Yet more links

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FYI, one can now find a daily digest of my del.icio.us entries on . Much easier on the friends page than the one-post-per-entry-ness of .

“For weeks, I kept it in the envelope in which it was sent. Only occasionally did I take it out to look at it or show to a visiting friend when conversation slowed. I thought it was an interesting oddity and nothing more. But I was wrong about the empty page. Or I was wrong about myself.” link

“Bacterial Orchestra is a self-organizing evolutionary musical organism. It consists of several audio cells. Every cell listens to its surroundings and picks up sounds trying to play them back in sync with what it hears. It can be the background noise, people talking or sound played by other cells.” link

“Microsoft’s Windows team made the bold decision to rewrite the Vista audio stack from the ground up, and in doing so they removed hardware acceleration for DirectSound. That’s right. They took hardware support away from the most ubiquitous sound API implemented in games over the past several years. As a result, in many of today’s games, all those feature-laden sound cards, with their multiple channels, audio extensions and hardware accelerated processors, become little better than common garden variety on-board sound running in software mode. Naturally, Creative Labs (amongst others) is pissed. ” link

“The shadow of one of the high unmanned aerostats that maintained the ubik passed over me, the same moment I used that medium to call up IDs on the fleet. In my vision, translucent tags overlaid each ship, labeling their owners, crew and contents. I was able to call up real-time magnified images of the ships as well, shot from the aerostats and tiny random entomopter cams. I saw every kind of vessel imaginable: sleek catamarans, old lobster boats, inflatables, decommissioned Coast Guard cutters. . . And all of them carrying my friends – some of whom I had met face-to-face, some of whom I hadn’t – coming to help build my house.” link

“By that time, of course, the machine had been reverse engineered and duplicated, its internal workings being rather simple to construct, given our example. And yes, we found out that its predictions weren’t as straightforward as they seemed upon initial discovery at about the same time as everyone else did. We tested it before announcing it to the world, but testing took time — too much, since we had to wait for people to die. After four years had gone by and three people died as the machine predicted, we shipped it out the door. There were now machines in every doctor’s office and in booths at the mall. You could pay someone or you could probably get it done for free, but the result was the same no matter what machine you went to. They were, at least, consistent.” link

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