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The merging of Alexa and your Internet experience appears to be happening as we speak. You know about the “Echo” by Amazon, similar to Google Home (which apparently you can buy at Target, which presumably does not have a similar device). This is the machine that listens for you to say its name then does…

You’ve heard of Homo naledi, the strange “human ancestor” (really, a cousin) found a while back in South Africa. There were many skeletal remains in a cave, in the kind of shape you’d expect if they had crawled into the cave and died there, not much disturbed. They look enough like other members of our…

Evil Speaks: Warriors and Watchers Saga by S. Woffington is a new scifi/fantasy novel with an interesting twist. If there is a Bechdel Test for ableism, it would pass. This is an interesting story written for youthful readers (see publisher’s summary below) that is well written and mostly devoid of the usual plot holes we…

We begin with the usual list of things you pretty much always do after installing every Linux OS. Why these things are not automatically done for you on installation is a bit mysterious, but down deep there are generally reasons (legal reasons) for some of these things. In fact, pretty much everything here, with some…

Ubuntu 17.04 and the future

A Zapus is a kind of jumping mouse. A Zesty Zapus is the new Ubuntu Linux operating system, 17.04. It has just been released and has some important features. But Zesty Zapus is not as interesting at the Artful Aardvark, which I’ll discuss briefly below. Support of 32 bit hardware is waning across the Linux…

The Birds Of India: New Guide

A Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh is one of those next gen guides that uses photos but photos that are either enhanced or contextualized to serve the same role as drawings served in the old days, when drawings were better and photos were merely fun.…

John F Kennedy’s Birthday Book

JFK: A Vision for America. As our political system slides off the seat and into the crapper, I am finding this book to be a worthy and informative distraction. From the publisher: Published in commemoration of the centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s birth, here is the definitive compendium of JFK’s most important and brilliant…

I’ve been enjoying Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar: A Guided Tour of the Solar System by Bonnie Buratti. Burratti is a planetary astronomer at NASA’s JPL, and is the head of the Comets, Asteroids and Satellites Group. She was a key player in the Voyager program, and in the research done with the Cassini-Huygens, and New…

Andrew Jackson was born in March, 1767. Jackson was about 9 years old when the Revolutionary War started. The Revolutionary War and the Civil War were two different wars. There was another war in between called the War of 1812. It was approximately in 1812. Andrew Jackson was a lawyer, a judge, and a congressional…

A claim is being made, in a recent issue of Nature Magazine, that humans were active in the vicinity of San Diego well over 100,000 years before archaeologists think humans were even in the New World. Most commentary on this claim dismisses it out of hand, but out of hand rejections are no better than…