Some nerd notes
- The UNIX clock will soon reach 1234567890 seconds. That will happen on February 13th, 2009, at 23:31:30 UTC. Is anyone going to celebrate?
The UNIX clock counts the number of seconds since January 1st, 1970, at 0:00 hours UTC. In 32-bit computers, the maximum date this clock can record is January 19th, 2038, at 3:14:07 UTC. In 64-bit computers, the maximum date is almost three hundred billion years in the future.
- When we buy something in a supermarket, the cashier will wave the product in front of the barcode scanner without having to worry about its orientation. How can that gadget read an upside-down barcode and not get it wrong?
Easy: the codes in a barcode make sense only when they are read in the correct direction, so it's just a matter of reading them in both directions at the same time and then use the code that could be deciphered.
- Speaking about barcodes: in the modern mobile phones you can buy in Europe and the USA we can install QR-code scanning applications (of course, they have had them in Japan for years now). QR codes are two-dimensional codes that can contain text, Internet addresses, contact information, etc.
In Japan you can see QR codes in billboards, and people can visit the associated website by only taking a photo of the billboard with their phone. Another idea is to put a QR code in the back of a business card; in that way, its recipient can store the contact information in their mobile phone without having to type everything.
- The first episode in the last season of Battlestar Galactica is aired today in the USA, and it will be aired next Tuesday in the UK and Ireland.
Who will the fifth cylon be?