A Life Untold

Ranting while I’m Raving; Technology News and Views

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Archive for April, 2007

You Know What to do…

Posted by titusferguson on April 26, 2007

A funny thing happens as exam period goes on and I finally reach the last exam. Its usually the one that I should have studied the most for. This happens every year, and is probably related to some form of burnout…

I also don’t care about my marks any more and just want to be done. I’ve yet to figure out if that has seriously impacted my grades at all.

Although this might not be of interest to many people reading this blog, there is quite the interesting discussion going on over at Joel Timmerman’s blog on sermons.

Posted in Biology, religion, school | Leave a Comment »

Google Apps

Posted by titusferguson on April 25, 2007

Wow, my blog is pretty boring when compared to the discussion going on over here. But thats fine with me.

When I bought my domain I realised that I would be able to use Google’s suite of services, Google Apps.

If you own a domain Google will provide email, calender, and online word processor. All directly tied to you domain. So for example you can have an email address name@yourdomain.com and it runs on the GMail services.

Its all pretty cool and best of all free. So I don’t have to pay for email service at GoDaddy, I just sign up for this.

In case you were wondering, my new email is titus@titusferguson.com and if anyone wants a titusferguson.com email address let me know. I have 99 left…..

Posted in Free, technology | 3 Comments »

Music

Posted by titusferguson on April 24, 2007

A break now from the more serious and important posts I’ve done recently.

Music is very important during exams. It breaks the monotony of  studying at a desk for hours at a time. So heres a list of the recent artists and albums I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks:

Sufjan StevenSeven Swans 

The Kooks –  Inside In Inside Out

Yo La Tengo  – I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

These three albums have been on repeat on iTunes constantly. They’re all different musical styles so it doesn’t get boring.

Posted in Music, school | Leave a Comment »

Copying…

Posted by titusferguson on April 23, 2007

Two posts in one day?! I know I’m crazy but I needed to post on this…

Facebook has basically become Twitter, but so much better.

Status Updates

Everything we did on twitter can now be done on Facebook. Plus it already has basically all the features I wrote about earlier.

Just one hitch; service isn’t available in Canada yet. Facebook doesn’t support any Canadian wireless companies. I’m assuming they’ll be adding them soon enough though, and once they do its good-bye old washed up Twitter.

Posted in facebook, technology, twitter | 8 Comments »

Genetically Modified Organisms: Part 2

Posted by titusferguson on April 23, 2007

Sorry this was delayed but my internet service has been down all weekend

Previously I talked about the need for third party monitors on GMO crops. In this post I’m going to look in a little more depth about what that would mean. For the most part I don’t like groups like Greenpeace and other militant environmentalists, but I must agree with their tactics regarding GMOs.

Europeans have the most stringent guidelines for the labelling of GM foods. Any product with any amount of genetic engineering must be labelled as such. When Europeans discovered a batch of soy travelling to Europe had been intentionally mixed with GM soy they became enraged. Civil disobedience against Monsanto, a major biotechnology company involved in many GMO foods, was rampant across the continent and the UK.

Both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth were involved in blocking shipments and organizing supermarket boycotts. Because of their actions the soy was not used unknowingly in non-GMO labelled foods.

In the end though it was the private citizen who really got things accomplished. By standing up to big companies and letting their voices be heard private citizens can impact change. Ultimately North Americans must realise that neither corporations nor governments are looking out for the consumer, we are nothing more then potential customers and therefore potential profits. Getting informed and making your opinion heard is the only way to ensure what’s good for you is getting done. No one is going to do it for you.

Posted in Biology, GMOS, politics, school, science | 1 Comment »

Genetically Modified Organisms: Part 1

Posted by titusferguson on April 18, 2007

The idea of whom the public should look to for protection, I’m not talking about physical but consumer protection, has been on my mind lately. This might have something to do with my studying for philosophy of biology and the readings from “From Naked Ape to Superspecies” by David Suzuki and Holly Dressel on the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). When I talk about products in this post I’m focusing on food.

I don’t want to get into a discussion on the merits or disadvantages of GMOs, mostly because I don’t completely know what to make of them myself. What I do know is that trusting any company that seeks to make a profit to have my best interests at heart will not work. The bottom line motivates all decisions a corporation makes. Despite the implications to my own heath if a product makes money it will be forced on the market. You can call this what you want, even the inherent problems of capitalism.

However the consumer must be made aware of the risk associated with any product and therefore we require, and have the right to a regulatory body to oversee the introduction of new products. The manufacture cannot be trusted to give an honest assessment and often the government is swayed by their own potential profits in these deals.

A third party organization is the only viable third option. They can avoid the profit motivation and focus entirely on fair judgment of a product. This is not to say that they don’t have their own agenda, it just isn’t going to potentially harm me. In my next post I’m going to look at what such an organization might look like and accomplish.

Posted in Biology, GMOS, politics, school, science | Leave a Comment »

Virginia Tech Shooting

Posted by titusferguson on April 17, 2007

There is so much you could write about this latest school shooting. Gun control no doubt will receive renewed interested as a result. But I want to focus on another issue.

Dr. Charles W. Steger, the president of Virginia Tech, defended the school’s decision not to evacuate the  campus after the earlier shooting at the dorm. One reason, among many, he gave was that thousands of people were already on campus by this point and it would have been difficult to inform them all and get the school shut down.

My reaction to that? You’re crazy! Notifying the student body would have been as simple as announcing the school was closed via email and any PA system, as well as sending administration staff out to inform  students personally. Classes could also have been canceled by sending emails.

As soon as a few of the students knew what was going on and why it was closed word would have spread like wildfire. We’re talking about late-teens early twenties students. the most plugged in generation of all time. Instantly word would have gone out through text-messages, instant messages, facebook and even phone calls. Informing a few would have informed everyone.

The bomb threats from the previous week and the shootings at the dorm should have set off warning bells. Even if the events were not linked, precaution would have been warranted. Evacuating the school may not have completely prevented the tragedy, but it would have reduced its scope. Its a shame the right decision was not made.

Posted in news, school, shooting, virginia tech | Leave a Comment »

There she goes….

Posted by titusferguson on April 16, 2007

So I had a great idea for a post, and I said to myself that I would write it down later this evening when I had more time. Then I started thinking about it again and I couldn’t remember any of it. So instead of a great new post, full of interesting insights, you get this boring explaination.

I bought a mac keyboard on ebay several weeks ago and if finally got delivered. It was the dirtiest most disjusting thing I had ever seen. If I was every selling my keyboard I would at least clean it up. But it only costs me 6 bucks so I had better not complain (New they’re worth 40)

Posted in blabing, technology | Leave a Comment »

Exam Time

Posted by titusferguson on April 14, 2007

The last days of class are always great, the feeling of finishing up a course and finally handing in all the assignments is amazing.

But its quickly surpassed by feelings of dread, anxiety, and fear. Exams.

Unlike a lot of lucky arts students, over at science all our courses have finals. So this year, like every year,  I’ve got five exams.

First one is on Monday: Introduction to Logic 3 hrs

So please excuse me while I go study.

Posted in school | Leave a Comment »

Wrapping Up

Posted by titusferguson on April 11, 2007

So classes are winding down at school and its amazing how fast the second semester seems to go compared to the first. I feel like I just started most of these classes but here they are all ending.

Today I’m handing in a term paper for my philosophy of biology classes. The topic I chose was evolutionary origin theory, basically how life began. I presented the case that theories like that are not science, as per the definitions philosophers of science like Karl Popper and Michael Ruse present. I’m pretty proud of the paper and if anyone wants to read it let me know.

Also having checked my stats on this blog I see that two people subscribe to the RSS feed. I’d be curious to know who they are….

Posted in school, science | 4 Comments »