What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday's Linkee-poo

And now that we're under a week before the election, prepare for the slinging of accusations that have no basis in reality, but can't be disproven before election day. Yes, as world views crash, one of the instantaneous reactions is "they're cheating." So expect accusations of stealing the election, massive voter fraud, bussing in voters, intimidation, corporations/lobbyist/foreign money distorting, and the ever popular, eating babies. It's still early, and all those early voters don't mean that's how the election well turn out.

Strange what happens when you remove political appointees with ideological charges from government agencies, you finally see the evidence. That's a NASA page showing some evidence of the global warming and making the connection to increased CO2 in the atmosphere. The top chart is most interesting and also matches to temperature variations (although they don't show the chart overlap, which they really should have).

Some more proof that life on this planet is weirder than we think. That's an article on "The Scientist" about a new giant, marine virus being discovered (well, giant as compared to what we thought viruses would top out at). Besides the talk of genetic mixing going on with this viruses (and it's also happening in larger scale animals as well, just look at how retroviruses work), there was this little tidbit most of the way down. (grokked from Jay Lake)
… scientists now realize that there are some 50 million viruses in every milliliter of seawater. Every day, marine viruses kill about 20 percent of the ocean's microorganisms, which produce about half the oxygen on the planet.

An interesting take on the death of the browser. Not that I agree, the browser is a great piece of kit, when it works right (and not doing stupid things like a certain company's hijinx). Somewhat related is this link from Dan on Windows being the Cadillac of OS and the death of the concept of "a PC in every home." As someone who now carries two cell phones and a Touch, I see the argument here. But I think heralding the death of both the browser and the big box computer is a little premature.


Eric said...

I have no idea whether the browser and desktop will die as everybody's been saying they would for about, oh, I guess it's probably approaching ten years. But what I do know is that it seems like every time someone writes an article like the ones you link to, their examples of things that presage the imminent demise of a technology are always things I don't use or that I don't use the way the author does or that I use but not exclusively, etc.

I love my netbook, for instance. I don't know what I would do without it. But it'll never replace my desktop-replacement big "laptop" precisely because the big machine kind of does everything while the netbook does a few things decently (essentially the argument Dan makes to support his thesis): I can, f'r'instance, listen to music while playing a game and then try to get some writing done (along with associated online research) without having to switch or operate multiple devices. And the neat stuff I can do on my BlackBerry is limited on a different order from the limited stuff I can do with the netbook, etc.

I realize you don't necessarily agree with either of those pieces you linked to, Steve, I just needed to kvetch. Maybe I'm suffering a failure of imagination, it's possible. But the announcements of death seem a bit premature... again.

Steve Buchheit said...

Eric, I agree. The "big box" computer (or, in my case laptop) isn't going to be usurped by even somewhat talented small devices.

I have, however, been contemplating using an iPad as a laptop replacement (with a bluetooth keyboard). However, that's only possible because I have a good iMac sitting in the office that I can use for the powerful design stuff. But lately I've only been using the laptop to write and surf. For that, the iPad is strong enough and more configurable and convenient. It won't, however, run Photoshop or InDesign and I probably wouldn't want to run those on an iPad anyway.

It's just another pendulum swing from Mainframe, Desktop, Virtual Machine, Laptop, Distributed Computing, all around netbooks, Smart Clients, browser based OS, etc, etc. Last I looked, mainframes are still in use.

Anonymous said...

I need to thank you for that giant virus link. It's going into this year's NaNo novel.

Anonymous Cassie

Steve Buchheit said...

Cassie, glad I could help.

Also, as a reminder (not that I think you need one), but don't forget to vote tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

It's on the increasingly long list of things to do. Glad to see you've already done it.

I'm so glad it's over. This has been one of the most painful election seasons I've endured.