Category Archives: tech

Another General Posting

The frequent eye strain headaches have made the desire to sit and compose blog posts rather rare of late. After spending 8 hours at the computer for my day job I am disinclined to spend much more at home. Even bumping up the font only helps so much. However on Wednesday I had my annual eye exam, discovered that the axis of my astigmatism had shifted quite a bit. So while my visual acuity is about the same, I still require new lens. They have been ordered, 7-10 days which is like something from the last century, and when I get them I should be back to my old happy self.

Having just finished the Book of Job, I’m about halfway through my reading of the Old Testament. God has finished making he transition to a spirit above and encompassing the world, quite a change from the wrestling guy in Genesis or the dude who appeared, wrapped in smoke and flame like a Balrog, above magic boxes. I’m not sure if I will finish this read, it has been sucking up a lot of my time and I really shouldn’t waste too much.

Today, 5/25/12, the Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space station, opening a new era for spaceflight. Space X is going where only governments have gone before, and while I cheer this achievement should we consider where other corporations might go if given the chance? Is this is herald of a bright off-world future or the sign that the cyberpunks might have been right?

Paging Dr. McCoy, your hypo is ready.  Speaking as someone who despises the needle, I can’t even watch one on the movie screen, I truly cheer this invention.

The three day weekend is nearly upon us. I have plans, but hardly anything extravagant. Sadly I will not be going to BayCon this year. It was a choice between BayCon and WorldCon and in that contest WorldCon always wins. So tonight will be D&D, where I am a player. We’re in the middle of a fight, outnumber and fighting under hampered conditions. So far the gamemaster has been holding back, but we’ll see if this is the last game for my Arabic Paladin, Alladin. Tomorrow and Sunday will be board and card gaming with friends and my sweetie-wife, must resist buying the Game of Thrones board game, and on Monday I will be going toDisneyland. Sadly by myself, my dear friend who was going to go is under the weather health wise and that has caused quite a bit of financial stress. I already had paid for my ticket, so alone I go. I shall have fun in his honor.


Thoughts on owing a NOOK

It’s been a couple of weeks since I purchased a NOOK, in part with early birthday funds from my sweetie-wife, and here are my early thoughts.

I bought a NOOK tablet because I wanted an e-reader with a wider range of capability than what I was getting from my ezreader pro, but I felt I didn’t need to the full functionality of the more expensive iPad, and I think I made the right call.

I downloaded a few public domain texts, transferred ebooks from my Adobe ereader software, moved a few personal files, and subscribed the SF magazines ANALOG and ASIMOV’s as tests for the tablet. I can happily report that in all these tests the NOOK performed quite well and the reading experience was easy and comfortable. The most vexing issues dealt with personal files and learning how to transfer them so they were accessible, once that was achieve they worked fine.

I had missed having subscription to SF magazine, but I detest the way the physical magazine piled up and I was generally loath to throw them out. Having an e-subscription is the perfect solution for me and it was quite pleasurable to be reading new SF authors and shorts. (Though I admit reading some of those stories makes me wonder what’s going on in short story writing these days. I mean, shouldn’t a story be about something?)

The battery life seems quite serviceable, and while the net surfing on it is less that optimal, I did not buy it as a net device, thought it will serve in a pinch.


Over all this has been a pretty good purchase and a nice birthday gift.


“This is the voice of World Control…”

For the last five or six years I have been using an iBook made in 2001 as my laptop computer. This little machine is gleaming white and has primarily been used as a writing platform during my breaks at my day job, running gaming software during my D&D game (3.5 thank you very much), and allowing me and my sweetie-wife access to the internet while away at conventions. Given the machine’s coloration and gaming duties when I had to name it for my network the natural choice seemed to be Gandolf. Continue reading “This is the voice of World Control…”


Our science-fictional world.

Two weeks ago researchers UC Berkley reported a breakthrough in understanding human speech, a breakthrough that could someday shatter many of our social conventions. The scientists, studying the patterns with varies subjects’ brains, were able to determine what words the subjects hearing by the brain’s activity alone. It is a small step from there to deciphering the unspoken words thought by a person. The researchers are developing this technology to medically help people with severe brain injury and disease. We could even learn just what is going on in a person who is in a persistent coma state, breaking through to these terribly isolated people. Continue reading Our science-fictional world.


Quick post

Well, today during my lunch hour I took some extra time and had an MRI of my brain performed at my doc’s orders. (He does not feel that there are any serious issues beyond the migraines, but we want to rule out any nasty surprises.)

I started today with a mild headache, after the MRI — yes Brad I know nMRI — I have a severe headache, so severe that even new blu-rays can’t distract me.

Want to experience an MRI without bothering with a pesky doctor? Easy!

First crawl into a discard carpet tube so you’re loaded like a torpedo ready for firing. Make sure your head is exposed, because it goes into an old steel bucket (and just like a real MRI — yeah yeah nMRI– don’t forget your hearing protection). Have someone bring over a tweeting bird that’s just starting a cocaine bender, ’cause for the duration of the event you need the incessant chirping to counterpoint the rest. Now, once your head is fully in the bucket, have your friend go at it with a power-sander to the outside of the bucket. Changing it up every few minutes with whack from a lead pipe and throw in a few alarm klaxons and you’ll have an idea what an MRI is like. Primo for headaches, let me tell you.

I’m off to bed.


Really Interesting Medical News

Scientists have developed a cancer test that can detect free-floating cancer cells in the blood stream. It is sensitive enough to detect individual cancer cells at a ratio of one to one billion.

This is really incredible stuff people. The yahoo article is basic, but once this gets refined and mass produced it will dramatically effect cancer survival rates in my untrained opinion.

I am getting to the age where I think about such things much more often than I used to and news likes this brightens my day.