aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, February 22, 2008
Ray Kurzweil: Daydream Believer
Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil gave the keynote address at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. In it he apparently touched on pretty much everything. Except games. A sampling from CNet:
Kurzweil explained how previously unrelated fields will essentially become information technology fields. For instance, in the field of medicine, an artificial red blood cell called a respirocyte could eventually duplicate the work of the real thing, but with 1,000 times the efficiency.
“Biology is very capable and intricate and clever,” Kurzweil said, “but it’s also very suboptimal, compared to what we ultimately can build with information technology and nanotechnology...If you were to replace a portion of your blood with these respirocytes, you could do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath or sit at the bottom of your pool for four hours.”
Kurzweil also believes that nanotechnology will solve the world’s energy crisis within two decades. Solar panels are hard to manufacture, heavy, inefficient, and expensive, but Kurzweil said the advent of nanoengineered solar panels will change that.
Within five years, he believes that those high-tech solar panels will become less expensive per watt of energy produced than oil, taking away the financial incentive for people to burn through nonrenewable natural resources. Within 20 years, they will have largely replaced fossil fuels as the primary source of the world’s energy.
In a more general view, Kurzweil noted that the average life expectancy was growing at the rate of roughly three months a year. Now that information technology is affecting medicine, Kurzweil projected that in 15 years, the life expectancy of people will start expanding at the rate of more than a year for every year that passes, essentially not only delaying death, but actually pushing it further away with each passing day.
“We didn’t stay on the ground,” Kurzweil said. “We didn’t stay on the planet. And we have not stayed within the limitations of our biology.”
Here’s Wired’s coverage. I’m guess it will be podcast one day. I’ll be watching for it.
X300 “will be perfect for many” users
So says Walt Mossberg. I am late today because I’ve been waiting for all the crashes with my Mac. (See my earlier Mac complaints with that earlier X300 post.) A Mac pal tells me she rebuilds her Mac every 6 months. I tell you, I’m planning to spend $4,000 bucks (that’s with an education discount!) on my next one.
What am I, crazy???
I am seriously thinking I’ve got to stop sipping from the Apple Kool Aid.
A few words from Walt:
I can recommend the X300 for road warriors without hesitation, provided they can live with its two biggest downsides: a relatively paltry file-storage capacity and a hefty price tag. This ThinkPad starts at $2,476 for a stripped-down model and at $2,799 for a preconfigured retail version with a half-size battery. The configuration I expect to be the most popular, with a full-size battery and DVD drive, is about $3,000.
The key factor in both of these downsides is the solid-state drive, or SSD, which replaces the hard disk. The SSD is fast and rugged, but today it can hold only a cramped 64 gigabytes of files and is very costly. Apple offers a MacBook Air version with the same solid-state drive for a similar high price. But Apple also has a much more affordable $1,799 model with an 80-gigabyte standard hard disk. Lenovo doesn’t.
Why just one kiss?
It all started last Christmas, when Luke and Noah, the young gay couple on “As The World Turns,” were about to kiss. Though fans had seen them kiss before, this time the camera panned up to the mistletoe.
Over the next few months, while heterosexual couples were kissing, Nuke (as fans call the couple) was restricted to holding hands, playing with one another’s neck scarves and sharing meaningful looks.
Ensuing complaints of discrimination to CBS and the show’s producer and sponsor, Procter & Gamble, had no effect. And the last straw apparently arrived on Valentine’s Day, when every other couple but Nuke shared a kiss. They hugged instead.
Online fans began a nationwide media blitz on Feb. 20 to bring attention to the show, which has been twice nominated for an award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “Presenting a gay couple on television only to relegate them to insulting hugs and slaps on the back is the 21st century version of putting African Americans on the back of the bus,” wrote one disgruntled fan named Tony. “We’re simply supposed to be happy that we got the ride at all. This is 2008, and yet CBS and Procter & Gamble are clearly stuck in the past.”
Here’s the site started by fans targeting producers and Procter and Gamble.