The Golden Braid

Weaving Wonderful Worlds

If You’re Alive in 20 years, you may be able to Live Forever

Human Immortality: A Scientific Reality? From the moment of birth, we begin the battle against death — against the inevitable. Statistics say that a newborn child can expect to live an average of 76 years. But averages may not be what they use to be

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February 16, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Jim Gray is Lost at Sea

From the article

“Jim Gray, 63, founder and manager of Microsoft’s Bay Area Research Center, had left early Sunday in his 40-foot C&C yacht, Tenacious, from a marina near San Francisco’s Fort Mason.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said Gray called a family member on his cell phone about 10:30 a.m. to say he was sailing out of cell-phone range and would call when he returned in range. His wife reported him missing shortly after 8:30 p.m. Sunday when he did not show up and calls to his cell phone went unanswered.”

He’s a brilliant man striving for wonderful things. Let’s hope he makes it home safe and sound.

January 30, 2007 Posted by | Databases, News | Leave a comment

Old-News: Anti-conglomerate Sentiment Rises

It’s a new year and once again time to clean some house.

This article is from earlier in the year but I hadn’t gotten around to finishing some of the points I was making. There were some interesting enough points that I hope to elaborate on later, so there is really no use in keeping it locked up forever.

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The growing rebellion against anti-consumer tactics practiced by the MPAA & RIAA has organized.

No matter what camp you lie in, there is a lesson to be learned by this whole copyright ordeal. We are witnessing some of the first fits of a truly global Laissez-faire market (read: free market ). This resentment to the natural order of patenting is in part due to a fresher more globablly focused generation re-defining what it thinks is acceptable. Thanks in no part to the digital divide, it has become quite evident that the traditional “Patent the World” mindset is showing its fraility.

Why? – the laws are no longer in sync with society. The system is trying to reach a socially acceptable equilibirum.

When? – The Pirate Party is evidence that there is a growing movement of serious people willing to do serious things within the confines of current systems. This may later serve as a catalyst to legitimize “copyleft” ideals and force new planks into popular political thought. A large part of when or if this will happen will depend on the political climate of the US and like minded countries. Many laws concerning patents, ownership, and intellectual property are currently up for grabs in the States.

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Patently Stupid, Politics | Leave a comment

FBI plans new Net-tapping push

The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping, CNET News.com has learned.

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July 8, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WGA Debate

I am by no means an advocate of the Windows Genuine Authentication initiative, but I do understand their attempts to put a stopper on rampant copying of their software. I think that it would be in Microsoft’s best interest to have a healthy dialogue with its users about how and when to go about this in the proper way.

That being said, I think it is also in poor form on the user’s end to point fingers at seemingly innocuous details. Sensationalist comments like this do nothing more than drum up support for specters of the real Intellectual Property debate. I have already noticed that the author’s comment has been “dugg” and is quickly climbing on the site’s front page. I ask that anyone that reads this to stand back and take a moment to muster a true perspective of the topic in question.

Microsoft’s PR response in the comment was that 80% of WGA positives are due to the unlawful duplication of volume license keys. Microsoft has already confirmed that many of these are likely due to pirated copies of its OEM versions that have been reverse engineered to dodge its initial activation step in some way. There is nothing surprising about this, as XP enterprise versions and volume license keys are targeted because they were engineered to avoid this activation step. This does not imply that there are not other methods around activation; it is simply the most actively used method because it is the easiest. While one may read into the comment thinking that WGA is throwing false positives once for every 5 legal keys, the real number is likely a tiny fraction of that.

The author should be commended for his pursuit of the truth, but my opinion is that we don’t need to “call up the troops” to support something that may not even be an issue yet.

It will be become quite evident if any real news comes from this. Meanwhile, there is really nothing exciting about this story as of yet. Move along.

July 4, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, technology | Leave a comment

Processor Battle Heats Up

AMD is getting serious about losing the performance crown to Intel’s Core processor. They are making sweeping cuts to streamline their channels but are apparently not in the best of strategic positions to do so at the moment. The move by Intel appears to have caught AMD off gaurd, a tactic AMD initially used in tandem with an aggressive pricing strategy to garner its market share with their first socket-based Athlon line. This round of the fight is the first in which Intel has brought a true competitor since AMD’s rise from the ashes…. are both companies agile enough to survive a few more punches?

AMD will be able to buy some time for their newer AM2 configs if they hurry their quad-core to market. If you can’t beat them with one core… why not add a few more?! Well, power consumption might play a tiny role ;).

July 3, 2006 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

iLiad E-Reader is Now Shipping Orders

I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile. The iRex iLiad E-Reader is the first ebook to feature electronic ink. It has a wide variety of available features and document formats. The only downside is the price-point at 649 euros. Hopefully this will lower as production ramps up and Sony introduces its Sony Reader; a competitive product utilizing e-Ink due near the end of the quarter.

Is this the end of the traditional book as we know it? The outcome is not likely if you take previous forays into replacing pulp-fiction into account. Despite this, I do have to admit that this is a pretty nice piece of gear.

July 3, 2006 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

SCO vs IBM finally drawing to a close?

It looks as if the judicial system is finally getting wise to SCO and its repeated refusals to offer specificity in regards to its infringement claims against IBM. Judge Well’s order granting IBM’s motion to limit SCO’s claims may well prove the deathblow to a majority of SCO’s case. Her order appears to be well researched and well founded, SCO would have to be a bit off-the-rocker to even consider an appeal… then again, this is SCO were talking about.

More news, including a link to the 39 page PDF of the order, is located over at Groklaw.

June 30, 2006 Posted by | Business | Leave a comment

Deconstructing databases with Jim Gray

There is a text interview up at The Register with database multi-genarian Jim Gray.

“Most companies have a tame “guru” – someone presented as a world authority on the subject in question and so amazingly intelligent that they are above the tacky world of commercialism.

Sadly, many such “gurus” merely debase the term and turn out to be exactly what you expect – mouthpieces for the marketing department.

Click here to find out more!One of the great exceptions to this rule is Jim Gray, who has managed to combine an outstanding academic career (you don’t win an ACM Turing Award for your attendance record) with a very practical one.—

I’ve always enjoyed Jim Gray’s progressive approaches to database design. Here are some Channel-9 videos of the man in action (Jim Gray – A talk with THE SQL Guru and Architect , Jim Gray – Part II of talking about Database Design). If you are not into watching videos, there is a quick synopsis at Spatially Enabled.

June 30, 2006 Posted by | Databases, Theory | Leave a comment

MySQL gets cozy with Microsoft

Let me note that I can’t always discern MySQL’s competitive strategy. I understand they want to leverage their Windows user base by creating a VS compatible IDE, and I actually think it is a solid move.

I can’t shake the thought that this news comes right on the coat-tails of MySQL criticizing “crippled” closed source database freeware offerings. Now they are announcing that they are partnering with yet another head of the very same hydra. Will the partnership have an adverse effect on their bottom line as a support service provider when part of their software is externally dependant on a closed source competitor as historically anti-competitive as Microsoft?

MySQL gets cosy with Microsoft | The Register:

MySQL, the open source database firm, is to receive Microsoft marketing support along with Visual Studio technical integration. The company has paid $3,000 to become a member of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program in a move that will help cement the database’s use on Windows. MySQL joins more than 240 other ISVs also working with Microsoft.

June 30, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, Databases | Leave a comment