The Economist has a really fascinating article about the possibility that stem cells may cause cancer:
The European Southern Observatory has taken some amazing photographs of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Early next year the Huygens probe will crash into Titan, relaying telemetry via the Cassini orbiter. All this unmanned space exploration activity is very encouraging.
Allen Greenspan said today "the likelihood of persistently high energy prices would probably help keep U.S. energy use in check and influence energy-related business investments." This seems like good news; let's give consumers a reason not to buy SUVs.
Phil Libin makes an interesting point about air-travel safety: "Someone attempting an exact replay of the 9/11 attacks today would likely be beaten to within an inch of death." Which means it is unlikely terrorists would try it again. Which means all the effort to try to prevent it - ultimately very hard and inconvenient - is probably wasted. [ via Glenn Reynolds ]
Ever wonder how the Bugatti Veyron works? Like, How do you fit 1,000 horsepower into a compact engine? (No, it isn't 16 liters - it uses four turbochargers to aspirate 16 cylinders in a "W" configuration!) And how do you keep a passenger car on the road at 250+ MPH? (It is about as wide as a Hummer, but about 1/3 as high. Plus, it has a "real" spoiler wing.) I want one.
More on Google: BW has a nice interview with Eric Schmidt, Google's "hired gun" CEO:
BW also analyzes the Twists in Netflix' Growth Plot. All is not great there; "While few dispute that Netflix is the leader in the DVD rental biz, competition in this arena is starting to pick up. And as Netflix' costs continue to rise, profitability could remain elusive, some analysts fear." They're a transitional technology anyway; video-on-demand will kill Netflix, as surely as it will kill Blockbuster.
Speaking of online media (we were), iTunes is one year old! Wow. CNet marks the occasion with a nice review of the state of iTunes and the other online music services. The key issue a year ago was consumer acceptance. Now that it's evident that people will pay for online music, the key issue has become compatibility between services and devices.
Chris Pratley is a Microsoft blogger who writes Let's talk about Word, and then analyzes the great Word vs. WordPerfect battle. Chris’ main points are that WordPerfect made the mistake of changing too much on each release, and Word did something smart by understanding what customers actually did. If these lessons are applied to Windows, it means MS should concentrate on making Windows work better, instead of making Windows into something different. So far Longhorn is doing the opposite; instead of fixing things like paging and improving performance, MS is inventing new ways to do new things. This might be “cool” but it will open the door to competitors, and as well it isn't really what customers want.