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April 6, 2007

Why can't I remove my hard drive without tools?


It occurred to me just now that many computer security issues could be solved in one fell swoop with one simple change in computer hardware architecture: make the hard drive easily removable, a simple plug-and-play interface just like a PC card or USB plug.

With hard drives as small as they are these days and continuing to shrink, it baffles me that such an obvious fix hasn't alreadly occurred.


Now, it may be my TechnoDolt™ stupidity leading me to the conclusion above, but if that's what it takes, hey — let me be first in line to claim the title and get one of those easy-in/easy-out hard drives.

Take your secrets with you when you leave the office and you don't have to worry about who's messing with your computer when you're gone.

Plug the hard drive into another computer somewhere else and it's as if you never left.


Yeah, sure, companies that don't allow iPods, cellphones with cameras and suchlike for fear of losing the family jewels won't go for computers like this, but for the rest of us they're long past due.

April 6, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Tic-Tac-Toe Beach Towel


Forget about bingo — this has blingo.

From the website:

    Tic-Tac-Toe Beach Towel Game

    This game is ideal for a day at the beach!

    This 29" x 51" cotton beach towel can dry you off and be played on as a board game.

    Each game includes 10 plastic game pieces.

    Instructions included.


Instructions are key.


April 6, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



What's this?

From the website:

    About Boxxet

    Q. What is Boxxet?

    A. Boxxet (pronounced "box set") brings together the "best of" news, blogs, videos, photos, gear and much more on your favorite subjects. For the things you care about (teams, hobbies, interests, schools, towns, etc), Boxxet's unique combination of computer automation and community participation produces the most diverse and complete best-of compilations.

April 6, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Granite Cleaning Squeegee


That's different.

From the website:

    Granite Cleaning Squeegee

    Our durable Granite Cleaning Squeegee uses dual-function microfiber yarns to clean and polish simultaneously.

    • Reinforced, lightweight ergonomic handle

    • Includes three replacement pads

    • Manufactured in Italy




April 6, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The difference between a computer and a person is that a computer has no concepts — Douglas Hofstadter


In a sprightly Q&A with Deborah Solomon that appeared in the April 1, 2007 New York Times magazine, Hofstadter, the author of the iconic 1979 book "Gödel, Escher, Bach," also said, "I have no interest in computers."

Here's the full exchange.

    The Mind Reader

    As a professor of cognitive science at Indiana University who spends his time thinking about the process of thinking, what do you make of Descartes’s famed pronouncement, “I think, therefore I am”? Who knows what that means? It’s a tiny, little aphorism. You can interpret it any way you want and say, “What a wise man he was!”

    You first became known in 1979, when you published “Gödel, Escher, Bach,” a campus classic, which finds parallels between the brains of Bach, M. C. Escher and the mathematician Kurt Gödel. In your new book, “I Am a Strange Loop,” you seem mainly interested in your own brain. This book is much straighter. It’s less crazy. Less daring, maybe.

    You really know how to plug a book. Well, O.K., I don’t know. Questions of consciousness and soul — that is what the new book was motivated by.

    You write movingly about your wife, Carol, who died tragically in 1993, and suggest that her soul remains embedded in your consciousness. You can imagine a soul as being a detailed, elaborate pattern that exists very clearly in one brain. When a person dies, the original is no longer around. But there are other versions of it in other people’s brains. It’s a less detailed copy, it’s coarse-grained.

    You make it sound as if a soul can be Xeroxed. You can’t duplicate someone exactly. I didn’t say exactly. I said coarse-grained and approximate. Lower-resolution.

    Aren’t you just putting a clever gloss on the phenomenon of memory? Many people believe that our lives end not when we die but when the very last person who knew us dies. Memory is part of it, yes, but I think it’s much more than memory. It’s the fact that my wife and I, for example, became so intimately engaged that her essence was imported into my brain.

    Why do you think you are still in mourning after all these years? She died when our children were so young. The chance to watch her children grow up was taken away from her, and that was the thing that absolutely destroyed me.

    In your book, you also discuss the souls of animals and your conversion to vegetarianism. I don’t feel I have the right to snuff the lives of chicken and fish.

    What about mosquitoes? If a mosquito has a soul, it is mostly evil. So I don’t have too many qualms about putting a mosquito out of its misery. I’m a little more respectful of ants.

    Your father, Robert Hofstadter, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1961 for his efforts on behalf of neutrons and electrons. I was 16 when he won. It was a good boost for my shaky ego. I was worried about whether I was a bright person or not.

    Did you feel reassured when you yourself won a prize — the Pulitzer, in 1980, for “Gödel, Escher, Bach”? I don’t like the idea of prizes, which make too much of a binary distinction between people. But in this case, the prize did me some tangible good. What I gained was academic freedom, the respect of my university.

    Your entry in Wikipedia says that your work has inspired many students to begin careers in computing and artificial intelligence. I have no interest in computers. The entry is filled with inaccuracies, and it kind of depresses me.

    So fix it. The next day someone will fix it back.

    You don’t have any interest in artificial intelligence? I’ve taught a course called “Hype vs. Hope in A.I.” Why does this field inspire such nonsense? People who claim that computer programs can understand short stories, or compose great pieces of music — I find that stuff ridiculously overblown.

    What does a computer lack that a person has? It has no concepts.

    I know some people who have no concepts. They do have concepts. People are filled to the brim with concepts. You don’t have to know what a concept is in order to have one.


Hofstadter's new book (below)


has perhaps the best title I've seen so far this year.

April 6, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Lighted Lip Gloss


From the website:

    Lighted Lip Gloss

    Don't be left in the dark.

    Our lip gloss with light provides everything you need for a picture perfect lipstick application.

    Apply a hint of color to lips, even in the dark, with just a click of this ingenious applicator's LED light.

    A built-in mirror on the side of the case ensures flawless application.

    Contains beeswax, Vitamin E and jojoba oil for soft, smooth lips.


    • Simple on/off switch for light at top of applicator

    • Battery included (but not replaceable)

    • Tucks easily into pocket or purse

    • Small, compact and lightweight

    • LED lasts for 10,000 clicks

    • 1.8 oz.


Pink or Rose.


April 6, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New from DAS — Candied Ginger & Pistachio Caramelini


Above, the box which contained the latest taste sensation from Katie Das at DAS Foods: her new, not-yet-released Candied Ginger & Pistachio Caramelini (below).


Long story short: they lasted nearly two days, with all possible deliberation taken between caramels — they're the best ones yet.

Put me down for a box next time I order.

Which leads me to a suggestion for Katie: For addicts (yes — I am a DAS caramel addict) like me, it would be nice to have a place on the online form that you could check to order one box of each variety, as opposed to having to add them to your basket one at a time.

Just a thought.

Now, back to my Chocolate & Walnut (below).



But not too sweet — in fact, perfect.

April 6, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Emergency Flashlight AM/FM Weather Radio Digital Clock Thermometer


You'll want one after you reading Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel, "The Road."

Trust me.

From the website:

    Emergency Flashlight Radio

    Rechargeable Design Also Works With Built-in Crank

    Be prepared.

    Here’s a multi-function emergency information system in one convenient package.

    Just plug it into any outlet to charge and you’ll be ready — no batteries to ever replace and no bulbs to break.

    You get an ultra-bright LED flashlight, digital AM-FM radio and weather-band radio with NOAA severe weather alert feature.

    There’s also a digital clock with calendar, and even a built-in thermometer.

    If the batteries get low during use, use the built-in crank handle to operate and charge the unit.

    Built-in plug fits 115 volt outlet.

    Measures 10-1/2” long.




April 6, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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