Monday, November 29, 2010

Long month

Yet, as days slip by, one has to acknowledge that life ain't getting any longer.

Or is it? According to Some Smarties at Harvard, Teleomerase production really does make a difference in mice. That had been artificially impared, but still.

Reproduction is the usual method for longevity of kind, at least until immortality becomes de rigeur. One has to wonder how much the effort takes off our mortal lifespan, as listening to Gabe's constant screaming probably lopped a good year off me this month. Hopefully the research will catch up around the time he gets a job.

It's been a chinese interesting month, after the wonderful holiday (tinted with the abject failure of STS 133 to launch). A possible change of focus of work, mid life crises abound, yet another bloody cold upon cold upon sickness. I went through a spate of crazy good ideas (if only I had a replicator/manufactory, I'd be halfway to rich by now - for prior art, picture gesture-to-text using rings and local positioning, no more typing or even swiping on devices, just wriggle your fingers) along with all the crazy AR stuff I've been blabbing about for years. I have a feeling that the RnD folks at work will crack some of that stuff, especially the AR world-geo overlay, just as soon as we get comfortable with the gyros in the latest handhelds. Tangent, but in a few years everyone will wonder just how the hell they ever managed without being able to sweep their mobile across a view and see - their friends (and their friends mood / bank account / waiting time ), their nearest cashpoint, the bus turning the corner 10 streets away, the nearest taxi/burger king/police station.

The other interesting idea I had tonight was consensual observation/reporting. I saw some dude tagging a window with spray paint, but was not in the mood to stop and challenge. If I had a mobile - that had video recording and geotagging - and if I could press a "tape this shit and send it to the rozzers" button - would that change society? "I'm observing you, dude. No point giving me grief, it's already on tape." We're nearly there with all the video capture that happens, but the leap to realtime is the discriminator. Think video 911 in reverse. Add another person (or two, or ten) and you've got some pretty compelling evidence right there, probably with enough capture to synth the whole scene back out again.

Corner cases and the opposite perspective are a goldmine, by the way. Think of every problem you ever bitched about and turn it on it's head - there's your opportunity.

The other dweller has been the constant niggle that capitalism really is crappy at resource allocation, regardless of the plethora of hype to the contrary. Surely it would be more efficient for society if people in their cars just gave folks a lift? Technology is certainly an enabler for that, as soon as we stray into AR, trust ratings (visible over your head, natch) and groupthink access to your public dataset. Yes, I would like a lift into the town centre. I'm not a crazy, and I might even be your new friend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Saving up for Virgin, then.

This week has been a total rollercoaster - every day we've been planning to go the next day and watch the shuttle launch, each day edging slightly closer. Yesterday we were up at 4am in a huge thunderstorm, knowing our chances of seeing a launch that day were around 10%. Today we were up at 4.30am, with hopes of seeing a launch much higher - odds were looking to be about 60% that the wind and weather would allow a launch, without any other mechanical problems.

Sadly, the problems reared their heads just as we arrived at KSC on the coach, around 8.15am this morning. After a bit more analysis, it's been confirmed that the earliest the shuttle will launch is now November 30th. We'll be out of the country much sooner than that.

Still, unless you take a chance you're never get to see the cool stuffs.

God speed, Discovery.