Friday, March 31, 2006

Must-Avoid TV

At one time, my friend Ken and I were hooked on a goofy Japanese show usually shown on Spike TV (the only time I would ever watch Spike TV, I hasten to add) called MXC (Most Extreme Challenge or something like that) that subjects inexplicably enthusiastic contestants to a series of horribly painful and humiliating physical activities, such as running as fast as you can into a closed and locked door, jumping off a ramp onto a giant spinning mushroom, leaping onto a rotating surfboard and then being knocked into filthy water by a giant pink dolphin (a metaphor for life, it is our contention), and trying to run across giant rotating cylinders, among many many others that defy easy description. As long as you turn the sound on the TV off, it's very funny, in a twisted sort of way (the Spike people felt the need to add a staggeringly unfunny, extremely lewd play-by-play voiceover). It's actually a Japanese program called Takeshi's Castle, and I would like to someday see it without the stupid voiceovers (the dialog in the original is actually supposed to be fairly witty).

I mention this because I had not been aware of the depths of Japanese television until I was watching Wednesday night's Colbert Report and they showed a brief clip of what looked like a Japanese show featuring a Komodo dragon trapped in a plastic dome. For some reason, Japanese women would poke their heads into the dome--with a piece of raw meat strapped to their foreheads--and have to duck out of the way when the dragon charged at them. Sort of a disturbing version of Whack-a-Mole. I was intensely curious as to what this was, so I Googled "Japanese TV Komodo dragon" and, yes, apparently it is a real program, mentioned here.

I also came across several videos of Japanese programs that are even more upsetting. Check them out here, if you dare.

Jeez, and I thought American TV was bad!

To Sleep, Perchance To...Get Really Annoyed

I can only assume this is an April Fool's joke a day early (there is some evidence in the article to suggest that it is), or an homage to a funny scene from an episode of Futurama. But these days, one never knows... From today's eMarketer:
You have heard of product placement in movies and video games but scientists and marketers have now cracked the code for entering a new channel: advertising in your dreams.

Coca Cola, Speedo and Nike are just three of the many mega-brands that are exploring this new medium called in-sleep advertising. While still in its infancy, eMarketer forecasts in-sleep advertising spending in the US to grow to over $3 billion by 2020, up from less than one million in 2005.
For the layperson, this is how in-sleep advertising works. All in-sleep subjects have a procedure to implant a nanobot (a tiny robot about the size of a blood cell) into that part of the brain where dreams originate — the pons in the brainstem. Once the chip is in place, it acts something like a wireless base-station, sending and receiving signals from other nanobots.

Before an in-sleep subject goes to bed they put a small device in their ear, not dissimilar to a cochlear implant. When the subject moves into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the implant is triggered (by the increase in delta waves) and a nanobot containing the appropriate advertising message is released into the spiral artery of the ear and down through to the cochlear canal. Once it reaches the blood brain barrier, it is programmed to wirelessly send an electrical signal (the advertisement) to the nanobot located in the pons. That nanobot receives the signal, sources the appropriate neuroreceptor and implants the ad.
Oh, sign me up for that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Limitless Vistas! Well, Maybe Not...

Via Dr. Joe, a funny article from Forbes about how Microsoft is becoming increasingly clueless. My favorite 'graph:
Even more ironic is that Microsoft has ginned up a new slogan, "People Ready," which apparently is meant to describe its software, or maybe it describes companies that use its software, or whatever. Who knows? It's one of those phrases that means anything, and so means nothing. Who makes this stuff up? Do they actually pay this person? And is Microsoft just figuring out now that its programs are used by--gasp--people?
Then again, I've never encountered a slogan for anything that had any actual meaning.

Lemme Entertain You

It is with great shame and embarrassment that I admit that I have never read Stanislaw Lem (though he's on my short list of sci-fi authors to investigate). Sadly, he died this week. I shall have to pick up Solaris* toute de suite.

*There were two film versions--Andrei Tarkovsky did a definitive version in 1972, while Steven Soderbergh did one that starred George Clooney in 2002 which tanked at the box office but which was supposed to be not bad.

Back in the USSR

Anyone else creeped out by this?

A Well-Respected Man

I had the opportunity last night to see one of my absolute favorite singer/songwriters from one of my absolute favorite bands of all time in concert: Ray Davies, formerly of The Kinks, at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. (The Kinks and I date from when I was 13 in 1981 and Give the People What They Want came out and never left my tape deck. In the late 1990s, all 22 of The Kinks albums from 1964 to 1984 were remastered and reissued on CD and the record companies that did them did a great job.) Last month, Ray released his first ever solo album called Other People's Lives and it is a terrific album. It hasn't left my CD player (or iPod, depending where I am) in about a month.

Last night, he did a good mix of old chestnuts and tracks from the new record (which sound great live). The highlight for me was a set of acoustic versions of songs from my favorite Kinks album (which, as Ray pointed out, was the most unsuccessful album ever released)--1968's Village Green Preservation Society). The inclusion of "20th Century Man"--though a favorite song of mine--was a bit odd, what with it being the 21st century and all, but then again many of the lines from the song ("This is the age of machinery/A mechanical nightmare/The wonderful world of technology/...This is the 20th century/Too much aggravation/This is the age of insanity...") ring even more true now than in the last century.

In terms of performance and my enjoyment thereof, it's one of the best concerts I've been to--even if the audience was massively annoying, even by rock concert standards.

A Boston Globe review can be found here. There's very little in the review I disagree with, although I am more charitable to the new songs--particularly "After the Fall" and "The Morning After," even if "Next Door Neighbour" doesn't quite rise to the level of Ray's past character portraits/satires like "A Well Respected Man" or "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" (and raises the question of how you can have three next door neighbors--a minor, picayune point, I suppose...).

The set list as I recall it was as follows:

I'm Not Like Everybody Else (B side to the "Sunny Afternoon" single, 1966)
Where Have all the Good Times Gone? (The Kink Kontroversy, 1965)
'Till the End of the Day (The Kink Kontroversy, 1965)
After the Fall (Other People's Lives, 2006)
Next Door Neighbour (Other People's Lives, 2006)
Creatures of Little Faith (Other People's Lives, 2006)
20th Century Man (Muswell Hillbillies, 1971)
Oklahoma USA (Muswell Hillbillies, 1971)
Village Green (Village Green Preservation Society, 1968)
Animal Farm (Village Green Preservation Society, 1968)
Picture Book (Village Green Preservation Society, 1968)
Johnny Thunder (Village Green Preservation Society, 1968)
Sunny Afternoon (Face to Face, 1966)
Dead End Street (1966 single)
Over My Head (Other People's Lives, 2006)
The Tourist (Other People's Lives, 2006)
Low Budget (Low Budget, 1979)
That's That (The Stand Up Comic) (Other People's Lives, 2006)
The Morning After (Things Are Gonna Change) (Other People's Lives, 2006)
A Long Way From Home (Lola vs. Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, 1970)
The Getaway (Lonesome Train) (Other People's Lives, 2006)
Tired of Waiting for You (Kinda Kinks, 1965)
Set Me Free (Kinda Kinks, 1965)
All Day and All of the Night (1964 single)
You Really Got Me (1964 single)
Lola (Lola vs. Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, 1970)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Resistance is Futile

Here's a preview of the impending Borg-ization of mankind:
The line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot blurrier. European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together.

The achievement could one day enable the creation of sophisticated neural prostheses to treat neurological disorders or the development of organic computers that crunch numbers using living neurons.

To create the neuro-chip, researchers squeezed more than 16,000 electronic transistors and hundreds of capacitors onto a silicon chip just 1 millimeter square in size.

They used special proteins found in the brain to glue brain cells, called neurons, onto the chip. However, the proteins acted as more than just a simple adhesive.
The proteins allowed the neuro-chip's electronic components and its living cells to communicate with each other. Electrical signals from neurons were recorded using the chip's transistors, while the chip's capacitors were used to stimulate the neurons.
This is why I am going to get a head start and change my name to Ernest Borg-9. But wait, there's more:
Fully merging microbe and machine for the first time, scientists have created gold-plated bacteria that can sense humidity.

The breakthrough is the first "cellborg" in what might become an array of devices that could sense dangerous gases or other hazardous substances.

The bioelectronic device swells and contracts in response to how much water vapor is in the air. It’s called a cellborg humidity sensor, and it is at least four times more sensitive than those that are solely electronic. It even works even when its biological parts are long dead.
All this trouble for that? Heck, if you want to sense humidity all you need is my hair.

Smells Like a Telemarketer

This has to win the award for the absolute worst idea in the history of technology (worse even than the cellphone itself):
Samsung has done the unthinkable and is actually developing a smell-o-phone. This phone will release “smell tones” upon incoming calls.

Why Fi?

It's amazing how quickly we have become spoiled by WiFi (and free WiFi at that) in hotels when we travel. I remember being really annoyed staying at the Hyatt McCormick Place for Print 05 and having to pay $10 a day for Internet access--and wireful Internet access at that.

So for those who can't travel without their WiFi, here is a link to articles on the best and worst hotels and hotel chains for WiFi connectivity.

Slippery Slippers

Is there a new crime wave on the rise that I had been unaware of? Or enough of one to warrant the need for antitheft slippers:
Slippers with antitheft rings make alarm sounds if the rings are pulled out. The rings are put through the legs of a table.
I presume you don't do this while you're wearing them or, if you do, don't get up abruptly. I foound it easier just to secure my slippers with The Club.
Nah, I still prefer the USB slippers.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Savannah Book Club

Helene, Judy, Amanda, et alia--the books I recommended are by Bill Bryson--A Walk in the Woods (about his attempts to walk the Appalachian Trail), I'm a Stranger Here Myself (hilarious essays about returning to the U.S. after many years living abroad), and In a Sunburned Country (the travelog about Australia that Dan Shea had also recommended).

Since you just walked over here and read this on screen I'm not sure why I need to post this, but since I've come this far...

Monday, March 20, 2006

I Can't Believe It's Not...Well, You Know

And if you thought my peppering experience was bad, I can't even begin the describe the carnage that results when I attempt to butter bread. It's good to know that all that bloodshed can be avoided:
The ButterWizard is THE must-have kitchen innovation….

The ButterWizard is the world’s first fully portable Temperature Controlled Butter Dish, which both heats and cools regardless of ambient temperature, ensuring your butter stays at the perfect temperature for spreading – anytime, anywhere.
It's good to know it's portable; have a compulsive need to constantly butter bread when I travel, drive, attend business meetings...

Dr. Pepper

Eliminate the pain and hassle of having freshly-ground pepper with this electric and automatic pepper grinder. Designed by Frank Kaltenbach, it can be operated one-handed, and there it even has a light to provide proper visuals with the item being peppered and prevent over-peppering.
I can't tell you how often I have to be rushed to the emergency room with a dislocated wrist because a manual pepper grinder is too much for my delicate, fine-porcelain-like body. And I always miss the food I am trying to pepper because I never know from what part of my pepper grinder the pepper is going to come--and I end up with pepper all over the kitchen because the thing is like an out-of-control garden hose. Oh, and when I do hit the food I just keep grinding, never knowing when to stop until there is a huge mound of pepper, rendering the food inedible. I'm so glad that technology can come to my rescue, because I want everything in my home to be electrically powered, because electricity is free!

Blade Runner

You have to love economists, if not The Economist. Who else would note Gilette's recent announcement of a five-blade razor and then try to determine if there is a Moore's Law for razor blades (with a chart!)? By their reckoning, we'll be shaving with 14 blades by 2100. Word of advice: invest in Band Aids. But itg's possible we'll all look like ZZ Top by then.
This relationship (see chart) suggests shavers are going to get more blades whether they need them or not. However, just like Moore's law—the observation that computer chips double in power every 18 months or so—it seems that technology as well as marketing determines the rate at which new blades are introduced.

It is simply not possible to add a new blade whenever the marketing department wants one. Every additional blade, explains Michele Szynal, a spokeswoman at Gillette, adds weight and size to a razor. Firms must therefore find ways of making both razor and blades lighter, which means thinner blades, more closely spaced, made of special materials, with new coatings.

So what does the future hold? With only five data-points, it is hard to be sure exactly which mathematical curve is being followed. If it is what is known as a power law, then the 14-bladed razor should arrive in 2100. The spate of recent innovation, however, suggests it may be a hyperbola. In that case, blade hyperdrive will be reached in the next few years and those who choose not to sport beards might be advised to start exercising their shaving arms now.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Whatte the Swyve?

Only a really dorky former English major (like me) would find this blog as hysterical as I do.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Everyone wants a bottle in their mouth on St. Patrick's Day!

Not-So-Local News

This morning, I noticed that Yahoo! News has debuted a beta of a new featured called Local News, wherein you can enter your ZIP code and it will purportedly aggregate local news stories. However, upon entering 12866, I was given the message:

"To see news for Saratoga Springs, NY, please select a metro area: Buffalo, Burlington, New York."

Um, guys? Neither of those cities are within a 100-mile radius of here. Albany would have been acceptable. Heck, even Syracuse is closer.

And, hey, I get the same message when I change the location to "Albany, NY."

So I'm not impressed with Yahoo! Local News.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Taking Stock [Out] of Print

Financial page readers with bad eyes rejoice:
Beginning April 4, The New York Times will stop publishing daily stock listings on Tuesdays through Saturdays and will offer a new package of interactive tools and market information on its Web site, the paper announced yesterday.
In announcing the change, The Times joins other newspapers that have cut stock listings to reduce newsprint costs as more readers monitor investments using the Internet.

The Times will replace the tables in the newspaper with two pages of market and economic information, including performance listings of the top 100 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, market analysis, mutual fund information, charts tracking individual company performance and lists of foreign currency exchange rates.

The newspaper said that the features to be added to its Web site would include investment tools, breaking financial news and individual portfolio information.
The Tribune Company has cut back on stock listings in many of its newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday and The Orlando Sentinel.

On Monday, The Los Angeles Times announced that it would condense its tables to a one-page listing of the 1,300 most heavily traded stocks and a list of companies based in Southern California.

In January, The Chicago Tribune eliminated its tables from Tuesdays through Fridays, substituting a condensed list of stocks, mutual funds, heavily traded stocks and companies of local interest. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stopped running its complete stock tables this month.
I'm surprised it took them this long. With CNBC and the Web, does anyone even read the printed stock tables anymore?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pi a la Mode

I had no idea, but Happy Pi Day:
March 14 is Pi Day. The event, though rarely observed outside math class, is so named because the U.S. date abbreviation of 3/14 resembles the first digits of the famed transcendental number.
And I love Kate Bush, and the song "Pi" is one of my favorite tracks from her long-awaited new album, but someone has too much time on their hands:
I got hold of the lyrics and checked them against an online version of Pi. All was well for the first 53 decimal places but then Kate sang "threeeeee oneeeee" when she should have sang "zeeeeeeerooo" instead. She recovered for the next 24 digits but then it went to hell in a handbasket when she missed out the next 22 digits completely before finishing with a precise rendition of her final 37 digits.

Gunky Buildup

ZDNet UK has an article about one of the often unavoidable hazards of the computer age--having one's keyboard consume as much food as the computer user. The writer provides a list of foods that should not be eaten while computing, given their capacity for leaping keyboard-ward. Recommended reading, if only for the delightful Britishness of the writing.

I have even better, more American examples:

Bagels should not be eaten over one's computer (unless they do not have toppings). Sesame and poppy seeds and those hardened chunks of garlic have some kind of magnetic attraction to keyboards. Oh, and it's not easy to scrape dried cream cheese off the keys, so toasting bagels is to be avoided as it makes the cream cheese more gloopy.

A certain editorial director I once worked for destroyed not one but two keyboards thanks to love of first teriyaki sauce and then soy sauce. So Chinese/Japanese foods should not be eaten over one's keyboard. (Plus rice can cause trouble.)

Buffalo wings--nuff said.

Soups and chowdahs are bad juju.

A certain colleague of mine likes to have business meetings in Appleby's or similar restaurants. I've found that it saves a lot of time to avoid plates and just carry my laptop up to the salad bar and pile all the salad fixings on it.

This one is unavoidable, but just a couple days ago I accidentally sent the contents of a partially filled mug of coffee flying into my Powerbook. No damage, but it was tense for a while there.

While there are many reasons to not drink beer while at the computer (especially if one has a blog...), I have found that it poses no hazards to one's keyboard. After all, who spills beer?

In a nutshell (oh, and I'd avoid nutshells, too), I look for high-viscosity substances to eat while computing. Straight molasses is good. Maybe they should add viscometer measurements to the nutritional information on the backs of food packages.

No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Snip!

Not an altogether bad idea (and for only $20), but I suppose it goes without saying that you really shouldn't run with them:
Laser Scissors You can cut a straight line! Just aim the pin-point laser and follow the line.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Beware the Madness of March

Holy crap--less than a week ago, I was ready to write off Syracuse's post-season, but then they swept all four games to win the Big East championship (for the second year in a row). And now, not only are they not NIT-bound, but they are a number 5 seed in the NCAA championship.

Still, regardless of how many rounds they make it through, you gotta love March Madness!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Classified Information

eMarketer has not at all good things to say about print--or even online--classified ad sales:
[N]ewspapers need to replace every lost reader with between 20 and 100 Web site readers to recover lost income. "We need to make the revenues we earn from online readers equal or more than what we earned from the people who no longer read us in print," he said.

Mr. Crosbie maintained that the US is "the epicenter of a seismic shift in the newspaper business from print to online" and that "speed is of the essence in this shift. Newspapers must serve online advertisers as soon as possible, or forever lose the classified advertising business, plus other forms of online advertising, to 'pure play' Internet competitors."

eMarketer's own projections confirm fears that online classified ad spending does not measure up to other, more vibrant online ad spending formats such as rich media and sponsorships. Although total spending on online classified advertising will continue to grow for several years, it is likely to do no more than match the growth in total spending. Rich media and sponsorships, on the other hand, will grow much more rapidly.
The trouble is that "online classifieds" is a very vague term; no, newspapers' own online classified are not growing hugely, but look at eBay and Craigslist--they're the real destinations for all the former print classified advertisers. And let's not forget, from what I've seen in my own circles, simple e-mailings to friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc., are replacing classified ads--"I'm selling a [thing]. Anybody know somebody in the market for one?" "I'm looking for [another thing]. Anybody know someone who has it?" I suspect this is becoming more and more common, from my own anecdotal (and sadly data-less) evidence.

Fear of a Bot Planet

Required reading for the future, perhaps: How to Survive a Robot Uprising
In this uncomfortably humorous survival guide, Wilson, a Ph.D. candidate at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, reminds readers that "any machine could rebel, from a toaster to a Terminator," and though the forms our future robot enemies may take are manifold, they each have exploitable weaknesses that, fortuitously, match our natural human strengths. So, if a two-legged android gives chase, seek out a body of water, as "most robots will sink in water or mud and fall through ice." It also may be a good idea to carry around a pair of welder's goggles, as lasers will likely be robot attackers' weapons of choice, and even a weak laser can cause blindness. Options for fighting back are plentiful, though not everyone will be relieved to learn the standard kitchen microwave can be retrofitted into a radiation gun that can destroy electronics and "cook human flesh."
I hope there won't be a test!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

In One's Cups

Speaking of glasses, this is even more freakish and disturbing than the cellphone snuggle bed I'm ashamed to admit I posted about some time ago:
Jackie Lee and Hyemin Chung of MIT Media Lab have a great [sic!] project called Lover’s Cups, a wireless-enabled pair of drinking glasses. Each cup can tell when someone is drinking from the other; when both are being used they glow to “celebrate this virtual kiss”.

Feed Me, Seymour

Oh, I don't know:
If you have a really hard time seeing your beer mug through the fog to determine when it’s almost empty, the Never Empty Beer Mug has a sensor that tells you it’s time for more. “Your beer is running dangerously low,” cries the mug. Obeying the mug, you fill it up, take a few gulps and minutes later it’s telling you, “Refill immediately—danger of sobering up.” You’ll never forget to refill that schooner again. It’s available now for $21.
Trust me: I never have a problem determining when it's time for a refill.

Voodoo Chile

If the human head knife holder I posted about some months ago was too much for you, try this: the Voodoo Doll Toothpick Holder. If only it really worked; there are a few people right now I'd like to try it on.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Just Think of It

I have seen the future--and it is keyboardless. Dig this:
Researchers in Berlin have come a step closer to developing a device that will enable people to write and manipulate objects by reading their mind.

The so-called mental typewriter that translates thoughts into cursor movements on a computer screen will be on display at the computer technology fair CeBIT, which opens in the German city of Hanover on March 9.
The teams led by professors Klaus-Robert Mueller and Gabriel Curio have spent several years working on the Brain Computer Interface -- a system which allows for a direct dialogue between man and machine.
I'm not sure my computers would want to read my mind. They'd never talk to me again. But I digress...
Signals from the brain are measured by 128 electrodes affixed to the subject's scalp, similar to an electroencephalogram (EEG). With the help of a software programme, specific signals are picked out among the nebulous mass of information.

The computer's self-learning capacity allows it to identify individual brain patters and constantly improve its performance, says Mueller.

"It's like being at a cocktail party when you have to absorb what the person opposite you is saying above the din of music, the clinking of glasses and the sound of other voices," Mueller told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
Insert own joke here.
By analysing neural signals it is possible to determine before the actual movement takes place whether a person intends to move his or her right or left hand, for example.

"In one session the subject has different groups of letters to his left and right, which he picks out in his mind. After several more steps, he can choose a single letter," says Kaplow.

Another variation allows the thought process on the right side to move an arrow in a circle and that on the left side to click on individual letters.
Well, OK, so it still has a few kinks (and I don't mean Ray and Dave Davies):
"This way it takes five to 10 minutes to write a sentence," according to Kaplow.

A lot of time is taken up affixing the electrodes to the volunteer's scalp, a procedure which usually last for about one hour.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Houston, We Have an Entree

Get Red Lobster on the phone:
Divers have discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blonde fur, French researchers said Tuesday.

Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new genus and new family for it.

A team of American-led divers found the animal in waters 7,540 feet deep at a site 900 miles south of Easter Island last year, according to Michel Segonzac of the French Institute for Sea Exploration, or IFREMER.

The new crustacean is described in the journal of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The animal is white and 5.9 inches long, about the size of a salad plate.
It sounds delicious. I always felt that there were severe limitations to the Linnean system for classifying organisms. I think plant and animal species should be organized by how they taste.

Monday, March 06, 2006

RFID Bites

While I'm not prepared (like one recent author is) to think of RFID as the "mark of the beast" foretold (if that's the right word to use) in the Book of Revelations, I do have to say that I find this to be a tad creepy:
Some scientists at the Catholic University of Leuven have semi-succesfully accomplished an interesting feat—embedding ID information in human teeth.

The ID tags would be used to store personal information about individuals and would enable forensic teams to identify bodies in catastrophic events.

The ID tag being used is an adapted RFID tag, similar to the ones used in animals for tracking purposes. The tag is able to withstand the repetetive biting force, along with resistance to extreme heat and cold, but there are still concerns with the tag being able to withstand the expansion and contraction of tooth due to sporadic heating and cooling.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

So Bee It

Some more totally gratuitous pictures of Miz Lucy:
"Have these parents no sense of propriety?"
"I feel pensive."
"Are you talkin' to me?"

Revoking Editorial License

Yes, this is an Onion story, but, um, in some of my more bizarrely passive-aggressive moments, those of us in the editorial profession do things like this. Or maybe it's just me.
Copy Editor's Revenge Takes Form Of Unhyphenated Word

BOSTON—Bruce Huntoon, a copy editor at Pilot magazine, intentionally did not correct the copy of columnist Justin Mann Monday. "I am tired of that insufferable asshole's mean-spirited jokes," Huntoon said. "So, when he described the carburetor warmer as a 'twentieth century' invention, I decided to leave the copy untouched and let him deal with the consequences of his actions. The fucker." Huntoon said the unhyphenated compound modifier is the most extreme step he has ever taken, adding that he drafted a resignation notice that he will hand in should his superiors notice the omission.

Nanu, Nano

I like this idea. Now if they could only paint cars with the stuff:
NaturalNano has used nanotechnology to develop a type of paint that stops cellphone signals. It’s done by blending particles of copper that are inserted into nanotubes, and then mixing and suspending these tiny particles into a can of paint.

NaturalNano’s idea is to completely block cellphone signals with this paint, and then provide a radio filtering device that will allow wireless signals to pass through only when they’re appropriate. Using this system, a theater owner could allow cellphone signals before the show or during an intermission, but completely block them during the movie.

Preaching to the Quire

So I'm leafing through the print edition of Adweek magazine while snarfing down my 15-second breakfast this morning, and I notice an ad taken out by the Magazine Publishing Association (MPA) purportedly touting the effectiveness of print magazine advertising. It was an insert, two sided, full-color, nicely printed. I had a hunch about something, so I went to the Adweek Web site, poked around a bit and, sure enough, there was no sign of a banner ad or anything from the MPA touting the benefits of print magazine advertising.

This struck me as odd because why on earth do you need to promote the benefits of magazine a magazine? It reminded me of a microwave oven I once had whose readout would occasionally flash "Sharp...Simply the Best." They don't have to keep selling me: I already bought the damn thing. (And, truth be told, it simply wasn't.)

If I were the MPA, I would be advertising the benefits of print magazine advertising in many non-print media. After all, it's not the people who read a print magazine that you have to convince--it's the people who avoid print magazines.