Critical Section

escape velocity

Saturday,  08/22/15  01:51 PM

escape velocity!The biggest news around here is that my youngest daughter Megan has reached escape velocity!  Next week (!) she's moving out to attend the School at the Art Institute of Chicago as a Photography major.  We're pretty excited for her - and looking forward to a little trip to Chicago to help her settle in, first of many :) - but it will be weird having an empty nest.  Whew.

Speaking of escape velocity: Bitcoin committer releases Bitcoin XT fork allowing blocks larger than 1MB amid disagreement among Core committers.  The explanation makes sense: there was disagreement, and by releasing the new code "the market" of Bitcoin miners can decide.

"This leaves one last mechanism for resolving the dispute. We can make a modified version of the software, and put it to a vote of miners via the usual chain fork logic used for upgrades. If a majority upgrade to the new version and produce a larger than 1MB block, the minority would reject it and be put onto a parallel block chain. To get back in sync with the rest of the network they would then have to adopt the fork, clearly resolving the system in favour. If the majority never upgrade, the fork would never happen and the 1MB limit would be hit."

I haven't decided whether to upgrade my fledgling Bitcoin node yet.  Stay tuned.

Chris Dannen asks: Will the Sean Parker of blockchain please stand up?

Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka - the world's most remote city?I've wondered myself: Where is the world's most remote city?  "One Russian city sits on a distant peninsula surrounded by volcanoes. Iquitos, in the heart of the Amazon jungle, has no roads leading in or out. Then there are contenders in Tibet, Greenland, Australia …"

Ceres ... colony?Of course, this will be the answer soon: How (and why) SpaceX will colonize Mars.  But we have to define "world's" and "remote".  Perhaps a colony on [Martian moon] Phobos would qualify?  But then again, what if we colonize [planetoid] Ceres?

And what are those bright lights on Ceres, anyway?  Is there already a colony there, signaling us? :)

Starting a startup?  This is a great article by Noah Kagan: You're still modeling growth incorrectly.  "Given the life-or-death importance of achieving growth, it's ironic that growth teams, marketers and founders often treat it as a matter of faith. Their execution plans amount to working really hard, then dropping on their knees to pray to the growth gods that everything will magically work."  Guilty as charged.

Easy as 1,2,3,5:  The Connoisseur Of Number Sequences.  "For more than 50 years, the mathematician Neil Sloane has curated the authoritative collection of interesting and important integer sequences."  Excellent.

fruit leather purseHmmm...  fruit leather purses are a thing now.  So be it.  I wonder, are these considered a vegetable?

Totally agree with this:  All voters should be required to pass the same basic civics test as legal immigrants.  Administered in English.

By the way, if you think this proposal is racist, examine your assumptions; I would suggest claiming this proposal is racist is racist.

Jimmy Iovine, Bono, Steve Jobs, The Edge celebrate the iPodJimmy Iovine is still worried about the future of music.  As he should be.  Apple Music does nothing at all to make the future of music any brighter.  The key problem is how to get royalties from consumers of streaming services into the hands of artists.

As this is being typed, I am listening to The Fixx on Slacker.  No money has changed hands, and there are no ads.

Note: the iPod and iTunes both significantly helped artists.  So Apple have historically been a force for good.

The Martian - trailer 2Cannot wait! - there a new trailer out for The Martian.  Not sure whether I'm anticipating this more or less than the new Star Wars.  Both a lot :)

BTW, please make sure you read the book before you see the movie.  And do not start the book on a day when you have anything else planned.

Slashdot: the real NASA technologies in 'The Martian'.  Cool but a little wishful; we are going to need a way for humans to reach escape velocity first.

Tasmanian imp (baby Devil)And now this: you probably need more Tasmanian imps* in your life.  Most definitely!

* an imp is of course a baby Devil

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