My Thoughts Exactly

Nanomachines manipulating DNA– and Grigory Perleman

Yesterday on Slashdot, a link to an article about nanomachines that can target individual genes — in this case to cure cancer. A long discussion follows in the comments (500+ comments) about implications of this technology, whether it might be used for ill as well as good.

I have not yet had the heart to read many of the comments. The technology described, and the implications thereof, are, of course, are pretty much the essence of my novel Acts of the Apostles, which I began writing 15 years ago and published more than ten years ago. Every time I see life imitating (my) art like this, I confess, my inner Grigory Perleman kinda starts to make rumbling noises deep in my bosom. Perleman’s the math genius & Howard-Hughes style recluse who refuses to accept $$ millions prizes for his solution of the Poincare conjecture because he’s evidently pissed off that his genius wasn’t recognized earlier. “You are disturbing me! I am picking mushrooms,” he hollers through the door to reporters who want to ask him about his mathematics and his opinion on prizes.

I did make a comment on Slashdot posting a link to this glowing Slashdot review of Acts by Slashdot co-founder Hemos. He at least recognized my genius. The other Slashdotters have probably modded by comment into oblivion by now. Such is the fate of us geniuses.

But just for the record, if anybody wants to give me a million dollar prize for writing Acts of the Apostles, I promise you I’ll accept. In fact, I’ll be happy if you just buy a copy.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

What Does US News and World Reports Know Anyway?

They’re just STUPID! What do they know?.

USA Today has a much more intelligent article (alas, from before the ranking s were published), especially this quote:

“What made me come back? Don’t be funny,” he says. “Everybody wants to come back to a reunion. That’s what Princeton’s made up of, people coming back to reunions.”

— Malcolm Wornock, Class of ’25.

Tune every heart and every voice,
bid every care withdraw;
Let all with one accord rejoice,
in praise of Old Nassau.
In praise of Old Nassau we sing,
Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!
Our hearts will give while we shall live,
three cheers for Old Nassau.

Harvard. Feh.

When we have a First Lady whose an alumn they’ll change their tune (and no, the fact that he went to Harvard Law does not count).

Stay tuned . . . . .

Harold Feld, Class of ’89

Go Tigers!

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

General Exception

Microsoft Patents a System to Tell if You're Using a Microsoft Product


Ars Technica
has a report about a Microsoft patent application that is supposed to detect user frustration. The patent wording (as with most patents) is obscure and difficult to decipher. They’ve probably spent a huge chunk of money on the research… but I could have given them an exceedingly simple algorithm to detect user frustration:

Allow me to demonstrate in pseudo-code:


if (program.author == “Microsoft”) Then {
user.isFrustrated = true;
}

A more serious discussion, after the break.

Read More »

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Adelstein Publicly Calls for Open Access

Two important updates from my most recent post. First, Commissioner Adelstein publicly supported some kind of open access requirement for the 700 MHz auction licenses. Wooo Hoooo! For us policy geeks, it’s kind of like the moment when the Millenium Falcon comes out of nowhere and blasts the Imperial tie fighters targeting Luke as he barrels down toward the access port. Not that I had any doubt where Adelstein’s heart was, but it’s always reassuring to see him commit himself.

The second update is that DIRECTV and Echostar got out bid by some Brits for Intelsat. This makes it more likely that they will want to bid aggressively in the auction, assuming they think they can win.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A Win in Florida

According to my friends at Free Press, the forces of municipal broadband won a major victory in Florida. Following a nasty legislative fight in the heart of Bell South territory, the Republican dominated legislature saw fit to impose only one condition on municipal broadband — annual reports.

Score since PA: Public interest- 3, Incumbents-0, Tie-1 (WV, where positive legislation was neutralized)

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)
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