I’m sure the Mossad have some treacherous intentions.

Because, you know, the physical threat of container ships is really tiny:

WASHINGTON – The same Bush administration review panel that approved a ports deal involving the United Arab Emirates has notified a leading Israeli software company that it faces a rare, full-blown investigation over its plans to buy a smaller rival.

Now, granted, we sold Israel F-16s, and somehow plans for those made their way to China. But even so, Israel has some great technical minds.

But there’s the another factor. This technology could have been developed in Israel in the first place. Or Germany. Or Russia. Or China. Or any other number of places. Now, the fact that it was developed in the US (yay us) is great, but it doesn’t really change all that much. It’s not as though we can relocate our ports to Dubai, and have all the shipping still come to Philadelphia, New York, etc. We don’t want to use security software developed somewhere else? Well, fine, but the really important software they care about? The one that’s really raising all the stink? Oh, it’s open source.


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I want to sink slowly without getting wet

Apostropher, God of the Weird, points out a new technology

This is oh so cool.

Company researchers have come up with a way to process a common polymer so that it repels fluid, even drops of honey roll right off. The resulting property is called “superhydrophobicity” — or extreme repelling of water-based fluids — beyond even that of a freshly waxed car. While several existing engineered materials behave this way, the GE accomplishment is noteworthy because it was done with an inexpensive plastic, GE’s Lexan, that’s normally “hydrophilic,” meaning water spreads out on contact, not something that’s “hydrophobic” to start with, such as Teflon or silicone-based materials. These latter materials are far more expensive compared with Lexan, a ubiquitous thermoplastic used in products ranging from CDs and DVDs to automotive headlamps, food storage containers, and common household appliances.

I can see some really cool applications. Anything that is made of laminate or plastic? It’s could be a lot easier to clean (and a lot more slippery). Hell, maybe this is what ice is made out of.


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Reverse Net Priority

So here’s an interesting idea. Let’s say BellSouth implements some priority networking for their network, and charges websites to use that priority network. If I’m a web giant, I’m charging them right back: if you want to be able to provide my website to your customers, you have to pay me a fee. Sounds a lot like cableTV, right? Well, yes: the cable company charges the customer for cable, and the cable channels (e.g. ESPN, Discovery) charge the cable company per subscriber.

But there’s a snag. Premium cable stations are paid for by the subscriber. I don’t know if the cable companies take a little piece off the top (I’m sure they do), but this doesn’t really have a 1-to-1 mapping on the internet. Sure, there are premium sites (that the customer pays for), but it’d be difficult to regulate this. Imagine you pay a subscription to the WSJ. Now, that’s network neutral. Your password goes wherever you go. Your cable box stays in your domicile. So how does the cable company charge the website? Per hit? Per subscriber? On whose network do they count the subscriber?

I think competition, in the end, is what will save net neutrality. Competition, after all, will drive down the prices. Net priority only works if one network has a monopoly on speedy pipes.


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Monday Night F***up

MNF is still going to suck. Why?

Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser will be part of a three-man booth calling the games on Monday nights next season and Suzy Kolber and Michelle Tafoya will be sideline reporters. Kolber and Tafoya both reported from the sidelines for ABC during Super Bowl XL.

I can’t pass judgement on Tirico, yet. Kornheiser? Sure, he’s a sports guy. But he’s like Dennis Miller annoying. I’d still listen to them if he were on it, but with Theismann on the show? He’s atrocious. He’s the worst member of the Sunday Night Football announcing team, and you’re keeping him? Damn.


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ESPeNd.

ESPNs commercials for their new mobile service, according to Dan Shanoff of the Daily Quickie, was supposed to be every

Sports fans’ dream: I’m not shilling when I say the Mobile ESPN ad titled “Sports Heaven” will have every sports fan at your party saying, “Shhh! Everyone shut up so I can hear this!” and “Wait, wait: Hit the TiVo and replay that!”

Except that’s not exactly what happened. ESPNs commercials did more detriment to cellTV than any commercial I’ve seen so far. Why? The consumer was walking along, watching his phone. All around him, sports were going on. Did he see any of this? Perhaps on his phone. Perhaps that’s what they were going for. But in reality, our consumer missed being hit by various balls, run over by various athletes, and generally missed all the goings on of life around him. If you’ve noticed other mobile media providers, they either show people watching “tv” lounging around on everyday stationary objects, or listening to music (combining an iPod (only not crappily like ROKR v1) with a cell phone is a great idea). I’m not the only one who said, whaaaa?!
This is just another in the long string of issues I have with ESPN.


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More than yesterday…

So I wanted to post an article/paper I had written on software patents. I had written this paper as an assignment for my senior year class of Information Technology and the Law. All I could find, unfortunately, was a draft version missing the last two sections of my analysis and the conclusion. Part of the reason I wanted to post this was to edit it. Maybe I’ll create a wiki and let other people edit it. But until I find the rest of it (which may require returning to Florida and getting the original printed version with comments from the (I think) TA), I’ll just post a link to this story about the CrackBerry and its patent troubles with NTP. This makes RIM seem a lot less like they are the ones being cheated here*.

*This is interesting, especially since The G&M is a Canadian paper, RIM is a Canadian company, and NTP is an American patent holding company.



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The New Worker

I talk to my friend, we’ll call him Bernie, a couple of times a week. We’re both working at what we could call a pretty high level in our respective organizations. In college, we were part of what we call the All-Nighters Club. I feel like that prepared us for the working world: unlike other students who relied on extensions, we relied on will and the desire to get things completed on time no matter what the work involved. In college, work gets spread over a much longer time period; in our worlds now, there’s more work immediately, and getting it done quickly gets you noticed. I don’t know why we couldn’t do this in college; for me, I think in part it was due to the fact that there was very little involvement and room for advancement: people in the class weren’t really ranked and there wasn’t a whole lot of healthy competition. I still struggle with my performance in school, but I know that I have hit my stride in the professional world.


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