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Month: August 2004

Spire Nova

Most messenger bags fall into one of two camps: gigantic shapeless sacks on the one hand and precious, overorganized, zipper-encrusted man-purses on the other. Spire’s Nova bag is neither: It provides plenty of carrying capacity and organizing space in a shoulder bag that looks professional.… Read the rest

Iomega REV 35GB/90GB External Drive

The first thing you need to know about the Iomega REV 35GB/90GB drive is that its name is a lie. The REV is an external hard drive with removable 35GB hard-disk cartridges, plain and simple. The “90GB” part of its name refers to the amount of data you could, in theory, store on each cartridge using data compression – but that’s assuming an extreme rate of compression that you’ll probably never see in your lifetime, particularly if you have many MP3 or JPEG files.… Read the rest

Olympus DS-660 Digital Voice Recorder

If you put your ear up close to the speaker grille on the Olympus DS-660 Digital Voice Recorder, you can hear the faint, distant screams of agonized microcassette manufacturers. For years, portable audio recording meant fumbling with these infernal tapes, which often broke, tangled, got demagnetized, or melted on your dashboard, and had terrible sound quality besides.… Read the rest

Science vs. witchcraft.

This BusinessWeek interview with Linus Torvalds contains a very interesting point: Torvalds compares the open-source way of developing software to the scientific method. Programmers put ideas forward; they’re critiqued publicly; and, if they stand up to scrutiny and to repeated testing, these ideas are incorporated into the overall body of work; other people then build on that framework.… Read the rest

Oedipus Rex, 2004.

“Oedipus, as you know, was the tragic king who killed his father, then married his mother — a sequence of events that seldom turns out well.” -Bob Costas, commenting on the 2004 Athens Olympics opening ceremony… Read the rest

Here come the meteors!

I just had a short article about the upcoming Perseid meteor shower published in the San Francisco Chronicle. This was a fun piece to do–I got to talk with NASA scientists, enthusiastic amateur astronomers, and even dropped in on a stargazing party in the Los Altos hills, where I got to scope out some nebulae and double stars.… Read the rest

Perseid meteor shower to light up the skies

This week, skip the movies and catch some shooting stars instead.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will be especially spectacular this year, and at its peak on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, you may be able to see as many as one or two shooting stars every minute.… Read the rest

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