Monthly Archives: May 2009

31 May 2009
Smile when you say that

According to an article at USA Today, four states have adopted a “no-smiles” policy for driver license photographs (although it later mentions that three of them “allow slight smiles”). Thirty-one states already do computerized photo matching and three others are considering it. The photo matching software is used to detect possible DL fraud or identity […]

Category: Life-Society
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25 May 2009
Does it matter whether you are a simulation?

What is the probability that you are a simulation, and if so, how can you tell? I ran across this idea a while back on one of the science blogs I follow, but had just glanced over and forgotten about it until someone asked about it on LinkedIn yesterday. Nick Bostrom of Oxford University asked […]

Category: philosophy, Sci-Tech
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23 May 2009
I’ve never been to Spain …

… but Live Search apparently thinks Isotropic lives there — almost all my pages appear to be tagged region “es” instead of “us”. Sigh.

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17 May 2009
Computer Math

In early April I said “The real problem was that new users either believed that computers understood and used ideal mathematics, or had come from ‘mainframe’ backgrounds where all math was done with decimal data types rather than defaulting to low-precision floating point.” So I was tickled to see Jeff Atwood’s blog post on 5/13, […]

Category: programming
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16 May 2009
Panic

“More people are killed by deer than sharks, but you don’t see park rangers running around like nutcases.” —Seth Godin, Might as well panic image: White-tailed deer.jpg, Wikimedia Commonsimage: Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos wake.jpg, Wikimedia Commons

Category: humor, Life-Society
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15 May 2009
Don’t Look Don’t Tell

It’s time for another rantish post. [T]he manufacturer maintained that the system was perfect, and that revealing the source code would be damaging to its business. They were right about the second part, of course, because it turned out that the code was terrible. […] Basically, the system was designed to return some sort of […]

Category: Life-Society, programming
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12 May 2009
Car Warranty

Yay! FTC probes car warranty ‘robo-calls’. I’ve only received a couple of these calls on my cell, and a couple at work, unlike some poor individuals who keep getting called.

Category: Life-Society
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09 May 2009
Engineering of Empires

Lately I’ve been watching The History Channel‘s “Engineering an Empire” documentaries. It’s easy to see the remains of these empires and be impressed, be appreciative of the wonder they provide us, be grateful for the technology they inspired — although often enough what they did was forgotten for hundreds, even thousands of years. While the […]

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