Stuff I Want But Don't Need

* Have to lead today’s list with the iphone. My lizard brain wants one. The rest of me has no idea why. I’m going to attempt to hold off until V2.
* Toolmonger ? Blog Archive ? Magnogrip Magnetic Wrist Band — wow this actually seems super useful.
* Nike floor hockey cleaning concept
* PuchiPuchi bubble wrap toy. Can you imagine having one of these on an airplane?
* Rich and Bob’s advice for lens cleaning tools.
* Phoneflasher. Not sure I can pull this off.
* Magnatag whiteboards. These appeal deeply to me tho I have no specific need. Maybe I can use one to manage my halloween efforts?

Microsoft Alumni Network renewal?

Apparently it is time to renew my Microsoft Alumni Network membership. $130. The only value I get is employee discounts on software. It is increasingly hard to justify this, there is darn little I want at the store. If I view the $130 as prepay on software, I have to buy a lot to make the savings add up to more than $130. Used to be I had relatives and friends asking for software a lot but that activity has dried up largely.

Score One for Perfect Match

In the Science of Love premiere last night, science won. This is classically trashy summer reality TV, but for some bizarre reason we were all captivated with it last night. The guy didn’t seem like much of a catch but that was just part of the appeal of the show.

More stuff I don't need but want

* The Kwikset Smartscan. Ok I am not sure I really want this. What I’d really like is a lock that could be programmed to respond to my car’s fob. I have to carry the car thing around anyway, why can’t it open my house too? I don’t want my thumb to be the identifying device, I don’t want to encourage anyone to chop off my thumb.
* Crystal Weather Station. Looks cool. Why not available in US?
* Another doohickey to let you use your dremel — this time as a plunge router
* A Drobo storage robot. Sounds way cooler than “hard drive enclosure”
* Ceramic Jellyfish — awesome looking

Recent books — science

A set of three reads about the nature of the universe and our lives:

* “The Trouble With Physics”:amazon by Lee Smolin. Turned onto this by rich, an interesting walk thru the state of physics and the physics establishment. Comes out pretty strongly damning the conservatism of the current establishment and encouraging more risk taking. Intellectually punishing at times for a non physicist but interesting.
* “Cosmic Jackpot”:amazon by Paul Davies. A very different review of modern physics, Davies dives headlong into the “what does it all mean” issue and fully explores the various views held by scientists. A full embracing of the various anthropic theories that purport to explain why life exists. Not as rigorous as Smolin and more philosophical.
* “I am a Strange Loop”:amazon by Douglas Hofstadter. I loved “GEB”:amazon back in the day but this book just leaves me cold. I can’t get past chapter 5 — I found myself doing the monday NYT crossword instead of reading the book, and that says a lot. The pace is just too slow in the book.

Ignition blog roundup

* Rahul discusses new features at Judy’s book — New Features on Judy’s Book at Starting Up by Rahul Pathak
* Oh and also at couponlooker — looks pretty useful
* Rich is obviously a mac convert with a million mac postings — for example finding a beyondcompare equivalent
* Also rich gets turned onto HDR
* Press for melodeo‘s new itunes streaming feature
* Rich also finds another virtual cd drive program. i’ve never found any of these to work that well (and do any of them work for dvd games??) but maybe worth looking at
* Rich on 3rd party lenses for canon.
* I’m way late on recognizing this post re biopassword

What course to take at the U this fall

Trying to figure out what course to take this fall…

* EE graduate seminar on energy — not sure what typical content would be, but could be relevant to investing side of my life
* Power Systems Economics — also could be relevant to investing side
* MatSci 502 — Sol Gel processing — just because i like materials science
* MatSci 510 — Binding and Structure. Also just because I like materials science, but the “rigorous” in the description is a little scary
* MatSci graduate seminar — could be an interesting overview of topics
* Matsci 555 — biomimetics — a very interesting topic area
* Nanotech seminar — another interesting overview
* Bioengineering 599E — biosensors — could be an interesting domain to learn more about