Sunday, 27th of April, 2008
Character-recognition - applied to scanning license plates. While most high profile application of this is for police to check for stolen cars at a rate of 500 to 800 plates an hour from one patrol car, they're probably going to use it to check for outstanding warrants and even expired plates.
Saturday, 19th of April, 2008
Somehow the spring between the stay bracket and shifter joint popped out again on the Subaru. Last time it happened was November 2004. This time, though, the spring wasn't just hanging on the bracket - it popped out and onto the road somewhere. I should have written down how I put the spring back on last time. I remember it took a while to figure out how to get a tool in there to stretch the spring, plus I had to experiment as to which side of the spring to install first, because it only worked one way. Unfortunately that's all I remember - the problem, not the solution. 90 minutes later, I will say this: Install the spring on the hole on the joint first, then take a flathead screwdriver or something to the other loop to get the leverage to stretch the spring to the stay bracket. Once the spring is on wiggle the tool back out.
Speaking of defects that have no effect on safety - airline safety has had an outstanding record here in the U.S. It's common knowledge that flying is safer than driving. One has to question whether the latest series of panic groundings have had any positive effect on safety. And when you consider the true overall human effect, there is a very real negative effect here. "The latest round of Congressional hype probably killed people by forcing them into their cars." - Winston and Crandall, Wall Street Journal.
Monday, 14th of April, 2008
I looked up the term "old school" today to see how old this phrase was - being young I sometime lose touch of the date of certain phrases and would just like to confirm if they are appropriate to use in, say, a business conversation or publication. Turns out, it's been around for a while. The origins can be traced back to our friend Tulkinghorn. Yes, for those of you who are a fan of Bleak House (a novel by Dickens, with the recent adaptation to TV being one of my favourite film works), this is our friend. "He is of what is called the old school - a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young..."
Tuesday, 8th of April, 2008
Microsoft builds first major container-based data center. How would you like to be one of the 30 people that supports 220,000 servers? Now that's a proper IT power trip!
The Olympic Torch arrived in the US today. It looks like China still has a bit to learn.
"'No force will disrupt the torch relay,' said Sun Wiede, a spokesman for China's organizing committee, according to wire services." Sorry, this isn't communist China - we (and other enlightened countries) have something called free speech.
In the next paragraph: "In Paris yesterday, thousands of rowdy demonstrators forced cancellation of the last leg of the torch ceremony with repeated attacks on the procession, escalating international protests over China's human rights record ahead of the 2008 Games in Beijing this summer."
"Chinese television showed no footage of yesterday's events, which were covered extensively by international TV networks and Web sites." Another communist technique - censor the event out of the media, and deny it ever happened. That way they can still stand by the statement, "No force will disrupt the torch relay," because the government is always right!