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Tuesday,  12/09/03  11:30 PM

So did you get snowed in?  We don't get snow in Southern California, but it is finally feeling like winter; cold weather, brisk winds, and blowing yellow leaves everywhere.  And Christmas lights!  I love it.

There's a new Dutch princess!  And Adam Curry reports her name - Catharina Amalia - was discovered by a reverse DNS lookup on the Dutch royal website.  Is this a great time to be alive, or what!

I agree with King Kaufman a lot (he writes a sports column on Salon), but I don't link him much.  However, today he bangs the nail through the wood: any way you look at it, USC belongs in the national championship game.  I understand the BCS computer thing is what it is - no humans were involved - but three of the last four years it has messed up.  Back to the polls!

Bonus question: If USC beats Michigan in the Rose Bowl, shouldn't they be #1?
Bonus answer: Yes.

Robert X. Cringley discusses e-voting: No Confidence Vote.  He concludes that since e-voting is an IT project, of course it will be late, over budget, and buggy.  This is a bit glib, but he does raise a good question, why don't voting machines keep a paper audit trail?

Oh, and the answer?  Voting confidentiality.  The only way a paper trail would help is if there were something to "balance" against.  There's no database of people and their votes (and there won't be anytime soon!), which makes it tough.

From Princeton: Full Body Scan, Imaging Project Offers View Inside Earth.  "Like doctors taking a sonogram of a human body, Princeton geoscientists have captured images of the interior of the Earth and revealed structures that help explain how the planet changes and ages."  Very cool.

Astrobiology has an interview with Dan Werthimer, the project scientist behind SETI@home.  There's some interesting news about BOINC, the generic distributed computing follow-on project.

Jeremy Zawodny's 2004 crystal ball looks great to me.  "Yeah, we all know that RSS has been growing in popularity, thanks largely to weblogs.  What will make 2004 different?  In 2004, RSS is going to go mainstream--and it's going to happen in a big way."  I agree.  And I also agree with this: "Forget Atom/Pie/Echo/whatever.  It will be RSS.  RSS may not be perfect, but it's good enough.  That train left the station quite a while ago."  There's more besides RSS, check it out.

Oh, and Paul Boutin lists 10 Technologies That Have Changed the Way we Live.  #1 is the Internet - duh - but interestingly #2 is genetic engineering.  "An estimated 70 percent of processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients, such as soybeans or corn engineered for higher crop yields."  I did not know that.

According to Les Jones, Star Wars Jedi are Pussies.  "Maybe that's why I blew it with the queen.  Padme's turned me down so many times I think I've become a bedsheet instead of just wearing one.  These days I'd give anything to just be covered with fur.  Because like the Young Senator from Naboo says 'Once you've had Wookie, you never go back'."  I have to admit, a leash on those lightsabers would make sense :)

Mark Pilgrim discovers Cantor sets.  And Sierpinsky carpets, and Menger sponges.  "A Menger sponge has infinite surface area but 0 volume.  Each face of a Menger sponge forms a Sierpinski carpet, and each cross-section diagonal of a Menger sponge forms a Cantor set."  You might say there's an infinite set of possibilities :)

Oh, and here's more - check into the Infinite Hotel.

Dave Winer posted some awesome Jewish mother jokes.  My favorite:

Q - How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?
A - (Sigh) Don't bother, I'll sit in the dark, I don't want to be a nuisance.

And here we have - the iDuck.  A new duck-shaped USB storage drive with 16MB of storage space that lights up when plugged into a computer.  I am not making this up.