Long Exam Part 2

I’m halfway through my Constitutional Law take-home exam and frankly, it’s torture. I’m not going to get into the details but I find it extremely frustrating. (So much so that I had to stop working on it to update this site, even though I really have nothing to say.)

Constitutional Law Exam Begins Tomorrow

T = -1 day.
Tomorrow I pick up my Constitutional Law exam. It’s a take home so I’ll be subjected to a grueling 48 hours of eat, sleep, and Constitutional Law. Oh yeah!!!
It’s “limited open book” so I’ll be forced to stare at the closed cover the Emanuel law outline (the only place to get a clear explanation of anything) while my cheater classmates (no evidence, it just seems probable) discuss the test over a pint at the BU pub. Oh the burden of my honest ways…

Google Answers

Not that I’m obsessed with Google, but they’re doing something really cool called “Google Answers“. People submit a question and pay for it to be answered by one of the researchers. Who are the researchers? They’re just people who want to pick up a few bucks doing research. Anyone can apply to be one. 75% of the price goes to the researcher. The other 25% goes to Google of course. I’ve always wondered how this company was going to make money. They started selling ads and licensing their technology to companies, but I don’t know if this is paying the bills. Is this a brilliant idea to take advantage of their vast traffic resources, or are they just desperate to monetize their audience?
One thing I noticed when checking out the questions people have been asking: There’s a reason they’re willing to pay to have these answered. If the questions were easy you could just type them into Google and see what you get.
The interesting thing to see (assuming this thing takes off) will be to see how Google incorporates the new content (the answers I mean) into their search. They could copy the Ask Jeeves question and answer concept but do it much better because their ability to answer the questions is so scaleable. (There’s no reason why a million people couldn’t be “researchers” they only get paid when someone is willing to pay. Google spends no money except to maintain the infrastructure.)

The Sweetest Sound

Another day of studying… I took a break today to notice that Google is about to update their index. (They update first on other servers: www2.google.com and www3.google.com. Then the main index gets updated.) What does all this mean? It means that this page will soon (within a day I hope) be ranked #1 for the search term “Andrew Sinclair“. It only makes sense that I should be the first result in a Google search for me, but there is competition. Hundreds of other Andrew Sinclair’s are out there trying to steal my identity. That reminds me of a great documentary called The Sweetest Sound about names. It’s by a filmmaker named Alan Berliner. He finds a bunch of other people named Alan Berliner and invites them to dinner. They’re all introducing themselves: “Hi, Alan Berliner, nice to meet you.” “Hi, Alan Berliner.” Pretty interesting stuff.

London Panoramic Photos

There’s a cool collection of panoramic photos on urban75.org. These aren’t panoramic in the sense that they’re cropped and enlarged to create a long/skinny picture. (I’ve always been annoyed at those camera manufacturers who try to make it seem like you’re getting “more” in by using the panoramic feature.) These photos, however, are full 360 degree views – in motion! Check out the Cambridge Circus photo. I once saw a helicopter land right where the camera is. Four guys in uniforms got out and started running. I never did figure out what was going on.

Notebook Art

Another day of mostly studying. Looking through my property notes today, I saw that I had drawn some pretty cool little shapy things. I thought I’d share a couple of the best:

Pointless Protest

My outline for contracts class consumed most of my day, but I took some time out to go to an anti-war rally and march. I don’t go to a lot of these things, not because I don’t agree with the cause, but because I can’t figure out what the cause is. Today’s rally was pretty much structured around promoting peace and peaceful resolutions of the “war on terrorism”. Of course, there were many other messages being thrown around. The march was set to coincide with the big protest in Washington DC, but weren’t they protesting the Israel / Palestine conflict? Or was it the World Bank and IMF?
The problem with these things is that there is no clear message. The point of a protest is raise awareness, but media reports focus on the number of protesters, the nature (violent / non-violent), the police action, and the local impact (closed roads etc.). They don’t mention anything substantive. Why? It’s not the media. It’s the protesters. We can’t decide what goal we’re furthering.