11 June 2008

Failed CON save vs addiction?

I’ve never been a smoker, but I think I understand some of the addiction–because I’ve been a Dungeons & Dragons player. Smokers tell me that the addiction isn’t so much about the taste or the chemical stimulation; it’s the ritual and the social aspects that are harder to shake off. So it is with D&D. I can go for years without playing, but like with smoking, you’re always in recovery. Every time I step in a comic book store, there’s the risk that a group will be playing in a side room. ... Read more

11 June 2008

The science of FOX News

A study of the brains of political partisans shed some scientific light on the obvious, and will be worth remembering in this upcoming year: The Democrats and Republicans were given a reasoning task in which they had to evaluate threatening information about their own candidate. During the task, the subjects underwent fMRI to see what parts of their brain were active. What the researchers found was striking. “We did not see any increased activation of the parts of the brain normally engaged during reasoning,” says Drew Westen, director of clinical psychology at Emory who led the study. ... Read more

10 June 2008

How to make a red ring of death

Ever wondered how Microsoft managed to launch a game console that routinely overheated, burned out, and had to be replaced? EE Times has the story. Microsoft decided to try to save a few bucks by designing a key graphics ASIC themselves, instead of going to a company with experience in chip design. They sent their design straight to the fabricators. It was only when the console was in full production that they learned about the overheating issue. ... Read more

7 June 2008

Look for the dancing trees

Wired reports that Hans Reiser is trying to get his sentence reduced in return for showing authorities where Nina Reiser’s body is. Presumably the pieces are of manageable size and spread evenly throughout a wooded area for easy, order-N retrieval. Probably indexed in his journal. As someone said on Slashdot: Finally, someone in open source is a bigger asshole than Theo.

4 June 2008

Decision

I will allow myself to buy an Amazon Kindle. But first, I must read all the books on my “books to read” shelf. Except “Infinite Jest”, the size of which makes it a prime candidate for e-book reading.

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