Jennifer Collison Fanclub

I assume I’m not the only geek who’s noticed the…er…beautiful mind of Jennifer Collison, member of JPL’s Mars Rover team. I think I’m in love! I just can’t get enough of her saying: “Mössbauer integration.”

See her daily Opportunity updates on the Rover mission page.

George Bush Admits Bugging UN, Calls for Action Against Blair

…at least on my computer he did. Using the George Bush Speechwriter Engine, I was able to get George to say:

“The danger is clear that Tony Blair, unlike Saddam Hussein, electronically bugged the United States of America, UN weapons inspectors, the United Nations Security Council, and every immigrant. And I have a message for them in our country or any other: this threat to peace will punished. That is the future we choose.”

The speechwriter engine is a flash-based tool that lets you choose from dozens of audio clips and rearrange G.W.’s own words into sentences that he ought to be saying, not just what he actually said. And if you’re worried about it not sounding genuine, don’t: the odd selection of audio clips makes it somewhat difficult to get a sentence that is actually grammatically correct — so it’s actually very realistic.

Did You Own a Palm III or V? Palm May Owe You Money!

Got an email this morning informing me that a class action lawsuit that I didn’t even know existed has been settled, and that as a result I, and anyone else who owned a Palm III, IIIx, IIIc, IIIxe, V or Vx (I owned four of those) may be eligible for some money — up to $200 damn dollars!

But it turns out that it’s not just a matter of whether you owned one of those handhelds. You also must have owned one of a handful of PCs and suffered damage to your motherboard or serial port as a result of electro-static discharge that the suit alleges Palms exacerbated.

So if you’re someone who had serial port trouble with an older PC and your Palm, check out the suit under “read more” and fill out the form.

Army Builds Biggest MMORPG

The US Army is creating a huge massively multimplayer on-line role playing game designed to simulate the entire planet and the future conflicts that may happen. The simulation, acccording to the BBC, is being done by a video game company on contract – though it’s not known what “engine” it will use. We’re pretty sure it’s not EA’s “The Sim’s” engine.

Broadband From Your Outlets

C|Net’s got an interesting story about developments in broadband over power lines (BPL) that could make your local utility company your internet provider — at least in part.

Earthlink is currently testing 500 homes with BPL access in Wake County, N.C. If the test goes well, we can expect more companies to offer more access to more people, which can only be good for consumers.

iPod Mini Dies for Science

Greg Koenig over at iPodLounge has disected one of the very first of the mini iPods to roll off the assembly line. The purpose was primarily to see if the unit could be disassembled for re-anodizing the exterior, but Greg also tested it to see if the internal 4Gb CF hard-drive could be extracted and used in another device, like a camera or PDA. Apparently the answer is no…for now.

In related news, the Creative Muvo2 4Gb has made its way to market, but an active aftermarket has developed around selling the units stripped of their internal hard-drives. Ebay lists dozens of the hobbled players, running around $30 or more for just the player without the memory.

Treo 600 MP3/Ogg Ringtones

If you’ve got the Treo 600 — arguably the best cellphone/pda hybrid around — you may find this latest little program useful or fun: Lightwav is a program that allows you to program any old MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio file as a ringtone, or as a replacement for any system alarm like emai or SMS notification. No more bleeps and blinks, no more bad Midi sounds — real rock and roll. Cost is just $17, which is a lot cheaper than buying a bunch of different ringtones that you arguably already own the rights to.

Windows XP In a Paper-Back Sized Package

Vulcan has a cool looking new prototype PC that fits in the palm of your hand, but has all the computing power you’d need for basic computer functions. The FlipStart is a tiny Windows XP machine measuring just 5.8″ x 4″ x 1″, which is about the same as your average pulp novel. It runs a 1GHz Crusoe chip with 256 megs of RAM, which while it’s not enough for video editing or other processor-intensive tasks, is plenty for most computing needs. It has a capacious 30 Gb hard-drive and an integrated 1.3 MP camera, and also has a unique “LID” (low power interactive display) that allows access to certain features of the computer without opening it up or booting the full Windows interface. Price is unknown, but I’d guess around $1500.