Powercast makes wireless power a reality#

It may sound futuristic, but Powercast’s platform uses nothing more complex than a radio–and is cheap enough for just about any company to incorporate into a product. A transmitter plugs into the wall, and a dime-size receiver (the real innovation, costing about $5 to make) can be embedded into any low-voltage device. The receiver turns radio waves into DC electricity, recharging the device’s battery at a distance of up to 3 feet.

Gmail Paper#

Is it free? Yes. The cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.

Brain damage, evolution, and the future of morality#

Once technology manipulates ethics, ethics can no longer judge technology. Nor can human nature discredit the mentality that shapes human nature. In a utilitarian world, what’s neurologically fit is utilitarianism. It’ll become the norm, the standard of right and wrong.

Justin.tv#

Justin[.tv] “wears the camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even in the bathroom. Even on a date.” Audio. Video. Everything. Pretty insane.

Mind control?

March 22, 2007

Without giving too much away, there was a scene in last night's episode of LOST — when Ben's daughter is talking to Locke about Ben — where she says, "That's what my father does. He manipulates people. He makes you think it's your idea, but it's his." My girlfriend immediately looked at me and said, "That's exactly what you do!"

I don't know whether to feel accomplished or ashamed.

No sex for 40 million years? No problem#

A group of organisms that has never had sex in over 40 million years of existence has nevertheless managed to evolve into distinct species […], challeng[ing] the assumption that sex is necessary for organisms to diversify and provid[ing] scientists with new insight into why species evolve in the first place.

The new science of human evolution#

Being hunted brought evolutionary pressure on our ancestors to cooperate and live in cohesive groups. That, more than aggression and warfare, is our evolutionary legacy.

What's so funny? Well, maybe nothing#

Occasionally we’re surprised into laughing at something funny, but most laughter has little to do with humor. It’s an instinctual survival tool for social animals, not an intellectual response to wit. It’s not about getting the joke. It’s about getting along.

Proximity#

Proximity “monitors the proximity of your mobile phone or other bluetooth device and executes custom AppleScripts when the device goes out of range or comes into range of your computer.” While certainly not a new idea, this app looks pretty nice.

Interspecies sex: evolution's hidden secret?#

A growing number of studies has been presented as evidence that two animal species can combine to produce a third, sexually viable species in a process known as hybrid speciation.

Mailplane#

Mailplane “brings Gmail to your Mac desktop.” Pretty slick app.

What does your music say about you?#

In short, people who listen to jazz are smart, liberal, adventurous, and poor; people who listen to heavy metal are smart, liberal, adventurous, athletic, and prone to social dominance; people who listen to Madonna or the ‘Dancing With Wolves’ soundtrack are agreeable, conscientious, conservative, rich, happy, dumb, emotionally unstable, and hot; and people who listen to hip hop are extraverted, agreeable, liberal, athletic, and hot.

Introducing Slugger+ for WordPress and MarsEdit

March 11, 2007

MarsEdit is great, but it's lacking one very important feature, namely the ability to specify a slug when posting to a WordPress weblog. If there is one thing that Daniel Jalkut (the new owner and maintainer of the software) needs to fix, it's this slug thing.

The whole point of MarsEdit is to provide a layer of abstraction between your words and the system that publishes your words — "an email-like interface for editing and publishing your words." To put it another way, I should never have to use the WordPress interface to post (or edit). However, as it stands now, if I'm posting something with a rather long title, that long title becomes a long slug unless I log into WordPress and change it, thereby defeating one of the main purposes of using MarsEdit to begin with.

I've no doubt Daniel will take care of this annoyance as soon as time permits, not least because he himself uses WordPress and MarsEdit and must be plagued by the same problem. But until then, I present to you Slugger+. I'm using the "+" because this is actually a simple modification of a great plugin called Slugger by Colin Devroe, which allows you to define a slug from within your post's content (Update: Colin has given Slugger+ his seal of approval). If that doesn't make sense, be sure to check out Colin's wonderful screencast of the plugin in action.

Slugger is a great solution (and is well-written) — insert your slug, wrapped in a custom tag, into the body of your post and ferret it out when needed — but it suffers from a couple of problems as far as I'm concerned.

The plugin requires you to insert into the content of your post, certain text of the form, [slug]slug-to-use[/slug]. The problem is that the plugin never actually removes this text from the content of the post, but rather filters it out each and every time the post is called (e.g., through the RSS feed, individual archive, etc.). Not only do I not like superfluous text in my posts, I hate the the idea that processor cycles are being spent on removing the now useless text (i.e., $post_name is already defined) each time the post is accessed.

My modifications fix both of these issues by removing the slug-specifying text during the initial XML-RPC transaction, thereby obviating the need to constantly filter for the slug.

In my opinion, this ‘plussed' version of Colin's plugin makes MarsEdit much more attractive to us WordPress users.