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Monthly Archives: February 2006

Patently Silly

This humorous site, Patently Silly, offers perspectives on some of the more frivolou patents that have been granted. Some of them aren’t actually that silly, like this method for detecting pornographic images. I’ve read the research on it, it uses a probabalistic model of skin tones in an image to make the determination. Some of […]

Patent Economics

The Patent Prospector blog has an excellent overview of the economics of the patent system. Chief among these are the notion of monopoly power. Patents essentially grant inventors a limited monopoly on intellectual property.

Rich Data, Poor Data

John T. Reed has an extensive analysis of the claims made by the Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert T. Kiyosaki. Reed is a real-estate investor himself and has numerous problems with the book. It’s not surprising that an experienced investor would take issue with the book, what is surprising is how many things he […]

More on Benford’s Law

Essentially, Benford’s law predicts a certain distribution of numbers – violations of that distribution indicate fabricated data. Turns out Boing Boing had a post on this just a few weeks ago. The best treatment of it is on Wolfram’s Mathworld pages, which also has an extensive bibliography (always a plus.) I’m interested in studying applications […]

Benford’s Law has an interesting piece on using Benford’s law to catch cheaters.

The Cartoons, explained

The Washinton Post has a piece by the editor of Jyllands-Posten printed those ‘inflammatory’ cartoons.


I never thought that a person would be persecuted for being a member of the Church of the SubGenius, but alas it has happened. A woman has lost custody of her child allegedly based on her membership in the Church. Astounding.

Re-classifying documents?

The NSA reportedly is trying to re-classify previously declassified documents. That’s right, documents that people already have read, analyzed, and written about. Is this an act of post-9/11 paranoia or just beauracratic stupidity? George Washington University’s National Security Archive has the full story. 

Dangerous Science Experiments

For your viewing pleasure, here are some links to ‘dangerous’ science experiments. Fun with Liguid Nitrogen Unwise Microwave Oven Experiments The Young Man’s Book of Amusement United Nuclear’s Science Experiments Page Dangerous Laboratories

What it’s like to live in Saudi Arabia

More specifically, what it’s like to be an intelligent and westernized man living in Saudi Arabia. You can get a glimpse into the corruption and backwardness that is the Saudi Arabian polity. The Religious Policeman, writes with a fair amount of wit about a subject that would infuriate most Americans if they ever had to […]