Thursday, July 23, 2009

Idle Hands are the Devil's Playthings

If you were a cartoon character, which cartoon character would you be?
If you were a Dunkin donut, which Dunkin donut would you be?
If you were one of the Seven Seas, which Sea would you be?
If you were an disContinued Car, which disContinued Car would you be?
If you were a Failed Financial Firm which Failed Financial Firm would you be?
If all the brain cycles spun on these fantasies could be synchronized, what real problems could be solved?

This isn't an entirely whimsical question. Luis von Ahn, a professor at Carnegie Mellon invented the "captcha" used to separate humans from "bots" on web sites. He realized that the uniquely human ability to "fill in the gaps" could be used to solve real problems, like correcting OCR errors.

On the other hand, a friend recently suggested that Facebook quizzes may serve another purpose - collecting valuable profile information to sell to 3rd parties. After all, that which is rendered to Facebook, belongs to Facebook.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

How to win friends and influence people

July 4, 2009. N. Korea Defies US and Fires Barrage of Missles

In 1986, the world had a problem with terrorists - Abu Nidal backed by Libya and Col Mohamar Kadafy.
When diplomatic approaches failed to quell an escalating series of terrorist attacks, Ronald Reagan took swift and bold action - a bombing raid that took out military targets, terrorist enclaves and killed one of Kadafy's children in the backyard of his palace. Kadafy became a changed man. He postponed indefinitely his promotion to "General", and albeit reluctantly, assisted the US and the UN in the fight against terrorism.

Now it is time for Obama to step up and respond to "Fearless Leader". Launch a missle (like a ground-launched CRUISE that can fly through an open window) into the palace and take out Kim Jong-il's cognac collection and any sons who aren't trying to sneak in to the Michael Jackson memorial service in Los Angeles. Then call him up and tell him his left shoe is untied.

The GOP would take note - even Cheney's AEI would have to applaud while daring Obama to take the fight to Tehran. Russia (who dances a jig when anyone defies the US and the UN) would take note. And China would "owe us one" since they want the little guy to go away but they don't want to look like they're helping us.