Cold War II, Part 2

April 11, 2008 | politics, technology
Hacking isn’t limited to pro-Tibetan groups; the Pentagon notes that cyberattacks against US defense infrastructure has greatly increased in the last few years. Given the sad state of computer security and the increased use of consumer components by the military, I strongly suspect that the average American would be petrified to learn how many national secrets we’ve failed to protect. For the time being, at least ignorance truly is bliss.

Patent Hell

April 11, 2008 | politics, technology
I’ve been against software patents for a long time now, but when I read about stories such as satellites being turned into space garbage because the only way to fix the orbit is patented, I’m forced to question the wisdom of patents in general. I love the idea of patents; I’m just dubious that the current implementation actually works. More often than not, I see patents used not to protect a novel invention, but as a legal stick to bludgeon small competitors. That runs completely against the...

Cold War II

April 10, 2008 | politics
If what Wired claims about the recent Office patches is true, then we’re in deep trouble. (And, even if it’s not, the fact that few people would call such claims impossible makes me seriously question the wisdom of holding the Olympics in China.)

Free speech for everyone! Except you!

April 7, 2008 | politics
One common misconception that I have long since given up trying to correct is that constitutionally guaranteed free speech means that others must provide you a platform from which to spout your views. It does not. You have a right to say what you want; I have a right to tell you that you cannot do so from my lawn. You are responsible for disseminating your views, not me. So, at a high level, I don’t have a problem with Starbucks’ refusal to print the phrase “Laissez-faire” on their customized...

Nuclear Power, Continued

March 27, 2008 | politics, technology
As I indicated curtly in my previous post, I’m a huge proponent of nuclear power. Though there continues to be substantial political debate whether global warming exists—largely because responding to it would be economically damaging—the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is, and has been for some time, that global warming exists and is man-made. (See the IPCC statement, and a discussion of its significance in Nature—one of the top several scientific journals in the world, and...

Nuclear Power

March 27, 2008 | politics
Yeah, that’s about right.

NYC Police

December 27, 2007 | personal, politics
Bloomberg announced today that New York City will be deploying new cops to crime-ridden areas of Brooklyn in an attempt to decrease the city’s crime rate. That’s a really spiffy idea, and I support it, but, personally, I think that maybe stemming the mass exodus of qualified police officers—perhaps by increasing their salaries so they’re at least competitive with nearby cities and towns that have a lower cost-of-living—might be a better idea. In order to finance a pay raise, I propose a $100...

Mental Break

November 25, 2007 | personal, politics
As the world gets more insane, I sometimes need a mental break. For example, President Bush covering U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday. Am I bad for liking this version more than the original?

Duke in the News

September 10, 2007 | personal, politics
It’s so nice when bad things happen to bad people. Now if they could just do something about the other idiot in this affair…

Who Killed the Electric Car?

September 7, 2007 | personal, politics
A few days ago, I watched Who Killed the Electric Car?, a documentary covering the growth and decline of electric cars in the 90s. The movie focuses on the GM EV1 as its poster child, interviewing several EV1 drivers, sales personnel, and parts manufacturers. Because I had only a dim memory of the EV1, or even of the concept of electric cars being on the road, I found a lot of the documentary fascinating. To be sure, the documentary has a clear message: the electric car was killed because it was...