October 13th, 2006


Nature Called - It left a message. Check your chair

The Internet has given us new toys.

  • I noticed while playing with my profile on LJ that they're entering the Jabber game. See here for how to configure it. This will be the second jabber account I'm likely to actually use (the first is provided by google/gmail). The most useful thing in this, I think, is that there's a LJ bot automagically on that account's friendslist that I can send new LJ posts to. I should consider implementing the same thing for POUND -- I've never had an excuse to write Jabber stuff before, but it seems like a good idea.
  • This new toy is simply an idea - representing abstract data concepts using Second Life as a visualisation tool. I think it would be very cool to build a bridge between a database and Second Life - I have all the parts and knowledge I would need to do so. Nowadays I'm a very infrequent user of Second Life, partly because the Linux client is immature, partly because I've been more interested in coding on other stuff, but I could see myself coming back to start writing software packages for the environment that would do this kind of thing.
  • For educators, Google provides an outreach suggesting people use their tools in teaching. I have mixed feelings on this -- I don't think kids should see advertisements, but some of the tools are pretty cool and would both increase literacy and make teaching easier. Imagine teaching history with ancient maps overlaid onto modern geography.. Some years back, Google was mostly the search engine -- now they have a fairly full (if still young) software suite..
  • I don't recall if I gave a link for Larry Wall's 10th state of the Onion. An interesting quote: "young people these days are manufacturing their own extended families".
Today's lab meeting promises to be interesting, covering Mirror Neurons, apparently a hot topic in Cog Neurosci. I'm looking forward to it.


  • I have mixed feelings about the end of online gambling in the United States. Gambling is utterly stupid, addictive to many, and encourages transactions that have nothing to do with increasing value for anyone (let alone society). I consider involvement in the industry to be a mark of incredibly bad character, almost like mob ties. Should large scale gambling be permitted? Is the personal autonomy worth the negative effects? I don't have an answer right now.
  • This may offend artists who lack a sense of humour..
  • Those bloody ex-Cubans are still at it. Also some corruption in Ohio
  • Live in the UK test, for prospective British citizens. I'm not completely helpless on it, but I would probably have to study to do well. A number of interesting topics are touched on..