Saturday, December 17, 2005
  Less than a handful left...
#6: See CBC: First World War vet honoured at funeral

Paul Métivier died at 104 in 2004.

#5: See CBC: First World War veteran dies at 106
Clare Laking, 106, died at Toronto's Sunnybrook and Women's Health Sciences Centre on Saturday.

"Mr. Laking's passing leaves only four Canadian veterans from the Great War," the hospital said in a news release issued Sunday.

"It is believed that he was the last Canadian World War I veteran to have seen action, having fought on the front line."

#4: See CBC: Veteran of 'Great War' will be missed

One of Canada's last veterans of the First World War, William 'Duke' Procter, has died. He was 106.

Procter was remembered as a man who was full of life: he went skydiving when he turned 100 and was still driving his car until the age 102.

The surviving veterans:


and from

With the passing of Mr. Procter and Mr. Laking, Canada has only three known surviving Veterans of the First World War:

  • Lloyd Clemett, Toronto, ON
  • P. Dwight Wilson, Oshawa, ON
  • John F. Babcock, Spokane, WA

2005 is the Year of the Veteran: Celebrate. Honour. Thank. Remember. Teach. Microsoft Denies Changes in Vista Graphics
"Because WPF is largely written in managed code on the common language runtime, it never ran in kernel mode. There are elements of WPF (called the MIL) that are written in unmanaged code, but that code also largely runs (and always has run) in user mode. Insofar as WPF needs to touch kernel mode stuff (e.g., drivers), it interacts with them through the existing DirectX APIs. The user mode and kernel mode aspects of the WPF architecture haven't changed,"

So WPF was never in kernel mode, so it's not like MS is moving it out of the kernel in the first place. Lame tech reporter at

  Globe and Mail: 'It's going to be a great trial,' Black says
“I think you can figure out what's going on here,” Lord Black said as he left a Chicago courtroom yesterday after pleading not guilty to charges of racketeering, money laundering, obstruction of justice and fraud. He declined further comment other than to say “Merry Christmas to all of you. It's going to be a great trial” before stepping into a silver Cadillac SUV which whisked him to the airport.

Just as the hearing was about to begin, officials with the U.S. Attorney's office handed a small box to Lord Black's lawyers. The box contained compact discs loaded with 1.3 million documents that prosecutors have gathered as part of their investigation in the Hollinger case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Sussman told Judge St. Eve during the hearing that he expects to turn over another 500,000 documents to Lord Black's legal team as part of the discovery process, which takes place before trials so that defendants can prepare. “That's documents, not pages,” Mr. Sussman added.

Judge St. Eve said that because of the vast amount of material and the complexity of the case, Lord Black's trial won't start until March 5, 2007, at the earliest. It is expected to last at least three months.

Mr. Boultbee nearly found himself in violation of his bail yesterday. He was supposed to put up $1.5-million as part of his bail conditions, but when the money was transferred to the U.S. Attorney's office from Canada, the bank withheld $12. Mr. Boultbee's lawyers were told about the shortfall by the U.S. Attorney's office shortly before yesterday's arraignment. As Judge St. Eve was about to take her seat, Mr. Boultbee dug into his pocket, pulled out the cash and handed it to his lawyer, thus avoiding possible imprisonment.

Friday, December 16, 2005
  Anandtech: ATI's Avivo Update - so why do we need the ATI GPU???

The other item of interest that ATI briefed us on is the ATI Avivo Video Converter.  We mentioned in our previous coverage that ATI was working on GPU accelerated video transcode, to speed up the conversion of videos from one format to another (e.g. MPEG-2 to H.264).  Unfortunately, the GPU accelerated transcode isn't yet ready for debut, but what ATI is making available is the software front end for it.

The Avivo Video Converter is an extremely simple utility that accepts just about any video input and converts it to just about any output (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VCD, SVCD, DVD, MPEG-4/DivX compatible, WMV9, Portable Media Center, H.264/avi, MPEG-4/PSP and H.264/iPod).  The particularly neat features of the utility are built-in presets for converting video to Sony PSP and iPod Video formats.  However, keep in mind that despite ATI's release of this tool, the video conversion itself is done entirely on the host CPU and not on the GPU.  So why bother?  Well, thanks to ATI's experience in dealing with video, they have optimized a number of the transcoding algorithms so that conversion using the utility is actually faster than on other software solutions. 

So all the hype from ATI and they're not even using the 'power' of their GPU to do the transcoding. You'd think Intel or AMD would/could have done something like this. I know Intel has some software to do JPEG compression/decompression using SIMD instructions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
  NY Times: Beating Malaria Means Understanding Mosquitoes
Ahhh. The old 80/20 rule in effect again.

In Africa, 20 percent of the children get 80 percent of the bites from malarial mosquitoes, and an understanding of this could be central to controlling the deadly disease.

Thursday, December 08, 2005
  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Dumbledore DIES
Wikipedia saved me about 10 hours of reading...

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