Sunday, April 27, 2008

Improving Books

One thing with books that most modern entertainment lacks is that you know when it will end. You can tell as you go through a book how much remains. This reduces the uncertainty present in the plot.

You could add empty pages to the end of the book. But these would be obvious. Adding complete gibberish would also be obvious even to someone flicking to find the last page number. You could generate more realistic text using a Markov model. Shannon generated fairly reasonable looking text with a simple algorithm. Markov models will create text that bears closer inspection though. It was used to generate postmodern critical analysis that got published without anyone realising it was nonsense.

So you train up your model on the rest of the book. Then get it to produce pages of text that without some study cannot be differentiated from the real books text. Then place these pages with the occasional *the end* in them after the book ending. The ending is marked with *the end*. Now the readers who do not go to a big effort cannot tell as they read the book how much remains.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I am not one to panic unnecessarily but I think the time has come to admit we are fucked. And not kind of fucked, fucked like a passed out rabbit wearing suspenders at a furvert convention. The seas will boil, locusts will swarm, dogs and cats will live together IN SIN.

We are running out of fig rolls

Hoards of middle aged Irish men will soon be wandering the aisles muttering to themselves in the guttural Romero growl “FIGS

The next stage these shuffling zombies will start looting shops in search of their rolly fix

Mark my words society will collapse as the mid life crisis brigade start breaking into houses on the vague hope of finding fig rolls.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Green Reaper

I talked here about my eco burial idea. Turn out the concept is really popular.
The Americans seem to have gone all high tech.

Whereas the Australians stick you in next to some koalas and give your family your gps cordinates. I wish I had thought of calling the service "The Green Reaper".

I think if you want to see the carbon sink that is Ireland's bogs preserved you should buy a few metres cubed of it for your burial patch. A burial plot in Dublin costs about five thousand euro which would buy you a fair amount of bog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Women will be size zero in 2130

Proof seems to come in the form of shapely silver screen siren Marilyn Monroe, who everyone remembers wore a Size 12 during her 1950s heydays.

"That would be equivalent to a Size 6 today," attests Meryle Epstein, 42, acting academic director for fashion marketing at the Art Institute of Phoenix.”

So in about 6 decades there has been a six size change. That is one size deflation a decade. So now the average woman is a size 12 which means that in 120 years the average woman will be a size 0.

What can you tell about someone from their shoelaces?

I love in Sherlock Holmes films where he goes “Given the red dust on your feet I deduce that you have visited the island nation of PaiPai known for the poison…” So is there anyway to gain deductive knowledge of someone from something you usually ignore?

Take shoe laces for example. How much can you tell about someone by their laces?
Wired has a story here where it describes runners, skaters, hacky sackers and fashion victim lacings.

Americans and Europeans lace their shoes differently. So you can probably tell which someone comes from looking at their lacing. The American lacing is more efficient

There is a list of shoelace knots here. I have not seen any of these rare ones before. Possibly you can say anyone using a secure shoe lace has a careful disposition.

This site gives more possible lacings. Ladder Lacing This type may indicate the wearer has American military training

Shoe shop lacing

This is quick to do. Someone who walks around with this lacing is probably a bit lazy as they did not change the lacing after they bought the shoe and they had the shop assistant lace the shoe for them.

Display shoe lacing
The wearer took the shoe off display and bought it. Which means they probably have size 9 feet.

Army Lacing
“used by the British, Dutch, French and Brazilian armies (and possibly others)”

one handed lacing
The person probably only has one working arm

Lock Lacing
These and other tight lacings usually indicate one foot is longer then the other. I have noticed that the foot on the non dominant side tends to be longer but I have seen no evidence on this.

From this I have learned that you can tell a lot about someone from very small things and that there seems to be a site on the internet for everything.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Medical Phishing

There has recently been a reported attack targeted GP’s login information.
“A number of NHSmail users have recently received an email fraudulently claiming to be from the NHSmail team. The email asks users to send their name and password to an email address. Under no circumstances should you respond to any email or other form of communication requesting your password.”

This attack targeted GP’s and it is unclear how much patient data could be compromised from a successfully phished GP account.
Phishing for medical records is likely to become much more common as computerized access to medical records become more common. Google have announced plans to store medical information.
“Google Health aims to solve an urgent need that dovetails with our overall mission of organizing patient information and making it accessible and useful. Through our health offering, our users will be empowered to collect, store, and manage their own medical records online.”

Not that Google health has been targeted by phishers but being aware it is a potential target is important. Increasing patients access to their medical records also presents opportunities to phishers. The market for phishing bank details is obvious, who will buy medical records is less clear. But any information private that has value will be phished for and we should anticipate this when new information is made computer accessible.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Alba saves the world 2

There were some charming responses to the my previous Jessica Alba post. What this analysis of the private provision of public goods did not include was what if Jessica Alba tries to create the public goods herself.

"Here's how we catch Osama bin Laden: We give him two backstage passes to Zeppelin, and he'll show up. We got him. It's like a world-changing event. That would get him to come out of the woods. "Osama, we have front-row backstage passes for Zeppelin at the [Madison Square] Garden!" He'd be like, "Fuck! Happy days are here again. I gotta go!""

In a similar way what could Jessica Alba demand in response for becoming bereft of her clothing? Consider some possible options.

1. Jessica Alba, A childrens paddling pool, 200 litres of custard and the scientist who cures cancer. Result: Cancer gets beaten like a ginger stepchild, possibly by a chick.

2. Jessica Alba will release naked pictures if the Arabs and Isrealis do not fight anymore. Result: A group of fundamentalist Buddists nuke all the middle east.

3. Stick your idea in the comments

I am not saying she could unite humanity in one joyful family but if any minge could it is hers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Less fat a week in

A week off chocolate and beer and I have lost a kilo. I have figured that losing weight is not that a useful measure so I have decided to move over to using bodyfat percentage.

I currently measure 21.9% which is slightly less then a seal at 50%. 14% is a reasonable level but that is probably getting ahead of myself.

Anyway I have started doing pressups, situps and chinups in the morning to try get a bit fit. Nothing crazy like but I will gradually increase it as I go along.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why would markets tend toward equilibrium?

“For the past 25 years or so the financial authorities andinstitutions they regulate have been guided by market fundamentalism: the belief that markets tend towards equilibrium and that deviations from it occur in a random manner” George Soros

There are all sorts of reasons based on human cognitive bias to believe that markets will not tend toward equilibrium. One fundamental reason is that virtually all systems of even basic simplicity do not tend toward an equilibrium position. Take a rock paper,scissors simulation

No equilibrium position will ever be reached.

A simple foxes and rabbits simulation I first say on a ZX spectrum in the early 80’s wont tend toward an equilibrium why would people think the desires and whims of millions of people will?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Olympic Politics

The French have had to extinguish the Olympic torch. Politics are being dragged into the Olympics, By the torch? The one of Goebbels invented?

"The modern convention of moving the Olympic Flame via a relay system from Olympia to the Olympic venue began with the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany."

Now as Nazi Symbols go the Olympic torch is a pretty good one, not as good as the Nazi's tailoring. Insane fucks they were but they were also really snappy dressers

While I am talking about Nazis why is everyone so shocked that FIA boss Mosley had an orgy with a bunch of hookers dressed as Nazis.

The 67 year old guy spent thousands and must have been taking Viagra like Smarties to get an erection in defiance of gods will and laws. After all that what do you expect him to get them to dress as, Feminists?