The Big Think

October 19, 2005

They Might Be Giants

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 2:01 pm

Because “Everybody Wants Prosthetic Foreheads on Their Real Heads”.
gotta love these guys.

I See You

Filed under: Politics,Technology — jasony @ 11:09 am

Okay, I admit to just pasting this directly from Slashdot, but it bothered me enough to do it.

“A research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently broke the code behind tiny tracking dots that some color laser printers secretly hide in every document. The U.S. Secret Service admitted that the tracking information is part of a deal struck with selected color laser printer manufacturers, ostensibly to identify counterfeiters. However, the nature of the private information encoded in each document was not previously known. “We’ve found that the dots from at least one line of printers encode the date and time your document was printed, as well as the serial number of the printer,” said EFF Staff Technologist Seth David Schoen.”

Apple Liveblog

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 10:09 am

More goodies from Apple today. Liveblog here. (thanks, Pat)

The Long Now

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 10:07 am

Discover magazine has an in-depth update about Danny Hillis and his 10,000 year clock. Yes, a 10,000 year clock. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend Stewart Brand’s book “The Clock of the Long Now

From the Discover article:

Still, any description of the clock must begin and end with that ridiculous projected working life, that insane, heroic, incomprehensible span of time during which it is expected to serenely tick.

Ten thousand years.

The span of time from the invention of agriculture to the present. Twice as long as the Great Pyramid of Giza has stood. Four hundred human generations.


Or more to the point, why?

Hillis’s plan for the final clock, which he reserves the right to change, has it built inside a series of rooms carved into white limestone cliffs, 10,000 feet up the Snake Range’s west side. A full day’s walk from anything resembling a road will be required to reach what looks like a natural opening in the rock. Continuing inside, the cavern will become more and more obviously human made. Closest to vast natural time cycles, the clock’s slowest parts, such as the zodiacal precession wheel that turns once every 260 centuries, will come into view first. Such parts will appear stock-still, and it will require a heroic mental exertion to imagine their movement. Each succeeding room will reveal a faster moving and more intricate part of the mechanism and/or display, until, at the end, the visitor comprehends, or is nudged a bit closer to comprehending, the whole vast, complex, slow/fast, cosmic/human, inexorable, mysterious, terrible, joyous sweep of time and feels kinship with all who live, or will live, in its embrace.

This is so cool I could cry. You simply must read this.

More Gmail Goodies

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 12:16 am

gDisk is a software that turns your GMail account into a portable hard drive so you can always have your important files accessible accross the Internet.

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