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12 February 2004

From the New York Times:

Chips Ahoy
"Intel said the technical advance, in which the researchers use a component made from pure silicon to send data at speeds more than 50 times as fast as the previous record, is the first step toward building low-cost networks that will move data on light waves seamlessly between chips and computers and across large digital communications systems.
Building laser communications into conventional computer chips also points to effective solutions to the so-called "last mile'' challenge of delivering digital information from the Internet to homes and offices - creating extremely fast, low-cost computer networks and significantly lowering the barriers to knitting together powerful servers and supercomputers based on multiple processors."

Interesting to me that I can get excited over that when medical-breakthrough news leaves me cold. I think it's the quickness with which the tech firms gear up for marketing -- then too, medical news is relayed to us at a much earlier point in the research. If a potential cure is discovered for something today it won't become available for, oh, ten years -- even if it pans out. The stage at which it is reported is when, say, a substance has an effect on lab mice burdened with an MS-simulating condition. Anyway, if it ever becomes available I won't be able to afford it, I'll be dead, or too messed up to care. But a new chip...!

Everything is Always About Me (cut that out, won't you?)
Went to Safura and had lamb souvlaki with Tiff, who has returned from her long sojourn in Arizona. Brad only had one knee done, not two as had previously been the plan. Tiff talked about K going to school in Sydney, which would be fun for her -- Sydney has a wonderful landscape and the weather is nice in the winter (I've never been there in the summer). Last time I was there to sightsee I went to the opera (der fliegende Hollander), several museums, a harbor tour, shopping and other places on the monorail (whatever is that place called with the little ravens mosaic-ed into the floor?), wandered downtown, The Rocks, rode buses, went to parks, went to the Sunday market, restaurants, the airport three times, etc., etc., etc. -- in two days. I had a great time -- alone, of course -- just a brief stopover after leaving my family in Melbourne and before flying out to Cali then Seattle. And I thought I was effed up with MS THEN -- before I got ill in 1990 I could've done four times as much. MS takes and takes from one's abilities until very little is left. However, I reckon I should keep my moaning for my shadow blog. How am I? I'm FINE.

I only type with my left hand, but There makes me wish I could type better. I keep having conversations with people about keyboarding -- last night at a hoverboard track someone told me he swears There is giving him carpal tunnel syndrome. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were the case. Because There is global (but in English), I've talked to people from several places, including the Netherlands and England. It's very cool to talk in real time to someone who is doing what you are doing, when you are doing it. It makes it somewhat funny that I'm a hundred years old, but there are all ages in There, and many disabled people who enjoy virtual capabilities they don't have in real life. I've met people from 17 to my age, but I'd guess that most users are in their mid-twenties. It's a funny thing to be an "avatar" onscreen, but feel the constraints of one's age -- the pixels don't have an age -- I'm thinking a lot about the whole thing, which is hilariously virtual-with-a-real-aspect. If you are trying to get away from your physical self you have a different vibe than someone who is merely extending his/herself. Users of the second kind immediately want to know facts about you from the real world, whereas users of the first kind find those facts of no use in creating new experiences. After all, if the virtual world were to to constrain us as the world does, there would be no point in going there.

posted by - 9:30 AM


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