Near Earth Archive

A backup of Near Earth Object by Paul Fidalgo

Month: January, 2010

Fidalgo in Logo

The Fidalgo family, in logo, by Justin Sapp


1/26 Mindset

The tech industry will be in paroxysms of future shock for some time to come. Many will cling to their January-26th notions of what it takes to get “real work” done; cling to the idea that the computer-based part of it is the “real work”.

It’s not. The Real Work is not formatting the margins, installing the printer driver, uploading the document, finishing the PowerPoint slides, running the software update or reinstalling the OS. The Real Work is teaching the child, healing the patient, selling the house, logging the road defects, fixing the car at the roadside, capturing the table’s order, designing the house and organising the party.

Think of the millions of hours of human effort spent on preventing and recovering from the problems caused by completely open computer systems. Think of the lengths that people have gone to in order to acquire skills that are orthogonal to their core interests and their job, just so they can get their job done.

If the iPad and its successor devices free these people to focus on what they do best, it will dramatically change people’s perceptions of computing from something to fear to something to engage enthusiastically with. I find it hard to believe that the loss of background processing isn’t a price worth paying to have a computer that isn’t frightening anymore.

Fraser Speirs – Blog – Future Shock


I debated policy with Mike Pence once and the guy is a stone-cold idiot.

Matthew Yglesias  » Obama at the House GOP Retreat

If You Love Your Kids

If you like your kids, get them an iPad so they can play games,” said Russ Wilcox, the head of E Ink Corp., which created the digital paper technology used by the Kindle and many other e-ink-based readers. “If you love them, get them an e-reader so they can actually read.

Kindle not ready to surrender to iPad –



Owl in flight, via AKMA


There’s a reason all those single overweight girls you know on Facebook do the “over-the-head” digicam profile shot: a photograph of a subject becomes less flattering the father you move the camera south from eye-level.

I just think it’s really funny he wrote this, presumably with a straight face and no fear of backlash.

Why the iPad doesn’t have a camera: Apple doesn’t want you to look fat | Cult of Mac

Wasted Efforts

African Americans, Latinos, and young voters aren’t tuning out because we failed to build bipartisan concensus with Olympia Snowe, or because MSNBC or the blogs made them angry. Making such claims is patently absurd. They’re tuning out because we wasted 2009 “negotiating” with bad faith actors like Snowe and Mike Enzi. The tools were available to quickly pass a health care bill, yet Democrats were too incompetent to do so. And on issue after issue, they’ve proven completely ineffective.

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Don’t Drop Your Dice

If more inmates were über-nerdy D&D players, life would be good.

Appeals Court Upholds Prison Ban of Dungeons and Dragons –

Who’s the Boss?

A friend of mine in the progressive movement is as livid with the Democratic Party’s incompetence as I am, lamenting that the president and the congressional Democrats are all behaving as though they are in the minority. He elicited great guffaws from me when he wrote:

The White House, right now, thinks that we do not have a majority in the House or Senate, and they are emailing and it keeps bouncing back and they don’t know why.

How I Feel After Reading Brian Greene