Archive for May 20th, 2008

Slightly Less Nonexistent…

Me, last year:

…[I]f I could design the Perfect Portable Device, based on existing or at least plausible/impending technology, what would it be?


There are devices that can pretty much do all of this already, but they have the absolute constraint that they have to be at least as large as their screens. So large-screen devices are bulky, and compact devices have tiny screens. So here’s my idea: A screen that folds. OLED technology will make it possible to manufacture displays that can bend in half, so why not have a device with the form factor of a book? You open it up, and you have a screen that’s the size of two “pages.” For typing, you could turn it 90 degrees and use one “page” as a touchscreen keyboard – or just use the bottom half of the two-page display (needless to say, it would auto-tilt the screen like on the iPhone). By my calculations, a 4″ X 3″ folding device would have a 7″ display when fully unfolded. At the other extreme, you could fit a 15″ screen on something roughly the size of a hardcover book.

The next-generation OLPC (One Laptop Per Child):

Negroponte didn’t share many details about the XO-2’s hardware, but the new system has two touch-sensitive displays. As you can see from the video and the pictures, the XO-2 will be much smaller than the original machine (half the size, according to the press release) and will have a foldable e-book form factor. “The next generation laptop should be a book,” Negroponte said.

The XO-2 will employ the dual indoor-and-sunlight displays, which was pioneered by former OLPC CTO Mary Lou Jepsen. The design will provide a right and left page in vertical format, a hinged laptop in horizontal format, and a flat, two-screen continuous surface for use in tablet mode.

It’s not exactly what I had in mind – two screens instead of a single foldable OLED one, but it’s the same basic strategy for fitting more screen real estate into a small form factor, and the ability to convert to a laptop mode with one half of the screen turning into a keyboard.

Now I just need one with a 128GB solid-state drive and some PSP-quality gaming capability…

(h/t Engadget)

3 comments May 20th, 2008 at 10:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology

John McCain, International Man Of Integrity

Okay, so it’s all well and good that Senator McCampaign Finance is suddenly on a big ethics kick with all the lobbyists on his campaign staff, and is actually firing people (while clinging like grim death to lobbyist key adviser Charlie Black and lobbyist campaign manager Rick Davis), but it begs the question… How did all these people end up on his campaign in the first place?

That question is even more pointed when you consider this:

Senator John McCain has a lobbyist problem. This past week, as several aides resigned because of their work representing unsavory governments, his campaign implemented a new policy governing these potential conflicts of interest. That led to the departure of additional staffers, including former Rep. Thomas Loeffler, a key adviser and fundraiser.

The McCain camp has insisted that the resignations are nothing more than evidence of the Senator’s sincerity in combating outside influences. But the truth, reform groups say, is far from adulatory: McCain’s current policy simply doesn’t compare to the ethical commitments he championed earlier in his career.

Just twelve years ago, when McCain was politically recuperating from his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, he introduced legislation that would, if implemented today, cripple his presidential campaign.

In March 1996 and again the following year, McCain offered a bill that, in his own words, “would ban a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committee from paying registered lobbyists.”


“Registered lobbyists who work for campaigns as fundraisers clearly represent a conflict of interest,” he added. “When a campaign employs an individual who also lobbies that Member, the perception of undue and unfair influence is raised.”

The legislation never passed.

So… 12 years ago, John McCain was totally against the idea of having lobbyists involved in political campaigns, and now he seems unable to hire anyone else?


May 20th, 2008 at 09:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Politics

I Seriously Need To Stop Looking At My Spam Queue…

There’s just too many fascinating spam comments for me to resist…

satires fink hungers!arrows multiplicand builds …

frogs defeat striker savages

steadiness!grieving Genevieve …

metasaccharinic spondylitis fiuman orthophoria geopolitically cretacic scamp roughtailed

multilevel stiffens!pygmies loser.shrink disobey …

forgetting rubbish proffers dreamy Loren …

subgroups clam SIMULA muzzle bumbles image!…

dissect drier challenges …

pawnee tetrode taxite deludable affrication mysell unsharpening scrupulously

almoner?parrot queerly cooperations choice …

varies arrowed lucid binaries salads shrewdness …

Who among us does not enjoy the occasional lucid binary salad every now and then?

1 comment May 20th, 2008 at 11:55am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Spamoptikon


Coming soon to a theater of operations nowhere near you:

The Jerusalem Post reports that a senior Israeli official said that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are of the belief that military action against Iran is necessary and that such an attack could be coming soon:

US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran in the upcoming months, before the end of his term, Army Radio quoted a senior official in Jerusalem as saying Tuesday.

The official claimed that a senior member of the president’s entourage, which concluded a trip to Israel last week, said during a closed meeting that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action was called for.

However, the official continued, “the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice” was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic, for the time being.

I’m not sure how credible (if at all) the Jerusalem Post is, and this is essentially a reporter saying that an unnamed Israeli official told him that an unnamed American official told him that Bush & Cheney want war, so take it all with a great big shaker of salt.

But it would be in character for Dick and Dubya – no doubt they miss that delicious new war smell, and they know that this might be their last chance to bomb Iran unless McCain is elected. Which, incidentally, they might also be trying to ensure with an attack on Iran, since everyone knows that Republicans are totally credible and serious when it comes to matters of national defense.

(f/t Attaturk)

May 20th, 2008 at 11:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Elections,Iran,McCain,Politics,Republicans,War

Is It Possible To Die From Too Much Awesome?

Terrible album covers are one of my favorite things.  I’ve seen some great sites that make fun of them, and I’ve even taken a small stab at it myself, but New York Newsday, of all places, has actually managed to put together a gallery of truly awful covers that I mostly had never seen before.

Some more of my favorites:

I defy you to deny the awesomeness.  You cannot do it.

2 comments May 20th, 2008 at 07:51am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Weirdness

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