Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

Everything I need to know about science . . .

. . . I learned from Star Trek.

If you like, I can share it with you via my Surface. And you can read it on your iPad.

UNLESS, of course, you'd rather that I just contacted you via your communicator -- uh . . . cell phone.

BUT DON'T go totally booger-eater on me here, OK?

I SHOULD have told you the booger-eater thing earlier, shouldn't I? Siri?


OH, SIRI . . . while I'm thinking about it, could you give me an update on how that warp drive is coming?
In the "Star Trek" TV shows and films, the U.S.S. Enterprise's warp engine allows the ship to move faster than light, an ability that is, as Spock would say, "highly illogical." 
However, there's a loophole in Einstein's general theory of relativity that could allow a ship to traverse vast distances in less time than it would take light. The trick? It's not the starship that's moving — it's the space around it. 
In fact, scientists at NASA are right now working on the first practical field test toward proving the possibility of warp drives and faster-than-light travel. Maybe the warp drive on "Star Trek" is possible after all. 
According to Einstein's theory, an object with mass cannot go as fast or faster than the speed of light. The original "Star Trek" series ignored this "universal speed limit" in favor of a ship that could zip around the galaxy in a matter of days instead of decades. They tried to explain the ship's faster-than-light capabilities by powering the warp engine with a "matter-antimatter" engine. Antimatter was a popular field of study in the 1960s, when creator Gene Roddenberry was first writing the series. When matter and antimatter collide, their mass is converted to kinetic energy in keeping with Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula, E=mc2.In other words, matter-antimatter collision is a potentially powerful source of energy and fuel, but even that wouldn't be enough to propel a starship faster-than-light speeds. 
Nevertheless, it's thanks to "Star Trek" that the word "warp" is now practically synonymous with faster-than-light travel. 
Is warp drive possible? 
Decades after the original "Star Trek" show had gone off the air, pioneering physicist and avowed Trek fan Miguel Alcubierre argued that maybe a warp drive is possible after all. It just wouldn't work quite the way "Star Trek" thought it did. 
Things with mass can't move faster than the speed of light. But what if, instead of the ship moving through space, the space was moving around the ship? 
Space doesn't have mass. And we know that it's flexible: space has been expanding at a measurable rate ever since the Big Bang. We know this from observing the light of distant stars — over time, the wavelength of the stars' light as it reaches Earth is lengthened in a process called "redshifting." According to the Doppler effect, this means that the source of the wavelength is moving farther away from the observer — i.e. Earth. 
So we know from observing redshifted light that the fabric of space is movable. [See also: What to Wear on a 100-Year Starship Voyage] 
Alcubierre used this knowledge to exploit a loophole in the "universal speed limit." In his theory, the ship never goes faster than the speed of light — instead, space in front of the ship is contracted while space behind it is expanded, allowing the ship to travel distances in less time than light would take. The ship itself remains in what Alcubierre termed a "warp bubble" and, within that bubble, never goes faster than the speed of light. 
Since Alcubierre published his paper "The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity" in 1994, many physicists and science fiction writers have played with his theory —including "Star Trek" itself. [See also: Top 10 Star Trek Technologies] 
Alcubierre's warp drive theory was retroactively incorporated into the "Star Trek" mythos by the 1990s TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation." 
In a way, then, "Star Trek" created its own little grandfather paradox: Though ultimately its theory of faster-than-light travel was heavily flawed, the series established a vocabulary of light-speed travel that Alcubierre eventually formalized in his own warp drive theories.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flaming Lips or Microsoft Paint? You decide.

If you couldn't see the title of the YouTube video, this would be harder than you'd think.

That says something right there.

Yep, what we have here is MSPaint.exe, as opened in an audio-editing program. The Flaming Lips could have saved so much time and effort . . . and come up with pretty much the same thing as their latest release.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When geeks do hype

If we all paid as much attention to making actual good products as we do to bullshit, we wouldn't have to worry about how we'll ever manage to learn Mandarin.

So we can converse with our new Chinese overlords.

This is the Windows Phone 7 team celebrating, no doub
t, the inflicting of yet another so-so Microsoft product upon the world. Oy. So geeks think they can dance?

THEN the WinPhone peeps had a "funeral" for the iPhone. And took pictures with an Android phone.


Thus, the story of America today. All hype, no substance. All hat, no horse.

All bullshit, no side of beef.

How about this for a revolutionary, countercultural thing for tech hipsters to embrace? How about, when you make a new product, you make sure it's a good one, OK? And then you could, like, shut the hell up about it.

Celebrate by lifting a couple at the neighborhood tavern. Tell someone "Attaboy!"

Or "Attagirl!" We're not sexist.

JUST QUIT giving us reasons to think your mad tech skillz may be
, in reality, just as lame as your choreography. And your parade planning.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

They're a PC

They say Mac faked this video to embarrass PC.

Somehow, I doubt it. Now, if Ogre had run into the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo, Calif., and screamed "NERDS!" while this "line dance" was going on, that would have been too perfect, thus leading me to think it a fake.

BUT THERE IS, starting at about the 2:11 mark in the video, a line-dancing shopper seemingly availing herself of a five-finger discount on a Microsoft product that likely will mete out rough justice to her in its own special way. And at 3:47, it appears a kid might be doing the same.

That child had better give his heart to Jesus, because his ass is going to belong to the Blue Screen of Death.

Of course, it could be that the lad was driven -- allegedly -- to a life of crime by a new Microsoft innovation. Allow to introduce you to the brand-new
Black Screen of Death:

Microsoft says recent security updates made to computers running Windows 7, Vista and XP operating systems are not to blame for the "black screen of death" some users are having on their machines, which results in the computer shutting off.

However, it was still unclear Tuesday what the source of the problem is. It is the first of any scope to affect users of Windows 7, the software maker's newest operating system which became available in late October. Microsoft said if there is a problem, it may be tied to malicious software, or malware.

"Microsoft has investigated reports that its November security updates made changes to permissions in the registry that are resulting in system issues for some customers," said Christopher Budd, security response communications lead member for the company. ( is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

The company, Budd said, "has found those reports to be inaccurate and our comprehensive investigation has shown that none of the recently released updates are related to the behavior described in the reports."

Windows users are familiar with the "blue screen of death," when their computers essentially shutdown because of an operating system problem. The new "black screen of death" appears to occur when the computer is first turned on, then shuts down.

"We’ve conducted a comprehensive review of the November Security Updates, the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and the non-security updates we released through Windows Update in November," the company says on its blog.

"That investigation has shown that none of these updates make any changes to the permissions in the registry. Thus, we don’t believe the updates are related to the 'black screen' behavior described in these reports."
WELL, that's it. Gotta post this sucker before the computer locks up.

Friday, October 02, 2009

And next, we'll make felt banners!

Hey, Mac! You have GOT to come see what PC is up to now!

Really, Mac. Look at this instructional video for playing host to a Windows 7 launch party later this month. The only thing they left out are the Windows 7 pocket protectors.

I MEAN, this isn't a really kewl launch party for a really neato-keen operating system that locks up on you 15 percent less than Windows XP if the wind is blowing right and you don't actually run any Microsoft applications. No, this is your church youth group with the possibility of adult beverages.

My God, it even has the same kinds of "activities."

And when all the party hosts get the bright idea to play Windows 7 "sardines," it'll be easy enough to find where everybody's hiding.

That would be the Apple Store.

HAT TIP: Crunchy Con.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mac is starting to pity PC

Here's a couple of the new ads for Windows featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.

Apparently, the $300 million Microsoft campaign is supposed to combat Apple's wildly successful "Mac vs. PC" ads. Ummmmmmmmm . . . yeah.

There may be a point somewhere in the first two Gates-Seinfeld commercials, but it will take half the world's intelligence services to decipher what that might be.

Until the intelligence estimate arrives, just look at the Windows campaign much as you might the operating system itself -- an antiquated notion smothered by a mountain of bloated code and ready to lock up on us any second now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why it's important to smart-ass-test ads

Stung by bad street and slow adoption of Windows Vista, Microsoft is getting ready to launch a "fight back" ad campaign, says ZD Net.

If this is going to be the overall message of Microsoft’s much-vaunted new $300 million ad campaign, it might be money well spent. According to the folks at LiveSide, the first ads in the new campaign were previewed at Microsoft’s employees-only Global Exchange conference last week to rave reviews. As Tim Anderson astutely noted the other day, “Vista is now actually better than its reputation. That’s a marketing issue.” Microsoft’s biggest challenge is to get would-be customers to set aside whatever preconceptions they have and listen to its pitch for Vista. Aligning its most vocal Vista critics with the Flat Earth Society is a clever way to get people’s attention.

But the bigger job, that of actually changing people’s minds, will be easier said than done. Apple has largely defined Vista’s public image so far with its devastating “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads. Responding directly to those ads is a losing tactic. Largely thanks to John Hodgman, the humor bar is set extraordinarily high. Any kind of response ad would legitimize the claims in those Apple ads and run the significant risk of being seen as lame and uncool.

And there’s no sign that anyone in Redmond is going to go down that road. Instead, clicking the link on the “World is flat” add leads to a page headlined, “Windows Vista: Look how far we’ve come.”

ON THE OTHER HAND, shouldn't a "fight back" ad NOT be this damned easy to parody:

I MEAN, really. The concept of the spoof took about . . . ooooohhhhhhh . . . three seconds. All the rest was dinking with the freeware Paint.NET program.

HAT TIP: NE Creative blog.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No keyboard to pound

Someday soon, computer users won't be called computer users.

Someday soon, people everywhere will have to find all-new ways to have non-computer, computer-related nervous breakdowns when whatever-the-hell Microsoft gadget we're dealing with goes on the fritz.

CNN breathlessly shows us the brave new world, when the whole family can gather around the tabletop media center for group primal-scream therapy at the prompting of a futuristic Blue Touch Screen of Death:
Software giant Microsoft unveiled some of its future technology at its fourth annual Innovation Day in Brussels on December 4.

And from virtual family organizers to tabletop touch-screens, their vision of the future sees technology move from the traditional desktop computer to become seamlessly integrated in all aspects of our lives.

One key area that's set to change, says Microsoft, is user interface. MD of Microsoft Research, Cambridge, Andrew Herbert told CNN, "Sitting at a keyboard with a screen in front of us is an old-fashioned view of computing. Technology is going to be around us, it's going to be much easier to use."

Developments in touch-screen technology have resulted in large screens that can be used by multiple people, creating table-top tools for collaboration at work. And along with touch-screens, voice recognition will make our interaction with computers much more natural.

Herbert told CNN, "Interactive surfaces are making it easier for people to use computers with gesture and touch. It will make it easy for people to collaborate together. Speech will be an important part of that, too."

"We'll think less of one person, one computer," he continued. "It'll be people working together in an environment with lots of computers that you can interact with."

Touch-screens will also play a role in the home, according to the Microsoft-funded "Living Tomorrow" project. They showed off a large electronic touch-screen family organizer integrated into the wall of a fridge, which included shopping lists and menus compiled from product bar codes, a family calendar and virtual sticky notes.

"It's a way for a family to stay in touch, even though Mum's away on a business trip, Dad's at the office and the kids are doing different things," said Herbert. "It's the idea of social computing holding families together."