Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, February 18, 2021

Psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis have determined that a “sixth sense” of heightened awareness actually does exist in the human brain.

Basically, your brain is working overtime and in the background, processing on subtle cues and sensory inputs to create an early-warning instinct. It’s not a base instinct, either: The action happens in the anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that’s central in processing complex information.

There is such a thing as too much intuition, though:

Abnormal activity of the anterior cingular cortex has been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder, [University of Michigan professor William] Gehring said. “It’s been shown that there is too much activity in this area. There is a general sense that things are going wrong, when actually they are not.”

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/18/2005 08:47:20 PM
Category: Science | Permalink | Feedback

So it begins: The dreaded Cabir virus program has been spotted “in the wild” in the U.S., a very possible harbinger of things to come.

What can we look forward to?

Cabir and the growing number of cell phone viruses mainly target three mobile operating systems: Symbian, Windows Mobile and a third in use by NTT DoCoMo, one of the largest cell phone operators in Japan. The malicious software has destroyed files, forced phones to dial expensive 900 numbers or 911, and made them crumble under denial-of-service attacks, in which the device gets so much inbound traffic it can’t function properly.

It’s gonna be a thrill-ride!

If anything can make people swear off their precious wireless phones, getting billed a few thousand dollars in 1-900 charges will do it. How long before some handset maker starts touting wholly “dumb” phones, that can’t play games or access the Web but merely — gasp! — makes virus-free phonecalls?

I’d like to think that the American wireless industry will head this off by building in real safeguards into their phones — not things like anti-virus software, which doesn’t work until after infection. Ditching Bluetooth development, which is more flash than real functionality anyway, would be a nice start.

But who’s kidding who. There’ll have to be some major damage, and thousands of dispirited customers, before the companies to anything to combat this coming crisis.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/18/2005 08:31:24 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (1)

won't you come
I took this shot today, right at high noon, on 2nd Avenue South in good ol’ St. Pete. I was actually trying to get a good shot of that teddy-bear balloon that was hanging off the telephone wire. But I was walking too fast, and didn’t feel like taking time to set up a shot. So this was the result.

That black spot in the center of the sun? It could have been a bird or something flying across the sky; but it doesn’t look like that, and I would have noticed it either beforehand or afterward. So I’m thinking it’s some kind of effect from my cameraphone’s lens. (It’s not damaged — subsequent shots come out fine, sans black spot.)

So it wasn’t quite a Soundgarden moment for me. Just as well — there was no rain to wash away.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/18/2005 07:54:43 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback