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Instant painting by way of hundreds of paintball guns

Over at blog I saw this post about instant art by way of 840 simultaneous paintball guns firing.

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It reminded me a lot of a demonstration by Adam and Jamie of the Mythbusters who demonstrated the difference between a CPU and GPU in similar fashion.

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Pretty cool!

Brilliant: New mandatory phone tech provides terrorists with new mechanism for triggering bombs

In a bid to keep us better informed, Homeland Security may in fact be making things worse. Did they think this thing all the way through?  has the commentary:

In yet another example of feel-good intentions which will only serve to help the bad guys, some , notably the FCC and FEMA, have decided to make it mandatory for certain alerts be sent to your cell phone and for all cell phones to be equipped with the ability to receive these alerts.

This can only serve as a boon to the terrorists since they will no longer have to call their phones being used as triggers. They can simply set the bomb and wait for the alert to come in to do the dirty work.

The alert system will send the emergency messages even if other cell phone voice or text services aren’t working.

Really, does anybody have one lick of common sense in the Imperial Federal Government. Let me guess, nobody in these agencies thought of this, right? 

Time to take them on a walk of the Afghan countryside with some EOD folks. I figured it out before I even finished reading the story.

Does the 4th Amendment apply to hosted information?

This is a crazy notion. According to , files that are backed up to a remote host, stored in the "cloud," GPS location data, and other off-site information is not necessarily covered under the 4th Amendment. The 4th guards against unreasonable search and siezure and requires that a properly obtained warrant for probable cause exists.

As the law stands today government can go into your private computer files or trace your cell phone location without a warrant.

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Magnetic polar shifts causing global superstorms?

I found this article at to be fascinating.

Recently there have been stories about a cyclical that may be responsible for the deluge of rain the west coast has been getting. Of course there are the enormous snow storms of the east coast, Australia has a , etc.

The premise of this artical is that these massive fluctuations are the result of the magnetic pole shifting more rapidly to the east, possibly on the way to a reversal.

Forget about global warming—man-made or natural—what drives planetary weather patterns is the climate and what drives the climate is the sun's magnetosphere and its electromagnetic interaction with a planet's own magnetic field.

When the field shifts, when it fluctuates, when it goes into flux and begins to become unstable anything can happen. And what normally happens is that all hell breaks loose.

Magnetic polar shifts have occurred many times in Earth's history. It's happening again now to every planet in the solar system including Earth.

Francis W. Porretto: "...But it's for the General Welfare!"

Originally seen at , this article from is interesting.  It deals with the following text:

If congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands, they may appoint teachers in every state, county, and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state regulation down to the most minute objects of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress....Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of limited Government established by the people of America. [Letter from James Madison to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792]

Move Win XP Xen virtual machine image to KVM including raw to qemu qcow2 type conversion

I recently switched one of my desktops from CentOS 5 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) to Fedora 14.  I also had running on that desktop a Windows XP VM, under Xen, that I did not want to recreate.  I copied off the image file to another computer to restore it later after the OS was done.

To my surprise, after installing Fedora and copying back the VM image, all I had to do was create a new VM that pointed to the old image and voila, it worked!  The only change I needed to make was to the vga display driver, which was not recognized by XP.

A few weeks pass and I find that my 30 Gig VM is overkill considering the drive in this older computer was only 80 Gig total.  So, I decided to shrink my VM.  Not so easy, particularly because it's Windows XP running on a linux host.  Later versions of Windows have a built in utility for shrinking partitions but I am out of luck in that department.

I found recommendations to boot the VM using a and then repartition the drive to make it smaller.  I decided to try a different route and I'm pretty happy with the results.

senseFly swinglet CAM autonomous flying camera

is cool.  Throw it to launch, flies a predefined flight path, takes arial photos, lands by itself.  Sweet!

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by Dr. Radut