Friday, December 29, 2006

Sam Harris

I've been watching some of Sam Harris' talks on various television programs and conferences and find him to be a very eloquent and capable spokesman for atheism. His points are so clear and he backs them up with real life examples so well. I haven't read his books yet, but I plan to soon. I am greatly looking forward to deeper elaborations on all of his points. For a quick summary of his thinking check out this video from Idea City 2005. Make sure to play it to the end. The comment the presenter makes was exactly what I was thinking in my head.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gmail Trick

So I recently learned of a neat little Gmail trick that will come in handy. You can use the "+" character after your real email address to add any other characters you want to display. The most obvious application of this would be to use it to identify a site where you are giving away your email address and then you will be able to track if they have sold your info to advertisers. So it would look like this: Then when you get an email showing you how to Enl4rg3 your sh00rt d!ck w/ V1111agra11!, you'll just know where it came from.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ideas That In Retrospect You Just Can't Live Without

It's amazing how quickly we start to take things for granted. It's only in a rare bout of retrospection that we realize just how much an idea or technology has changed our lives. There are the big ones that most people know about, the industrial revolution, the automobile, computers, the internet, etc and lots of smaller ones that get less attention but collectively contribute vastly.

So how about looking forward? What are the imminent disruptive technologies that people 20 years from now will look back in awe at how we ever lived without it? It's going to happen. It always happens.

One thing that I think people soon won't believe that it didn't always exist is the ability to record every moment of your life and store it. This ability would vastly change the way we lived yet it is currently completely possible with the technology we have. It won't catch on until the ability is seamless and easy, but that's how it is with everything else. Imagine having the ability to instantly search through any moment of your life and play it back. Think of all the things that you could do. Now put yourself in the shoes of someone who has always had this ability and imagine us in 2006 as we live our lives and lose so many of our precious memories forever (until they are simulated after the singularity or worst case at the omega point).

This is definitely something people won't be able to comprehend living without. Any others that you can think of?

Greg Egan: Best Sci-Fi Writer of Recent Times?

Greg Egan is the man. So far I've had the pleasure of reading Permutation City, Diaspora, and just recently, Distress. These books are full of so many mind-bending ideas each that it makes most other books you read a bore. Very few authors that I've read have the ability to take advanced (and pretty accurate) math and physics and mold them into genuine stories with deep character development. So many times I'll be reading a book and I'll think, "Come on man just take this idea to the extreme. What do you have to lose?" Greg Egan takes ideas to the extreme and makes them work. If you are interested in math, physics, technology, computing, and the far future, pick up some Greg Egan and thank me later.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Microsoft's New DVR Patent

In an effort to balance my karma a Microsoft bashing post is needed. It seems Microsoft has patented a DVR application that will ensure advertisements with time sensitive information can be seen by viewers. In other words, they want to put new commercials into old shows you've recorded.

Uhhhhh Double You Tea Eff, Mate? Are they serious? They must know one of the biggest reasons people buy a DVR is to skip ads entirely. I guess they are banking on advertisers coming up with ways to beat this, whether it be commercials with fun content, fast-forward viewable ads, or legislation, I do not know.

Microsoft DVR Patent (Engadget)

I've always thought a better idea would be to make advertising truly specific. TV commercials do ok basing content on location, likely demographics for the show, and such. Adsense is obviously working to a degree though it suffers from click fraud and the possibility that the content of a site someone is viewing isn't something they are in the market for. Why not have people declare things they are interested in and then let companies compile information and send it off in exchange for programming content, etc. I guess various instances of such a system are already in place.

Hey, companies. I'm in the market for a DVR (ironic), a surround sound system, and some Xbox games and accessories. Get the hell to it.

Intelligence Amplification (IA) Vs. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In the past I have thought that a safer singularity would be brought about through the use of intelligence amplification, loosely defined as the merging of biological and machine/silicon intelligence, rather than artificial intelligence. The logic being that a human who has undergone IA and reached godlike powers will remember his humanity and remember it fondly.

Will there really be any difference between a human with extremely powerful IA and a straight up strong AI? Once either being reaches the level of intelligence and power where they hit the explosive curve of exponential growth I don't think that it will not make a difference. Their intelligence will have come so far that the origin of it may be insignificant.

However, I also tend to believe that a super intelligence will be inherently benevolent.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Went Out for a Wii Came Back With a 360?

I got an inside tip that the local Circuit City was getting a shipment of Wiis this morning. Unfortunately, waking up early on weekends isn't my forte. I got there at 10:15am, 15 minutes after opening and was greeted with a large Wii Temporarily Sold Out sign. I went in to survey the scene anyhow and found the Wii aisle looking like the canned good section of a supermarket before a hurricane. Games, controllers, wires.....gone.

What is a rabid, techie consumer to do? That's right buy something else equally or more expensive than the original planned purchase. As it turns out Microcenter is having an Xbox360 sale; premium console for $299. This is the cheapest they have been available, and I snatched one along with Gears of War. If you would have told me a week ago that I would be an owner of the 360 I would have told you that you were a crack monkey.

So the 360 is pretty large. It doesn't fit on my TV stand shelves. It's also a little loud. The fan goes on full speed immediately after powering on, not really a big concern when I'm blasting games. The power brick is colossal and that's not a word I throw around often. Otherwise, I'm pretty impressed with it. I like the xbox live setup where you have a single name and stats are available across all of your games. Initial setup was fast and easy.

Gears of War looks pretty sick. The graphics are really good but nothing terribly mindblowing. Game play is fun, but I'm more interested in the online play and haven't gotten that far yet.

So Nintendo and Sony, look what you have driven me to. I had no plans in hell to buy a 360 but your low numbers have driven me to your most feared competitor, who I really don't even like much.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Muslim Haxx0rz

This was the image that popped into my head when I heard a terror alert had been issued to American financial institutions regarding a rumored cyber attack on stocks.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Marvin Minsky in Wired

Wired has been coming through with some pretty good articles lately. Articles that it takes some balls to print and happen to be things that hold a great amount of my interest. Rarely does one read about these topics elsewhere in the ink on dead tree world. Last months cover was devoted entirely to Atheism, with interviews with people like Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. This month was a much smaller article in the Play Print section about Marvin Minsky's new book, "The Emotion Machine," his much anticipated follow up to The Society of Mind.

Wired writer David Pescovitz is interviewing Dennett and Minsky when he asks, "What would a machine that worked this way (like a human basically) look like?" Dennett answers by interpreting Minsky's initial response as, "It's too early to build the big model." Minsky replies, "Actually, I could quarrel with that. I think the architecture described in The Emotion Machine is programmable. If I could afford to get three or four first-rate systems programmers, we could do it"

He goes on to say that it's unfair something like the DARPA Grand Challenge gets millions to be worked on when something like this project receives, presumably, little to no money from outside sources. At the lest the Grand Challenge is related to AI. I would take that a step or two further and say that it makes you wonder why we pay actors millions of dollars to make 1.5 hour films about crap and pay sports stars million of dollars to run into each other 200 times in the course of an hour, but we can't muster up enough money to pay a couple programmers to code for, I don't know, a year or three. It's the difference between a few hours of entertainment versus reaching humankind's destiny within our lifetimes and very few people even know or care about it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five yesterday. I enjoyed it very much, covering the 224 pages in two sittings. I try to give my reading rotation a variety of selections. I enjoy sci-fi the most, but I throw in non-fiction, educational, and out of my norm books as much as possible. This book satisfied what I will call my classic requirement.

It was absolutely depressing as hell while at the same time it had me laughing hysterically. I guess you are supposed to walk away from the book with an anti-war, anti-violence, things happen for a reason and you can't change it type of message. While I agree to some degree with the anti-war and anti-violence, at least in the main context of the book which is unnecessary war and violence, I couldn't help but feel frustrated with Billy's lack of motivation to try and change the negative things in his life. The only action he took to try and do something useful with his situation was to tell other people about it. He does spin it off in a positive light, stating that even when a person dies, they are still alive at some other point in time and always will be. That just doesn't cut it for me. I would have tried to change things every time I could for the better. Instead, Billy shrugs and goes on in his indifferent sort of way. I suppose this shows how much war can break a man's spirit.

Anyhow, it was a good read, very different and entertaining. I'll certainly be giving some more of Mr. Vonnegut's works a go. I leave you with a quote from the book, the scene is Billy being given a female to mate with in his cage on an alien world where he is a zoo exhibit: "Montana was naked, and so was Billy, of course. He had a tremendous wang, incidentally. You never know who'll get one."

So it goes...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Space and Time

You are never in the same place twice, and you never know exactly what time it is. Let me explain:

You are never in the same place twice when you state your position from an absolute fixed point in space. The Earth spins on its axis and revolves around the Sun, the Sun revolves around what is thought to be a super massive black hole, and the Milky Way galaxy itself is moving at around 300 km/sec. While you may be in the same place on Earth, from an imaginary, immovable point in space you are in a new location every second of the day.

You never know exactly what time it is ever. You do however get to know what time we think it was a month ago to a certain resolution. You never know exactly what time it is ever because the atomic clocks we use to keep track of the passage of a single second are not perfectly accurate. Furthermore, the exact time also depends on your altitude (gravity) and speed. With looser margins of error you only know what time it was a month ago. There are many atomic clocks and groups of atomic clocks that keep time very accurately. When all of the data from the world's clocks has been compiled and weighted the BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) releases the final numbers for the previous month.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

The New iPod Shuffle

I'm officially back on the bleeding edge of iPod with my new Shuffle.

First impressions:
  • It's small and light. Yeah.
  • Still manages to seem pretty sturdy. I won't be scared to take it to the gym.
  • Belt clip is strong, which is was one of my biggest concerns. Even if it does fall off, it's so light that the headphone connector doesn't unplug nor does it even pull the iPod buds out of my ears. I wish it was a wee bit stronger though.
  • Clipping vertically as on your belt, the forward button points down, etc. I don't like that. It means it was designed more to be clipped horizontally, something I doubt I will do. Not really a big deal.
  • Songs transfer a little slow, a few seconds each, through the USB to Headphone Jack converter. Not a problem for just a gig. Well worth the size reduction moving USB off device.
  • Oh, one more thing. It's freaking sweeeeeeeet.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

That Seals the Zipper on My Wii Wii

I've been math debating about having two separate game systems. Up until now I've been a one console kind of guy. Do I really want to have to buy games for two consoles and have all the paraphernalia associated with it lying around my room? I am certainly buying a ps3 and certainly not buying the xbox360, but the Wii does intrigue me. Every other interactive controller gimmick I have had though has been a novelty, not a win. So I've been on the fence with the Wii, not sure whether it will break the mold or if it'll be fun for 10 minutes and then get stupid. Then I saw the video for Red Steel. Nintendo / Ubisoft advertising departments, give yourselves a pat on the ass. I'm sold.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

One Step Closer to Contact Lens HUDs and Super-Vision

Well, hello, serendipity. My name is Tay. I found these two articles right by each other on KurzweilAI. The first [technology review] is about a group from Northwestern who have developed some cheap, high performance, and transparent transistors using indium oxide at room temperate that could be used for displays. The second [newscientist] is about a UPenn / Stanford tag team that has developed an implantable silicon chip that mimics the neural workings of a real eye.

Edit: Serendipity strikes again. Look closely, they run firefox!

E-Ink Reader

As a bleeding edge technophile, (leading edge now, damn you sweet, sweet core 2 duo macbook pro) who also loves to read, you would think I would be pitching a pant tent over all these new e-readers coming to the market. I want to like them and part of me wants it just to play with it as well as for the few situations it might actually be useful. Unfortunately, I love the physical qualities of books, especially the way they smell and the way they look stacked up on a bookshelf.

I am very worried about the possible DRM restrictions that may be imposed. Will there be rampant book p2p-ing when e-readers are more ubiquitous and won't burn your eyes out? I'd like to believe people who read a lot of books and grow to love certain authors would want to support them, but easy five fingered discounts are always enticing. I think publishers are going to preempt the wait and see method and just hit us with crippling DRM that won't be interoperable and will force you to buy and re-buy content that you should already own. Then you will get the same backlash that you get from true music fans who refuse to be encumbered with DRM, which DECREASES the value of the file, who use p2p or torrents to get a more featured "product."

Eventually, the wave that is technology will overcome the paper book as it does to most obsolete things, but I am interested to see how fast it catches on in the meantime.

Firefox 2.0

Well, Firefox 2.0 is out to go along with every other version 2.0 in the world today. I got to thinking, there really isn't much I want from my browser. I want it to be clean, secure, and fast. That's what I like about Firefox. It comes with the base configuration and let's you choose how much extra crap you wanna load on. For me that consists of Stumble, Delicious, and Adblock Plus. Anyway, 2.0 is nice in sticking with this tradition. So, thumbs up here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

November, Best Month Ever

In the world of rampant consumerism, November is shaping up to be a stellar month. I will even go so far as to say it is going to be the best month ever. I'm a young, single yuppie, and I love me some electronics (and some other things). This post will serve as a list (in no particular order, not even chronological like you might think) of all the awesome things that are due out soon:

1. Playstation 3 - November 17th: I won't even be trying to get a first run PS3. I'll let the bleeding edgers flush out the bugs and spend a night or two sleeping outside on a line.

2. Nintendo Wii - November 19th: I'm on the fence with this one. It's cheap, it could be fun, and my TV has 9t9 trillion inputs and I want to have something plugged into every one.

3. Apple iPod Shuffle - Listed ship date of October: I don't know if these babies are shipping already but other products that are get listed as ships within 24 hours. These things are so small and cheap, I'm going to get two and clip one to each of my nipples whilst at the gym.

4. Socom: Combined Assault (PS2) - November 7th: Let's face it Socom 3 sucks, a mere shadow of its predecessor. Being that CA will be playable online with S3, well, I'm reserving excitement.

5. Tony Hawk's Project 8 (PS3) - November ??: I've heard rumors that this is coming out in November but a quick intrasnets search is telling me probably not. The Tony Hawk series is one of my favs. American Wasteland was a bust though. Will the new platform offer unparalleled game play or merely pretty graphics?

6. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan - November 1st: This is my first deviation from electronics, but this movie looks too funny to not include. My name ehhhhh Borrrrat, your name please?

7. The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind - November 7th: In his much anticipated follow up to The Society of Mind, Marvin Minsky gives us his updated thoughts on AI. The future of the world is at stake here, for reals.

The Jennifer Morgue - November 1: Charles Stross is the man. Accelerando was the best sci-fi book of 2006, "IMHO." I haven't got around to reading Glasshouse yet as I've been taking a brief stint into neurology and philosophy lately. Once that's over, it's Stross time.

Well that is all I can think of for now. I'll update the list as I remember things or new word gets released down the Internet Tubes. Get excited.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Luddites, Religious Fundamentalists, and the Singularity

In trying to play some small role in working towards a positive singularity I thought spreading the singularity meme would be a good, though possibly insignificant, start. Thinking about this a little more deeply, I'm not so sure. The bigger and more popular this idea gets, the more likely it is going to be heard by people who will vehemently oppose it without question. In the case of the singularity these people are the luddites and the religious fundamentalists. There is no doubt of the numbers and power/influence that these two groups yield. No light bulb will flash into existence shining bright over their heads when they hear of the singularity. These are the people in the top tiers of the American government who control policy, money, and sway. Embracing such an idea requires a critical, open mind, a trait sorely lacking in these types. They will either strike swiftly against it in fear of change or possibly ignore it through a lack of intelligence.

My question then becomes, is it best to keep this idea quiet fearing swift action against anything deemed singularity inducing? Should we go on about our business, seeing the big picture, constantly piecing the puzzle together towards this possibly fantastic future and merely smile to ourselves at other people's utter stupidity?

Or do we stand up and fight for what we believe in? Fight against supernaturalism and the all pervasive death meme. Fight against a life philosophy that detests questioning and criticism in hope that somehow it will get through.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Solar Powered Google

With all the GooTube news going around lately, a smaller tidbit of information that I find much more interesting went largely un-talked-about. Google will be constructing solar panels at headquarters that will provide 1.6 MW of power. This would be enough to run 1/3 of their offices (not data centers). I remember reading not too long ago about Larry and Sergey investing in Nanosolar and purchasing the awesome Tesla Motors electric powered sports car.

So let's see....

Miles and miles of dark fiber.......................check!
Unlimited (as it gets) source of energy......check!
Secret 34,000 sq. foot data centers............check!

At least some people know how to look further than 1 week ahead of themselves.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

First Link

At long last, another site has posted a link to my blog. Granted, the site seems to be an RSS aggregater that searches blogs for things related to Macbook Pros and therefore, no human has read my blog and deemed it worthy of linking. However, a crawler robot did, and we all know that's who really matters. I, for one, welcome our crawling robot overlords!

Anyway, here's a link back to the site because I think that's what you are supposed to do in the unwritten law book of the blogosphere on the intraweb tubes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ruben's Tube

Pretty cool physics experiment made even cooler with some old school Foo Fighters.

Originally found here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Countdown to the Singularity!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Second Life

I've been doing a little dabbling in Second Life, a popular online metaverse of sorts. Now maybe it's because I haven't tinkered long enough, but I really don't get it. I guess it takes a while to find things to do after learning how to do anything at all. I did sit down to a game of chess with some random Second Lifer only to find that the game itself was quite broken (kings could move INTO check and be taken without the game ending.) I guess we were supposed to enforce the rules ourselves.

had a nice article on Second Life for nOObs such as myself. They made it sound really fun and crazy. I visited some of their attractions and found pretty much the same thing I've found everywhere else: avatars just standing there. I want to get into it much like I did blogging because I think online universes are going to be a big part of the future. Maybe I'll take some more time to learn the subtle nuances of the game, write some scripts, meet some like minded people, or maybe I'll stick to first person shooters. /shrug

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Singularity or Biological Life Extension?

I'm reading a book by the title, "Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto." It is about transhumanism but solely from the philosophical side. It is a little bit preachy, but I just happen to agree with almost everything Young has to say. I generally focus on the technical side so it is a much needed change in perspective as well. Anyhow, it got me to thinking about biological life extension a la Aubrey De Grey and the singularity. There is no mention of the singularity in the book just yet and I wonder if the author is aware of and interested in it. It seems there is a bit of a dichotomy between those interested in biological life extension and those seeking let's call it silicon-human integration. Do these two camps meet up and talk? Do they share similar ideas? Are they really on the same page, but I just haven't read enough about them all yet?

I've also been thinking about which will come first. I wonder if humans will have achieved drastically increased biological lifespans before a singularity event occurs. A singularity may or may not bring about increased lifespans whether they be carbon or silicon is unknown. Would people rather live in a biological body but keep a backup of their mind a la Cory Doctorow? I'd wager it might be that way at first, but eventually people (beings) will migrate towards a fully virtual lifestyle.

And if someone blogs a blog on blogger but no one is around to read it, does it really exist on the interwebs? Oh well....

Sunday, September 24, 2006

PSP for the Win!

I finally picked up a PSP the other weekend. I do a fair bit of traveling for my job, and I've yet to have less than a 3 hour wait at the airport. I'd probably rather read Scientific American or a book, but I need absolute quiet for that. So I picked up the value pack with a 1 gig memory stick, Lords of Dogtown, and ATV Offroad Fury "Blazin' Trails." Also picked up Miami Vice and Daxter while I was at it.

The PSP itself is real sleek and cool looking, but it does have some weight to it. It also smudges pretty easy and needs constant chamois-ing. The GUI is relatively functional and connecting to my wireless LAN was simple. I was quite surprised at how good most webapages appeared on it and the relvative ease of surfing in general. It's going to be real good for plugging in a few RSS feeds or bookmarks and reading some news sites. Movies, pics, and music are pretty cool too. The screen is big enough that I could probably watch a full film on it and be okay. It took some third party software to get the PSP to talk to my Macbook Pro. The program is called PSPware and is pretty cool. It syncs to your i-everything and automatically formats things for the PSP. I'd really have liked to seen a little HDD love in there, but cool stuff like that just isn't Sony's bag. They want to rape you for every cent you have with proprietary memory sticks So I don't see myself putting too many pics or music on there anyway. Especially when I'll be picking up a new nano or shuffle ASAP.

I've only played ATV and Miami Vice so far. I can see the difference between these two gamea and I would conjecture that most other games fall into these two categories as well. ATV is pretty good. It's fun, there are a lot of tracks, and a lot of different modes. It'll be hours of fun on the plane. In fact, I need to stop playing it so I actually have something left to play on the plane. It seems like it was designed with the PSP's limitations well in mind. Miami Vice, however, pretty much sucks. I haven't played it as much as ATV, but it is easy to tell that Sierra made it like a ps2 game shrunk down. The game ends up being hard to see and the gameplay is very mechanical. Maybe that'll change when I get into it more.

Pretty sweet overall though. I need to go do some chamois-ing.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Two New Links

I added two new links. One to the blogger blog of Mitchel Howe, a man who shares many of my interests related to the singularity. He doesn't seem to have updated his page in a while, but there are a lot of archives that are great reads. Also, I added the MIT tech review site. It's updated every day with a few stories on cutting edge technology. Many times you'll find people writing about a tech story that ultimately clicks through to Tech Review.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Chronoliths

I just finished reading Robert Charles Wilson's, The Chronoliths. It's a sci-fi book about these huge monuments made of some exotic/frozen/indestructible substance that are violently appearing all across Asia. They are apparently shrines to a military leader named "Kuin" and they are inscribed with writing commemorating conquests 20 years in the future. More accurately the book is about a man, Scott, who finds his life intertwined in these events. It was a wonderful story. The characters were supremely developed and the plot moved along briskly. The physics of the time travel was kept at a "pop" level through the clever use of a first person POV from Scott in which he declared his understanding was only at that level. However, the book came up short in the end. I won't ruin the ending, but I just found the time travel logic way too faulty. It was almost as if Wilson hadn't thought it through, which is hard to believe when you see how much thought he puts into the characters.

I had essentially the same experience with his other work that I read not too long ago, Spin. The stories are quite similar in nature and both were beautifully written. I just need more resolution at the end. There is a huge sci-fi build up in both stories , and both leave you thinking, "Ehhh I dunno about that." Great reads certainly. A more human relationship-centric story than sci-fi, but slight let downs at the end.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

20-Inches of Fun in Manhattan

These guys take the 20 inch, 18 pound Dell XPS2010 "laptop" out for a night on the town. Hilarity ensues.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Planck Time

I find the concept of Planck Time to be very intriguing. Basically, it is defined as the time it takes a photon, in a vacuum, to travel the Planck Length (1.6E-35 meters). In other words, it is the shortest realizeable period of time in reality. Does this mean that time is actually digital? Just that the devices we have to measure it whether they be our minds or our atomic clocks just can't resolve down that far? If nothing exists between tics of the Planck time, how do you seperate one from another? I think of time as more of a concept rather than a physicality, but none the less it is fun to think about.

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Macbook Pro Review

I've had my 17" Macbook Pro for several weeks now, so I think I am fit to give her a fair review. I can safely say I could gave gone for a much less powerful machine. The only thing I truly wanted above and behind the other Mac lappies was the 17" screen. For what I do at home, this hot baby is severely under utilized. I just kept talking myself up to the highest level though, and I finally gave in and said, "Thumbs up, lets do this." I'm sure I'll buy another gig of RAM soon too. Do I need it, nope, do I want it, yup.

On the Software Side
As a long time Windows user I was quite reluctant to switch. Now, as most people seem to say, I doubt I'll ever go back. The Mac OS X is really the strong selling point of this beast. However beautiful she may be, I don't like the idea of being stuck to one vendor though. I get plenty of Windows and Unix love at work and having used Linux as well, for what I want to do at home OS X is where it's at. I guess I was sold the first time I dragged a picture from an IM window and it automagically saved to my desktop. I don't really have trouble setting up things on other OSes but it really is more convenient here. If I want to check things out on a lower level, I can. When I want to just get things done quick, I can. My only complaint is that I can't move the HD icon on my desktop. I got used to the min/max/close buttons being on the upper left of windows, but not being able to move the HD pisses me off.

Unfortunately, I've got a number of complaints with the hardware, computer and housing. The area above my optical drive squeaked whenever the slightest amount of pressure was put on it. Just from placing my wrist off and on it would give off a door creaking squeak. I soon realized it was caused by the expansion and contraction of the case due to the extreme temperature differentials it was subjected to. I would boot up to no squeak but after the processor heated up the case it was scary movie door city. Then one day it just stopped. The next day it migrated and currently resides on my space bar in the form of a higher pitched squeak. I gave the apple forums a quick glance and saw many had the same problem and were told by the "genius bar" it was within spec. I haven't pried it off myself to apply some lubeys to it. Mac things sure don't like coming apart, and I'm hoping the problem solves itself with a good dose of time.

As I've mentioned, baby gets hot. If I run the processor at >15% utilization a small amount of nuclear fusion seems to go off. Honestly, it's not hot enough that when you touch it you instantly pull away, but you do say to yourself, "Holy balls, that's hot, I shouldn't be touching this." It'll make a nice space heater in the winter. Finally, the screen housing is a little wobbly and the right side doesn't seem to close all the way unless pushed down for a second. No whine, no discoloration, no battery issues. Wi-fi drops out here and there but I am in my basement.

Overall, I am very pleased. I'm still learning when it comes to OS X in general, but I'm exploring and liking. Hardware has a few quirks, but its a beautiful piece of machinery. I'll post some pics soon not as if everyone doesn't know what a Macbook looks like, but this one is mine.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Updated Blogs and Links

I added some blogs and links that I enjoy:

On the blog side you will find the blogs of the people that have truly inspired as well as educated on the topic of the Singularity. These guys are all very active in their respective fields. If my blog serves no other purpose other than to link someone to their blogs, well I'd call it a success.

I've also got links to some of the pages that I view on a daily basis. I'm sure most people are familiar with most of them, but if not check them out. Tech Dirt is a nice tech news site that comes at things from more of a political/legal aspect, intentionally or not. They are very sharp and direct over there. I find it to be much more professional that a lot of other sites. Check out Kurzweil AI too. It is Ray Kurzweil's home page. Be sure to check out MindX. It's a very sloppy forum but it is filled with some very interesting and forward thinking minds.

And just to add some awesomeness to this heretofore cookie cutter blog; I present you DragonForce.


Welcome to my blog. I'm not sure why I decided to start one, but it's 2006 and it just seems like the right thing to do. There are a number of things that I am interested in which I will get into later, and it would be cool to get in touch with some people with simliar interests. I've decided to separate my True Name, in all aspects, from my blog. I want to focus more on my thoughts, theories, and the like rather than on the person who is me.

My biggest interest is the Technological Singularity, a term coined by Sci-Fi writer Vernor Vinge and recently elaborated upon by Ray Kurzweil in his book, "The Singularity Is Near." The basic idea for those who are unfamiliar is the belief that we are quickly approaching a point, from many different points, where technological progress will overcome our own human intelligence the world as we know it will cease to exist. It will be replaced only by something which is far beyond the mind of the greatest thinkers ever to have thought. There will be many more posts on this for sure.

I enjoy reading very much. I like to stick to science fiction and non-fiction books in the realm of physics, psychology, philosophy, and technology in their many incarnations. I suspect I will make some posts reviewing and dicussing whatever book I happen to be reading. Recommendations are quite welcome.

Next on my list of interests: gadgets, gizmos, and games. Apparently I have a thing for alliteration as well. I'm a big console gamer, ps2 to be precise. Expect to see some game reviews and maybe some ps3 fanboy action. Some of my other techie toys include a 17" Mac Book Pro (doubles as a personal space heater), 42" Samsung DLP, a ghetto T22 Thinkpad that I plan to give some Ubuntu lovin to, a crappy Epiphone ES-200(or 300 I dont remember) that I show zero love to, and all kinds of other crap that I surely don't need to live but make me feel happy none the less.

I guess that is all for now. I hope this gives a general overview of what this blog will be about. Expect some slightly more interesting posts when I can focus on a single topic.

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