Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Satellite Imagery Excitement

I was going to talk about something else as the main topic, until I found out that Google Maps now has satellite imagery! If you have to wonder why that's cool then you're at the wrong blog. I can't recall another site doing this for free for the U.S., and so it makes getting around so much easier. So if you wanted to find a pizza place near you, you can get a satellite image and determine exactly where they are relative to you and figure out which is best to go to. And this almost guarantees that you'll never get lost again going to a friend's place because you can see exaclty what the route is! Let me show you:

I <3 Google

I chose to show that you can see the graphical map at markers if desired, but I could've looked at the satellite image of that marker as well. The point is that you can see exactly how far something is and what buildings to look for around it and such. The images seem pretty current and I still feel all hyper about it. It's much more exciting than the possibility of video blog hosting, which would still be pretty neat. Apparently, they want to investigate possibilities of searching video-based data so we may be able to expect a beta very soon.

I actually have a little more techie news. As I reported a while ago, Firefox comes with a default ability to disable those annoying Flash/Java-based popups, and now some cool dude came up with a patch to let you white list the sites with popups you want to allow. It's probably pretty simple and I wouldn't be surprised if it was built into the next Firefox iteration. Since I'm a big proponent of television show distribution I just had to plug this article about Australians downloading shows because their broadcasts are several months behind and the possibility of offering these shows at a cost like iTunes. When will those executives get the hint? And lastly, you may soon see changes on radio stations as a result of competition from satellite radio. XM and Sirius are growing at surprising rates and so now the normal stations have to stop blowing and start playing more good music with less ads. I'm hoping that Austin stations are among the first to change.

Movie news today is amazingly thin. There's been a casting change in Superman Returns: Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White will now be played by Frank Langella instead of Hugh Laurie. It's kind of an odd change, but I guess they were desperate to fill the void. I think he has the look better though. Denzel Washington will be working on another Spike Lee film in the near future called Inside Man about a cop who foils the plans of a skilled robber. I question the versatility of Denzel though. There are a couple of newer Harry Potter pictures over here if anyone is interested. And finally, the War of the Worlds website has had an overhaul so you may want to give that a look.

A few bits of randomness before I close. All you UT students should take note that the Fall schedule is now online and I reccomend using the ACM scheduler that a member created. You could also use the jclemon one though, or even the craptacular UT one. I think the title of this article is rather humorous because the article is about teenagers preferring oral sex because they think it's safer. That reminds me of that senator who thought you could contract STDs through sweating. The last thing I wanted to bring up was originally going to be the main post topic: a ridiculous piece of legislation in the Texas legislature. It would prevent same-sex civil unions in the state and, hence, rob them of any legal status they would've had. This is really becoming childish and idiotic. Why are we making our constitution more restrictive? Did that really work for the U.S. Constitution with prohibition? I wish these people would use their brains for once. Just once.

Now for the Tuesday Twosome meme:

1. What is your reaction when a "famous" person passes away, and why?
I kind of reflect on how I knew their work and feel a little shocked. Then I just keep going with my day. Unless the person was a favorite of mine it doesn't really affect me.

2. Do you believe there is a heaven and/or hell, and why?
Yes, I do. The question is what exactly they are. Are they totally different planes of reality? Another dimension? Or just a state of mind? I can't accept the fact that you die and that's it. Maybe heaven is the time in between dying and reincarnation. And maybe Hell is a place you go when your heart is filled with guilt and evil, but without the red guy holding a pitchfork.

3. Do you think many people will miss you when you have gone, and why?
I would hope so, but I'm not really sure. People may think it sucks and then just move on with their lives. I can't really measure how much I've impacted anyone's lives other than my family. I think a handful of people would miss me at least though. Getting people to care whether you're alive or not is something you have to work towards by being nice and getting involved.

4. What are the two most important reasons you would like to be remembered for?
Being a nice, loving person overall and having an insurmountable passion for computing.

5. Who are the two most important people in your life (if you have several children, count that as one choice)?
That's totally unfair! Alright, I guess I'll say my brother and my parents. I'm counting them as one to make this question more fair. It's not like losing one of them rather than the other would be better. Without them I wouldn't be what I am today.

Oh, and tomrrow's entry may be later than usual so just be aware of that.

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