So, maybe a year ago I changed my “religion” on Facebook, because I wanted to make sure I had something in there that really defined me. I settled on “Coed Naked Motorcycle Hiking”, because I like motorcycles and I like hiking and “coed naked” seems to go pretty well in front of anything. Facebook didn’t think this religion existed, so I created a page complete with a photo from Waking Ned Devine. You know, that scene where the wrinkly old dude is riding a motorcycle naked. It seemed appropriate, and I guess I had old shriveled dudes on my mind for some reason.
Today I find that someone took an interest in my made up religion:
“Cool!” I exclaimed. Is that a dog in his profile picture? “Let’s find out more about this person!”
WTF dude? Is this allowed on Facebook? If it is it should not be. Maybe I’m just a prude or something, but damn. This honestly made me think that maybe Facebook should go back to college students only. I’m past that now, but come on folks, Facebook is not Adult Friend Finder.
Star Trek had it right. They were a bunch of peace loving (except for Worf) scientists roaming the universe in a war ship. They always kept their cool when someone faced them down, but if they needed to Jean Luc had no problem blasting the enemy out of the sky.
I’ve been reading Animal Farm recently, and it has impressed upon me the need to maintain arms and a force capable of using them no matter how peaceful society gets. And today may be the most peaceful time in history, so it’s important to think about these things.
In Animal Farm, a group overthrows the person who controls them, and gives up violence in general. One of their own takes advantage of their weakness and uses force to enslave them again.
This has many parallels in history, and though i’m not worried about this occurring anytime soon in our society, it would be foolish not to remain prepared for one of history’s lessons. Bankers taking advantage of current regulation and poor oversight are one modern example of this. Of course, it would be as foolish to become protectionist, or to overdo it and thereby limit our security and freedom.
People must remain vigilant. Even though we have peace today, and even as we seek ways to increase the peace in the World, we must be prepared to defend ourselves against the jerks who would take advantage of us. Star Trek had it right in this sense. They always tried peace, even with the Romulans, but they never forgot how to use force.
Here’s a list of great papers in Computer Science. There are some great papers on there, but one thing missing is the book, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. That’s not exactly a paper, I suppose, but it is one of the most influential programming books.
Regarding books that I need to read, here’s a list of 88 books that influenced America. I need to remember to read some of those, along with The Old Man and the Sea… I guess I just need to finish that last one at some point…
“Here’s your coffee. I gave it to you in a large mug because I think I broke all the medium ones.”
“Yeah, well, we moved all the glasses down low, and whenever I open the cabinet one falls out.”
Wired has some great reporting, and this story is no different.
On July 3rd, I installed this exhibition app on all the free computers at the 14th Street Apple Store. […] When the slideshow first opened, it would capture an image of whoever was standing in front of the computer, and show them first before fading into the previously captured photos.
It’s the backstory behind the “People Staring at Computers” art exhibit. This guy wrote a program which used a MacBook’s webcam to detect faces, then capture a photo and send it to his server. He installed it at a few Apple stores and let it run for a few days. Many people think the result is pretty cool (and I agree), but Apple and the Secret Service didn’t.
“I’m not really a computer security person, so I don’t understand how that law applies here. Did Apple just call you up and say ‘we want you to check this guy out’?”
“Something like that.”
“Can anyone do that? Can I call you up?”
The agent who had been taking notes chimed in: “I suppose so, if you just open up the Yellow Pages we’re right there, on the inside cover.”
They busted him! Despite this temporary pain, the guy has a hell of a story now, and it all turned out well in the end. It seems like the Secret Service folks were very reasonable too, and that’s pretty awesome. Here’s a video demoing Kyle’s work.