Wednesday, September 17, 2008


--I read this Discover article a few years ago, and it popped up on Digg recently: basically, the argument is that human anatomy evolved to make marathon runners. Kind of neat.

--CATO arguing against copyright maximalism. Key graf, which should sound familiar:
One early darknet has been termed the “sneakernet”: walking by foot to your friend carrying video cassettes or floppy discs. Nor is the sneakernet purely a technology of the past. The capacity of portable storage devices is increasing exponentially, much faster than Internet bandwidth, according to a principle known as “Kryder’s Law.” [7] The information in our pockets yesterday was measured in megabytes, today in gigabytes, tomorrow in terabytes and in a few years probably in petabytes (an incredible amount of data). Within 10-15 years a cheap pocket-size media player will probably be able to store all recorded music that has ever been released — ready for direct copying to another person’s device.

--Profile of Alec Baldwin that, for reasons I can't explain, I find very compelling.

--Can the US make any combat aircraft that aren't crippled by high costs and technical problems? The decline in absolute numbers of aircraft is usually waved away by noting, correctly, that modern aircraft are vastly more capable than previous generation, especially when armed with precision guided munitions. But, at the end of the day the US is still usually going to war with countries where the main mission is not shooting other aircraft out of the sky, but basically "bomb trucking", where there's a huge value in being able to put more aircraft in the sky (one aircraft can only be in one place at one time, after all.) There could be a lot of use for a cheap, more expendable aircraft whose main purpose was simply to deliver PGMs. Drones like the Predator could probably fill that role in the future, letting the USAF do what it prefers anyway.

--And, like I warned last year, there's been a slight (less than 10%) rebound in arctic ice minimum this fall. So of course the morons are out claiming there's no problem, ice is growing again. We've seen rebounds before, but the long-term trend is clearly down.

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