Aug 05

I wonder if it gets tiresome for Google…

… to keep rocking and rocking and rocking.

I refer, of course, to Google Talk. I haven’t gotten on board yet, but for those who are interested, you can download the official client or check here for deets on getting GAIM, Trillian, and possibly other clients up and running. All signs point to it basically being a jabber style implementation server-side, with support for text IM and voice. Seems that all you need (other than the aforementioned usefully-configured client) is a gmail address, email me if you need one of those (does anybody still need one of those?) I think I need to get this up and running RFSN[?].

On another note, I was rather displeased with the new google desktop client. People have been telling me for a while that GD is one of those indispensable-once-you-have-it technologies and I believe the desktop search capability might be. But their new client acts as a very-useful looking sidebar as well, with weather, news, todo lists, and a plugin architecture, I was ready to be quite excited. On inspection though, I find that auto-hide doesn’t work properly (it hides but won’t come back if you have maximized windows) and I couldn’t find an always-on-top switch. I think I’ll write them, they’ve been good about responding to email about search engine things in the past, so hopefully they have people paying attention. As I said, I’m ready to be very hyped about it, indeed to develop for it, but certain things need to work effortlessly or they aren’t worth using at all.

Aug 05

Life imitating art

Can anyone say, “Buddy Jesus”?

Catholic Online – Cathcom – A la ‘Matrix,’ vocations recruitment poster shows priest as hero

Aug 05

Using caffeine intelligently

or A Cognitive Scientist Talks About Caffeine

I am not a pharmacist, and I am certainly not a doctor. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I am, however, a big fan of caffeine, and the recipient of a four year honours bachelor of science degree in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, so I know a thing or two about minds. Because using caffeine (or any stimulant for that matter) is largely a mental affair, and because we are on the internet, I feel this adequately qualifies me to prattle on for some length.

My goal in writing this is to help people use caffeine more effectively by helping to understand its effects. But there are a lot of things that are not my goal and it is only fitting to discuss them right up front. I’m not trying to start a debate about whether caffeine has long term health effects. Because it is a nice thing, it has perforce garnered plenty of accusations that it causes limbs to fall off and hair to grow where there wasn’t hair before, and so on. That is a discussion that is best left to properly conducted, properly controlled, long term studies, but as a quick and by no means comprehensive review…

Likewise I’m not going to go on about how it seems to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease and prevent skin cancer, liver cancer and others. That is for another discussion, but suffice it to say that even if it weren’t a stimulant it might be worth taking strictly for the health benefits.
Continue reading →

Aug 05

Doubleshot to the heart

As posted moments ago on the appropriate starbucks contact form. This is important people. We need to get a grassroots god damned uprising going. [For the uninitiated, I refer to this.]

— SNIP —

Item: The starbucks doubleshot is a stroke of caffeinated genius.

Item: My friends and I want more of it. MUCH more.

Item: We live in Canada.

The current calculus of doubleshot availability makes us very sad because the moral is that in order to keep ourselves supplied, we need to travel to the US, which we are only too happy to do, but which is rather prohibitive on a daily basis.

It would do our spirits almost incalculable good to know the following:

– How can we best order quantities (maybe LARGE quantities) of this delivered to our collective doorsteps?
– When can we expect to see it in stores up here.

If you need us to elect a particular party to government, or grant you tax free status, we’ll see what we can do, just please don’t make us beg.

Unless that will get us our doubleshots, in which case we’re not above it.

With sincerest regards,

Johnathan Nightingale

Edit: Aug 15. They replied:

Dear Mr. Nightingale:

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

The canned DoubleshotT coffee drink is currently available nationwide in the United States and parts of Canada. You may find them any place Pepsi products are available. If your local grocery does not carry them, please inform the store manager that you would like these to be available for purchase. Please contact your local Pepsi distributor to obtain information regarding finding the product locally. Unfortunately they are not available through mail order or online.

Thank you again for contacting Starbucks. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us at info@starbucks.com or call (800) 23-LATTE to speak with a customer relations representative.


Jessa M.

Customer Relations Representative

Starbucks Coffee Company

God Bless You Jessa. Now the hunt is on.

Aug 05

The Car Whisperer

Today’s winner for coolest and most useful hack (there are a lot of contenders right now with all the news coming out of DefCon):

The Car Whisperer

I am already composing witty reparté for the jackass that just tried to pass in the merge lane that is clearly ending in 12 ft.