Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for April 12th, 2008

Burning building freezes

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

A fire has gutted a building housing a furniture company and a popular American cafe in an icy Minneapolis.

Firefighters battled freezing temperatures, snow and ice to save Maxwell’s cafe.

It was a popular spot with locals who say it does a “great lunch”.

The fire appears to have been accidental. At minus 12 degrees the foam froze as soon as it was sprayed.

These pictures were taken by Tony Webster.

All the residents escaped unhurt but a cat was lost in the fire.

Parts of the building collapsed and Washington Avenue was closed for several hours. -sky

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Drivers Flood Station For 35 Cent Gas

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

Traffic was backed up and police were called to control the crowd after a Wilmington gas station accidentally set the pump price at 35 cents a gallon.

The Wilmington Star-News reported Friday that hundreds of drivers flooded a BP station for the cheap gas after the price dropped around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Station employee Shane Weller said the price for premium gasoline was supposed to be $3.35 a gallon. He complained that customers paid the cheaper price all day without saying a word.

It was all the extra traffic that led station employees to the mistake around 6 p.m. They found it after calling their district manager, looking for permission to changing the price as a way of stemming the flow of customers. -cbs

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Attorney for polygamist leader suggests tip may have been hoax

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

An attorney for polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs says Texas authorities may have been duped by a fake phone tip into raiding a West Texas ranch occupied by Jeffs followers.

“I smelled a rat from the beginning,” attorney Michael Piccarreta told The Arizona Republic, referring to the call from a 16-year-old girl at the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints commune in Eldorado that prompted the raid. “I think the Texas authorities need to make a careful analysis of whether they have been part of a ruse.”

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Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Tenet & Ashcroft approved smother-bagging

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

“Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people.” Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. “And yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.”

As first reported by ABC News Wednesday, the most senior Bush administration officials repeatedly discussed and approved specific details of exactly how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the CIA.

The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

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Posted in human rights, Politics | 4 Comments »

Apparent misfired artillery round hits home, kills cat

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

– What may have been a small artillery shell slammed through the roof of a house in New Jersey Friday, and killed a cat.

The Star-Ledger of Newark says the six-by-four-inch object landed on 10-year-old Casandra Angel’s bed. She had left about 20 minutes earlier to go to a sleepover at a friend’s house. But the family cat was injured and had to be put to sleep.

The house is about two and a-half miles from the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal, which was conducting weapons tests at the time. Investigators think that’s where the non-explosive round came from.

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Adobe opens shop on Web-based Photoshop Express

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

Adobe Systems opened up Photoshop Express on Thursday, its long-anticipated Web-based image editor aimed at the millions of consumers that want a simple way to touch up, share, and store photos. Photoshop Express, available for free with 2 gigabytes of storage at www.photoshop.com/express, is a significant departure from Adobe’s desktop software business and a big bet that it can make money offering Web services directly to consumers. The application, which needs Flash Player 9 to run, pushes the limits of browser-based applications and will likely ratchet up the competition on the dozens of free and online photo-editing products available now (see our full review of Photoshop Express and gallery of screen shots of the application). News of an online version of Photoshop first came to light last year when Adobe’s then-CEO Bruce Chizen told CNET News.com that the product would be available within six months. Since then, Adobe has expanded the scope of the project, one reason why the product launch has taken longer than expected, according to executives. Rather than only an image editor, Photoshop Express also has ties to social networking sites like Facebook and other image-sharing sites. Also, Adobe needed to build the back-end infrastructure needed to offer the service directly to consumers, rather than partner with another photo-sharing site, as it did with its online video editor, Premiere Express. … When people hover a mouse over an image, a menu appears that lets people do tasks, such as rotating an image. The editing tools are designed for speed, with an autocorrect option, redeye removal, and a touch-up tool. Adobe has sought to make Photoshop Express intuitive enough for people to use without any training but still have features that appeal to more sophisticated photographers, said Geoff Baum, director of Adobe’s Express products. For example, the touch-up tool will automatically choose a color from a surrounding item to, say, remove a blemish on a face. Or, a person can choose where to sample a color to replace the blemish. – news.com

Fun for browsing people’s crazy photo collections too.

Posted in Art, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Cheney: Smother-bagger, child abuse promoter… millionaire

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

Guards have confiscated a ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie screenplay from a former child soldier awaiting trial at Guantanamo, his lawyer and U.S. officials said Thursday. Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, the military-appointed attorney for Canadian Omar Khadr, told reporters he gave the detainee the script to build trust.

In addition to seizing the screenplay, the military said he could no longer play dominos and chess during visits with Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured by the U.S. military in 2002 . …

Khadr faces a war crimes trial later this year on charges including murder for allegedly killing a U.S. special forces soldier – Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, from Fort Bragg, North Carolina – with a grenade during a firefight at an isolated compound near Khost, Afghanistan. He faces life in prison if convicted. …The military has proposed starting Khadr’s trial on June 1, but his lawyers are expected to seek a delay at a hearing Friday. – metro

Dick Cheney, vice president, torture promoter, –and right, lets call it “smother-bagging” not “water boarding” because that’s what it really is–and suspected architect of 9/11, along with his wife made over $2 million in 2007 according to his tax records. And yes, they do do the brutal torture of smother-bagging at Guantanamo.

Meanwhile the US under his watch continues to imprison foreign children without a trial. What good is a trial after six years in prison? If the kid is a murderer, then show the evidence, put him in a regular prison and let him work on his rehabilitation. If the boy didn’t do it, this false imprisonment in Guantanamo is horrific state sanctioned child abuse. Cheney sees no problem with sticking kids in a prison for six years before checking to see if they should actually be there or not.

Posted in human rights, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Man Finds $140,000, Turns It In To Cops , Brinks Gives Struggling Landscaper $2,000 Reward, His Mom Says It Should Have Been 10% – CBS News

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

from www.cbsnews.com posted with vodpod

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100 GB memory chip coming in 2009

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

Bytes, not bits. Oh, and it’s fast, too.

Nanochip, a Silicon Valley-based fabless semiconductor firm, just received $14 million in funding to complete work on a 100 GB storage chip. Intel Capital, who should know something about chips, is an investor. The goal: “. . . allow Nanochip to complete development of its first prototypes later this year . . . .”

The Nanochip design is a Micro-Electro-Mechanical System, or MEMS, device. A descendent of IBM’s Millipede device, it uses polarization instead of Millepede’s heat to store data. An array of tiny probes – looking like phonograph needles, if any of you have ever seen one – less than 25 um in diameter, changes the state of the recording medium. The probes are movable – similar to the mirrors on DLP chips – so they can write more than one location. Since there are many thousands of probes, they have a lot of bandwidth.

This is persistent storage, i.e. it retains data with the power off. The Millipede design proposed using a heat-sensitive polymer to create little CD-like pits to record data. They couldn’t get that to work so now they are using an electrical method.

Here’s a scanning electron microscope picture of a probe:

The chip is actually 2 chips bonded together. One chip has the array of probes and the other has the media. They are bonded, diced and then mounted in traditional plastic packaging. The really cool thing is that they can use 10 year old, fully depreciated, fab equipment to build these chips. They don’t need deep UV technology or any of the other costly tricks chip makers use today to scrunch chip sizes. A 1 micron fab is fine. That should translate into much lower costs.

The design is scalable to 1 TB chips, according to Nanochip. – zd

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Laser TV Demo

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2008

from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »


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