Saturday, November 29, 2008

Obama's small donor base image is a myth, new study reveals | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times

When people try to make something look like something else, it makes me wonder why...

Obama's small donor base image is a myth, new study reveals | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times:
"Everybody knows how President-elect Barack Obama's amazing campaign money machine was dominated by several million regular folks sending in hard-earned amounts under $200, a real sign of his broadbased grassroots support.

Except, it turns out, that's not really true.

In fact, Obama's base of small donors was almost exactly the same percent as George W. Bush's in 2004 -- Obama had 26% and the great Republican satan 25%. Obviously, this is unacceptable to current popular thinking."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sorting 1PB with MapReduce

This is just crazy..... If you are a computer person, you understand just how crazy this is. If you aren't, this is similar to sorting all the junk mail, junk email, everything on your computer, everything in your cupboards, under the sink, sock drawers, that one junk drawer everyone has (yes, you do!), the nightstand, the basement and the garage, and basically every single piece of somethingt you and everyone in your city has every owned, possessed, touched, looked at, or smelled in the last 5 years...sorted *all* of that in, oh, a few seconds. All of it...every piece...sorted, organized, and arranged...oh yeah, and copied 3 times (before the sort) for disaster recovery.

Official Google Blog: Sorting 1PB with MapReduce: "We are excited to announce we were able to sort 1TB (stored on the Google File System as 10 billion 100-byte records in uncompressed text files) on 1,000 computers in 68 seconds. By comparison, the previous 1TB sorting record is 209 seconds on 910 computers.

Sometimes you need to sort more than a terabyte, so we were curious to find out what happens when you sort more and gave one petabyte (PB) a try. One petabyte is a thousand terabytes, or, to put this amount in perspective, it is 12 times the amount of archived web data in the U.S. Library of Congress as of May 2008. In comparison, consider that the aggregate size of data processed by all instances of MapReduce at Google was on average 20PB per day in January 2008."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Missing CD/DVD drives: solution?

Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39) « Barugon’s Cave (^_^): "A few days ago I ran into an issue where my DVD drives no longer appeared in Windows and were not accessible either. What was strange was that I have two physical DVD drives (a DVD-RW and an Xbox HD DVD drive), as well as a virtual drive provided by Daemon Tools for loading ISOs - yet all three were highlighted with an exclamation mark and the same error code: Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Final Inch: The Eradication Of Polio

Official Google Blog: The Final Inch: "Early readers of the blog may recall us embarking on a film project portraying public health heroes working in the field to eradicate polio. Gone from the modern world, new cases of polio continue to afflict mostly children under age 3 in the poorest regions of just a few countries — India, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. When we first announced this project and the collaboration between and Vermilion Films, filming was underway primarily in India and Afghanistan, documenting the front lines of public health in some forgotten corners of our world.

David Heymann of the World Health Organization reminds us, 'When you haven't seen a disease for quite a while, which is the case in the industrialized countries, you forget about the terrible disease that it really is.' Polio is such a disease, as it can ruin the lives of children even before they are old enough to understand how to prevent it."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beloit College Mindset List 2009

This lists all the things that people born in 1987 know about their world.

Beloit College Mindset List
  1. Andy Warhol, Liberace, Jackie Gleason, and Lee Marvin have always been dead.
  2. They don't remember when "cut and paste" involved scissors.
  3. Heart-lung transplants have always been possible.
  4. Wayne Gretzky never played for Edmonton.
  5. Boston has been working on the "The Big Dig" all their lives.
  6. With little need to practice, most of them do not know how to tie a tie.
  7. Pay-Per-View television has always been an option.
  8. etc......
Read the whole thing...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Five-Star Hospitals Might Not Kill You - Study: Five-Star Hospitals Might Not Kill You - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News: "If all hospitals performed as well as 5-star facilities, as ranked by an independent healthcare ratings company, 237,420 U.S. Medicare patient deaths could have been prevented between 2005 and 2007.

That's the upshot of a new study that finds you have a 70 percent lower chance of dying at a facility that is top-ranked by HealthGrades compared to its lowest-ranked ones across 17 procedures and conditions that were the reasons for the hospital visits.

More than half of the Medicare patient deaths were associated with four conditions: sepsis (a systemic response to infection), pneumonia, heart failure and respiratory failure."

Redistribution of Wealth Experiment

Bluey Blog | Robert Bluey » Blog Archive » Redistribution of Wealth Experiment: "In a local restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08″ tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application."

Street Legal, 256 mph, Made in the USA

SSC Ultimate Aero is All American Supercar - Jay Leno's Garage - Popular Mechanics: "The guy who built it, Jerod Shelby (no relation to Carroll Shelby), did it all in reverse compared to most fledgling supercar companies. First, after seven years of work, he produced the car. Next, he set a production car world speed record on the road and certified the SSC for U.S. emissions. Only then, after he broke the record, did he finally tell everybody about it. At a two-way average speed of 256 mph, the SSC Ultimate Aero is actually faster than a $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron, which has been clocked at 253 mph. And at about $650,000, it’s a lot less expensive."

*This* is how to test software

Chromium Blog: Putting It to the Test: "At last count, we run more than 9100 individual tests, typically 30-40 times every weekday."

Gone Darker

A proper send off... read the whole thing...

Ravenscroft Dog Farm: Gone Darker: "Sad times at the dog farm. We lost one to cancer."

A Look Inside Virgin Galactic's Flight Training | Popular Science

A Look Inside Virgin Galactic's Flight Training | Popular Science: "Would-be astronauts train for the world’s first suborbital space tourism flight
By Brooke Borel Posted 11.11.2008 at 10:25 am 4 Comments

As early as next year, if you are one of a lucky few, you may find yourself strapped in a six-passenger rocket some 50,000 feet above the Earth’s surface, bracing yourself as it disengages from the specially designed jet plane mothership, and shoots cannon-like 60 miles up into suborbital space at three times the speed of sound. If all goes well, you'll then get to unbuckle and float in zero gravity for a full fifteen minutes, spying on the earth’s curvature, all of North America and the Pacific Ocean."

Training video

Right to work - Megan McArdle

A very thoughtful piece on the auto bailout.

Right to work - Megan McArdle: "I understand that this is not what the auto workers want; they want their jobs. But while I am happy to help the auto workers, I am not happy to help them manufacture undesireable cars at massive social cost. I too, would have liked to keep my job as a management consultant. But I didn't have a right to have the job I wanted merely because I liked it. And it wouldn't have been good for America if I had."

Tor's Worlds Without Death or Taxes

Tor's Worlds Without Death or Taxes: When is a mainstream publisher also an anti-authoritarian propagandist? When it publishes science fiction. - Reason Magazine: "High in Manhattan’s famous Flatiron Building you’ll find the headquarters of Tor Books, the most successful science fiction publisher in the world. The Flatiron is a monument to mad Belle Epoque futurism, with a wedge shape that makes right angles rare. Inside Tor’s cramped office, drifts of books cover every horizontal surface and most of the vertical ones. The mind boggles at the destruction that could be wrought here by a dropped match, let alone a misfired laser gun.

Tor publishes between 110 and 120 new original titles each year, routinely topping the science fiction bestseller list compiled by the industry magazine Locus. For 20 years running, it also has won the highly respected Locus Award for the best science fiction publishing house. This year Tor earned yet another distinction when its authors claimed all five finalist spots for the Prometheus Award, the annual prize for best science fiction novel of the year handed out by the Libertarian Futurist Society.

So is this the most successful libertarian propaganda venture in modern history? Publisher and founder Tom Doherty denies any ideological agenda. “First comes the story,” he says. His only stated goal is to “do a story in a way that’s honest.”"

MormonTimes - Heroes and victims in Prop. 8 struggle

I probably would have voted no on Prop 8 if it was here. But the response of hatred and violence towards the Morman Church is dispicable. Let's see if those that pointed out the racism towards President-elect Obama will speak out unconditionally against this.

MormonTimes - Heroes and victims in Prop. 8 struggle: "Many people worked to pass Proposition 8 in California. Those who wish to be our enemies are working hard to blame it all on the Mormons, but our votes alone could never have done the job of protecting marriage from a fatal redefinition."

Google Phone Number Search

Google Phone Number Search - Use Google to Find Phone Numbers - Phone Number Search on the Web

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Hospital Is Watching You -

The Hospital Is Watching You -
"Automatic-tracking software programs were introduced more than a decade ago to
help hospitals prevent infant abductions. Now, institutions are putting
electronic tags on all sorts of things, from EKG monitors and ventilators so
they can readily be located in an emergency, to surgical sponges so they don't
get sewn up inside a patient. Some hospitals have begun tagging arriving
patients to help cut waiting times in emergency rooms. Some have also begun
tracking employees to help supervisors move them to understaffed areas."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Butler Well Served by This Election

A Butler Well Served by This Election: "He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week. 'I never missed a day of work,' Allen says.

His is a story from the back pages of history. A figure in the tiniest of print. The man in the kitchen.

He was there while America's racial history was being remade: Brown v. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.

When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia. 'We had never had anything,' Allen, 89, recalls of black America at the time. 'I was always hoping things would get better.'"