January 30, 2003

GEOURL and more

Now this is interesting. An underwater jet engine that could ultimately replace conventional propeller-based (and quite inefficient) motors for boats. Do you realize how much fuel even the smallest power boat uses? Miles per gallon? Nope. More like gallons per mile. Alternatives are long overdue. I've been wondering where the hybrid motors were for marine transportation. Here's one interesting alternative.

Ok, GeoURL is very very cool. The first viral web application since meetup that I really like. Use GeoURL to find other bloggers or "websters" located near your own blog or other URL.

Don't like the cover of your DVD? Try Dr Zaius' Replacement DVD Coverart page...
Posted by brian at 03:30 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2003

War

Just got back from watching Number Six and then later, Number Four.

Number Six's top was clear, but it had a lot of escorts, mostly Coast Guard and possibly police. Number Six is also known as the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault carrier, and this morning it quietly slipped out of San Diego Harbor and into the Pacific on the way to the Persian Gulf. Who knows how many Marines were on board.

I watched it pass by from the heights of the military cemetery at Cabrillo Point. Just me and countless tombstones, watching ships go off to war. Alas, my digital camera's battery was dead just when I wanted to take a picture, but thanks to the web, here's basically what it looked like.

But today, Number Six's deck was clear -- no equipment, no people. Its radars and microwave antennae, weird beyond-high-tech square things as big as houses, rotated furiously from the towers aboard the ship, no doubt bathing me, my car, and the thousands of tomb- stones around me with who knows how many kilohertz, megahertz, and gigahertz of invisible radio fury.

Then later, I drove down to Shelter Island as Number Four, also known as the amphibious assault carrier USS Boxer, passed by. The sides of the harbor were full of people waving flags, waving hands, and signalling thumbs-up as Number Four rolled by, so close you could almost reach out and touch its cold gray steel hull. Up close, these walls of steel may only be moving at Five Knots, but if you laid an 80-story skyscraper onto its side on a barge and towed it along past a crowd of onlookers at five knots, it's still damn impressive. Number Four was covered, and I mean COVERED like wasps all over their nest, with big nasty helicopters, their rotors folded back, their tails and tail rotors sticking way, way, WAY out over the deck (man those things have to be tied down pretty strongly, I thought, once they get out to the rolling open sea.)

And so another couple thousand soldiers go off to war.

Posted by brian at 03:29 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2003

Wifi Book

Just learned that John Ross, a fellow WELL user, and someone I caught up with at last year's Waterside conference, is coming out with a new 504-page book all about Wi-Fi from a wonderful independent publisher called No Starch Press. Way to go John!
Posted by brian at 03:26 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2003

Copywrong

I've never liked Mickey Mouse, ever. Not even as a kid. Especially as a kid. Never could stand the cartoons, never could understand why this little animated character with the stupidest voice ever was worthy of any such fuss. Not then, not now.
Posted by brian at 03:26 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2003

Fighting Spammers

Noticed that some bloggers are using Javascript to hide the mailto: tags from spammers, but still enable users to click on a link which a browser thinks is a mailto: anyway. For example, here's the code from the homepage of Adam Medros's blog (which, by the way, I've begun regularly reading -- he's a grad student blogging his experience at Harvard Business School).

Instead of the a href mailto code in the HTML, there's a javascript:goForth() function call. The function looks like this:

	function goForth(c,n,d) {
	c += ' ';
	var length = c.length;
	var number = 0;
	var bar = 0;
	var answer = '';
	for(var i = 0; i < length; i++) {
	number = 0;
	bar = 0;
	while(c.charCodeAt(i) != 32) {
	number = number * 10;
	number = number + c.charCodeAt(i)-48;
	i++;
	}
	answer += String.fromCharCode(decrypt(number,n,d));
	}
	// Updated security feature
	parent.location = 'm'+'a'+'i'+'l'+'t'+'o'+':'+answer;
	}

And the mailto invocation inside the A HREF looks like this:
	javascript:goForth("79 492 121 428 518 506 455 100 156 287 518 518 71 437 518 79",629,461)

Very interesting.

UPDATE 30 Jan 2003 --- Finally found the author and more details on this Javascript code. It's called Email Protector and the link has everything you need.

Posted by brian at 03:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2003

Movie Theater Buffs

If you ever were curious what a projection booth looked like at your local movieplex, then head on over to www.film-tech.com, a fascinating site for projectionists, er, "film handlers". Be sure to check out the "Pictures" and "Videos" sections on the left navigation column.
Posted by brian at 03:24 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2003

New Article: The Spelling Bee

Added a new story to the articles section of this site: The Spelling Bee.
Posted by brian at 03:22 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2003

LOTR Spoofs

An absolute riot... A must-read BBS thread if you love literature and the Lord of the Rings.
Posted by brian at 03:22 AM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2003

Tolkien's Eleventy-First

J.R.R. Tolkien would have been eleventy-one today were he still alive.
Posted by brian at 03:21 AM | Comments (1)
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