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May 25, 2010

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Should you keep your electronic hotel room key because it has your credit-card information embedded?

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According to Jeffrey Goldberg writing in his "What's Your Problem" feature in the April issue of The Atlantic, the answer is "no."

Here's the complete Q.&A.

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Q. Someone told me that when I check out of a hotel, I should take the electronic door key with me, because it has my credit-card information embedded in it. Is this true?

A. It is not true. My personal security chief, Bruce Schneier — author of "Practical Cryptography" — says that hotel keys store only the room number, an access code, and an expiration date. As Schneier explained: "Some systems program cards with two access codes: 'current' and 'next.' When a traveler puts his card in the door for the first time, the door recognizes the card's 'current' code as the door's 'next' code; it then locks out the old 'current,' moves the 'next' to 'current,' and accepts the card's 'next' as the new 'next.' This process continues, with each new card locking out the previous card." Does that clear it up for you?

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For me?

Sure, yeah — not.

Let's just say I'll keep on taking my electronic hotel room door keys home with me just as I always have.

How do you spell "The best surprise is no surprise?"

That's right — you got it.

May 25, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

And you thought Toyota had problems

Weqrth

Above, a brand-new Tata Nano in flames in Mumbai in March of this year.

"The tiny car burst into flames after it was driven from a Mumbai showroom," according to the picture caption in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

Not to worry, though: "Tata Motors Declares Nano as 'Safe.'"

You could look it up.

May 25, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What's so bad about feeling good?

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Only one thing, really: Time flies.

If you always found yourself in a state of (Csikszentmihalyi) flow, your life would pass in a delightful flash.

When you're miserable time slows or simply for all practical purposes stops.

In fact, I believe that when this relationship is explored by brain scientists in enough detail, the precise link will be so well-characterized that a cure — not palliation but real resolution — for depression will be as easy and fast as resetting a clock.

It's all about the basal ganglia.

And don't forget the right inferior parietal lobe.

So-called chronotherapy has been around forever but it's been unsuccessful because there's nowhere to focus.

But I digress.

I don't believe you can manipulate time such that good moments can be extended.

But I do believe they can be internally recorded in enough detail that reliving them could be indistinguishable from the original experience.

True, it didn't work out too well for the principals of the 1983 film "Brainstorm" but those were early days.

As in a Turing test, if you can't distinguish between two things, then they're the same for all practical purposes.

Videogames still live in the uncanny valley — but not for much longer.

And when they leave, you and I will be on board the cluetrain.

Stay tuned.

May 25, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Color-Coded Surge Protector w Cord Rings

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What took so long?

Now if they'd only color the cords differently, life behind the desk could get a whole lot more pleasant.

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$11.29.

May 25, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is it?

Ergae

Answer here this time tomorrow.

May 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tattoo Graffiti Tin

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From the website: "Your teenagers will love this opportunity to cover their arms, shoulders, backs or knuckles in tattoos! The tinned pack contains stencils for letters, numbers and a selection of symbols, plus four authentic tattoo-coloured gel ink pens in red, green, black and blue. The good news for you is that the inks are safe for skin and they simply wash away with warm soapy water."

£8.

May 25, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Wok racing in Germany

Who knew?

First I heard of it was Adam Cohen's March 25, 2010 Wall Street Journal front-page story about the rising sport.

May 25, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Light Bulb Candle

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Screws into a standard socket

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but requires no power,

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just a match.

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Designed by Helbert Ferreira and Remi Melander.

[via Interior design room and Yanko Design]

May 25, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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