Thursday, December 15, 2011

US troops scramble to hand off last-minute security 'details' to Iraqis -

I am glad the Iraq occupation is coming to an end, and it's great that so many troops will be back for Christmas. I do however find it surprising and perhaps foolish that we are leaving behind so little equipment for the Iraqi forces to maintain security. I wonder what the rationale is on that.

US troops scramble to hand off last-minute security 'details' to Iraqis - The performance of the Iraqi soldiers has been all the more impressive, US troops here note, given that the Iraqi security force unit with responsibility for airport perimeter security has only one pickup truck and one small Humvee.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

GAAS - Gameplay As A Service

I just read an interesting article by Michael Hugos in CIO that has really got me thinking.  If games are becoming more acceptable in the workplace, and we've got services like Amazon's Mechanical Turk, could it be possible that the two concepts converge into something like Gameplay As A Service?

In this scenario, workers would be in a game environment but would do actual work, and that work could be structured and packaged so that organizations could purchase the service in a manner similar to SaaS.  Immediately science fiction examples of this come to mind, like the book "Ender's Game" and the movie "Sleep Dealer".

The thing is, all these pieces are in place, and people seem to be aching to do the work.  I was recently given a demo of a virtual world that a friend built in a mining simulation game.  The complexity and effort that was put into what he built was absolutely stunning.  Couldn't (or perhaps even "shouldn't") that desire to create and build be put into the marketplace somehow?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Speed costs - How fast do you want to spend?

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of WorkShop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is fantastic. As a former carpenter, who at the risk of sounding self-congratulatory thought myself a craftsman, I found his writing to open up a deep sense of kinship. This is a man who cares deeply about his work and his society. As someone who now works extensively with technology and computers, I found his mild technophobia a little misplaced but highly likeable. I see no difference between working with physical objects and working with bits and bytes, but that's my personal feeling and no reflection on the book; Crawford's yearning for quality, self direction and improvement rings true. Readers may find deeper appreciation for their own jobs after reading this.

Some reviewers complained about the language being overly complicated or "hard", and that just makes me sad for books generally and the American education system specifically. His writing is as beautiful and well crafted as it gets, and those people should stop expecting pabulum, whip out a dictionary, and grow up.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Google Apps has made life difficult

It has taken me hours to undo the mess created by the Google Apps account migration tools.  Google plus remains hosed.  I love the free site hosting from Google apps but the cost had been high!

At least I can post from the Android Blogger app again.

More on this mess.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Amazing movie: Transatlantic Tunnel (1935)

I just watched an old movie on Netflix streaming, and I was blown away by how good it was.  "Transatlantic Tunnel," filmed in 1935, was incredible, a quality science fiction movie with an impressive set of correct technological predictions.  The movie is set in the late 40's to mid 50's, and predicts:

  • Skype
  • Wireless Skype
  • Awkward social situations caused by Skype
  • Clean rooms / Central control rooms (almost a data center)
  • Widespread use of broadcast television
  • Widescreen television
  • Vertical take off and landing of heavier than air vehicles
  • Mobile Skype (VTOL aircraft to Home, Automobile to Home)
  • Helipads on top of buildings
  • Advanced tunnel boring technology
  • The Chunnel (the Engish Channel Tunnel)
  • An impending war with powers from "the east" (possibly Germany or Russia)
  • Issues with supplying war material from America to Great Britain during a European theater war
  • America and Great Britain coming together as allies during a European theater war
  • Love quadrangles with high-stakes stock price chicanery (ala Gordon Gecko)
  • The "military industrial complex".
The flick created detailed, plausible, science fiction movies sets and promptly ignored them in favor of a decent human plot, including fully realized female characters in pivotal roles, in the same vein as James Cameron in The Abyss, Alien, and of course Avatar.  Science fiction at it's best, this movie is a gem, check it out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Energy itself is pixelated

Energy itself is pixelated, like zooming in so far on a digital image that you see it's made of colored squares, or compressing an MP3 until the sound quality degrades.
Check it out:

Planck constant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "This inherent granularity is counterintuitive in the everyday world, where it is possible to 'make things a little bit hotter' or 'move things a little bit faster', This is because the quanta of energy are very, very small in comparison to everyday human experience. Thus, on the macro scale quantum mechanics and classical physics converge. Nevertheless, it is impossible, as Planck found out, to explain some phenomena without accepting that energy is quantized; that is, it can only equal certain energy levels with space in between them."

I wonder what Schrödinger's cat thinks of that?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak's Swiss Assets Frozen -

See - this is what happens when you let Democracy do it's thing. It's simply awesome.

Mubarak's Swiss Assets Frozen -

Glen Beck makes me want to puke

I can't believe how Beck is coming down on what is happening in Egypt. I don't agree with much of what he says, but this approach is anti-democratic and deeply offensive. It appears Dark Ages Christianity is alive, well, and just as xenophobic as ever.

As a Democrat however, I think it's wonderful that he's ripping his own party to pieces with this drivel.

How Egypt crisis has divided U.S. politicians -

In exact contradiction to Beck's loony perspective we should take a look at what is happening with the Iranian Green Party today:

Iran's Greens seek to fire up support

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Mothers-to-Be Are Getting the Message -

Look at this. With the extended family (the "normal" source of information for new parents) being non-existant in America, what's the next best option? Why, text messages of course. It's sad, and fascinating, and I hope it works.

Mothers-to-Be Are Getting the Message -

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tethered MyTouch 4G speed test

Just measured my speed while on a Chicago Metra train bound for Braeside.  Not exactly full 4G, but still, not bad.