Category Archives: technology

Generational Time Zones

You’ll notice, readers, that this post was published exactly at 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. This is partly because I want to avoid Evan’s routine beatings as punishment for tardiness, and mostly because you, as an overwhelmingly Western audience, expect everything to be exactly on time.

Now if you were all mostly from Bolivia, or Syria, or Morocco, or Thailand, chances are that you wouldn’t care so much. After all, 9:00 in the morning is really more of an approximation than anything else, right?

Taken from a rather insightful infographic on the differences between Eastern and Western cultures.

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Comcast and Net Neutrality

Few things have revolutionized culture and the modern world as much as the internet has. Art, music, news, gaming, communications, shopping, education, politics- there’s not a single aspect of life that hasn’t been affected by it. Heck, revolutions that no one imagined could take place have, and the innovations and collaboration the internet has given a platform to have largely been credited as playing an integral role.

Not of course, to say that praise doesn’t ultimately go to the bravery of the Egyptian, Kurdish, and Syrian protestors…

At no other time has humanity had such access to democratic development and discussion.

And that time may now in fact be passing, with the striking down of net neutrality by a D.C. circuit court in January of this year.

FCC Head/Lobbyist Extraordinaire Tom Wheeler, who just doesn’t give a ****.

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Helix and the Trouble with Tropes

Good science fiction is tough to come by. There’re plenty of factors we could point the finger at for that, but more often than not, it seems the people who produce sci-fi just don’t quite understand how it works.

Science fiction is, at its core, a means of exploring some sort of political or philosophical or ethical question. The spaceships, the time travel, brave new worlds- they’re all framing devices for questions about what makes us human…

…how we treat others…

…or our place in the universe.

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Fame Day: Cop Watch

Readers, as I was in the middle of researching my originally intended Fame Day I was interrupted by the sound of pounding outside my door. It was the cops, interrogating my next door neighbor about the last time he saw someone. I stood by the door, listening- though the primary cop speaking was yelling so loudly I really didn’t have to. Of course, it just made me extra sure I got his exact words:

“I hate this fucking complex.”

“I will give you shit until you give me what I want.”

Other, similar statements followed- though I try to observe Evan’s general rule of keeping profanity to a minimum. The neighbor repeatedly said that he hadn’t seen they guy they were after, which only resulted in both more shouting from the cop and, from the sound of it, him stomping into the apartment. Without a warrant or the consent of the my neighbor, which constitutes a violation of his 4th amendment rights.

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Fixing Doctor Who

As with many elements of modern culture, I walk the blurry line between fandom and general enjoyment. I like plenty of stuff, but I wouldn’t say I love anything. I enjoy comics- more than the average man on the street- but I’m definitely not on a level where I could seriously discuss comics with someone who’s actually into them (as Evan can attest). I enjoy heavy metal, but I couldn’t name the leading band of the past couple years or tell you the difference between Finnish black metal and Swedish death metal.

This is neither, just for the record…

Even though this gets me simultaneously branded as a nerd  by people who aren’t fans of _______ and a poser by people who are, I nevertheless get a pretty unique perspective on things. I can see how they work- what their appeal is- without getting objectivity compromised by being too emotionally invested.

Now I think I’d be hard pressed to think of a better example of this than Doctor Who.

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Fame Day: GentleBot Hell

Today is a little different because I’m not pointing to a specific show or YouTube series, but a single video featuring a ridiculous amount of talent. Below is a diagram I created that demonstrates the audience who would most appreciate it:

2CircleVennDiagramPlain (1)

Now allow me to do what I do and provide a little context. Continue reading

Fame Day: Massoud Hassani

Anyone know what this alien-looking device is?

Any guesses?

That right there is the “Mine Kafon,” an ingenious device used to safely blow up land mines. Light enough to be blown around by the wind, the Mine Kafon is still heavy enough to touch off detonation when it comes into contact with a mine or pressure-activated explosive. While there’s some skill that goes into getting the weight right, the real beauty of it is it’s simplicity- anyone anywhere in the world could mass produce these. Definitely a blessing for areas emerging or dealing with long periods of conflict and militarization. Continue reading