Christina Aguilera`s thong and pool water: £810.00

Alas, bidding has ended for this item.

"you are buying miss Aguilera`s thong and pool water from photo shoot with maxim uk. this item has been leagaly obtained from Scott mills of BBC radio one uk who is belived to have obtained said items from a contact at maxim. Thease items were won in a radio one comp in December 2002 hosted by Scott Mills and consist of as follows; 1)One white thong. 2)One sealed tub of miss Aguilera pool water. 3)Compliment from Scott Mills (signed). 4)Compliment from the shows producer signed. 5)Maxim cover leter explaining that said issue has been embargoed, this also includes a few pointers from miss Aguilera for how single men can win her affections. 6)One issue of Maxim with conected feture."
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ATM shim hack

No doubt you've heard about people fitting their own fake card readers onto ATMs in order to capture card info; here are some pretty good pictures of one. It reads the info off the card, and captures your password by pointing a camera at the keypad! It then wirelessly transmits this info to the crooks, so they don't even need to go back and retrieve the gear! Pictures here (with captions in some strange moon-man language.) Worse pictures here (but in English.)

<LJ-CUT text=" --More--(67%) ">

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.-- .....--.-. .--..-...-.. ---- -----.-..... -.-.----...

At-sign added to Morse Code:
The new sign, which will be known as a "commat," consists of the signals for "A" (dot-dash) and "C" (dash-dot-dash-dot), with no space between them.

"It's a pretty big deal," said Paul Rinaldo, chief technical officer for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio operators. "There certainly hasn't been any change since before World War II."

While Morse code has a period, a question mark, and even a semicolon, it offers no simple way to articulate excitement. "I was hoping they'd add a character for the exclamation point," said Yocanovich, who is active in the International Morse Preservation Society. "It expresses an emotion that's difficult to get across any other way."

(Can the smiley be far behind?)

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I, for one, welcome our new damned dirty rodent-monkey-hybrid nuts-on-the-back overlords

Mice produce sperm from monkeys:
Mice have been used to produce viable monkey sperm using tissue transplanted from the testes of macaques. The latest procedure involves transplanting a tiny amount of testicular tissue from an immature rhesus macaque monkey under the skin of a lab mouse. After seven months, the testes grafts on the backs of the mice were seen to produce viable sperm. Grafting immature testis tissue appears to work because the host mouse had been castrated, Dobrinski says.
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"it was like a war zone..."

Isn't this phreddiva's car?

Isn't this, um, hell?

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DNA Lounge: Wherein event #500 is noted, and New York is ridiculed.

According to my calculations, tonight's event, Meat, will be our 500th event since we re-opened on July 13, 2001. So how about that.

While I'm at it, allow me to direct your attention to event number 503, the Nina Hagen show this sunday. This will be her third visit here (and fourth show, since she played two nights last year) and she always puts on quite a show. The opening act this time is Storm and The Balls. Storm's previous band, "Storm Inc.", played here in October 2001 -- one of our first live shows, in fact. Great show; I listen to their CDs a lot.


Last week, the SF Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the later last-call that I mentioned earlier, so now State Assemblyman Leno is going to propose legislation some time in the next few weeks. Based on public response, they've scaled back their proposal from "let large cities in California decide whether to have a later last-call" to "let San Francisco decide." (Apparently folks in other cities would rather not have that choice at all...)

So in the face of this good news, let's take a peek at what's happening on the opposite coast, shall we? Apparently there's a move afoot in New York City to pull back last call from 4AM to 1AM for many bars and restaurants! Not globally, but they'd make people jump through more permit hoops to be allowed to be open later than 1AM. Nice, huh? The New York Nightlife Association site has news about this. Of course, the NYNA is also trying to repeal the smoking ban in NYC, so it's not like they're sane or anything. That's just reason number two to never set foot outside of San Francisco.

Apparently they claim that the smoking ban has caused lots and lots of bars and clubs to go out of business in New York, causing "widespread industry layoffs", because apparently New Yorkers are such party animals that they'll say to themselves, "you know what, I'd like to go clubbing, but I can't smoke there, so I'll just stay home instead."

The California smoking ban improved my nightlife experience immeasurably. It only takes one trip out of the state to remind me of the horrors of coming home and having to leave my clothing outside because I can't stand to be in the room with their post-club stench. Hell, I can't wait until they ban smoking on sidewalks. And after cigarettes, I hope they go after patchoulli. I don't want to smell any of you fuckers! Get away from me!

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we mostly dodge the power-failure bullet.

Friday night I was meeting some folks for dinner, and we met at the club before opening. "Why don't I give you the 'lights on' tour of the club", I said, thus jinxing everything: for at around 9:30pm, the power went out on the whole block. The end of the tour was the 'lights out' tour. My friend Brad, who runs his own business, asked why I wasn't freaking out. I said, "because there are other people here to freak out for me, if freaking is warranted. They'll handle it." It's tough learning how to delegate, and he's trying to figure out how to do that better. So a little while later, Alexis had the yellow pages out and was looking for generator rentals... "See?" I said.

Fortunately the power came back on shortly after 10pm, because it seems that we didn't have a prayer of actually getting this place up and running on a generator, and being closed on a friday would have cost us a ton of money... Alexis got a hold of the electrician who installed our new system to ask him what we should order and how to hook it up, and his answer was something along the lines of, "hmmm, well, that's pretty complicated..." Apparently the fact that (as described in the July 2000 "Ask Dr. Science" interlude) we have "delta" three-phase power instead of "star" three-phase power, and that we actually use the mostly-useless 208v line (most people just ignore that one, and only use the two 120v lines) makes it tricky to hook a generator in...

So, that was a bullet dodged. I guess we're going to have our electrician come back out one of these days and like, put in some terminals that say "pull switch and attach generator here" or something.

    "Push to test."
    (Click.)
    "Release to detonate."

We also learned that our five UPS boxes can only keep the eleven PCs in the back office running without wall power for something like twenty minutes. That's like, not so good. So we missed the beginning of the webcast, since the power only came back on after 10pm, and the machines didn't run the 10pm "start the webcast" cron job until I did it by hand...

So later that night, I was showing Brad one of the screen savers that runs on the kiosks that scrolls text around in an arty way; the source of that text is set up to be the most-recent posts to LiveJournal, the blogging web site that Brad created. I started this screen saver and the first thing it printed was "open your wrists and the pain ends forever"! It continued on in that 10th-grade-goth-poetry way for a while, and he accused me of setting that up ahead of time. I hadn't, it was real-time. "Oh my god my users are so dumb!" he exclaimed.

Just then, some guy came up to us and said, "yo, yo, you gotta go to pimps and hoes dot com! Check it out!"

"You think your users are bad?" I asked.

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that sinking feeling

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Current Music: MKL -- Surrender ♬

computer chips are virus poop

Benign Viruses Shine on the Silicon Assembly Line

Dr. Belcher's team uses the virus as a temporary scaffolding on which the crystals grow. The viruses are first altered by the insertion of a few amino acid chains, called peptides, so that they attract a particular material like zinc sulfide or cadmium sulfide.

It is all a matter of affinity, molecular recognition and genetic programming, Dr. Belcher said. "We programmed the virus to grow a particular material at a particular length," she said. "Then we burned off the virus and were left with single-crystal semiconductor wires."

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the future that wasn't

The Bel Geddes #4

"There is a small railroad so the engines can be changed in flight, and moved around at ease within the auxiliary wing. The nonfunctioning motor can be replaced with a reserve motor within five minutes and broken motor run over to the machine shop and to be repaired on the spot. Bel Geddes figured that while it required 20 engines to lift the ship off the water, only 12 were needed to fly at cruising speed."

(More retro-future planes.)

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