jamie writes "A grassroots campaign has begun to get Stephen Colbert to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to counter Glenn Beck's recent 'Restoring Honor' event. The would-be rally has been dubbed 'Restoring Truthiness' and was inspired by a recent post on Reddit, where a young woman wondered if the only way to point out the absurdity of the Tea Party's rally would be if Colbert mirrored it with his own Colbert Nation.'"
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2010/03/29/100329crbo_books_mayer?currentPage=all Read this review of Thiessen's Courting Disaster. You'll learn to doubt everything he says.
Binary Boy writes "Bradley Manning, the US Army private arrested recently by the Pentagon for providing classified documents — including the widely seen Apache helicopter video — may have been duped by wannabe hacker Adrian Lamo, according to Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com. Lamo told Manning he could provide protection under both journalist shield laws, and the clergy-lay confidentiality tradition, and instead immediately turned him in to authorities in an act of apparent shameless self-promotion." The article also goes into Wired's role in the whole situation, the strange, sometimes sensationalist media coverage, and the odd similarity between this case and proposed scenarios in a US Intelligence report from earlier this year aimed at undermining Wikileaks.
An anonymous reader writes "As many suspected when HP announced its web-connected printer, it didn't take long for the company to announce it will send 'targeted' advertisements to your new printer. So you'll get spammed, and you'll pay for the ink to print it. On the bright side, the FCC forbids unsolicited fax ads, so this will probably get HP on a collision course with the Feds."
thecarchik sends in this piece, which was published last March but remains timely: "OK, so here's a little test: Which saves more gasoline, going from 10 to 20 mpg, or going from 33 to 50 mpg? If you're like most Americans, you picked the second one. But, in fact, that's exactly backwards. Over any given mileage, replacing a 10-mpg vehicle with one that gets 20 mpg saves five times the gasoline that replacing a 33-mpg vehicle with one that gets 50 does. Last summer, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business released a study that shows how much damage comes from using MPG instead of consumption to measure how green a car is. Management professors Richard Larick and Jack Soll's experiments proved that consumers thought fuel consumption was cut at an even rate as mileage increased."
Reader awyeah notes a Financial Times report that Google is ditching the use of Windows internally. Some blogs have picked up the FT piece but so far there isn't any other independent reporting of the claim, which is based on comments from anonymous Googlers. One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google "employs more than 10,000 workers internationally," whereas it's easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000. "The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google's Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google. ... 'We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,' said one Google employee. ... New hires are now given the option of using Apple's Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. 'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.' ... Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from 'quite senior levels,' one employee said. 'Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,' said another employee."
kevin7kal writes "The Apple iPad is the ideal automotive communications and entertainment device. It is sized perfectly to mount using the iPad Steering Wheel Mount without obscuring the driver's view. 'I don't think that I am exaggerating when I say that the iPad Steering Wheel Mount probably has saved my life...'"
eldavojohn writes "You may recall the hapless engineer who left a fairly sensitive iPhone at a bar recently. Well, in a PR stunt, Lufthansa has invited him to visit Germany on their dime after citing his latest Facebook status, 'I underestimated how good German beer is' as well as his obvious passion for German beer and culture. It's not clear if Gray Powell has decided to 'pick up where he last left off' (as the letter puts it). I know what my decision would be."
http://www.online.math.uh.edu/HoustonACT/ My high school teacher used these slides last year. I thought they were helpful.
stronghawk writes "The creator of the Nickel-O-Matic is back at it and has now built a Turing Machine from a Parallax Propeller chip-based controller, motors, a dry-erase marker and a non-infinite supply of shiny 35mm leader film. From his FAQ: 'While thinking about Turing machines I found that no one had ever actually built one, at least not one that looked like Turing's original concept (if someone does know of one, please let me know). There have been a few other physical Turing machines like the Logo of Doom, but none were immediately recognizable as Turing machines. As I am always looking for a new challenge, I set out to build what you see here.'"
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has come up with an unusual way of saving money: changing their email font. The school expects to use 30% less ink by switching from Arial to Century Gothic. From the article: "Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one. That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon. Blohowiak says the decision is part of the school's five-year plan to go green. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio it's great that a change that's eco-friendly also saves money."
Hugh Pickens writes "eCampus News reports that at the University of Denver, journalism students are assigned to write Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation, and students have so far composed 24 Wikipedia articles this year, covering topics from the gold standard to the San Juan Mountains to bimetallism, an antiquated monetary standard. Journalism instructors Lynn Schofield Clark and Christof Demont-Heinrich say students are told to check their sourcing carefully, just as they would for an assignment at a local newspaper. 'Students are leery about mentioning Wikipedia, because they might be subjected to criticism. But I tell them it's an online source of knowledge that just has some information that might be questionable, but that doesn't mean you have to dismiss all of [its content],' says Demont-Heinrich, who first assigned the Wikipedia writing to students in his introductory course taught during the university's recent winter semester. He said the Wikipedia entries didn't require old-school shoe leather reporting — because the online encyclopedia bars the use of original quotes — but they teach students how to thoroughly research a topic before publishing to a site that has over 350 million unique visitors and gets over 10 billion page views a month. 'I see journalism as being completely online within the next two to five years,' says Demont-Heinrich. 'If you're not trained to expect that and write for that, then you're not going to be ready for the work world.'"
Ponca City, We love you writes "NPR reports that with snow blanketing much of the country, the topic of global warming has become the butt of jokes; but for scientists who study the climate, there's no contradiction between a warming world and lots of snow. 'The fact that the oceans are warmer now than they were, say, 30 years ago means there's about on average 4 percent more water vapor lurking around over the oceans than there was... in the 1970s,' says Kevin Trenberth, a prominent climate scientist. 'So one of the consequences of a warming ocean near a coastline like the East Coast and Washington, DC, for instance, is that you can get dumped on with more snow partly as a consequence of global warming.' Increased snowfall also fits a pattern suggested by many climate models, in which rising temperatures increase the amount of atmospheric moisture, bringing more rain in warmer conditions and more snow in freezing temperatures."
An anonymous reader writes "It's official. The Internet, which has virtually revolutionized world communication, has been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. 'Organizers said signatories to its petition backing the nomination include 2003 peace laureate and exiled Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi — which would make it a legitimate entry.' The nomination was proposed by the Italian edition of Wired magazine for promoting 'dialogue, debate and consensus through communication' as well as democracy."
ezabi writes "According to a post on the official Google blog, in the coming weeks Google Docs will offer to host all file types with a limit of 250 MB, which as they say is larger than the current limit for email attachments. This will have its consequences: paid file sharing will die, more shared pirated material, newer vulnerabilities and malware distribution channels..."