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User Journal

Journal Journal: Couple Gets His and Hers RFID Implants

CTV is reporting that Jennifer Tomblin, 23, of Vancouver, Canada and Amal Graafstra, 29, of Washington state have gotten underskin RFID implants as a 'most modern declaration of their affection for each other.' Graafstra bought the chips from Phidgets USA, although the company 'strongly advise(s) against any such use of the tags we sell,' according to the story. Tomblin compares getting implants to getting tattoos as a unique way of connecting with her significant other. It may be an expression of true love or maybe it's just a stunt to promote Graafstra's new book RFID Toys.


Journal Journal: Amateur Radio Satellite in Spacesuit Set to Orbit

Later this week SuitSat is scheduled to be tossed over the side of the International Space Station during an EVA. SuitSat is a surplus Russian Orlan spacesuit fitted out with an amateur radio transceiver, a microcontroller and electronics for storing digital voice and video recordings. It was sent up to the ISS in a September cargo mission. The Kenwood TH-K2 embedded in the suit will transmit voice messages in six languages, slow-scan television (SSTV) and telemetry at half a watt on 145.990 MHz (Two meter VHF). The project's developers are hoping the onboard batteries will last as long as two weeks.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Submission: Women IM Like They Write, Men IM Like They Talk

In a paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Naomi Barron of American University reports on some interesting differences in the way male and female college students write instant messages. 'The female IM looks more like a written genre, while the male IM looks more like a spoken genre,' Barron is quoted in a story about her research at LiveScience. Men used more contractions and took half the time women did to sign off. Both sexes multitask, however, managing an average of 2.7 conversations at a time. Nevertheless the quality of the writing was better than she expected. Out of 11,718 words there were only 123 misspelled and emoticons were used only 49 times. Other stories of note at LiveScience explain how your coworkers judge you by your iTunes playlist and how your brain is like the Internet.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Submission: Rent the Computer Cluster That Made Middle Earth

The 1,008-processor cluster of computers used to render The Lord of the Rings movies is now up for rent on a per-processor per-hour basis. According to an article on the BBC site it runs Red Hat 9 and uses 2.8Ghz Xeon processors to perform '2.8 trillion calculations a second' making it the 104th fastest system on earth. In addition to rendering for Van Helsing, I Robot and Peter Jackson's forthcoming remake of King Kong, the system has also, according to an article at The Inquirer, been used by a Canadian biotech firm and a 'mysterious chip developer from the US that remains unidentified.' The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the system is also being used 'to test the scalability of a computer program that tracks the evolutionary origins and histories of everything from HIV to whales and languages.' Predictions, anyone? How long before you're carrying around that much computer power clipped to your belt?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Submission: Put a Mac Mini in Your Car

The New York Times (bugmenot password required) is reporting on the latest car craze: Installing a Mac Mini into your ride. Melvin Benzaquen, a Sloatsburg, NY based car restoration expert who does automotive Mac Mini installations on the side says 'that his Web site had received more than a million hits on the pictures of its Mac Mini installations and that volunteers worldwide had offered to write software programs to improve the Mac's automotive utility.' A million hits? Should be interesting to see how the site stands up to being slashdotted.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Submission: Forbes List of Top Corporate Hate Web Sites

windowpain writes "You've seen them. Maybe you've made one, like or Now has a 'Special Report' devoted to what it considers the best of them. 'The following nine sites--there were ten, but one went unexpectedly dark during the editing of this story--are the crème de la crème of online rage. Note that we substantially cleaned up some of the posts, editing out odd capitulation schemes, iffy grammar and plain incoherence. Apparently blinding anger does not go hand in hand with dotting your i's and crossing your t's.' Maybe this will become an annual thing like the Forbes 400 and the Fortune 500."

User Journal

Journal Journal: What's up with has ALWAYS taken forever to load for me.Their tech support says everything is fine and it must be on my end. Huh? I've tried it from computers in two different states: Different routers, different firewalls, different browsers, different ISPs and physical locations 60 miles apart. If anyone reads this, please click on this link:

and see if it loads quickly. Let me know what happens.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Submission: New IM Worms Hit MSN Messenger

I forgot to enter this one here in my journal. It's already been rejected. And I don't see that they accepted anyone else's submission either. I'm surprised. Anyway, the article I quoted is here:

User Journal

Journal Journal: Submission: Fake ID Biz is Booming But is the End Near?

I decided to start keeping track of my entries here so I can remember the ones that get rejected. Here's today's.

Today's New York Times reports on how college dorm ID mills are cranking out surprisingly authentic-looking phony ID cards. But authorities are hoping they'll be able to mount an effective counterattack in the next year. 'Some states will begin using new watermark technology akin to that used on currency for drivers' licenses next year. This spring the United States Senate is expected to vote on a bill already passed by the House that would require states to standardize the format of the data encoded on the backs of drivers' licenses, making it easier to scan them. Software companies are rushing to develop verification programs for scanners that can be updated in real time, not unlike antivirus software, in response to evolving forgery techniques.'

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