Saturday, July 08, 2006

Soaked at the outsource

I just thought this was interesting- the monsoon season in India has knocked out a large number of call centers for tech firms like Hewlett-Packard. I know this shows my age, but I still can't get my head around the idea that I'm calling the other side of the world for tech support for something I bought down the street. Here's a quote that shows I'm not the only one:

"Is it just me, or is it madness that because of flooding thousands of miles away, I can't get a technician who probably lives a few miles away called out to fix our printer?"

And just for laughs, some of the funniest tech support stories.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blonde and brunette mammoths

Sequencing of ancient DNA from mammoth remains has revealed that these animals had genetic variations in hair color. The hair found with frozen or buried mammoths has been studied for a long time and can be quite variable in color, but it has always been uncertain if the hair color were natural or, well, if they were bottle blondes. Peat bogs as a hairdresser, who knew?
On a more serious note, this is the first complete gene sequence recovered from ancient nuclear DNA.

A companion paper in science shows that the same mutation observed in mammoth DNA has also
been under positive evolutionary selection in a population of beach dwelling mice.

I guess you'd have to call it a sandy blonde.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ten most difficult feats in sports

In honor of Jens Lehmann's heroics last night in the Germany-Argentina game, here's a list of the 10 hardest things to do in sports. . Blocking a penalty kick comes in 9th. Walking and chewing gum, my most recent feat, I assume requires a separate listing.