Monday, December 10, 2007

Advertising can break into your crainum

It's official. There's not a place on Earth, or your very body, that's free from advertising now. They can beam commercials into your very living brain meats now.

I remember, after a long and memorable walk in the woods with some friends, we were making our way back to civilization. The silence and tranquility of nature was slowly but surely giving way to the glaring lights and noises of the city. It was then that I said to a friend, "Civilization...all they're trying to do is sell you stuff." Didn't think that I'd be so philosophical and utterly correct in the same breath.

From Advertising Age:

The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an "audio spotlight" from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium. The technology, ideal for museums and libraries or environments that require a quiet atmosphere for isolated audio slideshows, has rarely been used on such a scale before. For random passersby and residents who have to walk unwittingly through the area where the voice will penetrate their inner peace, it's another story.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

U.S. can kidnap whoever they damn well please

Now imagine what they can do to Americans.

from the Times Online:

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

Lobbying kills superior anthrax vaccine

It's who you know, not what you can do. Keep that in mind. The War on Terror has many corrupt and incompetent sides, and that also applies to anthrax defense. The War to Line Pockets rolls on.

from the Los Angeles Times:

The manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. of Rockville, Md., prevailed in a bitter struggle with a rival company that was preparing what federal health officials expected to be a superior vaccine. The episode illustrates the clout wielded by well-connected lobbyists over billions in spending for the Bush administration's anti-terrorism program.

Firefighters now part of War on Terror, Privacy

The Department of Homeland Security has a new idea. Surprise, surprise, it's a very bad idea.

from CBS5:

Unlike the police, firefighters and paramedics do not need warrants to get into private homes and buildings - that is why there's a new push to make them an important part of the war on terror and crime.

The Department of Homeland Security is testing a program with New York City firefighters - the idea is to give fire departments a way to share intelligence information with the appropriate agencies - a system that did not exist before.

According to the AP, Homeland Security is training New York firefighters to spot unusual or dangerous chemicals, surveillance equipment, maps, photos, blue prints, and also firearms or weapons.

Police secretly test flying surveillance drones in America

Don't be too surprised. It was only a matter of time. Have complete and utter surveillance control over your e-mails and phone conversations wasn't enough. They want to watch you from the skies.

from click2houston:

Houston police cars were surrounding the land with a roadblock in place to check each of the dignitaries arriving for the invitation-only event. The invitation spelled out, "NO MEDIA ALLOWED."

HPD Chief Harold Hurtt attended, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and dozens of officers from various police agencies in the Houston area. Few of the guests would comment as they left the test site.

News Chopper 2 had a Local 2 Investigates team following the aircraft for more than one hour as it circled overhead. Its wings spanned 10 feet and it circled at an altitude of 1,500 feet. Operators from a private firm called Insitu, Inc. manned remote controls from inside the fleet of black trucks as the guests watched a live feed from the high-powered camera aboard the 40-pound aircraft.

"I wasn't ready to publicize this," Executive Assistant Police Chief Martha Montalvo said. She and other department leaders hastily organized a news conference when they realized Local 2 Investigates had captured the entire event on camera.

Billion light-year wide hole discovered in the universe

The universe is porous. A void exists in our reality, close to a billion light-years wide, and what's stranger...it may be another universe overlapping with us.

from National Radio Astronomy Observatory :

"What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe," Williams said.

The astronomers drew their conclusion by studying data from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS), a project that imaged the entire sky visible to the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, part of the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Their careful study of the NVSS data showed a remarkable drop in the number of galaxies in a region of sky in the constellation Eridanus.

"We already knew there was something different about this spot in the sky," Rudnick said. The region had been dubbed the "WMAP Cold Spot," because it stood out in a map of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation made by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotopy Probe (WMAP) satellite, launched by NASA in 2001. The CMB, faint radio waves that are the remnant radiation from the Big Bang, is the earliest "baby picture" available of the Universe. Irregularities in the CMB show structures that existed only a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Feds react to hearsay, rumours

I'm keeping this in mind for practical jokes and revenge tactics. Apparently, all it takes to sic the Feds on someone nowadays is an e-mail with the right keywords thrown in.

from AFP Yahoo news:

The 40-year-old son-in-law and his wife were in the process of divorcing when the husband had to travel to the United States for business.

The wife didn't want him to travel since she was sick and wanted him to help care for their children, regional daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet said without disclosing the couple's names.

When the husband refused to stay home, his father-in-law wrote an email to the FBI saying the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda in Sweden and that he was travelling to the US to meet his contacts.

He provided information on the flight number and date of arrival in the US.

The son-in-law was arrested upon landing in Florida. He was placed in handcuffs, interrogated and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being put on a flight back to Europe, the paper said.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hantenoy


Hantenoy
Originally uploaded by troy_doney
Found in an alleyway in Vermillion, South Dakota. Not sure what that name means.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oil supply goes downhill from here

Start putting together your Mad Max mobile. Read up on some literature so you can expect what comes next. Global petrol supplies reached the highest they can get, and it can only plunge from here.

from New Scientist:

EWG analysed oil production figures and predicted it would fall by 7 per cent a year, dropping to half of current levels by 2030. The announcement comes as oil prices reached record highs last week, at more than $90 a barrel, and contradicts optimistic projections by the International Energy Agency in Paris, France.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kangaroo burgers can help stop Global Warming

Greenpeace says that one way we can help stop global warming is to stop eating beef, and start devouring Australia's national symbol. Here's a few tips on how to get started.

from the Herald Sun:

The eat roo recommendation is contained in a report, Paths to a Low-Carbon Future, commissioned by Greenpeace and released today.

It also coincides with recent calls from climate change experts for people in rich countries to reduce red meat and switch to chicken and fish because land-clearing and burping and farting cattle and sheep were damaging the environment.

They said nearly a quarter of the planet's greenhouse gases came from agriculture, which releases the potent heat-trapping gas methane.

Report author Dr Mark Diesendorf said reducing beef consumption by 20 per cent and putting Skippy on the dinner plate instead would cut 15 megatonnes of greenhouses gases from the atmosphere by 2020.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kevin Ferguson signs with MMA organization

I've never tried to hide my enjoyment of the Kimbo Slice phenomenon. A fan of his backyard brawl videos, I rejoiced when he won his exhibition match against Ray Mercer. Now, the Beast is going pro. I'm totally joining Team Kimbo.

from MMA weekly:

Representatives of ProElite, Inc. on Thursday confirmed that the company has signed Kevin Ferguson (commonly known as Kimbo Slice) to a long-term contract. Exact details as to the length and terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Mental incompetents ruin legitimate trade in Netherlands

After a few accidents of high repute involving people whose common sense was impaired while they were sober, the Dutch government is banning the sale of psilocybe mushrooms.

For more on this topic, I forward you to the esteemed, late Mr. Hicks.

from the BBC:

Calls for a re-evaluation of the drug grew after a 17-year-old French girl jumped from a building after eating magic mushrooms during a school trip to Amsterdam in March.

Other incidents involving the drug have included an Icelandic tourist jumping from a balcony and breaking both legs and a Danish tourist driving his car wildly through a camping ground, narrowly missing sleeping campers.

"It's a shame, the media really blew this up into a big issue," said Chloe Collette, owner of the FullMoon shop, which sells magic mushrooms in Amsterdam.

She said all the incidents had involved magic mushrooms in conjunction with other drugs.

Boot camp murders ward

It seems that giving carte blanche and highly effective restraint/strangulation grapples to barely trained personnel isn't a good idea. Does anybody remember the Stanford prison experiment?

from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The death has been ruled a homicide, the autopsy report says.

Bruce P. Levy found that Leach had "multiple hemorrhages" of his neck muscles from a clash June 2 with two staffers at the Chad Youth Enhancement Center outside Nashville.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

TroyVision: Atheism: Jonathan Miller's Brief History of Disbelief - Shadows of Doubt

Jonathan Miller visits the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and meets Arthur ... Miller and the philosopher Colin McGinn. He searches for evidence of the first 'unbelievers' in Ancient Greece and examines some of the modern theories around why people have always tended to believe in mythology and magic.



parts 2 and 3

External Short Term Memory 8-18-07

Estevan Oriol photography of street life in Los Angeles, amongst other interesting topics.

Human/Neanderthal interbreeding (what?)

The Mysteries of Marilyn Manson's Mansion


The City in the Crosshairs: A conversation with Stephen Graham (pt. 1)


Could cosmic dust actually be a life-form?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Troy Vision 08-04-07

In the coming months the most complex scientific instrument ever built will be switched on. The Large Hadron Collider promises to recreate ... all » the conditions right after the Big Bang. By revisiting the beginning of time, scientists hope to unravel some of the deepest secrets of our Universe.

Pot-heads can now join the FBI

Truly a proud moment in the War on Drugs.

from USA today:

"Increasingly, the goal for the screening of security clearance applicants is whether you are a current drug user, rather than whether you used in the past," said Tom Riley, a spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "It's not whether you have smoked pot four times or 16 times 20 years ago. It's about whether you smoked last week and lied about it."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sci-Fi writers latest recruits in War on Terror

Homeland Security has figured out what we need to be safe. Science fiction writers! From Nerd to Jack Bauer...9/11 changed everything.

from USA Today:

"Fifty years ago, science-fiction writers told us about flying cars and a wireless handheld communicator," says Christopher Kelly, spokesman for Homeland Security's Science and Technology division. "Although flying cars haven't evolved, cellphones today are a way of life. We need to look everywhere for ideas, and science-fiction writers clearly inform the debate."

Monday, May 28, 2007

National Guard for the 'Net

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has called for a national volunteer organization of trained and well-coordinated units of IT professionals from U.S. technology companies. Tasked to quickly recreate and repair compromised communications and technology infrastructures during national emergencies.

from atnewyork.com:

"What this country needs is essentially a technology equivalent of the National Guard: a National Emergency Technology Guard - NET Guard - that in times of crisis would be in a position to mobilize our nation's information technology, or IT, community to action quickly, just as the National Guard is ready to move during emergencies."

Salem seeks standard test for psychics

City councilors are trying to set up a bar exam for local psychics, to control the rampant flow of unlicensed, unscreened, and oddly enough, untrustworthy amount of clairvoyants new to the city.

from the Salem News:

"There has to be criteria or you're going to get garbage coming here," Barbara Szafranski, the owner of Angelica of the Angels, predicted. "Everybody here is a legitimate person who's worked for years and years. ... When you do a reading, you hold a person's life right in your hands. We have people come to us who are willing to commit suicide, who won't go to a psychiatrist, so they come to us."

"What are the criteria?" asked a baffled Councilor-at-large Joan Lovely. "Is there schooling?"

Friday, May 25, 2007

Police can raid your home without "absolute certainty"

Cops can force you out of bed, point guns at you (while you're naked), and look for seven guys who haven't lived there for three months. They can do this, and not violate your rights.

I'm putting in a moat.

from the Los Angeles Times:

In December 2001, Los Angeles County sheriffs were looking for four black suspects in an identity-theft scheme. One of them was known to have a gun. When the deputies set out to raid a home in Lancaster, they did not know the suspects had moved three months earlier. Rettele had bought the home in September and lived there with Sadler and her 17-year-old son.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Quasi-martial law enacted in Baltimore

Large chunks of Baltimore are undergoing a process very similar to martial law, all in an attempt to curb a high homicide rate.

from the Baltimore Sun:

The legislation - which met with a lukewarm response from Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration yesterday, and which others likened to martial law - would allow police to close liquor stores and bars, limit the number of people on city sidewalks and halt traffic in areas declared "public safety act zones." It comes as the number of homicides in Baltimore reached 108, up from 98 at the same time last year.

"Desperate measures are needed when we're in desperate situations," said City Council Vice President Robert W. Curran, the bill's author. "What I'm trying to do is give the mayor additional tools."

Russia engages Estonia in cyberwar

Russia apparently unleashed the internet hounds of hell upon Estonia. Is this the next form of state-vs-state warfare?

We can't we all just sit down to a good, fair, high stakes game of pong?

from the Guardian:

A three-week wave of massive cyber-attacks on the small Baltic country of Estonia, the first known incidence of such an assault on a state, is causing alarm across the western alliance, with Nato urgently examining the offensive and its implications.

While Russia and Estonia are embroiled in their worst dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a row that erupted at the end of last month over the Estonians' removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn, the country has been subjected to a barrage of cyber warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies.

SWAT team raids wrong house, woops

A North Carolina woman is filing a complaint after a SWAT team erroneously raided her house, forcing kids to the ground at gunpoint.

from citizen-times.com:

Sandra Braswell said the officers threw two smoke grenades into her house at 208 N. Oak St. around 1:30 a.m. Saturday while her 16-year-old grandson and six of his friends were having a party on the back porch.

She said the officers, with guns drawn, told the teenagers to get on the floor. When some of the teenagers tried to run, the officers forced them to the ground and pinned their hands behind their backs.

“They didn't show no warrant,” she said on Monday. “They didn’t have no warrant for this house. They made me lay in the floor, though. I couldn’t say nothing, with my hands up in the air and all these kids in here on the floor. One of the kids laying across form me, cop got a gun pointed to his head.”

Kyoto Protocol endorsed by U.S. mayors, bypass President Bush

About 500 US mayors signed the Kyoto Protocol, a snub to the anti-Kyoto President Bush.

from Seed Magazine:

"Mayors took action because we have to, because the federal government was silent," said Douglas Palmer, head of the United States conference of Mayors.

A total of 514 US mayors attending an environment summit of world city leaders signed the accord to slash pollutants to below 1990 levels by 2012.

The United States Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement is the only climate protection agreement of its kind among US elected officials. Bush has refused to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

School holds mock gun attack, terrify children

The staff of an elementary school used 'poor judgement' and staged a mock rampage, neglecting to mention to the children that it wasn't mock.

from CNN:

During the last night of the trip, staff members convinced the 69 students that there was a gunman on the loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, even pulled on a locked door.

After the lights went out, about 20 kids started to cry, 11-year-old Shay Naylor said.

"I was like, 'Oh My God,' " she said. "At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped out."

Principal Catherine Stephens declined to say whether the staff members involved would face disciplinary action, but said the situation "involved poor judgment."

Canadian Gravity Mystery Solved; What?

Apparently, Canada has had a weird dip in gravity around Hudson Bay. I wasn't aware of that. There's a certain surrealism to this whole story.

from LiveScience:

"There are many uncertainties about the last ice age and its impact on the Earth," said one of the study’s researchers Jerry Mitrovica, a physicist at the University of Toronto. “We are able to show that the ghost of the ice age still hangs over North America."

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cold War's hidden casualties

The laborers who helped build America's nuclear weapons are getting a raw deal. Exposed to radiation on a ridiculous level, these workers are much older now, and very sick with cancer. The cherry on top to this yellowcake is how they're getting the run around for deserved benefits from the Dept. of Labor.

from the Washington Post:

"They couldn't scrub the radiation off my skin -- even after four showers," McKenzie, 52, recalled of his most terrifying day at the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant near Aiken, S.C. "They took my clothes, my watch and even my ring, and sent me home in rubber slippers and a jumpsuit."

Later, when doctors discovered the first of 19 malignant tumors on his bladder, McKenzie followed the same torturous path as thousands of nuclear weapons workers with cancer: He filed a claim for federal compensation. It was denied.

Unable to access secret government files, or even some of his own personnel records, McKenzie could not sufficiently prove that he was exposed to something that may have made him sick. Nor can most of the 104,000 other workers, retirees and family members who have sought help from a federal program intended to atone for decades of hazardous working conditions at scores of nuclear weapons facilities around the country.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Genetic discrimination to be made illegal

If you wanted to deny anyone a job or insurance just because they have unfavorable genetics, you'd better do it soon.

From New Scientist:

On 25 April, the House of Representatives voted 420 to 3 to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The Senate is expected to endorse the act within a few weeks, which is also supported by President Bush. "I am so stunned by the majority," says Sharon Terry, president of the Genetic Alliance, a charity lobbying for the rights of people with inherited illnesses.

"Clearly the House finally understood the incredible significance this has. The American public can now access genetic tests, feel safe about their genetic information not being misused and participate in research that involves genetic information."

Pentagon promises cyber binoculars in 3 years

The Pentagon is saying that it can put out a rather impressive piece of collaborative technology. Reading brain signals and everything. I hope there are applications for this tech beyond shooting people more efficiently.

From Wired:

In a new effort dubbed "Luke's Binoculars" -- after the high-tech binoculars Luke Skywalker uses in Star Wars -- the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is setting out to create its own version of this science-fiction hardware. And while the Pentagon's R&D arm often focuses on technologies 20 years out, this new effort is dramatically different -- Darpa says it expects to have prototypes in the hands of soldiers in three years.

Bush wants privacy lawsuit immunity for phone companies

President Bush wants to help phone companies out with pesky lawsuits over violations of privacy.

href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/03/AR2007050302323.html">Washington Post:

The Bush administration is urging Congress to pass a law that would halt dozens of lawsuits charging phone companies with invading ordinary citizens’ privacy through a post-Sept. 11 warrantless surveillance program.

The measure is part of a legislative package drafted by the Justice Department to relax provisions in the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that restrict the administration’s ability to intercept electronic communications in the United States. If passed, the proposed changes would forestall efforts to compel disclosure of the program’s details through Congress or the court system.

The proposal states that “no action shall lie . . . in any court, and no penalty . . . shall be imposed . . . against any person” for giving the government information, including customer records, in connection with alleged intelligence activity the attorney general certifies “is, was, would be or would have been” intended to protect the United States from terrorist attack. The measure, which has not yet been filed, is contained in a proposed amendment to the fiscal 2008 intelligence authorization bill.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Abstinence Sex Ed Useless

Sexual abstinence class is about as effective in preventing premarital sex as those who didn't attend the classes at all, according to a recent study.

It's funny. It's mostly religious social conservatives who back abstinence sexual education. These people are largely aware of the story of Adam, Eve, the Apple, and how making something mysterious and forbidden leads to undesirable results.

from the BBC:


The students in this study, which was ordered by Congress, came from a range of big cities across the United States, such as Milwaukee and Miami and from rural communities in Virginia and Mississippi.

They were 11 and 12 years old when they entered the abstinence programmes, which lasted one to two years.

The researchers also looked at the behaviour of their peers from the same communities who did not attend the classes.

The findings show that those who attended first had sex at about the same age as their peers - at 14 years and nine months.


The Bush administration has warned against drawing sweeping conclusions from the study.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spy chief wants to spy exponentially

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is peddling a bill that would expand the government's surveillance authority. Because too much is never enough, especially with phone taps.

From the AP:

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has circulated a draft bill that would expand the government's powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, liberalizing how that law can be used.

Known as "FISA," the 1978 law was passed to allow surveillance in espionage and other foreign intelligence investigations, but still allow federal judges on a secretive panel to ensure protections for U.S. citizens — at home or abroad — and other permanent U.S. residents.

The changes McConnell is seeking mostly affect a cloak-and-dagger category of warrants used to investigate suspected spies, terrorists and other national security threats. The court-approved surveillance could include planting listening devices and hidden cameras, searching luggage and breaking into homes to make copies of computer hard drives.

Bio-Crops can escape, kill

An article from the New York Times on bio-engineered crops. A bit of an eye opener, as I'm ignorant on this topic. Rather scary. I don't read horror novels or sci-fi anymore, you know. I just read the news. The need for fear and strange is filled nicely.

From the New York Times:

Despite science-based concerns voiced by farmers, environmentalists and even its own researchers, the United States Department of Agriculture has approved more than 100 applications to grow so-called biopharma crops of corn, soybeans, barley, rice, safflower and tobacco in the United States.

Developers say these crops are the best way to achieve the economies of scale and cost savings that will let them meet rising demand for drugs like human insulin.

They acknowledge that growing pharmaceutical crops is riskier than making drugs in factories. They know that the plants contain potentially toxic drugs and chemicals, and because they look like ordinary crops, they can be mistaken for food, both before and after harvest.

The most important thing, then, is to keep biopharma plants, pollen and seeds confined to the fields where they are planted. Otherwise, they may contaminate other crops, wild relatives and the environment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Insurgents capture bomb disposal robot; why?

It's not exactly a major point of the linked story, but I found it terribly interesting nonetheless. Just what on Earth are they doing with that bomb-bot? Conversion doesn't mean the same thing for machines as it does for humans. More of a software process, really.

from CNN:

A spokesman for al-Sadr said Saturday that militia fighters in Diwaniya had destroyed three American vehicles and captured a robot used to detonate roadside bombs, AP reported.

Conneticut's State Polka and Punk Rock songs

So, shall we soon see state rap and death metal songs?

from the Hartford Advocate:

Currently, two bills are being considered by the state government that would shore up our state’s musical heritage. Proposed Bill No. 5328 is also known as “An Act Concerning the State Polka.” Ansonia native Peter J. Danielczuk, a radio DJ who hosts polka shows on Bridgeport’s WDJZ 1530 AM and WNHU 88.7 FM, has been lobbying members of the legislature to make “Ballroom Polka” the state’s official polka song.

and...

The polka song proposal led to another music-related bill. When State Planning and Development Committee Clerk Eric Stroker heard the bill, he decided Connecticut needed to be the first state to adopt an official punk-rock song.

“I’m dedicated to the idea of expanding the scope of how government looks at youth and culture,” Stroker said.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blood flow, movement power nanogenerator

I can't help but think of mice on excercise wheels powering light bulbs.

from physorg.com:

Researchers have demonstrated a prototype nanometer-scale generator that produces continuous direct-current electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from such environmental sources as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow.
Based on arrays of vertically-aligned zinc oxide nanowires that move inside a novel “zig-zag” plate electrode, the nanogenerators could provide a new way to power nanoscale devices without batteries or other external power sources.

“This is a major step toward a portable, adaptable and cost-effective technology for powering nanoscale devices,” said Zhong Lin Wang, Regents’ Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “There has been a lot of interest in making nanodevices, but we have tended not to think about how to power them. Our nanogenerator allows us to harvest or recycle energy from many sources to power these devices.”

Monday, March 26, 2007

Brain logs subliminal images

Subliminal images register in the brain, UK researchers report. Keep in mind that while it was banned in the UK, it's still legal in the United States.

from the BBC:

Dr Bahador Bahrami, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, said: "What's interesting here is that your brain does log things that you aren't even aware of and can't ever become aware of.
"The brain is open to what's around it. So if there is 'spare capacity', in terms of attention, the brain will allocate that resource to subliminal activity.
"These findings point to the sort of impact that subliminal advertising may have on the brain.
"What this study doesn't address is whether this would then influence you to go out and buy a product."
Dr Bahrami is set to carry out more research to evaluate the further impact of subliminal words and images.

Digital Immortals

A new research project between the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Central Florida in Orlando are aiming to create historical archives of people's knowledge combined with lifelike representations.

From PhysOrg.com:

"The goal is to combine artificial intelligence with the latest advanced graphics and video game-type technology to enable us to create historical archives of people beyond what can be achieved using traditional technologies such as text, audio and video footage," said Jason Leigh, associate professor of computer science and director of UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory. Leigh is UIC's lead principal investigator.

EVL will build a state-of-the-art motion-capture studio to digitalize the image and movement of real people who will go on to live a virtual eternity in virtual reality. Knowledge will be archived into databases. Voices will be analyzed to create synthesized but natural-sounding "virtual" voices. Mannerisms will be studied and used in creating the 3-D virtual forms, known technically as avatars.


At the moment the project sounds a lot like a library with a hologram man talking to you. Though I could see this getting interesting as time goes on. Imagine: Everyone signing up for immortal digitization! Heads of state! Religious leaders! Ex-Girlfriends! Z-List Celebrities! Pets!

Can we use this for fictional people perhaps?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Channel Troy 2-25-07

Yet another new type of post here at Man Bites Dog. Posts that are just about the videos I come across on the internet. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Right Wing Mobius strip

I should first mention that I loathe the elitist terms Mainstream Media and Old Media. It sounds like scenester nonsense jargon, and until blogging really gets its wings, I don't think that it should be integrated into actual news.

Another reason why we should hold off on blogging joining broadcast news is that nobody seems to know how to use it right. CNN had people reading computers on screen. Faaaaaascinating. Now, Fox News will have a show reacting to blogs that are in turn reacting to news. A closed circuit of closed minds.

I'm really looking forward to their version of the Daily Show, though. Conservatives have never been very funny, and Joel Surnow's 24 writing never struck me as laden with humor potential.

From Variety:

"It's Out There," a half-hour of stories derived from blogs, will get a half-hour test run following Joel Surnow's satirical take on news.

Show, fronted by conservative blogger-columnist Michele Malkin and former Clinton administration operative Kirsten Powers, will take on political and cultural issues enflaming the blogosphere.

Hyper Intelligent Legos

I've always wanted to be a writer, and science fiction was a genre I was particularly in love with. I just find it hard to write about it, what with all of the weird things already going on in our world today. A good example of this science fiction realism is the Superbot. Be sure to check out the many videos of this odd machine at work.

From PhysOrg:

"Superbot consists of Lego-like but autonomous robotic modules that can reconfigure into different systems for different tasks. Examples of configurable systems include rolling tracks or wheels (for efficient travel), spiders or centipedes (for climbing), snakes (for burrowing in ground), long arms (for inspection and repair in space), and devices that can fly in micro-gravity environment."

Weird Science

A very interesting interview with the director of DARPA, the military technology agency.

from Wired:

"We're on the verge of having computers with densities approaching a monkey's brain, and it won't be long before we'll have a computer with the density of transistors, or equivalent to neurons and almost human. What we're missing is the architecture."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Breeding requirement for married couples under Wash. initiative

The Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance have a thing for irony. Would this be called putting your money where your womb is?

from NWCN.com:

Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.


“For many years, social conservatives have claimed that marriage exists solely for the purpose of procreation ... The time has come for these conservatives to be dosed with their own medicine," said WA-DOMA organizer Gregory Gadow in a printed statement. “If same-sex couples should be barred from marriage because they can not have children together, it follows that all couples who cannot or will not have children together should equally be barred from marriage."

Sunday, February 04, 2007

external short-term memory 2-04-07

I don't think I really explained what the point of the external short-term memory posts was.

In a nutshell, there are things I find on the internet that, while interesting, aren't particularly worthy of an individual post. It can also be described as blogging that's even more ADD friendly.

Without further ado, more external short-term memory:

The Ad Generator

Oddly addictive and hypnotic impromptu web-art. From the site:
"A generative artwork that explores how advertising uses and manipulates language. Words and semantic structures from real corporate slogans are remixed and randomized to generate invented slogans. These slogans are then paired with related images from Flickr, thereby generating fake advertisements on the fly."

How to be a Cryptozoologist
A how-to. Useful, until the X-Files calls me back about my application.

Things To Come
A 1936 British SciFi film, directed by William Cameron Menzies, but more importantly, written by H.G. Wells. It's old school, and I'm a huge fan of old school.

Michael Crichton invented

Rarely do I see a change in the direction of George Orwell's 1984 and not cringe so badly. The change this time is literary rather then political. I do appreciate something other then another visible push towards draconian authoritarianism, but I still grumble about the further diluting of creativity.

Enough pedantic nonsense. Here's your auto-novel.

From Discovery News:

The program, called MEXICA, is the first to generate original stories based on computerized representations of emotions and tensions between characters.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another Go At It

It's a new semester, a new year, and other things that metaphorically inspire a person to give blogging another go.

I'm not disillusioned, but I was slightly burned out.

I'm not terribly sure where I'm going to be going with the blog, since I want to try out new things. But believe me, you'll still get your weird news and other oddities.

I guess I want to make this blog a bit of a middle ground between blogging on what little of print journalism I've learned thus far. I'm sure this unholy Frankenstein will stumble about like someone hit in the head, break some of your more important valuables, and awkwardly pass out on your bathroom floor.

If it doesn't, this could prove to be somewhat interesting.

About Me

My photo
I'm Troy Doney. I'm on the internet. I'm the writer of the blog "Off the Reservation" at New West. I also write a blog at Reznet. My personal blog is Man Bites Dog. I post my pictures at Flickr and I write short sentences at Twitter.

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