Technology

Category archives for Technology

Our home Internet has been out since Friday, which is, as you might imagine, somewhat vexing. The most likely cause is that our DSL modem is dying (it’s nine years old), which raises a technical problem. A few years ago, when we last had a problem requiring a service call, the tech who came out…

On Multitasking

After chasing a bunch of kids with cell phones off of his lawn, Kevin Drum has kicked off a discussion of “multitasking”, specifically about whether it’s merely a threat, or a positive menace. He points to an interview with Clifford Nass, a researcher who says his experiments show that nobody is any good at doing…

Living in the Future

My talk yesterday at AAAS went well, if too long (the person who was supposed to be flagging the time got distracted, and never gave me any indicators that I was going on, and on, and on… But that’s not really what I want to post about. The thing that triggered this is the speaker…

Replacement Tablet PC Options?

I have a Lenovo thinkPad X61 tablet that I use for a bunch of things, but mainly for working on the book in places that aren’t my home or office on campus, and lecturing. I do use the tablet features, primarily for marking up my lecture slides (I have PowerPoint slides that I use for…

Who Are You People?

I gave a talk today on blogs as a tool for science communication (basically the same as this one, with a few minor updates), and got asked “Aren’t the people who read science blogs mostly scientists already?” Which reminded me that it’s been a while since I did a “Who are you people?” post. So,…

Academic Poll: Appropriate Language

We did a lab yesterday that asked students to measure the speed of a ball leaving a spring-loaded launcher in a few different ways. this is a great way to talk about the difference between systematic and random errors and how those are dealt with. As a way of starting that discussion, I asked the…

The Internet Makes Everything Better

For one obvious example, I’m typing this on a plane– Southwest has started doing wi-fi on some flights, and it is totally worth $5 to be able to web-surf in flight.It would be even better if the flight wren’t packed, so I could type more comfortably, but I’m ok with just reading (once I post…

Lookit the shiny: That’s a new Droid X smartphone, and it’s mine. I got it yesterday after discovering the existence of a slightly cheaper “data only” plan that is so secret only about 10% of Verizon Wireless employees know it exists. As my previous phone was a freebie LG flip phone from about three years…

Replacement for Delicious?

As has been mentioned in countless places over the last few days, Yahoo plans to shut down Delicious, the social bookmark service that lots of people use for lots of things. My interest in it is pretty narrow, but important for this blog: I use Delicious to generate the quasi-automatic daily Links Dump postings here.…

Invasive Searches and Underage Drinking

Kevin Drum posted an anti-rant about the TSA, which argues that the new scanners and pat-downs aren’t an outrage because they really mean well: I’m not trying to defend everything TSA has put in place. Some of the stuff they do, like the penknife and nail clipper bans, really is stupid. And maybe backscatter scanners…