Flipper Critters DS video

(via 4ColorRebellion)
Flipper_Critters_picture_00.jpgI love pinball. I want a pinball machine for home, but haven’t found a decent one at a price I can/will pay. While searching for that pinball deal, I resign myself to PC based pinball simluators. While this provides entertainment, it’s missing the tactile experience one gets with real pinball. Going the other way, however, is Flipper Critters – a Nintendo DS game coming out in Europe later this year. Sure, it too is missing the whole actual experience of pinball, but dang it, at least we get portability. I’ll probably pick up this game if it makes it to the US (or if I can find an importer with the game at a reasonable price). Wondering why? Well, check out the video. Looks good to me.

p.s. Video link originally from and screenshot stolen from NintendoGal.

[tags]Nintendo DS, pinball[/tags]

Large parts of SCO lawsuit thrown out

(via Ars Technica)

In part of the ongoing lawsuit in which SCO claims it will prove something it has so far failed to prove in 3 years, Magistrate Brooke C. Wells of the US District Court in Salt Lake City has dismissed 182 of SCO’s 294 claims.

The dismissal is part of a 39-page ruling that comes down hard on SCO for continually refusing to provide specific details about which lines of code in SCO’s products were stolen by Linux programmers.

“SCO’s arguments are akin to SCO telling IBM, ‘Sorry we are not going to tell you what you did wrong because you already know,'” Wells wrote in the ruling. “Given the amount of code that SCO has received in discovery, the court finds it inexcusable that SCO is, in essence, still not placing all the details on the table.”

SCO’s reaction to the news was predictably unrevealing. “Our legal team is reviewing the judge’s ruling and will determine our next steps in the near future,” said SCO spokesperson Blake Stowell.

Yeah, this case just keeps looking worse and worse for SCO.  Of course, I think that’s probably expected by most after watching 3 years of nothing coming that SCO says it will deliver.

[tags]SCO, IBM, SCO vs. IBM, Linux lawsuit[/tags]

Nintendo sends President Bush a DS and Brain Age game for birthday

(via Engadget)

As a “Happy Birthday” gift, Nintendo has sent a Nintendo DS Lite to the President and the game Brain Age.  For those not familiar with the game, Brain Age is a game which supposedly helps improve mental function and delays age related memory loss.  This seems like an attempt at a humorous slap at President given the reputation he has in the media.  A bit bold for Nintendo, though, even if intended as a good-natured jab.
[tags]Nintendo, Nintendo DS, Brain Age[/tags]

Nintendo DS browser missing some “essentials”

(via DS Fanboy)

The latest bit of info from IGN concerning the Nintendo DS browser (based on Opera, by the way), indicates it will be missing some features considered essential by some.  Which essentials?  Well, the browser won’t support Flash media, viewing PDF or video files, nor playing back sound.  Also, you will not be able to save images for later viewing.  But you can save bookmarks.

I have to say, for me, the missing features are nowhere near essential to me.  I install a Flash blocker extension in every Mozilla install I do for myself anyway, and if I want to view PDF files, I’m more likely to try to get them in rocketbook format for viewing on my EBookwise ebook reader or look at them via my PC anyway.  I often browse with sound turned off, so I’ll not miss that, and most videos are not worth viewing anyway, so I doubt I’ll notice that missing, either.  So for me, nothing essential is missing.

[tags]Nintendo DS, Opera browser[/tags]

Why you should destroy your own hard drives

This Security Awareness article is old news now, but still required reading if you missed it the first go around. The basis of the story is simple – a couple paid for an upgraded hard drive on their system and received assurances from the Best Buy techs that the drive would be destroyed so no one could recover their information from the drive.

“They said rest assured. They drill holes in it so it’s useless,” said Gerbus.

A few months ago, Gerbus got a phone call from a man in Chicago.

“He said, ‘My name is Ed. I just bought your hard drive for $25 at a flea market in Chicago,” said Gerbus. “I thought my world was coming down.”

Hmmmmm. That’s doesn’t sound to me like the drive was destroyed with holes drilled in it. It does sound like Ed was decent and wasn’t going to steal the couples’ identities. But one can never be too careful.

“He said, ‘Do you want me to wipe it clean or send it to you?’ I told him to send it to me. I wanted it in my hands,” said Gerbus.

Gerbus received the hard drive a few weeks later.

As a precaution, the couple alerted the major credit bureaus to protect their information.

“I’m not leaving myself open to indentity theft,” said Gerbus.

Target 5’s Tom Sussi contacted Best Buy to figure out how the Gerbus’ hard drive wound up at a flea market outside Chicago.

In case you are wondering, Best Buy promises to investigate the matter.  I haven’t heard anything since this story first ran, so I don’t know what Best Buy found as the cause.

[tags]Security, Data destruction, Best Buy[/tags]

Sperm have a sense of smell

Here’s a little bit of news that I doubt many people knew. The fine folks at SEED magazine have published a short about the sense of smell that sperm have.

A new study published in the journal Analytical Chemistry shows that sperm have a sense of smell. Further, it’s so sophisticated that even an ovarian scent that’s diluted 100,000 times will cause the little gametes to turn tail and swim in its direction. The study’s authors note that sperm have olfactory receptor proteins—much like those in our noses—which reside over their outer membranes. The researchers used mouse sperm for their study, but they are confident their results apply to man-sperm as well. Apparently, sperm does not hold much of a species bias, as sperm from one mammal will respond to ovarian chemicals from another.

(source: Discovery News)

I just had to post this, as how often can one post about sperm, use the term man-sperm, and speak about SEED magazine all at the same time and not be discussing something dirty? I didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to educate and use funny words at the same time. I’ll avoid the offensive or suggestive jokes I could make at this time.

However, since we’re on the subject, here’s another sex-related article from the same page.

Hold the Screaming Orgasm

Norwegians like their nights long, their herring pickled and their sex sober. According to a survey of 1736 people by Arcus, the only wine distiller in Norway, 52% of Norwegian men and 59% of Norwegian women think sex is better without social lubricant. However, 27% of men and 20% of women responded that it’s preferable to have a few glasses of wine before doing the deed. This study is the first step in Arcus’s grand plan to find out exactly when and how Norway wants its booze.

(source: Aftenposten) Thanks to Seed‘s Deputy Art Director Adam Billyeald for his translation assistance.

[tags]SEED magazine, Science news[/tags]

Diaries of Columbine cowards released

Over at CNN, we find out that the diaries of the cowards responsible for the Columbine attack have been released to the public. We can learn a little about the jack-holes responsible for the attack from these, and maybe a little about their families, as well.

On a calendar entry dated the day of the attack, April 20, the time 11:10 is written across the top — an approximate reference to when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold pulled out their weapons inside the suburban high school and started firing.

The two killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives in what remains one of the deadliest school attacks in U.S. history.

Elsewhere in the calendar are notations including “get nails” and “get propanes, fill my clips” and “finish fuses.”

Well, I’m already forming an opinion based on that last paragraph. Those of you that know me can guess what it is. Those of you that don’t know me will have to deduce it from what I have to say about the event and the diaries.

Continue reading Diaries of Columbine cowards released

US working on joint action on North Korea

Reuter’s has a brief article up today about the US response to North Korea’s recent test firing of long-range missiles. I’m watching for news on this, because I want to see inspiring leadership from our administration on this issue. To me, this is a good start, but I’ll be watching how we continue to deal with North Korea in the near future and how North Korea responds to the US.

“My message was that we want to solve this problem diplomatically, and the best way to solve the problem diplomatically is for all of us to be working in concert and to send one message, and that is — to Kim Jong Il — that, ‘We expect you to adhere to international norms, and we expect you to keep your word,’ Bush said.

“It is in our interests that we send a clear message to the leaders of North Korea,” he added at a White House news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

While China and Russia oppose sanctions on North Korea for the volley of missiles it fired, the United States and Japan have closed ranks in the face of a council split on the issue.

Anyone who knows how anything about the UN knows that China and Russia agreeing to a stance opposed to the US’ stance isn’t unusual. The interesting thing is Japan, which has at times been somewhat distanced from the issue has sided with the US for now.

A defiant North Korea vowed more tests and threatened to use force if the international community tried to stop it.

“The KPA will go on with missile launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defense in the future,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

“The DPRK will have no option but to take stronger physical actions of other forms, should any other country dare take issue with the exercises and put pressure upon it.”

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Officials say North Korea launched at least six missiles from its east coast and, as the international community fumed, fired off a seventh some 12 hours later.

Well, now we have a bit more concrete information. Yesterday, I’d seen reports of as few as three to as many as 11 missiles had been test fired. Today, North Korea acknowledged the missile firings for the first time, and gave definite numbers.

South Korea’s defense minister told a parliamentary committee that an analysis of equipment and personnel being moved in and out of a missile-launch site in North Korea suggested the possibility of more launches, Yonhap reported.

. . .

Experts say it could take weeks to prepare a Taepodong-2 for firing. Tokyo said it did not expect an imminent launch.

Well, we’ll see. Apparently, we at least have a little bit of time to consider our options more carefully.

Japan’s Koizumi and Bush agreed by phone to work together for a U.N. resolution demanding that nations halt funds and technology that could be used for Pyongyang’s missile program.

. . .

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday sanctions against North Korea would be counter-productive now.

“Trying to talk straight away about the threat of sanctions leads to reciprocal threats from North Korea, as has happened several times before. And then you still have to return to negotiations, only then it will be in a more tense atmosphere,” he told reporters.

I think that translates to “We don’t want to support the US but are scared to say so, so we’ll make up reasons for why we aren’t supporting sanctions. But I could be wrong on that.

[tags]North Korea, Missile test firings[/tags]

AOL attemping to remain relevant

(via Ars Technica)

After suffering massive declines in subscription numbers, America Online has changed directions in an attempt to remain relevant. While still charging for dial-up access, the company has announced plans to offer the AOL service for free to broadband users. This effectively changes the company from a subscription based business to a primarily advertising supported business. So some details on how this will pan out:

AOL could give up as much as $2 billion in subscription revenue if a gambit aimed at boosting the Internet service’s advertising revenue goes ahead, the Journal said.

. . .

AOL expects that 8 million of its existing dial-up customers would cancel their subscription to take advantage of the new offer. Nearly one-third of the company’s customer base of 18.6 million in the first quarter already has high-speed access, it said.

AOL is losing subscribers to high-speed Internet providers at a quickening pace, losing about 850,000 in the first quarter, the Journal said. Total U.S. subscribers at the end of 2002 was 26.5 million, the newspaper said.

So there you have it. I’ve never used AOL, but honestly, if the service were free (as in beer) to me, I might at least check it out as, some of the offerings on the service sound potentially useful.

After losing $99 billion in 2002, and while continuing to bleed-out its subscriber base, I think someone at AOL realized that this might be the only way for the once mighty company to remain viable in a broadband based future.

[tags]AOL, America Online[/tags]

How to avoid jail after ruining many peoples’ lives

Well, a round of applause to Ken Lay.  It seems Mr. Lay was able to figure out a way to avoid being indicted for screwing so many people out of so much money.  Yesterday, Ken Lay died of a heart attack while vacationing in Colorado.  He expired just two days shy of the anniversary of his first indictments in the Enron scandal.

But wait, you might say – if he was indicted nearly 2 years ago, how can you say he avoided indictment?  Well, it’s due to the nifty nature of our legal system.  From Lay’s wikipedia page we find the tasty little answer:

Since Lay died prior to exhausting his appeals, his conviction may be considered abated under precedent in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal appellate court governing the district where Lay was indicted; therefore, Lay will legally be considered never to have been indicted or convicted of criminal charges.

So there you have it.  Buy yourself a heart attack, die, ????, profit!  I’m not sure about that last step, and I’m not sure what the third step has to be, but I hear you can’t have profit without having a ???? step.

And no, I don’t actually believe Ken Lay arranged his heart attack.  This is just a good natured poke at the deceased, along with a hint of conspiracy theory in acknowledgement of the many who believe he did indeed pay someone to give him something to induce a heart attack rather than face jail and financial penalties.

[tags]Ken Lay, Enron[/tags]

Happy Birthday George!

GWBush.jpegWell, well, well. Mr. President turned 60 today. I have to say, he looks damn good for a 60 year old man. I don’t look that good at 36, so I won’t even make the normal “I hope I look that good at that age” comment, because no one that knows me and all my ailments even expects me to make it to 60.  Hats off to someone who has maintained such a good state of fitness.  Hopefully, he’ll have the same good fortune in aging that his father has had.

The above provided link to Mr. Bush’s wikipedia entry has an amazing wealth of detail, by the way.  Whether you like or dislike him, his accomplishments are well worth viewing.  And having a healthy President is always better than having an unhealthy President with someone else actually pulling the strings, so be glad he is in such good health.
[tags]President Bush, Happy Birthday, Mr. Bush[/tags]