The World

The world is changing
Slowly, imperceptively
It's evolving into something....more
more dangerous,
more terrifing,
more exciting

It cannot be stopped

The world being changed.
by who?, we don't know,
for what purpose?, we don't know,
how?, we don't know

But we know it is changing

The future is changing
The past is changing
The now is changing

And it cannot be stopped


The country I was born in is best

Well that's what people seem to think, probably due to their education. The Iconbar website got hacked a while ago due to running old software (did they not hear about apt-get upgrade?). Anyway, just before I replied to post, but they had to restore from a backup so it was deleted, so I'm posting it here:

> Remember at the beginning of the 20th century Britain was years ahead of any country in a lot of areas

Who told you this?

> steam-engine
Greek 0-100AD, but only as a toy
Practical design by French guy in London a bit after 1681, based on work by Galileo and his pupils in Italy.
First useful one built by Thomas Savery of course, using De Caus post 1612 method of raising water using heat.
James Watt later made it work well.

> railways
Roads of rails called Wagonways were being used in Germany as early as 1550
By 1776, iron had replaced the wood in the rails and wheels on the carts. Wagonways evolved into Tramways and spread though out Europe
In 1789, Englishman, William Jessup designed the first wagons with flanged wheels
Richard Trevithick or Cornwall in 1804 built a steam powered tramway locomotive.

> global communications network through telegraph
Surely a global invention

> petrol-driven car
1680 - Dutch physicist, Christian Huygens designed (but never built) an internal combustion engine that was to be fueled with gunpowder
1807 - Francois Isaac de Rivaz of Switzerland invented an internal combustion engine that used a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. Rivaz designed a car for his engine - the first internal combustion powered automobile. However, his was a very unsuccessful design.
1858 - Belgian-born engineer, Jean Joseph √Čtienne Lenoir invented and patented (1860) a double-acting, electric spark-ignition internal combustion engine fueled by coal gas. In 1863, Lenoir attached an improved engine (using petroleum and a primitive carburetor) to a three-wheeled wagon that managed to complete an historic fifty-mile road trip
1885 - Gottlieb Daimler invented what is often recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine - with a vertical cylinder, and with gasoline injected through a carburetor (patented in 1887). Daimler first built a two-wheeled vehicle the "Reitwagen" (Riding Carriage) with this engine and a year later built the world's first four-wheeled motor vehicle

> computer
The Chinese invented the first computer, the abacus.
Pascal's machine could add and Leibniz's machine could multiply
In the early 1800's, the French weaver Joseph Jacquard invented a loom in which a series of punched cards controlled the patterns of cloth and carpet produced
Charles Babbage in 1856, but never built.
The years from 1870 to 1960 also saw the invention and use of a number of "analogue computing machines".
Professor Douglas Hartree's differential analyser, which he designed at the University of Manchester to solve mathematical equations, and had made in 1935
Mark 1 1939-1944
Colossus 1941
Z3 1941
Baby, ran in 1948 at the University of Manchester
ENIAC 1946 University of Pennsylvania
The Z4 was installed at Zurich in 1950

> television
One of the earliest proposals for a mechanical television system was put forward by German researcher Paul Nipkow in 1883
Charles F. Jenkins in May 1920, at the Toronto meeting of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, Jenkins introduced his "prismatic rings" as a device to replace the shutter on a film projector. This invention laid the foundation for his first radiovision broadcast. He claimed to have transmitted the earliest moving silhouette images on June 14, 1923, but his first public demonstration of these did not take place until June of 1925
On December 2, 1922, in Sorbonne, France, Edwin Belin, an Englishman, who held the patent for the transmission of photographs by wire as well as fiber optics and radar, demonstrated a mechanical scanning device that was an early precursor to modern television
John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer and entrepreneur who 'achieved his first transmissions of simple face shapes in 1924 using mechanical television. In the first week of October, 1925, Baird obtained the first actual television picture in his laboratory
Farnsworth successfully demonstrated the transmission of television signals, on September 7, 1927

> radar
Heinrich Hertz in Germany calculated that an electric current swinging very rapidly back and forth in a conducting wire would radiate electromagnetic waves into the surrounding space (today we would call such a wire an "antenna" ). With such a wire he created (in 1886) and detected such oscillations in his lab, using an electric spark, in which the current oscillates rapidly
Christian Hulsmeyer in 1904, patented an early warning system for shipping (limited to one-mile range)

pulse modulation, used for measuring height of ionosphere invented by Gregory Breit, Merle Tuve, U.S., 1925

Robert Watson-Watt, England, 1934-1935 invented RADAR for finding aircraft

> jet-engine
Hans von Ohain is considered the designer of the first operational turbojet engine. Frank Whittle was the first to register a patent for the turbojet engine in 1930. Hans von Ohain was granted a patent for his turbojet engine in 1936. However, Hans von Ohain's jet was the first to fly in 1939. Frank Whittle's jet first flew in in 1941

> mobile phone
On June 17, 1946 in Saint Louis, Missouri, AT&T and Southwestern Bell introduced the first American commercial mobile phone service to private customers
In January, 1969 the Bell System made commercial cellular radio operational by employing frequency reuse for the first time. Aboard a train. Using payphones
1973 - Dr Martin Cooper, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset. Dr. Cooper, former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, and the first person to make a call on a portable cellular phone

> WWW from a British man
Working in an international centre of research

> Steven Hawking
Err, ok

> cloning technology
1970's - Dr. John Gordon successfully cloned frogs by replacing the nucleus of frog egg with another nuclear cell from a different frog.
1986 - Dr. Steen M. Willadsen had been working with sheep embryos at Grenada Genetics in Texas and had cloned three sheep eggs from very early embryo cells.
1994 - Dr. First of Wisconsin inadvertently starved cells of nourishing serum for several days. The result was a pause in the cell's life cycle allowing for the cell cycle of the embryo to be matched with the cycle of the cell
1995 - Drs. Wilmut and Campbell of Roslin Institute use First's starvation technique to produce Megan and Morag, the world's first cloned sheep

> half of the human genome.
Wasn't that bananas?


Doctor Who 27.1 rejected AICN submission

Yes. This show's been around since before Trek started.

What's it called?

Yes. *ahem*. But obvious joke aside, she's The Doctor's new companion,
played by once pop star, now actress (The Canterbury Tales was well
received), Billie Piper. She's pretty good, once you get past the
annoying voice.

Who wrote it?
Russell T Davies

Who's Who?
Christopher Eccleston. You may remember him from such films as 28 Days
Later, The Others, eXistenZ, Jude, but I remember him for playing
Jesus in The Second Coming, a 2003 TV 2 part drama, also written by
one Russell T Davies, which is the main reason I think this show will
be good. He also wrote the original Touching Evil

Wobbly Sets?
Nope. It's your standard highish budget (for UK) BBC show, like Spooks
(MI-5). The Visual Effects have been done by The Mill (Babe 2, Black
Hawk Down, Band of Brothers, Gladiator). Some are good, others
average, hopefully they'll fix some of the mattes before airing.
Seemed that the more complex effects looked better, which may indicate
it's unfinished.

When does it air?
Possibly the 26th March in UK, 5th April on CBC in Canada.

What does TV Guide say?
Very little. Other reviews have been positive though.

Extra geeky stuff: It's the 9th Doctor, the TV movie existed but
doesn't seem to be referenced, I imagine they'll just ignore the weird
parts, it's still a police box, it's a new console room. Daleks? Yes.

What about the rest of the season?
They'll be 13 episodes, each 45mins long (no adverts), stories will be
1 or 2 episodes in length. Other writers include Mark "The League of
Gentlemen" Gatiss, Paul "animated Dr Who internet thingy and Dr Who
novels" Cornell, Steven "Coupling" Moffat. Directors include Joe
"Ultraviolet" Ahearne.

What's good?
It's fun; The Doctor's introduction; ears; using the history of the
show. That it works for long time fans and new viewers.

What's not so good?
OK, it's the first episode, but it seems to be lacking slightly in
plot. And that plot is basically similar to the previous Auton

Why should I watch?
It's different, it's funny, it's Dr Who damnit. Oh, and Simon Pegg's an episode.

How does it end, spoiler-boy?
And by the way, did I mention?, it also travels in time.

Overall it's pretty good, I'll give it ***1/2

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins


The Meaning of Life

life exists in the universe, the universe has a finite amount of entropy, therefore life will someday stop unless we find out how to solve that problem, therefore the meaning of life is to solve that problem.


BBC Broadband article comments

As the BBC appears to have not posted the comment I wrote about http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4242751.stm I'll just post it here:

Yes, that's also why I disconnect my phone for 22 hours per day, and don't answer the door for 22 hours a day, and unplug the radio and TV for 22 hours a day. And lock my bookcase etc etc.

Talking to people online isn't fundamentally different from talking face to face, it's just more efficient, I can converse with a thousand people from all over the world at once. The "social" people spend hours travelling only to talk to a couple of people.

Get radio, music and TV via the internet, when you want it, much more variety, easy to record. No need to buy newspapers. The only reason you can buy music online now is because so many people wanted to, but had no choice except to do so illegally. TV and film will be the same.

Remember when you used to search through books looking for that bit you read a while ago?

If the internet's not always on then it's not worth dialing up to do a google search. It only works if it's on all the time.

Do you feel the need to watch TV 24/7 because you paid for it, or use the phone 24/7? You just have to accept it's there when you need it. I'm sure you'll find ways to procrastinate without the internet, newspapers to read, people to phone, tv to watch.

Or is the view that books/newspapers/radio is good, but tv/internet is bad. Can't see why, except for they're newer, so old people aren't used to them.

Remember how records killed live performances, and cinema killed theatre, and tv killed cinema, and radio killed records, and the internet killed them all?


Things that suck 20040214

on roughly the same system, roughly optimized the same way, a benchmark from 1979 at Xerox PARC runs only 50 times faster today. Moore’s law has given us somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 times improvement in that time. So there’s approximately a factor of 1,000 in efficiency that has been lost by bad CPU architectures

Things that happened 20040213

Bought some Mirror Platinum 4x DVD-Rs, only type the shop had. First 1 burnt fine. Next 5 errored in exactly the same way. Upgraded the firmware on the Sony DRU-500A burner and the next 3 have been fine.

Monk has gone from cool mysteries, to more recently, easily solved mysteries, to most recently, telling you the answer right at the start. Very annoying. Apparently the maths guy will be in Serenity though, so that's cool.

Numb3rs is ok, if rather bland. They've got the guy from Northern Exposure, the guy from Taxi, the guy from Ally McBeal and the girl from Sports Night and Sliders, and they've turned them into normal characters. That's not cool. And the title sequence sucks.

Medical Investigation gets more "why would they do that" crazy. Miles' story was so obvious and simple, just filler, although the ending was nice. And the other story they solved out of left field, obviously it was supposed to be about the problems of the main guest star, but couldn't they have solved the medical problem better?

Time Team was pretty good, Iron age people during the invasion of the Romans. I really need to learn more history that's not based in the UK, to wikipedia I go.

Stuff of the day 20040314

Phrase of the day: "MIT's crack studbunnies of geekdom"

Thought of the day: how long until there's iTunes for TV. Napster started in late 1999, iTMS started in 2003. 3.5 years. I was downloading TV in mid 1999, but it's only become popular in the last year I guess.

Problem of the day: Is there software to allow multiple digital tv channels on the same multiplex to be recorded by an HTPC?

Word of the day: epigram

Witty introduction

Yes, that mavhc

Don't forget to vote for me in the future world president elections