Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Google - almost as great as carbon

Google has a new feature - the Google calculator. Now when you need to know what .2+2 is, or what force (roughly) in Newtons a 200 lb man standing at sea-level exerts on the soles of his shoes (and they on him), Google has the answer, as it does to almost all other questions. Google also recently released the final code for the Google Toolbar 2.0, the beta version of which is the reason I started blogging...

Carbon - it's a wonderful thing

Looks like one of my least favorite monopolies, De Beers, is going to have some competition in the form of cheap, gem quality, man made diamonds. How does a 3 carat yellow diamond sound? It goes for about 15 grand in Amsterdam. How about for a hundred bucks? Or a carat worth of raw material for a diamond-based semi-conductor capable of running at 81 GHz? 5 bucks. Of course, carbon and carbon-based molecules are also great in more messy, finished forms like turkey offal, old fridges, tires - you know anything that can be turned into oil.

Thursday, August 14, 2003 - U.S. tech workers training their replacements

Ok, this sucks: - U.S. tech workers training their replacements - Aug. 11, 2003 That companies are moving jobs abroad, is not such a big deal - it's been happening for years. I've been wanting to open up a shop to do that myself, in fact, but lack the entrepreneuring, risk-loving genes to do so. What bothers me about the L-1 program is that the companies can transfer employees to the US and keep them here for up to 7 years, without having to meet the prevailing wage and other >requirements of the H1 visa:
LABOR CERTIFICATION REQUIRED - A U.S. Employer must complete the procedure as established by the Department of Labor in the State where the services are to be performed that: a. No qualified American worker is available to fill the job; and b. The prospective immigrant shall be paid at a minimum the prevailing wage for the industry as set by the Department of Labor of the State where the services are to be rendered.

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo (

The Washington Post (and others) reports that Chinese scientists have recently created 'hybrid embryos" - the term used to describe an embryo with DNA from mixed species - containing human and rabbit DNA. This has obviously raised all sorts of ethical questions. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue - on one hand there's no doubt this could open the door to fruitful stem-cell research which could lead to cures for all sorts of congenital diseases; on the other hand it seems inevitable that someone will try - and succeed - in carrying a human hybrid fetus to term. Maybe some X-Men reading is required.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

States of Disorder

Lawrence Lessig has an interesting comment on the recall situation in California and "loophole executives". Personally I'm torn as to whether or not it's a good thing that California's mess takes the nations eyes off of the Texas legislature and its 2nd (!) failure to reach a quorum due to Democrats fleeing the state. (First failure here)

Monday, August 11, 2003

Bad Kharma - or how to do a complete reset on a Nokia 3650

I may be in the wrong business. It seems I have more than my fair share of problems related to computer hardware. I just got a new PDA. It worked for a day. Then it stopped synching with my laptop - or rather the laptop stopped recognizing the PDA. I also just got a new Nokia 3650. Haven't had time to play with it much, but I noticed today that whenever I made a call, it would tell me that call forwarding was activated. Ok. How do you turn that off? Well you go to the tools menu, and select the call forwarding option. Says so in the help. Says so in the manual. Says so on the web. Uh - I don't have a Call Forwarding option in the Tools menu. So I tried to do a Complete Phone Reset. Still no luck. Guess I have to visit a T-Mobile store...

Trans-Atlantic Model Airplane Flight

The Trans Atlantic Model team has successfully flown an 11 pound model airplane 903 miles across the Atlantic. Unmanned planes have made the trip before. If a bunch of (admittedly veteran and well -educated) enthusiasts can do this on a very moderate budget, why do the DOD's UAVs cost so much?

Word of warning about SBC Yahoo!

I've had my Yahoo! Mail account since the very early days of Yahoo! Mail, and have used my account as my primary personal e-mail address. While I have had 6 different school/work addresses the last 7 years, my Yahoo! account has stayed constant. That is until SBC came along. The last 2 years I had a DSL line through SBC, who teamed up with Yahoo! to deliver their enhanced DSL services. Though the DSL performance was pretty crappy at times, the Yahoo! enhanced services were great - additional storage for mailboxes and briefcases. I then moved out of SBC's area and time came to disassociate (or unmerge) my SBC and Yahoo! accounts. BEEEEEEP
Please be informed that after migrating to SBC Yahoo!, you can not unmerge your SBCGlobal and Yahoo! accounts but if you still want to unmerge your accounts, the only possibility is that you have to cancel your SBC Yahoo! service in the future, there will be a maintenance fee of $9.95 per month to retain your existing Yahoo! ID and preserve your mail, addresses, calendar items and personalized services. If you cancel your SBC Yahoo! service and do not wish to pay the maintenance fee, your data will be deleted, or you can transfer some of your existing data to a new Yahoo! account with a different user ID.
We apologize for this inconvenience. However, after deactivation of your existing Dial-up account, your Yahoo! ID will be free after 180 days from the date of deactivation. It is free and any member can create using that member ID.

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Flexible Work Hours

One of these days I'm going to work for a company where flexible work hours doesn't mean that I'm up after midnight several times per week working. I remember my first job out of college (yeah I know - not that long ago) when I came to realize how great it was to come home and not have homework. Fuck flexible; I want to work 8-6 again.

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Friday, August 08, 2003

Summer Norway

Once in a while I get a tad bit home sick...

Time's a wasting

Just came back from an extended lunch, and needed some goof-off time to get back to working mode. Not much of an excuse. Anyway. I hate maraschino cherries. Now I know why.

Acronym Finder

IMHO this is a useful site, not only for all the new TLAs one comes across, but also for some of the old ones that one uses in writing without thinking about what they really mean, eg "eg"...

HowardForums: Nokia Series60 info

Forum for users of the Nokia Series60 here

Turn Down the Lights

A pseudo-scientific look at light pollution and its effects on people and animals

Thursday, August 07, 2003

More blah blahg

Of course I wasn't the first to think of this oh-so-geeky-yet-sorta-cutesy name for my blog. There appear to be at least a few dozen equally bright but dorky people out there. Though I seem to be one of the very few to use the more concise form.


Me, me, me

Google Search: "oskar austegard" Since this is all about me, anyway. There were 75 entries when this was posted. One benefit of having a unique name, is exactly that: it's unique. How long before this blog starts appearing in the list above?

SCO vs. the World

EE Times - SCO wants $32 for each embedded Linux device Basically this means SCO now wants $32 from me since my in-laws gave me a TiVo for Christmas. This just got personal. The guys at Kuro5Hin express my opinion pretty well


Wishlist Item

ThinkGeek :: 4-D Optical Mouse Ok - I'm a geek, but I want this one. Too bad I already have 3 other mice that work perfectly well as is.

the experiment">the experiment

- many good examples of how ads CAN be sophisticated, smart, and subtle, even though the ad COMPANY may be a little in-your face with their self-righteousness...