Mark Zuckerberg might be a creep

In Mark Zuckerberg, People on Saturday 3rd May, 2014 by Guy Tagged: , , , ,

You might have heard of Mark Zuckerberg. He founded a website called Facebook (originally Thefacebook, originallyer Facemash).

Before that, Zuckerberg developed an MP3 player, Synapse Media Player (website defunct). Some people didn’t like it, going so far as to claim it ripped off the venerable Winamp. However, Zuckerberg claimed he and his co-developer were offered almost a million US dollars for it. Maybe. But then he also claimed he might make release the player’s source code, and ten years later he still hasn’t, so maybe we shouldn’t necessarily believe everything he says.

The big deal about the player was that it was supposed to automatically pick the next song you would want to listen to. And why did Zuckerberg think you would want to do that? According to the original website (now defunct, remember?):

At some point in every man’s life, he’s bound to find himself in bed with a Chinese girl. It may happen suddenly, and you may not remember how it happened, but it will happen — I guarantee that. When the time comes he needs to be ready. He needs his full arsenal at hand. And by this I mean music. Too many times has the playlist run short on soft acoustic guitar songs, quieting the room to an awkward silence and giving the Chinese girl a chance to reconsider what she’s about to do. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s not pretty.

As a matter of fact, it’s happened to me. And so we have spent the better part of the last six months of our lives making sure it doesn’t happen to you. Because if it ever does, you won’t be able to say “Why the hell doesn’t my MP3 player just know what songs I want it to play?”

We’ve got you covered. Use the Brain.

Thanks, but no thanks. And to try to cover this up, a copy of his website has been excluded from the Internet Archive.


A class act all round. Perhaps eventually a Chinese girl married him for a reason other than his personality?


Inferring influenza infection from antibody titres using Bayesian mixture modelling

In Uncategorized on Monday 12th September, 2011 by Guy

venice.pdf Download this file

Yes, I know there’s a typo in the title on the first slide. Think of
it as a beauty spot.


How is Holon written in English?

In Uncategorized on Wednesday 1st June, 2011 by Guy



Behind the “Great” Firewall

In Uncategorized on Sunday 30th January, 2011 by Guy

The following seems quite apt as I sit in a freezing Starbucks in China, getting around the national Facebook-blocking firewall by the simple use of email.



Thesis submitted

In Uncategorized on Thursday 7th October, 2010 by Guy

Download now or preview on posterous

thesis.pdf (1033 KB)

I submitted my PhD thesis just over a week ago. If only to ensure it wasn't a dream, I'm putting it here so you can read it too (read it below). You can always see the most up-to-date version here (because I'm almost certainly going to have to change it before being granted that degree).

As a reward I am now planning a two-week trip through the south of France. I will post updates about this in the next few days…


Nauseating diplomat-speak; or, how not to sing your country’s praises, even if you’ve spent 3 seconds preparing your speech

In Uncategorized on Sunday 15th August, 2010 by Guy

I'm glad I have a strong constitution, otherwise I'd have started vomiting when I read this:

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz is hoping that an original copy of Albert Einstein’s E=mc2 manuscript in his country’s pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo will prove the right formula to attract Chinese trade.


“E is energy, and we don’t have any oil to offer the world, and M is mass, or a massive number of consumers, and we can’t offer that either,” Steinitz said, speaking at the inauguration yesterday of the Israel pavilion. “C is speed of light though, and in Judaism, light represents wisdom, and that we can offer.”

Not much wisdom there, Mr. Steinitz. Who writes your speeches? Fire them, please. (Mr. Steinitz seems like an interesting character, though, despite this slip into atrocious trope-usage; for example, he published a very popular book about philosophy while he was under 30. Vote for him to be high in the Likud list! In 2008).



Einstein (TM)

In Uncategorized on Sunday 15th August, 2010 by Guy

Baby Einstein is a load of junk (even Time magazine, that ceaseless purveyor of junk, says so!) that preys on parents' well-meaning desire to make sure their children don't end up as illiterate drug addicts.

But at least every time someone falls for the trap a little money goes to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI), because according to Baby Einstein's homepage, right there at the bottom,

EINSTEIN is a trademark of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

which means they probably had to buy a licence to then trademark Baby Einstein, Einstein Pals and Little Einsteins.

That's also the reason why GM was sued by HUJI. Nice.

Here's the official trademark registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It seems that the registration was only filed in 2003, and confirmed in 2009. Bizarro.

Here's the list of products they've registered his name for:

IC 014. US 002 027 028 050. G & S: Clocks, watches, non-monetary coins, jewelry, pens and mechanical pencils of precious metal

IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Address books, prints, agendas, decals, stickers, appointment books, art paper, art prints, bookmarks, blank journals, pens, pencils, writing instruments, book covers, printed instructional, educational, and teaching materials and paper teaching materials, all in the fields of entertainment, mathematics, science and software; printed invitations, series of fiction books; series of non-fiction books in the field of science, math, physics, and self-help; bumper stickers, calendars, check books, check book covers, pencil cases, wire bound notebooks, crayons, drawing instruments, drawing paper; educational books in the field of entertainment, mathematics, science and software; gift cards, globes, greeting cards, folders, document folders in the form of wallets, three ring binders, writing pads, insect habitats, note paper, paper weights, photograph albums, stationery, photographs, postcards, posters, study guides, trading cards, wrapping paper, paper bags, paper and cardboard cut-out figures for use as wall decorations, life-size standup cardboard cutouts, pen and pencil holders, three dimensional models for educational purposes

IC 018. US 001 002 003 022 041. G & S: luggage; umbrellas; all purpose sports bags, backpacks, bookbags, handbags, school bags, shoulder bags, wallets, and credit card cases, all made of leather or imitation leather

IC 020. US 002 013 022 025 032 050. G & S: Non-metal key chains; busts, figurines, sculptures, ornaments and desktop statuary of bone, plaster, plastic, wax and wood; mirrors, handheld mirrors

IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: Busts, figurines, sculptures, ornaments and desktop statuary of crystal, china, earthenware, glass, porcelain and terra cotta; mugs, cups, containers for household or kitchen use, cookie jars, dinnerware, flower pots, glass beverageware, non-metal decorative boxes, salt and pepper shakers, vases

IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, pants, shirts, dresses, suits, socks, footwear, headwear, pants, bandanas, neckwear, coats, jackets, beachwear, undergarments

IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Games, playthings and toys, namely, action figures, bobble head dolls, card games, board games, action skill games, arcade games, baby multiple activity toys, bathtub toys, bubble making wand and solution sets, pet toys, chess sets, children's multiple activity toys; educational products in the nature of learning toys and games, namely, multiple activity toys for children and babies, action figures, and puzzles; athletic sporting goods, namely, athletic wrist and joint supports; Christmas tree decorations, costume masks, crib mobiles, electronic educational game machines for children, exercise equipment, namely, manually operated jogging machines, powered treadmills, stair-stepping machines, rowing machines, abdominal boards, stationary cycles, equipment for chest pulls, weight lifting machines, exercise platforms, exercise tables, trampolines, treadmills, weight cuffs, weights, wrist weights, weight lifting benches and accessories therefor, exercising pulleys, aerobic step machines, aerobic steps, weight lifting gloves, yoga mats, ankle and wrist weights; flying discs, golf clubs, infant development toys, infant toys, kaleidoscopes, kites, magic tricks, marbles, mechanical toys, musical toys, party games, party favors in the nature of small toys, play figures, playing cards, puppets, puzzles, sand toys, skateboards, snow globes, stuffed toys, sport balls, toy models, namely, toy model cars, toy butterfly nets, toy rockets, toy vehicles, toy watches, toy model hobby craft kits, water squirting toys, wind socks, wind-up toys, yo-yos

Quite the haul… I've looking forward to buying my Albert Einstein (TM) undergarment.

More information here.


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