August 2004

Main | September 2004 »

Flexcar and Hybrid Vehicles (mark)

flexcar.jpg I just had the wonderful opportunity of using the Flexcar program here in Seattle for the first time. Flexcar is a company who "rents" out cars on an hourly basis. They are parked around the city, you reserve it on the web, and when you want to use it you walk over get in and drive away.

Now in order to do this, the car has to be tricked out with electronics. An RFID-embedded card authenticates you and unlocks the door. A pin entry keypad activates the ignition so that when you turn on the car (with the key in the glove-compartment) it turns over. When you are done, the car sends the information about the trip back to the central database for billing.

Basically if you want a car for the whole day it is cheaper to rent a car, but if you want a car for a few hours, it is cheaper to use Flexcar than it is to rent or own a second car. My family only has one car, so today I had to run an errand which required a second car. This was the perfect solution.

The only thing that could possibly make this cooler is that the car near me was a Hybrid Honda Civic. So not only was I not owning another car, but I was not using as much oil (c.f. the Iraq War), it was a clean new car which I couldn't afford on my own and for the record I got 44.2 mpg on an 8 mile trip (one-way).

Click on the image on the left to go to Flexcar's site.

(Musings, Stuff That Matters) Permanent Link made 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Fast Food Nation
Click on the image to go to Amazon
An examination of how consumers and the fast food industry have created a system of labor, food production, and nutrition that isn't really what the consumers or the fast food industry generally should want. There is a great section on where all the flavors come from.

(Stuff That I've Read For "Fun") Permanent Link made 9:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


The Blackspot Sneaker

blackspot.jpg I just bought a pair of Blackspot sneakers. These are sneakers that are being commissioned by - a pro-consumer-freedom organization somewhat affiliated with Ralph Nader.
I love the concept - basically in an effort to compete against corporate branding and consumerism run amok, Adbusters has decided to create an unbranded sneaker. It is a political and fashion statement against Nike specificallly and against corporate control of consumer freedom in general. I'm totally into subverting corporate control and unbranding things. How many brands have been forced into your mental landscape in the last 5 minutes?

(Stuff with Buzz) Permanent Link made 9:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Vi Plug-in for Eclipse

eclipse logo

This is a wonderful plug in for the Eclipse programming environment that duplicates the vi keystroke behavior within Eclipse. If you use vi then you know how badly this was needed. Not all vi keystrokes work yet, but there is enough that my productivity has increased a bunch.

Clicking on the image to the left will take you, not to the Eclipse site, but rather to the site where you can get the wonderful vi plugin.

(Stuff That I'm Messing With) Permanent Link made 12:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


National Right To Life


Protecting life matters.

Clicking on the image on the left will take you to the National Right to Life Committee's home page.

(Stuff That Matters) Permanent Link made 8:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Paste Magazine

Signs of Life in Music and Culture: A cool music magazine with an even cooler compilation CD. It has excited me about finding new music again. I'm into the song Parables by Seeds and Grandaddy by A.J. Roach and American Wake by the Elders all of which I was introduced to through this magazine.

(Stuff with Buzz) Permanent Link made 8:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Red Vs. Blue Machinima Series

This is a really funny animated series that is released weekly on the web. It is "filmed" by acting out scenes in the XBox game Halo. The scenes are recorded and then the writers dub voices over the recording. So the whole set is virtual and provided by a video game that never intended to be used in such a way. The technical details aside though, the guys who write it are funny - in a red-meat military guy geek humor sort of way.

Clicking on the image on the left will take you to there home page.

(Stuff with Buzz) Permanent Link made 9:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Terragen Fractal Landscape Generator

Terragen is a wacked out image generation program. It renders photo-realistic landscapes based on fractals and [I assume] ray tracing. Snow, desert, vegetation, water, sky all look very real. The last time I looked at this stuff was 10 years ago and it sure has come a long way. Click on the image at the left and check out some of the galleries to see examples of what the users can do with it.

(Stuff with Buzz) Permanent Link made 3:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


The Gospel

Click on image to go to description of Gospel
The Gospel:

Transformation matters

(Stuff That Matters) Permanent Link made 3:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


The Man in the Mirror

book cover
Click Image to go to
Evangelical Christian perspective on finding meaning in one's life as a man. Easy read. Motivational.

(Stuff That I've Read For "Fun") Permanent Link made 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Cool MP3 of Copyright Law Oral Argument


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a very interesting MP3 (16 MB here) of its oral argument on the appeal of a case which pit recording studios against a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing network. From the EFF's web site:

California - Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a crucial decision in support of technology innovators by declaring that distributors of the peer-to-peer software Grokster and Morpheus cannot be held liable for the infringing activities of their users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued on behalf of Streamcast, the creator of the Morpheus software, in a case that pitted dozens of entertainment conglomerates against two small software companies. The Ninth Circuit decision is based in part on the fact that P2P networks have significant non-infringing uses, and that they can help artists earn money. The ruling is similar to the Supreme Court's decision in the 1984 Betamax case, which determined that Sony was not liable for copyright violations by users of the Betamax VCR

I'm really into primary sources. It's very interesting to evaluate the source of the CNN/blog news summaries for yourself. Unfortunately this takes time, which is in short supply, but critical thinking requires practice. This is the first time that I've ever heard a real oral argument and it's the first time I've seen one distributed as an MP3. It was good bus listening on my iPod

(Stuff with Buzz) Permanent Link made 9:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


This is the first entry.

(General News) Permanent Link made 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)