Tuesday, September 27, 2011

News Round-Up

  • From the "Yellow Submarine, Orange Crocodile" Department - A crocodile in Australia names "Snappy" has turned orange after eating the water filter in his enclosure.  Reptile scientists believe that the filter itself wasn't what caused the technicolor treatment, but rather it was tannins or other substances in the water.  So we have an organically orange dyed crocodile.  Next, I'd like to see a tie-dyed komodo dragon for when you really need to wonder if something got put in your Coke.
  • From the "Big Iron" Department - Oracle Corporation, picking a little flesh from the carcass of SUN Microsystems, announced a new high-end server and cluster configuration based on a new SPARC chipset.  For you non-geeks out there, this would be like GM announcing the 2012 Hummer after everyone else in the world has abandoned humongous SUV's.  Oracle appears to want to appeal to the enterprise with too much money to burn.  Commodity x86 based servers are eating away at the market for database and application servers at the expense of large servers from HP and IBM. With clustering software that allows high-performance work to be spread across multiple cheap systems instead of one expensive box, I don't see this going too far.  SUN and DEC went out of business because the same result could be had for less, and HP is pretty much abandoning the HPUX on Itanium market, so unless Larry Ellison knows something I don't, I don't see much coming out of this product line.  This is a case of the expensive 'superb' competing with the cheap 'good enough'.
  • From the "On Belay!" Department - Engineers from the National Park Service will be rappelling down the side of the Washington Monument to look for damage caused by the earthquake that shook the East Coast earlier this year.  I wish them luck and a safe time of it.  I will personally buy a beer to the first man or woman who does down the side of the Washington Monument Australian-style.  I'll buy two if they wear a helmet cam.  I'll buy them a case if BRM posts about it alongside his wing-suit series.
  • From the "Common Sense Not So Common" Department - A colonial-era re-enactor was arrested and held for 24 hours in a Washington D.C. jail because he had his 18th century flintlock rifles in his truck when he was pulled over by the police.  After being kept in jail for 24 hours, he was released without charges, and his property was returned to him.  There's also the possibility that he was pulled over and searched because he and his vehicle fit a "profile".  Must have been that  "Balding white guy in an SUV with a wife and kids" terrorist demographic we've all grown to fear.  I'm sure that a middle-aged man with a single-shot, muzzle-loading, black powder rifle is a threat to the security of the president.   So much for FOPA.  This is one of the reasons I'm considering a Ford for my next vehicle.  They have a keypad on the door in some models, so you don't have to have the key to unlock the door.  Get out of the car, lock the door, toss the key in, close the door, and tell Officer Fife to get a warrant.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Interesting approach on the last one :-)

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