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I tend to keep random notes most often ...

dominique_cimafranca Re:To-Do lists (314 comments)

"A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind."

more than 3 years ago
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What You Eat Affects Your Genes

dominique_cimafranca Re:So does this mean (249 comments)

If you eat a lot of chicken, you're going to grow boobs. That's from the hormones they inject into the chicks to make them grow fast.

more than 3 years ago
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When Does Signing Up Become 'Opting In?'

dominique_cimafranca Re:Use a disposable address (151 comments)

Gmail strips out the "." in email addresses so, for instance, "beetlebailey@gmail.com" and "beetle.bailey@gmail.com" are effectively the same. One advice I heard from before is to give out something like "beetlebail.ey@gmail.com" for signups. Once that becomes compromised, you can automatically filter all messages to that address to trash or spam.

more than 3 years ago
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What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

dominique_cimafranca Ask George Lucas (225 comments)

He would know, of all people. It's that simple, really.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama Eyeing Internet ID For Americans

dominique_cimafranca Privatize the project... (487 comments)

...outsource it to Facebook.



Bwa ha ha ha ha!

more than 3 years ago
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Tron: Legacy — Too Much Imagination Required?

dominique_cimafranca Does anyone remember Automan? (429 comments)

Now that Tron: Legacy has made kaboodles of money, will it be long before we see a remake of Automan on TV?

more than 3 years ago
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'Eternal' Solar Plane Stays Two Weeks Aloft

dominique_cimafranca Only two weeks? (37 comments)

Eternity ain't what it used to be.

more than 3 years ago
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The Wrong Way To Weaponize Social Media

dominique_cimafranca Social media: overrated (90 comments)

As far as the Philippines goes, Shirky has got it wrong. Shirky claims that text-messaging mobilization brought Joseph Estrada down. Not true. Estrada's political capital was on a steady decline owing to accusations of corruption and shady deals. Then he had a falling out with his ally, a prominent politician and gambling lord, who tattled on their agreements. Estrada was impeached for, among many other reasons, forging a signature. From there, it was downhill all the way to the precipice: opportunistic politicians made backroom deals, army and police generals withdrew their support, the judiciary colluded, and Estrada's then-vice president Gloria Arroyo took over.

Text messaging? All it did was whip up the mob which provided cover for what can be called, for all intents and purposes, a coup d'etat.

In the latter years of Gloria Arroyo, herself rocked by corruption scandals, all sorts of people tried to use social media to mobilize the crowds: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, what have you. Apart from the noise and the wasted electrons, did it result in her fall from power? No. Because business, congress, judiciary, and the military did not want any turbulent transition.

Social media did play a small role in bearing enough public pressure on Arroyo whenever she and her cronies tried constitutional change and term extension, but only as far as drawing attention of the international media (and the US and Chinese governments) to possible unrest and instability.

As to the actual transition, we did it the old-fashioned way: elections.

more than 3 years ago
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Kuwait Bans DSLR Cameras Use For Non-Journalists

dominique_cimafranca DSLR is bling (446 comments)

It seems to me that a DSLR nowadays functions mainly as bling. Photography is a distant secondary function.

about 4 years ago
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How Do You Manage the Information In Your Life?

dominique_cimafranca mGSD for to-do lists and others (366 comments)

I use mGSD (formerly known as MonkeyGTD) for my to-do lists. It lets me keep track of tasks and organize them by projects and by action. It even has some support for dependencies. I can keep it on USB and it's portable between systems. It does take just a bit of effort to understand how to get into it, but once you do, it's pretty intuitive.

For organizing notes, I use Tiddlywiki, the platform on which mGSD is built on.

For keeping track of web sites, I mostly rely on Google Reader.

And for the stuff that I want to remember, I blog. Yeah, I know, blogging, especially the personal kind, doesn't get a whole lot of respect anymore, but I've been able to look back into entries five years ago and say, "Whoa, I did that."

I'm still looking for a good solution for keeping track of files and documents.

more than 3 years ago
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What are the essentials of a Linux Presentation?

dominique_cimafranca Fifteen-second sound byte (1 comments)

Suggestion: "Linux is an operating system that you are free to modify and give away. Because of this freedom, it's in use by a wide range of people, from hobbyists to universities to Fortune 500 companies. Major computer companies like IBM and Oracle also build products and services around Linux."

more than 5 years ago
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What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?

dominique_cimafranca Suggestions (1021 comments)

A bit of observation and recommendation: I'm just wrapping up a semester teaching World Literature which, in its short span, attempted to cover stories and poems from various times and cultures. Since many in the class seemed inclined to fantasy, I decided to throw in Gaiman ("Snow, Glass, Apples") in the same class as I was teaching Gabriel Garcia-Marquez ("A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings") While the class seemed quite taken with the Gaiman story at first, we actually found more to discuss with Marquez. The Gaiman story seemed pretty straightforward (and on subsequent rereading, had several unexplained plot points), the Garcia-Marquez had more depth. I like to think the class enjoyed the Marquez story more (though the Gaiman story was all right.)

Anyhow, bearing this in mind, I respectfully submit my own list:

  1. Ray Bradbury ("All Summer in a Day" struck me the most)
  2. Stanislaw Lem (check out "Microworlds" for his dissection of scifi -- one thing that struck me about Lem was his focus on the evolution of language)
  3. Kurt Vonnegut,Jr. (obligatory, almost)
  4. Iain M. Banks
  5. Jorge Luis Borges
  6. Ursula K. Le Guin ("The Dispossessed")
  7. Richard Matheson ("I Am Legend")
  8. Walter Tevis ("The Man Who Fell to Earth" and "Mockingbird")
  9. Walter M. Miller Jr. ("A Canticle for Leibowitz", plus several great short stories)

more than 5 years ago
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Microsoft Blocks Pirates From Security Essentials Software

dominique_cimafranca Re:Herd immunity (291 comments)

It has happened. H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in the mid-2000's come to mind. It's just that you have longer latency via airplanes compared to fibre-optics, but oh, they'll get there.

more than 5 years ago
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Former Interplay Dev Talks "Disastrous" Old Star Trek Games

dominique_cimafranca Re:The old problem (124 comments)

All your base are belong to us! Kidding aside, I agree with you about capturing the spirit. Apart from the adventure game (which I think you imply), there's also the tactical combat game. (For me, the best Star Trek tactical combat game was Starfleet.) Are adventure games and tactical combat games candidates for blockbuster hits? Not likely. But I would like to see them in smaller, casual games.

more than 5 years ago
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While My Guitar Gently Beeps

dominique_cimafranca Kudos on the title... (140 comments)

...this one got a smile out of me.

more than 5 years ago
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Rest In Print, Gaming Journalism

dominique_cimafranca Re:Quality (65 comments)

Add to that the fact that most gaming magazines (at least the ones I read five years ago) tend to be atrociously snarky whose writers suffer from an excess of personality. Not fun to read at all.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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China may have the world's fastest supercomputer

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  about 4 years ago

dominique_cimafranca (978645) writes "Tianhe-1 from the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) is ranked the fastest supercomputer in China and pending the release of the TOP500 report in November may hold the spot for the fastest in the world. According to its TOP500 specs, Tianhe-1 has 71,680 cores and 98304GB of memory. "The 155-ton system, with 103 refrigerator-like cabinets lined up on an area of about 1,000 square meters, is expected to process seismic data for oil exploration, conduct bio-medical computing and help design aerospace vehicles.""
Link to Original Source
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3D curve sketching system

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "The Dynamic Graphics Project of the University of Toronto has released a pretty nifty 3D curve sketching system. Apart from the large drawing area, the tablet software looks very intuitive to artists. From the site:

The system coherently integrates existing techniques of sketch-based interaction with a number of novel and enhanced features. Novel contributions of the system include automatic view rotation to improve curve sketchability, an axis widget for sketch surface selection, and implicitly inferred changes between sketching techniques. We also improve on a number of existing ideas such as a virtual sketchbook, simplified 2D and 3D view navigation, multi-stroke NURBS curve creation, and a cohesive gesture vocabulary.

Video available from Vimeo."
Link to Original Source

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Windbelt, a cheap power alternative

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "Shawn Frayne, a 28-year old inventor, has developed a small wind-powered generator that can be used to power small appliances in developing countries. Unlike the typical propeller design one expects of wind generators, the windbelt uses the oscillation of a membrane that follows the vibration of bridge. The oscillation drives small magnets which generate the electricity. From the article:

Frayne's device, which he calls a Windbelt, is a taut membrane fitted with a pair of magnets that oscillate between metal coils. Prototypes have generated 40 milliwatts in 10-mph slivers of wind, making his device 10 to 30 times as efficient as the best microturbines. Frayne envisions the Windbelt costing a few dollars and replacing kerosene lamps in Haitian homes.

"

Link to Original Source
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Paper airplanes to launch from ISS

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "In a unique experiment, an astronaut will soon launch paper airplanes from what must be the highest altitude ever: the International Space Station. The airplanes were designed by Japanese engineer Shinji Suzuki and made from special paper coated with glass. A view of what would happen:

"At first, many aerospace engineers thought it would burn out," says Suzuki. Objects returning from space begin their atmospheric re-entry at speeds of Mach 20. By the time the shuttle drops to an altitude of 37 miles, temperatures on parts of its surface reach as high as 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit. But a much lighter paper aircraft would slow to Mach 6 earlier in its descent--at altitudes of 62 miles or so, where the air is thinner. As a result, the aerodynamic heating wouldn't be as severe.

The paper airplanes would land on earth a few months after their release."
Link to Original Source

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Solar planes take flight

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 6 years ago

village idiot savant writes "The Science & Technology section of The Economist has a story covering the development of two solar-powered airplanes. These planes could potentially stay aloft indefinitely (or for long periods of time). While one project, the two-man Solar Impulse, is still in the planning stages, the other, the Zephyr, an unmanned reconnaissance vehicle has completed a three day flight. From the article:

The 66-pound reconnaissance plane, built by the QinetiQ group in Britain, was guided by autopilot and satellite to an altitude of over 60,000 feet, drawing power from the sun during the day while relying on rechargeable lithium-sulphur batteries at night. That demonstration flight, made from an American army testing ground in Arizona, more than doubled the world record for unmanned flight, set by Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk in 2001.

This demonstrates the advances in solar cell technology to power the plane and recharge batteries, thereby allowing the plane to, well, fly at night."
Link to Original Source

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Next generation of combat drones and vehicles

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 6 years ago

village idiot savant writes "Automopedia.org has a story on Futuristic Roving Machines of Death which rounds up the next generation of combat drones and vehicles. Part of the list is the Crusher, a 6.5 ton unmanned ground vehicle; the UH-19XRW Hoverwing, a hybrid hovercraft and ground effect vehicle; and the Panther II, a converted M1 Abrams mine-clearing vehicle (and possibly the heaviest remote controlled toy to date.) Almost straight out Terminator 3 are several machine gun-equipped robots on tracked platforms."
Link to Original Source
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Paralyzed man walks again using exoskeleton

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "A story from the Daily Mail in the UK talks about a partially paralyzed man who is able to walk again using an exoskeleton frame. The article goes a bit far in comparing the device to Robocop, but it does show pictures of the man, paralyzed for the last 20 years, regaining some use of his legs. From the article:

The device, called ReWalk, is the brainchild of engineer Amit Goffer, founder of Argo Medical Technologies, a small Israeli high-tech company. Something of a mix between the exoskeleton of a crustacean and the suit worn by Robocop, ReWalk helps paraplegics — people paralysed below the waist — to stand, walk and climb stairs. The system, which requires crutches to help with balance, consists of motorized leg supports, body sensors and a back pack containing a computerized control box and rechargeable batteries.

"

Link to Original Source
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Robotech slated for the big screen

dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "Classic animé cult favorite "Robotech" may be next for the big screen live action treatment, if recent news from SciFi.com's SCI FI Wire is to be believed. Tobey Maguire will produce and may star in the film. From the story:

Warner Brothers Pictures picked up the rights to Robotech, which features giant robots known as mechas. Maguire is producing through his Maguire Entertainment banner and is eyeing the lead role in what the studio plans as an SF franchise a la Paramount's hit Transformers.
"

Link to Original Source
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dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "Discover Magazine has an interesting article on mapping the blogosphere, reporting on the work of Matthew Hurst. Hurst put together a 3D map of the blogosphere, with bright spots represent sites with the highest number of links and isolated islands represent closed communities like Livejournal. The study also identifies other islands like sociopolitical commentary, gadget hounds, sports fans, and, um, porn blogs."
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dominique_cimafranca dominique_cimafranca writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dominique_cimafranca writes "A wire story from Agence France Press (and published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer) indicates that "France became the first country to open its files on UFOs Thursday when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1,600 sightings spanning five decades."

The online archives "catalogues in minute detail cases ranging from the easily dismissed to a handful that continue to perplex even hard-nosed scientists." Sorry, it's in French only."

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