Space: 2999

Hey does anybody remember the old Space: 1999? It was really schlocky and the setup was so unbelievable even I as a young child didn’t buy it. And that setup was this: You’ve got this moonbase. Then there’s this huge nuclear explosion that was so powerful that the moon just sort of up and wandered off and ends up passing strange and exotic locales. Yeah, right.

Still it was kind of fun in an over-the-top sort of way. I think someone could do a new series today with a slightly different premise and still give the writers enough leeway to have fun with it.
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The New York Islamic Center

I am disappointed in my fellow Americans.

Although I suppose I shouldn’t be. After all, as a people we have had quite a bit of trouble living up to the lofty ideals spelled out in our founding documents. Continue reading

Where to, NASA?

Don’t get me wrong. I would love to see man return to the moon. I would practically go coo coo for cocoa puffs to see mankind reach Mars. But heck, if I’m going to put together a wish list I’d like to see people go to Europa to look for possible life in its deep oceans, or land on Titan and check out its strange liquid methane weather.

But let’s be practical. NASA’s current plans for both the moon and Mars are one-shots. You build a big-assed space craft here on Earth and send it off to your target. None of what you develop can be used for anything else. And little if any of what they would build would be re-usable. End result: Billions of dollars spent. Megatons of equipment and people sent off into space. Tiny amount of non-reusable equipment and, if all goes well, your people returned. This simply is not a very efficient method for space exploration folks.

I am therefore glad to see that NASA has essentially dropped all of these plans. Because there’s a better way to do it.

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Pondering the iPad

Stock Apple photo of the iPad

So I have an iPad. A week or so after the iPad went on sale I wandered by my nearby Apple Store just to take a look at it. Well the place was littered with them so that even with all the hype it was possible for me to walk right in and play with one. After five or ten minutes I realized that this was really fun so I bought one.

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Why So Many Batteries?

I don’t hate batteries, but I do think they are a pain in the butt. Every battery powered device you have means you are either constantly buying and replacing batteries or, at best, constantly recharging them.

For many things it’s a necessary evil. It’s in the nature of mobile devices — cameras, phones, remotes, etc — to need batteries. But I wonder why the rush to make everything battery powered. Some devices, frankly, should not be battery powered.
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I Am A Technology Agnostic

By “technology agnostic” I mean I don’t particularly believe in any technology or technology company. I am not a fanboi.

The most famous fanbois are probably the Apple fanbois. They are rabidly pro-Apple. They hang on Steve Jobs’ every word and drool at Apple events and announcements. They follow every shred of gossip. And most annoyingly, they’ll support anything and everything Apple in messageboards across the internet.

Of course, not all fanbois are pro-something.  Apple has its share of anti-fanbois, but perhaps the company that attracts the most is Microsoft. Their anti-fanbois are amongst the most rabid on the internet, although this has abated somewhat in recent years. They’ll ascribe the most malevolent motives to everything Microsoft does. For these antis, “Microsoft” may as well be “Satan” — it’s eeeeeee-vil!

Fanbois don’t have to be company-specific, either. Linux fanbois are nearly as rabid as the ones described above. You get on to the subject of operating systems and they’ll bash both Apple and Microsoft while blithely ignoring the shortcomings of the particular flavor of Linux that they worship.

Thus, I am a technology agnostic. When I discuss the latest tech online, I try to evaluate all the choices as fairly as possible, while acknowledging my own biases. For example, I have worked and played on Microsoft operating systems for almost thirty years now and I am not going to simply toss that store of knowledge aside lightly. Even so, I certainly don’t worship Microsoft and am happy to consider alternatives.

With any luck this will lead to civil and useful discussions of the subject at hand with a minimum of “Such-n-Such is teh suck” or “If you don’t think Such-n-Such is great then you suck!”