Author Archives: Ian Kennedy


This is pretty rich. Remember the old AI program Eliza?

AOLiza Using a publicly available Perl version of ELIZA, a Mac with nothing better to do than play psychoanalyst, a few applescripts, and an AOL Instant Messenger account that has a high rate of ‘random’ people trying to start conversations, I put ELIZA in touch with the real world. Every few days I’ll put up the latest ‘patients.’ Names have been changed to protect the… well, everyone.

Call it a honeypot for the bored and loney.

Happy Kid

Today we had a chat with Tyler’s teacher and she reports that he is a good listener with improving motor skills (he’s doing better at coloring between the lines) and is “exuberant, one of the happiest kids in the class.” He is ready for Kindergarden next year.

Tyler’s Paper Airplane

Tyler tries out his latest paper airplane design, the “triple-decker shooter.”

Solar System

I taught Tyler a little bit about the solar system and I could tell he was taking it in and trying to apply it to the world around him. A few days later, when I told him that I’m going on a long plane ride for a business trip (I’m in San Francisco for a few days) he asked, “Which planet are you going to?”

Cyber-shot DSC-T1

Sony Cybershot Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-T1

One of the great things about the inlaws visiting from Tokyo is that they bring with them the latest techie gadgets from over the horizon. This Christmas was particularly special as they brought with them Sony’s latest and greatest digital camera and, even better, it was a gift!The camera is the size of a thin deck of cards and slides easily into a shirt vest pocket and boots up almost immediately. It’s got a 3x optical zoom and a huge 2.5 inch LCD monitor. Most impressive is the 5 megapixel resolution, ability to shoot MPEG movies, and docking station which makes uploading real easy.

Combined with the iMac, iPhoto, and my .mac account I’ve been able to upload photos and movies with ease – thanks to you Mama Takei, they’ll be more pictures this year than ever before!


Lost Cat Reward

You know you live in an affluent neighborhood when you see reward amounts like this. The sign is on the way to work and has been the topic of quite a few conversations. For $2,500, you’d think there’d be hoards of people in the woods looking out for the lost feline. Some have thought that it’d be pretty easy to find a passing resemblance of this cat and try and pass it off as the lost kitty – others thought for that amount, you could hire someone to doctor one up, something like kitty plastic surgery. Heck, at that price, it’s worth me taking a week off work and dedicating myself to the search – I’m surprised more corporate types aren’t plying the woods in their overcoats and wingtips shouting “kitty! kitty!”Others wondered why the cat was worth that much of award – you’d think the owner would just post something like “Handsome Reward Awaits” rather than leaning out there with such a specific amount. Does it really take 2.5 G’s to get someone’s attention around here?

Me? I think the cat must have swallowed something of considerable value such as an engagement ring where the reward amount seems inconsequential compared to the emotional or perhaps matrimonial devastation the owner thinks awaits. Perhaps the husband is away on a business trip and while the wife was taking a lengthy bath the spiteful kitten swallowed the ring and bolted. I can see a jealous cat doing that.