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Archive: September 7, 2003

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Sunday,  09/07/03  08:38 AM

Good Morning!  The Ole filter makes another pass...

Galileo spacecraftThe New Yorker has a nice review of Galileo, the spacecraft which has been orbiting Jupiter for the past eight years.  On September 21 it will plummet into the planet, having finally used up its fuel.  This mission shows space ingenuity at its finest, at many points scientists had to redesign the mission and reconfigure software to work around problems, but ultimately it was an extremely valuable scientific probe.

The Economist surveys the European software patent situation: A Clicking Bomb.  Interestingly they contrast the proposed legislation in Europe with the existing legislation in American.  They note [correctly] that if the European protections are weaker than those in the U.S., it will cause innovators to move to the U.S.  So unfortunately the U.S. is setting the pace for the world.

You know what I think - all patents are bad.  There just isn't really any such thing as intellectual property.

Tom Coates: (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything.  "Mass-amateurisation is EVERYWHERE...  Fundamentally it's because the gap between what can be accomplished at home and what can be accomplished in a work environment has narrowed dramatically over the last ten to fifteen years."  This is really true - writing, photography, music, video - you name it, the professionals no longer have the technological barrier to entry over amateurs that they once had.

baby loggerhead turtleDepartment of unintended consequences: Turtles lured to disco death in Greece.  "Environmentalists say that loggerhead turtles scramble out at night from eggs in the sand and instinctively head for the brightest horizon - normally the white foam of waves under the stars.  But neon lights from discos and cafes along the back of the beach are often fatally brighter."  Poor little guys.

BUG yellow piece in trafficThe Big Urban Game (BUG) is a citywide game that turns the Twin Cities into a 108-square mile giant game board.  "Three teams race three giant (26 feet high) inflatable game pieces -- Red, Yellow and Blue -- from three different starting points along three different routes between checkpoints in Minneapolis and St. Paul to a shared destination at the west end of the Lake Street/Marshall Street bridge."  Looks really cool (pictures here).

I'm trying X1, a new desktop application which searches your files and email.  The promise of finding files or email fast is great - Outlook's search takes forever - but so far it seems to be a victim of "creeping featurism".  It hate it when a tool you use for function A tries to take over your desktop and do X, Y, and Z, too.  (RealPlayer is like that.)  Stay tuned for the verdict...

 
 

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