Technology

Category archives for Technology

Machine Translation Lets Me Down

It’s a sign of how good computers have gotten that I’m faintly offended whenever Google Translate fails to come up with something even halfway sensible. I mean, translating a blog post from one language to another is a ridiculously difficult problem, and yet they usually do a passable job. It’s only when the vanity search…

Energy Efficiency Question: Water Heaters

The water heater for Chateau Steelypips is significantly older than the usual useful life for such devices, and it’s really started to show. I’m getting pretty sick of lukewarm showers, so we probably need to replace it. As a good squishy liberal type, I of course want to replace it with something more efficient, and…

Help Me With My New Toy

I sent in the page proofs for How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog this week, and by way of celebration, I went out and helped boost the economy by buying some consumer electronics: Yes, I now have an iPad. Just one with wi-fi, not the 3G version, because we already send Verizon enough money,…

This coming June will mark ten years since I started this blog (using Blogger on our own domain– here’s the very first post) and writing about physics on the Internet. This makes me one of the oldest science bloggers in the modern sense– Derek Lowe is the only one I know for sure has been…

Pseudonymity Is the Wrong Solution

I don’t think my point quite got across the other day, so let me try phrasing this another way. I think a lot of what’s being written about pseudonymity on blogs is missing the real point. The really important question here is not so much whether blog networks should allow pseudonymous blogs as whether employers…

On Nymity

The whole issue of pseudonymity has come up again, both on Google+ and on ScienceBlogs. While I’ve been on the Internet for nigh on 20 years, my initial point of entry was through a Usenet group that strongly preferred real names (or something real-name-ish). As a result, I’ve never tried to maintain a separate Internet…

Back in June, when I was headed to DAMOP, I got email telling me that they had an official Android app. I installed it, and in with the meeting program and maps and things was a “Social Media” section, that included an official hashtag: #apsdamop. I posted a few things using it, but it rapidly…

Imminent Death of the Book, Continued

A little more tab clearance: these are stories about the transformation of publishing that I’ve been meaning to say something about but haven’t got around to. First, some actual news: rumors of the imminent death of publishing may be somewhat exaggerated, as more books were sold for more money in 2010 than in a while.…

Proposed New Rule

A well-known joke is “Rule 34″ saying that anything that exists will have porn about it on the Internet. The introduction to this Inside Higher Ed piece about anti-law-school blogs reminds me that we probably need a higher-numbered rule stating that every field of human endeavor will also produce a bunch of blogs about how…

A lot of pixels have been spilled lamenting the death of Borders books, a rather large fraction of them being used to say stupid things. Particularly in the “they killed off independent bookstores so good riddance to them” vein– it’s great that you lived in a place that had good indie bookstores and enough hipsters…