Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

CD-Rs: how reliable?

From the Independent an article on CD-Rs and their lack of long-term reliability:

You know those CD-Rs that you've trusted your most precious memories to? They could be little more use than coasters after just two years.
An interesting read, more or less along the lines of other things I've seen on the topic over time.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 23, 2004 at 4:16 PM

about privacy and stuff

I read this, then this, then this, then instead of ranting I just point to this I wrote a few days ago and then go back to whatever it is I was doing. :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on April 23, 2004 at 1:45 PM

iapetus

In this week's Economist, The Dark Side of the Moon:

IN THE science-fiction classic 2001, a spacecraft is dispatched to examine Iapetus, Saturn's third-largest moon, because of an anomalous signal sent from Earth's moon to Iapetus. In the book, as in reality, there is something else odd about Iapetus: unlike any other object in the solar system, one-half of its surface is ten times darker than the other. Arthur Clarke speculated that it was a signal from an alien civilisation. Astronomers naturally tend to doubt that explanation but have had difficulty coming up with a better one.

[...]

It turns out that the two sides look rather similar to the radar, and about the same amount of signal bounced off either side. This [...] means that whatever the dark material is, it is either electrically non-absorbing, or placed in a very thin layer, only a few centimetres thick. Though astronomers are fairly certain that Iapetus is mostly made of water, they are unsure of what else is there. The radar results point towards ammonia as a likely component, because it absorbs radar signals. But it may lie just below the surface.

The radar data still leave much to be explained. But Cassini, an unmanned American spaceprobe, is due to arrive at Saturn on July 1st. Its four-year mission is planned to include a close approach to Iapetus. So even if the scheduled date of 2001 has now passed, a definite answer should come soon.

Interesting. But let's not mention that HAL 9000 is still fiction. And that we don't have a base on the moon. And that the space station we do have in orbit around the Earth is a glorified shoebox, instead of the magnificent ring in 2001. And...

Okay, I'll stop complaining.

On a lighter note, this reminds me that I've been thinking of re-reading Rendezvous with Rama (of which a movie has also been long-rumored, btw). That book and Rama II are among my SF favorites of all time.

Categories: science
Posted by diego on April 23, 2004 at 12:19 PM

somebody help me, I'm being spontaneous!

So about 2 weeks ago I was supposed to take a break from work and everything else. Not blogging for a while seemed like a good idea as well. What ended up happening was that I didn't completely stop working but I did stop blogging, and my absolute lack of blogflow has remained a constant since then except for a couple of posts here and there.

Now since yesterday night (late at night) I've had in my head this sequence from The Truman Show in which Truman is on a roundabout randomly moving back and forth different roads and screaming "somebody help me, I'm being spontaneous!". And in some weird way it feels like that.

Sure, work is a factor, but yesterday I realized there's something else going on too, and honestly I don't know what it is.

Having issued this clarification (?) maybe we'll now return to our regular (?) programming (!).

:-)

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on April 23, 2004 at 11:50 AM

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