This is a complete non sequitur but I thought the image was so cool I’d blog it. It’s a picture of astronomers at the ESO Paranal Observatory using a laser beam to align their telescope images.
You know you’re getting old when, with respect to current fashion, you can no longer tell if you are still not hip or if the fashion is really as silly as it looks.
Let’s see. We’re going to build a system to monitor all Internet traffic coming in and out of the country. Hmm… The only other country to do this well is this communist, authoritarian regime over in the East. Hmm… Our democratically inclined, freedom-loving population might mistake this for some dystopian, Orwellian, Stepford-like scheme for the government to invade the lives of our citizens and perhaps use it to control information and the like. So we don’t want to frighten people and give them the idea that we’re going to use it to create perfectly conformist citizenry. Hmm… I know. Let’s name it Perfect Citizen! Perfect! Has a nice ring to it. Reminds me of the 1950s for some reason. And it follows up nicely on the name for that scheme to eavesdrop on all domestic Internet traffic. The one with the cool name that made all of that eavesdropping seem nonthreatening. You know, Carnivore.
Really sad that this is referring to an actual event. And probably played out this way.
Funny. With slacker, facebook, my blog, twitter, linked in, etc. all connected I can say the dumbest thing now and it gets sprayed across the internet in 50 locations. The other day I closed my car trunk and Plaxo got updated.
The other day I was watching some young kids get all excited about getting their first email accounts. “YOU CAN ADD PICTURES AND SEND THEM!” or “LOOK IF I RESPOND IT SORTS THE MESSAGES INTO CONVERSATIONS. COOL!” or “WOW THAT WAS REALLY FAST!”. And I was thinking that was really cute how they get all excited over simple technology. Then I turned back to my computer to see what exact day and time I was going to be able to buy the new Droid.
Another one for the “kinda cool” category. A joint team from the University of Maryland and University of Michigan have declared the ability to generate “long-distance” (1-meter) teleportation. They apparently managed to teleport the quantum state of two atoms a meter apart. It reminds me of compact disks coming from Einstein’s work on photons and photoelectric effect. Is it just me or is it really weird and kind of scary that we could possibly harness and use forces we have absolutely no real understanding of.
The headline is obviously me being funny on a couple fronts. I don’t think it would be news to many people that Microsoft is no longer innovating – at least not outside of developer tools. I was just reading an article on cio.com Windows 7: The Five Most Talked-About Features. It was informative on a couple of fronts. First, I didn’t know “talked-about” was hyphenated. Second, more to the point, is that if these are the most talked-about features then it’s still been about 15 years since Microsoft has actually done anything interesting regarding operating systems. According to the article the five most interesting things Microsoft has spent millions developing in their latest OS include fixing a flawed security UI from the previous version, copying the way Mac does a few things, and adding touch-screen capabilities. Yes MSFT’s OS has gotten more modern but the last improvement they made that really made my life easier was multi-tasking. Touch-screen might be cool but that’ll depend on innovation coming from the ISV community. Someday Microsoft might surprise us with something that really helps us in our daily lives but I wouldn’t put any money on it.