Bill Gates is no longer the world's richest man

I missed this story when it came out a few days ago.

Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim has taken the crown with a net worth of $67.8 billion, according to estimates by a respected financial news site in Mexico, as reported by multiple news services.

The main reason: a 27 percent surge in the stock price of Slim’s wireless company, America Movil, in the second quarter.

Why rent? To get richer.

An article I probably only like because it re-affirms my own decisions.

Shares have been remarkably consistent over the past two centuries in their 7% real returns. In Jeremy Siegel’s book “Stocks for the Long Run,” he finds that real returns averaged 7% over nearly seven decades ending in 1870, then 6.6% through 1925 and then 6.9% through 2004.

The average real return for houses over long periods might surprise you: It’s virtually zero.

Ladanian Tomlinson is pissed

So, LT is pissed after the Patriots beat the Chargers yesterday. All over the news he was quoted as saying:

When you go to the middle of our field and start doing the things that Shawne Merriman is known for, that’s disrespectful.

However, I watched the game, I’ve searched google, searched youtube, watched NFL Primetime, and seen quite a bit of news coverage and I have yet to see any pictures or videos of that happening. Where are they? It wouldn’t terribly surprise me if it happened, but for the thousands of cameras on that game I am surprised I haven’t seen any pictures of it.

I think this article is a pretty good response to LT’s comments. Not only does Shawn Merriman dance after celebrating a play against a competitor, but in fact he does it so often that he’s known for a particular dance, is evidently ok by LT. If an opponent does the exact same thing, it becomes “classless.” I’m also not so sure preventing non-in-state residents from buying tickets is a classy move… nor was Drayton Florence headbutting Daniel Graham in front of a referee. There were a lot of things that went down this weekend that weren’t exactly “classy”, but they went down on both sides.

News at Seven

This is a pretty amazing bit of technology. Watching it is not a great experience, but it demonstrates a lot of little technologies assembled together to produce some cool results.

They scrape the web (blogs, news sources, etc) daily for what’s newsworthy, come up with a summary (automatically) and have a text-to-speech engine and some computer animated people deliver it. They also scrape for images and videos to run behind the people much like in the news. The voices are surprisingly choppy and non-human, but it’s still cool that every bit of the process is automated:

I watched the 11/17 update and it’s kind of funny how the videos map to what she’s saying. At one point she mentioned Bush, and the video of him flipping off the camera played in the background.

OJ Simpson is insane.

OJ Simpson is writing a book entitled If I Did It


The early part of the book tells how Simpson fell in love with Nicole and how the marriage collapsed, reports the tab. He goes on, according to the article, to describe in gruesome detail the killing of his ex-wife and Goldman; he stipulates that the murder scenes are “hypothetical.” But, notes the tab, the descriptions are “so detailed and so chillingly realistic” that readers are left with little doubt as to what really happened.

Another article
suggests the title will be If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened.

Absolutely amazing.

Cool Color Trick

My dad sent me this link. It’s pretty cool, and one of the few cases where he can relate part of his work (as a color scientist) to something I can understand.

The colored image that you stare at has the color chroma data reversed. When you bring the mouse into the field you will suddenly see a full color image appear, and then fade to B&W as your eyes adapt to black and white image. The color you see for a short instant is based upon the eye locally adapting to the previous negative color image.

Firefox 2.0 and the use of democratic features

Anti-phishing in Firefox

Lifehacker covers some of the new features of the upcoming Firefox 2.0. The fact that it will support google suggest and integrate with bloglines seem useful to me personally. A more interesting feature though is this anti-phishing/forgery one (pictured).

It seems to track phishing sites based on some central database, and people can “rate” a site as a forgery or not (I’m guessing by the “This isn’t a web forgery” link). I imagine it isn’t purely a human-generated list of sites, but I think the trend towards democratic, “wisdom of crowds“-type features is going to increase in browsers. Right now there are some Firefox plugins that fall into this category (stumbleupon comes to mind).

A lot of the web-2.0 apps these days rely on some democratic way for users to affect the experiences of the community. For example, if enough people digg a story it makes it to the front page, where it’s viewed by more people. It’s also common for even older sites like craigslist to offer features like “report this post as offensive” and rely on their user base to filter out content that might be inappropriate for other users.

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