Weblog entries for March 2005

Blood vessels found in T. rex bone
This is extraordinary. “Palaeontologists have extracted soft, flexible structures that appear to be blood vessels from the bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex that died 68 million years ago. They also have found small red microstructures that resemble red blood cells.”

Firefox in your language
Apropos of today's new version of Firefox, this page has links to versions in all available languages. I'm downloading the British version now.

Universal Towels
Do you know where yours is? A very, very good bit of subtle viral marketing.

New technology uses human body for broadband networking
“By sending data over the surface of the skin, it may soon be possible to trade music files by dancing cheek to cheek, or to swap phone numbers by kissing.”

The complete Feynman Lectures on Physics
In PDF and MP3 formats.

Buddy Rich on the Muppet Show
Wow. Possibly the best drumming I've ever seen. Even Animal thinks so.

Do I need a jacket?
The next best thing to looking out of the window.


Cash machines

Every time I use a cash machine I am frustrated by the lack of good user interface design. I have a few suggestions for ways to improve them.

Continue reading… (816 words)

A History of Communications 35,000 BC - 1998 AD
A timeline of advances in language, mathematics, writing, broadcasting and computing.

Budget 2005 report
My favourite firm of accountants (ahem) have released a report on everything there is to know about yesterday's Budget speech.

13 things that do not make sense
New Scientist report on a list of things for which science does not currently have answers.

Google X
Google's homage to Mac OS X. I'm setting this as my home page. Update: they've removed it. Bah humbug.

Tips for mastering e-mail overload
Lots of sensible advice for avoiding being swamped by email. Now if only everyone in the world could be trained to follow these guidelines, we'd be all set.

Knights and Knaves
An island is inhabited only by knights and knaves. Knights always tell the truth, and knaves always lie. A series of increasingly hard logic puzzles that are making my brain hurt.

Need a building? Just add water
Invented by two students at Imperial College. It's a bag of cement-impregnated fabric, to which you add water. Inflate, leave to dry, and that's it.

Dyson: The Ball
So much hype over a vacuum cleaner! The ball allows it to tilt and swivel, making it easier to steer.

Detecting lies by watching blood flow
New Scientist reports on the development of a lie detector that works by tracking blood flow through the blood vessels in your face.

Web of Letters
Enter any text you like, and it will be recreated using random image search results, using the Yahoo API.

Batman: New Times
Computer generated Lego animation created by students and featuring the voices of Adam West, Mark Hamill, Courtney Thorne-Smith and Dick Van Dyke.

Five years since the dot-com crash
At 9pm GMT today, it will be exactly five years since the Nasdaq reached its highest level, 5048.62. By October 2002, it had plunged to 1114.11, a total loss of 78% against its peak.

What should I do with my life?
“If you don't like The Inevitable Cocktail-Party Question, maybe it's partly because you don't like your answer.” Why do so many of us waste years of our lives putting up with jobs we hate instead of following our hearts' desires?

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer
It's been around for a while, but now it's finally appeared on the Apple site. I cannot wait.

How to start a startup
“You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.”

Colorization using optimization
Algorithimic colouring of photos and videos. Ingenious technique with amazing results.

2005 Snow Sculpture Championships
Held in Colorado in late January and early February every year. These photos are simply stunning.

Shop horror
Amusing puntastic shop names. Pizza The Action and Vinyl Frontier are works of genius.

Star Wars Lego
Loads of mini Lego models of all kinds of creatures, ships and characters from Star Wars, complete with building instructions. Perfect for making webcam tableaux.


The Web is maturing

There's a lot of hype circulating about XMLHttpRequest at the moment. What does it mean for the future of the web?

Continue reading… (861 words)

A new service that cuts out the middle men between people who want to lend money and people who want to borrow. Would you lend your money to a stranger you found on the Internet?

Giant Steps
Amazing. This short film is what it would be like to see inside John Coltrane's head. Quite a big download but well worth the wait.

Ponder This
“You are cordially invited to match wits with some of the best minds in IBM Research.” Monthly puzzles, with solutions, dating back to 1998.

Who's on first?
Updated for the video rental age.

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These entries form part of Stephen Wettone's weblog.

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