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Somebody at school this afternoon said 'it's almost comforting to have a tragedy [referring to the plane accident] which doesn't have anything to do with terrorists.'

Cost of bombing campaign: $1 Billion per month.

Jeff Gordon has clinched NASCAR. He's the only decent (not a jerk, knows how to talk, knows how to drive 'real' racecars besides NASCRAP cars) driver there.

I was able to catch Simpsons' season premiere last night and I can safely say that show hasn't lost its bite or its edge.

Some might wonder whether we'll see Monsters, Shrek, or Final Fantasy level graphics on a console soon. Well, the X-Box, PS2, and GameCube are making some beautifully rounded, high-res, well-textured, seamless worlds and figures. But consider this: each frame of Monsters took a section of Pixar's enormous render farm between 8 hours and 80 hours to render. Not the whole warehouse full of computers, but some of them. Say 10. Each of these is a very expensive, very dedicated, very fast accelerated rendering machine. Maybe each one is $5K-10K.

A game needs to run at 60 frames a second to look fluid and seamless on a TV. So, a game-playing machine costing ~$300 needs to do 60 times per second what it currently takes tens of thousands of dollars in multiple professional rendering hardware 80 hours to do once.

Now, I'll grant that you probably don't need movie-screen level resolution for a personal video game system, and certainly no current affordable TV or monitor technology is able to display that many lines anyway. It's not necessary, because you just aren't going to have a screen the size of good theater screen in your home. And it's also true that if you could graph the realism or quality of the graphics on the Y-axis and the time required on the X-axis, you'd find diminishing returns very quickly, and you'd find maybe the final 50% of the time only accounts for the top 15% of the realism sheen--the curve would start out steep and then level out, finally revealing an asymptotal relationship.

But still... I'm thinking that cheap console needs to be at least 2 million times faster than just one of those expensive professional rendering computers in order to do a reasonable high-definition TV-level facsimile at 60 fps. Heck, how long would it take to get a console that could equal a render computer?

Loosely using Moore's Law, I estimate it would take 35 years for realtime, affordable home graphics at the level of Final Fantasy or Shrek or Monsters. Moore's Law is quite flawed, of course. But I think there will be quite a few years in between where the graphics don't seem to show all that much improvement generation to generation--and the work, money, and time required to create seamless worlds, stories, artificial intelligence and artificial life, accurate physics, and self-evolving game universes will be by far the limiting factors.

No, the government is not paranoid. I would say predatory before I'd say paranoid. We are property of the United States Government, largest company in the world. Ever read the fine print on your birth certificate? Ever wondered why your name is capitalized on governmental documents? Oooooohh, scary.

No bike pics today. But here is a bike video you won't want to miss. This is a bike parade. 2500+ bikes escorted by local police. Crowds gather to watch and cheer. Watch the guy on the GSX-R1000. Nah, he shouldn't be doing a wheelie that close to all those people. Yah, that bike has too much power for someone who doesn't respect it. But nobody got hurt, the guy didn't have full insurance and so payed for his stupidity with the $12000 he spent on the bike and mods, his somersault is great, and the 'gravitationally-challenged' woman at the end is sweeping the net!

Oh maybe just one: sometimes you don't need a front wheel.