Off Into The Infinite Universe...

Welcome Back My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends...
This is for everyone who has a strange fascination with loopy structures, paradoxes, science, quantum physics, the nature of duality, the internet, cyber culture, philosophy, and any one who has stayed up into the late hours contemplating infinities.If any of you have any contributions for posts, paradoxes, mathematical infinities, or anything that has loopy nature send it to

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Everything Small is Just a Small Version of Everything Big"

The cartoon "Adventure Time" is a semi popular cartoon that runs on Cartoon Network. The show's sometimes more adult humor and themes makes for a plethora of rich comedy that my friends and I can actually appreciate. (sorry ) For whatever reason, the show has always had a slant on promoting mathematics, science, and morality. More so than other kid's cartoons I've seen. I mean its not done in a Sesame Street kind of way, but math and science are definitely used through out the show.

Anyway this one scene in which the show's protagonist, Finn, tries on a pair of magic glasses that lets him see the deep mysteries of the universe. His first epiphany is a visually splendid scene, the camera zooms in on his forehead, peering into his cells, and tiny microbes, then further down into atoms, and quarks, and eventually what look like little strings (string theory perhaps?) and finally into a galaxy and back to whatever planet that they live on. This struck me as wildly odd first of all, and very loopy in nature. Finn's following words "Everything small is just a small version of everything big" is what made it all seem a bit deeper.

Also on an unrelated note..Can you divide or subtract infinity by itself.. While infinity isn't a number, in theory, what would you get? Or even if you subtract 1 from infinity, is it still infinite?


Sunday, March 27, 2011

FireFox 4

Like an expectant mother, I've secretly awaited the new Firefox edition to come out. Now that its released, and for the masses, I gotta say... that's slick! The address bar isn't so jumbled with other crap, and its pretty clean cut. Nice big buttons, with rounded corners, everything looks very clean. Very "Apple" in terms of looks. Minimalistic. With its new release, there's a ton of add on's, and apps you can download. Remember the days of Internet Explorer 3, where customizing your browser meant choosing to clear your browser history when you closed it? No more, I've said it before, its all about apps now. You can search and find nearly any app and theme you'd want. So in honor of Firefox's newest product, I present to you my favorite and recommended Add-on's.

Awesome Screenshot - This add on is leagues above your computers stock "Prt sc" capture. You can add annotations, marks, crop, and add text to your captured screen pic.

FlagFox- This is more of a personal like for me, but this add-on gives you the flag of origin of the server that your accessing. So if your visiting say..piratebay, you get the German flag, etc... Its not going to really assist you but its cool to see where your favorite sites are located.

Wholinks2me - This is an add-on that will help with bloggers, so you guys may want to try this. It gives you the domains of everyone who links something to your page. On the Drop down menu when you right click, it there's an option to view how many clicks, where the link was and I believe when it was posted.

Browser Server - This is a pretty wicked app. It allows you to turn your computer into a mini server, allowing people to access files from your comp. Just be sure to loosen up the reigns on your router. I may actually take advantage of this, if I ever start my own site, away from the blogger servers.

Wappalyzer - I happen to love this one... And just so you know.. most of the apps I'm including here on more for personal knowledge lol.. This one too, is really informative though...if your a comp sci major.. It lets you find out what technologies, and scripting languages that the website your viewing is using!

Limepic - I don't know if this app is using your computer to host it, or is some cloud software, but yea you can use this to host different pictures. This is awesome if you post a lot on message boards or forums etc..

Showmyip - I know there are a lot of websites you can visit to find out your ip address but hey, what the hell, having an app for that knowledge is handy!

Brower Turn Editor- I haven't used this, but I can imagine its pretty fun! You can edit web pages and let your creative inner beast free! Feel google's page needs more pizazz? Make it happen, according to the description you can save the changes to a pic document, but obviously the changes won't hold once you reload! If anyone has tried this, let me know about it

Adblock plus- Probably the most useful and most needed is Adblock plus. Seriously, if you download any of the addon's, get this one, your streaming movies will thank you. We've all been there, watching a really good movie online, and right when the action picks up, a commercial rears is ugly head, to rub itself in your face. Adblock gets rid of those annoy timed ad's and lets you stream non stop.

Well thats it for now, as I explore Firefox 4 more, I'll look into posting others up. And if you guys have any to recommend feel free in the comments. I'll leave you with this, its a command list for all hot keys, and shortcuts in Firefox. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Death: The Ultimate Loop?

Ahh, to meet your maker, expire, cease to be, joinng the choir invisible, cash in, ending your earthly career, to ultimately merge with the infinite! Whatever you wish to call it, the clammy hand of death indeed reaches us all.
A loop that we can not escape. So I've decided to post a few of my favorite death scenes from movies. This has been done many times else where, so I'm not going to go crazy here, but when one takes that ultimate plunge into the unknown it needs some sort of praise.

Oh and remember, this isn't a list of the most gore filled deaths, or the most gratitious. These are the more cinematic, elegant fate enders, I picked these because they each have a different moral implication.

#6. Terminator 2: Judgement Day

This really should be a death scene, cause no one really died, but in a horrid lucid dream, Sarah Conner walks to a play ground where she encouters a younger version of herself, surrounded by many kids all playing care free. In a prophetic vision of the doomed future, a nuke is dropped on the city (probably by the robots?) and in a grissly scene, sarah's body ignites into flames along with the children. They turn to ash and crumple apart. This is only a dream, but a stark reminder to fuel Sarah's need to shut down Skynet. Her "death" is what she needed to get her going to finish her mission. Find something that fuels your fire... no pun intended.

#5.Star Wars:

After nearly 2 decades years apart, Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) finally comes face to face with his jedi master Obiwan Kenobi. The last time these two met, Obi wan, left Anakin to die in a fiery lava planet that left him burned, missing limbs, and dying. Anakin barely survived, and needed to be placed in the horrifying black mask and uniform to keep him alive. Obiwan now confronts his former pupil and this time surrenders himself. Even Anankin is surprised by this move, but it was all part of the grander scheme. "Strike me down Darth and I shall return more powerful than you can ever imagine." Obiwan's suicide was needed for him to return to the force, and become even stronger. The Lesson: Not every battle needs to be won, sometimes, defeat will temper us for later victories.

#4. One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest:

Was McMurphy really crazy or just one hell of a good actor? All the men on the psych ward that he was assigned too, were all cowering under the boot of the head nurse. She had her patients wrapped around her finger. If she said jump, they'd ask how high? They ate, slept, talked, and took medicine when she said. McMurphy arrives and decides that should all change. Its the classic story of going up against something bigger than yourself. McMurphy saw that she was treating the patients unfairly, and wanted to stand up to her. Unfortunately this caused him to undergo such painful and numbing electroshock therapy, that it turned him into a vegetable. The once outspoken, loud McMurphy was turned into a silenced, shell. This was no way to live, so one of his friends, wakes up in the middle of the night, and sufficates him, putting him out of his misery...Its the worst thing you can do to someone is silence them.

#3.The Messenger: Joan d' Arc

The name either brings to mind, a holy woman, touched by god, or a halluncinating woman touched by madness. When France needed her most the poor peasant girl rose to popularity by stringing together a chain of victories against the English. Joan who re-claimed much of Frances lost territories, was eventually put to death for her ideals. The same fiery passion that had saved France from siege, was then said to be blasphemous and she had to be purged in cleansing fires. Joan's beliefs were used for the good of France, and once those needs where met, she wasn't needed anymore and was looked upon as a threat. Be careful who you help in life..

#2. Moby Dick

In life, you encounter things that you get madly passionate over. Almost obsessive. And no story captures that feeling of mad drive than the story of Captain Ahab and the white whale. In my opinion, this book has yet to be translated to film properly.. The 1956 version was ok.. and this 1998 remake was equally mediocre. But idea of Ahab's death from chasing this monster is what really shines through. So hopelessy obsessed, with Moby Dick, it drove him to a watery grave, and the destruction of the Pequod. Obsessing over something to the point where it consumes you is a sorry life, and will eventually be the perfect way to buy the farm

#1. The Hudsucker Proxy:

My all time favorite scene of perilous plummets, is the scene in the movie, The Hudsucker Proxy. The head of the major corporation decides that his no longer wishes to be part of the greed and every day squabbling. A beautifully done scene, that actually makes me want to pat Hudsucker on the back. He was rich beyond belief, but felt that he didn't want a part of it anymore.

Well thats that. Most of the people on this list, knowingly went off into the blue yonder, on their own choice. To give oneself in to the unknown vastness of empty time and space...

You guys are welcome to share your own favorites.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

AT&T Buys T-Mobile

The world of Telecom shakes today, as AT&T takes over the reigns of T-mobile's US mobile division. This 25 billion dollar deal is going to (hopefully) help AT&T mobile network service. As an Iphone holder, I can atest...they're mobile service is horrid. I'm not sure if the fault lay with AT&T's towers, or Apple's made in China phone, but either way, I hope this will help bring the service to a much higher standard. I like AT&T, I like their history, what they've done, and how far they've brought the telecommunication industry. Without Bell Labs, we wouldn't have many of the inventions that we have. (Look in the near future for a full history and report on AT&T)

T-Mobile, which originally came from, if you remember VoiceStream Wireless. I vaguely remember the company myself, in fact I only remember hearing the name. VoiceStream was spun off of another merger, but ultimately VoiceStream was bought by a German Telecom company. In fact it was bought by the largest Telecom company in all of Europe, Deutsche Telekom. They wanted to own a wireless company in the states, to give them some profit overseas. Under the direction of Deutsche Telekom, Voicestream was turned into T-Mobile.

On its own, going up against the then struggling AT&T, T-mobile did pretty well for itself. its only been recently that the Mobile giant has began to show its age. Verizon and AT&T have been giving T-mobile a schlacking like none other, and I suppose its been falling behind. If you look at it from a tech point of view, T-mobile doesn't have much to offer. It put out in a act of desperation the Mytouch, which was supposed to go up against the iphone, but it wasn't even close.

So what does this mean? Hell if I know, I don't work for AT&T's corporate division. But from what I can gather, AT&T is going to be making use of T-mobile's cell towers which is good for us with AT&T phones. It will free up network space, and allow AT&T to catch up to the 4G tech. (which really doesn't deserve the name 4G, but thats for another topic)

Now, here's what I'm thinking... in the 80's AT&T was broken up for anti trust suits. Meaning, they were a monopoly and had to break apart to avoid being shut down. Now AT&T has reformed, and is once again gobbling up companies, before this, if you remember, AT&T bought Cingular. Obviously, unlike in the 1980's there's more telecom competition around now. Sprint-Nextel still exist, and AT&T's main rival Verizon is still a thorn in their side. I'll be keeping an eye on this story, and as I stated earlier, an AT&T/Telecommunications history time line will be one of my future posts.

Anyone here excited by this merger? Scared to death? Chime in.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a Unix system... I know this

I was watching Jurassic Park a few nights ago, (well I wasn't really watching it, someone was streaming it on livestream, and I was busy working on a class project) and aside from all the screaming, shooting, wheels screeching, and roaring, one line always bothered me. For those of you who haven't laid eyes upon this movie (what the hell is wrong with you??) its about an island of dinosaurs. I'm not going to get into detailed plot descriptions, because I don't review movies. Nevertheless, by the end of the movie, all hell is breaking loose, and this one self proclaimed "hacker" girl, is put on the spot to safe the entire cast of characters from being mercilessly devoured by door opening dinosaurs. She must "hack" into the computer and lock all the doors in the park, effectively sealing them into a closed in room. Anyway she hops on the computer, and much to her delight...

So yea, when I was a younger man, I had no idea what the hell a Unix System was..nor did I care. Dinosaurs where about to eat people. But as I grew up and my interest in computers grew, I had to wonder, what was Unix? I started watching TechTv (remember that?) and a man named Leo Laporte had a show called Screen Savers, in which he'd talk about technology and Os and related things, and he'd always mention something called Linux. Back then I had no idea that these two systems were related, and I began wondering just how many operating systems were out there? Was using Windows just a tip of the ice berg? I always hate that feeling I'm not getting to see everything. Like I hate playing demo's of games, cause I know there's more to it. So I had that same feeling when I discovered so many other Operating systems.. I wasn't seeing the entire picture with Windows. I've harbored that feeling for quite some time, but now as I'm getting into Computer programming, I'm finally going to download my own copy of Linux and see how it goes. So for those out there wondering whats so special about the Linux / Unix system? While I don't think everyone is going to orgasm over these features, they are cool to have.

Open Source Code: Probably the biggest draw to Linux is the ability it gives its users to go in and change the source code. Now you do this at your own risk of course, but atleast you have the option. It lets everyone's system be customizable, and you can really do some neat stuff with it.

Free & Legal: As much as I love & hate pirating, my moral compass and stand proudly as I download this.

Control!: If something goes awry with the source code, you have the ability to fix it yourself! This may seem like a chore to some, but with Microsoft you'd have to call or have your computer serviced. With Linux your source code is available to modify as you see fit! In fact its a plus if you doand fill out a bug report cause you'd be giving back to the other users in the linux community!

Desktops: Another big draw to Linux is the ability to customize your desktops. I don't mean change the wallpaper and turn your mouse pointer into a rocket ship, I mean truely changing the way it moves and operates. You can even change your file directories, and the way your folders work.. Truly its all customizable.

There's a whole bunch more differences that I won't get into, but I'll let you all know how this ends up. Rather I like it or not. After Linux, maybe I'll try running Unix on my imac... If any of you out there run Linux or any alternative OS chime in and let me know what you think. Do you like it? They're pitfalls, advantages, tips, tricks, etc..

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Chains That Bind

I really am trying to like AT&T. The oldest telephonics company in the world,(survived by its many incarnations... The original AT&T doesn't exist anymore) they have such a rich history, that really defined the shape of our country. I have an unusual interest in the telecom industry. (look for my future blog post on the History of Telecom) Anyway AT&T is really rubbing me the wrong way lately, and this is just another nail in the coffin. ( or maybe I should say just another jack in the wall?? Phone humor!) If there's one thing I abhor is a collar and leash. Especially on my internet, but that is exactly what AT&T is planning. Starting May 2nd 2011, AT&T will have a 'cap' on how much it's DSL subscribers can download and stream per month. 150 gigs is what you get if your a DSL line holder, and a 250 gig cap for their high speed users. While this of course may very well be enough for people, myself included, I don't like that feeling of a ceiling above me. And more righteously, I don't like the idea of people being penalized for sharing information. Rationing out data just seems wrong, and unfortunately, AT&T may not be alone. Something this big is almost guaranteed for other competitors to follow suit.

And another problem I for see with this, is that most companies, have two tiers of Broadband, a regular DSL line and a higher speed version that usually involves fiber optic cables. Ex: Verizon Fios, AT&T Uverse etc.. With these type of caps, the higher speed services, look less attractive, because whats the point, you'll just download yourself to the limit anyway? There's no need to get a faster service, because you'll just reach the cap faster for your month.
I'm not liking the looks of this and hope this isn't a trend to come.
As always comments welcome

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bejing Citizens Being Tracked Through Their Cell Phones

I'm not sure how accurate this is, but according to a few reports the citizens of Beijing, China can now be tracked by government officials, as to where they are. Even most mundane cell phones have some sort of GPS technology installed in them, and this is giving China, an incentive to use this advantage. Now, the director of their science and technology commission, stated that this move is to ease up congested road ways, and streets. He claims that know where people are gathered and congested, can help route traffic, to other areas. Now we all know China is pretty populated, no surprise there about the heavy traffic.. but tracking on cell phones? The matter just sounds sketchy to me. What others have suggested, and I agree with this, is that this initiative lets Government officials see where large masses of people are gathering and given the social unrest over the last two months in Africa, it probably has the upper echelons worried about the fire spreading. So this whole program can keep a big brother style eye over the herd and especially because of the reports that the social unrest in Egypt began over Facebook. This would allow anyone sending any messages inciting unrest, to be found and punished quickly and accurately. While I doubt the US government would never pull such a brash, and clumsy maneuver, you think something like this is possible? Even without our knowledge? Lets hear from you guys.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mk Ultra

Ah, weird, behind closed door experiments? check. Mind altering drugs? check.
Set in the 1950's cold war era? check check..

Started in the 1950's and early 1970's, Mk-Ultra was the government's way of playing with LSD and other illegal substances. What was the MK-ULTRA program?
It was a covert operation by the US government to explore the effects of mind altering drugs on soldiers. Remember, in the late 1950's, and early 60's drugs were beginning to take hold of the youthful culture, it was a drug world. LSD one of the main centerfolds of the revolution had some serious effects on the human body and the nervous system. It's reputation carries with it, effects of altered thinking, psychodelic 'tripping', and cognitive shifts. That being the case, the CIA used LSD to experiment with humans, often CIA agents, and prisoners, and studied their effects. They put together mass group dosages, and watched for any interactions in the mental state.
The point behind all this testing, and experimentation, was to see if substances combined with LSD or psilocybin, ketamine, or marajuana, and other drugs could produce a person of higher mental thought, even producing effects of telekensis, brain washing, shared dreaming, or hypnosis.

Mind control, and brain washing were the two big idea's behind the MkUltra program. Producing this, the government in effect could create an ideal killer, or assassin, or even president. (one would argue, that the government already controls the presidents) The MkUltra program even went so far as Hypnosis, in which lots of experimentation was done with hypnotizing patients, and having them remember complex written words or strings of text.There were also a few "mini mkultra" programs that spawned from the idea of mind control.

MkSearch was established to find a perfect 'truth serum' drug. Using this at the height of the cold war would have been invaluable. Remember that during this time, the United States would have loved to found out about what was going on in Russia at the time.

Project Artichoke was a similar mind control idea that used the addiction of morphine and its withdrawl effects on people, to induce vulnerable states in people. Apparently Project Artichoke is where all the action happened, and that mkultra was a lesser offensive. But all the evidence of Artichoke was destroyed, leaving the public to chew over the mkultra program.

was another spawn, in which, the CIA investigated and played with more tribal, ritualistic methods of human thought. It even reports that mystics, clairvoyants, and psychics where used and experimented on.

Unfortunately, in the early 1970's, the files for MkUltra were vastly destroyed, so what truely went on in those hallowed halls, will never be known. The New York Times reported that there had been illegal experiments going on, which prompted an investigation into the matter, that resulted in something called the Rockafeller Commission, which was a commission to look into what the CIA did domestically. Sure enough, evidence of biological, and psychological experimentation was indeed found.
You can literally read tons one this topic, so I'll stop here with just the basic overview and I'll let you continue your research if you find this stuff interesting. The likes of Timothy Leary and John C.Lilly proved that the inner laberynths of the mind are corridors that can be explored and visted through the effects of drugs like LSD, and the CIA pouched on that opporunity. I'll be doing an article on Timothy Leary soon, he's a figure that fascinates me to no end!

I leave you with this link, its from a video, years back, called "Sunset". While the music is pretty, really pay attention to whats happening in the video..its very VERY much related to today blog post.

Also on a more comical spin of this topic, I'd point you to the recent movie "The Men Who Stare At Goats" While this is a humorous take on a similar project, it still deals with the main concepts.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Web 1.0, 2.0 and to come, 3.0

Suffice it to say that the early renditions of the Internet should probably be referred to as Web 0.5, but in those earlier days, I'll say 1994-2003, the web was very static. Hyperlinks were fairly dumb links, and there wasn't much interaction. A person would create a webpage, and create links. You then would click around reading and absorbing information. Not much give and take. Back then, everything ran at a much slower pace (remember the newest technological feat was 26, and 56k/s modems), so graphics were more stagnant and there wasn't a whole lot going on. Flash media, didn't exist, and embedding movies into web pages would have gotten you some laughable stares.
Web 1.0 relied heavily on the creation of personal web pages. People would set up a page about themselves, or about a topic that interested them, and have to go through coding it, and designing it with little help. Most Personal Web Pages were pretty elementary in design. Unless you knew HTML, it left you with little to work with. Web pages looked like this:

Not alot of interactivity, links pointed in one direction, and everything was very static

There's not a definite point when web 1.0 left and web 2.0 picked up, but personally, I accredit the transition to the creation and rise of Youtube. Other sites will say otherwise, but Youtube, is in my opinion the turning point that really gave control to the users. You could actually view and comment in real time to video's, embedded right into the page. Soon interactive media such as this began its revolution. Networking really took off as well. A site by the name of Friendster began the social media craze, soon followed by Myspace, flickr, and Facebook. All these sites rely heavily on the features that web 2.0 provides, which is a more participatory web. Running these sites like facebook and youtube on a 56k dialup modem is a chore in itself. So broadband definitely plays a big role in what defines Web 2.0

Such new programming such as Ajax gives live updates to pages without reloading. So when someone on Facebook messages you, you see it update without having to click 'reload'. This may seem small, but it allows you to be live in real time with things happening. Now, many new languages such as Perl, and Python, give users the ability to create and customize private pages with ease, rather than having to learn code such as HTML.

Also web 2.0 has an unprecedented amount of applications that can serve as tools. Things like RSS feeds, that is news reports straight to your desktop, improve upon web sites, giving a more dynamic and personal touch. This is "Service oriented architecture" or SOA, anything that improves and enriches online media.

Some examples of web "2.0ie" sites:

Probably the greatest feat in all of the web, is a site that Paul Otlet (see previous post) would have been proud of. Wikipedia, has become the worlds largest, most concise, and favorable encyclopedia. This user edited tome of world knowledge allows anyone to share, edit and contribute to its information. It is the epitome of Web 2.0, and in reality, it realizes the dream Paul Otlet had. While the information may be questionable, I refer you back to Marshall McCluhan's idea of "The medium is the message".

Some Web 1.0 Sites

As opposed to web 2.0

So that leaves us with Web 3.0? Where is it? When will it arrive? What's it going to look like? Some believe that web 3.0 is a 'cradle to grave' Internet. Meaning we'll always be plugged into the wired world. A sort of "metaverse" that is an open 3d world in which people can move around in that's separate from the reality we live in. While I think this is definitely getting ahead of ourselves, web 3.0 will look and feel different. More customization, more interactivity, and more Google...god damnit more Google...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Look Back: Paul Otlet's Mundaneum

I think that with computers, technology, and information structure, we tend to have a 'tunnel vision' view of things. That is, we seem to look forward and only forward to see what the newest, shiniest gadgets will be. While the future prospects is indeed important, I to believe that it's fundamental to take a step back sometimes, and look at where the roots of our current technology came from. That being said, I'd like to introduce you to a man named Paul Otlet, who was an early information scientist (fancy word for librarian). Many may not have heard of his name, but you could easily say that he had an idea that resembled the web as we know it today. Otlet had many new idea's about classification and ways of storing information. It was very analog, and manual, but he had a vision of using information as a way to create 'trails'. In Brussels, Belgium in the 1930's, Paul Otlet has this huge office/warehouse built which he called The Mundaneum. This construct was an open warehouse building filled from the floor to the ceiling with filing cabinets, and drawers. He housed a staff of people there to literally read through books, and write down their information on index cards, and have them stored away. His main goal was to have a sort of 'bottom up' structure, where people could could take out an index card they could see what other people looked at as well. If someone took out 2 index cards, a third party could see the 'link' between the two. Its something that we lack in our library's today. If you take out a book and read through it, but you need more information on someone who was mentioned in the book, you have to go out and search it. In Otlet's Utopian view, you'd have access to what other books link to that document. He had this very idealistic view of information sciences. He was creating and thinking about all this as the League of Nations was forming, so he possessed this lofty goal of having a sort of "Global Library", in which information would be shared by all. His Mundaneum, actually took off, and it reached a max of nearly 15 million index cards, but unfortunately fate took the reins. We all know what catastrophic event took place in the early 1940's, especially in Belgium. The Nazi party stormed into Belgium, and his baby, the Mundanuem was destroyed, all the documents burned, and it was turned into a tour house for 3rd Reich artwork. After this Otlet, who's country was invaded and occupied, his life's work destroyed before his eyes, died as a nobody. Unfortunately people had more on their minds other than global information systems. He was generally forgotten and still remains as a figure that really doesn't get much recognition. Paul Otlet, who really had the basic frame work of hyperlinks, search engines, and the World Wide Web itself.