Thursday, November 18, 2004

Whoa who's that pro dude? ;-)

Ladies, please feel free to leave compliments, fanmail and other assorted positive comments. Apologies but men need not apply. Posted by Hello

Friday, November 12, 2004


Surprised Bush can read? Maybe Rove or Cheney have been reading him some choice excerpts at bedtime, like
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength!
Argh, I can't stand how our government like immediately congratulated and endorsed him. Argh argh argh.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Open Source, Singapore

Skinning Gmail with a Custom Stylesheet Just too cool.

IE 2 Firefox Switch Ads Yep, Apple-style.

Firefox Launch Party in Singapore!!! I can hardly believe it myself. Anyone game?

And last but not least, Mindef is switching to OpenOffice:

In October, Mindef revealed that it is turning to the OpenOffice application suite rather than updating Microsoft Office which, according to Cheok Beng Teck, the director of the office of the ministry’s chief information officer, could not justify the high cost of the additional features in Microsoft Office 2003. OpenOffice will not replace Microsoft Office 97 that were installed on 5,000 desktop computers but will exist alongside it, providing a little bit more options for users to utilise on the packages that better suit their needs. The move will be extended to all of Mindef’s 20,000 desktop computers by March 2006.
Inevitable. After all, how can expensive compete with free? Just like how MS used to undercut their rivals (Wordperfect anyone?) by offering something cheaper and "good enough" (ie. having the common features that people use), now MS is getting it done back to them. When Mindef, the branch of the Singapore government that has no shortage of cash decides to migrate to OpenOffice, surely the time of MS's demise has come. They probably figured that the cash that they saved can let them feed a couple more BGs or get a couple more shiny new fighters. And that's not forgetting what they saved from future forced "upgrades".

Americans' Apologies

Thanks guys, for letting the rest of the world know how you feel! Can't speak for the rest, but I sure appreciated it!

Also, some interesting correlations between the mean IQ of voters and the winner of that state's electoral votes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Firefox 1.0 out!

Torrents here.

And if u're not satisfied with the startup time, MooX has some super-duper Intel or AMD optimized builds here, which I'm sure will blow you away. But I haven't tried them myself.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Paradox

In the (albeit belated) spirit of Halloween, I shall unleash a physical trick-or-treat on my poor unsuspecting readers. Score one for American cultural imperialism. Mwahahahaha!

Now we all know that an electron and an anti-electron can annihilate each other to liberate a blinding flash of light (ok I exaggerate). Can it produce just a single photon of light? No it can't, because we can always find a frame of reference in which the electron and anti-electron have zero total momentum. But a photon knows no rest - it has non-zero momentum in any frame of reference. So this process can never occur, right? But why can't I just write down a momentum A for the electron, B for the anti-electron and C for the photon, where C = A + B? Then, at least in this frame of reference, this “reaction” can occur, right? So where's the catch?

Bodily Physics

Need to solve pdes in real-time with incomplete knowledge of initial conditions to achieve stable control of a dynamical system with much more than 10^23 degrees of freedom? No sweat. Simply plug in a human. Just look at gymnasts and ice-skaters. Even insects like bees and dragonflies can do stunts that put fighter pilots to shame and leave the military technologists dreaming (and drooling). So the body is incredibly good at doing physics right? My opinion is no. Why, you ask? Because physics is not just about solving pdes. I mean, sure, it's great to be able to solve problems that will have supercomputers chugging away for days, but that's just computational power. But hold it! Isn't physics computation? Or just computation that is physics? Well, computation is an inherently physical process since computers must obey the laws of physics. But if physics is computation, then it definitely isn't deterministic. Because physics isn't. There are no right answers - sometimes it comes up with A, but it could just as well come up with B. Yes, it appears that [insert your favourite God here] plays dice. On a metaphysical note, maybe that's why the world starts going to hell when people try to look for easy answers. Oh wait, I almost forgot, some people don't believe in reality anyway. Just look below.

Reality-based community

NYT reporter Ron Susskind writes about his meeting with a senior advisor to Bush:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
Nothing like a good rallying cry.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Jock Day

Waah my arms. First wakeboarding, then baddie with Transen Lohk. That scumbag kept cheating and smashing at my face. Anyway it's nice 2 take a dip in the pool to cool off after all that sweaty stuff. Oh boy I'm so proud of myself. Makes me feel like Lee Congee. Can u imagine, a PES E version of congee?

During the wakeboarding I kept hearing a sound like thunderclaps. At first I it was dry lightning but someone noticed the sound coming from the water. I peeked over portside and saw some bubbles with amplified sound. Seems like cavitation.

Anyway, not trying to be un-humble, but I think physicists can be good at physical stuff. After all, shooting a hoop is just calculating a trajectory under a uniform field. Wakeboarding and windsurfing = solving Navier-Stokes with your body instead of your head? Ok maybe not so complicated. But the body seems to be able to figure it out faster. My balance was ok, but arms were a little weak.

Btw, Transen, Steve & Zi are having delusions that that can pick up chicks by playing badminton. Someone bring them back to the reality-based community.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I can't believe this

Good job, Bush & Co. You claimed you were looking for WMDs but yet you opened up sealed nuclear caches and didn't bother to leave behind a single trooper to guard them. Come, come! Not just the conventional good stuff like HMX and RDX, but help yourselves to the nuclear material as well! Make your own dirty bombs with it!

Now the world will be just that much safer.