Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Tuesday, November 29, 2005

  Those weekend shuttle trips

Some needed humor about the shuttle, courtesy of The Onion.
 
Monday, November 28, 2005

  How to talk to a human

Paul English has created a masterful list on how to bypass the phone systems at 108 companies and get to a human being, fast.

The Radish Crimson writes: This guy is the Patrick Henry of the upcoming war against the machines made famous in the Terminator movies. I would think that Edward Furlong would be traveling back in time to retrieve this list and father himself.

I LIKE IVR systems... but too many seem perversely designed to lose a customer rather than retain one.
 
Sunday, November 27, 2005

  Male to Female translation tool wanted

I think Babelfish and Google's translation tools are some of the best services to be had on the web. They bring people together who might never have been able to converse.

Aside from wishing these tools were more accurate, and wishing for translation of Arabic and other languages from hotly contested parts of the word, there's one translation feature I long for desparately:

Accurate translation from Male English to Female english, and Female English to Male English!!

Life without google gender translation services is endlessly confusing for both halves of homo sapiens sapiens. Unfortunately, I can only speak for common mistranslations of my half...

For example:

MaleFemaleAccuracyActual Translation
You look nice in that dress todayHe wants to have sex with me10%Thank you for doing the laundry
I'm going to go down to my office and work for a whileHe doesn't want me around anymore20%I need to support your shopping habit somehow
FineFine0%>Something is wrong, but I don't want to talk about it right now, and you should know what it is, but you don't, so, "fine".
 

  Space Grabbag

While I am catching up from an overdose of triptophan, some items that landed in my queue:

There's now a space related podcast, The space show, which looks likely to get added to my morning drive.

Neil Armstrong has a biography out and has also been featured on 60 minutes. Sure wish I had a tivo that picked up these things.

Stephen Hawking was just here in Oakland, Ca, and I missed him, too. He answered enigmatically to a reporters question about: "Bush's plan for exploring mars in 10 years". Hawking called it "stupid". Nobody knows what he meant, really, though, there's plenty of speculation on the subject.

And Dick Rutan recounts his experiences with various aircraft, like voyager...

I'm going to stop blogging about space stuff for a while. I have a backlog on other subjects - like saving the net, the success of the sony rootkit meme... and, if I want to get my hits up, something about sex.
 

  Another falcon's frustration... yet space continues to call

SpaceX's Falcon I's launch, scheduled for saturday, was scrubbed for a week due to excessive boiloff of helium and oxygen in the tropic heat.

I understood that the atoll was kind of remote but I was kind of shocked that the fuel making equipment was not based on the island.

Anyway, as Elon Musk cautioned all, delays in this first launch were inevitable, and I retain high hopes that SpaceX can deliver small payloads to LEO at a cost per pound previously unthinkable.

remember... If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

It's going to be a wonderful decade for private space flight, what with Mike Griffin publically advocating that the alt.space community get into the fuel transport biz. Griffin gets it:

Bonus Link: Dr Ron Sugar (CEO of Northrop/Grumman) speaks:
 

  The falcon (hayabusa) has landed!

JAXA's space probe Hayabusa, after traveling 2 billion kilometers, weathering heavy solar flux, and suffering multiple glitches, including the failure of two of its three reaction wheels, and the loss of its lander, Minerva, has proven an old adage true:

If first you don't succeed, try, try again. Harder. According to JAXA, with the help of a communications array based in the US, Hayabusa successfully landed and collected samples of Itokawa on Saturday.

This is an unprecedented technical achievement. My hat is off to Hayabusa's science and engineering team, who successfully - after 4 prior attempts - refined their control software to make Hayabusa be able to land and take off again.

All that is left now is the long return journey back to earth. My prayers go out to this lonely probe to help will it home. Our knowledge of asteroids will be much enhanced thereby. Go Falcon!

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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
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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