Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kimberly-Clark Hi-Q - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I played Hi-Q in high school. I never realized that Alabama was only one of four states where this somewhat odd variant of a quiz game is played.

Differences (from memory) between Hi-Q and a normal "college bowl" type of game:

Matches involved *three* teams, not two.

Hi-Q matches were held at one of the schools competing, not at a neutral location like in some other academic competitions.

Hi-Q matches took place in front of the entire student body of the hosting school.

Hi-Q was played with microphones, like a real game show.

Team discussion was allowed on all questions (not just "bonus" questions, which I'm not sure Hi-Q even had).

The first thing spoken into the microphone by any player was considered the team's answer, so players put their hands over the mic while discussing the answer.

I can't even remember if Hi-Q teams had a "captain" or not.

Hi-Q's buzzers were big blocky things, like you may recall seeing on "Family Feud".

I don't think the buzzers were used the same way they are in college bowl. Each team was asked the same number of questions, without a contest to see who could buzz in first. The buzzers were used for *something*, but I can't remember what it was.

The matches were MC'd by local celebrities, not faculty or staff.

Hi-Q matches were televised. This is why my parents insisted that I play Hi-Q in addition to the several other academic teams I was on (yes, I was that sort of nerd): they thought that being on TV would increase my chances of getting a scholarship to college, or something.

The Delaware County site linked from Wikipedia says that a team's ranking is determined by their total score over the whole season, not by number of wins/losses. I don't remember anything quite this f***ed up, so it may be new since I played.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

No matter what your opinions about gun control (or, for that matter, Judaism), you've got to admit these guys have one of the coolest logos EVAR.

Friday, June 23, 2006

10 Reasons Why High Definition DVD Formats Have Already Failed


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Doctors who had a taste of their own medicine


The young chemist Humphry Davy discovered the properties of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, after inhaling it with friends, including the poets Robert Southey and Samuel Coleridge.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Card Dialer Telephone

I just remembered that when I was a child, some of my toys were the cards leftover from a phone like this. The phone itself was long gone by the time I was born.

I thought they were punch cards from a computer, and this may just be one of the things that got me started wanting to do something with computers when I grew up.

Ma Bell shows some leg..

Bell System Memorial - Main Home Page

I may have blogged this before.

A website created as a memorial to the people, history, technology and the "Spirit of Service" of what was known as the "Bell System" prior to 1984.

Btw, these ladies are way overdressed for the task they are performing in this picture:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Simon Morris's Blog: 80 Sprites - Beat That!

Something to do with comparing Java ME to the C64.. read later.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dictionary of the History of Ideas

Epic time sink. Dense. Smart. Makes Wikipedia look like Slashdot.

Slate blogs the Bible. By David Plotz

I've been meaning to read this for some time.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Are white hat hackers an endangered species?

One problem, of course, is lack of a definition of what "white hat hacking" is.

bloglines xss fixed?

The XSS issue in Bloglines that I complained about recently appears to have been fixed. Because of me?

The first thing I did was inform Bloglines.

Then I did some searching, and found out this was a known issue that had been disclosed months ago, and still not fixed. That was the point at which I started blogging about it, both on this blog and Jroller, complete with entries to exploit the behavior. (Note that while the number of people who regularly read this blog is probably less than a dozen, large numbers of Java programmers read everything posted to Jroller, which I why I posted it to both)

So which was it that caused them to fix the thing? Did they finally fix it because I reminded them about it privately, or because I complained publically?

Star Wars vs Star Trek!

I think I've blogged this before, but I'm blogging it again because I want YOU to waste a lot of time reading it.

This is the kind of thing that awaits you:

One of the oldest trekkie arguments is that electrical sparks from damaged bridge and control-system components indicate that Imperial technology is based on 20th century Earth electrical technology. Therefore, the argument goes, since Federation technology has "graduated" to plasma conduits, it is more advanced.

In reality, this only demonstrates the weaknesses of Federation starship design. Electrical power systems are far safer for low-powered systems (like bridge and control-system components) than plasma conduits, because electrical power always arcs to ground in the event of an open circuit. Plasma conduits, on the other hand, undergo explosive decompression in the event of a conduit rupture, resulting in the infamous "exploding console" problem on Federation starships. A control panel is not a high-powered system- it does not require exotic power supplies, and if its power supply system is known to be a potentially lethal safety hazard, then it is quite clear that the basic design philosophy should be reviewed immediately.

A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

Close enough.

Hiring: The Lake Wobegon Strategy

That reminds me, isn't there a Lake Wobegon movie now?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

a public service announcement

This is a public service announcement. If you are reading this blog through an aggregator (such as bloglines), and you saw an alert box just now, then the software you are using has a serious security flaw and you should complain loudly to the people who control the software.

phil ringnalda : No, ask what Bloglines can do to you

The XSS holes described in this blog from LAST NOVEMBER still exist in a website used by many thousands of people. And I thought I sucked.

a new (not really) low

XSS being used not for any pseudo-1337 purpose such as fraud or identity theft, but for plain old SPAM. This is like breaking into somebody's house and not stealing anything, just slaping your advertizing all over their stuff and getting out.

More details after I've figured out exactly who to complain to.