Technology information, reviews, news, and updates.
Technology information, reviews, news, and updates.
Recently, I’ve begun to wonder how much of what we take for granted isn’t rooted in fact. If we look back even 100 years, what seemed like solid science then (Black people have smaller brains, anyone?) is now obviously, and hilariously wrong. It took them until the early 1900s to figure out that if you stick a vibrator in a chick’s vagoo she feels better. What got me thinking on this, is that until recently I thought Death Cab for Cutie was absolute shite. And then I actually heard one of their songs. And now I love their music. It makes me think about what other great music I’m missing out on. And then I got to thinking, what if it isn’t just music?
About a week ago I heard a negative review of Gnome Shell (Gnome Shell is the window manager planned to be released with GNOME 3). I watched a video and thought it looked pretty cool. So i installed ubuntu 9.10, installed gnome shell, and fired it up. And i swear to god it is the coolest thing ever. When it is finished, I honestly can’t say I’ll use anything else. And previously, I’d sworn off all things Linux forever. With good reason, too. Gnome 2 is absolutely awful when compared to osx leopard and windows 7.
Take from it what you will.
On tonight’s episode of Bob’s Educational Corner, we are proud to present “Science”.
Science. It’s all around us. If you turn on a TV, or eat an ice cream cone, or bludgeon a homeless man to death with an oscilloscope, you are enjoying the benefits of science. It enriches our lives and plagues our dreams, and is one of the most important parts of a balanced breakfast. But science can’t happen by itself, unless it’s also a wizard, but that is stupid and so are you for thinking it. Science requires The Scientific Method, so let us first examine The Scientific Method.
The Scientific Method was invented in 1776 by Al Gore (Al Gore is best known for his invention of The Scientific Method, and for being mentioned in this article). He discovered that, if you heat a test tube in a Bunsen burner while wearing a white lab coat, the very fabric of the universe itself will bend to your whim. With The Scientific Method, he was able to create America, simply by willing it into existence. Then he banged a hot Asian lab assistant and took a nap. This laid the foundation of all modern science.
Try an experiment. Close your eyes and fall off a cliff. Did you notice that you hit the ground? If not, you should seek medical attention. But if you did, you just experienced science! And should seek medical attention. But why did you fall? You fell because your body was attracted to science particles in the ground. These particles are named Fred and Suzanne, so pick the one that makes you feel better about yourself. Every object, no matter how large or small, is filled with science. Sometimes this takes the form of particles, like in the ground. But science is not limited to particles!
Science comes in many forms. This sentence, which is being beamed directly into your eyeballs through your computer, is filled with delicious sciencey jelly. Your clothes, if you’re wearing any, you perv, are composed of long strands of science, woven together by skilled scienticians, who love working with science to make your day better. They love it so much, in fact, that they often work all day for free, not even stopping to eat or sleep. Their dedication is inspiring, and is itself composed of sticky nodules of science.
Every year, Scienticians, which are people who study science and are very good in bed*, discover new types of science. They use sophisticated instruments, such as the monocle, to probe every aspect of existence in their search for science. No location is too remote to investigate in their quest. Recently, for example, science was discovered in the deepest jungles of South America. Braving harsh weather and enraged hippies, Scienticians bulldozed these jungles and salted the earth, causing the science to rise to the top. Through careful study, it was determined that this science caused laboratory animal’s skin to turn golden brown, then explode. Tanning lotion containing this science is already available in most major stores.
We have only scratched the surface of science, but I hope your sense of wonder has been kindled. If you would like to learn more about science, you can write your local congressman and ask for an informational packet. You can also use LSD, which is so full of science that you’ll think your head is going to explode because there are, like, so many monkeys in your brain. And to answer your question, yes- the monkeys are also made of science. Good night, and good learning!
*This statement paid for by the American Society of Scienticians.
I must start by offering my condolences to Jezza for the temporary loss of his Internet. Clearly the stresses of this event have warped his mind into the belief that a world without technology would be anything but a nightmare. Certainly, in this increasingly hectic modern world, it is worthwhile taking the time to contemplate one’s surroundings, and even occasionally vacate oneself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but to eschew technology all together would be utter madness.
Meeting a friend in person is only a superior experience to contacting them technologically due to the comparative infancy of the technology and the sophistication of our senses. Given the current developments in processing power, eye-mounted displays, neural interfaces and associated technologies, it’s not unreasonable to expect that within 10 years one will be able too talk to a friend as if a very convincing facsimile of them were in the room, and within 20 the avatar representing them will be indistinguishable from the real thing.
It may be true that, in the event of a return to a primitive society, many of the larger problems facing the world would dissolve away, but this is only because they would be replaced by much more immediate personal perils. It is folly to suppose that a lack of technology would also remove social inequality- if anything, it would accentuate it. The physically strong would be able to rule over the defenseless weak, and tribal power structures would quickly emerge, with or without the existence of money. Money is merely a convenient fiction to facilitate easier bartering. The physical goods or labour that it represents will still exist (at least, the non-technological ones) and will still be able to be used to exert power over others.
As Jezza correctly states, there would be war and disease, but I suspect he underestimates the scale. Peace is largely predicated on economic interdependence- if I have goods that you want, and you have goods that I want, it’s far more efficient to trade them rather than fighting over the matter- but without the technological advancements that support that interdependence (ships, planes, the internet, etc), the largest societies possible would be small regional affairs and the lack of modern food production techniques would see billions starving to death. Without the spread of education that technology facilitates, future generations would swiftly become superstitious and fully embrace the tribal lifestyle, leading to widespread conflict. Those who were merely wounded in the tribal wars could look forward to a slow death from a minor wound infection, or from slowly bleeding internally. The ones lucky enough to not be wounded could expect to live to a ripe old age of 30, whereupon they would die from a kidney stone growing septic. I humbly posit that yes, this would be “so bad”.
It is a commonly used fallacy to assume that the rate of population increase necessarily means that the world is being destroyed. As we further master our technologies, we devise methods for feeding more people using less land and water, for generating power for our cities in a more efficient manner, and for spreading knowledge of these advances.
I’m not arguing, of course, that technology is perfect, but so far it has managed to solve far more problems than it has caused, and indeed allows us the opportunity to engage in these sort of idle metaphysical musings. Our new developments will doubtless bring more problems in the future, but I anticipate these to be, on the whole, less severe than the problems that the developments were designed to solve, and the new problems will almost certainly be amenable to further technological solutions.
Recently i spent a weekend without the internet (and therefore the laptop), or a phone. What a weekend it was, by far the most interesting, humurous, entertaining weekend i’ve had in a long time. While some didn’t know what to do, and sat around playing solitaire trying to beat their top scores for hours on end, most of us at UniResort enjoyed 3 long days of 25+ weather, out by the pool, kicking the footy, eating, enjoying a good laugh. In all my my 6 months here at UniResort, i’ve not once encountered so many people out of their rooms at one time. I met so many new people that had been living here for longer than i have. Of course, i myself don’t rely on the internet or phone much, most of the time i have better things to do, if it’s not 1am and i can’t sleep. In a place where students live, you’d think it’d happen quite often, it doesn’t, so it was quite amazing. Technology has such a grip on so many people, their lives are the complete opposite without access to something like the internet or a mobile phone. How many of you check your facebook every day, sometimes every hour, on your mobile phone, because you can’t sit back and appreciate how lucky we are. How many of you have sat for at least an hour, staring, thinking about the world, what life has to offer. No ipods, phones, internet, no distractions. Just listen to the birds, watch the clouds, see leaves and branches blowing in the wind.
This got me thinking, imagine a world without the technology we have today. Most people nowdays would probably hear that and think “wtf is wrong with you, go eat shit and die asshole”, but really think about it. How many of your friends do you contact on a regular basis on a phone or the internet? Ok yeah it’s convenient, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing it. Now think about this. How much more of an impact on your life does it have when you meet up with them face to face? How often does this happen? Not very. When people can’t be assed to walk down the road, knock on their friends front door, just to see if he/she is home and say hello, they need to find some appreciation for what we have, and not take it for granted so much.
So many of the worlds issues would not exist, we’d all hunt for our food. Build our own shelter. There’d be no “mines better than yours so i’m better than you too”. Without money, there’d be no power. Of course, it wouldn’t be a perfect world, otherwise we wouldn’t have evolved the way we have. There’d still be “war” between tribes, disease, hunger for the weak. However, would this be so bad? Our population has sky rocketed, and continues to. The world is being destroyed because of it. Just another issue that would not exist.
Unfortunately, the closest we will ever get to knowing what a world like that could be like, is camping in the middle of Australia without any phones, internet, toilets, 3-ply ultra soft touch patterened toilet paper, and the like.
Of course then i snapped back to reality, realised that all that wondering was pointless, jumped onto the laptop, opened my browser window, logged onto facebook and sat there for an hour playing tetris.
90% of you use it. That’s right, I’m looking at YOU. Probably using XP, you wanker.
Up until yesterday, I have had the privilege of using Windows 7. While certainly an excellent operating system, I have come to an epiphany by way of hardware failure. Specifically, my mobo started failing, and rather than (to use a metaphor) drown like a rat, I grabbed a lifeboat (namely a pentium 3). Running at only 450mhz, I didn’t want to screw around with XP, so I downloaded and installed rusty, trusty windows 2000. And I was astounded by precisely how little had changed. Most of my favorite programs work on windows 2000. While I need a third party interface for my wireless card, all the hardware I’ve plugged into it has a driver somewhere. Essentially, I’ll be examining in this post what the fuck exactly Microsoft has changed.
We’ll start with what they’ve done right. Firstly, the 6.x kernel series is pretty boss. The new driver framework is significantly better (or so I’m told). And really, that’s all I can think of that warrants an OS change.
For instance, directx 10 and 11 are pretty fucking pro. However, i can’t think of a reason they haven’t been backported to the 5.x line except for the fact that Microsoft likes money. Aero is nice to be sure, but that’s just a matter of firing out an explorer update. Microsoft markets these updates as a new operating system, but really, for the most part these are all NT4 with a bit of extra makeup slapped on. Microsoft claims to be developing Midori, but we haven’t heard anything about that for years. Chances are it will end up the next Oslo, and Microsoft will keep whoring out the NT line until the old girl collapses under the weight of the collective consumer cock (I’m quite proud of that last bit).
It amazes me constantly the advancements in storage technology. It wasn’t too long ago 2 Terabyte hard drives came out. Now a group of engineers created a chip the size of a finger nail that is 1 Terabyte. Look who just OWN’D.
And the thing that always amuses me, why do the iPhones, cell phones, or whatever have only like 32 MB of memory? Hell, give me a few gigs built in at least. It can’t be that hard.
Just wait, one of these days when you’re 80 years old, your pacemaker will have storage space, so you can watch your 3D movies on the go.
The future is gonna be baws.