Monday, January 16, 2006

Moving to WordPress

Sorry for the pain I'm causing you, but I'm moving to the WordPress free hosting service. The URL of my blog is .

I will be updating the Feedburner feed to point to that address (at least I'll try), but you can also subscribe using the WordPress feed for my blog.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Wedding Crashers

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are best friends who like to crash weddings. Yes, they show up uninvited, are able to pass themselves off as guests and manage to have a great time at the weddings. Their main aim however is to pick up women. Weddings apparently are good places to meet women.

The story is weak and at times cliched. Vaughn and Owen are not convincing, probably because their characters aren't all that great. There are a couple of funny scenes, but other than that the movie's not that good. When you have a guy like Christopher Walken alongside talented actors like Vaughn and Owen, you expect a bit more. This one disappointed.

This is the kind of movie that most people probably wouldn't mind watching. It'll probably do well here, since people in the theatre did seem to enjoy it.

For me though, it wasn't worth the price of admission. I like a different kind of funny.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

AdWords on TV?

Remember the scene in Minority Report where a certain superstar (who jumps on couches) character is walking in a mall and his eyes are scanned, and then personalised ads are shown to him, some even naming him?

Remember a certain company which has ads that "match" what you're looking for in searches or in the content of your email?

Robert Cringely thinks that Google might be up to something similar on TV:
Google imagines a world where only single people see ads, and people who can't drive see ads from taxi companies where others see Toyota campaigns. Where fraternities see ads for strip clubs, beer, Cancun weekends and LSAT prep courses, and only seniors (and their adult children) see ads for Alzheimer's drugs. What would be the value of that increased efficiency, capitalized into present dollars? Ten billion? Fifty billion? I say the value is $100 billion -- 25 percent of the total U.S. advertising market and 15 times Google's current size.

Read the full article (A Commercial Runs Through It) it's fascinating.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another war?

An interesting article from Der Spiegel:
It's hardly news that US President George Bush refuses to rule out possible military action against Iran if Tehran continues to pursue its controversial nuclear ambitions. But in Germany, speculation is mounting that Washington is preparing to carry out air strikes against suspected Iranian nuclear sites perhaps even as soon as early 2006.
A little later in the article:
The German wire service also quotes a high-ranking German military official saying: "I would be very surprised if the Americans, in the mid-term, didn't take advantage of the opportunity delivered by Tehran. The Americans have to attack Iran before the country can develop nuclear weapons. After that would be too late."
Go read Is Washington Planning a Military Strike?

Friday, December 30, 2005

The perils of JavaSchools

Joel talks about the perils of using Java as a programming language for teaching courses in universities:
Years of whinging by lazy CS undergrads like me, combined with complaints from industry about how few CS majors are graduating from American universities, have taken a toll, and in the last decade a large number of otherwise perfectly good schools have gone 100% Java. It's hip, the recruiters who use "grep" to evaluate resumes seem to like it, and, best of all, there's nothing hard enough about Java to really weed out the programmers without the part of the brain that does pointers or recursion, so the drop-out rates are lower, and the computer science departments have more students, and bigger budgets, and all is well.

Read The Perils of JavaSchools

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pat(ricia) vs. Goliath

An article (from CNN) about a single Mom fighting the music industry.
It was Easter Sunday, and Patricia Santangelo was in church with her kids when she says the music recording industry peeked into her computer and decided to take her to court.

Santangelo says she has never downloaded a single song on her computer, but the industry didn't see it that way. The woman from Wappingers Falls is among the more than 16,000 people who have been sued for allegedly pirating music through file-sharing computer networks.
Read -- 'Internet-illiterate parent' fights downloading lawsuit

Age of information overload

Interesting article from CNN:
Books are being scanned to make them searchable on the Internet. Television broadcasts are being recorded and archived for online posterity. Radio shows, too, are getting their digital conversion -- to podcasts.

With a few keystrokes, we'll soon be able to tap much of the world's knowledge. And we'll do it from nearly anywhere -- already, newer iPods can carry all your music, digital photos and such TV classics as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" along with more contemporary prime-time fare.

Will all this instantly accessible information make us much smarter, or simply more stressed? When can we break to think, absorb and ponder all this data?
Read the full article .