Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Like many chil­dren inspired dur­ing the height of the NASA shut­tle pro­gram, I once wanted to be an astro­naut. Also hav­ing grown up with the likes of E.T., the Trans­form­ers, Robot­ech, and a mul­ti­tude of other scifi sto­ries and ques­tion­able news­casts about UFO sight­ings, I was fas­ci­nated with the idea of extrater­res­trial life. Now given the vast­ness of this uni­verse, I don’t have the hubris to believe that we’re the only life con­tained within it. After read­ing The Undis­cov­ered Planet, it turns out we can’t even call our­selves the dom­i­nant form of life on this planet, even if we judge our­selves as the most intelligent—which is cer­tainly debat­able. The honor of the most dom­i­nant life form on this planet goes to micro­bial life. The arti­cle even pos­tu­lates that should life exist else­where it will most likely be micro­bial. So it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to hypoth­e­size that the most dom­i­nant life form in the uni­verse is micro­bial. Now this shouldn’t put a damper on SETI’s efforts which looks for extrater­res­trial intel­li­gent life. Even if the major­ity life in the uni­verse is micro­bial, Drake’s equa­tion by con­ser­v­a­tive esti­mates puts the num­ber of intel­li­gent civ­i­liza­tions in a galaxy as non-zero. Plus sen­si­tiv­ity of com­mu­ni­ca­tion sen­sors con­tin­u­ally improve. Yet it will prob­a­bly be a long time before we get sen­sors so sen­si­tive that can detect life on a micro­scopic scale over stel­lar dis­tances if such a feat is phys­i­cally pos­si­ble. Which prob­a­bly means that we’ll most likely encounter this micro­bial life first-hand as either human explor­ers or more likely by proxy via robotic probes. It’s funny; space viruses may not be sci­ence fic­tion after all.

May Day” is exactly what Digg is exclaim­ing right now. Any­one who’s a reg­u­lar reader of Digg, Slash­dot and the like knows, users are doing noth­ing short of revolt­ing against DRM and respond­ing to—what peo­ple say is uncalled for—censorship (even if its in a site’s power to mod­er­ate the user-posted con­tent). They’re flood­ing Digg with links to ever more cre­ative expres­sions of the access key for unlock­ing HD-DVDs. The MPAA might as well just throw in the towel and either gen­er­ate a new key, develop a new copy-protection scheme (that will get defeated sooner or later), or just fol­low the music industry’s lead and phase out DRM all together. By try­ing to squash this infor­ma­tion, all they’ve done is pub­li­cize it even more. When they say that if it gets on the inter­net it stays on the inter­net, they mean it.

Putting up a site for my posse was always on the back burner. Odd since my cur­rent pro­fes­sion is web devel­op­ment, one would think such a cre­ation would be birthed sooner than later. Yet as stu­dious, hard-working, cre­ative, and focused as the four of us can be, our nat­ural ten­dency is towards lazi­ness. Many an anec­dote will attest to that. Not that lazi­ness is a bad thing. Get­ting the most out of the least effort is noth­ing short of being effi­cient. And we should all strive to be more effi­cient. So in spite of said lazi­ness (and a need to jus­tify a siz­able expen­di­ture for a host­ing plan) I built our­selves a soap­box. So it begins…