Effects of Sleep Deprivation

What happens when you don’t sleep for 5 days? You go from writing this:

I haven’t slept in 29 hours … Right now I’m feeling drowsy. I’ve been drinking a cup of coffee every now and then, and it’s working well …

To this:

i haven not slept in 126 hrs … my mental aptitude is completely shot. words that come out of my mout are completely random ; nonsensicle …

Apparently, you either turn into a drunk or a 15-year-old blog commenter.

See the descent in action at totse.com. (Via Sullivan.)

In case I don’t see you, Good Afternoon, Good Evening and Good Night.

Like the rest of you, the new year has brought many new time wasting activities that have kept me away from the keyboard. There have been very few techno things lately that I’ve had desire to blog about and with everyone else in the world blogging their collective asses off, I haven’t the time to try and compete.

That being said, I came across this article on Wired News in my morning ritual of coffee and RSS feeds.

“Somehow, some viewer relayed a call through Justin’s phone number to the San Francisco 911 and reported a stabbing.” Welcome to daily happenings of Justin.tv, the latest experiment in reality TV on the web. Visitors to the site see a small, low-resolution audio/video feed coming from a camera mounted on star Kan’s head

Ha! That’s a good pr… wait, WHAT? Did I just read that someone has mounted a camera to their head and is streaming it for the world to see? I quickly run over to justin.tv to find out. Sure enough, I see a live feed of Justin sleeping in the fetal position at 6:30 am PST. This is nothing new really… it’s been attempted before by many porn sites. But this is the first time I know of someone strapping a camera to their head and taking it with them everywhere.
History: Based out of San Fran, 4 friends decided that they could make some money by streaming one guys life 24/7. And it looks like it’s working. Justin Kan has only been live for 4 days and 9 hours (although they have been testing for a couple months) and has already managed sponsorship. No stats on how many people are watching Justin, but at one time this morning I counted at least 100 people in the 1st chat room. People watching have access to all that is Justin… dates, parties, bathroom visits, sex (if some girl is willing to have her face/body plastered all over the internets), etc. You can see his schedule for the day, read his blog, call him and even go back through archives at different meetings, etc.
So this begs the question: will “we” watch and why? Is this the same as reading US Weekly or any other media that attempts to bring us into the lives of other, albeit celebrities, people . But Justin isn’t really a celeb… so what’s the appeal? It brings up memories of the movie The Truman Show. Truman unknowingly had the attention of the whole world and thus the appeal of someone being genuine. But Justin knows he’s on so where’s the appeal? Could it be like a mullet or a car wreck? It shouldn’t be that interesting but you just can’t stop watching it. I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding it hard not to watch.

UPDATE: i never thought about txting him. since his phone number is posted on the site, you can txt him and INTERACT with what you’re watching.

Conan beats Serena at Wii Tennis

This is a great clip. Conan O’Brian challenges Australian Open champion Serena Williams to a match of Wii Tennis … and wins!

Wii Sports certainly seems to bring the best out of unlikely candidates. First Jay beats me at boxing, Paulette beats Matt at bowling … and now this! Seriously though, I think this has been a key aspect of the success of the Wii. Jay and I never played competitive Xbox together very much, because I play it more and in most games it’s how much you’ve played — as opposed to innate skill — that determine who wins. But with the Wii, you don’t need to have had experience at the video game to play well, just familiarity with the game itself. That’s why so many people who’ve never played a video game before are getting into the Wii: it’s fun to play with others.

Gambling no longer a game of chance

“..a Pennsylvania man is now crying foul after he got the short end of the stick in an unfortunate “mishap.” The retired carpenter, who had visited the Philadelphia Park casino before, dropped his two quarters into a Wheel of Fortune slot machine only to win $102,000 — or so he thought. The machine proudly conveyed his winnings right alongside his actual name, sending his emotions into a jovial whirlwind, but apparently the machine wasn’t exactly supposed to, you know, let people hit the jackpot, and now he’s fighting just to get his due reward. A spokesperson for the venue stated that it “was just an error in the communication system,” but added the mistake seems to have originated in the in-house computing system, not within the machine itself. The man was offered “two tickets to the buffet” (saywha?) and advised to read the disclaimer on the machine, nullifying any awards if the machine malfunctions, but he still feels that this “fault” is illegitimate.”  stolen from engadget.

if i’m reading this correctly, this begs the question: if a central computer is dictating which machines win and how much they pay out, is it any longer a game of chance?  does it then become a game of controlled loss? i mean odds are odds but is it still considered chance when a computer decides that it only pays out once every 3,409,403 times played and only 10% of what it takes in because that’s what statistics COULD dictate? if so, i’m in the wrong business.

Wasp T12 Speechtool

Here’s the must-have gadget for Christmas: the Wasp T12 Speechtool. Featuring the Sympiot keypad with extra-large five and intelligent thermotones, no self-respecting technophile will be without one. “It’s well weapon!”.

Hmm, it’s getting hard to tell the parodies from the real thing these days.

Verizon can’t multiply

I’ve had a few exasperating customer service myself (most notably trying to get my Xbox 360 repaired) but this guy’s dispute with Verizon really takes the cake. Before a trip to Canada (outside of his unlimited-data plan), he checked on the rate for browsing the Web on his phone over there. He was quoted .002 cents per kilobyte. So, if he downloaded 5 kilobytes, that would be .01 cents (.002 x 5 = .01, one one-hundredth of a penny). If he downloaded one hundred times that, 500 kilobytes, he would be charged 1 cent. In fact, he downloaded about 38,000 kilobyes, and expected to be charged about 76 cents.

Verizon charged him 76 dollars. The problem seems to be that no-one at Verizon is capable of basic arithmetic. Their billing system is clearly set up to charge 0.002 dollars per kilobyte (0.2 cents / kilobyte), but the support reps consistently quote 0.002 cents per kilobyte (.00002 dollars per kilobyte).

He recorded the support call complaining about the overcharge, and all 27 minutes of it is a hoot. The guy has the patience of a saint, even when two different reps agree that 1 dollar is different from 1 cent, and half a dollar is different from half a cent, but somehow .002 dollars and .002 cents is the same thing.

This is the product of the American educational system. At one point the supervisor even complains, “I’m not a mathematician!”, but you don’t need to be a mathematician to understand decimal points and multiplication. This is grade school arithmetic, people!

What I want for Christmas

I’ve always wanted my own pinball machine, but there’s always the problem that you’ll inevitably get bored with just one. It’s a full-time hobby to maintain them, too.

This seems like a great solution. A new digital pinball machine–with a plasma screen for a playfield–from GlobalVR comes with six games, with add-ons available for an extra fee. (Classics like Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness, and Black Knight are available.)

At “just” $6475 it seems like a perfectly reasonable Christmas request :). (Via digg )

Find the best place for your satellite dish, using only the Sun’s shadow

But you only have a small window twice a year to use this neat trick, when your DirectTV or Dish satellite passes between the sun and your roof. The next transit period begins September 29, so use these instructions to find the exact time and day to get on your roof and take some photos. Just avoid any areas in the shade, and get perfect reception!

read more | digg story

T-Mobile. It’s like Kafka, but with hold music.

I recently switched from my beloved BlackBerry to a shiny T-Mobile MDA. I’m impressed by the new device, but the process of dealing with T-mobile to make the switch was a total nightname.

I won’t go into the details of the initial transfer, which involved porting my cellphone number from one account to another, but let’s just say that I spent at least 4 hours on the phone with T-mobile reps trying to get the mess they created sorted out, and lost much of my hair in the process. But it all got sorted out in the end, and I thought I’d put it all behind me.

I’ve had the phone for about 6 weeks now, so I’ve just seen the first bill for a full month’s service. Beyond the basic minutes plan, theres a $30/month charge on top so that I can access the Internet (and thereby my email) from the MDA. I love the way it syncs with my work’s Exchange server, much sweeter than the Blackberry, but $30 is pretty steep just for email, which is why I got the MDA in the first place. Anyway, that 30 charge is broken up two line items, cryptically described as “Discounted HotSpot Unlimited” ($14.99) and “VPN Total Int Addon”. Now, I don’t use a VPN for email, and I don’t use T-Mobile hotspots, so I thought I’d check if I could make things cheaper by eliminating one or both of these services.

No dice on that front: after calling T-mobile customer service the first rep I spoke with informed me they were bundled together (the “T-Mobile Total Internet” plan), and they were needed if I was going to get email on my device. Oh well.

Then I thought, well, at least if I can also use Wi-Fi on my laptop in Starbucks thanks to my T-mobile Hotspot subscription, it might be worth it. Let’s just check with the rep if that’s possible. She passed me onto another rep. He said I needed to transfer my SIM card into an Airphone card in my laptop, which I dont have. I said this seemed rather impractical, so passed me onto a third person who didn’t know if what I wanted to do was possible either. Finally I got transferred onto a Hotspot rep, who might have known but wouldn’t tell me, because the name on the account in their records wasn’t what she expected. (The phone account is in Jay’s name because we share minutes, but the Hotspot people only know about me, because Jay doesn’t have the Hotspot feature.) I was about an hour into the call by this point, and gave up. When I told that 4th rep I was out of time and about to hang up she casually mentioned all I needed to use my laptop in Starbucks was my phone number and the last 4 digits of the account holder’s social security number! At last! I haven’t actually tried it yet, but at least it sounds plausible.

I’m just not sure it was worth 60 minutes of my life, let alone $30 a month, though.