54 megs of text

So I’m combing through 54 megs of logs, looking for a problem in the server I am debugging. Wanna know how big 54 megs of text is? This one file is ten times the length of the complete works of Shakespeare. And I’m supposed to find out where the error is? I’m on line 283154 now, and decided to take a break.

Le sigh. Back to work.

Nobody tells me anything.

I didn’t know that Canada officially approved C-38 yesterday. Why don’t I ever hear about this stuff?

Oh yeah, because I don’t pay attention to enough news. Phooey.

Well, this is awesome news. I’m glad our administration pays attention to issues of civil rights instead of taking a “we won, it’s our call” stance. I guess the minority status of the government helps with that. Now is a good time, I guess, to extend a hand to Americans who want to live somewhere where the government doesn’t hate them. Hey! Are you gay? Are you at all left-of centre in your political views? Are you female? Are you a member of an ethnic minority? Is your income level anywhere below “very comfortable”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you live in the US, your government hates you and works daily to disadvantage you to the benefit of those richer, whiter, maler, more conservative or straighter than you. Come to Canada where things aren’t perfect, but at least you’re treated like a person.

Binoculars that look into the past… or future!

Here’s a cool idea: Instead of those mounted binoculars or telescopes you find at interesting historical sites, which allow you a closer look at, for instance, some hilltop where a famous building used to be, how about a digital image that shows you exactly how that hilltop looked fifty or a hundred years ago? How about a viewer near a construction site that will show you what the building being erected will look like? Well, stop dreaming. The future is now!

via Future Feeder


Just as I was getting geared up to give my money to Terrapass, along comes CarbonFund.org. Unlike Terrapass they’re nonprofit, but I’m not sure about the way the money gets used. See, while Terrapass uses proceeds to pay industries to pollute less, Carbonfund buys up carbon credits. Buying credits means that fewer companies can use those credits as free passes to pollute. However, I think there is less pressure to be green. Basically what Carbonfund is doing is creating an artificial scarcity of carbon credits. Thus, the idea goes, some companies will not be able to get the credits they need and reduce emissions rather than pay penalties. However, it seems likely that some companies will decide it is worth their while to pay penalties rather than spend money on cutting emissions. So not every dollar gets used as efficiently as one would like.

I’m still not sure. I like the idea that CarbonFund.org is non-profit, but I think I prefer the way Terrapass uses the money… Please add a comment to let me know what you think!

Edit: See the comments below the fold. A guy called Eric Carlson from Carbonfund was kind enough to offer some clarification.

Edit 2: More commenty goodness. Tom Arnold, CEO of Terrapass, adds some more clarification, including the reason they are a little more expensive. I recommend you read both his comment and Eric Carlson’s before deciding on one or the other.

Blood-Powered Implants

A common impediment to effective powered implantation is the issue of powering it. While power requirements may be made very low, and small batteries made very efficient, that may not be good enough for a posthuman intending to live with a prosthetic potentially for the next couple of hundred years. And a battery is one more element that can break down, not to mention that they are usually filled with toxic substances. So what is more elegant than a fuel cell that draws power from one’s own blood? As IOL reports, some Japanese researchers have come up with a little device that generates power from the glucose in blood, using only substances already naturally occurring in the body to catalyze the reaction.

Capsule Endoscope

Imagine this: You have some sort of ulcer or infection or something in your lower intestine. Although it is difficult to figure out exactly what’s wrong without expensive and invasive surgery, your doctor makes an educated guess and prescribes some medication for it. The drug is in a fairly high dose because by the time it reaches the affected area much of it has leached into other areas of your digestive tract. There are some uncomfortable side-effects, but eventually you feel better.

Now imagine your doctor could give you a small device the shape and size of a largish pill. You swallow it, and your doctor controls it wirelessly, leading it through your stomach and intestines. The device transmits video of the affected area and grabs a small sample of fluid for analysis. You pass the capsule easily, and the doctor figures out from the fluid exactly what’s wrong. An identical capsule goes back down the hatch, makes its way to the affected area and deposits a small amount of medication directly to the area that needs it. Your side-effects are greatly reduced or none, your recovery is faster, and there is less chance of misdiagnosis. Best of all, your hospital bill is way smaller than if you had had to go under the knife.
Endoscope capsule by Olympus Medical Systems Corporation

News Release

Dexterous Robotic Hand

Shadow Dexterous Hand
A company called the Shadow Robot Company has been developing a robotic hand that pushes the boundaries of what is currently available. It has all sorts of degrees of freedom, and force-feedback allows it to grip stuff without crushing it. Something like this will become the standard for prosthetics in a few years, and realistic humanoid robots will probably trace their origins back to this hand.

Company web site, Future Feeder article.


Got a car and depressed about your ecological footprint? Guilt driving you to donate to environmental causes but don’t know how much is “enough”? Try Terrapass. It calculates how much CO2 you put out and charges you appropriately. You then get a sticker you can put in your window to show you’re driving carbon-neutral for one year.

Before giving my money to Terrapass, though, I want to check out the sorts of things they finance with proceeds. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about their for-profitness. If you want to learn more, I suggest you start with their FAQ.

via David Bornstein at WorldChanging.