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Dead Sea Scrolls to go on the Internet

The Dead Sea Scrolls are going digital according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. This is pretty interesting since they’re basically releasing to digital form, scrolls that speak of early Jewish for the entire world to see instead of just educational institutions.
What’s interesting also is that this is going to take two years to complete, but I don’t see why they can’t just make the multi-volume disc media available online. The new digitized versions will include infrared scans of the scrolls that will shed some more light on parts that cannot be seen in visible light.
Overall, this is definitely an interesting historical work that will soon be available for all.
Photo Credit:(Dale Gillard)

iTunes Saturday

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Comcast limits users to 250G a month

…and personally, I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot. 250G a month might sound like a lot but let me put it another way. Those that have moved their phone service, and actually watch HD content online are going to get hit hard. Very hard. Think about it.
250G divided by 30 days is 8.3G a day. If you take a look at your HD content, A single Bluray disc can store up to 50G but assuming that you cut out all of the scary stuff, you’re still looking at a DVD’s worth of video at about 1.5-3G. Then consider if you actually run services like Netflix Instant viewing. Yes? Internet radio? That’s some more bandwidth. And don’t forget podcasters, and other folks that stream audio and video and people that use Skype and Vonage.
In fact, in total, the HD and digital television channels use way more than 250G a month of bandwidth unless they’re paring it down to 320×240 resolution. It’s ridiculous to even cap when you pay $50/month for digital television and the same $50/month for bandwidth but television takes more?
It’s a bad move by Comcast, and even the cable television industry as a whole. In doing this, they not only will be giving up any leeway they gained from infiltrating on the telcos for phone service, but they also open the doorway for the telcos to reap turnover for those that are looking to regain some of their lost revenue.
Photo Credit: (scriptingnews)

Sarah Palin choice a brilliant move by McCain camp

165px-Palin1.JPG What a move by the McCain camp. I’m not one for the political mumbo jumbo, but this was a great way to divide up the Democratic vote. Especially after the bitter Democratic nominee runoff.
This choice of running mate shows one of two things. The first is that the Republicans can also nominate women into Vice Presidential candidacy which puts Obama at a disadvantage since he didn’t go with Clinton as his VP choice. The second is to divide the HRC voting group up. In both instances, in waiting until Obama had already made a play, this was actually a brilliant political move. In either case, it shows that GOP can also put women into power and with the back-and-forth during the Democratic nomination, it reinforces those that are more conservative but sided with Hillary to make the leap.
The election year for 2008 is definitely going to be interesting although I have a few thoughts myself on where it’s actually going to eventually end up based on electoral votes and certain geographical trends. It isn’t quite a check yet, but watch out. Definitely a Bishop and Pawn vs Knight play.

Movie Review: Lost Boys: The Tribe

It’s unfortunate that this movie followed the cult classic, The Lost Boys. A classic vampire hunter movie, this sequel fell short of its predecessor by focusing a lot upon sex, a lot of underaged drinking, and drug references. Actually found it kind of amusing that a lot of the things this movie did was totally out in left field (like the whole baiting of the Sheriff to come chase them scene).
On top of that, as far as I could tell with the references to age of characters, at least the Nicole Emerson, to be under the legal drinking age. Yet, both of them are out holding alcohol at multiple points of the film.
The Tribe itself looked like a fraternity gone bad. They performed entirely juvenile acts and was surprising that Shane (the head vampire) would even do the things he did or make these guys his minions. Why indeed? They were so stupid most of the movie that it was a wonder that they didn’t stake themselves.
Most of this movie could probably be attributed to a bad vision and somewhat blech script. Which makes it hard to deal with since there were good actors/actresses and it could have pulled off the entire “cheesy vamp” feel but still holding the nostalgia of the older glory. Unfortunately, I just kept looking and looking for something more from Lost Boys: The Tribe, but it never got there. The end came and gone and I was still waiting. Still am. What the heck.

Pismo Trace Monitor

In development, there’s always the pains of tracking down bugs. But if you run traces, it helps triangulate where the source of the problems are. Pismo Trace Monitor is used for such real-time monitoring. This basically can be used to send out trace data so that in the event of tracking down an issue, you can send diagnostic information on any DLL, executable or driver that has been outfitted with the trace code.
Very useful for profiling pre-release or even release applications since it can be called directly from C or C++ code.

Price of textbooks skyrockets money out of your wallet

It’s an amazing thing, that the cost of being a student has risen in the past decade. In talking with a friend, I was told that a freshman’s first semester these days depending on major can easily run over a thousand dollars in textbooks. A grand? Are you friggin’ serious?
That’s absolutely ridiculous considering a couple facts. One is that your textbooks only get more expensive as you progress up through seniority in college. Mainly this is because it’s more specific knowledge, and being that there are less people that learn it, the publisher looks to capitalize on those that do. But to give an example of the difference of textbook costs, my freshman year in college ran about four hundred or so dollars. As the years progressed, I believe my highest book costs were in senior year around eight hundred dollars. Some of this cost is recouped in sell-backs, but not much since you only get maybe a fourth of the price you paid if I remember correctly.
Costs can be further pushed back by buying used books. Or even ordering the text versions from another source such as Amazon. But some collegiate bookstores are now going through the nasty gestapo tactic of giving you the book lists in advance or not giving them to you at all forcing non-outspoken students to buy only from the school bookstore.
It’s not wonder that there are open source books are now becoming more and more popular. I do understand that some texts supplement some professors’ incomes but on the flip side, I also do remember some absolutely ridiculous Calculus texts that cost close to sixty dollars that were bound like the stuff you get at Kinkos.
Scary stuff. Education is becoming unaffordable with these insane costs that hit the students’ wallets. Now, granted that bio and chem books are more expensive in the long run so if you don’t have a major that requires them, it might be cheaper. But shelling out even a measly five hundred a semester racks up like nothing else. And if you’re on a quarter system? Woe is you. Three times a year versus twice for semester based.
And here you thought that people wanted you to have an education. They do. They just want you to rack up some serious student debt on textbooks too, as if tuition alongside room and board wasn’t hurting your wallet already.

Pismo File Mount Audit Package

pismofilemountaudit.jpg If you’re looking to take advantage of compressed files, or even iso image files and being able to mount them without burning them to a disc or such, then Pismo File Mount Audit Package will come in handy. It has full filesystem support, and explorer integration (so that you don’t have to launch the program every time you need to use it). You can basically right click on any iso, zip, or even compact folder system and mount it just like a drive. This allows you to keep the same file structures without having to unzip, or install certain things which makes things very usable.
Freeware for Windows 2000 up to Windows Server 2008.

iTunes Saturday

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Racewalking is an Olympic sport?

I was flipping through the channels watching Olympics while I was on a business trip. And lo and behold I saw the funniest sight ever. Wait, are those people powerwalking? What the…
Apparently there’s an endurance sport called racewalking that’s been part of track & field for ages. It’s different from powerwalking being that there are more rules to follow and there are some serious optimization of how the hips move and how it’s judged. But it was still definitely a jaw-dropping sight.
While it was kind of funny to watch and obviously it often gets little respect, I have to admit that it’s definitely a lot more difficult than you think it might be. The point of it is that you have to keep form for the entire length of time and that most events are over an hour long meaning that it becomes a total endurance sport. On top of that, you can’t run and thus making it extremely difficult in the latter half of races since the range of motion makes you want to break out in a faster pace. It’s sort of like keeping a horse from going from a trot to a full gallop, which is pretty difficult since it’s the middle ground between speeds.
Who knew. Then again, this year was also the first year that the summer Olympics included BMX racing. Guess they’re starting to merge those sports from the X games alongside some things that most people have never heard of. Racewalking. hmm. Crazy stuff, I tell ya. Crazy stuff.