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Current Events

E-book revival

Sony has just released it’s LIBRE e-book based on the Boston-based company, E-Ink technology which they have licensed. This is a recycling of an old concept that Sony has tried before (remember their custom-sized CDROM Databook?) and hope to make a successful go of it this time.

At 40,000 yen a pop with 300 yen to rent an e-book for 60 days, it’s questionable this can beat the incumbent technology. It’s hard to improve on a technology that allows for rapid access, can accept scribbles in the margin, can be loaned to friends, can be used to swat flies and protect you from the rain, supports full color, and runs on no batteries. I’m talking about the plain old paperback.

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Current Events

Ford Sportka

I can see why these Evil Twin Ford Sportka advertisements got them into hot water.

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Current Events

Rummy Blustered

Rummy Blustered on Face the Nation

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you’re the–you and a few other critics are the only people I’ve heard use the phrase “immediate threat.” I didn’t. The president didn’t. And it’s become kind of folklore that that’s–that’s what’s happened. The president went…

SCHIEFFER: You’re saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I–I can’t speak for nobody–everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn’t say that? The…

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not–if–if you have any citations, I’d like to see ’em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says “some have argued that the nu”–this is you speaking–“that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.”

Sec. RUMSFELD: And–and…

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I’ve–I’ve tried to be precise, and I’ve tried to be accurate. I’m s–

Mr. FRIEDMAN: “No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.”

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It–my view of–of the situation was that he–he had–we–we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that–that we believed and we still do not know–we will know.

Thanks to Stephen Berlin Johnson and the Center for American Progress

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Sushi Bar Cam

Our old neighborhood sushi shop in Tokyo now has a webcam! Gosh, this makes me miss Japan. . .

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Train Station Melodies

Update (Aug. 2012): replaced link.

A charming site that plays back a collection of Japanese Station Melodies.

In Japan, special melodies play when trains pull into or pull out of train stations. These melodies are unique, depending on the station. This website is devoted to these sounds, giving samples of them. Please look through this website for more detailed explanations.

Click the link below for a sample. Brings back memories!

Osaki Station Melody

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Current Events

Blackout

They’re calling it the largest blackout the Northeast has ever seen. The Blackout captures the event from the perspective of moblogs all across NYC where thousands were stranded without a way to get home.

Safe in the Factiva offices, all we noticed was a brief flickering of the lights and a sev alert email calmly notifying us that because the entire eastern seaboard was kicked off the grid we were now running on back up generators.

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Gross National Cool

Do you think Japan is Cool?

“Japan is reinventing superpower—again. Instead of collapsing beneath its widely reported political and economic misfortunes, Japan’s global cultural influence has quietly grown. From pop music to consumer electronics, architecture to fashion, and animation to cuisine, Japan looks more like a cultural superpower today than it did in the 1980s, when it was an economic one. But can Japan build on its mastery of medium to project an equally powerful national message? ”
– from Japan’s Gross National Cool

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Current Events

Honda Cog

This may be old news to some of you out there but I just can’t get over how amazing Honda’s “cog” commercial has been. It’s got to be one of the most linked to sites around, 2 minutes of pure analog fun. I read this took 600 takes to get it right.

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Current Events

Cruise Missile

Amazing what folks can build in their garage these days. A fellow in New Zealand built a cruise missile which is certainly interesting but not really useful unless you have a serious grudge. I prefer the 100 lbs thrust pulse jet which has links to instructions on how to attachit to your go kart.

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Current Events

A lighter look

A lighter look at the scary events in the Middle East are laid out in this Flash-based strategy game