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Archive for March 2006

‘Quantum computer works best switched off’

How very fascinating:

Even for the crazy world of quantum mechanics, this one is twisted. A quantum computer program has produced an answer without actually running.

The idea behind the feat, first proposed in 1998, is to put a quantum computer into a “superposition”, a state in which it is both running and not running. It is as if you asked Schrödinger’s cat to hit “Run”.

Quantum computer works best switched off | New Scientist

Written by Jeff

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 1:24 am

HughesNet, Satellite Internet Access, and You.

DirecWay is now HughesNet and they’re “staking out a position as an ISP supplier to consumers and small businesses” in rural areas unable to get other types of broadband.

My question: Why on Earth would someone pay $59.99 per month (that’s after an initial $600.00 payment for hardware and installation) for a max download speed of 700 Kbps?

Of course, they could pay only $100 down and then $100 per month (for 15 months) so that they could avoid avoid the large initial down-payment, but still. My parents live in a rural area and they would never pay that much for Internet access. It wouldn’t matter if they had to wait 10 minutes for Google to pop up, they still wouldn’t do it. Neither would I. It’s overly excessive.

I’m sure that HughesNet doesn’t think so, but I do. So does everyone that I’ve ever talked to about it.

Hughes Satellites Target Rural Broadband | InformationWeek.com

Written by Jeff

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Technology

Doctor jailed for determining sex of baby

Ordinarily, that headline would spark some sense of outrage. But when you think about the circumstances, not so much.

A two-year prison sentence was handed down against an Indian doctor and his assistant because in 2001 they broke the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, which makes determining the sex of an unborn baby illegal, and then arranged for the fetus’s abortion.

Why is this law necessary? Because each year “thousands of female foetuses are aborted” simply because of their sex.

Social activists and health officials in Haryana and across India have been alarmed by the emergence of a heavily skewed sex ratio in several parts of India as couples use new technology to achieve a traditional preference for sons.

Sabhani was filmed as he met a “decoy” patient, identified the sex of the foetus and said “it would be taken care of”, local newspapers reported.

First Indian doctor jailed under sex-test law | AlertNet.org

India sex selection doctor jailed | BBC News

Written by Jeff

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 2:11 am

Umm, ’cause they’re stupid?

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Links, Software

Animal testing & Windows Vista

Two unrelated bits of info:

  1. One Microsoft employee who’s worked on Windows Vista has proclaimed that “I wouldn’t buy it with someone else’s money.”

    Microsoft employees call for Ballmer to go | PC Pro via David Galbraith

  2. And this hilarious bit on animal testing:

    But booo hooo. One fuckin poster of a bunny crying with runny eye liner and everyone wants to ban animal testing. If that bunny could talk she would probably “hey how ’bout a touch up. Ima getting my picture taken.” And not surprisingly, I’d rather a rabbit go blind than me from some toxic Lancome.

    Rampage (the rant kind, not the mall store) | itain’twilliam.blogspot.com

Written by Jeff

Monday, March 27, 2006 at 11:05 pm

Homeland Security’s not quite secure

Government officials using fake documents were able to smuggle “small” amounts of radioactive materials into the country.

Government investigators smuggled radioactive materials into U.S. | CNN.com

Written by Jeff

Monday, March 27, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Posted in News Tidbits, Politics

A banner day…

Oh it is a wonderful day, of only because of who was born today:

  • Leonard Nimoy: Captain Spock, of course. He’s 75 today. His most recent work was a rather comical commercial for Aleve.
  • Diana Ross: Even without the others, she’s still Supreme at 62.
  • Vicki Lawrence: One of my all-time favorite characters on television, Mother Harper of Mama’s Family. She’s 57 today.

Written by Jeff

Sunday, March 26, 2006 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Music, Television