On my side, my router is still the same “venerable” model that doesn’t offer any IPv6 support, but apparently my ISP is moving in that direction, so that may soon be the only thing standing between me and IPv6 connectivity. I’ll be happy to upgrade the router… once I find an IPv6-capable one that has a really good firewall, because IPv6 removes some levels of safety against being hacked.
I have a widget on my browser’s home page that shows me what’s going on on several other pages, and Geek Drivel is one of them. Today when I sat down at the computer, I discovered that it apparently didn’t have any posts whatsoever. As I’d had close to two thousand posts the last time I looked, something was obviously wrong.
I tried to log in to find out what. It didn’t recognize my password. Something was obviously seriously wrong.
Fortunately I keep backups. The last one was from yesterday, but before I blindly restored it, I took a look… it only had one user account in it, and that account wasn’t mine. (It was a spambot that logged in yesterday, I don’t think it was related to the problem.) The previous week’s backup showed no users at all, but the one done on Christmas day was fine, so that’s the one that got restored.
The moral of the story, kids, is to always keep backups — LOTS of backups!
UPDATE, 2014-02-24: It just happened again last night. I’d logged on to delete an obvious spam account, and saw that there were a couple updates to plugins that are used here. Went to see the change-logs for them and suddenly got a login prompt again. Checked the user database, and sure enough, there was only one user still listed there, and it wasn’t me.
No idea what’s causing this, but it’s very annoying. Nothing lost (yet), so I’ll stick with it for now.
Here’s a 3D-printing application I really didn’t foresee. It looks interesting, but at those prices, it’s going to be a long time before it catches on.
Now, when someone invents a machine that scans your mouth and produces one of these in a few minutes for $10 or less, and puts it in Wal-Mart stores everywhere… well, the traditional toothbrush might just have to go looking for another job.
Remember what I said last year, about how governments will soon find themselves responsible for the mental health of their citizens? Academics have just taken another step toward it.
I’ve often wondered what the future would look like if someone did create a true artificial intelligence, and it was simple enough that anyone could do it once they knew how. I’ve often thought that most of today’s intellectual jobs would just vanish, the way that so many blue-collar jobs did when automation started replacing workers.
Apparently I’m not the only one who’s considered it. (There have also been some science fiction novels along those lines, such as The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.)
It’s an interesting read, and I highly doubt that things will be as simple as he’s suggesting. We’ll see.
I wouldn’t have bothered posting about this, except for one throwaway line near the top:
[...] In the end, the nuclear apocalypse failed to appear – the scientific consensus is that absolutely no health effects due to the Fukushima radiation will ever be detectable [...]
So to sum it up: the worst nuclear disaster in living memory, which happened at a plant which was far less safe than modern designs, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami of a magnitude and size that couldn’t have been foreseen, might give 170 nuclear plant workers a slightly elevated risk of cancer.
Why is it that we’re still polluting the environment by burning coal, again?
This is utter nonsense, as far as I can tell. There simply wouldn’t be enough volatile material to create something that would explode with any amount of force. At best it could turn someone into a walking fireball for a (very) short time, which is bad enough on an airplane, but would hardly bring it down.
It has also been done in fiction. In one of Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat books, the hero arranges to be captured, knowing from previous experience that he’ll be stripped as soon as he is. His clothing (no longer inhibited by a chemical applied under his arms) explodes, causing enough chaos that he breaks free and manages to accomplish his goal (I’m kind of hazy on what goal that was, as it has been a long time since I’ve read those books and there were several similar scenes using different methods.)
It made sense in a science-fiction book, where the author could invent an explosive powerful enough to work under those conditions. It makes no sense with today’s technology. Somebody is spreading the rumor for his own purposes, and I suspect his purposes are to sell detectors for such a thing.
The first burgers created from lab-grown beef have been sampled and declared “close to meat.”
This isn’t going to take over overnight, but in ten years it will probably be available in supermarket freezers, and in thirty it will probably be more common than the real thing, simply because it will be nearly indistinguishable from the real thing and noticeably less expensive. Not to mention that it will also be a MUCH more efficient use of land and food.
In some long-ago post, I mentioned a climate-scientist’s throw-away line about Global Warming making the deserts greener, and a reader (C-Square?) took exception to it. I can’t find the conversation now, but for that reader, here’s the proof you asked for.