After swapping out the power supply and CPU fan with higher quality models, one of my desktops is finally quiet enough to contribute to the SETI at Home. This project is a small way I can contribute to science without actually being a formal scientist myself. Once I quiet the other machine I have, I [...]
One of the nice things about including the subject of games on this site is, when I’m at a loss in other subjects, I can always rant about gaming pilpul and hairsplitting. Anyway, one of the endless unsettled disputes among role-playing gamers is the subject of realistic rules versus easy rules. On the one end, [...]
In the light of yesterday’s post, I wondered about progress in attempts to combine microelectromechanical systems and scanning probe microscopy. I looked in this direction because I had learned that it took the team at Rice eight years to figure out ways to reliably make their little bucky-wheeled chassis with conventional chemistry. They had to [...]
A team at Rice University builds a nanoscopic car chassis out of buckyballs and nanotubes. They claim the wheels roll but, some are skeptical. Over at the Georgia Institute of Technology, they hope to domesticate microbes and coax them into building complex circuit elements and other microscopic structures for us more cheaply than photolithography. A [...]
Maybe some of you have read "Dial F for Frankenstein?" In that short story Arthur C Clarke imagines the consequences of a minor technical improvement in the global communications network. Suddenly a new lifeform emerges out of the network and it quickly learns how to protect itself and control its body. Clarke’s story is often [...]
About a week or so ago Ray Kurzweil and Bill Joy condemned the publication of the genome of the virus responsible for the flu epidemic of 1918. Kurzweil in particular called for the genome to be censored.
Well it’s more than a month since I’ve said anything. Mostly this was writer’s block and other preoccupations. But to resume: It’s common now for labor to outsourced from countries with high living standards and strong regulation to countries with lower standards of living and weaker regulation. Large businesses do this to reduce their costs. [...]