Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

  a short email address is a good email address

I've had multiple people ask me for the cachet of a gmail account reference, and couldn't believe that a "john@gmail.com" was selling a means of getting accounts for 100 dollars each on ebay...

To my knowledge you can't get a gmail account of less than 6 letters. Fraud or fact?

but as I think about it - and plan to be unsurprised if it was true - that's one way to value gmail's service - vanity email accounts go on a auction market of some kind.

What would it cost for m@gmail.com I wonder?
 
Sunday, May 30, 2004

  Man's children

Crazy Horse stood high on a mountain
Said: “51's a long way to climb
And – youth doesn't come from a fountain
And - Freedom you can't redesign”

In the early 70s, NASA Ames built the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft on the cheap to take the first pass through the asteroid belt and onto Jupiter. They endured 450,000 rads on close approach to Jupiter – 1000 times the lethal radiation limit of a human being, and after providing data critical to the success of the follow-on Voyager grand tour, they died -- seared, malfunctioning – with the teams that controlled them trying desperately hour by hour, day by day to keep them running.

I'm no stranger to animism, I emphasise deeply with the machines of man, and even more deeply with the men that make machines.

I felt for those machines as they died, and for the people that created them, knowing that they would surely die, but knowing that their deaths would serve a purpose also.

At the Contact conference earlier this year I had the chance to meet Mike Sims, one of the technical leaders behind the Mars Lander Opportunity - he was tired, from endless nights keeping his machine alive, black bags beneath his eyes.

And I had to ask him - after that achievement - after the long deserved vacation he took after that machine, too, inevitably died, what then?

I asked him. He didn't know. He couldn't think much past keeping his baby alive until the end.

But I remember vividly his expression as the 8 year old Brianna Machado asked him, in a child’s innocent seriousness:

"Did you actually go to Mars yourself?"

"No", he said slowly, his eyes misting up - "but I wish I had".

That I'll never forget. I'd seen that look before...

I'd seen the same look on the face of a widow drawing her hand across her husband's name on the Vietnam memorial.

I'd seen it on my own face, in the mirror, after nearly crashing my car into a telephone pole just below Mark Bingham's parent's house
just after 9/11. There was a pile of flowers there as tall as the mailbox...

I've seen that same look on the face of the parents and friends of the casualties of all our wars for freedom:

"I wish I'd been there."

"I wish I knew I'd do the same thing they did"

But, being born and raised long after our last major war, I grieve today, not just for our honored dead in physical battle, not just for those MIA or in prison camps, and not just for those returned home crippled and changed - but for those that fought for the idea of freedom on whatever ground they could find to stand on, who fought and won, or fought, and lost -

"for to fight for the right, without question or pause"

and to die trying

is the greatest expression of why freedom is worth fighting for.

"I wish I knew I'd do the same thing they did". I wish I knew.

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
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My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
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Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

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