This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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March 2006
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Cool But Less Fun

Three cosmic enigmas, one audacious answer
(Zeeya Merali, New Scientist)

DARK energy and dark matter, two of the greatest mysteries confronting physicists, may be two sides of the same coin. A new and as yet undiscovered kind of star could explain both phenomena and, in turn, remove black holes from the lexicon of cosmology.

The audacious idea comes from George Chapline, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and Nobel laureate Robert Laughlin of Stanford University and their colleagues. Last week at the 22nd Pacific Coast Gravity Meeting in Santa Barbara, California, Chapline suggested that the objects that till now have been thought of as black holes could in fact be dead stars that form as a result of an obscure quantum phenomenon. These stars could explain both dark energy and dark matter.

(via Digg)

New Graph: Email Backlog

For the first time in quite a long time… a new graph!

Sam’s Email Backlog

In May 2005 I started tracking how many emails were still unanswered in my inbox.  As usual, I am very far behind.  Soon after I started also tracking the age of the oldest unanswered emails in my inbox.  That one is even sadder.  For completeness, I added a third grapoh showing the number of emails in my unsorted spam folder.  That is where all the automatically filtered spam is, but I look through it periodically to find items falsly identified as spam.  That seems to be running about 1 in 1000 messages in that older.  Anyway, here are the three graphs.

Of course, sometime I should update the old graphs too!

Chessmaster 9000 (Mac) Sucks

So, I’ve been working my way up the Chessmaster Personality ladder.

* Cassie (Rating 23) – Beat on first game
* Pete (Rating 37) – Beat on first game
* Niko (Rating 57) – Beat on first game
* Ben (Rating 84) – I was completely dominating on the first game, but messed up and caused a stalemete, I beat him on the second game

Then the trouble started

* Petra (Rating 311) – I was crushing her and about to deliver mate and the GAME CRASHED. No record of my game remained. I played her again and crushed her again.
* Parker (Rating 313) – I was delivering checkmate and the GAME CRASHED AGAIN. Once again leaving no record of the game.

Please understand… I have made sure to record every move of every game of chess I have played… or even started to play but not finished… since I was in 8th grade. I suck at chess, but I had been sure to do that. Every game.

But when I play computers, I don’t hand write down the games. Because when it is over I can save it or print it or whatever. I now, for the first time in something like 20 years, have two games I played that I do not have the moves for. I suck at chess. Badly. So it isn’t like these games are to be studied or something. It is just something I have done and been proud that I’ve had a complete set. Now I don’t.

This isn’t quite as bad as the email meltdown of 2004, but it is up there.

I now know that I can not play Chessmaster 9000 unless I want to take the extra effort to hand write every move as a backup.

I have yet to decide if that is worth it.

Chessmaster bastards.

(And yes, I installed the two available patches to make sure I am completely up to date. Those supposidly fixed the bugs it had with Tiger, but perhaps there are new Rosetta bugs that they haven’t fixed yet.)

Anyway, I’m very unhappy at the moment.