Updates from January, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Hober Short 8:54 pm on 31 January 2008 Permalink  

    Hober: When I was at home, I was unable to either remotely log in or ping the server. I didn’t really have time to troubleshoot it
    Pat: Did you reboot it?
    Hober: No, it gave me destination host unreachable.
    Pat: I did, a few minutes ago.
    Hober: The server?
    Pat: Yes. And I just pinged it from here (my laptop). It responded promptly.
    Hober: That’s to be expected. We know your laptop can communicate with it because you just printed to it, no?
    Pat: Er, well, yeah. Damn you and your logic.
    Hober: Well, if you want to be logical… The packet could never reach the printer, it would have to go halfway. And before it could get there, it would have to get halfway to halfway.
    Pat: There’s a reason the ancient Greeks never managed to build their own Internet.
    Hober: I mean, would you want Zeno as your sysadmin?
    Pat: No. He’d never get anything done; he’d just give me logical-sounding explanations for why it was impossible to do whatever I was asking for.
    Hober: Anyways, they didn’t have zeroes. All their packets would just consist of ones. And you would only be able to have one IP address
    Pat: Good point.
    Hober: Of course, they could fix all their addressing problems with IPvVI.
    Okay, this has gotten much too silly
    Pat: This is how they actually transmitted their packets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheidippides
    Hober: Never underestimate the bandwidth of a marathon runner with a satchel full of wax tablets
    Pat: In Greece, that might work. In North Carolina, the wax would melt. Clay tablets? Yeah. We have lots of clay here.
    Hober: Well, but if you unite Zeno and Schroedinger, you wouldn’t know if tablets melted until he got to his destination, and since that’s impossible, the problem is moot.
    Pat: Mixing ancient Greek philosophy with quantum physics is a recipe for disaster.

    More here.

  • Hober Short 5:36 pm on 30 January 2008 Permalink  

    Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman has taken on a bunch of things that really infuriate him about the engineering of products. The one section in particular that seems to be catch everyone’s attention is where he suggests kicking the over-engineered Windows Vista to the curb in favor of “a Linux-based OS such as Ubuntu. Since most Linux OSs are free, there’s no business reason to bloat up the system with feature frills. ” But the part that really tickled my fancy was where he uses my personal favorite logical argument, reductio ad absurdum:

    And high-tech companies—stop messing with us on your treadmill of upgrades while making the old stuff obsolete. It may be that any software company that didn’t routinely upgrade its product would go out of business. But what if the rest of the world worked this way? Oh, I lost a sock. I need to get a whole new wardrobe because the replacement sock is version 2.0.1, and the stores now only sell version 2.0.3.

  • Hober Short 2:31 pm on 30 January 2008 Permalink  

    CmdrTaco (yes, that’s his real handle), co-founder of Slashdot, has some criticism for Digg:

    “The Digg method and Digg community are a wider audience than Slashdot,” he said. “But with sites like Digg, it’s the wisdom of the crowds or the tyranny of the mob. You never know what you’re going to get.”

    I covered the same thing some time ago.

  • Hober Short 2:17 pm on 30 January 2008 Permalink  

    Seems to me that Celio already has developed the software to connect your EEEPc to your smartphone, they’ve just platform-locked it. It is possible they will take the Apple route and only allow their hardware to run their software, but at least it’s been shown that a smartphone can export its display and input to an external device.

  • Pat 1:49 pm on 30 January 2008 Permalink  

    Celio has an interesting accessory for Windows Mobile smartphones. The Redfly Mobile Companion connects to your phone by USB or Bluetooth and gives you a standard keyboard and an 8-inch widescreen display.

    Redfly Mobile Companion

    Downside: it costs $499. I’d love to have one, but not at that price. Half a grand is a lot of money for a dumb terminal; I could buy an Eee PC for $100 less and have a fully functional computer.

    Hey, that gives me an idea. Couldn’t you connect an Eee PC to your smartphone? Is anyone developing software to make that work?

  • Pat 3:40 pm on 29 January 2008 Permalink  

    Washington Post headline: Asteroid to Miss Earth Tonight

    Well, that’s certainly good to hear. But I’m not sure why it’s news. I mean, there are a lot of asteroids in the solar system. Doesn’t each of them miss Earth every night?

  • Hober Short 4:41 pm on 28 January 2008 Permalink  

    Move to Japan so you can eat strawberry Cheetos. Heh. (Via The Consumerist.)

  • Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. 3:22 pm on 28 January 2008 Permalink  

    I’ve sometimes wondered the same thing. Seems to me that the advantages (specifically, raising a whole lot of cash) are offset by some significant disadvantages: not only the regulatory stuff, but also the real possibility that you could lose control of your own company.

    But I know very little of such things. I can only assume that there are good reasons why it makes sense for some businesses, particularly if your business plan requires an infusion of capital you can’t get any other way.

  • Hober Short 1:15 pm on 28 January 2008 Permalink  

    One of this week’s IBD Editorials makes a passing reference to “the heavy-handed Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory regime now making it a nightmare to operate a publicly traded company.” This reminded me of something that SAS CEO Jim Goodnight said in an interview a while ago about how it’s a great time to be a private company, because it stops him from having to answer to turbulent share holders and not having to jump through all the hoops of Sarbanes-Oxley. See, SarbOx is an act passed in the wake of Enron, et al. that created more government oversight of publicly traded companies to protect investors or whatever.

    But this forces me to wonder: is there any advantage to being publicly traded, aside from being able to raise fund by selling stock? I understand this can be a very powerful motivator, but apparently some companies remain private as SAS has done, such as UPS. And take Google’s IPO, for example: they were already wildly successful, so why did they have to parcel pieces of the company out for cash? Was it just to get more dough?

  • Hober Short 11:58 am on 28 January 2008 Permalink  

    More on SpaceShipTwo, this time in video form. There’s not much meat on that metaphorical bone, however — it’s mostly a layman’s overview of the project. There is a bit of discussion of the explosion at Scaled Composites last year, which was apparantly the result of doing some new things with chemicals without knowing the associated dangers. There’s also some nice CG footage of SS2 in flight.

    All in all, as much as I expected from a press announcement months before test flights begin.

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