Friday, November 30, 2007

Rubbery Figures

This guy has certainly made the most out of what nature did to him!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Driver View

Thanks to Life Hacker for pointing me to Driver View.

It displays a list of all the drivers installed on your Windows system, providing a dizzying array of information about each.

If nothing else, you may find the sheer number of drivers that are installed quite amazing ... there are 149 on my system!

Satisfaction Guaranteed?

I have no idea how well this works in practice, but it sounds like it could be quite useful.

Satisfaction is a human-powered customer service system.

You specify the company or product your question relates to and one or more people with expertise in that particular area will attempt to sort out your problem.

I'll definitely give it a shot the next time I have an issue.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Virtual Pussy

No, no, no ... nothing to do with the previous post :-).

Via Metafilter come a link to the soothing sounds of a virtual cat.


The lyrics to this spoof on Fever are hilarious, but definitely NSFW ... you've been warned :-).

Considering the context, it's an interesting twist that the artist who originally recorded Fever was named "Little Willie John"!

Thanks to Random Good Stuff for the link.

Food Tube

Now, here's an excellent use of technology ... Food Tube is a site that allows you to find videos of people preparing various recipes.

Sadly, my search for a good Thai Jungle Curry failed miserably (not that I need any help with that one, having cooked it many, many times), but at least I was able to find one for Green Curry Chicken.

As an aside, I still remember cooking a Green Curry of Crocodile for my then flatmate, Martin, and I the day after we'd had a "New Year's Eve in July" with a number of friends.

I made it so spicy that, in his somewhat fragile condition, Martin found it almost totally inedible ... all the more for me :-).

Playing The Vibraphone

For a good time call ... yourself :-).

(Maybe Not So) Cheap Date

All I want to know is ... who let the crew into my apartment to film this :-) ?!

Beautiful People

Thanks to Geek Sugar for the link to MagMyPic, which lets you take any image and make it the main feature of a number of different magazine covers.

Very silly, but I still couldn't resist!

Getting Stapled

I'd prefer good Belgian beer in mine, but still ...

Little Cuties

Crooked Brains has a lovely post showing a number of images of cute little animals, like this one.

They're just so damned cute!

Java 6 Port For OS X

While I'd always rather be writing Ruby than Java, it's been quite annoying that, up until now, only a very old beta of Java 6 has been available for OS X.

Most people expected Apple to provide Java 6 as part of the Leopard release, but no such luck.

Well, there's finally some relief. Developer Release 2 of OpenJDK has been announced for both Leopard and Tiger.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You Won't Believe Your Eyes ... Or Hers

I've seen this lady before, but maybe you haven't, so here you are. Thanks to Crooked Brains for the link.

"Doors Closing"

Apparently, Emma Clarke, the lady who provides the voice for the messages broadcast in the London Underground has been sacked.

This has something to do with her having posted a number of humourous messages on her personal website (down at the time of writing, but maybe it will be back by the time you read this).

While I think they're idiots, here's an example of one I could imagine raising their ire ...

Here's another, whose message is totally accurate (ignoring her mispronunciation); I'd even go so far as to say understated :-) ...


One of the few things I think Windows gets right is the richness of the file open and save dialogs.

However, I still find it frustrating that you can't set up shortcuts to frequently used locations.

For example, I have specific folders where I save the installers for downloaded freeware, purchased software and Mac-specific applications.

Similarly, I have a folder where I keep all my PDF reference material, like books I've purchased or mathematics papers I want to read later.

Well, via LifeHacker, I finally have the solution! FileBox eXtender is a plugin that allows you to easily jump to any pre-defined location from any Explorer window, including open and save dialogs.

The icing on the cake is that it's freeware!

It currently does not support Vista, but if you're using that then you have bigger things to worry about :-).

Switching To Linux

One thing that often stops people from even attempting to turn their back on the evil empire and switch to Linux is that there's some Windows application or other they just can't live without.

Download Squad has a nice article detailing three sites that provide help finding Linux apps that are equivalent to various Windows ones.

"I Did It In House"

Thanks to Apple Gazette, here's an Apple ad from 1994, showing that even way back then, they were allowing the average user to do amazing things with a computer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holy Clap!

This guy holds the world record for most claps in a minute ... 721 times! Thanks to Neatorama for the link.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Lovely Afternoon

I spent this afternoon visiting my good friend Carsten, his wife Tina and their kids Aurin and Robin.

The children are very cute. When Robin woke up from his nap, I think he was just a little scared of the big hairy beast that had invaded his home, but by the time I left he seemed to have forgotten about that.

Aurin drew a lovely picture of me, walking on some grass, and pasted a magnet to it so I can stick it on my fridge. Unfortunately, I forgot to take it with me when I left ... perhaps that was my subconscious's way of making sure I got around to visiting again :-).

A bonus was that they live just a few minutes' walk from Drummoyne wharf, so I was able to ride the River Cat to Parramatta and catch the train home from there. All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon!

The Demon Alcohol

I woke up this morning feeling a little the worse for wear.

Last night, I had drinks with some of the guys from Forge at the Lansdowne.

That would have been fine, except that when we decided to call it a night, Andy said he was going off to join up with Socs's son's buck's night pub crawl, which was in full swing down in The Rocks. Not one to miss a good pub crawl, I accepted his suggestion to tag along.

So, rather than it being a relatively quiet night, I ended up at the Hero Of Waterloo, Fortune Of War and eventually the downstairs bar at Jackson's On George.

To cap it all off, this morning I looked around the apartment and could not, for the life of me, find the bag I had with me last night! I called the last couple of pubs, with very little hope ... and my pessimism was fully repaid.

Fortunately, I eventually remembered that Andy and I had popped into the Forge offices before strolling off to the Hero Of Waterloo. Obviously, my brain was working much better last night than this morning. I left my bag there!

However, I urge you, gentle reader, to ignore this positive outcome ... the next time someone offers you the demon drink say "Get thee behind me, Satan!" :-).

Locked Out Again!

Update: Well, it turns out I was more the worse for wear this morning than I thought! In my post-alcoholic haze, I didn't notice that I'd left a 'j' out of "Jjot". So, no they hasn't been bought by Google, it was Jot, which happened ages ago. Nothing to see here, move along ...

I went to log into Jjot this morning, to print out the stuff I needed to take with me today, only to discover I was locked out!

Fortunately, this is not like the loss of access to my original gmail account recently, although it still involves the mighty Google.

Obviously, someone over at the Googleplex reads my blog and heeds its advice :-). They've acquired Jjot!

While it's a bit sad this very second, because I have to try to remember the stuff I jotted down yesterday, I'm sure that, in the long term, it will be great.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Simple Backup Utility

Thanks to Download Squad for pointing me to Cobian Backup.

It's a freeware backup program (you can donate if you like it).

It handles full and incremental backups.

You can have multiple backup sets, each of which can go to different destinations.

The backups can be scheduled to run at times that suit you.

All up, a nice simple backup solution, for as little as you wish to pay.

Greg Egan Short Story

Reading John Baez's website reminded me that I hadn't checked out The n-Category Cafe for a while, so I added its RSS feed to Google Reader, to avoid that happening again.

Browsing through the articles, I found one that mentioned a short story by Greg Egan. I'm not sure whether it's new, or simply been re-published recently, but I figured I might as well point you to it, in any case.

The title is Steve Fever. You may need to click "skip intro" to see the article.

I've not read it yet, but according to John ... "It’s about an artificial intelligence so stupid it believes what it reads on the internet."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Glacial Music

I was just checking out John Baez's blog and discovered that he had posted some music he generated that was inspired by the glaciers of Iceland.

The three pieces are on separate pages, so I'll save you some trouble and link to them directly here:

Very atmospheric, indeed!

Microsoft Gmail

Here's a humourous, and quite disturbing, look at what gmail may have looked like if it had been designed by Microsoft.


I like the article's final paragraph, too :-) ...

Coming up tomorrow: “What if Microsoft had designed Windows Vista.”

For The Truly Paranoid

If you're concerned that some program you download may execute without your permission ... and aren't smart enough to just use Firefox :-) ... then Trust No Exe may be just what you're looking for.

It gives you complete control over which exe files can be executed, allowing you to white list those that are kosher.

Did you hear that noise? It's the sound of system administrators around the world installing Trust No Exe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Trackulous is a website that lets you track anything you want over time: your weight, how much you sleep, how many dogs you've seen each day ... anything.

You can keep the data private, share it with friends or make it completely public; it's up to you.

Normally, I just stick this kind of stuff in text files, but as with all internet services, the value of Trackulous is that you can access it from anywhere, hence making it easier to keep up to date.

In some cases, people seem to make their lists public that maybe would be better left hidden. Take AnnaA's list of Fights With Boyfriend. It seems to me like she'd be better off working on a list of ...

Pharmaceutical Models

Via Metafilter, comes a nice spoof on one of Gilbert & Sullivan's most well known songs.

Sadly, the audio clips quite a bit, otherwise it would have been excellent.

Human Hacks

Crooked Brains has a few pictures of some pretty impressive body modifications.

The one shown here is probably the tamest, so if you're a bit squeamish, maybe you shouldn't click on the link.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Can Tossing Video

There's a bit of juggling and various other acts of cleverness in this one.

Some good music, too, although the cuts are a bit harsh at times.

Physics Game

I'm no fan of computer games ... or games in general, really. However, this tablet-PC based game is pretty clever and I can see how it would be a lot of fun to play with.

Thanks to Spluch for the link.

My Blog's A Genius!

Well, you already knew that, of course :-).

But, now it's official. I ran both bozomode and this blog through the Blog Readability Test and here's the result ...

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Via Metafilter, I found this weird but very professional computer generated student film. It reminds me a lot of John Carpenter's "They Live".

Black & White Minstrel Show

I was just joking with my friend Carsten that he could send his eldest child down the coal mines to help out with the family finances and it reminded me of this picture I saw a while back of of a Chinese miner having a bath after work.

As Carsten said, hopefully his son wouldn't be sucking on a fag, though :-).


I'm not sure how often one would need the kind of comparisons performed by Differencia, but I'm damned certain that when that time comes, it would be a fantastic product to have around.

Basically, what it does is allow you to compare two sets of data that are in different formats ... apples and oranges, so to speak.

It's a Mac-only app and costs $US30, which is a small price to pay if you have such requirements.

Who's On First?

Thanks to Neatorama for pointing me to this video of the famous "Who's On First?" skit by Abbott & Costello, but with Abbott replaced by Yoda and Costello replaced by Jar Jar Binks.

Cute Cooler Bag

Some company called Mookie Gifts is selling this cooler bag that's shaped and coloured like an Angelfish.

I want one! It's fairly cheap at $US17.06, but I have a feeling the delivery charges would make it not quite such good value.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dear Oh Dear

I found this video via Uneasy Silence.

The young lady performs a dance sequence, combined with some trumpet playing and play acting ... none of which seems to be her strong suit :-).

Barcode Clock

This is a very clever web-based clock that shows the time in the form of both digits and the corresponding barcode lines.

It obviously loses its appeal fairly quickly, but I still think it's quite impressive.

"Wheel Of Death" Knife Block

We've seen a number of these knife blocks before (one of which appears as an inset), but I think this one is the most fun so far.

A hapless rubber "person" is strapped to the wheel and the knives appear to have been thrown at it ... with sufficient accuracy to avoid maiming the poor sod :-).

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I love mashed potatoes. Given that fact, strangely, I almost never seem to make them!

Well, the septics are about to celebrate Thanksgiving and the New York Times food and wine writer published an interesting article, describing her research into making perfect mashed potatoes.

In the process, she mashed 32 pounds of potatoes, during three days of cooking, using various recipes and mashing implements.

Tomorrow, I think I'm going to pop out and buy myself a big bag of potatoes. I'm sure I'll be sick of mash by the end of next week :-).

Mmmm ... Beer!

According to this article on Gizmodo, a New Zealand uni student has created an incredibly important tool.

It's a cooling device that super cools your beer ... or any other, inferior, beverage, I guess ... in no time flat.

Apparently, it's cooling capacity is around four times that of ice, plus it doesn't water down your beer!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Online Sticky Notes

If you checked out Ninja Words, you may have noticed a link to Jjot.

It's an online sticky notes service. Currently it has a very simple, clean, non-bloated interface. Keep your fingers crossed that it stays that way.

I've only been using it for five minutes, but it looks like it will suit me quite well. I plan to use it for the two kinds of notes I make all the time ... shopping lists and movies times.

You can print the notes out, although I've not tried that yet. Hopefully, the layout will be acceptable.

Update: Sadly, they don't use the same layout (nor the same font) for printing as for data entry. So, if you want to be able to lay out the content of your notes it's crap. For my purposes, I was able to work out a format that worked, but it's a pain in the arse that they didn't get this right!

Ninja Words

Ninja Words is a nice online dictionary service. As they advertise on the site, it's very quick ... well, until another million surfers discover it, anyway.

Bucking the normal trend, it understands correct English spelling, rather than requiring the septic version.

It also accepts US spelling, which is sad, but fair enough, I guess ... they need all the help they can get :-).

Strangely, there doesn't seem to be a one-to-one correspondence between the provided definitions. For example, "color" includes usage as an adjective, but "colour" does not. Quite peculiar.

Pipe Bytes

Pipe Bytes is the user-to-user file transfer mechanism I've been waiting for.

It's just like having an FTP server, but is purely browser based.

You start a file uploading and are given a magic code that you can send to the recipient. They enter that code on the same website and start downloading the file, directly from your machine.

There are no limits, because the file doesn't have to sit on someone else's server until the other person picks it up. Just the way it should work!

And So It Begins ...

Just as I release my new blog, Google releases the details of Android, including this video, showing some of its features.

Completely free and open source, so people can hack on it to produce the best phones possible ... barring patent issues, I guess.

I might even try to get in on some of that $US10,000,000 in rewards they're offering for innovative phone applications.

It looks pretty cool on the larger VGA-resolution device, although there seemed to be a bit of latency between touches and the application responding to them. Still, it's early days.