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Journal Journal: UK MOD stages the real Robot Wars competition

Over the next two weeks 14 teams of arial robot warrior developers will fight it out in a UK Ministry of Defence Grand Challenge in the Wiltshire countryside in the mock village of Copeland, an army testing area that is a replica of a former East German village used during the cold war. The robots include a swarm of miniature helicopters and variety of sensor laden arial drones. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6919271.stm
User Journal

Journal Journal: Carl Sagan

We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. I am alway reminded by a directive the Creator issued (Gen 1:28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Steal this book

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,134721/article.html is a feature about an alleged reformed spammer called Ed who has blown the gaf on his own nefarious activites at a security seminar hosted by a subsidiary of Cisco Systems. Ed tells of a life immersed in drugs, pornography and gambling and then there is all the security defeating spam he created too. Shoeboxes were filled with $20 dollar bills as he amassed $400,000 in one year selling fake or adulterated prescription medicine to addicts. His biggest success appears to have been parties where attractive, but fully clothed, women burst balloons.
Clearly there is a lesson for us all to learn here, especially if we read the whole book in-store while legitimately browsing.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Hall of Trolls

Ladies and gentlemen, in order to provide for your comfort and protection during this guided tour of the Great Hall of Trolls you should take heed of the following safety instructions.
  1. Here be monsters.
  2. Wear a tin foil skull cap. Preferably aluminium. Pronunciation is not as important as the element.
  3. Bring adequate supplies of your own salt and be ready to take a pinch of it with each Trollish entry.
  4. Be aware, be very aware - THERE IS NO SCIENCE HERE. The absence of Majik cannot be guaranteed. All visits at your own risk
  5. You should carry an Occams Razor at all times
  6. If you did not have enough common sense to bring extra common sense with you, handy sized packets are available from our Trolls R Us store.
  7. The purpose of the Great Hall of Trolls is to offer up tribute to the demi-gods of Clickthrough and Clickon and their denizens.
  8. Only the mighty AdBlocker spell, turned on, can defeat the loathsome conspiracy behind this topic.
  9. In the Great Hall of Trolls, no one can hear you scream evidence.
  10. During your visit please, please, please don't utter the name James Randi... D'oh!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Whatever the merits of the argument either way...

one thing is certain. This is the year of an over-heated media interest in Global Warming. In many ways media overheating is similar to the cycles of the sun and this planet. Global warming is the latest black magic that the media can write about without objectively addressing the scientific evidence either way. They don't need to because, just like all those shampoo commercials the science part is just plain old magic that requires no peer review or rigorous experimental duplication and falsifiability. The basis of this comes from the classic questions of journalism that can be applied to all situations and to all people, namely: How bad is it? Will it get any worse? What are you going to do about it? Whatever the answers are to these questions, they will produce all the great copy you ever needed and the various special interest groups will throw "evidence" at each other until the cows come home. None of this is a proper examination of the facts or the science, in the main it is nothing more than the self serving point scoring found in the old fashioned grammar school debating society where scientific objectivity takes second place to the gladitorial combat of the debating chamber, the eloquence of the speakers and the choice of the mob. The media, however is not some autonomous bogeyman concocting these features out of thin air, the media is an industry employing a large number of people who are just ordinary individuals susceptible to the vagaries and fashion that are the wont of their friends, family and neighbours. They reflect in general the values and prejudices of their audiences and, though it should not come as a surprise to anyone, they use these as the basis of their copy because they are fairly representative of their own demographic. Slashdot readers, editors and moderators are part of a particular demographic - mythically 18 year virginal boygeeks but probably more realistically somewhat older men with families who work in the industry. People like Bill O'Reilly watch Bill O'Reilly. People like Rosie O'Donnell watch Rosie O'Donnell. Just over 100 years ago the argument was about evolution, missing links, the origin of the universe and a similar level of topical heat was generated. This fairly regular re-telling of the GW tale which takes places here on slashdot in a now familiar cycle is part of the self same Topical Media Interest - because - and I hope this doesn't come as a surprise - slashdot is a media outlet. In rather typical debating chamber cliche it goes without saying, but I will, slashdot is very much the model of the grammar school debating society and in many cases the topic is an opinion and the point scoring highly amusing and the sense of common community (whether we agree with each other or not) is something that I consider adds value to my "media experience" - there are only so many re-runs of Stargate that I can watch. But a certain staleness is creeping into this topic and, maybe we could let it stew a bit, or shift over to a lengthy and heated debate on Global Dimming which should be next year's big thing and of course we should all be able to say "Oh yeah, we were discussing that on slashdot last year - it's so Second Life". Alternatively we could all agree to blame it on President George W.Bush for the moment and that way I can stay on message with the friendly emails Michael Moore regularly sends me - but of course sadly, not in a personal context. -- Disclaimer: Oh and any post,including this Sig, may contain satire,sarcasm be sardonic or even witty + bolded nouns.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 2ndl submission

vorlich writes "Just three days ago I made the following comment on 2ndL: "There's a lot more rubbish to be written about 2ndL -- when it is involved in murder or is discovered to be a conduit for drugs or when something so unbelievable happens that the word "Circus" will not be strong enough. It hasn't happened yet, but it will."
It all came true quicker than you can imagine.
The BBC reports -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6638331.stm -- that a German TV show -- Report Mainz -- http://www.swr.de/nachrichten/-/id=396/nid=396/did =2146866/t7csx0/index.html (dude, it's in German!) who's reporter Nick Schrader is a member of the well known computer generated pseudo-reality for people of an indiosyncratic dispostion, has uncovered a child pr0n0 trading ring on 2ndL.
German police are now trying to identify the 2ndL members involved in "age play" (guess that's a BBC euphimism for something dead perverted) and trading in child pr0n images.
Child Pr0n and 2ndL are this years media big thing in Germany so I guess the combination was irresistible and the Circus has only just begun."
User Journal

Journal Journal: The Alex Baldwin Translation Table

"Once again, I have made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone. "

"Hi Honey (Pumpkin, Sweetheart appropriate endearing family name) I'm sorry it took so long to call."

"You have made an ass out me of for the last time. "

"It's a real shame we missed each other again"

"Three letters: ABA. A, Always, B, Be, A, Answering. Always be answering. Always be answering. AIDA. Attention. Interest. Decision. Action. Attention. Do I have your attention? Interest. Are you interested? "

"Hey I could get you one of those Blackberry phones and whenever you can't talk - I can always email you"

I know you are 'cause it's pick up the phone or get your ass straightened out. You answer or you get hit with a brick. Decision. Have you made your decision to pick up the phone? And action. AIDA. Pick up the goddamn phone. You got a call coming in, you think I made it because I've got nothing better to do? "

"I guess I got the time wrong again, I'm really sorry (endearing family name). If you send me text me and let me know when is a good time, I'll call you back."

I could be shouting shit at random people on the street, but I'm calling you.

"I'm thinking of going on Sean Hannity's radio show again and wanted to ask you what you think I should say"

I don't care that you're twelve or eleven or whatever, are you pig enough to pick it up? "

"You know, just this morning I was thinking about the day you were born and how important you are to me."

I'm a good father, and you're a pig. I don't give a shit. Good father. You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you thoughtless pain in the ass?

"I'm so proud of you and you make me so happy to be your dad, you are such a great kid."

AIDA. Get mad you daughter-of-a-bitch. Get mad. You know what it takes to answer my call? It takes brass balls to answer my call. Go and do likewise. The phone is ringing, you pick it up, it's yours, you don't, I got no sympathy for you. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it.

"I think the world of you, you make my life so worthwhile"

You better be ready Friday the 20th to meet with me. Pig.

"I am so looking forward to seeing you on the twentieth, it's going to a fun day."

Oh, also, tell your mother I said "Go fuck yourself."

"Tell your Mom, I said hi and always remember whatever happened between your mom and me we are both still your parents and you should always respect your mom.

This is Dad, ring me back when you get a chance.

This is Dad, ring me back when you get a chance.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Time Tunnel at the Museum of Buttons

The Musuem of Buttons really does exist and you might be surprised to hear that it has a Time Tunnel - where you can journey back in time and follow the development of History's ubiquitous fastener. Not quite the classic series from the sixties/seventies unless of course there are buttons from Titanic. http://www.knopfundknopf.com/museum/1_1.html "interactive means of communication" "a world of modern presentations" "MULTIMEDIA" "ADVENTURE WORLD" Don't miss it! er... it says here.

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