Birth of digital organisms


I love reading history to a point. Many times it seems the author is simply rehashing what others have said and this is perfect for falling a sleep to. In other cases the author has found a new take on things and this is when history mimics fiction and I become enthralled. I believe that the latter will be the case with a new history of computing book called Turing’s Cathedral. You can read an interview with its author George Dyson over at wired.

One of the most interesting points he brings up is that the computational world or universe is less like a national park and more like pure wilderness. He talks about digital organisms and Turing’s initial research which lead to the birth of the computer: that code is unpredictable until it is run. Since we cannot predict what software is going to do until we let it run we can never know exactly how it will operate until we “bring it to life”.

This reminds me of a really dark sci fi series I read last year by Peter Watts staring with the book Starfish. As the series continues we learn more about the future earth where the Internet is known as the Wilderness and AI works tirelessly to keep the wilderness out of the networks used by people. The vision is very bleak but the concept is right in line with what Dyson claims the original creators of the computer already understood.

Dysons suggestion is that companies start hiring biologists.

Formatting or resetting or deleting all data on Kindle 2

If you have a kindle 2 and dont use it anymore cause you got an iPad and like color and lots of awesome instead of black and white you might wanna sell or give it away.

If so you should format it of your copy of the karma sutra and other pornography. To do that do this:
power on your kindle 2
Click the Menu button
Select Settings with the control knob button thingy
Select the DeRegister option
Click on the Menu button again
Select the Reset to Factory Settings option
Have a cup of tea

Hope this helps


Video – Book Review of Eat Me by Kenny Shopsin

While watching Netflix I saw a documentary called ‘I Like Killing Flies’ about Shopsin’s restaurant, or old one, in NYC. Kenny immediately became my hero and upon reading the wikipedia page for the film I discovered that he wrote a book a few years back. Purchase made on Amazon and 15 minutes later I was reading the best cook book I have ever seen. Forget cookbook though cause even though you can learn about 200 recipes from this one volume they can easily permutate into hundreds more.
Kenny has great wit and his philosophy on life is what I want to hear more of: we are not here to slave for each other, we are here to hang out and be nice when thats called for and enjoy company. While I am pretty sure I would be thrown out of Shopsin’s before even being seated, I am a bit of a foodie, I would enjoy every moment of it.
Watch my review and if you don’t have a seizure let me know what you think:

Nerding: Google Reader gets Suggestions Wrong

I loves me some RSS feeds. Being able to skip through headlines without any cumbersome graphics to slow things down is what I need. Google Reader is the RSS reader of the day. Its fast and easy to use. With Reeder on my iPhone and iPad and soon on my Mac I can look through a lot of material very quickly and identify topics of interest for me or my clients.

One glaring issue I have with Google Reader however is how it makes suggestions. When you find a new RSS feed that you want to add to reader you see this:

Google Reader gets Suggestions Wrong
Google Reader gets Suggestions Wrong

Now dont get me wrong I love me some suggestions and Google is really good at suggesting relevant feeds. The problem is that the suggestions show up before I have finalized the subscription to the original feed that I wanted. Once I click on the Subscribe button the suggestions no longer appear here. Instead you have to click on the Feed Settings button and mouse over More Like This to see this:

Google Reader Suggestions are too hidden
Google Reader Suggestions are too hidden

Once again I appreciate Google making these suggestions, but they are way too hidden for most users. Make this more visible please Google. I suggest showing them right after I Subscribe to a feed and then occasionally once a month or so.

Book review – The Family Trade by Charles Stross

Reading is funCharles Stross takes a right turn from his more typical Sci-Fi fare with The Family Trade and gets pretty serious with the fantasy stuff. This is book one in The Merchant Princes series and has me hooked for more.

Miriam is the main character and learns a lot about herself the same day she is fired from her job as a journalist at a startup. She plunges down the rabbits hole into a parallel universe that is still in the Medieval Ages. As she goes deeper the hole grabs her and pulls all the way in.

On the other side she learns about her special gift for world walking and her ties into a Clan that rivals the Midici’s. Suddenly attempts on her life begin popping up everywhere and she falls back on her medical and journalist training to stay alive to make it to book two.

Tech jobs in Phoenix? Crazy talk…

You wouldn’t really be able to guess that Phoenix is the 16th largest city for tech jobs in the country if you were to read the traditional media here. In the 41 stories published to the Phoenix Biz Journals RSS feed this week 6 of them talk about tech in the valley.
Yet there is this story:

Tech jobs spur some growth in Phoenix area:
The Phoenix area's technology community has seen some growth after shedding jobs for most of the decade, according to a study by the American Electronics Association.

Where is the info about what companies are driving this growth? What are they doing? Who are they?

Of these 6 stories only one of them actually talks about a specific company: Unicorn Media which is a startup by some of the folks who did Limelight Networks.

Where is the story about Limelight’s current issues with patent Lawsuits with Akamai?

This is more and more reason for the grassroot/groundswell action that Refresh, Social Media Club, Tempe Nerds, Refactor, and Ignite Phoenix to name a few.

Historical Fiction with lots of sex

Hows that for a title?

Just finished World Without End, which is arguably the longest book I have ever read, just over 1000 pages. It was a great read and I highly recommend it.

Ken Follett is a master story teller and weaves so many plots so intricately that you are loathe to put the book down. The historical references are really well done and his description of 14th century England/Europe is mezmorizing. I really feel terrible at how much I missed when i went to school there. Reading this makes me want to go back and revisit my ancestry.

Oh and while the sex scenes are a bit idealistic they are plentiful and make the morning commute go by very nicely.