The Water Cooler

Science, Technology, Business, and Politics

Saturday, April 19, 2003

NGOs are the new form of colonialism. Tru dat, from Instapundit.

Friday, April 18, 2003

GenderPlay: Success and Failure in Character Design for Videogames. From Slashdot... looks interesting, and has DOA Beach Volleyball.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Name your own price--switch barcodes! [Link]

TRANSVISION 2003 USA. Transhumanism is a new approach to bioethics which argues that technology can be used to overcome the limitations of the human body, and that individuals should be allowed to enhance their bodies. This conference will begin the discussion between the transhumanist movement and communities with which transhumanists have rarely been in dialogue: professional bioethicists, anti-technology activists, and critical social theorists of science and technology.

The robots are SO going to take over.

The Casper Star-Tribune Having installed its chic coffee stores across much of North America, Starbucks Corp. is aggressively expanding overseas - and like other global retailing icons, is finding that international fame can carry a price.

Love by the Numbers - Can a few differential equations describe the course of a marriage? By Jordan Ellenberg. We studied this in our Applied Math class :)

... John Gottman. Gottman, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, is probably best-known for the so-called "Love Lab." Here, couples get strapped into a bundle of physiological sensors, settle down in front of a one-way mirror, and have themselves a fight, while Gottman's researchers record their every criticism, apology, eye twitch, and pulse spike. By watching a couple for 15 minutes, Gottman says, he can predict success or failure of a marriage with 85 percent accuracy.

Guardian Unlimited | Life | The Essential Difference front page. How male or female is your brain? The following tests were developed by Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. His theory is that the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy, and that the male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems. He calls it the empathising-systemising (E-S) theory.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Yahoo! News - Top Stories. Who thinks the new Ford car Futura looks like an Audi?

The Matrix. Philosophy section of the Matrix website - pretty cool stuff actually. It looks like they invited real philosophers to blab on endlessly about metaphysics :)

Salon.com Technology | Death of a cheerleader. Red Herring is gone, and so is the boom it chronicled. But the magazine's optimism wasn't misplaced -- it was right on target.

Funny that Salon, which is about to go under, is writing an article about another magazine that went under.

Crony Reform. How the access capitalists at the Carlyle Group became real businessmen, By Daniel Gross.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Yahoo! News - Anti-War Front Collapses as Iraq Gold Rush Begins. Assholes.

Spin Cycle - Why has the business cycle gone topsy-turvy? By Robert Shapiro. A few years ago, gurus of the New Economy insisted that the business cycle was dead: Growth could go on forever. "The Long Boom," some called it. It didn't take long for the Nasdaq crash and the 2001 recession to puncture that claim. The New Economy acolytes were right that the pattern of growth is changing—but not as they thought. The current business cycle is notable for having the mildest recession and weakest expansion in modern times.

Puma's Problem - The racy photo that's got a sneaker company steamed. By Rob Walker. I like this ad. Very edgy. MemeFirst - The fake Puma ads

Scientific American: Parallel Universes Not just a staple of science fiction, other universes are a direct implication of cosmological observations.

Yahoo! News - World Photos - AP. That's just cool.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Yahoo! News - Palace of Saddam's Son Reveals Fast Life. "There are UNICEF (news - web sites) boxes in there with kids' school supplies meant for the children of Iraq (news - web sites), yet these jerks took it," said Maj. Kent Rideout, 39, of San Antonio, Texas.

Esquire:Humor:This Way Out:Sex Tips from Donald Rumsfeld. They need a Clinton version - they'd all be "what is is?"

Honda's New Accord. FREAKING AMAZING.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

The New Economy’s Sore Losers by Holman W. Jenkins Jr. - Policy Review, No. 118. The business scandals that roiled the first two years of President George W. Bush’s administration, not to mention the long boom that led up to the scandals, are best understood as an emblem of society’s attempt to come to terms with a new information product: No, not the personal computer or the internet, but the information product known as a “stock price.”

The Poisons That Came From the West The data reveals that firms in Germany and France outstripped all others in selling the most important thing — specialized chemical-industry equipment that is particularly useful for producing poison gas. Without this equipment, none of the other imports would have been of much use.

Wine, cheese, Perrier, and equipment to make chemical weapons. French culture at its best.

AutoWeek - Car News. At the dealership, I saw a bunch of these - they are ugly and HUGE. I'm glad they are going to change things. I think the 5-series looks the best out of all the BMWs.

Fortune.com - Value Driven - Soaking the Rich? Better Believe It. There may exist income inequality, but taxation inequality is even more pronounced!

kuro5hin.org || Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part I). Really interesting - article from k5...

Guardian Unlimited | Life | The battle for American science. Creationists, pro-lifers and conservatives now pose a serious threat to research and science teaching in the US, report Oliver Burkeman and Alok Jha

VWvortex Forums: How to get your econobox into the 14's-A must read.. Tim, you should do this with your car.

Stanford researchers review efficacy and safety of low-carbohydrate diets. A diet where you order burgers but can't eat the bread can't be that bad...

Yahoo! News - Theorist Optimistic 'Buy' Signal Coming. Technical analysis = wrong.

Two articles from everyone's favorite strategy consulting firm: McKinsey Quarterly: The return of artificial intelligence and McKinsey Quarterly: Time for a high-tech shakeout.