Sunday, September 30, 2007

Humanity Destined Since Big Bang

A simple theory is that, since the Big Bang, humanity has been predetermined to exist.

Let's presume no intervention by a supernatural being and also, let's presume consistent physical laws from a macro (newtonian) through a micro (quantum) level.

For systems with a small number of particle interactions, for example our solar system, we can predict with great accuracy, eclipses, phases of the moon, and sunrise & sunset. To predict these, we only need to concern ourselves with three objects (Earth, sun, and the moon).

But, for us to calculate systems with many more particles, such as the weather on Earth, it becomes more difficult. Although the roll of a die may seem random, it's not - we just can't calculate all the variables involved.

Let's suppose, for argument sake, that there is no other life in the universe. That would mean, since the Big Bang, 15 billion years ago, that intelligent, sentient and sapient life was destined to arise on Earth.

Considering that a universe (or any system) devoid of life would be devoid of free will, then the first life evolving anywhere in our universe was destined to happen.

Which raises an interesting point about free will. If an entire human's existence is destined by the laws and interactions of physics how do we generate true randomness which we call free will?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

iPhone SMS Mailbox Almost Full????

How can an iPhone, with gigabytes of free memory, complain that the SMS mailbox is almost full? Give me a break, it's SMS for goodness sake!

We're talking bytes, individual bytes - as in eight bits to a byte. What is this, 1983, when 16K was a virtue? Are the other 17,179,869,184 free bits in my iPhone too good to store plain old bytes that represent ASCII text? How snobbish.

I sure would love to archive the SMSes before I delete them off the phone.

Interesting Thought on Consumerism

Here's an interesting thought:

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

iChat: Too Much Information

What happens if you select all your buddies in iChat and then do a cmd-I?

That's almost as scary as pressing ctrl-option-cmd-8 at the same time.

Luckily, option-clicking on any of iChat's red (close window) buttons quickly resolves the issue in an animated way.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Companion

I hate battery operated devices that don't have rechargeable batteries. I tried getting by with devices which took AA batteries by using rechargeable AA batteries, but it was a pain since they have about 1/4 the life span of non-rechargeable batteries plus you need to keep the recharger handy.

So, when I heard about the USB Cell on a Podcast, I had to get it. It's a simple rechargeable AA battery which can be recharged by plugging it into a USB port. Brilliant!

I keep one battery in my wireless mouse and the other battery is plugged into one of my computer's USB hubs. Low battery warning from the mouse? problem, just swap the batteries.

After using this handy device for several months I'm sold on it. (I no affiliation with this company other than being a satisfied customer.)

[ digg this ]

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apple Software Update On Windows

How come the Apple Software Update on Windows XP doesn't say:
Downloading (12.70000000000001 MB / 22.399999999999912 MB)?

[ digg this ]

Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics

Stats like this really need to cite their sources to have any real creditability:

While I don't doubt the meat of these stats, I'd like to know how old it is. For example, does it include Duke Cunningham who's no longer a Congressman, etc? Also, accused is a very weak word - does that mean accused in a police report or court of law or is it like when my wife accuses me of being a pig? (bad example, since the ladies are saying, "All men are pigs.")

Also, to say "little more than 500 employees" is like saying a fighter squadron only has 30 or 50 people since that's how many fighter pilots there are in a squadron. Never mind the support staff to run the Congress or a squadron.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

E*Trade Dies As Fed Cuts Interest Rates

CNN Reports:

Unfortunately, E*Trade can't handle the load. At first, I couldn't get past the login page; now I can't even get the home page:

I guess the timer for their guaranteed two-second execution doesn't start until you can login and place the order.

[ digg this ]

Friday, September 14, 2007

Good Deal?

Which is the better deal: The Annual Professional Courtesy Rate or the Annual Professional Courtesy Rate?

(click to enlarge)

[ digg this ]

Chop Chop

Every time I sit at this table, in the local cafe, I see these chopsticks out of the corner of my eye and I keep wanting to move them to the side of the table.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Powerball Winner's Nightmare

This guy has had nothing but trouble since winning $315M five years ago. For example, "At a strip club, thieves broke into his Lincoln Navigator and stole a briefcase stuffed with $245,000 in $100 bills and three $100,000 cashiers checks."
Full story

digg story

Happy Programmer's Day

Today is the 256th day of the year - that makes it Programmer's Day.

Where the Wikipedia article? It used to be there.

[ digg this ]

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ultra Tiny Apartment

There's this ultra-tiny apartment a couple blocks from where we live in Capitola. It's situated on the corner of a small apartment complex parking lot and it's really an apartment - not a utility or storage building.

I wonder who lives in this 150 sq-ft building?

digg story

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Text Messaging at 35,000 Feet

Text messaging with people on a airplane allows you to flirt with other passengers not seated in your row (as long as the passenger in front of you doesn't mind some poking on the back of their seat).

This looks like it could be fun - at least until the novelty wears off.