John Kerry, John Edwards & Friendster

Both John Kerry and John Edwards have Friendster accounts. If you belong to Friendster (signing up is free), you can invite them to be your friend and (if they accept your invitation) check out their profile.

Note, there are several John Kerry’s. The one with the picture of himself windsurfing is the one that is running for president. John Edwards is the one in the suit and a tie.

I read this in BusinessWeek.

Market Map

Smart Money has a really cool tool. Go to Smart Money, click on Maps, and select “Market Map”. A window with a lot of different sized squares and rectangles will pop up. Each square or rectangle represents a different stock. The relative size of the square corresponds to the stock’s market share. The color corresponds to the price, green is up. The map is continuously updated to reflect current prices.

This tool allows you to quickly see what the market is doing at a glance and to see how any one particular stock may or may not be acting with the market as a whole.

Ear phones and personal space

For those of you like me who walk around with earbuds in your ears all day, this article will be interesting, More than just a pretty interface. Dr Michael Bull has studied how listening to your own private music (or book) can help people control their environment even in public, ad filled spaces.

I found this on Slashdot.

Social Networking and Online Personality Tests

Tickle.com is an online personality test and social networking site discussed in Getting to Know Me, Getting to Know All About Me: Web Personality Tests. While the article is mostly about social networking and dating sites and how some of them like Tickle.com are adding personality tests to generate conversation and to aid in match making, it was really the second page of the article that caught my attention. They mention which company has bought or sold which social network. The whole idea that social networks can be bought or sold is either intriguing or disturbing depending on your mood. Each site has its own privacy policy but regardless of what privacy they’ve promised, the company still holds the data – the who knows who. Who thinks like who. Who’s emailed who. Who has the same interests. The applications are enormous and so is the potencial for abuse. Although in one sense they are self policing, any site that abuses its users is going to lose its users.

By the way, Tickle.com will let you take lots of tests, but unless you’re willing to pay for the detailed results (per test!), you won’t find out much.

Smart Dust

Smart Dust is a new technology. Researchers are developing a network that consists of very small sensors that would float in the air like specs of dust. (Currently they are 5mm on a side and cost $5. They are working on getting them to 1 mm and $1.) These “motes” or smart dust would be able to notice things about their environment and communicate it back to a central location. They might sense things like traffic problems, weather (temperature and humidty), the movement of people, etc.

Michael Crichton’s science fiction book Prey is built on the idea of smart dust that gains sentience.

You can read more about Smart Dust here:

Smart Dust
Dust Inc.

We Should Abolish the CIA

John Kerry said “We should abolish the CIA. Because the CIA completely and totally missed the Soviet revolution.” in this New York Times interview. I’m sure he has more reasons than that – since it’s been a long time since the Soviet revolution and the CIA has done a lot (or not) since then. I wish he’d share them. If you have links to other information, please comment.

Herb Garden

My boyfriend made an indoor herb garden today. It’s beautiful and it smells really good. He planted sage, mint, basil, oregano, rosemary, cilantro and dill.

To learn more about herb gardens, Google for “indoor herb garden” or start with one of the following articles:

Growing, Preserving and Using Herbs
Indoor Herb Garden

Blog Epidemic Analyzer

Researchers at HP Labs created the Blog Epidemic Analyzer to track how ideas spread through blogs. They’ve found that the most popular blogs just pick up on ideas from lesser known blogs, often without giving credit. This is another perfect example of Malcolm Galdwell’s idea of social epidemics from The Tipping Point. (See my original
review
of the The Tipping Point.) Ideas spread through society, or through the web, from experts (who find the info) to networkers (who distribute them widely).

Speaking of giving credit, I
read about this on Wired. I was orginally pointed to Wired from Slashdot, another blog.

CNN.com: Working Poor Face Higher Obesity Rates

Working poor face higher obesity rates

The working poor are those that can least afford healthy food. Often they work long hours, have little free time, little access to stores with fresh fruit and little knowledge of how to prepare healthy food. After a long day of work, it’s easier to buy some hamburgers or pop in a frozen dinner.

Good grocery stores with good produce selections are also hard to find in inner cities and neighborhoods that the working poor tend to live in.

Sitting is Bad for Your Health

… at least for long periods of time, like the amount of time I spend on the computer. The Harvard Alumni magazine has an interesting article on health and exercise, The Deadliest Sin. The article covers all of the regular recommendations: exercise more, eat less, etc, but it really stresses how sedentary our lives have become in very recent history. The authors claim that even if you get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day, it’s still not good to sit for the rest of the day. That’s bad news for those of us who have computer jobs!

Another interesting tidbit from the article is that based on our anatomy they think that humans (in all except recent history) actually ran a lot. Not walked a lot, ran a lot.

Which reminds me of the Amish health study I read. Researchers, surprised by the low levels of obesity in Amish populations in spite of diets rich in eggs and bacon, strapped pedometers on several of them and found they walked between 10-20 miles a day!