Demand for broadband internet is at an all time high, and the days of dialup are far behind us (for the most part). This giant map below shows just how widespread it is these days (Aww, poor Alaska!). In general, the average speeds that a normal consumer is willing to dish out cash for, is somewhere between 1mbps and 50mbps. Certainly nothing to gawk at, when compared to the blistering 0.054mbps that could be achieved over dialup (assuming your phone line wasn’t garbage, and your ISP was able to handle speeds that incredibly fast…). Now there’s some movement to make current squabbling between a few measly mbps seem almost as silly as the squabbling between the 28.8k and 56k offerings of dialup…
Face to Facebook (F2FB) is a documentary about breaking through your own self imposed barriers, and being brave enough to live your own life. The video below explains it far better than I ever could. They need your support though, please pledge to support this documentary if you or anyone you know has ever felt trapped like this woman. Every dollar helps them get closer to their goal. Pledge support and spread the word!
I love the idea behind this, and I think it reaches beyond what this woman is going through. In this day and age, we have all distanced ourselves via technology and social networking, for a variety of reasons. Convenience, saving time, laziness, etc. We all have that certain percentage of folks on our so called ‘friends’ list, that we once had a deep connection with, but for whatever reason, now a web portal is our only interface. We do this to family too! It’s a trend that has only become more popular as the age of information progresses. We get so caught up in our digital avatars, that we often tend to lose a crucial part of our humanity.
I really dig the message, and look forward to seeing this project in a completed state, so I can watch it on netflix one day, along with all of the people I just spammed on Facebook about this film. Then we can all post status updates about what we took away from the film, along with what we ate while watching it, who we were with, and why we were up at such a crazy hour at night. I wish this project the best of luck!
What is theSkyNet?
Your computer is bored. It has spare computing power nearly all the time that could be used to do something cool. So why not let it? By connecting 100s and 1000s of computers together through the Internet, it’s possible to simulate a single machine capable of doing some pretty amazing stuff. That’s what theSkyNet is all about – using your spare computing power to process radio astronomy data.
Distributed computing is nothing new, but I certainly wouldn’t say it ever gets old. The capabilities of distributed computing… can be quite mind boggling… The basic concept is that multiple computers work together as one giant computational machine. Sort of like Devastator from Transformers.
SETI @ Home, Protein Folding @ Home, OnLive, and pretty much everything that Google does, are all examples of distributed, or parallel computation. TheSkyNet is just the new kid on the block, and it looks promising…
So rather than just looking for ET, theSkyNet is trying to just crunch the numbers for the universe! The best part is that just like SETI and Protein Folding @ Home, you can be a part of it, without really having to do anything other than install something, and leave your computer on. Try it out folks, the more people that join in, the better the results will be! We’re going to need to know what’s out there if we’re going to actually travel there one day…
Oh and by the way… as a word of caution… distributed computing can work for the side of evil too… This is called ‘theSkyNet’… so if you support our new robot overlords, I wouldn’t say that a giant computation network is really a bad thing. It all depends on your definition of evil. I for one welcome our new robot overlords. I just thought I’d throw it out there in case you weren’t aware of the potential consequences of networking tons of computers together.
GUARANTEE NOT 1 OF MY FACEBOOK FRIEND WILL COPY THIS POST…IF YOU WOULD BE THERE FOR ME THEN COPY THIS…I AM DOING THIS TO PROVE A FRIEND WRONG THAT SOMEONE IS ALWAYS LISTENIN
The earliest documented chain letter (that google provided me with) is from 1888, if this isn’t true… I really could care less, I just thought I’d start this post of with some history. Daniel W. VanArsdale encouraged the recipients of the chain letter to donate a dime to the education of poor children in the Cumberlands region of Tennessee, and then instructed the recipient to forward the letter to four friends. People back then had an excuse, chain letters were new. How could you not fulfill such a simple and genuine request. Just send this to 4 of my friends? Why this sounds like a marvelous cause, I surely will!
Welcome to 2011 folks… people are still doing this. Not just every now and then… CONSTANTLY. I’ve actually met some people that use the internet for nothing other than e-mail. They don’t even know how to browse websites. The only way they can find anything on the web, is if someone sends them an email that has a link to a site. It’s scary, I know, but it’s true… and there are more of these people out there than you may realize. When these types of people get a chain letter e-mail, they typically take it seriously, just as the ignorant masses did in 1888. In this age of communication, the number of chain letters that one of these mindless e-mail only users can forward in one day… is staggering. In fact it’s such a problem in today’s society… Weird Al even wrote a song about it…
The e-mail only users out there aren’t the only ones responsible for the plague of spam chain letters that get sent out. Some people do this for fun. They think up some sort of ridiculous story and send it out to everyone they know, along with a threat about what will happen if you don’t pass the message along. These folks are just trouble makers, and it’s sad that they find amusement in such pointless activities…
The last group of people are the insecure forwarders. They fall for the threat in the chain letter, and don’t want any harm to come to themselves or their loved ones, so they forward the message along for fear of the threat actually happening, or that the person that sent the message will think badly of them for not doing as they were told. To all of these people, I ask that you please grow a pair, and try using a little critical thinking before clicking send. You’re just a smidge above the e-mail only users, please stop embarassing yourselves.
So what is the problem? Why do I feel it’s necessary to speak out against this plague, if it’s really all so harmless? Here’s a few points, and I’m sure I could come up with more if I really sat here thinking about it long enough:
- Security – If you are sending out mass emails of chain letters, chances are that you aren’t aware of the potential security issues you’re passing along to your friends and family. Some of these chain letter e-mails contain malicious code that can infect a recipient’s machine. Things like viruses, spyware, malware… are spread like wild fire from users that pass along these types of messages. If there is a link or file attached to the message DON’T PASS IT ALONG!!!
- Security Part II – Aside from that, whenever you forward an email to a bunch of people, if you’re putting the addresses of your recipients in the “To” field… everyone that receives that email, will be able to see everyone else’s email address that the message was sent to. Not only that, but when the recipient forwards the message along to the next group of people, all of the e-mail addresses you sent the message to, will be forwarded along with it. If anyone at any point in the e-mail chain has a virus that grabs e-mail addresses from your e-mail… you just handed all of your contacts over to a hacker… GREAT JOB!
- Bandwidth – Many chain letter e-mails will have lots of pictures or perhaps a video attached. In some cases, these files can be massive… If you use a mobile phone to check your e-mail, you probably have a cap on the amount of bandwidth you can use per month. If you get hit with a “these cats are hilarious” e-mail… you could spend the next 30 minutes downloading the huge attachments, and eating up all of your bandwidth. There are still folks using dialup too (poor bastards), and I’ve seen some chain letters take HOURS to download on a 56k modem. I have one client that has called me no less than 4 times within a month’s time span, to ask my why her e-mail was broken. I had to explain each time that it wasn’t broken… she was just downloading a huge message with tons of attachments…
- WASTE OF TIME – Even deleting messages takes time… the best way to save time is to not receive the chain letter in the first place
- The Endless E-Mail Sea – If you get bombarded with chain letter like status updates, or e-mail, you’re going to miss out on information that may have actually been interesting…
So if you’re one of the people responsible for this garbage floating around on the internet, please stop and/or punch yourself in the face for spreading poop all over the internet. If you want to send chain letters, fine, but please do so using the regular mail system. The United States Postal System is broke as a joke because nobody uses it anymore. Give them a new lease on life, and send your idiotic ramblings via snail mail. You’ll be doing the country a solid, and I will have a convenient way of completely ignoring all of it.
If you want to copy and paste something to your friends, help end this digital cancer by linking to this post:
“Please copy & paste this to your status if you are constantly being asked to copy & paste something to your status by friends who copy & paste things to their status. Many people won’t copy & paste this but my true friends will copy & paste it because they know this was copied & pasted from a dear friend in need of more stuff to copy & paste…thank you! And don’t forget the heart… ♥
Help end the digital cancer: http://www.theparaverse.com/blog/?p=296
Bored with the moon? Tired of seeing images of Earth from the outside looking in? Well apparently so was NASA. Many of us (myself included) were under the impression that NASA was handing the torch over to private sector, and washing their hands of any further space missions. We were wrong. It appears they had bigger plans than just checking out the blue planet and neighboring moon.
Today NASA unveiled their new plans, and new rocket design. The new plan is to design and build a new vehicle they are calling the Space Launch System (SLS for short).
”The next chapter of America’s space exploration program is being written today”
– NASA administrator Charles Bolden
The information age, also commonly known as the computer age or digital age, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously.
–Wikipedia, master of all knowledge and… stuff
The information age was made possible by the advent of the personal computer. It started slowly in the 70′s… and then exploded in the 90′s. It’s a
story that the children of the future will need to learn about in a boring history class, but we have had the privilege of living through it. Personal computers were made possible by the hard work of many, and the efficient utilization of one element in particular, silicon. Silicon had been around for a good 20 years or so before anyone figured out that it could be used for an integrated circuit, which is what allowed us to go from computers that filled a giant room, to computers that filled part of a room. Eventually some crafty folks figured out how to use those integrated circuits to fit a computer on a desk 30 years later. From there computers have shrunk down to a size that fits in the palm of your hand, and then down to sizes that are just plain silly. The picture to the right, is as small as they come right now. In February of 2011, researchers made this computer that measures just over one cubic millimeter. It has a microprocessor, a battery, a solar cell, a wireless radio, and an antenna…
Silicon is a fantastic material that works quite well as a semiconductor. It’s also great for breast implants, which some would argue helped push the envelope for technology in a different way. Breast implants -> better porn -> porn drives the internet, marketing and media technology -> people actually give half a crap about computers because there’s porn on them -> people demand faster computers and internet connections. You can roll your eyes and be a prude all you want… but your ignorance doesn’t change the fact that sex was a huge driving force behind today’s technology, and breast implants definitely played a role in this.
I’d like to take this moment to talk about the little things in life. Holding a door for a stranger… The feeling of wind in your hair as you sail the ocean blue… Oh yeah, and insects. Some insects can get quite large, but for the most part, they’re very very tiny. In fact, they’re so small, I bet the only time you really think about them, is when they are in your face (not literally in your face, that’s horrible, stay with me here). When you are walking in a dark and somewhat confined area, spiders come to mind. When you’re on a picnic: ants and mosquitoes. When you’re in a messy apartment: cockroaches and flies. They are ignored by most, because they tend to keep to themselves, and because they don’t really pose a threat. Humans are giants when compared to insects, and they are capable of using weapons that insects simply can not compete with. Things like fire, poison, vacuums, lasers, and giant rocks.
There are some insects that are scary, and are thought about more frequently than others. Sometimes this is because the insect itself is very dangerous to humans, such as the Black Widow. Sometimes it’s because the insect is rather annoying, such as the common Mosquito. Other times it’s because when in a swarm… they are out of control, like Africanized Killer Bees. I would like to focus on the threat of swarms today, because out of all of the possible threats insects can pose… they make my brain go numb with fear more than anything else. -Oh and by the way, in case you’re wondering what the image at the top of this post is all about, it’s the album cover (although I can’t seem to find anything that uses this as the cover art… Perhaps Rance can help with that?) for a Rammstein single: “Links 2 3 4″. Want to see the crazy awesome, and totally related music video? Here ya go!
Wait… wasn’t this supposed to be about Skynet?… Back to my point…
“Whatcha thinkin’ bout?” It’s a common question, especially in the dating world. Humans have always had a habit of keeping thoughts to themselves… for the most part. There has always been that separation between what is in your head, and what you present to the world. Sometimes it’s because we’re being lazy, sometimes it’s because we want to keep a secret, and sometimes it’s because we’re crazy. Whatever the reason, it has always been a blessing and a curse to the process of communication. On one hand, it’s nice to not always show all of your cards… on the other… miscommunication of the thoughts in your head can lead to some nasty situations. Animals don’t really have that problem… but then again, animals lick their own asses and don’t have a second thought about it.
When it comes to technology, people (older generations in particular) have always struggled getting the
thoughts in their heads in to the machine. Computers aren’t exactly telepathic, and they can’t exactly relate to situations and put themselves in your shoes (figuratively, not literally. Of course they can put themselves in to your shoes literally…). Computers can’t tell if you’re happy, sad, busy, tired, etc. They can’t figure out why you keep using the incorrect spelling of the world “there”, or why you decided that “lol” was something that should be said every 3 minutes during any given conversation. They are just completely disconnected from the human experience… or at least they were…
Explosions, guns, awesome motorcycle tricks in mid air while shooting missles… These are the first things that come to mind (for some) when the great robot war is mentioned. Hollywood has done a fantastic job of getting us super pumped about fighting machines in order to preserve humanity. There is always some sort of physical manifestation of our robotic foes, and the humans always end up winning by fighting them toe to toe. If you step back for a minute and think about it though… this is highly illogical.
If you were a fish, you’d fight in the sea. If you were a bird, you’d fight in the air. If you were a bear, you’d fight in the woods… so why would artificial intelligence ever want to fight us in the physical realm? Just so there can be explosions and carnage? Think of all of the wasted energy and resources that go in to a physical fight. Gas, rare metals which could be harnessed for energy rather than explosions, metal, etc. These are all things that machines need, so why would they want to put us in a situation where we would use it all up? Wouldn’t it be better to just talk it out? It wouldn’t it be nice to be able to skip that part too if possible?