Billions of calls are made everyday on mobile phones and people often have very little information about who’s calling them. Today we are starting to test Hello, a new app built by the Messenger team. Hello connects with Facebook so you can see who’s calling, block unwanted calls and search for people and places.
The functionality of the two apps is not exactly the same but similar enough. Given how little time passed between the “death” of one and “birth” of another, I wonder if this is a coincidence or part of a greater plan.
Of course we are not alone! Just look up at the night sky – there are thousands of stars you can see with a naked eye. There are billions that you can see with some telescopes and space travel. How many of these have planetary systems – we don’t even know well enough yet (we’ve found 133 with more than one planet, but our tools still suck). Among all of that, what are the chances that Earth is the only one that has arguably intelligent life? I am no mathematician (or statistician), but I won’t be betting any money on us being alone.
Daily Post, a blog that suggest a topic to write a blog post about for each day of the year, raises an interesting question: do you think Shakespear existed? Apparently, a few people doubt the fact because there is way too much work credited to him for a single person to create.
While I’m not that big on history in general and Shakespear in particular, I do have an opinion on the “too much work” reasoning. I’ve heard it before a few times and it was wrong every time I’ve heard it.
15-20 years ago, before the Internet was mainstream, most of the Russian connected people were using the FidoNet. As with any community, there were celebrities in FidoNet, and one of them was a writer under the name of “Alex Exler”. He was credited with so much stuff that rumors were going around that Alex Exler is not really a person, but a creative group of a few individuals. It turned out to be false. Alex Exler is a somewhat known writer, and a very well-known blogger on the Russian web. These days he has a website as Exler.ru. The website is updated daily with movies and gadgets reviews, opinions on software and political news, personal experiences and what not.
10-15 year ago, when I was just getting into the world of Linux and other Open Source software, I’ve heard rumors that Alan Cox is not really a human, but a bunch of goblins working underground around the clock. Alan’s contribution to Linux kernel and many other software projects was huge. More so, he seemed to have never slept. His patches were coming out any time of the day, he replied to his emails within minutes, and also managed to somehow follow all the discussion at Linux Kernel Mailing List (aka LKML) – a mailing list known for its huge traffic. Of course, Alan Cox is not a bunch of goblins. He is a very talented and productive individual.
Without knowing too much about Shakespear, I think that it is much more probable that William was a very talented and productive individual rather than he never existed or he was a group of people.
“The Pelican Brief” is one of the older movies (around 1993).Â I guess, conspiracy fans and theorists would love it.Â It is about yet another government conspiracy.Â There seems to be some sort of conspiracy (coincidence? I think not!) in the cast for this film.Â The director, Alan J. Pakula, did at least another film about conspiracy before – “All The President’s Men“, back in the 1970s, together with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.Â Two leading actors in “The Pelican Brief” did conspiracy movies before too.Â Denzel Washington played a part in “The Manchurian Candidate” and Julia Roberts played in “Conspiracy Theory“.
I, myself, am not a big fan of conspiracy movies unless they have plenty of action and surveillance technology.Â “The Pelican Brief” didn’t have much in terms of technology and could use some more action.Â Despite that, though, I have to say that it wasn’t too boring or anything.Â I enjoyed it.Â And, yes, both Denzel and Julia performed good and made them movie so much better.Â Without them it would have been a total loss.
6.5 out of 10 (make it 7, if you need an integer).Â Recommended, if you like conspiracy mysteries and scared Julia Roberts.
Yesterday I read the Slashdot post discussing the power of TinyUrl web service to affect accessibility of web resources. Â Most of today, the TinyURL web service is down.Â (SwitchingÂ toÂ conspiracyÂ voice): Â Coincidence? Â I think not!
I think I’ve uncovered another conspiracy by Google, particularly with their context sensitive advertising service AdSense. It’s not a bad conspiracy – as far as I am concerned, they are trying to do a good thing. But still, it’s a mean way to go about it.
A reader of this blog left a comment to one of my earlier posts about media brain wash, a story about Dell notebook exploding at some conference. Jon agreed with me that this story was a pure media hype. In his comment he said exactly this:
Now it won’t be long before some terrorist hops on a plane with Dell laptop batteries strapped all over his body. I agree, this story is media hype.
In order for me not to miss any comments, and to respond faster to my readers, the moment any of your post a comment, I get an email notification. As you know, recently I moved all my email affairs to Google’s mail service GMail. Now, Google uses its own AdSense service to show ads to people while they are reading their emails. The content of the email is used to determine which related ads should be shown.
When I openned a notification email with Jon’s comment I was shown four ads on the right. All four ad links were about notebooks. Two links were generic, but two others featured a brand. And although the brand in the content of the email was Dell, both branded ads were about IBM.
Now, you might think that this is just a coinsidence. But for two links out of four? I don’t think so. What is more probable is that Google undestood that Dell brand was used in connection with terrorism and tried to substitute that for IBM. Probably that was an attempt to sell non-explosive items to terrorists. Thanks Google, but no thanks.
NOTE (this note should have been written a very small font, but since noone will read so far down, I’ll leave it as it is): please, don’t take this entry seriously. I’m just messing with you.
Finally I watched “Conspiracy Theory“. I saw bits and pieces of it on TV several times, but I never managed to see the whole thing. Finally I did.
It turned out to be not as good as I was expecting or imagining it to be. Lots of boring story telling, wierd plot, and long pauses. There was not enough action. Considering the fact that one of the best action actors – Mel Gibson – is in the movie, that sounds like a terrible mistake. The guy was still excellent. Oh, and the music was good.
6 out of 10.