The Beer Goggles Formula revealed

Nice to see scientists working on the questions that really matter to society.

Dolphin In Womb

From Semantic Bits

Winter Blues

Living in Stockholm at this time of year brings lots of comments from colleagues and friends about depression, lack of sleep and getting through the next couple of months until spring arrives again.
I came across this article from MSN Health & Fitness which very clearly gives three sensible pieces of advice on combatting winter blues.

  1. Go Outside
  2. Exercise
  3. Take Vitamins

The Truth About Digital Cameras

The New York Times has an article about a segment on digital cameras that was done for a television programme. The main point is that passers by were not able to tell the difference between the photos printed at different megapixel resolutions.

On the show, we did a test. We blew up a photograph to 16 x 24 inches at a professional photo lab. One print had 13-megapixel resolution; one had 8; the third had 5. Same exact photo, down-rezzed twice, all three printed at the same poster size. I wanted to hang them all on a wall in Times Square and challenge passersby to see if they could tell the difference.

In the comments section, differing opinions on the value of the experiment. One issue that I think about is what it would have been like to have shot the photos from cameras rather than using the same photo.

Weird Spam

This got through my spam filter. Any ideas on what it could be?

6428872 7704377 188013 3 8478778 4416364
0 3 6 7 8 3 7 1 8 0 4
5 2 0 2 7 5 4 6 0 5 3
5 0 2 247650 2 1 3 0 7871286
6 3 2 1 6 742185371 0 6 4 2
6 4 8 8 2 1 5 870 4 3 2 1
0 2420716 4 0 4 4 778 6426768 1153263

Jailing Poker Executives

With all the furore about the jailing of European poker executives in the US, it was very interesting to find an article in Slate about a case brought by Antigua against the US to the WTO.

… passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The act tries to bar credit-card payments to Internet gambling sites, and there has been much speculation about its wisdom and likely efficacy. What has been less noted, though, is that through this bill and a handful of similar missteps, the government has put itself in a position to be taught a sharp lesson about the nature of power in a globalized marketplace. Unless Congress and the Bush administration begin to pay a little more attention to how they handle Internet gambling, they could well end up creating an entirely avoidable headache for some very powerful constituents—holders of U.S. copyrights and patents—by punching a hole in the international web of agreements that protects them.

Further on in the article, it goes to ponder what options are open to Antigua if it wins the case and the US does not comply with the ruling.

The obvious question is what Antigua can do with a victory at the WTO. Retaliatory tariffs plainly aren’t particularly appealing for small country like Antigua, because they would certainly hurt more than they would help. But the plucky little island paradise does have some creative options at its disposal. If the United States remains recalcitrant, under the WTO rules, Antigua would potentially have the right to suspend its own compliance with the treaty that obligates it to respect the United States’ intellectual-property laws. That, one can well imagine, might get Washington’s attention.

It might be interesting to look at the medium to long term prospects of those gambling site’s stocks if the Antigua action was to pan out as the article suggests.

6 Stages of Debugging

From Moonwatcher via Zoli’s Blog.

1. That can’t happen.
2. That doesn’t happen on my machine.
3. That shouldn’t happen.
4. Why does that happen?
5. Oh, I see.
6. How did that ever work?