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Puppy prevents Canadian killing spree

A Canadian man, driving a car packed with weapons and ammunition, was intent on killing as many people as possible in a Toronto neighbourhood but gave up the plan at the last minute when he encountered a friendly dog, police say. –Puppy prevents Canadian killing spree (ABC (Australia)) There… do you see how nice Canadians are? And the puppy didn’t even need a little keg of Molson strapped around its neck.

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A Man, a Plan, a Pointless(?) Program

I readily admit that my accomplishment has no practical social purpose or business application. But as a story that spans 18 years from Hoey’s palindrome to mine, it has a moral about how it is becoming easier to do big things. Hoey is an excellent computer scientist, but he said he spent days writing a disk-based B-tree package for his program. I was saved all this, because a dictionary now…

Classic Video Games Make a Comeback

Retro video gaming has become something of a pop culture phenomenon lately, with video game music and themes featured in television commercials for Hummer and Saturn sport utility vehicles. A top 20 R&B hit, “Game Over (Flip)” by Lil’ Flip features sound effects from “Pac-Man.” It’s not just nostalgia that’s fueling retro video interest, says O’Hara. He thinks the old games were simply more fun to play: “There’s a phrase…

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Blind Get Earful of Spam Daily

blind users are finding that they are spending disproportionately more time sorting through their junk e-mail than their sighted colleagues. That’s because sighted users can simply scan large batches of messages for that one important piece of mail, whereas blind users must listen to the subject line of each message before they know whether it’s spam or not. It’s a process that has become so unbearable that some blind users…

Chappelle lets rude crowd have it

Chappelle’s harshest words were addressed to those audience members who worship entertainers and athletes. “Stop listening to celebrities,” he said. “They do what they do for money – that’s all. I don’t even know why you’re listening to me. I’ve done commercials for both Coke and Pepsi. Truth is, I can’t even taste the difference, but Pepsi paid me last, so there it is.” Celebrity worship harms the object of…

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Japanese boy writes apology in blood

The 40-year-old male teacher handed the boy a box-cutter and paper and told him to write an apology in blood. –Japanese boy writes apology in blood (CNN) Now that’s harsh. Looks like the Reuters reporter did some independent checking of a story that appeared on local news… if not for that line, I’d wonder whether this was one of those “too strange to fact-check” hoaxes that often one finds slipping past…

How do we adjust when cameras are everywhere?

Tiny, even microscopic, cameras, deployed ubiquitously, should worry us in any number of ways. Individuals will lose even more of their privacy. Companies will find it difficult to maintain traditional notions of trade secrets. And governments will confront a world in which, to some extent, people will spy on the official snoops, not just the other way around. Technology has already led to some of these changes in what for…

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Reads, Chortles, & Smirks: Why nobody's learning anything from Lynne

How did Eats, Shoots & Leaves land on the best-seller list? I’d like to think it reveals a late-blooming hunger for self-improvement by the ignorant masses. Somehow, though, I doubt it. Truss certainly doesn’t seem to be addressing such people as her readers. “What happened to punctuation?” she wails. “Why is it so disregarded when it is self-evidently so useful in preventing enormous mix-ups?” This isn’t what Henry Higgins would…