Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Too Much Google

It turns out that a lot of the nerd news I have for today is related to Google. And I mean a lot. For the first time ever they decided to try out doing a factory tour, which is basically a tour of their office and a big press conference replete with progress in various fields and future possibilities. You can see the whole thing there including all 100+ slides and it's actually pretty interesting from what I've seen. What's really cool is they actually got everyone tickets to see Episode III that night since it was the opening day of the movie and they paid for all their own employees to go! Now that's a company with personality. One thing they showed off was the incipient Google Translator, which was created with researchers not knowing the languages they were programming for! How? You guessed it: by searching. They've just created algorithms to analyze previous translations of texts in those languages and it's amazing how accurate they can get. There are a couple of things they didn't mention though. One thing is the Summer of Code program where they will give $4500 to students who successfully complete an open source project. If I didn't already have my sights set on a project I'd jump on that bandwagon. The last piece of news for the company is the beta of Google Earth, which is competing with the similar product from Microsoft and is an enormous atlas of the earth that integrates features in Google Maps as well as 3D models in 39 cities. If I had a job I'd probably get it just to play around with it. See for yourself:

Click for the whole glorious shot

Just a few more techie items leftover. Sony BMG already has efforts underway to engineer CD-Rs that cannot be copied once burned. This is to combat copying copies of music CDs and while this is a valid concern I'm skeptical about how reliable such a technology would be and how compatibility would work out. If you have an account on Wikipedia then beware of your password because apparently the way that people are hashed by their passwords in the database someone with a certain password could find others of that password as well and access their accounts. There's a list of victims here and it's sad that Wikimedia could be so irresponsible. If you feel enamored with the Mac Mini but you're a PC fanboy then you're of a strange breed and will be pleased with a Wintel mini prototype called "Pandora". There are concerns that it can't touch Apple's $500 price tag due to Pentium M costs and Windows XP, but I guess we'll see what happens.

Onto the movie news. The big item for today is that director Matthew Vaughn has been confirmed to have left the X-men 3 project. It was a sad loss to the film and was apparently a personal decision on Vaughn's part, but now the pressure is on for Fox to meet their ambitiously planned release date of Memorial Day Weekend 2006. While I'm on superheros I should mention that there are mounting rumors of a Supergirl starring Miss Universe 2004 Jennifer Hawkins, who is very hot. I think I'd watch that movie just to see her. While I'm on hotties, there's word that Michelle Yeoh has been offered a part in Mission Impossible: 3, which is cool because I saw Tomorrow Never Dies a month ago and wondered about her and now I know that she'll also be in Geisha and possibly even Young Hannibal. There are a couple of videos today also. You can see a trailer for Pride and Prejudice over here if you're really a Jane Austen fan, but I'm afraid the dialogue will stick a little too closely to the novel and become as boring as Sense and Sensibility. The last thing is a random clip from Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle. I'm surprised that Disney has lent a hand to its production since it seems a little dark for their taste, but I guess it must be good if they took it in.

Before I conclude I just had to plug this article I ran into about a confessional blog. It's called Post Secret and you can snail mail the owner your secret for it to be anonymously put on the blog. It's rather addicting to read and I like that the author of that article points out that it's almost as if submittors to the blog are more proud of their work rather than venting shame. My favorite is: "I had gay sex at church camp 3 times." If you want more humor you can check out this site.

At last there is a Ten on Tuesday I can participate in:

Ten Favorite Things to Snack On
10. Oatmeal cookies (my mom gets the really big, soft ones and I eat them in pieces)
9. Various cereals (mainly Corn Pops and Oreo O's for snacking though)
8. Jalepeno potato chips
7. Starburst
6. Jelly Beans (Jelly Belly is the best)
5. Teddy Grahams (preferably the chocolate flavor)
4. Strawberries
3. Grapes
2. Honey roasted peanuts (choc-ful of protein)
1. Wheatables / Wheat Thins

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