Friday, February 10, 2006

Links and Lots of Them

So many links have piled up around here that I'm just going to post one big batch of them with an absolute and complete lack of order. Your Friday morning is ruined--pull up a chair and a snack.

Western Union has ended their telegram service, which I guess would be a defining moment if anyone had noticed. It's remarkable that a form of communication that was so vitally important for so many years vanished with so little fanfare. Thanks to Michael Clayton for the link.

Here's an odd one, but I've had at least ten people send it to me in the last week. It's a woman who paints with colored sand, and she does it in front of a live audience. Bizarre, but the video clips are pretty remarkable. And how does anyone realize they have a talent for something like that?

From Mike Rozek, a link to the "galley copy" of James Frey's "new book." If you read "A Million Little Pieces" and followed the recent scandal, this is very funny. Here's the link:

From DQ reader Sirius, a link to another very interesting article over at Mark's SysInternals Blog. It seems that some CD burning/disc emulation programs are using rootkits to defeate DRM. Another methodical, thorough piece of work from this guy, who has done some spectacular investigative pieces in the last three months.

From half the people who read this column comes this link, about a little robotic dinosaur called "Pleo." Okay, the company is calling it a "truly autonomous life form" (cough--bullshit--cough), but it does seem to have some advanced A.I. and looks to be both more intelligent and considerably cuter than Robo Raptor.

Hasbro introduced a "realistic, life-size pony" today as well, but I'm not linking to that. Ponies drool--dinosaurs rule.

From the BBC, an article on dark matter. Here's an excerpt:
With the aid of 7,000 separate measurements, the researchers have been able to establish that the galaxies contain about 400 times the amount of dark matter as they do normal matter.

..."It looks like you cannot ever pack it smaller than about 300 parsecs - 1,000 light-years; this stuff will not let you. That tells you a speed actually - about 9km/s - at which the dark matter particles are moving because they are moving too fast to be compressed into a smaller scale.

Pretty astonishing information, and here's the link:

From a bunch of different people (as well as Robot Wisom Weblog), a link to a modest version of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine--made with Legos. It's utterly ridiculous and totally amazing, and here's the link:

From DQ reader Don Barree, a link to an article about a "lost world" found in Indonesia in a section of the Foja Mountains. What makes the discovery remarkable is that researchers have found dozens of new species of birds, butterflies, frogs, and plants. It's hard to believe that there are still places on Earth that are remote beyond the reach of humans.

Well, not this place anymore, obviously, but you know what I mean. Here's the link:

Via Engadget, a link to a new generation of cochlear implants. They are both more effective as well as incredibly small--roughly the size of a grain of rice. Incredible, and here's the link:

Site Meter