Category: technology

Nov 13 2017

Why I’m quitting Uber

I was a very early user of Uber: I discovered it during an Apple Developer Conference week in San Francisco in 2010, when Uber was still in “beta”; some of the famous after-parties were using it to get developers to their often-obscure locations. As soon as it came to New York the next year, I …

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Apr 12 2016

WaitButWhy and Iron Man

Really first class article about Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, energy use, and the future of the world. So on my visit to California, I had two goals in mind: to understand as best I could what Musk and his teams were working on so feverishly and why it mattered so much, and to try to …

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Jan 04 2016

Glorious exhibit of the quest to determine longitude at sea

In many ways, this was the space program of the 18th century. The current exhibit at Mystic Seaport is glorious and mesmerizing. “For centuries, longitude (east-west position) was a matter of life and death at sea. Ships that went off course had no way to re-discover their longitude…With life-changing sums of money on offer, the …

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Apr 22 2015

Old tech can be good tech

To the delight of the attendees at the conference where the results were announced, Jonathan Betts was able to announce that Clock B lost 5/8ths of a second over the 100 days – a phenomenal achievement and a tribute to Harrison. http://www.salonqp.com/updates/watch-news/john-harrison-guinness-world-record-clock-greenwich-observatory/

Aug 08 2014

Why I quit Amazon

I submitted this as feedback on my Amazon account today. I’ve been a long-time Amazon customer, since 1997 in fact, and have purchased thousands of dollars and dozens of items from you in the last 17 years. I’ve always been pleased with the utility of your website and the ease of purchasing books, music, and …

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Apr 26 2014

Rediscovering the early images of space exploration

Once upon a time, NASA collected high resolution photos of the Moon and Earth on tapes, transmitted by early-generation satellites. Then they put the tapes away. Then the tape decks stopped working, and the companies stopped making them, and the engineers retired, and the tapes were forgotten. And then one day someone found an old …

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Nov 17 2013

“Tesla Motors may make its own batteries”

It was only a matter of time for Tesla to come to this conclusion. Buying batteries from a foreign supplier left them vulnerable in the long term to single-source risk: suppose Panasonic had a fire, or raised its prices exorbitently? Not to mention that Tesla has no real control over the timing of manufacture or the …

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Nov 12 2013

iOS vs. Android: why Steve Jobs blew his stack

Jobs was betrayed by Eric Schmidt of Google even as Schmidt sat on Apple’s board. So much for “don’t be evil” (Google’s motto). Jobs had trusted Google’s cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board. All three had been telling Jobs about Android, but they kept telling him it …

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Nov 12 2013

Yet Another Inane Post: “Is Tesla Motors Doomed?”

It’s getting tiresome seeing lazy blog posters trolling for readers by posting wildly overdramatic headlines. Like this one. One, Two, and Now Three Fires: Is Tesla Motors Doomed? No, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) is not doomed… So why read beyond the first 6 words?

Oct 25 2013

Five Billion Years of Solitude

Reviews of a new book on astrobiology, the history of the earth, and our future. …in equal parts, a primer on the search for alien worlds, a biography of Earth and the life that inhabits it, and a story about how exoplanetology grew, and how, with the hour of its greatest triumph approaching, it fell …

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Oct 25 2013

Interactive clothing

Imagine clothes that change their look depending upon your mood – or the mood of your friend. Then read about Cute Circuit. In 2002, Cute Circuit released a shirt allowing two people to send each other hugs in different places. After getting a notification on their phone, the hug-receiver, who is ideally always near his hug …

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Oct 24 2013

Laser-mediated broadband from lunar orbit

[NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer has]…a series of lasers on the outer hull designed to shoot back data to three base stations here on Earth much faster than traditional radio data links – and the agency reports the first tests have been a roaring success    So this is probably faster than my broadband …

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Oct 14 2013

Iconic: a photographic tribute to Apple innovation

OK, say you’re an Apple devotée. No, say you’re an Apple fanatic. No, actually, say that Apple has changed everything you do, that Steve Jobs is one of the most influential people in your life, and that it is inconceivable that you could imagine functioning day to day without at least one Apple product in …

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Aug 30 2013

Charging the Model S

I’ve created a small spreadsheet to calculate the charging times at various stations for the Tesla Model S, and the optimal kW/m usage to maximize range.  

Jun 22 2013

ZFS: some day my prince will come…

Lost Many of us believe that filesystem integrity is the single most important component of computer systems. Disk drives fail, computer systems are upgraded, networks improve and and morph from wired to wireless – but the data files that represent the accumulated work and knowledge of users remain. It’s bad enough that, as applications become …

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Jun 21 2013

Tesla phones home

This weekend, my Signature Model S P85 sent out a cry for help. Not to me, mind you. I never heard it. Instead, Essie went all ET-like and phoned home: she powered up her cellular 3G antenna and transmitted an alert to her Mom and Dad at the Tesla engineering labs in Fremont, California. “Help …

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Jun 18 2013

1990 WWDC swag

Found this buried in a storage cabinet. Blast from the past. When WWDC was in San José, and Mac programmers were Real Men, not wimpy iOS code monkeys. Does anyone remember HyperCard? MacApp? MPW?      

Jun 13 2013

Remember the old Mac Pro?

Well, just in case you’ve forgotten how cool it was then, here‘s the intro commercial for the G5.

Mar 23 2013

What I learned today from my corporate cousins

Thanks, Michael Johnson https://twitter.com/drwave/status/315325314953777152/photo/1

Mar 21 2013

Flagler Bridge to remain open

  March 21, 2013. Palm Beach Duh News. The Florida Department of Transportation assured residents of Palm Beach County that the Flagler Bridge will remain open indefinitely, officials said today. “We have no plans to close the north bridge,” said Jojo deLojo, chief dreamer of the Department. “There is nothing wrong with the bridge that …

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