12 January 2003
A much faster browser: Big congratulations to 16 year old Irish student Adnan Osmani from Mullingar, who took top place in the annual Young Scientist and Technology exhibit in Dublin last week. He spent two years creating a browser called XWEBS that runs about five times faster than other browsers on a 56k line. MIT's Media Lab Europe came by for a look, as did Eircom and  several other tech companies. Adnan says he wants to do computer science at Harvard. Irish Times story here [sub only], or see this. Update, Monday evening 13 Jan.: I'll be heading over to  Media Lab Europe shortly and will see if I can find out more from the MIT people that spoke to Adnan and saw the browser in operation. Update to the update: it's the real thing, folks -- a brilliant piece of engineering, according to a well-regarded MIT researcher I spoke to a while ago, who saw the thing and spoke to Adnan. Here's the update.
3:48:06 PM  #   your two cents []

Ireland is to get new chip technology in all credit cards issued here, by 2005 [Irish Times]:

"All going well, by 2005 all credit card customers will see the chip in their cards. It will mean the customer is no longer asked for a signature. Instead, the customer's card will be placed in a terminal and then the customer will key in a PIN number."

3:38:28 PM  #   your two cents []
 Eeeeeeeek!!! Z emails me: "Why there were no computers in the garden of eden..." along with this link (warning -- pictures NOT for the squeamish!).
3:11:02 PM  #   your two cents []
Scientists are investigating mobile phone masts as a possible reason for the sudden and precipitous decline in British sparrow populations.
3:07:52 PM  #   your two cents []
Where the Girls Aren't:

''When I started in 1972,'' she said, ''there were three girls in calculus out of a senior class of about 50. Now there are three sections of Advanced Placement calculus, in a class about the same size -- in other words, about 75 percent of the senior class. This would not have happened if we had bought into the reigning mantra of the time, which was, 'Boys are naturally interested in mathematics; let them do it. Girls are more talented in literature and history; why ask them to change?' ''

2:40:30 PM  #   your two cents []

One for the girls!:  High on heels. Madonna says his shoes are better than sex; Sarah Jessica Parker loves them so much she was still wearing them the day before she gave birth... Tamsin Blanchard discovers why Manolo Blahnik has the celebrity world at his feet [Guardian Unlimited]:

The woman who buys my shoes, she's exhausted all day, working, and then she puts on the shoes. I'm not a psychoanalyst. I always knew there was an element of desire in shoes. The quick fix is the high heel. It's instant. You put it on and you just have to walk. They make you move differently.' 

 ... Ooooo, Blahniks and Jimmy Choos -- what is it about these shoes that make you want a pair so badly? And why do shoe shops seem to have a massive vacuum suction device operating at the door that inhales nearly every woman into the interior? On the X chromosome lies the shoe gene, perhaps. I can't wear heels for too long and certainly can't spend a day walking in them if they're very high, but I love a good 3-inch heel. Probably a power thing, they make me just shy of 6' tall. [grin

Here's one personal insight Halley Suitt might add to her 18 Lessons on Becoming an Alpha Male (actually, I'm sure she already knows this, since she likes heels, too) -- in my experience, Alpha Males always notice when a woman is wearing a new pair of attractive shoes. And they mention it. We love that. Another reason they get the girls.

2:34:19 PM  #   your two cents []
A good, lazy-Sunday quote: Bertrand Russell. "The time is you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." [Quotes of the Day]
2:13:03 PM  #   your two cents []
This site had its 10,000th  page view a few minutes ago. Hooray!
2:11:11 PM  #   your two cents []