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Archive: October 15, 2019

 

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Archive: September 25, 2012

one year in love

Tuesday,  09/25/12  10:18 PM

one year in love (my Renovo R4)From: Ole Eichhorn
Sent: Tuesday, Sept 24, 2012 6:20 PM
To: Ken Wheeler*; Nick Wood
Subject: One year! - lovin' it!


Greetings Ken and Nick –


It has now been a year since I took delivery of my spiffy Renovo R4, and I wanted to write you a love letter about it.  I knew I would like this bike, but it has exceeded my high expectations in every way. 


I’ve put about 6,000 miles on it in the past year, including the Furnace Creek 508 [right after I took delivery last year] and the Hoodoo 500 [about a month ago], and it is so darn comfortable on long rides I don’t know how I ever rode without it.  It climbs great – people are always amazed at how light it is (I have really light custom wheels, and the Di2 groupo is light too of course) – but what is amazing is the rock solid way it just motors along in the flats.  It is so smooth.  For an old guy like me it is perfect.


And oh yeah, it is beautiful!  Everywhere I go people admire it.  At the Hoodoo 500 start the announcer made a particular point of calling me to the front so he could show everyone “the first wooden bike we’ve ever had in the race”.  That was pretty cool.  Riding it around is like dating a supermodel, it sure gets positive attention.


Oh and by the way the Di2 has worked great … I was worried about the wiring and the battery in the seat post and all that, but the bottom line is I haven’t had any trouble with it.  The battery lasts forever and it is pretty much worry free.


Anyway I just wanted to report in and tell you how much I’ve enjoyed my Renovo.  If you ever need a testimonial from a customer, please let me know :)


Cheers

 

* Ken Wheeler is the founder and owner of Renovo Bicycles, Nick Wood is the guy who built my bike (and yeah, that really is his name :)


 
 

Archive: October 15, 2011

no joy in Baker

Saturday,  10/15/11  11:20 AM

Saturday midnight, Stovepipe Wells. Wondering if I'm going to make it.Well, I didn't make it.  No shame, but I am disappointed.

Sunday night at 9:30, having left Baker and on the road to Kelso, I stopped riding and got in the van.  After having born pain in my feet for two days, it suddenly became unbearable.  I wasn't so much as decision as an acknowledgement; I was again unable to finish the Furnace Creek 508.

This picture was taken Saturday midnight in Stovepipe Wells, icing my feet as I had about ten times during the day.  Wondering if I was going to make it.

If you're a friend or frequent reader you know, I rode this race in 2009 and made it 300 miles. This year I made it 400 miles. That feels like progress, but in one sense this the race is binary; you either go 508 miles and finish or you don't.  And I didn't finish then and I didn't finish now. The reasons were very different but the high-level result is the same. And yet it doesn't feel the same at all.

Here's a profile of the race course; the red lines are the time stations which delimit the race stages, the blue arrow shows how far I made it in 2009, and the green arrow shows how far I made it this year.

no joy in Baker, after 400 miles...

In 2009 I got off to a flying start and cruised into Death Valley four hours ahead of schedule.  Then the winds started to howl and my head blew up and I just couldn't take it.  After resting for a bit in Furnace Creek I struggled in the dark for a while before abandoning in Badwater.  Almost immediately I wished I'd kept trying, and in the two years since I've promised myself there would be a next time, and when there was I wouldn't stop. 

Death Valley: just me and my crew and 200 miles to go...This year I got off to a terrible start, lost my GPS unit and fifteen minutes searching for it three miles into the ride, and had my feet start hurting almost immediately.  By California City I was in serious pain, and switched bikes, pedals, shoes, and everything else to deal with it.  Icing my feet in a cooler seemed to be the only thing that worked, and that only for short periods of time.  I made it Randsburg, iced, made it to Trona, iced, made it through Panamint Valley, iced, and then vowed to summit Townes Pass.  I climbed it - in fine style, if I may say - and then descended down into Death Valley.  Yay; after more ice and a longish rest, onward into day two! 

But day two brought more pain, lots more ice, and lots of lost time while icing.  By the time I reached Shoshone I was running out of time and wearing down.  I vowed to reach Baker, and did.  From there I had 10 hours left to ride, with 120 miles and 7,000' of climbing.  Just barely doable.  I took off for Kelso, and suddenly I couldn't do it anymore.  The exhaustion and strain brought down my threshold of pain to the point where I couldn't continue.  Boo.

I will make a longer post with many of the great pictures which were taken but I must not end this one without thanking my amazing crew, Mitch Albo, Mark Elliot, and Gene Smith.  I also have to tell you about my new bike which was incredible, and about the van, which worked out perfectly, and so many other things ... please stay tuned!

 
 

Archive: October 1, 2010

the world's smallest elephant

Friday,  10/01/10  05:55 PM



The picture above shows the world's smallest elephant; a rather oddly shaped cell in a cluster of other cells imaged from a pap smear at 1/4 micron per pixel.  The elephant cell is about 4 microns across :) which is 4/1,000,000th of a meter.

 
 

Archive: October 12, 2009

Monday,  10/12/09  09:01 PM

Well it was a nice weekend, resting and relaxing (if you can count hosting fifty sixteen year olds relaxing :), but it's Monday night and I have a maximally busy week ahead.  In fact, I have a maximally busy two weeks ahead, bisected by the Solvang Double next Saturday, and this following the 508 last weekend and a busy last week.  Whew.  Anyway it's all good, although blogging may be intermittent...

Rocky the Flying SquirrelSpeaking of the 508; I was looking at the race stats; less than half of the solo competitors finished.  I'm still disappointed that I couldn't make it, but I was in good company.  They say it was the hardest 508 ever, because of the wind.  Wow, what a great year to be a rookie.  Well next year I'm going to finish no matter what.

Seawolf submarineIf you think the Nobel Peace Prize is as preposterous as I do (and believe me, it was preposterous long before it was awarded to Barack Obama for doing nothing; take the fact that it was awarded to Yasser Arafat for being a terrorist, for example) then you will enjoy this: for the Nobel Peace Prize, a better idea.  (The punch line, courtesy of an article in Time Magazine; it should have gone to nuclear weapons.  Which makes sense when you think about it.)  My own vote would be for the Seawolf submarine, for sheer coolness.

Another great comment: Obama fails to win Nobel Prize in Economics.  Which if you think about it, he's affected world economics a lot more than world peace...

And check this out: Decline is a Choice.  In which the point is made that by screwing up the U.S. Economy, President Obama may have unwittingly contributed significantly to a decline in world peace.  Let's hope not, but it is a cogent argument.

Oh, and the health care reform bill isn't such a good idea either: "PWC concluded that the cost of health insurance for the average family will rise by $4,000 by 2019, as compared with doing nothing."  I must tell you, this administration is even less competent than I feared.  Yikes.

Olivia Newton-JohnDid you know where HTML and hypertext came from?  Xanadu, of course...

And when we mention Xanadu, we run a gratuitous picture of Olivia Newton-John, because, well, that's what we do.

world's most beautiful object: this fireplaceAnd so this fireplace has been named the most beautiful object.  Well it is pretty cool, but I don't know how it compares to a Seawolf submarine... and I do know how it compares to Olivia Newton-John :)

Live in the Vast Plane: "Why is it that laptops and the internet have been around for a generation and yet the infrastructure we live in still doesn’t support them?  I’m talking primarily about travel... it’s bizarre to be in an airport and see business travelers scanning the scene hungrily - not for food, but for electrical sockets."  This is so true.  It's true inside airplanes, too; give me WiFi and power, please.  (Give me Virgin America every time, for this very reason.)

Dyson "bladeless" fan's bladesThe Dyson "bladeless fan"; the picture at right shows the blades.  What a crock.  It might be a nice fan, but it is not bladeless.  I know, I know, everyone loves their vacuum cleaners too, but I think Dyson is better at marketing than engineering...

s l o w motion bulletsHere we have bullet impacts in slow motion.  R e a l l y  slow motion.  As in 1M frames per second, how cool is that?  Very cool.  [ via kottke ]

Columbus' Day yachting...And finally, since this is Columbus Day, here's our sailing picture of the day...  [ via the horse's mouth ]

 

starry night

Monday,  10/12/09  10:10 PM




Starry Night

Van Gogh was awesome!

this was NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, how cool is that?


 
 

Archive: October 15, 2008

Wednesday,  10/15/08  10:27 PM

L o n g  day today...  whew.  Tired.  And a bit discouraged.  Today I found myself wondering, what's it all about?  Why do we work so hard?  What's the endgame?  Strange, I started out refreshed, feeling good, but somehow the day wore me down, and a business dinner finished me off.  Blech.

Obama and McCain bobbleheads...I didn't watch tonight's debate, did you?  What did you think?  The pundits seem to be scoring this one for McCain, slightly, but with the proviso that "it wasn't enough".  Maybe they're just being nice since the polls are showing he doesn't have a chance anymore :)

Dave Winer had an interesting idea for Obama: "say something nice".  I wonder if he did?

Here's the NYTimes recap...  they concede that McCain scored points, but don't think he scored enough, apparently...

At least - this time - it wasn't boring...  maybe I should have watched :)

Aptera typ-1 electric carPresenting the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awards for 2008...  Biggest winner appears to be the Aptera electric car.  [ via Instapundit ]

Check out this blog post from Elon Musk, my ex-boss at PayPal and one of the people I admire most, founder and CEO of SpaceX (which recently launched the first privately-financed satellite into orbit), and also founder and [now again] CEO of Tesla, one of the first viable electric car companies.  Note this especially:

One of the steps I will be taking is raising the performance bar at Tesla to a very high level, which will result in a modest reduction in near term headcount. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that the people that depart Tesla for this reason wouldn’t be considered good performers at most companies – almost all would. However, I believe Tesla must adhere more closely to a special forces philosophy at this stage of its life if we aspire to become one of the great car companies of the 21st century.

An interesting way to position a RIF.  Hmmm…

Google G1 smartphoneWalt Mossberg reviews the Google G1, and likes it quite a lot.  Here's the part that interested me: "By far, the G1’s biggest differentiator is that it has a physical keyboard, which is revealed by sliding open the screen."

Boo - didn't watch the game (good thing), but the Phillies trounced the Dodgers 5-1 this afternoon to wrap up the NLCS.  Crudbongers.  I was really looking forward to seeing the Dodgers back in the Series, I guess we'll have to wait 'till next year.  Between Philadelphia, Boston, and Tampa Bay I have no rooting interest in the remaining teams whatsoever.  I'll probably root for Tampa Bay, since they're the underdogs...  go Devil Rays!

 

 
 

Archive: October 15, 2007

 

Archive: October+15,+2006

Ole votes

Sunday,  10/15/06  03:38 PM

I spent this afternoon voting, in the comfort of my [home] office, with football playing in the background.  Picture me browsing to websites, reading the Official Voter Information Guide and the candidates' statements in the Sample Ballot, and actually spending time thinking about the issues.  Weird, isn't it?

I know, most people don't do this, most people have never heard of most of the candidates and don't trouble to inform themselves, most people don't understand the issues they're voting about.  So be it, our system is not perfect.

Anyway, here are my votes in case you wanted to know...

California State positions

  • Governor - Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Lieutenant Governor - Tom McClintock
  • Secretary of State - Bruce McPherson.  Tough call over Debra Bowen, even though she's way liberal.
  • Controller - Tony Strickland.  An uninformed decision but I like his website.
  • Treasurer - Claude Parrish.  This is a vote against Bill Lockyer.
  • Attorney General - Chuck Poochigian.  A vote against Jerry Brown.
  • Insurance Commissioner - Steve Poizner.  A vote against Cruz Bustamante.
  • Member, State Board of Equalization, 2nd district - Bill Leonard.  Doesn't like the parcel tax (prop 88), neither do I.
  • State Assembly, 37th district - Audra Strickland.  I agree with her positions on virtually every issue.

Federal positions

  • Senator - Dick Mountjoy.  I like him, plus a vote against Dianne Feinstein, who I voted for originally but who has disappointed me over and over and moved to the left while in office.
  • Representative, 24th district - Elton Gallegly.  He's been a great representative for a red district in a blue state.

Judicial positions

  • Joyce Kennard - Yes.
  • Carol Corrigan - Yes.
  • Robert Mallano - Yes.
  • Frances Rothschild - Yes.
  • Roger Boren - Yes.
  • Victoria Chavez - No.  A thousand times no.  No on her dad, too, except he's not on the ballot.
  • Patti Kitching - Yes.
  • Richard Alrich - Yes.
  • Norman Epstein - Yes.  Liberal but smart.
  • Thomas Willhite - Yes.
  • Nora Manella - Yes.
  • Steven Suzukawa - Yes.
  • Richard Mosk - No.  On the Christopher Commission and Iran - United States Claims Tribunal.  Not real world.
  • Sandy Kriegler - Yes.
  • Arthur Gilbert - Yes.  Has a blog :)
  • Dennis Perluss - Yes.  A Davis appointee but surprisingly rational anyway.
  • Fred Woods - Yes.  Solid citizen.
  • Laurie Zelon - No.  She and Madeleine Flier are flaming liberals, both appointed by Davis.
  • Candace Cooper - No.  Not enough on the web about her considering how long she's been on the court (appointed by Davis in 2001).
  • Madeleine Flier - No.  See Laurie Zelon above.

Community positions

  • Community College District - Cheryl Heitmann.  Seems to be doing a good job.
  • Conejo Valley School District - Mike Dunn, Pat Phelps, Tim Stephens.  Based mostly on statements in voter guides.
  • Thousand Oaks City Council - Dennis Gillette, John Diguiseppe, Bob Wilson.  I like the current council, our city is in great shape.  I'm voting incumbents.
  • Conejo Recreation and Parks - Joe Gibson, Susan Holt, Mike Berger.  Based on voter guide.

We interrupt my vote for a rant.  Why oh why do we have voter information published in Spanish?  There is one official language in California, and it isn't Spanish.  I'm Dutch, why don't we publish voter information in Dutch?  There must be people from hundreds of countries speaking thousands of languages living in California; why not publish voter information in every used language?  It doesn't make sense.  People who can't speak English or comprehend written English should not vote.  Simple as that.  Okay, now back to voting...

State propositions

  • 1A - No.  I think gas taxes probably should be used for transportation improvements, but I don't like earmarked taxes.  Let the Governor and Legislature have flexibility to reallocate when necessary.
  • 1B - Yes.  $20B bond issue for state and local transportation improvements.  Although there's an argument that we shouldn't use bonds for this stuff ("borrowing against the future") the fact is that these investments are needed and we can't fund them out of tax revenue, and shouldn't choke economic growth by raising taxes.  So...
  • 1C - No.  $3B bond issue for housing and development programs.  Unlike 1B, It isn't clear that these investments really are investments, or whether they're needed.
  • 1D - No.  $10B bond issue for school infrastructure.  Unlike 1B, I don't think school infrastructure is a one-time upgrade; rather, this is ongoing maintenance and investments needed, and should be funded from tax revenues.
  • 1E - Yes.  $4B bond issue for flood management projects.  This feels like 1B to me, so I'm for it.

Note: 1A through 1E are generally being promoted as a package, supported by [among many others] Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I have chosen to vote for them a la carte...  despite all being bond issues they have less to do with each other than supporters of the package claim.

  • 83 - No.  Increased punishments and restrictions on sex offenders.  If I thought this would help prevent sexual abuse I'd vote for it, but I don't, so this would be just more money thrown away on bad people.
  • 84 - No.  $5.4B bond issue for water quality and flood control.  I might not understand this well enough to make the right decision, but it feels to me like a special interest thing which isn't really needed.
  • 85 - No.  Makes it more difficult for minors to get an abortion.  I think anyone who is pregnant and doesn't want a baby should get an abortion, especially minors who are less likely to care for the kid.
  • 86 - No.  Excise tax on cigarettes.  I don't like "sin taxes" and this one especially doesn't seem to make sense.  Seems to have special interest language in it, too, to protect hospitals from antitrust laws.
  • 87 - No.  $4B tax hike to fund alternative energy [sic].  I am a big fan of alternative entropy but I don't think government subsidy is the way to get there.  Instead let's remove government barriers to private enterprise solutions.  Anyway this kind of tax is a waste of money.
  • 88 - No.  This is the infamous parcel tax.  Although this is a way to carve back on Prop 13, which was a big mistake, we should change Prop 13, not enact new taxes in different configurations to work around it.  Also, it isn't progressive (that is, doesn't scale to the value of the parcel), which seems unfair.  Backed by Reed Hastings (Netflix) and John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins).
  • 89 - No.  Public campaign funding.  I don't think candidates' campaigns are a good use of public funds, sorry, even though I understand and somewhat accept the argument that in the absence of public funding, rich candidates have an advantage.  I think they do anyway (!), and people should raise money for their campaigns based on merit.
  • 90 - No.  An anti-Kelo attempt to restrict public seizure of private property.  I am sympathetic to the intent of this proposition, but unfortunately it goes too far by requiring government to compensate property owners for actions which change the value of their property, as well as actions which seize the property.  This could trigger a rash of lawsuits and restrict governments from conducting business.  ("You didn't put the new school next door to my property, so it is now less valuable!")

Thanks for your attention!

By the way, I am not one of those people who say to everyone: "you should vote!"  Instead, if you don't know what you're voting about, don't vote!  If you know the people and understand the issues, and we disagree, so be it.  But if you don't know the people and don't understand the issues, then please don't dilute my vote with yours.

 
 

Archive: October 15, 2005

 

Archive: October 15, 2004

Resurfacing

Friday,  10/15/04  07:02 AM

Just a trial post, trying to see if I still remember how :)

It has been four months.  Four months!  Wow.  Well, maybe I can still do it.  We'll see.

Where I have I been?  Nowhere really.  Working hard on a few projects, enjoying the summer.  I have a lot to report, maybe I'll dribble it out over the next hours and days and weeks.  I have 2,523 RSS items queued up in SharpReader - stand by...


So I'm in my wiring closet, removing my XO IDSL router (story to follow), and I notice my firewall lights blinking furiously.  What?  There was a day - maybe a year ago - when I checked my blog stats daily.  Haven't checked for weeks.  But those lights; what's happening?

After a year and a half, suddenly Tyranny of Email is popular again, thanks to Whole Lot of Nothing and  Mark Frauenfelder at the incomparable Boing Boing.  It's been a long time since I had 51,000 hits in a day :)  I guess that kind of attention can wake you up.

 

Friday,  10/15/04  08:01 AM

Ramble on...  (some of this is kind of old ...)

Bram Cohen (of Bittorrent fame) is blogging.  Subscribed.  (Here's a nice post about, well, read it!)

History of the Universe in Seven SnoozesThe History of the Universe in Seven Snoozes, by Jim Ruland.  Beautiful, wonderful, amazing.  Reminds me strongly of my recently-deceased-but-always-on-my-mind friend Daniel Jacoby; he would have loved it.  [ via Xeni Jardin ]

From The Scientist: G8 Backs HIV Vaccine Plan - "A global program styled on the Human Genome Project gets the nod from world leaders".  Paging Craig Venter.

Saturn rings from Cassini-HuygensThe Cassini-Huygens probe has been sending back some unbelievable pictures from Saturn and its moons.  Surreal.  (Wired has a nice survey article.)

Caltech has a monthly periodical for alumni called "Engineering and Science".  The articles are always fascinating.  I also find the personals and obituaries interesting; not that they're people I knew, but they are cool snapshots from worthwhile lives.  Inspiring in a funny way.

Consider, for example, Arnold Beckman, the son of a blacksmith, an ex-Marine, who became a Chemical Engineer and founded Beckman Instruments.  His foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars in pursuit of science.

bugmenot.comDon't you hate websites that force you to register to access their content?  Newspapers are the worst offenders.  They just don't get it; personally, if I have to register I'll just find the information somewhere else.  Anyway there's this cool site called bugmenot.com which has cached a whole bunch of registration information, so you can access all sorts of "registration required" sites without, er, registering.  Of course, looking up registration information there can take just as long as registering yourself, so the real gain is anonymity rather than productivity.

buckyball!Oh, remember buckyballs?  An interesting semi-spherical form of carbon, C60, named after Buckminster Fuller, the "futurist" who thought buildings based on hemispherical designs would save material.  Anyway apparently researchers have been able to make a smaller version, C50.  "The key to producing the smaller buckyballs was causing chlorine atoms to attach to the carbon atoms that are shared by abutting pentagons. The chlorine atoms form a ring around and stabilize the molecular structure."  So be it.

 

Windows video conferencing

Friday,  10/15/04  08:24 AM

I still want to know: Does anyone have comments about Windows-based video conferencing systems?  Please email me.

Surely this is a solved problem by now :/

 

In the Wet

Friday,  10/15/04  08:49 AM

One of my favorite books of all time is Nevil Shute's In the WetIf you haven't read it, you should.  It defies an easy synopsis but it is a wonderful engrossing read and is definitely thought provoking.  It takes place in "the future", which given that the book was written in 1952 is now our recent past.

One of the most interesting ideas of the book, thrown in almost as an afterthought, is the idea of "multiple voting".  In such a democracy - which Shute fancifully assumed Australia to become - each citizen has at least one vote.  But some have more than one, earned through various accomplishments such as education, military service, travel, etc.  Shute felt this would result in better government; whether it would or not is open to debate, and even if you grant that it would, getting there would be politically impossible.  Food for thought, nonetheless...

My reaction to the current Presidential campaign, including the debates - about which I will have more to say, possibly - is that our present system of democracy is clearly not optimal.  Any system that yields Bush and Kerry as the finalists has problems.  But political systems are like nature, you can't just get "there" from "here", there has to be a connecting path, even if "there" would be stable once you get there.  The natural selection of society, evolving in realtime.

I just voted, by the way; I'm a permanent absentee voter.  This means I get to vote early, and my vote will [in all probability] never be counted.  Of course being a Presidential voter in California means my vote doesn't matter anyway; the state will go for Kerry, regardless of my vote or anyone else's.  One of the deepest suboptimalities in our present system is the Electoral College; consider that California, New York, and Texas are the three most populous and [arguably] most opinionated states, and yet neither candidate is paying them any attention at all, because they are already "in the bag" one way or another.  Colorado has a referendum pending which would split their Electoral College votes in proportion to their popular vote, which is an interesting step in the right direction.  Imagine if we did that in California?  Arnold, what say you?

On the California ballot this year we have a number of interesting propositions.  Now I'm a fairly savvy guy, I stay current, follow the issues, read blogs, and trouble to read the voter information materials which describe each proposition.  I have to tell you, it is not easy to figure out what these propositions would do, in fact, even if you understand the premise behind them it isn't easy to tell whether voting "yes" means it would happen!  So where does this leave the average voter?  I confess to a low opinion of this mythical person, I don't think they stay current, follow the issues, read blogs, OR trouble to read the voter information materials.  In fact they probably think TV "news" is news!  (Hint: Dan Rather is an actor, not a journalist.)  Each of these hypothetical average voters has just as much say in whether these propositions pass as I do.  Maybe that's good, but I actually don't think so.

Here's an idea; on the ballot there are these propositions, and for each proposition we put five "test questions" about the proposition.  If you don't answer three of the questions correctly, your vote doesn't count.  Seems fair to me ...

 

(new yorker, 6/20/04)

Friday,  10/15/04  10:50 AM

browser-purchasers

The early dawn of a new type of society :)

 

Friday,  10/15/04  09:56 PM

Okay, so I sorted through 3,000+ RSS items in SharpReader and now have 427 I want to post.  Do you care?  No.  Do you wish I won't post them all at once?  Yes.  You will get your wish.

SpaceShipOneSo - space.  While I was out, SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X-Prize!  That's pretty terrific, privately financed space tourism and exploration is finally out of the blocks.  And with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic we may soon have a fleet of these things, flying us to space.  Excellent.  [ Xeni Jardin was there, and links Alan Radecki's excellent pics.  What a photogenic spacecraft, eh? ]

Now if we could just get that Space Tourism Bill passed :)

SpaceX Falcon IIn other news, today I received SpaceX's bimonthly update email (also posted online).  What an exciting company, and they're just about to launch their first rocket!  SpaceX ultimately aims to send tourists into orbit, which is about 25X harder (in terms of energy required) than "reaching space".  They're going to prove out their technology by launching satellites first.

And meanwhile Messenger continues on toward Mercury!  (With gravity assists from Venus.)

And Randall Parker wonders: Can We Finally Retire the Space Shuttle?  "It is my hope that the success of SpaceShipOne and the coming flights of SpaceShipTwo and other private spacecraft designs will allow the American public to get over their emotional attachment to the Space Shuttle. People no longer need to invest their hopes for space exploration in the Shuttle. We can relegate the Shuttle to history as an obsolete and flawed design."  Biggest difference?  The shuttle was built by the government, not private industry.

 
 

Archive: October 15, 2003

Wednesday,  10/15/03  11:13 PM

Boy, do I feel bad for Cub's fans.  When they were up 3-1 in the NLCS, you had to figure they'd make it back into the Series.  Anyway there's been some great baseball, both Florida - Chicago and Boston - New York have been very entertaining.  I pick Boston over New York, and over Florida, but as you know I've been wrong before...

Chinese taikanaut Yang LiweiHey, Chinese taikanaut Yang Liwei made it back safely, after orbiting earth 14 times!  Excellent.  "China's leaders considered the political risks of a launch failure too great to allow live coverage."  With this success under their belt, they'll probably feel different going forward; it will be interesting to monitor their progress...

Rand Simberg thinks there's less to this than meets the eye, but I don't know... 

I do agree with him that A very significant piece of legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives last week.  "Overall, this legislation is a major step forward, and I would encourage all interested in opening up the frontier to call or write their congressional representative and urge them to sponsor this bill.This is important, if you agree, you can help!

Gizmodo reports Vonage goes to Iraq!  "Vonage, which offers flat rate broadband Voice over IP telephone service here in the States, is shipping a bunch of their Analog Telephone Adapter boxes to Iraq so that soldiers there can make free phone calls to their families during the holiday season."  What a great thing to do, of itself, and for PR exposure.

For entertainment, read this report on VoIP by a Forrester analyst.  An absolute alphabet soup of acronyms which sheds no light on anything.  Absolute buzzword bingo.  Meanwhile Vonage is shipping boxes which work.

Derek Slater reviews various online music services.  And Apple's iTunes Music Store for Windows will be revealed today.  Stay, er, tuned...

Cory Doctorow reports: "On Saturday, Kevin Rose, the host of a guest on TechTV's Unscrewed will violate potentially violate the DMCA by modding an Xbox to run Linux."  Must-see TV.

Linus TorvaldsWired anoints Linus Torvalds Leader of the Free World.  Which he is, of course.  Interesting that despite his undoubted technical prowess, the skill which really makes him the leader is his ability to get along with engineers and mediate their technical battles.  And also - rare for a tech guru - he's humble...

The NYT says For Techies, School Bells Mean 'Let the Games Begin'.  "Ask teachers whether cellphones, PDA's and other gadgets have become magnets for in-class mischief and distraction, and most will say they are not a problem.  But talk to students and you get a different story."  Yeah, poor teachers, first it was guns in class, now it's universal remotes.

Vitamin C sunsetAs you know, I'm a connoisseur of digital microscopy.  I just came across Molecular Expressions, a great website with some fascinating microscopic images.  (Like this one; a "Vitamin C sunset" made from a picture of ascorbic acid.)  Great stuff...  { Of course - and I have to say this - the images on Aperio's scanscope.com are unsurpassed. }

 
 

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The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Lying
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
Confidence
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
entertainment
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
resolved
to space
notebooks
where are the desktop apps?