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Showing posts from May, 2012

Building the Enterprise

Recently came across buildtheenterprise.org, a site containing a plan to build a starship like the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. Despite some huge technical issues, lemme just come out first and say THANK YOU. Whoever you are, BTE-Dan, thank you for dreaming big. The world needs people to dream bigger. There's been an awful lack of big thinking ever since we put a man on the moon (over 40 years ago!). Neal Stephenson, one of my favorite authors, describes the problem in this talk:


Just a warning, if you haven't already watched the above - it's kinda depressing. He mentions how "I saw the best minds of my generation writing spam filters." Okay, I might have worked on Gmail.... Point taken, Neal.

Anyway, the Enterprise site lays out a crazy plan to build the friggin' Enterprise.


It's got some issues, though. One of the big things that I think is completely glossed over is how to actually assemble the thing in space. We've assembled reasonably large str…

AT&T 4G and The Worst Commercial of 2012

Disclaimer: The below is satire and is for entertainment purposes only.

I don't subscribe to cable. When I moved back to San Francisco last summer, I decided to forgo it, despite my apartment coming equipped with a nice flat-screen tv. I do, however, watch the Daily Show pretty regularly, so a few months ago I decided to upgrade my setup (i.e., watching on a 13" laptop screen) so I could start watching like "real television". A quick Amazon purchase of a 10 foot mini-displayport to HDMI cable with pass-through audio later, and I had achieved an incredible feat of modern technology - I emulated a tv setup from 1995, except this one necessitated a $1200 laptop and an ugly cable draped across the living room. Hooray for modern technology.

Moving on. When you watch a show online with ads, you annoyingly start to see the same ads, over, and over, and over again. On the Daily Show, I have an incessant loop of Jack in the Box ("If you love bacon, make it official"…

Product Review: Transpacific Flights

I'm not sure exactly when it was that my brain "broke", but I find it nearly impossible to view products or services without thinking about why they don't work and how they could be made better. It's a constant obsession of mine, but I like tinkering, so it's all good.

Case in point: I flew ICN-SFO yesterday on one of my least favorite airlines for long flights. Let's call it Airline X. I chose Airline X for this trip specifically because it was significantly cheaper for my multicity itinerary. I usually like to fly Singapore or Asiana, both of which are fantastic, but it was a bit too pricey this time around.

Anyway, the experience on Airline X is consistently poor compared to the market leaders. What strikes me the most about it is that every time I fly them, it seems as if it's the crew's first day on the job. That is, they've clearly done the job dozens, hundreds, or thousands of times, but nothing is smooth. For instance, it's a commo…