Picture this:

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around privacy?

Can more invasive social contact by others indicate shrinking boundaries around our privacy?

It’s nearly 10 p.m., and you’re at home, brushing your teeth. Your iPhone starts screaming. You snap to attention, no thanks to that inherent anxiety that accompanies living as a young single woman in an urban environment. You grudgingly answer the phone, hoping to be greeted by an automated pharmacy reminder’s monotone, and not a friend needing a ride at this time of night. Instead, it’s some dude asking if you’ve heard about Prop Something for the third time and if you have a few minutes to talk. You grit your teeth and try muster up some manners.

Sound like last night? Join the club.
As you all know elections are today, November 6th. While we’re excited to be casting our ballots, we believe we can speak for nearly all in lamenting over the amount of recent “encouragement” we’ve received to cast those votes. Just this week alone, we’ve received half a dozen calls from local campaigns encouraging either a vote for a particular candidate, or a yea or nay on a particular measure (We’re looking at you, “Yes on Prop 32″-ers.) It’s a given that building support through direct contact methods like telephone calls is far from new, but we’d like to make a case for some boundaries around the use of those methods. Call us old-fashioned, but we fondly regard that old (and apparently outdated) custom of refraining from calling a lady after dark.

We all love Google. No matter how many ads we see about Bing beating Google in blind tests, we’ll still use Google. So Calmail switching over to Google Apps (and basically Gmail) is great. Also, the new CalMail will be called bMail. Just throwing that out there to avoid confusion.

Or is it? read more »

You may have seen some of the “Date My School” fliers recently posted around campus.
Date my school? What? Like back in the 90’s where TV commercials showed kids professing their love for breakfast cereal, only to have a sibling tease, “then why don’t you marry it?” Well, turns out DateMySchool.com is actually a student-oriented dating site (like Match.com or OKCupid.com), but it’s exclusively for current college students and alumni. Created by Jean Myer and Balazs Alexa of Brooklyn, NY, the new site aims to network like-minded undergrads and graduates looking for everything from “cuddling” to “long-term dating.” (Yes, cuddling is a checkable item under a user’s “looking for” section.) read more »

Say good-bye

Say good-bye

Anyone who has gotten a visit of Security Systems 2011 on their computer knows how annoying and potentially devastating malware viruses can be. Unfortunately, Cal researchers Adrienne Porter Felt, Matthew Finifter, Erika Chin, Steve Hanna and David Wagner conclude that malware is spreading to mobile phones and will eventually “rival the desktop malware landscape.”

In their study entitled “A Survey of Mobile Malware in the Wild,” the research team analyzed the “incentives” behind 46 pieces of iOS, Android and Symbian malware that spread between January 2009 and June 2011. read more »

windows funny logoFinally managed to tame your Windows PC? Microsoft says, “Good! Here comes Windows 8.”

We knew it was coming, but why so soon? People always complain when a company updates a product line (we’re looking at you, Apple). However, consumers justify the corporate evils as long as the product in question proves itself to be a significant upgrade. Microsoft promises this by showing off a Windows 8 PC with amazing boot up times and a tablet-like interface that allows one to customize his or her own Metro Apps (think App Store except it’s Windows).

Fast computers and pretty eye candy are important to students, but reliability and stability are more important. The Clog surveyed a handful of Berkeley students and obtained … interesting results. read more »


For all of you on some kind of financial aid (and given the 32 percent fee increase hullaballoo, we’re guessing that’s most people) we here at the Clog would like to post a friendly reminder.

FAFSA is due MARCH 2. This applies to returning undergrads as well as prospective freshies, so everyone should be on the alert.

Don’t groan about it, either. This year it’s supposed to be easier due to a mysterious thing called “skip logic,” in which the computer decides which questions are irrelevant based on questions you’ve already answered.

And while that sounds like just the kind of subtle robot takeover Sam Waterston warned us about, we have to be grateful that this financial sucker is a little easier to deal with.

Now be good boys and girls and fill your FAFSA out early. Post-FAFSA bliss is just around the corner.

Image source: Ingorrr under Creative Commons
Key student financial aid deadline March 2 [San Francisco Chronicle]


You science-y people will understand this–the rest of us will dream up outlandishly awesome but completely unfounded visions ofStar Wars”-esque laser battles. Brace yourselves: Particle accelerators are going micro, at least if the BELLA team at our trusty Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have anything to say about it. They’re working on condensing the gargantuan physics instruments into a “desktop” form that will shoot particles inches, not miles. Take what you will from this mumbo jumbo: read more »

The Nano Song from nanomonster on Vimeo.

Alright, so this video is kinda walking the fine line between nerdy and nerdier, especially since puppets and science are involved–but we figured, hey, who seriously turns down the chance to learn stuff about obscure topics by way of kid-friendly, nostalgia-inducing musical number? That’s right, no one.

Also, vote for “The Nano Song,” in ACS Nanotation’s NanoTube Contest and support your Berkeley brethren. (Sistren? Kinfolk? Compadres? You get the idea … )

The Nano Song [Vimeo]

The books will not burn in Berkeley. With the passage of Measures FF and GG, Berkeley will witness a long overdue renovation for public libraries and a halt on fire station closures, at the sake of an additional $100 annual property tax for Berkeley homeowners. [TMCnet]

Berkeley’s Measure KK was rejected by 77 percent. It’s implications leave many happy, but most are just confused. The voters have spoken: we don’t want the right to vote. [SFGate]

UC Berkeley saves the world again, this time by offering free downloads (two words that are made for each other). Bay Area commuters look forward to the new cell phone program that will save their souls from Bay Area traffic hell. [CBS5]

In the e-mail world, UC Berkeley and UCSD feed us spam, and learn that about 1 out of every 12,500,000 asks for seconds. Dear reader, if you’re that guy, we judge you. [PC World]

UC Berkeley professor Richard Karp is awarded a prize in advanced technology today in Japan. His work allows for the measurement of difficulty of other computational programs. Three cheers for Karp! [KMPH FOX]

Earlier: UC Berkeley Under a Microscope

Merriam-Webster seems behind the times in proclaiming 2007 as the year of “w00t.” An online poll on the dictionary’s Web site determined the word, and the Clog thinks some 1337 haxor pulled something on dear Merriam-Webster.

Besides, wasn’t “w00t” so high school? You’d think that being bloggers we’d be up on the nexus of technology and language … but we think we’ve gone beyond the phase of 1337 speak.

Merriam Webster’s president, John Morse explains the trend behind the word of ’07:

bq. It’s a term that’s arrived only because we’re now communicating electronically with each other.

Yes, that makes sense. Pagers, cell phones, computers, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail and blogs didn’t really peak until 2007. Man, to think that only a year ago we were still using carrier pigeons. What a n00b. Or is it “nub” now?

Image Source: Felipe Micaroni Lalli under Creative Commons
Merriam-Webster’s Word of ’07: ‘W00t’ [AP via SF Chronicle]

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