Old West.


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