Saturday, December 17, 2005

Who Gets the Throne?

"God is dead." - Nietzsche

"Nietzsche is dead." - God

"Front row! Whoo!" - Satan

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pickup Lines for Geek Parties

"I'll be your variables if you'll be my function. Come on, baby, plug me into you."

"We can warp to my place, but I'll only use thrusters in bed."

"I have the law of general relativity tatooed somewhere on my body. Try to guess where."

"That sweatervest looks good on you, but I bet it'll look even better on my Unix server."

"Have you met my friend Albert? He can hack a lady's bra that has 1024-bit encryption!"

"Tell me... Do black mages turn you on?"

"Hi there, I'm a math major. Don't let that weird you, though, 'cause I can calculate on a whim exactly where you want to be felt."

"I've never met someone who looks better offline than online."

"Is that a pocket protector or are you just happy to see me?"

"Your eyes glisten with a thousand hours of Everquest..."

"They call me Cloud, and this is my unusually large sword."

"My period of revolution may be low, but my amplitude is astronomical."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Life, the Universe, and All That Jazz

Somewhere in the western spiral arm of the galaxy (though to be fair, “west” depends entirely on whichever orientation the main axis of your body is in and, more importantly, the direction the majority of your heads are looking) lies a small blue/green planet inhabited by the descendants of an ape-like species. The average individual of this species is quite intelligent, having developed nuclear fission before the amazingly simple digital watch. However, on the whole, the species is mindbogglingly stupid, fighting countless wars over some “God” fellow and letting one man subtly dictate what would become possibly the most important technology for a good many years. This man is known to the people as Douglas Adams.

This technology is the Internet. Although Adams certainly did not invent the Internet, he imagined a system much like it, possibly without knowing so. The Internet is essentially a network of devices that allows information to be transmitted instantaneously across the globe. "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy", Adams' signature book, features something called the “Sub Etha Net.” The Sub Etha Net allowed for information to be transmitted almost instantaneously across the Galaxy. Developed just a few years earlier from the time of writing was a technology known as “ethernet”, which has become the de facto standard for networking computers. The similarities between “Sub Etha Net” and Internet over ethernet are astounding, from naming (from “aether”, the substance once thought to fill space) to concept (instantaneous transmission of information). It is unlikely that Adams was aware of what would become of the Internet, but perhaps the similarities influenced his readers to adapt the technologies and increase the popularity to the level that it has reached.

A major component of the Internet is the search engine. A single computer that will instantaneously look through all the computers on the network and find exactly what you are looking for. From music and movies to math and physics to how to get a date with a tree, there is very little information known to humans that cannot be found on the Internet. Search engines appeared much after "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" was written, but may have been inspired by the other fictional device, the device for which the book was named: "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The fictional "Guide" was a book-sized device that could display information on any subject, from music and movies to math and physics to how to get a date with a tree, just by asking for it. Again, the similarities are striking. The probability of Adams predicting two very important technologies is very low, and perhaps even less probable is that a major theme in the real Guide was probability.

His influence extends even further throughout time. Forty-two, the arbitrarily chosen Ultimate Answer, is an important number in religion and even Adams' own life, adding to the improbability. Perhaps forty-two truly is the Answer, and humankind just hasn't realized it yet.

I wrote this for a scholarship essay, and I must say I'm quite proud of it. In three high school and two university English courses this is, by far, the best piece of prose I've ever written.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Counter-Clock Incident


Sunday, November 06, 2005


Also known as "Darmok II: Bride of Darmok"

As any of you who use iTunes know, it comes bundled with QuickTime.

I don't use QuickTime. I don't like it. You have to pay to get full use of it, plus I have a video player that plays every format under the Tuscan Sun which, by a freaky coincidence, happens to be our sun.

So you can understand why I would uninstall QuickTime.

Unfortunately, "iTunes requires QuickTime. Please reinstall iTunes."

Thanks, Apple, your marketing division pisses me off once again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Turnabout Intruder

your file may exist elsewhere in the universe
but alas, not here


Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I shall name my daughter Insaniti. And my son Bauss. And together, they shall be known as The Offspring of a Sexist Father.

My rant for this evening will be sexism. No, not the classical patriarchial type, but the modern sexism that guys have to deal with. Misandry. Don't get me wrong, I personally believe that women are the better sex. I dislike men. I dislike being a man (again, don't get me wrong, my sexual preference is women regardless of my own gender). However, I don't believe that women have the right to excercise any form of superiority. As a Newfoundlander, I know that the average Newfie can't hold a stick to the intelligence of... Well, a stick. But if anybody not from Newfoundland said that, then my fist would be the first (of many) being placed between their ears. Likewise, as a man, I'm allowed to say that men are sick, disgusting, and ugly.

And so, all you XX's out there, I give you a piece of advice: if a guy treats you like gold, even if he has every reason not to, do your best to keep him feeling like shit. More than likely, he doesn't mind going with you to do stuff you like, like shopping. But he doesn't understand how you can spend 3 hours every 4 days looking through underwear, when the only person who's ever going to see it is going to want to rip it off of you. And if the guy you take shopping is not the one who gets to take your clothes off, make sure he knows that he's a friend being taken along shopping and not a boyfriend to carry stuff. As far as the mall goes, male friends stand with you, boyfriends stand behind you. Don't get the two confused.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

It all started some four years ago. A device was designed and was heralded and was widely considered the bext hunk of plastic and metal since the four-slice toaster. This device was revised and much improved three times over the following years, and alas, it had attained perfection. The only way to make it better was to make it cheaper; over time, production costs would lower as they always do and they could lower the cost of this perfect divice and allow many more people to bathe in its glory (as the price tag, though not overly high, was just outside the budget of many middle-class people). And this happened. The cost of producing this device was well under the price tag, and so profit margins were much higher than predicted.

This device is, of course, the Apple iPod. By it's fourth generation, it was perfect. I suppose the harddrive could be improved, or the battery life, but every device could use those improvements. But then when Apple decided to give its customers a break, they only gave customers with big pockets a break. They introduced iPod photo. It had three times the storage space and a color screen. You could view photos stored on the harddrive with it, but with a 2" screen and a $600 sticker (indeed, most of whom that could afford one casually probably already had a digital camera and/or cameraphone anyway, which can take pictures as well as view them), it was mostly a gimmicky cash draw. Okay, as useless as this was, the perfection-embodied black-and-white 20GB model was still offered, so let the baby have her bottle. iPod photo was not as big a mistake (in my opinion, 'cause these mistakes prevent me from owning one) as the following two.

Apple gave, again, people a break. This time they targeted existing potential iPod (base model) buyers, by giving the base model a color screen. Hmm... Let's see... Color screen is more expensive, base model stayed at the same price, therefore the base model with b&w screen should've cost less... Yes, it should have. But it didn't. Apple never brought in any new buyers, only gave potential buyers a gimmicky incentive that they wouldn't have any use for anyway.

And again, another break. Again, no lowering of price, but the new components definately cost more. These include a bigger, higher resolution, more refreshed screen; a bigger standard harddrive (30GB), a slightly smaller form factor, longer battery life, and Firewire support removed completely. All this makes each iPod cost about as much extra as they became cheaper to produce. Again, Apple could've brought in many new customers by making the iPod more affordable but they didn't. And so I still don't got one.

I reckon that, were Apple to reintroduce the black & white 20GB 4G iPod, it would retail for probably $250. With education discount, I could get an iPod for $342 Cdn, and I'd say that the high-def screen and other improvements tally $100 or so. The only thing is, the iPod Nano 4GB goes for $281, after the same discount. But I guess Apple has to make some incentive for their superfluous device (the smaller size of Mini/Nano is not worth the small price difference, especially considering the comparatively little storage space).

Alright, so this is what I call a "rant". Basically, all my entries will take one of a few forms. They may be psychosocialogical consequences of simple Physics (or any other science) concepts, such as the previous post. I might go on a spiel about companies disappointing me or impressing me. A humerous anecdote from time to time. Or maybe something completely different. What I won't do is talk about me. That will be over on my personal blog, and that tends to get boring.

Monday, October 17, 2005

In a Mirror, Darkly

When you look at yourself in a mirror, you're actually seeing yourself some 2 nanoseconds ago. In essence, you will always see a younger you, and wonder where the time went.

And if anyone remembers, ReBoot measured time culturally in nanoseconds like we measure in minutes.