I, for one, welcome... wait, no I don't.

Or, "Dear Korean people, please stop exploring your sithuality."

Tags: , ,

I, for one, welcome our new boob-groping robotic overlords

Robotic arm for breast exams

Women living in remote areas who don't have easy access to health care will someday be able to have a breast exam thanks to robotic technology being developed at Michigan State University.

A health-care provider will slip the hand into a glove-like instrument to move the robotic arm that is with the patient in a remote location. "That arm, which actually looks like a hand, is equipped with sensors," explained Carol Slomski, at MSU. "As the hand touches the patient, the sensation from this touch comes back into my hand. When the robotic fingers feel a lump or some other abnormality, I also feel it."

I love this notion that these "remote areas with no health care" are more likely to have a boob-bot than to have a doctor who knows how to do a breast exam. "Yeah, here in Outer Bumfuckistan, you can't swing a cat without hitting a robot technician, but a general practicioner? Forget it."

Tags: , , ,

Chicken Holocaust

Dutch Farmer Takes Unusual Skills to Asia:

"Now he is also taking his skills to some places that need them urgently: Asian nations fighting bird flu. He has brought them some of his bird-slaughtering machines, such as the AED-100, which kills about 10,000 birds per hour, catching them by the feet and dragging their heads through an electrified pool of water.

"In the past two years, Mr. Kiezebrink has worked with health officials from nearly a dozen countries on how to safely and quickly eradicate birds that may have been exposed to flu. 'He's one of Europe's, if the not the world's, most prominent chicken killers, for want of a better word.'"

Tags: ,

"City Living Reinvented"

There's a new building under construction that has already completely eliminated my view of downtown. This makes me sad, because I really liked my view (especially the awesome deco jukebox Marriott building), but I can't complain too much because I'm in favor of tall buildings (the only alternative being sprawl). But, this building has a web site now: "The Palms SF". And oh, there's so much to hate.

First of all, hello LA! Who thinks that "The Palms" is an even remotely appropriate name for anything in Northern California?

Second, yes, you guessed it, it's more studio condos from half a million to a million plus. I was under the impression that part of the conditions on their having gotten permits was that they had to include so-many units of "affordable" housing. So maybe that means there will be a few maintenance closets for rent for only $4,000/month or so.

Third, you may notice that the illustration of the building doesn't show the ground floor. I think that what is visible is the top few feet of the second floor, with the ground floor not visible at all. That's because, as far as I can tell, the bottom two above-ground floors are parking. Not commercial space; not shops; not even apartment entries, but a featureless loading dock. For a preview of what I expect this to look like, visit the mini-Palo Alto mall-chain hell that has sprung up near the new ballpark, particularly the south side of Townsend between 4th and 3rd (next to Safeway). The entire block is a featureless white wall, occasionally punctuated by parking ramps. It's one of the most horrible, pedestrian-hostile designs imaginable: it says "do not walk here, this is not a destination". It feels like you've made a wrong turn and are lost on a frontage road behind a mall. A place for cars and explicitly not for people.

The front of the building has a double-height area on the ground floor, which I assumed was going to be commerical space (it's almost supermarket-sized) but it appears that that will just be an extravagant lobby. They say that the only commercial space in the building will be a restaurant, and restaurants don't usually get 30' ceilings.

Fourth, they say "Imagine Yourself at The Center of San Francisco's The South Of Market Neighborhood... Have it all at your fingertips. Walk from your new home to a wide assortment of San Francisco's culinary treasures, stroll to museums, Whole Foods Market, theatres and great lifestyle shopping." Atrocious grammar and idiotic capitalization aside, it has not gone unnoticed that they left out the fact that there is a nightclub directly across the street and a bar around each corner. ("Not for long", I hear someone gleefully whisper!)

Fifth, "Private 30 seat theatre"? WTF? There's an 18 screen movie complex four blocks up the street! I guess that's too far. They'd probably drive.

Tags: , ,

half keyboard, half fridge magnet


"The keys can be placed just about anywhere on the board you want them. There are no grids, hot zones, or marks of any kind that restrict where you place the keys, nor how far apart they are. The radio frequency system it uses operates at 13.56 MHz, and each of the individual keys is powered through inductive coupling. That means that you can actually hold the keys a very small distance off the surface of the board and they will still function."
Tags: ,

iTunes streaming metadata?

Does iTunes support MP3 stream metadata, i.e., displaying the title of the currently-playing song as the songs change? It doesn't seem to on any of the streams I've tried (including the DNA streams) but I don't know if that's a local problem, or if it's just not supported.

(I know that Shoutcast, Icecast 1, and Icecast 2 use three different, incompatible, and stupid metadata formats, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this is still a clusterfuck.)

Update: Apparently it works just fine in iTunes with the DNA streams for everyone but me, even if I turn off the Mac's firewall. This proves that my "computer malfunction field" is fully operational on MacOS as well. I had been wondering when that was going to kick in.

Update 2: Apparently it's Privoxy's fault! I forgot that proxy settings are global now, and not just a setting in the web browser. Apparently iTunes runs the HTTP proxy for MP3 streams even though they are neither (technically) HTTP nor on port 80, and -- somehow -- that's causing the metadata to vanish.

Tags: , , , , ,
Current Music: some random stream


"Japanese alarm company Sohgo Security Services Co. demonstrates the company's newly developed security robot 'Guardrobo D1' in Tokyo June 23, 2005. The robot, which is equipped with a fire extinguishing system, will be introduced into their security system within a year, company officials said. (Issei Kato/Reuters)"
Tags: ,

Cocoa programming

What's a good tutorial on writing native, modern OSX programs? I figured I'd start by porting Dali Clock since that's both pretty simple and somewhat ironic.

I gather that use of the XCode interface builder and stuff is pretty much mandatory?

I found Apple's "Currency Converter" tutorial, but I find it kind of opaque. Like, how do I cause a window to appear when the Preferences menu item is selected? Where do I store my settings? Stuff like that.

Update: Online resources greatly preferred to paper books. I gather that this "dead tree" medium is still popular, but I find it really awkward for things like this.

Tags: , , , , ,

not very friend!

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 11:15:34 +0200
From: "Fred ." <eldmannen@gmail.com>
To: jwz@jwz.org
Subject: xscreensaver website


The xscreensaver website does not look very friend, I think you should make it XHTML webstandards compliant and maybe spice it up a little with CSS.
Tags: , , ,

those sexy, sexy seventies