First new Nuclear Reactor in the US in 10 years is on track.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is bringing a new Nuclear Reactor on line, on schedule and on budget, in order to provide clean, “carbon free”, electricity in useful quanties, to their customers.

Clean and safe nuclear power is supported as the “green option” by serious leaders of the environmental movement, including Gaia theorist James Lovelock, Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore, and Britain’s Bishop Hugh Montefiore, a longtime board member of Friends of the Earth.

Of course, there are uneducated watermelon groups opposing this step toward clean, American engergy indepence, including the obviously confused “Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.”


Bad PR for the Kindle

As I’ve noted before, it is my theory that Amazon does not actual sell e-books on it’s Kindle device, it leases the book to the reader.

Another point of evidence to support that theory has just come out. According to this New York Times story, Amazon can delete e-books off your Kindle, that you have “purchased” from them, without your knowledge or consent.

One of the books removed, George Orwell’s “1984

Keep in mind that Amazon was the first company to grab a noticable portion of Apple’s iTunes digital formated music business by offering MP3 files without copy protection.  Amazon is using it’s dominate position in the online bookselling business to force an ugly “DRM” scheme on its customers that assumes that they are thieves.

Amazon, and publishing companies, need to recognize that they make most of their money off avid readers who are willing to spend money to support their favorite authors.  Their fear driven reaction to the fear mongering of the RIAA is pushing them toward a business model that is hostile toward their best customers.  They would better serve their customers, and their stockholders, by working with the customer instead of treating them like criminals.

Portions of this post were first published on the Urbin Report.

NASA to destroy the Space Station in 2016

They use the more PC term, “De-Orbit”, which means letting the incredibly expensive International Space Station drop out of orbit and burn.  Any large leftover chunks are supposed to fall into the Pacific Ocean.

The station has cost $100 billion to put into orbit, build and maintain, so far.   No plans to replace it with something useful that I’m aware of.

Hopefully it will provide a decent lightshow on the way down.

100 Basic Geek Skills

Wired has an article on 100 Essential Skills for Geeks.

I wasn’t surprised to see I have many of them.  Here are some of my favorites.

Properly secure a wireless router.
Crack the WEP key on a wireless router.
Leech Wifi from your neighbor.
Screw with Wifi leeches.

Knowing how to screw with people stealing bandwidth from your website is good too.  Not only did I have a commercial site leech bandwidth from me, they were using one my 3D images for their logo.  So I replaced that file with a jpg of two Rhinos having sex.

Work from home or a coffee shop as effectively as you do at the office.
Wire your own home with Ethernet cable.

I had the house wired with Coax Ethernet, before I switched to CAT5.

Install a Linux distribution. (Hint: Ubuntu 9.04 is easier than installing Windows)

Just did an Ubuntu install yesterday, before I saw this article, and it was easier than installing Windows

Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop.

A valuable IT skill, along with knowing how to bypass OS login passwords.

Create a website using vi (or Notepad)

Be able to explain why it’s important that Han shot first.
Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss.
Stop talking Star Wars long enough to get laid

That last one is important.

Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed.

I have a Cricket bat, but it’s not my the bed. The Jo staff is much nastier.

An interesting list, I fail on being able to name all the Dwarves in The Hobbit, but I’m much more a hard SciFi fan than a fantasy fan.

The World’s First floating nuclear power plant

It’s not the one the Russians are building. Given the Russian’s record of failure with nuclear reactor’s and generally poor environmental record, any buyer’s are doing so at their own risk.

The world’s first floating nuclear power plant was built in the early 1960s by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. It was the MH-1A Sturgis, a converted WWII Liberty ship.  The BBC falsely reported that the Russians were building the first floating nuclear power plant back in 2006, and other news agencies are still repeating their mistake.

I called the Chrome OS back in October

Google announced an OS based on Chrome, this is supposed be a seperate OS than Android, which is already shipping on smartphones and has been ported to netbooks.

The Chrome OS is based on open source LINUX code, and Google plans on freely distributing the OS. This can’t make Microsoft very happy.

Back in October 2008, I noticed that Chrome had the potential to be a thin layer OS.

One of the exisiting theories is that Chrome is the first componet of a Google OS.  Chrome is supposed to be the interface to the applications.  If you look under the hood of Chrome, it is built more like an OS than a browser.

All it will need is a thin layer to access the hardware (boot, and then interface with video/storage/audio/periferal I/O(USB for a start)/network interfaces)  and it’s pretty much good to go.

This would a thin client model with most of the applications out in the cloud, and as much of the data. as well.

iPhone firmware 3.1 BETA

Firmware version 3.1 has just entered BETA.

Here are some of the highlights.

Bluetooth support for Voice Control.  So finally, my iPhone “smartphone” will be able to do wihat my old Motorola Razr did from day one.  Tap the button on a Bluetooth headset and initiate a call simply by speaking.

MMS may or may not be supported. Depends on AT&T approval.

Small improvements to the video editing.

There are a few other minor features, but I’m expecting there will be a number of bug fixes in the release that won’t make the public annoucements, including anti-jail break features.

iPhone 3GS

I broke down and got a new iPhone. My old one was a 1st gen, I gained a lot of new features. Faster processor, more memory, GPS, and a much better camera. In addition to better stills, the 3GS will take videos as well.

The better camera and videos are really the big feature over the 3G. The older version supports many of the software features. The real bang for the buck comes from upgrading from the first gen model.

What will be interesting is see how the multiple phones running the Android OS will stack up as well as the applications that will be written for it.

Update: Ok, the single most useful feature of the 3GS over the first gen iPhone, not needing a bloody adapter to use a standard set of head phones!