Monday, December 24, 2012

Stocking Stuffers

No particular structure for today's posting, just a few things that have drawn my notice.

Read this article from the Daily Mail. Now, are you with me? This is more like it. First of all, the idea of capturing asteroids and bringing them into Earth orbit is an important step for any would-be space colonizing civilization. The possibility of a stepping stone for exploring the other inner system planets is even better. But let's not lose sight of the basic idea. Step 1: waltz over to a sizable space rock. Step 2: While talking softly to it, take a big trash bag, lasso it and bring it back to cislunar space. Step 3: Wash, rinse, and repeat.

As I understand it, the problem with space exploration currently is getting material and personnel out of the home world's gravity well. Basically every project has to be built to pass through several radically different physical environments just to complete a task. It's sort of like if early explorers had to explore the New World with amphibious, self-propelled wagons that could transport themselves across Spain, to the nearest port, then deploy pontoons and windmills to make the ocean trek. Any process that reduces the number of multi-stage rockets is bound to increase the feasibility of the whole venture.

But also, using plastic bags to capture asteroids.

Shifting gears. I'm going back to Chrome. This is part of a larger trend away from Apple products. I love my iPhone, I love my Mac, I've decided I don't much care for the software Apple puts on those devices. I am no software engineer. The last time I programmed anything it was in Basic. But I do appreciate simplicity in design and function. Google makes software that intuitively, routinely, and conveniently meets the promise of the 'cloud.' What I type in Docs appears seamlessly on phone, laptop and desktop. Google search just flat out works better than Safari on my phone. Google Maps is well, it's Google Maps.

In comparison, most of Apple's offerings resemble digital supply chains; a Pages document is a physical product that must be laboriously packaged and shipped to some other digital product vendor. Sometimes it makes the trip, other times not so much.

One last thought before I get started writing this morning: one of my friends recommended Tumblr to me last night. Do any of you have observations on the difference between Blogger and Tumblr you'd care to share? I've been pleased with the slow influx of readers and commenters the past few months. I played around with Tumblr a little last night but couldn't find an easy way to combine Ancient Logic with a Tumblr blog. If I could post to both, so much the better. If the option was migrating to Tumblr, I'd probably just stick with this for the time being.
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