Misc: March 2007 Archives


March 28, 2007

Rep Bruce Braley (D-IA)'s disassembly of GSA Administrator Lurita Doan is all over the Intertubes. Before you get to the actual embarassing content, check out Braley's explanation of PowerPoint:

And that during PowerPoint presentations information is projected in slides and usually those slides are reviewedby the person making the presentation to reinforce verbally the images that are displayed on the slides.

It's almost as if Braley just heard of PowerPoint this morning and figures maybe he needs to explain it to Doan...


March 11, 2007

OK, we've got spam and spit (spam over VoIP) and spim (spam over IM). As soon as people actually start using VoIP—and I'm talking end-to-end VoIP where you "dial" a URL—we're going to start seeing phishing with VoIP. What'll that be called? "phit", "phitting"? Somebody make it stop.

UPDATE: Now that I've slept on it, I predict "vishing". In fact, it sounds so familiar I fear I've heard it already.


March 8, 2007

When a young man dies in battle, we all agree that it's a bad thing, but it's generally considered particularly tragic if he leaves a family behind, especially if he has a young child. Apparently, things were somewhat different in Sparta:
In 480 the ephors sent Leonidas with the 300 men of an all-sire unit (soldiers who had sons to carry on their bloodline) and 6700 allies to hold the pass of Thermopylae against the hundreds of thousands of Persian soldiers who had invaded from the north of Greece under Xerxes.

What's interesting here is that it's not that the Spartans thought children were unimportant—quite the contrary—it's obvious they were incredibly important in some impersonal sense. It's just that the attitude seems to have been rather more instrumental.


March 5, 2007

I just finished Dan Simmons's impressive new The Terror. The Terror is a novel based on the 1845-1848 Franklin Expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. Both ships, the The Terror and The Erebus get frozen into the ice off King William Land (actually King William Island) and as the men slowly starve to death they find themselves being stalked by some sort of polar ice monster (no spoilers here, this is all laid out in the first 50 pages). Things just get worse from there (think frostbite, scurvy, rampaging monsters, etc...)

Sort-of spoilers below.