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Language Log - Congress plans bailout for grammar epidemic

2008 Oct 23, 2:18I had no idea lingual prescriptivists vs descriptivists were split in a partisan manner: '... The Secretary [of the Department of Education] released a report that includes dire warnings of impending doom...The cause of this immanent catastrophe is, of course, those pesky linguists, the libertarian destroyers of good usage who claim that, well, anything goes. According to the report, "the language problem has now reached the crisis level and we are now experiencing a severe epidemic of bad grammar that will affect the very fiber of our nation." The Secretary added, "an alarming number of children are suffering from the bad advice given by those socialist, left-wing, atheistic linguists and we just gotta do something about it."'PermalinkCommentshumor language politics grammar

Earplug Alarm Clock

2008 Jul 9, 1:37

Dirt PileIn my previous home, just after I moved in, my neighbor which was the city of Redmond's various city government buildings, decided to build a parking structure. This was maybe 30 feet from my window, lasted for at least a year and would regularly wake me up at seven or eight in the morning. Determined to not be so punctual for work, I got earplugs which meant in addition to not hearing the construction outside, I couldn't hear my alarm. I had an idea for a combination ear plug, headphone, alarm clock that I never did anything with, except to write down the phrase "earplug / headphone / alarm clock" on a list that I just now found. In retrospect, I think this problem might be too specific to result in my earplug alarm clock selling well.

PermalinkCommentsidea earplug headphone alarm clock random nontechnical

Chumby will be cool, despite its name

2008 Feb 19, 1:51

Bedside ChumbyI signed up for the pre-release beta and purchased a Chumby last year. Chumby looks like a cousin to a GPS unit. Its similar in size with a touch screen, but has WiFi, accelerometers, and is pillow like on the sides that aren't a screen. In practice its like an Internet alarm clock that shows you photos and videos off the Web. Its hackable in that Chumby Industries tells you about the various ways to run your own stuff on the Chumby, modifying the boot sequence (it runs Linux), turning on sshd, etc, etc. The Chumby forum too has lots of info from folks who have found interesting hacks for the device.

When you turn on the Chumby it downloads and runs the latest version of the Chumby software which lets you set alarms, play music, and display Flash widgets. The Chumby website lets anyone upload their own Flash widgets to share with the community. I tried my hand at creating one using Adobe's free Flash creation SDK but I don't know Flash and didn't have the patience to learn.

Currently my Chumby is set to wake me up at 8am on weekdays with music from ShoutCast and then displays traffic and weather. At 10am everyday it switches to showing me a slide-show of LolCats. At 11pm it switches to night mode where it displays the time in dark grey text on a black background at a reduced light level so as not to disturb me while I sleep.

I like the Chumby but I have two complaints. The first is that it forces me to learn flash in order to create anything cool rather than having a built-in Web browser or depending on a more Web friendly technology. The second complaint is about its name. At first I thought the name was stupid in a kind of silly way, but now that I'm used to the name it sounds vaguely dirty.

PermalinkCommentschumby review flash linux

ThinkGeek :: SnūzNLūz - Wifi Donation Alarm Clock

2008 Jan 14, 10:24Alarm clock that donates money to a charity you dislike when you hit the snooze button.PermalinkCommentsalarm clock humor geek gadget gift thinkgeek wifi wireless product alarm-clock

chumby

2007 Oct 17, 10:49Chumby is a hackable little wifi computer. Its like an expensive alarm clock that also shows you stuff off the Internet. I kind of want one.PermalinkCommentspurchase shopping wifi wireless opensource flash design hardware chumby

ThinkGeek :: Clocky Robotic Alarm

2007 May 15, 11:19Video of clocky the robot alarm clock. When it alarms it runs and hides forcing you to get up and go after it.PermalinkCommentsalarm purchase shopping nerd robot video

nanda - robot alarmclock

2007 Apr 17, 11:03A robotic alarmclock that runs and hides if you don't get up in time.PermalinkCommentsdesign furniture robot toys time alarm clock shopping humor
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