Gongol.com Archives: August 2010
Brian Gongol

August 22, 2010

Science and Technology Maybe we're looking for the wrong signs of alien life
An astronomer makes a very good observation: We're looking for signs of biological activity as an indicator that life exists beyond our little blue planet. But maybe shouldn't be looking for anything biological, since we don't necessarily know how things would have evolved elsewhere in the Universe. Maybe we should instead be looking for signs they're using computers of their own, since the rules of electricity are likely to be more universal (literally) than the rule of biology.

Computers and the Internet HP will use the Palm WebOS to drive a tablet computer
It'll be available next year. Much has been made of the iPad, but with a price point of $499, it costs as much as a more powerful laptop computer, but does less. But if HP (or another manufacturer) can start selling tablet computers for $150 or less, then they'll be on to something. Tablets are a novelty without a lot of practical use (aside from places like hospitals, where easy-to-clean surfaces are valuable) -- until they're cheap. Once they get to be cheap, then their utility for lesser applications emerges. $500 is too much to pay for an easy way to watch videos of people playing the Super Mario Brothers theme on a Theramin, but $100 might not be.

Humor and Good News A real moment of Zen
(Video) A man juggles while a cover band plays "Purple Rain" at the Iowa State Fair Bud Tent. Go on; just try to explain that.

News Lou Piniella retires from the Cubs
It's sad that his family circumstances have initiated an early exit, but there have also been a lot of reports (and even televised evidence) of rivalries and infighting inside the clubhouse. That's a managerial problem. In any organization, if there are people problems, then there's a managerial problem.

News A beautiful home made largely of glass
But, seriously, who would want to live there? Great for entertaining and fine for use as an office, but there's a reason we have blinds and curtains. Privacy is valuable, even when what's being kept private isn't very important.

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