My Thoughts Exactly

Rat Brains Redux!

From an article in New Scientist entitled, I fecal matter you not, “Rise of the rat-brained robots”:

. . . the disembodied neurons are communicating, sending electrical signals to one another just as they do in a living creature. We know this because the network of neurons is connected at the base of the pot to 80 electrodes, and the voltages sparked by the neurons are displayed on a computer screen.

Normally this kind of story is the province of furtive Wetmachiner Gary Gray, but Gary hasn’t posted anything here since his wedding day some months ago. Which could mean anything, just say’n. In the meantime I’ll do my best to assume his wetmachine slack. I’m proud to say I was his Best Man, and the attendant responsibilities last a lifetime, what-what?

And furthermore, long dormant wetmechanics have been known to pop up and chirp, after a long sojourn underground, just like N-year locusts. With Greg resurgent, can Gary be far behind? Or David? Or, yegods, Peg or Christian? My advice? Stay tuned. Rat brains in jars controlling machinery have prortent! I swear I believe it!

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Wetware | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

Econoklastic

700 MHz: Oops

The last round of the day for Auction 73, Round 31, was postponed until tomorrow by the FCC late today. The announcement on the Integrated Spectrum Auction System read:

“2/4/2008 04:11:42 PM
Round 31 Postponed
Due to a delay in the availability of complete downloadable reports, Round 31 will be postponed until 9:30 a.m. ET tomorrow, February 5, 2008.

”We will continue with the previously announced five round bidding schedule until further notice. Bidders are reminded to monitor auction announcements for further changes in the bidding schedule.”

Sources at the FCC indicate that the system glitched on producing the end-of-round reports from Round 30 and there was insufficient time to locate and correct the bug before Round 31 was scheduled to commence at 4:30 p.m. EST. Round 30 still hasn’t been posted on the Integrated Spectrum Auction System as of 4:40 p.m. EST, and it was due at 3:40, which suggests that the bug hunt is a bit more complicated than the FCC initially anticipated, but there’s no reason to think the auction won’t recommence tomorrow as scheduled.

Posted in Econoklastic, General | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A brief personal observation on the pay gap

New census data indicates that, on average, white men with a four year degree earned, on average, more than any other catagory. Women generally earned less than men, but white women earned less than black and asian women (and slightly more than hispanic women). No one is sure why this is the case.

What’s odd is that that last night I was having a conversation with my wife which has some relevance on this. While one anecdote is hardly the basis for public policy, I’d be interested in knowing whether any of the xtant research has explored this issue . . .

Read More »

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 5 Comments (Comments closed)

General Exception

Infected major Websites spreading malware via Internet Explorer security holes

Normally, I figure that people will hear about these sorts of things on other sites, but I figured that this was important enough to post it up here. According to ZDNet, malicious hackers have compromised several “major websites.” They didn’t deface these sites with the usual “1 0wNez joo, biatch!” (forgive my poor leet speak). Rather, they installed their own software to take advantage of Internet Explorer’s unpatched security holes to install software on visitor’s PCs. The owners of the sites are apparently unaware of the fact that they are infecting their visitors, and visitors are probably complacent that they only visit “reputable” sites and have nothing to fear from spyware.

If you’re reading this using Internet Explorer (on Windows, at least), please, go download the latest version of Mozilla (or their up-and-coming new browser, Firefox). It’s free, and it’s a much more useful browser than IE, nevermind the fact that it doesn’t have the known gaping security holes that IE does. It’s also a supported application under constant development, unlike Internet Explorer.

(Updated: It appears that the problem will only affect users of Internet Explorer 6, not earlier versions. According to Microsoft, if you have installed WIndows XP service Pack 2 Beta (which 99% of you haven’t, I’d guess) then you’re safe as well.)

Read More »

Posted in General Exception | Also tagged , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register