Sep 28 2006

Haunting cover of “Hey Ya”

I like this better than the original (see below).

Mat Weddle of Obadiah Parker – “Hey Ya” (Outkast Cover)

Here’s an MP3 for your iPod:

Continue reading

Sep 26 2006

The Art of the Possible

Can Eric Bonabeau’s Hunch Engine expand your mind?

According to the company’s publicity materials, the Hunch Engine is software that uses evolutionary algorithms to breed solutions to science, engineering, business, or design problems–solutions that no human mind could have predicted. Icosystem claims that evolutionary algorithms expose ideas to a kind of natural selection, allowing users to “reach beyond the limits of their imagination.” But the notion that serendipity might produce better results than thinking and planning left me suspicious. That was before I heard about the French letter carriers.

This dovetails nicely into ideas like Agile (iterative) Software design. In the past, software architects tried to design the entire software program before a line of code was written. The result was rarely what was needed.

Instead, Agile design writes code right away, and iteratively changes it, recoding as necessary, and rethinks the application as people use it and decide what they like and don’t like.

Nature does it everyday, why would we be so arrogant to assume we know better? Oh, yeah — we’re human. 😉

The Art of the Possible

Sep 8 2006

Another reason not to shop at Wal-Mart

A Nashua man faces a felony reckless conduct charge after his gun discharged in a Wal-Mart bathroom, striking the ceiling and scaring an employee in the next stall.

Man’s gun fires in Wal-Mart bathroom

I bet it scared the *&%$ out of the other guy!

Yeah, I said it. 😉

Sep 8 2006


How dedicated are you? Are you willing to go to great lengths to achieve your goals?

Here’s an article about some highly dedicated crime lords. I know I wouldn’t have the dedication to do this:

Four prisoners in an
El Salvador jail hid cellphones, a phone charger and spare chips in their bowels so they could coordinate crimes from their cells, prison officials said on Wednesday.

The four men, all gang members, wrapped their phones and accessories in plastic and inserted them into their rectums “far enough to reach their intestines,” Ramon Arevalo, director of the maximum security Zacatecoluca prison, said.

Hey, I think your lower intestine is ringing…


Aug 2 2006

The problem of hunger- is there a solution?

Give a man a handout… and he eats for a day. Teach him to farm and he (and his country) eats for a lifetime.

‘ We used to have a big farm – five hectares. We sold it one hectare at a time to pay to live. Now we can’t cultivate any more…We don’t have food because there is no-one to go and find food: my eldest children are dead. Before, I was able to work, but now we stay with hunger because there is nothing I can do. We miss our land.’

Milembe Mwandu, Shinyanga, Tanzania, April 2006

OxFam: Causing Hunger- an overview of the food crisis in Africa

A sobering report on the problem of starvation in Africa, and why after over four decades of trying to alleviate it, the situation may be actually be worse.

Aug 1 2006

How not to be search engine friendly

When you build a web site, especially an online store, it pays to be search engine friendly. This means that you make sure your site is easy to crawl, has a unique and descriptive title for each page, and that you use semantic markup to give the spider (search engine indexing program) clues as to what is important on your page.

What you do not want to do is feed the spider a special message saying you don’t want to be indexed… because this is what your Google listing looks like:

It appears an automatic system is trying to index this on-line …
It appears an automatic system is trying to index this on-line store. Currently, our resources do not permit this.

If you don’t want search engines to index your site, use a robots.txt file instead!

Here endeth the lesson.