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Showing posts from May, 2008

The Fermi Paradox, not so paradoxical?

May, 19 ,2008:
In an email with a colleague, I postuled on the significance that gamma ray bursts in the young milky way might have retarded the growth rate of life in the entire galaxy. In a longer email response I listed out the mechanism for my idea. Essentially, GRB's and mettalicity may lead to conditions that periodically restart life processes on a galactic scale. Combined with the stellar level events (asteroids, comets and proto planetary body incursions) this explains a great deal of the reason why we haven't been visited by LGM's. It could simply be the fact that the galaxy and the solar system has only quited down enough for life and intelligent life in general to advance to the point that they would discover advanced technology and the ability to propel themselves between the stars. We are all (those forms of life in elementally conducive parts of the galaxy that is) at roughly the "same" level of technological advance (even if "same" can h…

Your value is in your mind.

The modern world and the diminishing returns of educating an ever increasing population.


One of the biggest catalysts of change in the global economy has been the unleashing of the massive people power behind the borders of countries like China, India and even Russia. These massive pools of human resource combine two types of human potential that prior to their release on world markets were restricted to the respective economies of the countries that contained them. The large number of individuals and the potential for physical labor that they represent has allowed China and India in particular to leverage the low cost for physical labor in their borders to produce powerhouse manufacturing facilities for western corporations that were experiencing years of slowed growth under the increased cost load incurred by the much higher physical labor costs in their native western markets.

The redistribution of ac…

killing for religion,2560,My-daughter-deserved-to-die-for-falling-in-love,Guardian,page1#comments

If you ever wanted a reason to know why any belief not based on empirical data should be thrown out of consideration, this is it.

So sad , so pathetic. I have no more words.

We (those of reason) can not let this poison continue to infect our planet, for all our sakes.

monetizing IP in the digital age

The following is a post I wrote in response to this article at the NYTimes web site.

Just wanted to correct a misunderstanding that seems to be rampant here. The idea that the software won't be able to filter legitimate copies from copy violated ones. It is possible for Microsoft to do this but it will be expensive, they would simply monitor the file sharing networks for the illegal copies, determine some unique aspect of those copies and use that in the filter. They would then have to force Zune users to upgrade their players monthly, you know with a nice annoying security alert that can't be turned off, maybe every two weeks to keep up with the flood of copies that will be hitting the net for any particular show. It sounds next to insane yes, but it is not much less insane than the plan itself IMO.

You would think that at this late date the media companies would have realized that the users simply don't want any restrictions on the use of content on their devices. Give up …

On open networks...

Recently the CEO of Google Inc. Eric Schmidt stated

"If it's not searchable by Google, it's not open, and open is best for the consumer,"


"People should be able to move from place to place, and their data is available everywhere,"

as he was speaking at IBM's Business Partner Leadership Conference.

I got the quotes from this blog post at CNET but couldn't find the original transcript of the talk to ensure contextual integrity of the quotes. As they stand and assuming the author of the post didn't lose any context I would say I agree and disagree with the statement.

I agree with the statement if he is only talking about data that a user wishes to be public online. If a user wishes to have their data be private then it should NOT be searchable by google or any other public service sites. The problem with many social networks that Schmidt is pointing out is that in many social networks even "public" means, "public only to other members…

OLED displays on the way

I remember the first time I saw a digital picture frame, an electronically driven screen that can be loaded with digital images and be made to cycle images over time. The early ones were bulky and didn't have much memory for images, more recent devices allow wireless delivery of the images but are battery hogs. I remember in the early days thinking it was an interesting technology but would really take off after one important event. Namely, the creation of a truly energy efficient display technology that provided a realistic image without the need for the backlighting of all the LCD driven units on the market.

That technology has been in the labs for quite some time and it is poised to be released on the masses , it is called OLED (Organic Light Emmitting Diode/Display). An OLED display combines the advantages of a CRT and an LCD, it has amazingly high dynamic range and a wide gamut (roughly the subtly of tones that can be rendered for each color channel) and is incredibly power e…