This caught my eye. Computer chips have long been increasing in performance, but always seem to be on the edge of running out of how much further they could go. How small could the components be? How fast? How tightly can they be stacked? They’ve been pressed into ever-smaller surfaces at ever-higher densities.
But now […]
A friend was complaining recently about an “absurdity” of multiple universes as portrayed on a recent PBS/Nova broadcast. Here’s a slightly edited version of my reply:
There are two general concepts of alternative universes; one is unknown and unknowable in our present understanding, the other is an absurdity that is considered by some to be […]
This is a rather nifty little short film about out-of-this-world technology:
Abiogenesis (Short Film) from Richard Mans on Vimeo.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
Just hours after I wrote of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket explosion, Virgin Galactica has suffered a similar fate. But this one has claimed at least one human life so far — the pilot — and the co-pilot is in bad shape. SpaceShipTwo apparently suffered an engine explosion moments after ignition, and after it was dropped from the WhiteKnightTwo mothership. This was the first in-flight explosion for the system, but there is a history here. […]
(In a conversation elsewhere, I responded to complaints about the “NASA rocket” exploding — and to suggestions that this stuff was not new technology and should be easy by now.) It was not, exactly, a NASA rocket. And it was indeed new technology. This was a launch contracted from NASA by Orbital Sciences, who have been having some trouble with their systems. Enough trouble to cause them to change the name of the rocket (from Taurus to Antares, kind of “anti-Taurus”) to avoid bad vibes/publicity/luck. SpaceX is doing rather better, so far. […]
I am older than most folks. I got into computers relatively early, and was making my living from computers full-time by the mid-1970s. While I am not big on social media per se, I did get involved with LiveJournal early on, and was one of its first lifetime paid users as it was rocketing into popularity (before MySpace and FaceBook and Twitter). So this recent XKCD strip was a bit poignant: […]
We are relaxing to the idea of every communication between us being monitored by a government that considers the other political party to be “enemies.” (Isn’t it odd that President Obama will talk about compromises with Iranian jihadists, but not with Republicans?) As has been revealed recently, NSA has off-shore sites making their gathering of email lists from Americans technically legal. So, despite recent court activity and supposed “executive actions,” this would not be affected: […]
To avoid government snooping into the contents of emails, many people use encryption. But if you use Microsoft Outlook, there’s a problem with this: Microsoft helpfully saves the unencrypted version of the email for the NSA before doing the encryption for you, according to this UK article: […]
This article caught my attention, and combines my interests in bioscience, computer science, and Shakespeare: […]
A thoughtful post from a friend of a friend has me thinking about the issue of torture. Is it permissable? Is it moral? Is it right? Not quite the same questions, and I wrote a sort of a rambling reply to her about a framework for considering this unpleasant topic: […]