How Sliders Made Me Think Despite the Odds

When I was in high school I used to watch TV with my parents a lot, and they absolutely loved science  fiction. A short list of what we watched together looks like this: Star Trek, Star Trek: the Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The X Files, SeaQuest, Quantum Leap. and Sliders. It's easy to understand why I didn't have a lot of friends at the time. Well, a few months ago I started watching streaming video from Netflix, and found out they offer the complete series (is serieses a … [Read more...]

Learning from "The Netbook Effect"

In the March issue of Wired there's an article, "The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time" by Clive Thompson, that got some wheels turning for me. The article is about the sort of accidental takeover of the netbook - the totally stripped down $300 laptops that hit the market in the form of the Asus Eee PC in late 2007.The Eee PC's desigers were working off of the concept behind One Laptop Per Child. The idea was to create an incredibly efficient system that would give max … [Read more...]


John Dyer created a twitter app that he calls TwitterVoice3D. Basically, it splashes your tweets all over the screen using random fonts, colors and positions, then reads them, one at a time - randomly. It's truly a site to see (and hear).He created it as an experiment, to demonstrate the chaos found in unbridled technology.  Check it out at … [Read more...]

My Top 5 Alternative Fuels

In light of the money about to be poured into alternative fuels research, I thought I'd do a Top 5 list of my own: My top 5 alternative fuels.I'm not one to get sucked in to talk of crisis and hysteria. If I were, I would be wondering why people aren't melting in Australia, why there haven't been any off-the-charts hurricane seasons since 2005, and why hundreds of millions of people didn't die of starvation in the '70s. I would also be curious as to why, despite Alexander Graham Bell's 1917 … [Read more...]

Megapixels, The Bachelor and the Good Life

Last week while I was considering a newer digital camera (My Rebel XT is nearing it's exposure rating), I was bouncing around Gizmodo and came across an article that changed the whole nature of my search: "Why More Megapixels Isn't Always Better".I was just going to glance at it to reinforce what I already knew, which is that while a 10MP point-and-shoot and a Rebel XTi or Nikon D60 have the same resolution, the control and lens quality of the digital SLR (single-lens reflex) is far superior. … [Read more...]

IT, 50 Years Ago

Jack Arrington, father of TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, offers a look at one of the first commercial breakthroughs in information technology.It's amazing how things like computers have become so integral to our lives that we don't even think about what things were really like before they were around. I got mad one summer because I couldn't deposit my paycheck to my Texas account at Bank One...from Michigan. But in the fifties it would have been a hassle to deposit it from the next … [Read more...]

Technology's Double Edged Sword

Technology is amazing. I'm awed by its power to change our world down to the very questions we ask about the problems we face. If we forget to mail something until the last minute, we simply overnight it. For $40 or $50 we can avert a crisis. But in 1890, depending on the distance, you might have had to plan weeks or months in advance, and there were no tracking numbers. Even 10 years ago one of our favorite phrases when we're going driving to a new place - "I'll call you when we get close," - … [Read more...]