Thursday, January 27, 2005

well now

For regular readers who remember my previous web celeb post, it would seem that Google updated its webcrawl and has rediscovered my website. My (in)famous yatta page is once again at the top of the heap and, more excitingly, is no longer listed when searching with the family name. Instead, my personal homepage pops up as hit #9 under that search, making me, somehow, the highest ranked Patil in my extended family. Probably because I'm the only one that cares. Anyways, good to know that people looking up my uncle's bio won't be bombarded with diapered Japanese men anymore.

Monday, January 24, 2005

it's art, stupid

I've been mulling about a digital art idea for a while and while I don't have the patience to create the full realization of the final vision, I did have the time (and patience) to make a pretty good approximation which is a few "coolness" points lower, but probably better looking.

It's a bit out of step with previous projects (like my collages and "eyes" page) but as someone pointed out today, it's the natural inverse of my "faces" piece. I took the text of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" (courtesy of Project Gutenberg) and superimposed some of the book's original illustrations on top -- creating an image out of the words.

The resulting files are rather large, about ~30MB, since a) the font can only get so small and stay readable b) they're .tiff (uncompressed) files c) I'm hoping to be able to print it out at somepoint, so I figured 3' x 4.5' ish was a good sounding size. If you have the bandwidth and monitor size to check out the final files, please do and give any feedback you might have. I'm not sure how much change I can make* but I'm always looking to improve things. (* the fastest computer I have is a 1.2 Ghz P3 with 512MB RAM, so Photoshop takes something like 15 minutes just to change the font size of the text. I made these two images while snowed in on Sunday)

Below I'm posting thumbnails which link to the full-sized files as well as a "zoomed in" view to better show the text/image detail (for non-bandwidth blessed). Give some feedback!

pink panther

Steve Martin is starring in a new addition to one of my favorite movie series, The Pink Panther. If you watch the trailer, it really makes you appreciate how hard of a character Insp. Clouseau is to pull off and how much better Peter Sellers was than Steve Martin ever will be. It's funny how many people these days don't even know who Peter Sellers was or hadn't heard of "The Pink Panther" until the Steve Martin film went into production. And that's *after* being the focus of a reasonably well advertised and double-Golden Globe winning biopic. Just goes to show, I guess.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

you don't care, but google does

and posting on wings that work is pointless since google currently doesn't index it.

Running Firefox 1.0 on Mandrake 10.1

Monday, January 10, 2005

getting creative

some more amusing brevity:

Thanks to a story in Wired, I've become aware of the amusing Gates quote about redefining intellectual property and the resulting "creative communists/commonists" fad centering around the creative commons movement. I've always been a fan of creative commons -- another cool thing they're doing is hosting the "the fine art of sampling" contest which has already revealed to me that I have absolutely no patience for music sampling... it's fun to do in my head, but a pain to actually try and do on a computer.

Anyways, "Giant Robot Printing" is selling "Creative Commies" t-shirts which are quite nice and very reasonably priced ($8-10 after s&h). Gonna order me one in a little bit. Sadly no money from the shirt goes to support CC, so if you're feeling a bit more generous, check out your donating options. Of course, if you're in a giving spirit, be sure to remember recent victims as well as multitude of always deserving.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

delayed discharge

More unrelated thoughts presented in itemized list format

  • I was watching "60 Minutes" with the extended family and there was a story on Google. During the story, Leslie Stahl does a little demo of "Google SMS". The Fam was quite delighted -- they immediately began experimenting with their own cell phones and squealing in delight when they received their results. Anyways, the few family members (including myself) who are, for lack of a better term, "computer oriented," were shocked by everyone's ignorance -- google sms is old news as far as we're concerned. Now my family isn't exactly stupid (if level of education is an accurate measure), so our incredulity just goes to show how specialization blinds us to the outside world and fosters arrogance about the importance of our own field. Case in point, later that weekend I guessed that humans have 26 pairs of chromosomes. Damn, I'm getting stupider. Anyways, check out Google Labs and this previous post if you're smart enough to not spend >40% of your life in front of a computer.

  • Just watched two interesting movies: The Gods Must Be Crazy and Tadpole. Both were not what was expected and require a bit (maybe a lot) of tongue biting ("oh! come on!"), but were certainly worth watching; especially after a few weeks of watching nothing but generic Hollywood movies.

  • For some reason, our router at home (Southern California) refused to connect to the MIT domain (18.*) so I was unable to see, check my e-mail, access my web-locker, etc. It turned out to be the perfect incentive to give Tor a real test-drive. Tor is a web-anonymizer that allows you use the internet with (reasonable) anonymity -- in doing so, it accesses the internet through a variety of other computers which comes in handy when surfing the internet from behind an unintentional, or deliberate, firewall. To the point, it allowed me to bypass my web-restriction problem with moderate ease. Hot stuff.
    Tor recently received backing from the Electronic Frontier Foundation which is just another reason (in a long list of reasons) why the EFF kicks ass.

  • Wired Magazine has a beautiful story on the history, impacts, and implications of everyone's new favorite p2p program, BitTorrent.

well put.