2005/07/16

Tribute to My Main Arab Man

Here's a short Boing Boing post about Dubai, the home of my good buddy Waleed.

Just So You Know

Magnets are bad for just about anything electronic.

Ghetto-Style

I thought you could add polls to your posts, but I can't figure out how so I'm going to do this ghetto style.

If I choose to blow my Vegas money I had saved up, what should I get with it?

  1. Neuros II
  2. Sony Librie
  3. Pool tournaments until I'm broke
  4. Pocket PC
  5. Electric Shaver
  6. PSP

I'm quite smitten with the Librie right now. So obsessed with learning more I barely took the time to blog it. I really wish it wasn't the only device so far to use e-Ink.

I forgot to mention last post that it runs on Linux.

2005/07/15

I WANT THAT!

WHY NOT ME?!?

The Sony Librie. Its an eBook reader using e-ink. e-ink is basically a type of high resolution display using a bangload of little spheres suspended in oil. Each of these spheres has a white half and a black half and each half has a positive or negative charge. By applying charge to the display you can orient the spheres to have the white or black half facing outward. This is also called a bitstable display, because what's on the screen stays there when there's no power. This means when I open an eBook the librie powers up, changes the page displayed, and turns back off. I hit page down, and the same thing hapens. This means the librie is very energy efficient. You can view 10,000 pages on a set of AAA batteries. That would last me months.

Its only been released in Japan, but there's a firmware update for English menus. Sony's got draconian DRM (Digital Restriction Management) on the files in their proprietary format, but now they've released converters to get your own stuff into the format. This would be the perfect way for me to read all these Creative Commons books.

Check out the display in that pic. When people first encounter the librie, they think the display is a printed sticker. Yeah, its that nice. The quality's about equal to newspaper print.

2005/07/14

Cory Doctorow

"Some other writers have decided that their readers are thieves and pirates, and they devote countless hours to systematically alienating their customers. These writers will go broke. Not me -- I love you people. Copy the hell out of this thing."

I've been finding more and more freely downloadable books released under Creative Commons. Cory Doctorow has just released his third novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, under the CC license. In addition to being someone who sounds like a good SF author, he sounds like a pretty cool guy.

Insomnia

I just finished the last story in Asimov's. "The Summer of the Seven" alone was worth the $4.32. I was actually kind of dissapointed with all but four of the stories. They weren't what I consider to be SciFi. A guy has nightmares about some racist shit he did as a sherif, and in his nightmares blacks are the dominant race in the South and do the same shit to him? That's not SciFi. It wasn't bad, but why was it in Asimov's?

One of the three thousand survivors of an alien race moves to Earth, marries your daughter, and impregnates her? Good story. Six children, a sextet, genetically modified to form the parts of a single organism wondering where they and their visitor, a septet, fit into the world? A fucking awesome story. Bad dreams? I don't get it.

Today's been kind of a lonely day. Its too hot to sleep. I've got to try anyways, I guess.

2005/07/13

You've Really Got to Hear it For it to Have the Same Effect

You're Not Alone
by MxPx


The time is near when I dont need this phone
And we'll stay home alone and watch the twilight zone

We're still young and I know your afraid
But I don't regret all the plans we made

Drive-in movies always make you sleep
You end up catching Z's in my backseat

I've seen it in your eyes a thousand times
I see you young again, I see the way you shine

You're not alone anymore
(You're not alone anymore)
Nothing will be like before
(Nothing will be like before)
[x2]
You're not alone anymore

Read your book while I make some hot tea
I love it when you fall asleep on me

I'm still me and I know you're still you
Together we're in shock, together this is new

You're not alone anymore
(You're not alone anymore)
Nothing will be like before
(Nothing will be like before)
[x2]

Sometimes I don't understand how you feel
But surely my love for you is real
You and your waiting, I won't die in vein
Cause nothing will ever be the same

Nothing will ever be the same
The same

You're not alone anymore
(You're not alone anymore)
Nothing will be like before
(Nothing will be like before)
[x4]

You're not alone anymore
You're not alone anymore

2005/07/12

Interesting Project

This isn't the first time I've seen this project, but its the first time I've seen it in English. Instead of using liquid in fishtank tubes with a radiator, some dude decided to submerge the entire computer in a fishtank of nonconductive liquid. These guys used vegetable oil, but a better alternative is mineral oil.

Its an interesting project, but even more interesting is this guy's writing style; he actually uses "rock out with my caulk out".

Future Shock Level 4

I think lately I've been stepping past some of my readers' Future Shock Levels. I've been stepping past my own future shock level. I've been reading about some ideas that are new and pretty exciting to me. I now condsider myself to be at SL4 now. I'll hilight the ideas listed under SL4 that I didn't know about until the past week or two:

SL4: The Singularity, Jupiter Brains, Powers, complete mental revision, ultraintelligence, posthumanity, Alpha-Point computing, Apotheosis, the total evaporation of "life as we know it." Singularitarians and not much else.


I still haven't found a definition of Powers, but if it is what I think it is, its very Asimovian and definitely not a new idea to me. Apotheosis is basically just putting a new word on another old idea.

The Great Letdown

While we were bowling tonight, Paul broke the news to me that we're not going to Vegas for Defcon at the end of the month. He doesn't have enough money. Me, who usually can't even afford a $3 Jamba Juice has quite enough saved up with plenty of spending money as well and he can't afford the trip alone. I guess this means I no longer have to look three months ahead into my budget when I want to buy another book.

2005/07/11

Its Not All That Bad

Richard said...

When the matrix takes over, your assimilation will be quick and painless.

7/11/2005 12:46 AM
The thing is, the Matrix as shown in the movies isn't all that bad, though there could be some changes made so that there are more benefits to humanity as they provide energy for the machines. What's the difference between living life as we know it and living life as we know it inside a virtual reality? Its not real? Um, yeah it is. You're still living, you're still forging relationships, you still manipulate your environment. Analog is no more real than digital.

The humans really had no good reason to leave the Matrix. You can rave in a giant mud cave in the Matrix too. Well, okay, they did have one good reason: leverage. Its like working in a union. "If you don't treat us right and give us this, this, and this, we strike." The machines don't have to intervene with human life inside the Matrix, but they do. Having the ability to leave the Matrix and break some shit gives the humans leverage to keep the machines out of their daily lives and maybe improve a few things. That's pretty much what Neo accomplished just before he died. (Yes, he died. Trinity's dead, Neo did his negotiation and being The One thing. There really isn't room for another sequel. What, they're going to make a The Matrix: Life Goes On just to show that Neo did live after all, but his life totally sucks because he no longer has anything to live for? Right, that's what fan fiction is for.)

One of the things I don't get is why the Matrix has to be the way it is. Agent Smith tells Morpheus that there were multiple versions of the Matrix and they failed because they were too utopian and humans just couldn't handle it. If the machines know enough about human neurobiology to put those plugs in them and physically wire them to a global network, can they not change the way the human mind works? Maybe they'd have to know more about human psychology which they obviously don't because they had to find a working model of the Matrix through trial and error.

With the Singularity its possible that this is how it could turn out. Its possible that greater-than-human intelligence, in whatever form it takes, won't find the need to keep humans around and will let us die off or exterminate us. Some consider death for the continuing growth of intelligence a worthwhile cause, but a Singularity for the benefit of mankind is what the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence was founded for. Same with the concept of Friendly AI.


P.S. The Matrix is third for most movie fan fictions. The top three are:
Pirates of the Caribbean (6801)
X-Men (4855)
The Matrix (2881)

lol, there are 13 Sweet Home Alabama fan fictions

2005/07/10

Singularitarians R Us

After reading The Singularitarian Principles I think its safe to say I am a Singularitarian and have been for awhile.

Asimov's Exert

I did not write this. It is a poem by Sandra Lindow printed in Asimov's Science Fiction, August 2005.

AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE ALPHABET

contains letters with sounds
you have never heard
and will not. Each
is the antimatter opposite
of the sounds we read and hear.

If "a" and "anti-a"
were to come together
each would be extinguished
in a tiny yawn at the edge
of conciousness.

Whole sentences would
swallow each other
in a nearly inaudible whirr
like that of the white noise generators
people buy for their bedrooms.

And if this poem
were to meet its anti-poem
in the interstice between universes,
the silence of their embrace
would be deafening.

~Sandra Lindow