Musashi and I will be at Cincinnati's Ikasucon this Saturday, July 17. I'll have my laptop, and if facilities are available, we'll post from the 'con itself. Otherwise, we'll have a scene report on our return.
Any readers in the Cincy area attending Ikasucon should look us up! You can send me a text message of up to 160 characters via my cell phone. Here's the number:
We launched a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) post editor yesterday so now when you compose a post you can do all sorts of super fancy word processing type stuff. Okay, maybe text formatting is not really that exciting for all the HTMLsters out there, but it's useful and it makes posting with a little style way easier. There are even keyboard shortcuts for "save," "draft," and other Blogger-specific actions like that.
The New Post Editor Does:
align left, center, right
Its going to be really hard not to publish grotesque posts with multiple fonts, bold typeface, colors, and all kinds of hideously over-the-top formatting for a few weeks but I have confidence that eventually, you will settle in. I'll tell you a secret. When I started blogging I never even linked to stuff. Why? Because I didn't know how to make a link! Now you can just click the button that looks like a little world with a chain on top (clever!) and you're all set. If you'd rather do your own HTML or want to peek at it (perhaps to figure it out), that's cool to, you can toggle between "Edit HTML" and "Compose."
Personally I'm sticking with the HTML editor for the time being, but I'll have to check out the new features as time permits.
Machines that can be controlled by the mind have moved a step closer to reality. Researchers have trained monkeys to 'think' a cursor around a computer screen to reveal their preferences and goals.
It is hoped the technology will lead to devices that can display the thoughts of paralysed people who are unable to communicate through speech or sign. It could also aid the development of artificial limbs and robots that are operated by the brain alone.
In the past couple of years, researchers have already developed chips that recognise brain signals for movement and convert them into action. Monkeys fitted with the devices have been trained to move cursors around monitors. Such devices translate signals from the brain's motor cortex, the region that directs physical movement.
But now Richard Andersen from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and colleagues have decoded signals from a different region, the parietal cortex, which helps us plan our actions. Their study is published in Science1.
"It's the difference between thinking 'I want to move my hand to the right' and 'I want to reach for the water'," says Andersen. Devices that tap into the parietal cortex could, in theory, be used to reveal people's intentions and desires.
Actually, that's pretty spooky, come to think of it. Right now, though, such a device would reveal that my intention and desire is to go play GTA Vice City.
Swanky nightclub Chinawhite was on the verge of descending into a frenzy of flying fists on Monday night.
But, before World War Three could break out, in swooped a couple of unlikely heroes to save the day.
So, which mild-mannered celebrities saved a naughty record exec from a savage beating?
None other than Lionel "The Rocket" Richie and laid-back lothario Lenny "The Loins" Kravitz.
...Our spy at the West End venue said: "Trouble started when a man approached this record exec and accused him of making a move on his girlfriend. He was furious. He reckoned the exec had been getting hot and heavy with his other half.
Why it's so dumb: So, the same company that brings you the dark side of the force and the death star decides that tall, slow, off balance elephant thingies with laser beam-shooting tusks are the best way to ferret out the rebels from their underground fortress? Darth Vader may have been a patsy, but we all know he wasn't that stupid. If ever a huge planet destroying technology was the appropriate choice, this was it. Why we don't care: Seeing the walkers come into focus in the rebel binoculars was the moment when "Star Wars" fans realized that "The Empire Strikes Back" might indeed be cooler than the original. That scene alone could be the reason we paid to see four more.
One of the pleasures of watching Nickelodeon's Rugrats cartoon with The Girls is that the theme music was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, the lead singer for the great '80s New Wave band Devo. (Mothersbaugh also composed the music for the old PC game based on William Gibson's Neuromancer.) His latest project is an incredible exhibition of digitally distorted vintage photoggraphs called Beautiful Mutants.
And avant-garde musician Laurie Anderson has also been staying busy. Not only has she been at work composing music for the Japanese gardens at the upcoming 2005 World Expo in Japan and preparing for a US tour in the fall, but she's also finishing up a year-long stint as NASA's first-ever artist in residence, according to Newsweek.
Here's an amazing short video on how to fold a T-shirt -- or even a tank top! -- perfectly. I hope to practice up on the technique. My folded T-shirts are usually quite a mess, and I concentrate more on making sure the decal faces out so I don't have to sort through a pile of seemingly identical shirts to find the one I want.
The latest addition to the Planet Swank Technology Collection is a used Gateway laptop sporting a 333-MHz Pentium II processor and a six gigabyte hard drive.
I plan to use it as a portable writing platform, and also to use its video output capability to play some of my downloaded anime fansubs on our TV, as opposed to the computer.
It came equipped with Windows 98. Right now I'm trying to update to Windows 98 Second Edition in order to install a wireless networking card. Alas, I've encountered what seems to be a common problem: The Win98SE Setup program detects the existing version incorrectly and refuses to continue. I expect to have the problem corrected shortly -- ph34r my L33t b0x0rz skillz!
Update: Windows 98 SE proved stubborn in my attempts to correct the problem, so what the heck -- I just installed Windows 2K. After a full bakcup of the laptop hard drive, of course -- and adventure in itself, as I had to connect it to my main PC via direct parallel cable connection.
From Jaquandor I learn that Jeff Smith, aka The Frugal Gourmet, has died. Like Jaquandor, I own several of Smith's cookbooks and was an occasional viewer of his television show. I've always appreciated the chef's enthusiasm for sharing fine cuisine with friends. Planet Swank extends its condolences to the Frugal Gourmet's family, friends and fans.
makes your story a piece of pure propaganda, not news. It defies the imagination to suppose that the comments of a partisan Republican are a reasonable example of what Bush's tax cuts mean to the viewer. The fact that you filed to identify Mr. Cariello's obviously partisan affiliation casts severe doubt on your news judgement, and diminishes your credibility.